A story about Yumi and her brain cells.
- Title: Yumi’s Cells.
- Author & Artist: Donggeon Lee
- Story: 10 out of 10
- Art: 10 out of 10
- Genre: Slice of life, Comedy & Romance
- Status: Completed
- Overall rating: 10 out of 10
Back in 2017 when I started reading webtoons there was a handful of webtoons that had me addicted to them. One of them was Yumi’s Cells.
And since 2017 I had never missed a Wednesday when a new chapter would be updated. Until December 2020 when the last chapter came out. As someone who would get bored over things quickly and could not commit to anything after a deadline of 3 weeks, this was my longest commitment. And when I look back, I think I would have loved to be there when the 1st chapter came out in 2015.
I was in love with the story. The simplicity of the story but the complicated and creative way the creator builds it up. It both fascinated me and had me engaged for over 3 years.
To say it simply, I was in love with Yumi’s Cells.
So you can guess when the final chapter was out, I was devastated. I moped about it to all of my friends. Wrote reviews in Goodreads, Animeplanet, and even on Twitter before starting this one, never quite finishing it as I struggled to say more. I wanted the whole world to know about this amazing story and enjoy it.
Because it truly is one of the best I have had the opportunity to read. Both in its writing and artistry.
Now, you are asking. ‘Ok, we get it. You liked Yumi’s Cells. So what is it about?’
Well, let’s hear what the official synopsis says first.
“A story of Yumi and her brain cells.” – Source Line Webtoon.
And that basically is it.
It sounds really simple. And in a way the story really is. It is all about an office worker named Yumi and her brain cells. But it is the execution that had me and everyone wrapped around.
With over a collected number of 3 billion views, Yumi’s Cells is one of the most popular Webtoon in Line Webtoon app. Its popularity is even higher in South Korea. Yumi’s Cells has over 9.93 in rating on the Naver Webtoon. There were actual stalls selling foods inspired by the webtoon in South Korea. And pushes, action figures, games, exhibitions, and other goodies. Plus we are going to get a drama adaptation, coming out this September, staring Kim Go Eun – one of the most beloved and talented actresses in SK!
S.Korea loves Yumi’s Cells so much so that the author/ artist of Yumi’s Cells Lee Dong-Geun has won the President’s Award at the 2018 Korean Content Awards hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
You can’t get any higher praise than that.
Yumi’s Cells got into Naver’s official Webtoons list in 2015. The prologue came out on April 1st of 2015. But the actual story started years before based on a simple comment the author’s wife had said to him, “The story is boring. Stop trying to grind a millstone that won’t budge”. A phrase that inspired Yumi’s Cells and everything after. We see this reference in the very first episode.
The story focuses on Yumi as she navigates life with her brain cells controlling her. We get to see how each of her decisions comes to be.
Story-wise, the idea that Yumi’s Cells follows is very simple. A 3o-year-old office worker trying to live her best life. She wants to fall in love. She wants to follow her dream. She is an average woman. She loves to eat, is not really happy with her current job, wants to earn lots of money & buy lots of food.
She is the type of person you might see sitting on the train next to you, the colleague from the other department, the next-door neighbor you run-up to every now and then. She might be you. And this idea, that Yumi can be anyone we might meet in our daily life is what made the readers fell in love with her. Her being so real and tangible.
Yumi always keeps others as her priority and tries to give them more. But through time and events, she learns that the protagonist of her story is none other than herself.
Loving someone is good but loving yourself is also important. This is the theme that Yumi’s Cells talks about but in a very humorous and clever way. It is the realistic portrayal of Yumi that had gotten the readers to connect with her, her dreams, and her story.
And love? Well, it comes. After meeting different people and having different experiences you will find someone who will click with you, just as you are. They won’t have to be the first person you like or liked you. They can be anyone around you. Your colors will match and well, you still have to work a little on the relationship but you will have each other to understand those morse codes your heart is sending – you will understand this line after you read the Yumi’s Cells.
With all of that add the crazy creativity of the author, it was a perfect mix. We get telepathies from the future – basically, your gut feeling -and calls from other people’s cells – hints – and so much. It really makes your brain work as you piece together the puzzles and complete the story.
Plus the author is a troll. He misleads and deceived us, readers, every chance he got. He trolled us so many times that it almost became a running joke throughout the community that we can not trust the author to not troll us. Even the author knew about it, and he was enjoying it very much.
And about the cells! Every cell is tasked with one specific job. Different reasons for your responses being different cells at work.
You’re hungry? Your hungry cells want to eat.
Feeling down? – Maybe the emotional cell is getting emotional.
Can’t piece together two outfits and make them work? – Well maybe you don’t have a fashion cell.
Looking for love? – Love cell is at work.
Horny? – Naughty cell is probably in control now.
Can’t sleep? – Lullaby cell got this.
When I read the first episode in 2017, the art was very cartoonish. It was cute and so different from what the other webtoons were offering. I loved it. With the humor and the theme, it felt perfect. But then the art style. It evolved into a very detailed, humanoid style which just elevated the story even more.
There are 511/512 episodes. And Yumi’s Cells is on Daily Pass since January 30th. There is a prequel to the original Yumi’s Cells webtoon that recently came out. Right now it is only available in the NaverLineWebtoon. Hopefully, it will be translated and be available for us to read soon. If you want you can check it out, here.
Click here to read Yumi’s Cells. You can also read the Korean version here if you want…if you can read Korean.
Another news is that Yumi’s Cells is getting a drama adaptation!! The drama is said to come out on September 17th and you can watch it through iQiyi and Viki. The drama adaptation is being done by TvN and TvN has a reputation for making dramas with beautiful cinematography. So it will be pleasing to the eye for sure.
There is news of using animation-for the cells-with real actors, which we can see in the first trailer that came out a few days ago.
It has been confirmed to have 2 seasons – 12 episodes each – but fans have theorized that the drama will also likely have at least 3 seasons.
January 22, 2021, Webtoon confirmed this news on Twitter that the Yumi’s Cells drama adaptation was going live as Kim Go Eun is cast as Yumi.
I am so happy that she is playing Yumi. I love Kim Go Eun as an actress and she was on my list of actresses who would be perfect to play Yumi alongside Park Bo Young and Park Hyung Sik as Soonrok. So I am really excited.
If you are not familiar with Kim Go Eun or Korean Drama in general, I suggest you watch Goblin. It is an amazing drama, also produced by TvN.
The synopsis for the drama is, “Yumi’s Cells will tell the story of an ordinary office worker named Yumi—from the point of view of the many brain cells in her head controlling her every thought, feeling, and action. Yumi is an ordinary woman who struggles with expressing her feelings. As she experiences growth in both her love life and her career, she learns to find happiness in the small joys of everyday life“-Source: Soompi.
The cast list for season one is :
Kim Go Eun as Kim Yu Mi (Main Role)
Ahn Bo Hyun as Ku Woong (Main Role)
Lee Yoo Bi as Ruby (Main Role)
Park Ji Hyun As Seo Sae Yi (Main Role)
And Choi Min Ho from Shinee as Wook (Guest Role)
I might do a review on Yumi’s Cells drama adaptation after the drama has finished airing. It will be interesting to see what part of the original story the scriptwriters have decided to keep, change, or the new things they have added! So that will be fun!
Until then, happy reading!
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