Magic, as a concept, is fascinating. It offers infinite possibilities with an escape into a less-traveled world. And who doesn’t need a getaway from their monotonous schedule?
The latest South Korean drama, The Sound of Magic, offers you a fictional respite into a dreamland, given that you believe in magic. Though the show began streaming on Netflix on May 6, its long length kept me at bay from finishing it in the first three days. So, apologies for that.
The Sound of Magic Review Summary
Full of adorable moments, teenage plights, and, obviously, magic, The Sound of Magic is just about a satisfactory watch on Netflix. When the entire focus of most films is on lavish, modern-day issues, this show finds home in the more significant problems of poverty and the freedom to dream.
However, there is a decent scope to criticize The Sound of Magic in some areas. Keep reading my review to get a deeper insight into how it fares against other aspects.
Also Read: Best Scenes from The Sound of Magic: PART 1
The Sound of Magic Synopsis
Streaming on Netflix, The Sound of Magic is created by Kim Sung-youn and Kim Min-jeong. It stars Ji-Chang-wook (Ri-eul), Choi Sung-eun (Yoon Ah-yi), Hwang In-youp (Na Il-deung), and Chi Hae-won (Baek Ha-na), among others.
When Yoon Ah-yi faces uncertain circumstances while raising her younger sister alone, she finds help in Ri-eul, who appears to be a magician. However, the mystery surrounding his existence brings uncountable troubles for Yoon Ah-yi.
What works for The Sound of Magic?
There’s a lot to like about this heartfelt K-drama. Please keep reading to explore the same.
The Sound of Magic has some defining music at its core. Though all of them were in Korean, which I don’t understand, they felt soothing to the ears. Because the show’s plot is rather dramatic than fantasized, it was quintessential to have melodies.
Why does the series stand out in terms of music? Well, The Sound of Magic takes a lot of creative liberty to reach the desired goal. There are scenes when you are traveling in a wholly different world. The makers had to complement the superficial surroundings with rhythmic music to ensure the flow remained intact.
Moreover, music is also used in the series to elevate emotional scenes, which, in my view, was not entirely a great idea. The stretched length of the series also works as a hurdle for the songs. Non-Korean audiences would instead want to skip some of them to save time.
But I must make it very clear that Korean vocals were soulful to the senses.
The entire cast is dead prolific in The Sound of Magic. It is effervescently led by Choi Sung-eun, who plays Yoon Ah-yi. She is sweet, calm, and innocent in performing the given character. Her expressions tell a story no word can ever. Moreover, the way she presents naivety is pure gold. Choi beautifully wears a teenage character by honing personality traits naturally.
The magician, played by the stylish Ji-chang-wook, is the magnet that keeps the audience hooked. Ju-chang has a unique personality with a decent amount of splendor and restraint to pull the viewers. Every time he utters, ‘do you believe in magic’ the actor adds an element of surprise to his vocals and expressions.
Hwang In-youp and Chi Hae-won prosper in their respective characters. While the former showcases his finesse even through stone-faced expressions, the latter excellently uses traditional acting methods to bring forth a not-so-lovable character.
My initial impression of The Sound of Magic was that it was a series based on stylish magicians pitted against each other. Obviously, I was wrong. The ideation of the show is mind-blowing. By presenting the monetary struggle of a teen, the makers ensure an emotional connection with the audience.
On the other hand, they drop in the scheme of things a magician who is handsome, mysterious, and prolific with his art. It arouses the curiosity of the viewer to follow the story closely. In the third narrative, the makers put the personal dreams of a studious teenager against those of their parents.
Combined, they make the show compelling and ensure continuous watching despite the duration.
The entire show is high on visual appeal, and the credit for the same goes to their VFX team and cinematographers. They work in tandem so that The Sound of Magic comes out as an extravaganza. When the plot of a story loops around ostensible things, it is imperative to make the audience believe in what is going on on the screen.
Unless you have the viewer’s attention and trust, all your efforts will go in vain. The Sound of Magic has some beautifully captured sequences that go a long way in leaving a lasting impact.
Recently, there have been many shows and movies based on teenage life, from Heartstopper and The 7 Lives of Lea to Along for The Ride. All have had their own way of exhibiting teen problems. The Sound of Magic explores a rather unpopular aspect in today’s times.
It allows poverty to remain at the center stage without taking away the primary focus from Magic. I particularly loved how they created a captivating plot out of simple-looking school life. There are elements of love, distrust, betrayal, jealousy, etc., that work well for the story.
What doesn’t work for The Sound of Magic?
Many people might call the show brilliant, and some would even go to the extent of addressing it as a masterpiece. However, in my opinion, that would be a bit too much. Read on my The Sound of Magic review to know what doesn’t work for this Korean drama.
Lazy Writing in the End
The way The Sound of Magic sets itself up in the initial episodes gives you a feeling of a grand climax coming soon. However, it is let down by lazy writing towards the end. I was waiting with bated breath for something beyond my imagination, but that didn’t happen.
A show with so much glory needed a thunderous end or, at least, a more thrilling conclusion.
It is too long to binge-watch in a day or two. Though there are only six episodes, they are over an hour’s length. The pace of the show doesn’t help either. Moreover, there are way too many songs.
I am not saying songs shouldn’t have been there. But 30-40 minutes could have been utilized better had they curtailed the length of the melodies.
The pace is also on the lower side, especially when the audience lacks patience. Some of the scenes take too much time to conclude. When the police come into the picture for an investigation, you finally think there will be an improvement. But that doesn’t happen either.
As strange as it might sound, the magician in the show keeps asking repeatedly, ‘do you believe in magic?’ After all, magic is all about belief and hope. That’s why I say watch The Sound of Magic only if you believe in Magic.
*The following section might contain spoilers*
Was Ri-eul a real magician?
Yes, he was a real magician who was pretty good at his art. What does a magician do? He performs tricks to leave the audience in splits. That’s what Ri-eul did. However, if you think he had unreal powers, you might be wrong.
Ri-eul had no powers beyond reality, which is why the man he got rid of at the bridge came back towards the show’s end and told the police how the magician had pushed him.
Why the magician (Ri-eul) in The Sound of Magic keeps asking, ‘do you believe in magic?’
What is magic? Nothing but a result of hope and belief. Unless you believe in anything, it won’t affect you. Ri-eul was fully aware of this fact. He played with the mind of people by making them believe in his tricks.
Where did Ri-eul disappear at the end?
The disappearance of Ri-eul is of immense curiosity for the viewers. He vanished twice in the end, once at the police station and then at the amusement park. In my opinion, it was nothing but creative liberty that the makers took to send the viewers into disbelief.
It is unclear where Ri-eul goes after he fades from the amusement park. However, I believe he was still there and would make a comeback at a later time.
Will there be a second season of The Sound of Magic?
There’s no official announcement yet, but I feel there can be another season because most of the strings are wide open. The makers can explore the careers of the teenagers in the second season, specifically of Na Il-deung, who wants to be a magician.
Moreover, they can bring back Ri-eul for some real magic shows in a rebuilt amusement park.
What is the meaning of Annarasumanara?
According to most of the people, Annara sumanara is the Korean version of ‘abracadabra’. However, I think it can also mean ‘all is well’ because the magician asks the girl to say those words when she is worried or troubled. It is just like how Aamir Khan says in 3 Idiots, ‘all is well’.
Moreover, Annarasumanara is also the name of a Korean webtoon on which The Sound of Magic is apparently based.