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Cantabile Tomorrow: Episode 11

Ah, get your hearts ready for warming. It’s a great episode for friendship and growing up, and well-paced in the way it guides several of our main characters on their individual paths of growth so that they dovetail nicely. It’s a nice way to depict the interconnectedness of these lives, and how they all grow stronger to buoy each other up, and how that personal strengthening then enables them to pay it back, and maybe also forward.

SONG OF THE DAY

Fauré – “Sicilienne” Op. 78Download ]

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LESSON 11 RECAP

Yoo-jin’s mother hears that her ex-husband is on his way to see Yoo-jin’s performance. Knowing that Dad’s presence is bound to mess with Yoo-jin, she decides to prevent his attendance, no matter what.

With several hours till showtime, both Yoo-jin and Nae-il have dress rehearsals to attend. But when the gang drops by the dressing room to check on Nae-il, they find that she’s locked herself in the room and is refusing to perform.

Yoo-jin connects the dots, thinking of Nae-il’s outburst about being pushed to play, and asks for some privacy. Once alone in the hallway, he speaks through the door to Nae-il, who’s huddled and shaking inside.

Yoo-jin explains that he understands now why she was in such an unusually good mood today—that today would be the first time they’re standing on the same stage, even if it wasn’t in the same performance. He adds gently, “If it’s still too early for you to stand onstage, if that’s why it’s difficult for you to perform, then today, it’s okay if you stay where you are. Until you want to open the door, I’ll wait.”

Nae-il opens the door, and Yoo-jin joins her inside. She asks, “What if they’re disappointed?” He asks who she means, and she says, “The people who have expectations of me, who like me, If I can’t play the piano and win first place, they might hate me.”

Yoo-jin assures her, “There’s nobody like that here. Nobody will hate you or turn away from you because of the piano. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to do it.”

Yoo-jin adds that it’s okay if she isn’t ready yet, and promises to wait for her until she is. She looks up at those words, feeling them.

He heads out of the room to inform the school that the duet is off, and runs into Yoon-hoo, who is more determined than ever to suffer out his pain to put in one last performance. His desperation makes him bullish, so that even when Yoo-jin says that Nae-il is in no state to perform, Yoon-hoo insists on doing it anyway.

That angers Yoo-jin, since Yoon-hoo is essentially threatening to force Nae-il onstage: “No matter what happens, I have to perform this today with Nae-il.” I understand that he’s not in the right frame of mind to think of someone else’s pain right now, but he certainly does come off as an ass.

Yoo-jin tries to tell Yoon-hoo to at least ask rather than coerce, but Yoon-hoo is inflexible and hostile. But then Yoo-jin notices that he’s favoring his shaking left hand and understands that he’s in no shape to play.

Yoon-hoo grits out, “I can, through today.” It isn’t convincing and Yoo-jin insists that the duet must be canceled, arguing that if Yoon-hoo’s on meds and still feels that much pain, things are quite serious. Yoon-hoo tells him not to butt in, and the boys end up grabbing each other’s shirtfronts, glaring at each other. No, don’t fight! Gaksital saved your life! He’s your hero!

Yoon-hoo says with pained eyes that he’s held on this long, and says that he began on cello at the age of three, and it’s been his friend for twenty years. If he gets nerve surgery, he has almost no chance of playing again, and even if he were somehow able, it would take ages to work his way back. And so, today is the day he says goodbye to his friend of twenty years; the duet is his funeral song.

Yoo-jin takes in the words, but he’s never been one to coddle; he gives Yoon-hoo a dose of tough love, saying that if he were the one facing that fate, he’d spend his time having his injury treated rather than working it to death for some funereal finale. And he’d work his way back to performing, no matter how hard.

Yoon-hoo sees starting over from a three-year-old’s level as an impossible task, but Yoo-jin says that if he loved something, he wouldn’t give it up. He guesses astutely that Yoon-hoo’s reaction is born of a fear that he won’t be able to come back—and thus he’s running away.

Nae-il wrestles with her own fears, at which point a child’s voice pipes up: “Running away would be easier.” It’s Little Nae-il, who cautions, “If you leave me now, it’ll be harder for you. You’d have nowhere to run away to.”

Nae-il understands this, but explains that Yoo-jin is going to wait for her—so she can’t make him wait while living as her child-self, in development limbo. Little Nae-il holds out a hand in goodbye, and Grown-up Nae-il shakes it and then pats Little Nae-il on the head, bidding goodbye to her inner child.

Yoo-jin hears that Nae-il has decided to proceed with rehearsals and hurries to the auditorium just as she’s sitting down at the piano. He asks if she’s okay, and she asks to hold his hand again, visibly calming at the touch and calling it his healing hand. She tells herself that it’s not such a big deal after all and asks him to sit in the audience.

As Yoon-hoo heads to rehearsal, his doctor’s warnings ring in his ears, that the longer he puts off surgery, the more he endangers his recovery. He’d been asked whether this one performance was worth losing his hand over.

Onstage, Nae-il thanks Yoon-hoo for letting her play this song with him (Fauré’s “Sicilienne”); she’s poured her feelings into the performance, and to her it symbolizes a new beginning. “Of what?” he asks. She replies, “Of anything. I feel like I can do anything.”

They begin playing while Yoo-jin listens in the audience. Yoon-hoo thinks of Yoo-jin’s words about not giving up, and finally everything sinks in. He stops in the middle of the song and apologizes to Nae-il; they’ll have to call the duet off.

She doesn’t know why, not knowing of his injury, and he explains, “I really am selfish. I only thought of myself. I made you, who’s starting anew, play a funeral song.”

Nae-il pats his shoulder comfortingly and tells him that it’s okay. She continues playing her part as he leaves the building, and her last words to him ring in his ears: that this isn’t a funeral song she’s playing, but Nae-il’s Sicilienne, for new beginnings.

From a taxi headed to the hospital, Yoon-hoo calls his mother to inform her of his decision, apologizing for having been stubborn about it. He fights back his tears, but at least he’s facing his fears head-on for the first time. You’ll be okay!

There’s a bit of jitters at the last-minute cancellation, but Yoo-jin remains calm and in charge, joining his orchestra in rehearsal, which he kicks off with a chant of their motto to give it their all. Shi-won remarks that his smiles and upbeat attitude have everyone else feeling the energy too.

So one potential crisis has been averted, and Yoo-jin sighs to himself, “Nothing more will happen, right?” Great, well now you’ve just tempted Fate.

Streseman makes it to the concert (glued to his phone for a call from Mina, as always), and recognizes Yoo-jin’s father walking in. Urrrg.

Yoo-jin is in the dressing room preparing when a knock sounds at the door. He looks up and freezes to recognize his father, whose first reaction is to scorn the tininess of the room. It’s heart-pinching to see how Yoo-jin is a much more subdued version of himself in his father’s presence; he may not like his father, but you can tell he’d still like his respect.

Dad asks why Yoo-jin bothered to invite him to such a trifling event, and Yoo-jin, who hadn’t known he was invited, promises not to let that happen again. Dad corrects him harshly—what he should have said is that he won’t perform in places like this again. He supposes that Yoo-jin hasn’t been able to overcome his trauma and disdains him wasting his time with stupid orchestras instead of going abroad as he should.

Yoo-jin says that he’s learning and enjoying himself, but Dad snaps, “That’s wasting time.” When Yoo-jin clenches his fist at his side, Dad sees and calls him as weak as ever, saying that he should have overridden Mom back then and forced Yoo-jin into the hospital.

Yoo-jin notes that Dad is just the same as ever, and Dad retorts, “I have to be, because you’ve had no improvement.” Geezus. This is such a stressful conversation to watch, much less live.

After Hurricane Dad blows through, Yoo-jin tries to calm himself, telling himself to pull it together: “If you fall down, your friends fall down with you.”

But it’s hard to shake his father’s words about how he doesn’t have time for friends until he’s the best—everyone’s a rival until he’s at the top, at which point he can make friends with everyone who’s lesser than him.

Furthermore, Dad had warned, “Don’t show your heart. If you do, it becomes your weakness.” Lordy, now I’m thinking it’s a wonder Yoo-jin isn’t even more emotionally paralyzed than he already was, given his formative experiences.

His emotions well up and he throws his score in frustration. That’s when Nae-il enters the room, sizes up the situation, and quietly returns his music to him. This time she takes his hand in hers and says she’ll provide the healing hand. Slowly, he calms.

The musicians take the stage, and the performance is ready to begin. As Nae-il watches from the audience, she narrates how this piano concerto marked Rachmaninoff’s return after overcoming severe depression, and notes that through it, she hears the message, “It’s okay. All will be fine.”

The pianist begins playing, and as Yoo-jin waits to bring the orchestra in, his mind is still on his father’s horrible words. And then… the baton falls out of his limp hand, onto the ground. Gasp!

It doesn’t disrupt the playing but it makes everyone sit up in alarm. His orchestra members think words of encouragement at him, assuring him that it’ll be fine, and Il-lac even shoots him a wink.

Yoo-jin collects himself just in time, hitting his cue as he conducts with his hands. His orchestra relaxes and continues playing, relieved that he’s back with them. Soon enough he’s fully absorbed in the performance, conducting with confidence and energy, drawing out a passionate performance. (I really wish they just let the music play out here, rather than chopping it up in a bunch of pieces! Argh.)

As he conducts, Yoo-jin directs his thoughts toward his father: “You were wrong. Friends are those who make me, who isn’t the best, feel I am the best. You were wrong again. A revealed heart isn’t a weakness—it has come back in kind.”

The performance concludes to wild applause, and even Dad finds himself clapping a bit, however grudgingly.

Yoo-jin returns to the rehearsal room to collect himself, feeling shaken from the experience. Il-lac, Su-min, and Min-hee find him there and assume that his mood is due to the baton-dropping, and rush to assure him that it was no big deal and that he looked really cool conducting with his hands.

To their shock, he turns to Min-hee and apologizes for being inconsiderate to her, back when he didn’t understand her situation in working so many jobs. Then he thanks Su-min for liking him, and Su-min is so touched he cries, “I’m thankful you didn’t say you hated me.”

Then Yoo-jin tells Il-lac that he’s his best friend too, and by now the gang is completely confused. Thinking of the adage about sudden change in personality causing death, they jump to the conclusion that he’s sick, and pepper him with concern: What disease does he have? Is that why he dropped the baton? Does Nae-il know?

They attack him with hugs, and Yoo-jin finally throws them off and grumps that his honesty is wasted on them. And hilariously, they find his crankiness comforting, relieved that he’s back to normal.

Nae-il, on the other hand, has remained sitting in the now-empty auditorium. She thinks, “Now I have to go to the stage. If I stay in the audience, I can’t do anything other than look.”

Mom catches up to Dad as he’s leaving, furious as Dad sneers at Yoo-jin for being as weak as ever. But shockingly enough (for him), he has some grudging praise, acknowledging that Yoo-jin recovered from his baton-dropping and that he’s grown. He tells Mom to pass along the message that he’ll see him on an international stage next, which I guess is as good as it gets from Dad.

Streseman and Mina have a scene. Can I leave it at that? Oh fine, so they work things out when Mina says she’s not going to get hung up on somebody who might leave at any moment, and he promises that won’t happen this time. There’s a bit of a wording peculiarity when he talks about not wasting more time, almost like he’s someone who doesn’t have much time left, but I’m not reading too much into it yet.

The Rising Star gang head to the only restaurant in the universe for their celebratory party, and Dad prepares a feast. It’s super-cute how he’s still harboring a lingering grudge toward the former A Orchestra folks, and fawns over the S members in a blatant display of favoritism.

Nae-il has remained back at school and ducks to evade Teacher Do, who spots her this time. Nae-il looks like she’s ready to bolt at any moment, but shocks Teacher Do by blurting out that she wants to begin lessons, as though saying it before she chickens out.

Teacher Do calls Teacher Ahn to ask whether Nae-il has particular fears or dislikes, which is a promising move on his part. He’s surprised to hears of her fear of fans, which happens to be his trademark teaching tool.

Yoo-jin calls Yoon-hoo to check on his condition, but gets his mother instead since he’s resting after his surgery. Nae-il finds him outside their apartments and assumes he was waiting for her (which he denies) and thrills in excitement when she calls his phone and sees that it still has those hearts. He reminds her that she’s the one who saved her name as that, but she points out that he didn’t erase them. Touché.

Nae-il gets a little wistful thinking that Yoo-jin will go abroad soon and she’ll be left here, and he starts to say something. But before he can, the gang comes charging in and attacks Yoo-jin with more hugs, prompting Nae-il to squeeze herself back in lest they usurp her spot. Then they let themselves into his apartment to continue the party, ignoring his sputtering. Yup, all’s back to normal.

Yoon-hoo wakes up and hears that his surgery was successful. Mom gets teary because being able to save the hand doesn’t necessarily ensure being able to save his musical career, but Yoon-hoo tells her that it’s okay: “I’ve found the strength to start again.”

In the morning, Yoo-jin’s place is a mess from the night before, with Il-lac and Su-min cuddling together in Yoo-jin’s bed. Yoo-jin’s passed out on the couch with Nae-il sleeping on the ground next to it, and she stirs to answer a phone call.

It’s Yoo-jin’s phone, though, and she groggily turns to hand it to Yoo-jin. The caller listens in surprise to hear their domestic bickering, with Nae-il asking for breakfast and nagging to use Yoo-jin’s toothbrush. Turns out this is his uncle (his mother’s brother), and he requests that Yoo-jin drop by home and to bring the girlfriend with him.

Yoo-jin meets with Mom and they both wonder what Uncle means by the summons, and it’s only now that Yoo-jin sees that Min-hee and Nae-il both work at Mom’s cafe. Ha, I love that his reaction is to ask whether it was Mom who called Nae-il here, or Nae-il who brought herself, because both are busybodies who are equally capable of it.

Streseman drops by the hospital to visit Yoon-hoo, who at first assures him that his condition is no big deal. Streseman knows it’s got to be the opposite, and Yoon-hoo asks him not to tell the others about it. Streseman muses, “You’re different, but similar—you and Cha Yoo-jin. Stupidly, you take on problems on your own in a similar way.”

Yoon-hoo has adopted a more positive attitude now, and says he wants to try living differently. He’s starting over, and he’ll do the things he wants to do, and see the people he wants to see.

Streseman wonders if conducting is among the things he might want to do. OOH. Yes! The idea seems to have never entered Yoon-hoo’s mind before, but the maestro urges him to give it some consideration.

Things are on the up-and-up for the Rising Stars, who are featured in a glowing news article. Moreover, the haughty board chairwoman gives her approval making them the school’s official orchestra, to Mina’s excitement. (I love Dad’s background reactions to the gang, because he just cares. So. Much. He glowers when Il-lac hugs Shi-won, and then when his celebratory cake gets knocked to the ground, that glower just ratches up to eleven.)

On the other hand, Streseman muses that the chairwoman gave in too easily, wondering what she’s up to. Sigh. More school board machinations? Please tell me we’re done with the machinations.

Yoo-jin arrives at Uncle’s house with Nae-il in tow, who marvels at the grandeur—seriously, it’s like a campus—while Yoo-jin explains that he grew up here.

The reason for the summons becomes clear when Uncle sits him down with Dr. Kim, whom Yoo-jin hasn’t seen in a while. Having heard about Dad’s unexpected arrival at the concert, he urges Yoo-jin to give treatment another try, saying that hypnotherapy is most helpful when done in comfortable places. Hence the home visit.

So Yoo-jin sits back while Dr. Kim lulls him into his hypnotic trance, telling him that he’s back to being ten years old and on that plane. But instead of retreating into the age-old trauma, Yoo-jin just opens his eyes and sits up—hypnosis is as ineffectual as ever.

The doctor tells him that the best way to achieve hypnosis is when you feel the sense of trust that someone’s behind you ready to catch you when you fall, and you give yourself up to the fall.

While Yoo-jin’s in his session, Nae-il wanders around the mansion in awe, coming to a room with a record player and a huge collection of vinyl records. Uncle finds her here and puts a record on, explaining that Yoo-jin’s grandfather loved music.

Nae-il notices a photo of young Yoo-jin on a jet ski, and comments that he wasn’t afraid of water back then. Uncle is surprised that she knows about it, though he can see that she’s special since Yoo-jin’s never brought home a girlfriend before (and he hadn’t expected Yoo-jin to actually bring her when he instructed him to).

So Uncle assumes she actually knows more than she does and mentions the plane accident, which is news to her. Just then, Yoo-jin walks by and realizes what they’re talking about, and angrily cuts in.

 
COMMENTS

Cantabile Tomorrow is a growth drama in every sense, but it doesn’t feel quite like what I envision when you mention the term growth drama, which I mean in a positive sense. It isn’t that these characters are living through anything new that hasn’t been felt by other characters a thousand times before, but these personal storylines are coming together in this understated, heartfelt way that I absolutely love.

Today struck an extra chord with me because I appreciate the way the three main characters all hit a major turning point, in a way that felt completely independent of each other while still feeling like they were integral to each other. I’m perfectly happy with an episodic format (which is what I’d expect of a manga adaptation, given the way manga plotlines are structured) where each episode focuses on a particular character and then moves on to the next, but this episode brought things together really well, and in a way that felt natural to their trajectories.

I also appreciate that while one approach to three crises looming on the horizon simultaneously would have been to explode the situation into a huge mess of angst, each character got their moment to resolve things—not perfectly, not necessarily happily, but in a way they could come to terms with.

For instance, I loved everything about Yoo-jin’s treatment of Nae-il’s breakdown in the dressing room—not just because he was so gentle and understanding and unconditional with his support, but because we’d seen him completely botch this up before. I admit to being pretty swoony when an awesome character swoops in and says all the right things and does the perfect hero (or maybe even more frequently the second lead) maneuver. But Yoo-jin isn’t our perfect hero, and it’s more rewarding to watch people learn where they’ve gone wrong and work toward that thoughtful response that maybe didn’t come naturally.

Yoo-jin pointed out to Yoon-hoo that he was only well-mannered in his words, not in his actions, and it strikes me that Yoo-jin may be rough in dealing with anything requiring EQ, but he is always honest. So when you see him being harsh and unyielding, and then finding a way to yield, it feels like such a moment of triumph. I love that he cares enough to work at it, because despite seeming really proud, he isn’t too proud to admit when he’s wrong and look for alternate ways to deal with things. It’s that characteristic that I can see taking him far as a conductor, because he isn’t a top-down authoritarian leader.

I also love Nae-il’s exchange with her inner child, and how despite being the literal manifestation of the immaturity holding Nae-il back, her child is actually quite ready to say goodbye. It’s poignant and sweet, and makes this feel right. There’s a really universal feeling to the idea of fearing leaving the safe space, but finally arriving at the point where that fear becomes less compelling than the fear of not moving on. She wants nothing more than to be with Yoo-jin, and in fact could be with him today on that stage, but the only thing holding her back is herself. And once she comes to that point, there’s no reason to hold on to her security blanket. It’s a really lovely way to depict the conflict of growing up, in a way that feels true to life without being too on-the-nose with its message.

Of course, just because she’s ready to start fresh doesn’t make it an automatic victory, and she’ll still have to do the work to get to where she wants to be. Music is a nice way to illustrate that broader concept, since Nae-il isn’t suddenly going to be performance-ready because she decided to start this path. So we’ve still got a lot of ground left to cover.

As for Yoon-hoo, it was a little jarring to see just how harsh he got, but the actor is doing a great job of conveying the character’s inner life in little glimpses, and I’m glad that he (1) had somebody to give him a dose of tough love, and (2) was finally ready to hear it. It makes a lot of sense that it would be Yoo-jin who would push him toward acceptance, because everyone else would have given him sympathy or pity, and Yoo-jin just tells him to stop pitying himself. And conducting seems like just the thing for him, which opens up another door to more Yoo-jin conflicts in the future. By now I have faith that such conflicts will be more of the growth-and-discovery kind, and less of the standard love-triangle kind that I think we’ve seen enough of, and would be happy moving on from. C’mon, when you have two musical stars and battling batons, who needs to fight over a girl?

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Enjoyed today! I have a prosaic question. Anyone know how many episodes this will be?

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16.

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16 episodes (to be confirmed).

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ohh so 16 episode. I am not sure they will make this remake go to Europe....
but lets hope it is will....

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actually they did, i found it out from Cantabile Tomorrow blogsot. joo wo and SEK pictured together heading to Austria, and I also found out that the girl who plays Il Lac's crush and JW r from the same agency

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I've seen it as 20 episodes on at least 3 sites

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i'm still in shock about secret door dropped recaps. i fear that Cantabile would have the same fate oh no! i'm still YAWNing with this korean remake. not many good dramas these days that i skipped watching and just relying on the recaps. thank you for all your hard work!

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This drama is just getting better and better! It never fails to tug at my heartstrings in all the right places. Ah, I feel so warm and fuzzy inside~
Um, is it just me, or is Joo Won really va va voom hot (than usual) in this episode?
Who else fangirled like crazy when Stresemann brought up the conducting career path to Yoon Hoo?
Oh, and, what the heck happened to the "Orabang~ Orabang~" thingy? Why was it demoted to "Sunbae" all of a sudden?

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Nae-il changed to sunbae for the most part a few episodes ago during an incident in which she thought YJ was mad at her. It may just be a nod to the Japanese sempai. I kinda see it as her moving from the fantasy version of YJ more towards the actual person of YJ. Not that she has entirely let go of the fantasy, but finding a place where her inner and outer world's can work together instead of hiding completely in her inner world. I think that's a lot of Nae-il's journey.

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I'm pretty sure it happened when they all went to the music festival and Yoo-jin took her to task for running out on the piano class. He was pretty harsh with her, which was nothing new, but I think it was the first time he sounded like others who criticized her about taking lessons seriously, which threw her for loop.

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I totally agree about Joo Won! Every episode, I think he can't possibly get MORE attractive, but he really just gets hotter and hotter. I'm at the point where I actually miss dialogue because I'm too busy staring at his face to read the subs!

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I'm the same. He has become progressively hotter with each episode. This one just blew my mind. Particularly while conducting. Joo Won presence demands so much attention, you can't help but focus in on him.

Aside from that, another great episode. I shed tears for Yoon Hoo. I was afraid of it becoming too much of a love triangle so I'm happy that instead, we saw Yoon Hoo being forced to confront his fear. The conversation between him and Yoo Jin. Loved it.

When Nae Il walked onto the stage before the rehearsal and it showed the seats, I suddenly understood more her fear, as if I were her standing on that stage looking out. The intimidation in such a place.

I appreciated how even though Yoo Jin had the key to enter, he didn't force his way in to talk to NI. Seems Yoo Jin is slowly learning. And of course, loved that internal conversation with his father during the performance.

Anyways, hope everyone will show more love towards this drama and all those who put work into it.

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I noticed the same thing while watching Gaksital. I honestly thought he was a little strange looking at first, but by the end of the drama I thought I'd never seen such a beautiful human being in my life ~*o*~ As JB and GF noted in one of their Odds and Ends posts recently, I think this "hotness effect" is a testament to Joo Won's wonderful presence on screen as well as the development of Yoo-Jin's character. It's natural to find people (and characters) more attractive as we get closer to them, and imo Joo Won has such a special endearing quality to him.

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Happy to see Yon Hoo snap out of his island, and Yoo Jin speaking out his feelings.

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I'm happy to see the actor that plays Yoon Hoo, he's so subtle yet very delightful character to watch!

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I totally agree about calling it a growth drama. From the characters, the storyline and, even the drama itself are all growing into something that it'll get its way into your heart. Warm, warm, warm. It started into something that won't reach my heart no matter how much I tried to internalize everything and honestly, I only endured a bit bc JOOWON but when it starts to get better it touches every part of whatever your heart's wants to happen. I just love everything about this drama, now even with its flaws.

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I love how this drama is such a peaceful and relaxing watch while still managing to thug my heart in all the right places.
Each episode deters more and more from the original which I love. Definitely an underrated drama!

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Thank you for recap!

Am loving cantabile tomorrow. Agree with all that this is definitely a growth drama and makes me warm n fuzzy just watching, wanting to know how n where all the characters are going with their lives. ^_^

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I really like this drama, but now that they're (kinda) dating I wish we got the "Stop bullshitting, it's annoying" line from Streseman that we got in the manga.

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So HOT Orabutt!

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Thanks for the recap, JB.
Loved this episode too. I am dreading the end at Episode 16, wish there could be more episodes.

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ohhh i was waiting for this recap!
this drama keeps getting better!
thank you all JB.

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btw i loved your Gaksital references.
how i miss that drama, still the best i have seen.

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"Understated" is a good way to describe this show. In such a fantastic way, though! I somehow never seem to expect to feel as moved as I do when watching it, but it keeps happening. I'm glad they seem to be staying true to their vision for this drama. It seems remarkably well thought out, and I'm glad they haven't given in to the temptation to do something out of character (for the show) in an attempt to get ratings up. I do feel sad that more people don't appreciate it though.

Anyway, I love all the movement and growth in this episode, and the three parallel and intersecting storylines (Yoo-jin and dad, Nae-il and performing, Yoon-hoo and his fear of losing cello forever) really do work well together. On paper, it might look like overkill to have so many characters facing paralyzing fears in one episode, but instead, they play off each other very organically, and insights gained from one character start feeling relevant to another. And the characters themselves are aware of this to some extent too, which is nice (but not too much, because that wouldn't feel very realistic).

People tend to have trouble seeing past their own inner struggles while in the midst of them. Which might be why Yoo-jin, of all people, was the one to see what was going on with both Yoon-hoo and Nae-il, because he hadn't yet had his own crisis of coming face to face with dad. But he does understand fear and feeling stuck and trapped, which apply to both Nae-il and Yoon-hoo's situations.

Mina and Stresemann continue to be mostly boring, although I thought they were a little cute this episode. I definitely like them better separately than together. I just can't seem to care much whether they get together or not. But that feels like a minor quibble after such a strong episode. I'll be sad when this show is over.

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Aw, I just finished rewatching Gaksital so I'm pretty emotionally raw lol. Seeing Yoo-jin and Yoon-hoo fight just seems wrong. There's a bromance in there somewhere! I have faith xD

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I'm wondering if they'll make a sequel showing the Paris chapter of Nodame...it's in the Paris arc that Nodame grows as a character the most.

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Doubt it. Korean dramas rarely get sequels. It doesn't help that this drama isn't that popular in korea.

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so they will didnt have sequels?? TT_TT

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They might have? Playful kiss's rating is really poor but they have playful kiss 7 ep of YouTube special after the show ended. So we might get the youtube special if the online viewership is substantial enough?

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Hi Beebeestar.
"find that its fun to see more development in other characters? I find them interesting but underdeveloped in the j drama."
I agree and I like that the characters are more developed in this remake, but I think the j-drama was more engaging. I think it achieved this mostly through comedy.

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@dab: yes I agree with you that J's more engaging because of the comedy. But maybe the director/script is doing a different take? I think so far they are doing great!

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Okay I know am gonna get thrashed bad, am gonna say this as a fan of only THIS DRAMA(i have never heard of nodame cantabile before this) , I need ROMANCE !

Up to this point , their story has been developed good but would attraction between them kill the story ?

There I said it ! *waits for the stones*

Anyways this episode was really good. Bought so many good things together. I just wish they don't go into too much angst and school board machinations and use their characters more !

And why aren't they playing the music completely ? I was so ready to hear it after all the fans commenting on the piece, but it just ended too quickly. Is it really because its not going well with Korean mainstream audiences ??? (No comparison with j drama or hate answers please )

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Yes, I need more romance!! No kiss up to this point which is rare for 16 eps drama.
But TC is a bit different than most kdramas in terms of pacing, so maybe they'll give us something in next episode.

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I think there will be kiss in the final episode or no kiss at all.
I''ve got this strange feeling... ;((

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Well let's just say that in the original, yoojin is a pretty hard-to-get person for naeils character but it will happen! ;)

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in manga they will kiss in europe. If i am not wrong...

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Yeah, I still don't buy them as a couple. She read that "couples" book and he brings her as his "girlfriend" but I still don't buy it as a romance. Maybe actual romance would do lol. I think they care about each other but I really don't see the romantic aspect. It's not that kind of chemistry.

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I'm a sucker for the romance and usually can't wait for everything to fall into place for happy lovey-dovey time, but in this case, I feel it's right for the romance to come along slowly. I don't know how to explain it well, but it feels right for the characters to grow personally before they try to tackle a relationship. I would love to see some swoon-worthy kisses, but I won't be too surprised if it's more like an epiphany in the finale.

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He getting hotter each episodes.... orabang! I so jealous of nae il !

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Lovely. This is such a lovely drama that goes just perferct with the autumn season.

Tomorrow Canatabile gives us the beautiful view on the characters. The story is solid and heartwarming, perfect for the autumn. I am gonna miss this drama so much when it ends and I think I am gonna rewatch it a lot of times in the future.

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yes!

i will be rooting for yoon hoo the conductor! ;))

anyway i think this drama needs more spices, it's getting mild and in the brink of getting boring

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Ah that's why I think the orchestra performance is a bit jarring, because they chopped the bits to pieces... Oh my, just let it shown in full please!!

I love Nae Il, Yoo Jin and all characters. But the musical thing is not really coming at the forefront.

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Am the only one who hears this particular thing during Yoon Hoo's taxi ride to the hospital: "Hello, brother? I'm sorry but can you cover for me?"
What happened to 'brother'? Cover for what? I thought he will send someone to take his place as cellist for his and Naeil's performance, but none of that happened.
Does anyone else know what I'm talking about?

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I think that YoonHo also performing with RS oke. So maybe that brother replacing him in that.

Not with duet perf wit Naeil.

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Oooh I think that's a great point as us original fans know what happens to RS ke after that happens...and they will need yoonho! And that way they don't have to introduce a random character

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After the first couple of episodes, I left this drama, and then checked back in about the 5th episode. I'm really enjoying that it has taken its own path. I'm so enjoying it now. I do love the character development and the flow of the story. It's still basically the Nodame storyline, but tweaked in a really nice way.

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I also dropped this show and came back. I'm not still not loving it, but I like how it's different and what it has done with the characters. I still like Nodame Cantabile better though.

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Me too! I didn't start enjoying it until the past two episodes or so, though…so is Yoo Jin's dad basically that really mean acquaintance of Nodame's that his mere presence basically destroyed Nodame? (except now the effect is toward YJ instead of Nae Il)

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I really LOVE this episode. I dunno what pulled me but I just love it! And this is the first time I tear up in this show.

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"Today struck an extra chord with me because I appreciate the way the three main characters all hit a major turning point, in a way that felt completely independent of each other while still feeling like they were integral to each other.

I also appreciate that while one approach to three crises looming on the horizon simultaneously would have been to explode the situation into a huge mess of angst, each character got their moment to resolve things—not perfectly, not necessarily happily, but in a way they could come to terms with."

This is as real as it gets. Life's crises aren't solved with miraculous cure-all solutions. The choices we usually make are those that we can live with.

This kdrama may not have heart thumping romance, but it indubitably tugs at the very fiber of one's being. Watching the characters' growth makes us (well, at least for me!) reflect upon the need for our own personal healing. I am certain that there are decisions we procrastinate in making or personal demons we avoid facing. This episode taught us that turning a blind eye won't make the demons go away, and delaying on making decisions only causes more damage. This episode made it to my "top that" list.

The only thing damning in the episode was how Rachmaninoff's beautiful piece was cannibalized. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

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Love this episode so much. Really, this show is so warm!! I can feel it & it make me feel refresh.
Tks for recap.

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As for Yoon-hoo, it was a little jarring to see just how harsh he got,

Pain makes you grumpy. Psyching yourself up to deal with the pain and then discovering your partner ditched? Could make anybody a little harsh.

I don't understand Yoon-hoo's dire insistence that he'll have to start over with the cello. I know folks who've had similar surgeries, and it's not as bad as all that - and it's not like he's going to forget everything he knows about playing.

Yoo Jin

I loved how Yoo Jin realized that he'd kind of become his father, and how he consciously decided to let go of his father's voice in favor of a chosen family (and took immediate steps to help cement that bond. He is nothing if not diligent.)

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I am enjoying the friendships in this drama :).

I also want to bring attention to Park Bogeum in particular. I just really love his subtle acting. I can really feel for his character.

I know this might sound weird, but does anyone see a similarity between Park Bogeom and a young Freddie Highmore? Particularly in the eyes? I mean, Park Bogeom has eyes that always appear to be on the verge of tears (that was even the case in Gaksita). I remember watching Freddie Highmore's performance in Finding Neverland and he had similar eyes. There is even a similarity of eye shape! This might a strange comment, lol, but I hope that someone else might have noticed this :).

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Ooh.. now that you mention it, you're right! They do have very similar eyes. *off to rewatch August Rush*

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Yay! I'm glad that you noticed :).

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Ooooooh yeeees! It was exactly what I thought the first time I saw Bo Gum !!! How his eyes looks like Freddie's eyes... And as I've always been in love for Freddie's eyes, I fell for Bo Gum as well...

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Finally! A very underrated and beautifully written drama. I don't understand what's with all the comments about it being boring, I never really liked a second lead guy obsessing over the lead girl. Glad to see Yoon Hoo having more substance than any other second lead guy's I've ever seen in a KDrama. We all can see what pain can do to a person's psyche. I agree with Harmonyfb.

Has anyone been with a sick person? They become grumpy and muddled with desperation right?

I am so happy that Nae Il and Yoo Jin has grown so much in just a span of 11 episodes! Change has always been a painful process.

Whilst this drama does not have an element of outwardly making you feel giddy because of its lack of skinship, kisses, and piggy back rides----you'll be secretly wishing that, you hope you'd have the kind of relationship Nae Il and Yoo Jin has!

Writer-nim, thank you for touching the very core of what this masterpiece is all about. I also appreciate what the director did, as well as the whole production team. Thank you for not caring about the ratings and keeping the heart of the story CONSISTENT!

Thank goodness no one dies. Thank goodness the second lead guys is not crazy. Thank you for the awesome, awesome cast!

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i am fans of nodame japan version,
agree with you, i love this korean version too

+1

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Truth!

Quality of the drama is really high.

Acting and scirpt are going so well together. I don't know how long wo would wait for such talented cast again in the drama...

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Glad there are people who agrees with me.

Having watched the anime and jdorama version and READ the manga as well, I would say Naeil's Cantabile stood on its own (yes, I am a fan and I do give adaptations a chance to veer from the original version). I am VERY impressed. I think that people should really give this drama a chance and watch it without comparing it from the original.

Shim Eun Kyung and Joo Woon did a very good job in portraying their characters and owning them.

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Yes! Me too! I am really impressed with the story! I love how the romance unfold (not the typical kind!). It shows the contrast between Yoohoo and Yoojin and how action counts more than words. No random crazy woman chasing after Yoojin and no 2nd male lead who just couldn't see his problem or only wants to be the Naeil's daddy long legs.

I also love the consistency on how the execute the story (same pace, the right mechanism to move the story forward etc etc!!). The quality is so good! The chemistries between the actors and actresses are awesome and story telling is good!!! How can this show bore people?

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I like this show, but it has its slow moments, especially those with Stressman, the chairman, and other professors. I thought the j-drama didn't have too many of these moments.

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@dab: I do notice they increase the screen time for stresseman and the school of politics etc in k version. I must confess that I do feel that is slow but don't you find that its fun to see more development in other characters? I find them interesting but underdeveloped in the j drama. :(

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Stresemann drops by the school????? More like Stresemann decides too be a creepy stalker and plant his face a mere 10cm away from the poor waking boy's facing, shocking him first thing in the morning. HAHAHA!

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Word! Hahahaha!

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LOL at the Gakitsal's statement. I also shouting it out loud when I saw them "fight"!!! I wish they made references in Gakitsal just like Kim Tae Gu's Bakery. ?

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I got a questions, who's playing?! I mean is that the actors themselves?!!

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Probably them but they probably sound super sucky in reality. The production team can add music in post production. The Japan's cast all really knew how to play their instruments (except for the main except that Juri did play most of the scenes in reality unless it's those really difficult technique.)

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Maybe I missed something but I was a bit disappointed that Nae-Il didn't seem to know what was happening with Yoon-hoo. I mean, he apologizes for treating it like a requiem but she doesn't seem at all curious about why it's a requiem or why he can't do it. Even if she doesn't see him as a romantic option, they are still friends. It bothered me. He should have a bigger support system. And it's great that Yoo Jin pushed him into getting the surgery but I really doubt that one performance would have been the deciding factor or not with his recovery. At least if the surgery had gone wrong he would have had one last performance.

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The Gaksital ref. Hehe.

...
....
..

I. Love. Joo-won. Ha.

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This drama is so relaxing.. there's nothing very tense in the plot but yet it's not boring.. must be because I love all the characters.. I even enjoy Mina-Stresemann loveline now, they are kind of cute.. Yoo Jin won me all the way, totally can't resist Joo Won's acting..

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SHOW. I love you! ♥ but of course, I love Joo Won more! ♥ ♥ ♥ (see the three hearts?)

I enjoy the drama sooooo much! It made me smile, squee, cry, excited, nervous, happy and feel all warm inside! The acting's awesome and the chemistry, for me, is sparkling! Have you guys seen these two smile in the bts? Gaaaah! The dimples!!!! Aahhhh! *diesfromcuteness*

I cannot believe that this is ending in like 4 episodes. O.O I need me some more skinship! Kisses, preferably, between our OTP!!!!

P.S.
That Gaksital reference is so win! Maybe we'll have our bromance soon? *crossesfingers*

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Gaksitaaaaaaal!

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I luv everything about this post and agree with you on your comments. I know it sounds all fangirly but literally, I feel the same concerning on all points, and you put it countless ways better than I could. =)

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Our of curiosity, the download version of this Faure belongs to which album? Thanks!

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Fauré – “Sicilienne” Op. 78 ! love it! downloaded the song as soon as I heard it. Been wanting to download this song after hearing it from Cantabile Tomorrow. Such a beautiful piece. xD And I'm loving this drama a lot. xD

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I assume no one taught Joo Woon how to conduct. his gesture seems awkward.

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yup..i agree with you..i realised Yoo Jin did not look at the pianist while performing, right?

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Why and how do you say so?

Joo Won actually had lessons on conducting and playing the violin several weeks prior to filming to prepare for his role as Yoo Jin. And they're being supervised and coached by musicians on set (conductor, pianist, violinist). Also, if I remember it right, several musically inclined individuals, like jb, have mentioned how Joo Won IS conducting and not acting as a conductor. Surely that must mean his conducting skill is pretty believable or at least decent?

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He took the conducting lesson but his conduct seemed awkward.. Besides, the camera more focused on pianist rather that JW's conducting which is dissapointing me..i really hope they lengthen the performance, so, we can watch the balance of their performance between JW's conducting and pianist...because this is the peak point that everybody convinced with JW talent..i rather noticed he did not look once at the pianist while he is conduct, right?

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It's hard to explain since I'm not good at words. I did conducting in Middle School. I saw Joo-won moves his arm vertically together with his elbow, hands and wrists. He looks like he is lifting a baby in the air instead of conducting. And his tempo doesn't match with the music. Well, everybody can get lesson but not all of them can really understand the subjects.

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ah, have you watched Nodame Cantabile? Tamaki-kun got the lesson too, and I heard his conducting got praised by professional classical musician, TOO. And got impulsive standing ovation by the audiences in Vienna Surely that must mean his conducting skill is pretty believable

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I didn't really think it was jarring to see YH the way he was; he was obviously crippled by the pain and there was no real explanation given to him for why NH won't be able to perform apart from that she wasn't in a position to, which obviously he wouldn't know why. He'd practiced for days with his hand being the way it was, and his duet, that he was nearly half mad with desperation about performing, was being summarily cancelled. Not to mention it was YJ stating it in his usual curt manner of "no questions" which, considering their relationship, raised his hackles.

Also, I didn't see YJ pointing out to YH that he was only well-mannered in his words and not in his actions as relevant at all! Mostly because it's not true. We've seen that YH is a smooth-talker, but we've also seen that he's genuinely kind and graceful, in the way he's interacted with the gang; in the way he's helped them out, in the way that he hasn't in the least behaved like the Big Shot On Campus and even auditioned for them with all sincerity. It's, in fact, what makes him a natural conductor. This was the first time that YH acted out, so YJ's reprimand actually fell a little flat for me, because he's been making these digs at YH ("watch how you treat a woman" or "you're not well-mannered in actions") as if to say "how dare you call me out on my behavior", while, honestly, his behavior did deserve calling out on at the time, and neither their behavior nor the circumstances for their behavior are comparable in the least. YH doesn't just say those things he's been saying to YJ, he appears to live them, it comes through regardless of who he's talking to; his mother, NI, or even the professor of the music festival.

Actually maybe it's just my own pet peeve of how true this is for real life that if someone who's otherwise harsh or unyielding does something nice, it feels like a huge concession and becomes their defining point, the potential to be nice, while, if someone who makes an effort to be nice all the time, does something harsh or unyielding even once, it get embedded in public memory, that's often cited as "well, they're not that nice after all. Remember that time..." I've seen it happen so often with people I know!

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Also, in that context, he said those things, but we don't know what he would actually have done when faced with NI. Nothing in his personality suggests that he would have forced her, even if she didn't want to. So technically it's his words that were harsh, not his actions. In fact, the turning point for him to give up the duet was not his hand, but the idea that he had chosen a funereal dirge for someone else's beginning and he saw his actions as "selfish" in having thought only of himself. It's what I find fascinating about his character; considering his background and experience, he could have been very different.

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"No, don’t fight! Gaksital saved your life! He’s your hero!"
Whuuuu they've been in a drama together before?? Hangonamo... I've researched this drama... Bridal Mask, 2012? DAEBAK.

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