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Yumi’s Cells: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread

Our heroine and her new boyfriend made it through their first hurdle and shared their first kiss, but what lies in store for them this week is total mayhem — well, inner mayhem. On the outside, it’s only the ordinary circumstances that a new couple has to deal with, but in the world of their cells it is an epic adventure wrought with high drama.

 
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP

We open with the cutest montage of Yumi and Woong dating. They are compatible, cute, and getting to know each other… but of course there are hurdles for them to pass. As Woong’s cells remind us: there is no happiness without hardship.

The first hurdle is the problem of Sae-yi. Yumi’s Intuition Cell comes plowing into town (literally) to share his latest hunch with the rest of the cells: Sae-yi might like Woong. With this little seed of thought in Yumi’s head, and without her addressing it with Woong directly, the seed germinates and grows into a full-fledged worry.

The jealousy and caution Yumi feels around even the mention of Sae-yi comes to its peak on Yumi’s birthday. Yumi and Woong are having a lovely birthday dinner out, and he’s doing everything right. Even his almost-a-fail present (the battery charger) turns out to be a gag: Yumi is enchanted by the little pearl necklace he’s given her. They even share a little inside joke when Yumi has to go to his apartment to use his computer (Woong hilariously references her last excuse to go into his apartment).

Woong makes Yumi some yuzu tea, and this simple drink soon turns into a major problem. Yumi susses out (first with her Intuition Cell, and then with the help of SNS) that Sae-yi was the one that made it the preserves and gave it to him.

When Yumi and Woong wind up at his office later that night, the women meet for the first time, and it’s an absolutely hilarious (and petty) battle for control — control really meaning closeness to Woong.

Yumi does pretty well for herself (that bathroom dryer haha!), but in the end, the night ends in a disaster. Yumi leaves the office without Woong even noticing, and on her way home she snaps at him on the phone.

Snapping is good sometimes. It put all her worry right out there in the open, so Woong was able to understand the issue. The night drags out and it looks like they won’t make up, but then Woong turns up in front of Yumi’s apartment building with her favorite cake, still wanting to celebrate her birthday.

We see all the logical explanations in his head — about Sae-yi, about the yuzu tea, about why he sought Sae-yi’s help to pick the birthday present — but what comes out of his mouth (after heavy editing from his cells) is the barely-there version of these explanations. To Yumi’s credit, she sees his sincerity, and they move on. And for the audience, we get a great and creative portrayal of how differently men and women think and communicate. Spot on.

Now it’s Woong’s turn to be nervous seeing Yumi’s place, but boy does his Intestine Cell have other plans. The Intestine Cell sends a red alert PSA to the entire village: they must get rid of what is in Woong’s large intestine, and then have to do it now.

Man, this episode was brutal for those that suffer second-hand embarrassment… Woong has no choice but to take a dump in her bathroom, which mortifies him to no end. Then, to make matters worse, the toilet gets clogged. It’s a hilarious and horrible sequence of Woong losing his mind with embarrassment, and trying to save face.

When he finally emerges (sweaty! lol), Yumi forces him to stay and sets him up in her bed with a heating pad and some soothing tea. The disaster is thus transmogrified into a sweet bonding moment, where Yumi rubs his stomach, shares a story from her past, and the two wind up falling asleep on her bed.

As it goes with shared experiences, and especially embarrassing ones, this event actually turns into an unforgettable memory. The two are closer than ever — so close that Woong suggests they go on a trip, and Yumi jumps at the suggestion (her dead Travel Cell is glad to be needed again).

The two go about planning their long weekend to Sokcho, but actually it’s now Yumi’s turn for a flood of humiliation. In her desperation to book the romantic double room with one bed and an ocean view, Yumi is stuck with the one room left in the hotel: the one with the dreaded glass-walled bathroom. LOL!

She plays dumb as long as she can, not wanting Woong to think she’s a pervert who requested the room… but then that’s exactly what happens. He goes to hotel management to complain about not being informed about the bathroom during booking. There, he hears the phone conversation Yumi had with the rep where she not only accepted the room, but shouted, “I love glass bathrooms!”

This situation hit home for me — and I don’t mean the bathroom (though I also got hit with one of those once). The drama portrayed so well how an experience that’s primed for fun can turn sour in a second. And then, even when you want to save it, like both Woong and Yumi obviously do, their moods and words and eyes seem to make matters worse when they really want the opposite.

Woong tries to make Yumi feel better, but when she snaps at him (saying how dare he laugh; she didn’t laugh at him when he had diarrhea all night long), King Sullen rides into his cell village. Woong gets silent and ornery. Likewise, Yumi has this internal war going on between her romantic dreams for the weekend, and the Lust and Etiquette cell warring in her consciousness.

Once again, Woong saves the day by his actions, and by being just a little bit more willing than Yumi to go out on a limb (God bless him). His hesitation to cancel their room booking is purposeful, and he’s hoping to make peace with Yumi, despite King Sullen being around (his cells know it’s just because Yumi’s embarrassed).

His hesitation pays off, as does giving her the room for them to regain what they wanted the trip to be. And so, our couple makes it through their first real fight, and the episode ends with them making out in their beautiful hotel room with the glass bathroom lurking in the background.

It struck me this week that this slice-of-life drama really is slice-of-life. There are so few K-dramas that feature a couple getting together from the start, and then have us go on their journey with them. It’s a refreshing change, and the bustling activity from both cell villages elevates these everyday moments into something that’s equal parts creative and relatable.

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this episode was cute. the constipation scene had me chuckling, and seeing the woong's cells and how different they are from yumi's is always treat.

that being said, anyone else a bit irked at the writing choices? yumi doesn't seem to have a single female friend, and every woman who is introduced is treated as competition (ruby & sae-yi). they seem to be hinting at some college girlfriends next episode, but even they don't seem particularly close. it's a bit sad. kim go-eun is so talented, i'd love to see her bounce dialogue off of another second lady lead. that and yumi's inability to apologize after the hotel debacle had me considering continuing the series.

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That's true, she really doesn't. She seems to just have that one co worker. I'd love to see what cells would come out in a close female relationship.

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exactly! give us the friendship cell!

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i do notice this in the early phase of the webtoon, but if you stick around (and the drama stays faithful to the webtoon), you will see yumi's fun female friendship from one of the character you have seen now ^^

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Well, she did mention that she is alone. I just took that as no family or close friends.

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I finally started this and ended up doing a mini binge of it. I like it alot and agree it is fun to see a couple actually in a relationship. While I love the scenes with the cells I do think that they have taken a little bit away from me feeling as invested in our OTP as I'd usually be. It just seemed like they were all of a sudden in a relationship with most of it shown through the cells.
I love that Yumi handled the bathroom incident with such grace and never did anything that would make the other person feel more embarrassed or uncomfortable.
Even though I know as the viewer that Sae-yi is a toxic character I didn't like that Yumi went in with a plan to stake a claim at Woong's work place and for the benefit of his female Co worker. Though the tea finally had me purchase a similar type. I've seen these types of teas before and finally had to after seeing how good it looked with the sparkling water.
I like how the show explores how moods and situations can change so quickly even against our own wants. Like how quickly suspicion took root or the fall out from the room.
I'm really curious as to who Minho's character has a crush on? I wonder if it is Yumi's supervisor.

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Just a heads up because you probably aren't aware, but spoilers aren't allowed under the recaps.

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Missvictrix, that was the first thought I had this week while watching--that this is a true slice-of-life. More than any other kdrama slice-of-life I watched. We get all the details, all the small problems. And although I didn't read the webtoon, it feels like a slice-of-life romance webtoon/manga with how episodic it feels, each episode tackling one small obstacle in their simple relationship.

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In another drama, eps 5 would probably already drive me up the wall with all those Sae-yi-related-frustration. But the cells made everything not just bearable, but also interesting even when we were presented with the same old sequence of insidious little comments from annoying second lead, subsequent jealousy and exploding emotions at the most inopportune moment, and the close call with premature breakup (thank goodness for Love and Rationality).

I really like the way they portrayed doubt as this very insidious gas that poisoned everything in Yumi's heart. Seriously, the cells village in this drama has the most accurate and relatable representation of the complicated process inside people's mind and heart. The self-edited explanation from Woong, the hand-dryer of bullshit repeller, the birthday gift wheel-of-fortune. It's all those little things that made it easier to withstand Sae-yi's intentionally ambiguous but deeply hurtful words and actions. The way she hides behind her oh-so-innocent facade of helpful best friend is just UGH. I'll take Ruby and her annoying aegyo over her any day.

It shouldn't surprised me that this drama knows how to alternate its tone between the two eps each week. Just like the hilarious almost-disaster in eps 6 and its steamy conclusion compared to the more sombre previous eps. And yet both has its touch of realism, exploring all the up and down and utter unpredictability of a relationship. How the weirdest timing or even the most innocuous comment could trigger an avalanche of change in their bond and understanding of each other. Also, it's been quite some time a drama managed to handle and engineer the most real (and utterly uncomfortable) secondhand embarrassment with aplomb like this.

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I'm just loving this, although I can't point to exactly what it is that I love so much in this drama. It might just be that the two leads are so adorably normal, and that there's something sort of inspired about the way we encounter their inner feelings through those cells. Also, it's nice to see a show dwell on all the usual beats of a new relationship: the giddy happiness, but also the uncertainty, the self-doubt, etc.

I'm also impressed with the amount of thought that went into each of the two leads' cell scapes. In Yumi's case, the cells talk constantly, bouncing thoughts off each other, trying to build consensus, because she's a frustrated romance novelist. In Woong's case, on the other hand, the leader cell is clearly in charge and everything is run through a properly organized process and command center, because Woong is an engineer and that's how his brain works.

I also appreciate how the drama highlights the things we sort of suspect, like how men forget to tell you things because they're clueless and not because they have the nefarious intent that overthinking women like Yumi (and me, lol) believe they have.

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To your last sentence/paragraph: Totally! Overthinking women like you, me, and Yumi 😉

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Kindly include me into this group of overthinking women 😉😊

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That explains so much! I didn't see the difference in how the cells interacted before you explained it. Thank you.
Overall I'm just loving how much I laugh during each episode.
The awkwardness and shyness between them is really spot on.

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This is turning into one of my favorites. Though I was cringing and almost covering my face during the toilet scene and the hotel scene where they replayed Yumi’s phone call. Serious second-hand embarrassment!

The writing is pretty amazing here in terms of psychology. In these episodes, the portrayal of Woong’s lengthy thoughts, followed by almost no words of explanation coming out of his mouth, was hilarious (and infuriating!) for its accuracy. And the fight on the trip was super well executed to show how we contribute to things going wrong for ourselves even (or especially) when we want them to go right.
The animation in these parts adds a lot to the story because we see the cells fighting it out with each other (these characters have choices about how to respond). Without the cells, we would be judging the characters’ personality types (based only on their actions). Instead, we get a larger story about how people think, feel, make decisions, and then act—and all the complexities that go into our behaviors and responses.

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This comment sums up my response to those who insist that the cells are not needed and that the show would be better without them. Without them we don't get that layered understanding of the internal battle taking place that eventually puts "that expression" on their face. This show managed to have the same benefits as reading a book written from a third person omniscient point of view. That's unique in the Kdrama Rom-Com world. Usually if this point of view is used in a kdrama we are told the characters inner thoughts through the use of an unseen narrator. Here we are shown. Even if they got nothing else right, that is enough to earn my praise.

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agreed. I was thinking of it like a novel too. Usually that is the only format where you get to understand so much internal processing.

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I really liked to see new cells in each episode like Etiquette, Sullen King or how some emotion acts like doubt.

I find sad that Yumi has an active life only when she's dating. Travel Cell died because she wasn't dating and didn't travel anymore. It doesn't sound really healty.

Sae-Yi is a snake! I'm happy that Woong sees her trueself.

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Snake-Yi?

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Adopted !

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Was anyone else expecting Travel Cell to come back? Perhaps clawing his way out from under the tombstone like something undead?

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Sameee! I thought I skipped a scene or something when she didn't crawl out of her grave...
Also, I'm pretty sure the travel cell is blonde-girl! :')

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Me! Me! Me! I imagined exactly like that. Hand clawing out of the grave

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Oh well. The Travel Cells of a few billion real-world people might get to do that in a year or so.

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me!

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Me too, I was totally expecting that to happen.

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I was a little disappointed she didn't come back.

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Women like Sae-Yi are the reason why female friends to boys always have a bad rep. I have zero problems with m-f friendships, I too have many friends, close ones at that, who are boys. The key to navigating future girlfriends is to stick to your lane. I AM the friend. SHE IS the girlfriend. I wish people knew their place. Also, what's with Sae-Yi selfishly stringing along Woong like a back-up plan? :/ :/ Glad Woong gets his bear-mode up dealing with her.

I really enjoyed the poop episode and how Yumi handled everything. My only complaint is that I wish she made Woong change out of his clothes after unclogging the toilet, and before getting onto her clean bedsheets. T_T

As relatable as I find Yumi and her adorable cells, I wish she wouldn't lash out so frequently, and self-sabotage her happiness. She's someone who doesn't see the bigger picture & internalizes most of it, but I hope she grows out of such tendencies :)

Also, I never thought I would find, gigantic-hands, broad-shouldered Ahn Bo Hyun adorable in a character, but here we are with Woong. The man has really beautifully expressive uWu eyes! <3
Also, what a waste of that glass-walled shower!!!!!??? :P :P :P

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I said the same thing about him getting in her bed. Whyyyy would she let him in her bed with his outside clothes on and he just cleaned poop off the bathroom floor. Here is a towel and a change of clothes please wash up.

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Yup this is definitely a slice of life romance. And i get why these are very rare in dramaland. Without the cells, the story of the leads may be too simple to keep the audience hooked. But honestly I would still watch that, it's much better than adding suspense, makjand, crime etc to romance for dramatic purpose.

When Yumi's reason cell went crazy and so did the ecpressions of KGE, that was some amazing acting. She's perfect for this role.

Though the cells for me are not that of an adult because they look so much like Doremon or Boss Baby. When the Sulking cell came and only did "peung" LOL that's sth a baby would do, too cute. So it's actually harder for me to think that they don't belong to a child but nonetheless this was one of the most hilarious episode I've watched in a long time. We got not one but two incidences of second hand embarrassment to keep the stakes equal in the relationship.

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Thank you for the weecap @missvictrix!

Though our couple is very much into each other, I liked how this week's episodes focused on the hurdles they still need to overcome.

I liked how Episode 6 showed both Woong and Yumi hiding and bluffing their way through embarrassing situations--only for it all to backfire on them the harder they tried. As they're still in the early stage of their relationship, it makes sense that they're overly worried about maintaining a perfect image to each other.

I'm glad it all resolved by the end, with the two of them closer than before!

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i am loving this drama.. lust cell is a hoot! (esp, when she is picturing our ML naked, thank you drama gods) But that final scene was* chefs kiss* that aside i agree the animation takes what could be a mundane story of a couples journey in to something special. we get to actually see the thought process behind the actions. Also our leads are just to cute

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Woong is my favorite character of this drama. I know Yumi is the lead and the focus, but for me, Woong and his cells takes center stage. He can be a little slow, but once he is aware of a situation, he tries to fix it or provide Yumi with a sense of security and comfort. He is just truly open and genuine in his affection and has no interest in playing relationship games (which I find wonderful and refreshing).

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True, Woong is a gem and seriously Ahn Bo-hyun is killing it. I didn't think he would do well in this role but that thought is out the window. He's been amazing as Woong

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He's such a breath of fresh air, an unpretentious and honest male lead who just says whatever is on his mind. I love him!

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Snake Yi (thanks @lordcobol) is really getting on my nerves. She is completely selfish. If she wanted to date Woong she has had every opportunity to do, do not use him and your backup plan. To sabotage his relationship on the dl is despicable. I cheered when Woong let her know he was onto her shenanigans. Maybe now she'll stop but when I think about it...nah, she won't. It'll take Woong to really confront her for her to give up on him.

The cells continue to be adorable and fun. This will probably get all (even though there won't be many) of my beans at the end of the year. I watched this for Kim Go Eun but Ahn Bo Hyun has been great in this role. This is practically perfect casting.

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Although I love the OTP I didn't enjoy so much screen time devoted to the cells. I almost ditched this drama after the season premiere because I don't care for animation. I have since changed my mind.

I still would prefer to see more OTP and less cells but I can see how friendless Yumi needs the cells to let us in on what her thought process is. At this time I don't miss her interaction with anybody else since that conversation would be redundant.

I love how Yumi was totally honest with Woong when he knew she was angry on the cell phone. I also respect Woong for his insight on Sae-Yi and not falling for her games. We need more communication like this which sadly is lacking in most Kdramas. Kudos to Yumi's Cells for creating a healthy, realistic atmosphere where romance can blossom.

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Just musing but it occurs to me all of the “female” cells are old school stereotypically feminine in Fashion,Love, sensitive, etiquette, anxiety while Reason, Naughty, Detective ,Medic Etc are male. Woong apparently has no “girl” cells.

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I noticed this too and I'm hoping he has them too. He has to, otherwise it won't make sense that not all of Yumi's cells were female (but I hope they are less stereotypical).

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I noticed that as well and felt uncomfortable about it. I was soothed a little bit when I realized that Woong's whole reason control/problem solving center is female. Whereas the cells inputing the information may be male, she's in charge of his decision tree analysis. I also pacified myself with the fact that Yumi's cell hysteria is male. The term hysteria historically was a "psychological" term attached to women. So I was pleased to see the cell be portrayed as male. Still that's not enough for me, I hope Woong has a hysteria cell too. I may be asking for too much, but I want Woong to have "female" cells as well and that they not be determined by social dictates that state certain emotions or behaviors are inherently female.

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I started this last night and binged up to here. I found it really difficult to get into but am now loving it. Everyone else has said so much about the delights of the cells with their different personalities and the layers of understanding that they add to decisions and misunderstandings in a relationship. I particularly love the differences between the two cell villages, although as already pointed out the gender differences are a bit stereotypical. I've mostly been enticed by the humour: the naughty cell, the colon cell, the hunger cell - those most basic cells that drive us. The idea of the animation put me off until I started to see it in action. It's fun and funny and a novel way of illuminating relationships with all their ups and downs.

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I adore this drama to pieces. Just started it yesterday and it was so so good. I like how this drama makes you relate to the main characters. So many times you never know what's going on in people's minds, but these expressive cells really help to get insights into their inner worlds.

Sae-yi is horrible (so catty and territorial), but a necessary hurdle to cross if Woong and Yumi are going to have a happy, stable relationship. I was surprised we got to see her cells and message board too though, I had assumed that was for the main characters!

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But Sae-Yi’s village and cells aren’t thriving which makes me sad for the cells. But since they are causing her to be a catty jealous Britch maybe I should not.

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