Kim Yu Mi (Kim Go Eun) wakes in bed and imagines Chae Ugi in bed with her. He murmurs seductively they have time before work. They melt into a kiss. Yu Mi wakes from the lovely dream alone in bed.
Yu Mi is a hardworking employee at Daehan Noodles. Her boss, Section Chief Nam, relies on her superior efforts and late nights to deliver him the products he needs. Yu Mi has a crush on a co-worker in sales, Chae Ugi, 5 years her junior. Another co-worker, Ruby, 6 years her junior, makes moves on Chae Ugi.
Yu Mi’s inner life, her cells, are divided by emotion or function. They work as a team to keep Yu Mi going. It’s been 3 years since Yu Mi has dated any one. Her last boyfriend crushed her spirit and put her love cell in a coma. Her cells root for a date with Chae Ugi.
One night Yu Mi has to work late to complete analysis and a report for Section Chief Nam. When her hunger cells distracts her, Yu Mi dashes to a street vendor for food. She meets Chae Ugi outside the building. He has coffee for his coworkers. He asks if Yu Mi will be done with work soon. Earlier in the day he asked where she lived. Yu Mi’s detective cell erroneously concludes that Chae Ugi is working late too. Yu Mi declares she’ll be there a while. Chae Ugi admits he’s bring coffee for his co-workers but is leaving shortly to meet a friend in Yu Mi’s part of town. He had planned to offer her a ride home. Yu Mi is deflated. Yu Mi’s inner life cells, are furious with the detective cell. Yu Mi works to complete the report. She’s surprised when Chae Ugi returns and tells her his evening’s activity was delayed so he can take her home. Thrilled Yu Mi wraps up the report, hands it to Section Chief Nam, and hastily departs.
Yu Mi is dismayed when her co-worker Ruby is the back seat of Chae Ugi’s car. He’s also giving her a ride to her activity in Yu Mi’s part of town. Yu Mi can do nothing but grin and bear it. Her inner life cells are not happy.
A bummed Yu Mi spends the night stewing. She’s not happy to see a post from Ruby showing her eating and drinking with Chae Ugi.
Flashback…3 years ago…Yu Mi’s boyfriend quickly breaks up with her one rainy night. There is no discussion. He runs. She chases him pleading for an opportunity to discuss why he’s doing this. Yu Mi is dismayed to see him get into a waiting car with a young woman driving. Other flashbacks confirm the boyfriend used the star struck Yu Mi for money and convenience.
The next day at work Ruby is aglow with the triumph of the previous evening. She declares Chae Ugi will be taking her to a flower show next weekend. Yu Mi strives to keep a pleasant look on her face, but she’s seething at the successful machinations Ruby has made. Yu Mi’s inner life struggles with jealously and rage, and maintain the polite façade.
Ruby suggests Yu Mi attend the flower show too. Then Ruby suggests Section Chief Nam attend too. Unfortunately Section Chief Nam can’t attend Sunday night due to a work commitment that Yu Mi must also support. Ruby is pleased, knowing she has Cha Ugi’s undivided attention on Sunday. Yu Mi’s inner life seethes. Yu Mi’s love cell starts to come back from the coma. Yu Mi suggests that Cha Ugi take her on Saturday. To Ruby’s surprise, Cha Ugi agrees. Ruby declares that Yu Mi would feel uncomfortable being with someone 5 years younger. Yu Mi is afraid to admit she would like to be alone with Cha Ugi. Yu Mi’s love cell staggers to the other cells and declares that Yu Mi must be bold and say what she wants, to show Cha Ugi her feelings.
Yu Mi declares she’d enjoy spending time with Cha Ugi. He’s pleased. Ruby seethes. The cells are thrilled.
Delightful first episode. Yu Mi’s Cells is a webcomic by Lee Dong Gun. A trio – Song Jae Jung, Kim Yoon Joo and Kim Kyung Ran – are the writers for the kdrama series. The first episode followed the webcomic as I scanned it after watching the initial episode. Director Lee delivered an episode that seamlessly flowed from Yu Mi’s external life to her internal cell life. The graphic designers and animators followed Writer Lee’s webcomic blueprint for the inner life cells gifting them with a softer edge and heart & humor from the writers. I thoroughly enjoyed the inner life cell scenes. Yu Mi’s external life was easy to be drawn into. I immediately felt for the lonely Yu Mi, who may or may not realize her previous boyfriend used her shamelessly per the flashbacks. It didn’t take long to dislike Ruby, see the appeal of Cha Ugi, and hope that Yu Mi could find her voice to pursue what she wanted. Towing the line seems to have left Yu Mi living a shell of a life and lonely. We haven’t met the lead male yet. I’m assuming that is next episode.
Kim Yu Mi (Kim Go Eun) hit the mark as Yu Mi. Quickly I rooted for Yu Mi to find a way to out maneuver Ruby to get alone time with Cha Ugi who appeared to prefer Yu Mi but was too polite to say no to the scheming Ruby. Frankly characters like Ruby are irritants. I wanted to smack her several times. Yu Mi’s love cell awakening from the coma was the signal that Yu Mi is ready to live life again and not dedicate herself to work.
The first song of the OST is the upbeat “If I Could Read Your Mind” sung by Wendy.
I rank this episode as very good, 8 on a 10-point scale.