“Yu-mi, I’ve thought about it a lot… and I think we should end it here.”
“Yes, we should. I feel the same.”
After coolly and calmly ending their relationship, Kim Yumi (Kim Go-eun) watches as her now ex-boyfriend Goo Woong (Ahn Bo-hyun) walks away, leaving her standing at the very spot they had first met as each other’s blind date. Yumi turns to leave, her blank gaze beginning to brim with tears, but pauses momentarily to look back again. She spots Woong in the distance, walking briskly until he moves out of sight.
In Yumi’s brain, the cells are in disbelief. Moments later, the Mailman appears to present the “Breakup Notice” to the Love Cell (voiced by Ahn So-yi), which would then officially end the relationship. However, with Love having been taken away in an ambulance due to shock, another cell would have to accept it in her place – but none are willing to do so.
When all of Yumi’s cells go into hiding, the Mailman warns that “a bigger problem will happen” if they continue to avoid the situation. Eventually, Reason Cell (voiced by Shim Gyu-huyk) bravely comes forward – on the condition that the notice is given the next day, so that Yumi can focus on resting through the night.
Amid the pattering of rain at her window, Yumi wakes up with a start, after barely attempting to fall asleep. Much to the disdain of her Pride Cell, she tries reaching out to Woong to tell him she was “a little harsh” – only for the call to not be connected. Resigned, Yumi decides that it was time for her to accept the breakup, and goes on to delete his number from her contact list.
Despite her inner emotional storms, Yumi puts on a smile and continues with her daily life, with the cells bravely riding the waves with her. Though claiming to have returned to normal in just six days (which “felt like six months”, according to Yumi), little triggers bring her suppressed thoughts and feelings to the surface.
Observing how Yumi is unable to sleep at night and has trouble breathing, Reason deduces that she’s been experiencing the physical after-effects of the breakup, for which there is no actual cure. The cells offer their own ways of soothing this heartache: Hunger (voiced by Lee Jang-won) indulges in sugary fried twisted doughnuts; Fashion (voiced by Kim Yeon-woo) opts for “filling the void” with retail therapy; an overly-bubbly Emotion Cell (voiced by Park Ji-yoon) suggests watching a late-night movie. Yumi even drowns her sorrows in beer, but turns even more despondent when she spots a smiling Woong (sporting a shorter haircut) in a random acquaintance’s social media post.
At the end of the next work day, Yumi sticks around the Daehan Noodles office instead of going home. When her marketing co-worker Yoo Bobby (Park Jin-young of GOT7) comes round to ask if she’d like to have dinner, he discovers that Yumi had already left the office, and that the mechanical keyboard on her desk was nowhere to be seen.
Once back at home, Yumi starts to pack every item related to Woong and their past relationship, intending to get rid of them (per the suggestion of Detective Cell, voiced by Jung Jae-han). However, Reason’s best efforts in supporting Yumi turn to naught as every cell comes up with excuses to keep the items, which resulted in her still keeping the items and being even more heartbroken.
Not long after, Yumi receives a call from Bobby, who asks if she could help look over a hard-copy proposal. He arrives at her apartment complex in a taxi and hands over the proposal in an envelope. Before leaving, Bobby asks Yumi if everything is okay with her, and encourages her with two words that left an impression: “Stay strong.”
While out for lunch with accounting co-worker Yi-da (Mi Ram) the next day, Yumi spots her work junior and former love rival-turned-friend Lee Ruby (Lee Yoo-bi) chatting with Bobby. Over coffee, Ruby asks Yumi if she has any information on Bobby, which Yumi takes as a sign that the younger lady is interested in him.
Reason takes this question to the rest of the cells, and Fashion suggests checking with ‘Yumi’s clubs’, each representing an interest that she’s developed over her lifetime. To Reason’s surprise, he discovers a ‘Yoo Bobby club’, of which Yumi’s Guard Cell – once highly opposed to Bobby in favour of Woong – is the president of. Over various interactions uncovering shared interests (from novels to ska music), the cells gradually get won over by Bobby, thus increasing the club’s membership.
Though initially hesitant about going out with Bobby alone, Yumi accepts his invitation to watch a ska band he had introduced to her, and ends up having a good time grooving to the live performance. While having ice cream after, Bobby tells Yumi that she’s easy to read, as her expressions tend to be written all over her face. When Yumi asks what she’s feeling at the moment, Bobby admits that he doesn’t know – but wants to. “You’re someone I always want to get to know,” he says carefully, “That’s why I want to date you.”
Yumi’s self-confidence internally skyrockets from this confession, leading the cells to believe that this could actually be the cure for her broken heart. Ever the voice of rationality, Reason tries to talk sense into everyone, but his words are drowned out by their overwhelming support for Bobby. As this ultimately falls under the jurisdiction of Love – still hospitalised and in a coma – Reason puts his foot down and makes an executive decision to reject Bobby.
That night, Yumi tosses and turns in bed, feeling bad about turning Bobby down as he’s “a good person”. On the other hand, she also feels tingly from finding out that she was the person he had feelings for all along, which further elevates her self-esteem and puts her in a good mood. This snowballs into the next work morning, as Yumi offers Bobby an overly cheerful greeting, only to be met with polite succinctness.
He continues to draw a professional line at the office, but after observing him acting differently around other co-workers, it leads Yumi to wonder whether her rejection had affected him this badly. In Yumi’s brain, the hospital chief diagnoses this as “Princess syndrome”, which develops as a result of an insanely high level of self-worth.
The following day, Yumi wakes up late for work. She makes a dash to the bus stop, only to miss her bus. From a distance, she spots Bobby speaking to a shorter-haired woman, whom she’d recognised as being his journalist ex-girlfriend Ja-young (Kim Mi-soo). As they get into a taxi together, Yumi (and her cells) make the assumption that they’d gotten back together. She continues to rationalise what she’d just seen while on the bus to work, telling herself that there was no longer any need to feel bad for rejecting Bobby.
Yumi gives Bobby the cold shoulder at work – only to run into him later in the evening, when she turns up for a drink with Yi-da and Ruby, who had dragged him along. Wanting to help Yumi alleviate any awkwardness, Reason calls on Hunger, who then calls on Detective and Cheapskate Cells to strategise their dinner order. Living up to her title as “the ordering specialist”, Yumi does so with finesse, even scoring her group a number of free side dishes.
Over drinks, Ruby grills Bobby about not wanting to go on blind dates, and Yi-da surmises that it’s because he already has someone in his heart. After a brief pause, Bobby lets on that there was someone he liked, but that person rejected him. Ruby and Yi-da go on to question that person’s audacity – not knowing “that person” was very much in their midst.
After dinner, Yumi and Bobby end up taking the same bus, as they live in the same neighbourhood. Sensing Yumi’s discomfort around him, Bobby decides to get off the bus to take the next. This seems to annoy Yumi even more, and she finally texts him, adding that she had spotted him and his ex-girlfriend earlier that day. Bobby calls Yumi to explain that Ja-young had turned up drunk at his apartment, and he sent her off in the morning, telling her not to contact him again. “Wait for me,” Bobby tells Yumi, after clearing the air, “If you’re not uncomfortable with me.”
When Bobby finally arrives at the bus stop, Yumi immediately goes off on a tangent about how his considerate words had made her angry. With a shy and relieved smile on his face, all he says in response is: “I’m so glad that you waited for me.” They continue to chat at the bus stop, and just before the next bus arrives, Bobby expresses his hope for it not to come.
Meanwhile, Love awakens from her coma to the ‘Yoo Bobby Fanclub’ cells protesting under her window, demanding for her to accept Bobby’s feelings. Elated at her regaining consciousness, Reason sneaks into Love’s hospital room to see her. He finds her staring pensively into the distance, and wonders whether she’s seriously considering Bobby. Love assures Reason that she still needs time to recover from the breakup with Woong, but shares how admirable Bobby is: “It’s amazing to be able to express how one feels even after being rejected.”
At the office, Yumi begins to pay more attention to Bobby, noticing details such as habits, gestures, and even his choice of cologne. Her uneasiness, however, is what speaks volumes to Bobby, and he tries to ease the tension by putting them back in the friendzone.
The weekend rolls around, and Yumi makes a concerted effort to dress up for a jog in the park, but is disappointed when she doesn’t run into Bobby. She does, however, encounter him by chance at the neighbourhood supermarket, where she discovers their shared love for curry and dislike for bugs.
These similarities (and Bobby being a gentleman) make the cells swoon even more, and Yumi begins to feel her heart beating a little faster around him. After Bobby walks her home in the rain, Yumi receives a call from Ruby, who lets on that Bobby had agreed to go on a blind date with one of her friends. Much to Yumi’s surprise (and disappointment), Bobby confirms this new development.
What We Liked
- Bobby’s choice of music (and by proxy, Yumi’s): Kingston Rudieska, which featured in episode 1, is considered to be “the leading ska band in Korea”, according to Wikipedia.
- The exponential growth of the ‘Yoo Bobby fanclub’ with each interaction, despite Guard Cell wanting to keep it to “quiet cells quietly fanboying” their “oppa”.
- Having the thoughts in Yumi’s head (actually a conversation between the cells) appearing as a side chat, and seeing the cells make appearances in real-life scenes. It’s refreshing to see these overlaps, as it shows that the cells are very much part of Yumi’s world.
Two new episodes of ‘Yumi’s Cells 2’ will be released on South Korean streaming platform TVING every Friday at 4pm KST.