From beginning to end, the webtoon live-action adaptation Cherry Blossoms After Winter maintains the same emotional appeal for me that it started with. Fate brings our two leads, Seo Hae Bom (Ok Jin Uk) and Jo Tae Sung (Kang Hui), together under the same roof, their relationship further complicated by Tae Sung’s unrequited feelings.
Only they don’t remain unrequited for long.
I am going to call this drama simple, and yet keep in mind that I don’t mean the emotions inside the drama are simple at all. Instead, I am impressed by how on track the story remains. Cherry Blossoms After Winter is about two childhood friends falling in love, and the drama never deviates from that. It remains focused on Hae Bom and Tae Sung as they navigate these growing feelings between them while dealing with school, life, parental approval, and each other.
I love complex dramas heavy on the angst, but I also love when a drama reduces the angst to one plot, especially if it’s a short drama.
Tae Sung is one of the most committed characters I’ve seen cross the screen. No matter what the world, or even Hae Bom himself, threw at Tae Sung, he remained unshaken and faithful. He is a pillar of strength even when he’s jealous. Hae Bom, though appearing weaker, is just as strong. While he depends emotionally on those around him, especially Tae Sung’s mother’s approval, he still steps up when it’s vital to step up.
Most romantic dramas focus on the chase leading up to a couple finally getting together in the end. Less common is a drama that places viewers inside an ongoing relationship. Although we see what brings Tae Sung and Hae Bom together, we also see them navigate being a couple. And it is beautiful.
Cherry Blossoms After Winter is a romantic webtoon adaptation that comes full circle, taking us from the beginning of their story to the middle to the promise of a “death till us part” marriage. And it does it while maintaining an emotional depth that kept me riveted to the screen.
While I admit I am more into the kind of dramas that make me rage at the screen or cry for hours (I am a glutton for pain), it was nice to watch a relationship-focused drama that managed to keep me engrossed.
I felt everything Tae Sung and Hae Bom felt, especially their love for each other.
For a romantic drama that remains focused while also building a deep understanding and love between the two leads, Cherry Blossoms After Winter delivers. Check it out on Viki or WeTV.
Rating- 4 out of 5