Extraordinary You: Episodes 31-32 (Final)
Whenever one story ends, another always begins. Our ill-fated couple has finally reunited, but eventually their manhwa will end and separate them again. But just because it’s time to say goodbye to this adorable manhwa doesn’t mean that the characters are gone forever. The Writer will use them again — but will love be enough to bring them back together in another world?
Haru sees that the art room has disappeared, now that the Writer has no more use for it. He rushes Dan-oh away from it, and he flirts with her to distract her. He checks his nametag but it’s still blank, so he shoves it into his pocket where Dan-oh can’t see it.
He tells Dan-oh that he’s happy right now with her, but she says that they still have a lot of things to do together, especially after they graduate. She brings out her phone where she’s made a list of things she wants to do with him like writing letters to each other and wearing couple items, but of course the one Haru notices is “kiss a hundred times,” hee.
Soo-hyang visits Mi-chae in the kitchen again, and they share a Romantic Moment when she gets startled and he catches her from falling. Soo-hyang says that Mi-chae seems out of place in a school because he feels like an ancient soul, then she realizes she may have said too much and starts to go. Mi-chae stops her, suspicious, but he shakes it off and sends her on to class.
Haru looks through the yearbook and notices that many students’ pictures are now blank. He checks his own photo, which is still there but beginning to fade. Not only that, but the name on his locker is also blank, signaling that the Writer will erase him from the story soon.
He sits on Dan-oh’s desk and writes on it: “Eun Dan-oh ahnyeong — Haru.” He tells her it’s his letter, but Dan-oh complains that ahnyeong can mean “hello” or “goodbye.” She wants their letters to be more heartfelt, saying all the things they can’t say out loud to each other.
Later Dan-oh catches Haru working on something in the library. He says it’s a couple item, and Dan-oh catches on that he’s trying to fulfill her wishes. Haru asks if she really wants a hundred kisses, making Dan-oh stammer, “No, yes. No… NO! Yes.” LOL.
The couple items turn out to be matching rainbow-colored paper chains to wear around their necks, which might just be the cutest thing ever. At first Dan-oh is disappointed, but Haru is so proud of himself that she can’t help but love them.
She tries to pull him in for a kiss with his paper chain, but it breaks and the kiss fails, leaving her puckered up and Haru laughing. Dan-oh starts to stomp away, but Haru pulls her back and tells her to try again. This time she uses his tie to pull his face down to hers, and he’s more than willing to grant her wish.
Do-hwa sees Dan-oh in the hall later and, unaware that she’s already regained her memories, he almost bursts into tears again. He runs over and flaps at her like a butterfly, trying to help her remember, then realizes she already does when she glares at him. HAHA, Do-hwa hugs Dan-oh and Haru smoothly twirls him away.
Do-hwa is pathetically grateful that Dan-oh is back to make the Shadow interesting, since all he’s allowed to do onStage anymore is play violin and walk with A3 to weird music. He vows to be better friends to Haru and Dan-oh, initiating a cute Three Musketeers cheer.
After school, Kyung approaches Haru in his library corner. Haru thanks Kyung for helping him get Dan-oh’s memory back, and asks if he can ask a favor. Kyung says that’s not fair, since Dan-oh already likes Haru better. But he admits that Dan-oh and Haru are meant to be together, and he tosses Haru the flowered keychain Dan-oh gave him.
Kyung skips class in the kitchen, and Dan-oh joins him there. Looking at Mi-chae’s diorama, she takes Kyung’s character and writes his name on its nametag. She places it outside the diorama and says it’s the real Kyung, but of course he sneers at her sentiment. Before he leaves, he tells her, “Thank you. I’ll see you on the next Stage.”
In the next Stage, Nam-ju gives Joo-da a pretty hairpin. When the Stage ends, she asks him sternly where he got it, but he can’t remember. Joo-da sighs that he has no concept of economy, and she gives him a book (aww, it’s got a strawberry on it) to monitor his money, warning him that she’s going to turn him into a good man.
Next she confronts Sae-mi and the bullies, who were obviously planning more tricks to torture her. Joo-da tells Sae-mi that her bullying won’t work anymore so she should find a new hobby, and a guy who actually likes her — and as soon as she’s gone, Sae-mi sobs on Soo-cheol’s shoulder. Good girl.
Joo-da runs into Do-hwa in the library, and he notices that she’s still wearing the white shoes he got her, with the butterfly drawn on them. She says that the butterfly’s fluttering didn’t work out for them, but it may have been meaningful for someone else. Joo-da jokes that she wishes she could date both guys, making Do-hwa laugh, and after she’s gone he sighs a final goodbye.
Mi-chae summons Haru and Kyung to the kitchen, and when Kyung sees what’s happening, he tries to leave. Mi-chae bellows in his Kingly Voice at Kyung and Haru to SIT, and they obey. He serves them some of the foods they liked during Flower, and he says they’ve suffered a lot because of their memories.
Since Flower is in the past and Secret will soon be over, Mi-chae suggests they make up and leave their hate behind them. He holds out a hand to Kyung, who reluctantly shakes. Mi-chae says the Writer is too cruel to put a couple of teenagers through so much, but when Haru asks how old he is, he refuses to say, ha.
Kyung leaves first, and Mi-chae tells Haru that he knows he’s had a hard time. Haru gulps and nods, but he leaves Mi-chae with a smile.
Joon-hyun joins Kyung on the catwalk, noting that he looks sad and lonely like usual. Kyung says he’s always been alone, and that Dan-oh said he should find his real self. Joon-hyun says he already knows the real Kyung, because before he went bad in Flower he was really friendly and affectionate.
Kyung takes out the burned pages of Flower and drops them off the bridge, one by one. Joon-hyun says that he’s glad the Writer made him Kyung’s little brother, and that he’ll always be by his side.
In the school foyer, Mi-chae sees Do-hwa leaning close to Soo-hyang. He assumes they’re kissing (Do-hwa was just blowing something from Soo-hyang’s eye) and he has a jealous fit, pelting Do-hwa with dried squid, ha. He warns Do-hwa away from Soo-hyang and Do-hwa wonders when they got so close, and when Soo-hyang says they’ve been hanging out, Mi-chae looks suspicious again.
Haru is in the library when he hears a strange sound. He goes to his secret corner, which is now disappearing, along with the drawings of Dan-oh he’d hung on the wall. Joon-hyun appears and says that Haru is being punished for changing Kyung’s Stage.
Joon-hyun asks if he’s scared, and Haru admits that he’s scared his time is growing short. But he says that his and Dan-oh’s love will still exist after the story ends, so he doesn’t regret it. Joon-hyun says that Haru was able to change the story because he chose his own fate, and that he envies Haru his bravery.
He says he’s decided to make his own fate as well, and stay with Kyung until the final scene. He tells Haru that he hopes he can be with someone he loves in the last scene, too.
Dan-oh gets Haru a nice watch as the “gifts” part of her wish list. She worries when she sees that the nametag on his locker is blank, but she’s too excited about the gift to give it much thought.
She joins Haru under their tree, and he quickly hides the notebook he was writing in under the bench. Dan-oh says that everything didn’t go as the Writer planned because they got to say and hear the things they wanted onStage, and tell each other how they really feel. Haru hugs her, and while he’s not looking, she tells him that she doesn’t like him — she loves him. Moved, Haru says a simple, “Me, too.”
They head inside, and Dan-oh crouches to tie her shoe. When she stands, Haru is gone… oh no. But a Stage starts, and Dan-oh is relieved to see Haru sitting at his desk. Nam-ju and Joo-da get another “public announcement” Stage, this time declaring their love, but as soon as it’s over, Haru is gone again.
He’s back in the library, and Dan-oh quickly finds him. The lights begin to go out so Dan-oh and Haru run, but when they get to the foyer, there’s nowhere else to go. Dan-oh panics when she sees that Haru’s scar is disappearing, but Haru says calmly, “Back then I couldn’t protect you. This time, I’m glad your fate changed. I’m sorry I can’t be with you in the last scene.”
One at a time, the lights go out, but Haru sweetly tells Dan-oh not to cry because he’s happy: “You were my beginning and my end…” He asks her to say his name, so Dan-oh sobs, “Haru… Haru-yah!” They hug each other tightly until they’re plunged into darkness, and when the lights come back on, Dan-oh is alone. Haru’s nametag floats in front of her for a long moment, then it disappears, too.
One year later.
It’s graduation day, and all the students are paired up and taking pictures on their last day of school. Nam-ju is still the boss of the school, but Joo-da is the boss of Nam-ju, so she’s no longer bullied and in fact, she pretty much runs the place.
Kyung finds Dan-oh in the infirmary looking at her Haru wish list, and he tells her to smile because it’s a good day. He heads to the A3 hideout to see Do-hwa and Nam-ju, and Do-hwa gives a sappy speech about how much he loves his buddies. Nam-ju snaps that they’re only graduating, not moving away, and that they’ll always be A3 (“My boys” ~cringe~). Awww, even Kyung admits that “A3 shines brightest when we’re all together.”
As the students get together for a group photo, Mi-chae leans on a tree nearby. Soo-hyang asks if he wants to take a picture, but he says there’s nothing here he wants to remember. Soo-hyang sighs that it’s the last page anyway, and Mi-chae finally realizes that she’s self-aware.
Soo-hyang says that she thought she’d be happy just being near him, but it was too hard, and she missed him too much. Mi-chae grabs her up in a hug, too happy to speak.
Nam-ju invites Do-hwa to be in their class picture, and as the camera snaps, Dan-oh hears Haru’s voice saying her name. She goes inside and writes his name on his locker again (why do I feel like she’s done this every day for a year?), then she takes out the watch that’s still inside.
Kyung congratulates Dan-oh on graduating and thanks her, feeling like it’s his last chance to do so. He takes his tennis ball from his locker and leaves it outside, sitting on top of his diploma. He looks around, as if expecting something important to happen very soon.
Meanwhile, Dan-oh sits at Haru’s old desk for a while, looking out the window. When she leaves, his watch and her diploma are still there, and on the desk she’s written, “Haru-yah, congratulations on your graduation! From 19-year-old-Dan-oh.” On her diploma, she’s written Haru’s name beneath hers.
The students gather for one final Stage, in which Nam-ju tells Joo-da that his biggest secret is that he loves her. Nearby, beneath Haru’s tree, Dan-oh finds the notebook that he hid under the bench a year ago. He’d titled it, “Dan-oh’s Day” (or “Dan-oh’s Haru”), and he’d drawn pictures of their story, from the very first time they met face-to-face to their last conversation under the tree.
On the last page, Haru had written, “I hope this becomes an unforgettable gift for Dan-oh.” It makes Dan-oh cry, and she thanks Haru for being her first love… “and my fate.” She hugs the notebook, then she hears the sound of flipping pages growing closer and closer…
One story ends, and a new story begins. Dan-oh is older and her hair is longer, and she runs through the Hani University campus, late for a lecture. Many of the other college students look familiar, though they’re in very different roles this time around — the bullies from Secret seem to be the intellectuals now.
After class, Dan-oh heads to her locker. At a table nearby, Sae-mi and the former Jin bullies chat about the smart and handsome Soo-cheol, who they believe reciprocates Sae-mi’s crush because he’s always buying her food. He shows up looking quite handsome indeed, and as they decide what to eat, Dan-oh leaves her locker — which has no name on it.
Nam-ju also has a minor role in this story, as a child education studies major known as the worst dresser on campus, HAHA. Today he’s wearing a sweater covered in gigantic strawberries and drinking a strawberry milk, and Sae-mi and her friends decide there’s no way they could ever find him attractive.
In the campus library, Dan-oh comes very close to running into a familiarly tall student several times. He turns in a book of poetry (“The Duino Elegies”) just before she reaches the desk, and something about it catches her eye. She checks it out and when she sits outside to read it, a small blue butterfly lands on the page.
Dan-oh follows the butterfly to a nearby exhibit of art by students from the school’s art club, and the sign advertising the exhibit says that it’s October 10th. The butterfly lands on a picture that appears to be blank at first. As Dan-oh looks, the picture clarifies into a pencil drawing of a boy and a girl sitting together under a tree.
Sae-mi and her friends walk by, and Dan-oh overhears them talking about a tree on campus that’s supposed to be three hundred years old. Taking the drawing with her, Dan-oh goes to look for this tree. On the way she passes a guy who seems to set her heart racing, but she doesn’t see his face and she shakes off the strange feeling. Above them, a shimmering portal blooms into being.
Dan-oh finds the tree and sits on the bench underneath it for a long time, but nothing happens. Eventually she leaves, but she hears a voice saying, “Whether we’re onStage or in the Shadow, let’s meet there on October 10th. If we do that, I feel like we might see each other for a long time, like this tree.” Another voice answers, “When we are 19 and 20.”
She turns and runs back, and this time, Haru steps out from behind the tree. Dan-oh gasps, “I found you,” but Haru just stares at her blankly. Calling him by name, she shows him the drawing, but he still doesn’t seem to recognize her.
Disappointed and confused, Dan-oh leaves the drawing on the bench and turns to go. But Haru calls out to her, “Eun Dan-oh,” then runs and grabs her in a backhug. Dan-oh turns in his arms and they’re both crying as Haru says, “I missed you.” Dan-oh tells him, “I missed you, Haru-yah,” and they fall into each other’s arms, finally free to be together.
What a sweet, perfect, and perfectly sweet ending for Haru and Dan-oh. It’s taken them three stories to finally be together, but now they’re just two nameless extras in a manhwa that has nothing to do with them, and they can live happily in the Shadow until the story is over. And despite the fact that this story will eventually end, they’ve managed to find and love each other across three different manhwas now, so I have faith that no matter what the Writer plans for future stories, Haru and Dan-oh will continue to find each other, over and over again.
I like how Secret ended for everyone, with almost all of the students paired up and looking forward to a happy future. They don’t know it won’t happen and ignorance is bliss, but they get to continue on in the new manhwa with their same love interests. It’s adorable that Sae-mi and Soo-cheol seem to be the main characters in this story, and I love how all the roles were switched, with the bullies becoming nerds and the nerds getting to be the cool guys. Even Nam-ju gets a break and can live out the story as a minor extra, and although we didn’t see Joo-da, I’m sure she’ll show up for him soon. I interpret his new obsession with strawberries to mean that he subconsciously remembers something from Secret, and I think that he’ll eventually become self-aware with Joo-da’s influence.
I did notice that besides Haru and Dan-oh, we didn’t see any of the self-aware characters from Secret in the new manhwa, and my theory is that the Writer set it up that way on purpose. It was clear to me that during Secret, the Writer knew on some level of the self-aware characters and their attempts to change the story. Maybe this time they’re just leaving those characters to themselves, to do whatever they want in the Shadow, and hope that they leave the Stage alone. I choose to believe that Mi-chae and Soo-hyang are off happily married now, that Nam-ju and Joo-da will grow closer as they work on Nam-ju’s self-awareness, and that Do-hwa will find a girl who likes him as much as he likes her, and who appreciates his goofy sense of humor and adorable dimples. As for Kyung — I’m just glad that he won’t be alone with Joon-hyun by his side, and that he proved he can change. He’ll probably always be grumpy and difficult, but he saved himself from being a villain, and I’m sure that someday he’ll find love, too (maybe with Joon-hyun…?).
The mark of a good drama is when you don’t want it to end, and I definitely didn’t want Extraordinary You to end. I want to continue watching this new story, with everyone’s new characters and the new college setting. The show didn’t go in the direction I was expecting, with everyone becoming self-aware and fighting back against the Writer, but the way it ended really suited the tone that was set from the beginning. They may not be able to fight what happens onStage, but they can make the most of their Shadow time, and they can still love and have friends and be happy. It’s a lot like real life — there are some things we can’t change, but within those parameters there’s a lot we can choose for ourselves, and we can change our fate. It’s just a matter of finding happiness where you can, and finding peace with the things you can’t change. And if you want it badly enough and love hard enough, you can have the fate you choose for yourself.
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