Korean has been dropping some real bangers, lately, on Netflix. It is true that it will be hard to achieve the same success that Squid Game season one achieved last year. Nevertheless, that doesn’t really matter, the Korean drama shows are so diverse and the production values are so high that there is definitely something for everyone in the K-Drama landscape.
In this opportunity, Netflix releases something that really is out of the ordinary. The Sound of Magic is an emotional journey that teaches the audience to follow their dreams and to be the best they can be not only for themselves but also to others. The show applies this message to its storyline and takes it very seriously. However, this is not your standard K-Drama, this is more than that. This is a musical.
The Korean music scene is huge, and in the past five years it has grown outside the borders of Korea to basically invade the rest of the world. K-pop groups are plentiful, and their fans are legions. Because of that, it is weird that there are so very few musical TV shows or films in the Korean industry. The Sound of Magic takes the risk and actually pulls it off in a very satisfying manner.
The series knows when to be a normal standard K-Drama and then when to indulge into very cool musical numbers. There are many talented dancers and singers in the industry, so, there is plenty of workforce available. It is part of history that musical TV shows don’t last very long, but thankfully we know that the show will only last around 6 episodes, so there is a clear ending to this.
The Sound of Magic is an adaptation of the Naver webtoon titled, Annarasumanara, by author Ha Il-kwon. The show is directed by Kim Seong-yoon, and stars Ji Chang-wook, Choi Sung-eun, and Hwang In-youp. The series tells the story of Yoon Ah-yi, a young high school student who lives alone with her little sister. Ah-yi needs to take care of the house but money problems are getting worse, she wishes she could be an adult to work properly and have all her troubles disappear.
One day, she meets a mysterious magician who wishes she could stay young forever. The differences in their philosophies clash, but they become the core of a fantastic relationship that will help them become better people as they learn from each other.
The show might label itself as a musical, but if there is one issue with the show is that the musical number comes very far and between. When they come they are really good though. The production values are quite high for TV production, there are a lot of visual effects, very well constructed sets, and the songs are quite catchy or beautiful. It is understandable that creating these music sequences takes a lot of time. Actors need to practice, and the camera work needs to be planned way beforehand. However, more would be better in this case.
Outside the music sequences, the show sets up the drama surrounding our protagonist in a very cool way. Ah-yi is an amazing character, she’s charming, beautiful, and very smart. Sadly, life has been harsh on her, it is easy to get behind her and support her on her journey as a character. We know she deserves more, and the show bets on us wanting to see her triumph and get the win that she so much deserves.
As the series progresses, the obstacles inside the plot become many, but Ah-yi grows so much as a character that towards the end we expect her to be able to overcome them much easier than at the beginning. This element could be the strongest one in the show. We as the audience need characters that we can relate to, and Ah-yi is one of the best ones in a K-drama in recent memory.
At many points, the show falls into the usual melodrama that Asian narratives love so much. However, in this case the melodrama never overstays its welcome, and it actually works thanks to the series setting up the situations in the proper way. Because the show only lasts for six episodes the pacing becomes frenetic at times, things are always happening, and every scene serves the plot or furthers the character development.
The end of the series serves as a good ending to the overall storyline, but we would be lying if we say we don’t one another season to keep following these characters’ lives and adventures. Let’s hope the writers can come up with a great new idea to keep expanding the world of the Sound of Magic further into the future. If a second season never comes, we can be happy that at least we got one that ended up being one of the most loveable K-Dramas on Netflix.