Over lunch with coworkers Yi-da (Mi Ram) and Ruby (Lee Yoo-bi), Yumi (Kim Go-eun) has to contend with endless praises about Bobby’s (Park Jin-young of GOT7) blind date – a pharmacist friend of Ruby’s – and also of his reporter ex-girlfriend Ja-young (Kim Mi-soo). Though written all over her face, Yumi does her best to hide her annoyance; in her brain, however, Emotion Cell (voiced by Park Ji-yoon) expresses it a lot more openly.
She insists that Love (voiced by Ahn So-yi) drawing the line with Bobby led to these conflicting emotions, but Reason (voiced by Shim Gyu-huyk) reminds Emotion that she’d taken it the hardest after the break up with Woong (Ahn Bo-hyun), and that these boundaries are necessary. The cells’ discussion continues even during Yumi’s work meeting with Bobby, who notices her spacing out. Emotion gets excited when Bobby asks Yumi if something was bothering her. For the cell, this was Yumi’s chance to tell him how she felt; as for Yumi, she sensibly holds herself back, though doing so makes her feel even more wistful about Bobby going on his blind date.
On the night of Bobby’s blind date, Yumi mopes listlessly around the apartment and ends up falling asleep on the couch. She wakes up at 2am to a pleasant surprise: Bobby had texted her to ask if he could come by to return her umbrella. To her dismay, it was already too late for him to do so; she thus replies asking him to return it next time. The sudden appearance of three dots sends Yumi and the cells on an emotional rollercoaster as they await Bobby’s reply – which was to suggest meeting the next morning. Not willing to lose another opportunity, Emotion makes sure Yumi nails down the appointment.
The next morning, a smartly dressed Yumi meets a dressed-down Bobby at a cafe near her home, where he passes her the umbrella. With Emotion (literally) bulldozing Reason out of the way, she tries to help Yumi charge ahead, but is stopped by Etiquette (voiced by Moon Sa-young), who reminds her that the outcome of Bobby’s blind date is still unknown. Though curious, Yumi holds back on asking him, and the two end up having awkward small talk before parting ways.
Eventually, she finds out from Ruby that Bobby did not go on the blind date (though he told her he did), and that he’d cancelled on her friend the morning before. Bobby even called Ruby to apologise, saying that he wasn’t ready to go for it, and it would not have been polite to her friend. Frustrated about Bobby’s previous rejection, Ruby asks Yumi, “What kind of woman is she that sways his heart like that?” In the meantime, Emotion begins to draw on her ultra power to create ‘Heart Fever’, which allows Yumi to fall in love even without Love Cell.
Filled with a renewed sense of determination, Yumi makes a dash for the park in an attempt to track Bobby down. However, being a temporal burst of emotions, Yumi’s Heart Fever gradually wears off, and she starts to question whether it’s the right thing to do. Emotion attempts to project Heart Fever once more, and Yumi hits the ground running again, but eventually gets hit with a dose of reality: doing so would create “memories [she] wanted to forget”, just like how it was with her previous work crush, Choi Woo-gi (Choi Min-ho of SHINee).
As Yumi walks along the waterfront to clear her head, she hears Bobby call out for her from behind. Emotion decides to put in every last ounce of energy to generate a last burst of Heart Fever, and Yumi finally tells Bobby that she likes him and wants to get to know him better.
A week later, Yumi goes for a health consultation at a clinic, where she’s diagnosed as having stress-induced gastritis. Upon returning to the office, she’s called up by Bobby, who asks that she make amendments to a draft she’d turned in earlier that day. Worried that she’d get the wrong idea from Bobby’s straightforward approach, a fellow coworker informs Yumi that their department head had given the comments, and Bobby was just being the messenger.
Shortly after, Yumi runs into Bobby in the break room; though they speak politely to each other around other coworkers, they drop the formalities while they’re alone, and appear closer than before. Back at the park, Yumi had turned around in embarrassment when a visibly stunned Bobby didn’t immediately respond to her confession. Eventually, he asked if they could start dating from that day, and reached out for her hand. It turns out that Bobby’s straightforward approach not only got him through Yumi’s heavily-guarded ‘Heart Gate’, but also pretty much demolished the surrounding fortress walls.
Even as the majority of the cells appear to approve of Bobby (Reason included), Love still has her reservations, as she is “afraid that [Yumi] will get hurt again”. “If that happens,” she sighs, “Then I really won’t be able to wake up.” She eventually concedes that it’s the first time the cells’ village had yielded to a potential love interest even before she’d given her approval. Much to the elation of the cells, Love (reluctantly) decides to accept Bobby – thus permitting Yumi to date him.
Yumi and Bobby continue to keep their relationships under wraps while at the office, but find opportunities throughout the day to cheer each other up and make after-work date plans. Per Yumi’s recommendation, the couple head to a traditional market food stall for dinner, which then sparks an internal debate: should Yumi order organs with sundae (blood sausage)? Not on the first date, cautions Emotion, but members of the Sundae and Organs club demand for their preferences to be respected. Yumi eventually gives Bobby a choice, and to her surprise, he asks for the organs to be mixed in – with an extra serving of lungs. Later, Bobby tells Yumi that it’s the “best sundae [he’s] ever eaten”.
While at a cafe after dinner, Yumi has a close call when she almost tumbles down the stairs, but is saved by Bobby in the nick of time. Being at such close proximity, along with the candy he later offers her in the car, sends her Naughty Cell (voiced by Ahn Young-mi) into overdrive. Naughty predicts that the next stage is soon to come – and true enough, after arriving at their next destination, Bobby reaches over to kiss Yumi for the first time. This very action opens the wormhole to Bobby’s world, which Love dives straight into, so that she can assess and “see for [herself] what kind of person Bobby is”.
After a tumultuous flight, Love crash lands in a forest in Bobby’s world. She makes her way to a nearby village, and is greeted enthusiastically (and musically) by Bobby’s own Reason, Emotion and Love, along with the rest of his cells. Yumi’s Love Cell had arrived in a whole new world – one “overflowing with roses, guitars and romance”. Eventually, both Yumi and Bobby’s Tongues also get acquainted, enjoying each other’s company until they have to part.
On another night, Yumi gets up to put on a mask pack as she’s unable to fall asleep. Suddenly, the power trips in her apartment, and Yumi has trouble getting it restored, even after flipping the circuit board switches. She calls Bobby, who was on the way home from a meeting, and he tells her that he’ll pick her up to stay over at his place for the night. Even for Yumi’s Naughty Cell, such a proposition (made this quickly) was too much for her to handle.
While in the lift of Bobby’s apartment block, Yumi realises – much to her horror – that she’d forgotten to remove the mask pack plastered on her face. After reaching the apartment, she heads straight for Bobby’s bathroom and peels them all off. Reaching into her bag for her pyjamas, Yumi pulls out a slinky nightgown instead; which, in Fashion Cell’s defence, was grabbed because “it was too dark and [she] couldn’t see”.
Bobby hands her one of his pyjama tops (baggy enough to wear as a nightgown), but Yumi is frazzled that she wasn’t handed the matching pants. She wears it anyway – and it turns out that Bobby just took a while to locate the pyjama bottoms. All the awkward energy (and Naughty’s influence on certain cells) makes Yumi overthink far too much. Eventually, Yumi falls asleep on the L-shaped couch while watching TV and waiting for Bobby to wash up.
After a restful night’s sleep, Yumi awakens to see Bobby sleeping on the other end of the sprawling couch, which makes her heart (and cells) flutter. This starts off a series of ‘flutter attacks’ on each other’s cells, a sign that they’re experiencing the early stages of love.
“New love can be a turning point in life,” notes Reason. “A new relationship sometimes leads Yumi down a completely different path.” While on a date at a book publisher’s cafe, a conversation with Bobby reawakens a long lost childhood dream of Yumi’s: being a novelist. As they browse the shelves, she comes across a poster for a web novel competition and contemplates it.
While visiting her parents in her hometown, Yumi goes on a search for her old files and notebooks, to confirm that had wanted to be a writer in her younger days. To Writer Cell’s surprise (and Reason’s amusement), Yumi had indicated all throughout her school years that she wanted to be a chef. Yumi finally uncovers some short stories she’d written in middle school; some of which makes her and the cells cringe. As she flips through the pages, she thinks to herself that she could have been a writer if she’d only kept at it.
While on the phone with Bobby, she tells him to stop encouraging her, as it has made her think she “can become something and start having useless dreams”. Despite her saying that, Yumi submits her resignation to her department head upon returning to the office, saying that she wants to fulfil her dream of writing a story “before it’s too late”. When Bobby asks Yumi who gave her the encouragement to take that step, she simply says, “Me.”
Christmas comes around and a yet-to-write Yumi starts feeling a financial crunch when her landlord informs her of a rent increase in the new year. Amid thoughts of finding a part-time job, she spots an unopened electric rice cooker – which she’d won through a radio story submission contest – and decides to sell it, so as to buy a present for Bobby with the money. She puts it up on an online marketplace and receives an enquiry from an interested but rather troublesome buyer. Yumi turns the buyer down, but eventually gives in when the person reaches out to her again the next day – Christmas Eve.
Before heading over to Bobby’s place for Christmas dinner, Yumi makes a stop at her apartment to pick up the rice cooker. Though slightly annoyed at the buyer’s insistence, she’s grateful to earn money from selling it. At their meeting point, Yumi spots the interested buyer wearing a grey hoodie, waiting at a Christmas display. She approaches the buyer, whose back was turned, but the person doesn’t respond to her greeting. It’s only after tapping their shoulder that this person turns around – and Yumi comes face to face with her ex-boyfriend Woong.
- Yumi sums up her attempt to finally reciprocate Bobby’s feelings in this relatable analogy: “I tried waving my hand for a bus that had already left. I’m always like this. Always a step late.”
- Emotion literally ‘nailing’ in a meet-up with Bobby, described as being “the skill of immediately accepting someone’s suggested plan and nailing it in so they cannot change their mind”
- It’s interesting to see the Tongue Cells getting to know each other in such a pleasant and classy manner – visiting each other’s houses, having tea, and even dancing together. A refreshing take on the inner workings of a French kiss, instead of it being portrayed as tongue tango.
- Talk about timing – when Yumi steps out of Bobby’s bathroom in his pyjama top just as he happily brings over the pyjama pants he’d finally found. #notawkward
- Naughty Cell’s angst-filled rant to Love after finding out that nothing had happened between Yumi and Bobby while at his house. “Did you come to Bobby’s to sleep? Are you at a group retreat? You can sleep this much when you’re dead!”
Two new episodes of ‘Yumi’s Cells 2’ will be released on South Korean streaming platform TVING every Friday at 4pm KST.