Contains spoilers for the whole drama and detailed spoilers of the ending!
Extraordinary You was one of the most talked-about dramas on MDL this year. Users, both on the feed and on the drama page, shared their theories, thoughts, opinions and ideas about how the drama will end. Most wished for a happy ending for our beloved characters and, on the superficial level, we’ve got that. Haru and Dan Oh met again and can be together. But is it that simple? Let me explain the true depth and tragedy of the ending presented to us.
„Then if the story ends like this, what happens to us?”
„We fall into a deep sleep… until the writer draws us again.”
„What if the writer never draws us again? Then this world may be the last one for Dan Oh and me”
„If you make a big impression on the writer or if it’s easy for the writer to draw you, then there will be higher chance that you’ll be drawn again”
Haru and Dried Squid Fairy (Episode 15)
As the graduation happened and the last page was flipped, we were moved to the new manhwa that takes place in the university setting. At first, everything looks perfectly fine: characters from the previous book being friends with each other, Dan Oh attending classes and right at the end meeting Haru. One could say it’s the perfect, happy ending. And yet, something was missing… or rather someone.
Kyung, his adorable brother Joon Hyeon, Dohwa, Dried Squid Fairy and Juda. With a writer’s choice of not including them in his newest story, we as viewers had to say goodbye to the loved characters. The writer’s decision means both Dan Oh and Haru lost people that were the closest to them. Even friends like Sae Mi, not being self-aware, are nothing but strangers to our main characters. With every new manhwa they might lose people they love, treasure and want to protect. They might be forced to watch them suffer and not be able to do anything against the fate forced on them by the author. Dan Oh and Haru might have found each other, but they lost many precious people too.
LIVING AS A PUPPET
„When you die in the shadow, you’re no longer aware of yourself”
„Then you’ll lose all your precious memories, It’d be too sad… to live as you’re told to”
Kyung and his brother (Episode 14)
It is true that both Dan Oh and Haru got to be self-aware in the new manhwa. It’s also the truth that they are still just characters in a book. They will be stripped of their free will every time the „stage” happens. The other characters’ fate is even worse. They are just puppets in the hands of the writer. Not only did they lose all the memories of their previous life, connection to the people they loved and cared about – they also lost themselves. At the end of the last episode, we see that many characters’ personalities are nothing like the ones they had in „Secret”. They are yet again, nothing more, nothing less than the pawns that can be changed/shaped/moved the way the writer wants.
When this new manhwa ends, all the characters, including Dan Oh and Haru, will be drawn with a new set up and personalities or not drawn at all. Our main couple cannot be sure they will be able to remember each other in the new projects, since with every new story their memories, consciousness and characteristics are taken away. The fear of one day waking up without self-consciousness will be always present.
THE UNKNOWN FUTURE
|„The writer created this world and you guys are just two of the countless extras. There are neither answers nor meanings. The writer will get rid of any extras who will interfere with the story.”
Dried Squid Fairy (Episode 6)
With the end of the “Secret” manhwa, all the characters became tabula rasa that the writer can shape to fit the new story. We know that the author is not the most creative and innovative one with how he reuses characters and builds the stories on the most stereotypical traits and cliches.
From the snippets of the scenes of the new story we can assume that the extras from the previous project are the main characters in the new manhwa and Nam Joo took the role that Juda was playing in the „Secret”: the outsider who gets dragged into the story by another main character. We also see Dan Oh close her locker and her name is not written on it. All of that would lead to the conclusion that Dan Oh and Haru are just nameless extras that have no purpose in the progression of the story – they are easy to become redundant.
Taking into consideration that both of them are not essential to the story, the moment they try to step out of line, there will be nothing stopping the author from writing them off the story. This leads to the sad truth: the time they have together is limited and they don’t know how quickly it will pass. There is no way to predict if they will be drawn in the next project, so this might be their last story together.
As you can see, depending on your perspective, the ending could have tragic implication for Dan Oh and Haru’s future. The endless loop of losing yourself, being erased and fighting to get back your identity, while watching people you care about struggle with at times painful setting the writer created for them. Always wondering if this scene is not your last, if it’s is not the last scene of the person you love; If you will be able to see them again after the page turns.
That said, to end this article on a more optimistic note, I’d like to quote Dan Oh’s professor at the end of the last episode, which gives us hope and strength. He explains that even tho the characters had no choice in being created, it’s up to them to find the meaning in their lives, even if it’s just in the shadow.
“Heidegger claims that our existence is thrown into time. When something or someone exists, it’s thrown into the world regardless of his or her will. (…) The world has been created regardless of one’s will. He’s claiming that depending on the relationship you make with the world, you can create your own meanings. We go on with our lives in this current world. As we love, suffer, and die, we’re living in the real world according to Heidegger. All of us are individuals that make up the world and exist in the world.”
How did you interpret the ending? Did you see it as more of a good or bad one? Share your thoughts in the comments section 🙂