Lunch Date with MaRu, EunGi and JaeHee for the last time

As the last scenes roll in,  I’m finishing up my coffee, by then quite cold.  I closed my laptop.  I love it.  I was eating lunch by myself but it’s like I’ve spent time with a friend leaving town, sending him/her off, for good.

It dawns on me, my experience watching NG elicits the feelings and my habits of reading a good manga.  I love NG, but there’s a safe distance between me and the drama, vis a vis manga reading when new volumes may take an indefinite wait, and I read the first few pages recollecting myself but in no time I’ll be totally immersed, entering into an imaginary world of the characters, foreign yet I’ve infested so much intimate time with and have delved so deep into their psyche that they are my kin. And I know them well, I’ve put in my side of the bargain fleshing them out of the pages of black and white in my mind.  With the medium of manga, there are many epic thoughts conveyed through a freeze frame, many spoken words are expressed in a bubble above the characters’ head, there is always a stoic artistry we can take our time and linger on a page, a frame.  With Nice Guy, many shots are succinctly framed,  with characters talking and thinking in their bubbles, leaving blanks for us to fill in, where we’re equipped by writer with the history and knowledge of the characters as we go.

There are twists not exactly I panned (I still would prefer it darker as much as I love the ending), but as it happens, I’m fine with what transpired.  I fussed a little over minor points here and there like how did a grown-ass baddie guarddog type got manhandled by a twig that is EunGi.

And how MaRu can totally not see EG, the only one not strolling, even if it’s her back:


She is an inch from all the happening of a stabbing, a perfusing wound…and not batting an eyelash.  There are a lot of those warts and a few loose ends dangling but I love what writer puts a priority on and the choices she made to leave out  less important threads behind because it happens to align with my sentiments.  I don’t care much about EG’s mom (and her dad and the company’s machination for that matter) and who did what past conniving deeds.  The dead is dead, baddies had done bad things, damage is done and lets focus on the now.

Do I wish there is more JH, yes and no.  Her story is complete.  One of the things I love about NG is the refrain in writing.  The characters r clearly constructed, at times too confining, the story as well, even if it’s not hole-proof.  But the sum is greater than its part and I appreciate the work and the thought behind.   JH is not an innocent, she was deprived, clawing through mud to survive and she is filthier than shit in her own eyes, craving all things material and superficial in her security umbrella to hide under.  But she is not born a lady Macbeth, her moral compass is always wavering just rarely pausing at right.  There is a spark in her vulnerability there to do the right thing, to start anew, but once you’ve dribbled in what you desire and grappled onto materialistic fantasies way above ur station, diamonds, designer clothes, mansions and boardrooms and use those as visual, physical tit for tat for the void in your heart, your hands meddled in blood too many times  no simple discarding and washing can take out the stench.  After all the shortcuts she’s taken in life, when she’s not given any growing up in a gutter, it’s mighty hard to take the long-winding path full of falling boulders, esp when there are always men, plenty of them with shoulders to lean on, wrist-grabs to rescue her at the crossroads.  This time she’s decidedly alone, and she’s going to still make a last swindle, to get the best profit out of the barter, all her life’s luxuries for MaRu’s love (worthy) and her conscience (not worth much to her).  She had not learn her bartering ropes going beneath what she can profit out of.  And it must hit her how in his ways he’s loving her as a caring friend, just being there stubbornly nagging, holding her straight, reminding her by stripping all the years of facade built-up, there is still his noona underneath. PSY is AMAZING.  Totally a class act.   Yang Ik Joon (I have to wiki the actor/writer/director/editor) he is the biggest surprise of all the good acting around.  He has few scenes in between but he manages to steal EVERY freakeN second of them.  I can watch a very weird dysfunctional family daily of these two.

He’s never lost all hope of her, when she had.  Yes, Noona. Noona, noona.  Noona.  MaRu calls her.  And when it’s out of genuine care and concern, it sticks, it festers.  Just that little shove (and most glorious, my vote for best acting scene in 20 w/ her Bigbro), ignites what she thought is a hope snuffed forever.  A career criminal, a hitman for hire, her scumbag of a brother who must’ve sold her off multiple times for tricks, her blood and kin, has a beating heart and an unyielding conscience way underneath it all.  She must have one, too.  She can feel her heart wincing in pain and her face wet from tears, finally, when MR and his happiness is about to dissipate, for real and for good.  It’s her one last chance and she knows it.  All along the prize has been about what she can get, her conscience, MaRu the trophy of her innocence.  Now unlike the ignorant desperate woman she was 7 years ago, she recognizes fully and painfully how much MaRu means to her.  He alone can make a tiny wire-thin ring of plated gold worth more than carats of flawless diamonds.  This time at the familiar crossroad, there’s no MaRu promising her anything, none of the men, she’s decided to rescue herself instead, standing on her own feet.  It warms the cockles of my heart.

And excuse us, the silly shoujo fiend in me is lapping it up like CANDY.   ME GUSTA!  It has all my kinks:

I LOVE where they can spot each other across 10 lanes of traffic. And LKH surprisingly giving me the exact Kdrama sappy playbook of lover’s reconciliation *I truly was biting my nails off thinking they’ll be failed frogger frogs*  Smoldering their eye sockets out waiting for the fateful green light, and meeting at half point. And Hugging.  Give it all to me.  The color-coord. CP outfit helps.  I LOVE CP outfits with the matchy color scheme of the rotten autumn leaves in the scenery!!

And to top the angst cherrycake off, EG grabbing a kiss.  There u go, gf.  It is a tiny frustration that writer has to hammer in MR and EG r so much alike in character, how they will both use their heads before their loins, why is the need to ask ANY question, let alone I dun get why that Q is so freaken important like an ‘Am I fat?’one, and there lies the frigidity of their romance, plus the word they scream most to themselves is obviously REVENGE! And now because of the Terminal Illness, all is forgotten.  But y, EG, you’ve never feared his life in any danger messing around JH and Ahn?!*Not that I don’t enjoy the frustrating angst btw, it was as close to UST we’re ever getting*

*If it’s up to me, it can ALWAYS be MUCH more urgent and angrier and hotter and more grabbing and biting and getting hands inside that grandma crochetty thing even if it’s in the middle of traffic and there is bleeding going on, because she should be the hand that’s stopping the bleeding and it’ll lead to bandaging and nikkid SJK and makeup/last nite on earth sex* *I kid. Not really.  But I do hate it more for character-kipnapping for sake of fanservice at the 11th hour.  They r both blockheads in romance dept.  Stay that way.* *But then where is the logic behind EG leaving him instead of boyfriendsitting him back to hospital and stay the night holding hands and whatnots?!?!*

btw I enjoyed this line too much in 19:

The end scene is GORGEOUS.  I like the amnesia, a clean slate, nth we are not expecting as a plausible ending, even though it’ll be more befitting a shoujo manga than a LKH drama (but come to think of it the first thing coming to my mind hearing ‘MaRu’ is a sweet soft round ball of marshmallow, just like the texture I imagine of SJK’s face. Writer must be hinting on sth fluffy and sweet ) I’ll be the last to be bothered though.  I don’t see it as perfectly happy ending per se.   It’s a re-start.  I doubt MR’s amnesia is entirely reversed (where is Choko and fam in his orbit 7 yrs later?)  and I prefer never regained,  some hatchets are better left buried.   It is intensely romantic and staying true to writer’s notion even when all’s gone: memory, lives, castles crumbling down……love is too precious and impossible to be forsaken.   But who knows how compatible they are in a simple love affair like us normal folks.  Those little touches of their new budding romance is SHOUJO HAVEN, even if it is another beast fr the hours and minutes prior.   I can read ALL the fanfics/fanmangas dedicated to this:

EG sets up shop, the exact aroma of the coffee they used to drink permeates.   ‘Come with me.  Run away with me.’  Yes.  And Yes.

She is a terrible baker, she can’t cook and loves the way she is.  He’s the one who made breakfasts and handed her cookies and warm milk…and coffee.  Rain or shine he drops by, her only loyal customer eating her stale pastries for reasons unbeknownst to him.  She still uses the camera, everyday, 7 years, keeping memento in his mind’s place.  She eavesdrops his office visits.  Through the door, his voice chimes ‘I’m well.’ ‘Have you eaten?’ ‘I love you’ to her ears.

He can’t remember, except the cool salty sea breeze brings him raw foreign feelings, unfamiliar warmth mixed with frigidness, and sometimes a tear out of nowhere, somewhere.  He likes it, even though he can’t recall, his life prior lingered.  He doesn’t know why he forms a habit of the bland coffee and the lousy cookies, and why the oranges and bright yellows, purples and pinks decorating the walls of her shop reminds him of home, the color of his home he’s forgotten.  The bumping into her, the Stalkerlady who snaps mundane shots of him , is now a new comforting routine.  There’s nothing to think much into, drawing blanks.  He prays, another old comforting taciturn habit and he wonders what his old self prayed for.

This, the same prayer.  Her same prayer.

[credit:  All pics and gifs fr tumblr. THANKS OP]

12 thoughts on “Lunch Date with MaRu, EunGi and JaeHee for the last time

  1. as much as i didn’t like the scrunched up writing in ep 20 of NG, i appreciate the JH’s character arc (still need to find time to mull over EG and MR and Ahn)

    by the way… that was ONE BEAUTIFUL fanfic quote

    time DANGIT!! TIME!! the writer needed time to flesh it out~~ T-T

    i actually loved the Eg manhandling guardman…. it was super unexpected, and more a wit thing that a brute thing… ahhh so EG… so SO refreshing

    the last scenes were poetic, and everything MR and we could dream for– their happy ending, MR being where his passion lies– doctor but it just felt… so… disconnected/disjointed from where we left off… amnesia or no amnesia… it felt unreal… like faux-incarnation just cuz she knew we’d kill her if she killed them off or something… it seriously took me a while to go like yes, she intends that to be reality… not a dream/inception thingamajig

    anywho mookie~ i love your ending thoughts

    1. Oh thank you for your sweet comment! 🙂 BTW: that was just me doodling words on a napkin while watching the end scene, not really a quote of any kind, almost straight verbatim of what’s hitting me as it goes.

      I have never thought writer LKH will kill MR off, never for a moment, not when it’s dangling and spoken out many times last few eps. That will be dullest most predictable thing to do and it won’t resonate a cadence to anything, he could’ve been dead in the accident and all the other characters will still pretty much ended up somewhat the same. I would personally prefer sth darker even for EG and MR, I don’t really care for the PPL in the CP ring, I’d rather MR not reciprocating and conjure up a pure friendship his end with EG. But then this ending is like a whole new epilogue of shoujo manga LKH wanna starts on, and my brain is wired to never gonna protest such marvelous cottoncandy fluff! XD Esp when I think how much less frustrating this is than them stewing in never-ending penance mostly of self-inflicted suffering which MR and to a lesser extent EG and JoonHa has been doing most of the drama already and now adding on JaeHee and Ahn as well. I can’t see them not just commit mass suicides. I’m fine with a big curveball in life: MR lucking out of his almost certain death, the most unlucky guy is making his biggest gamble and his life is on the line and all he has as chips is the lofty notion of love, of someone to live for, as the utmost trigger snapping EG and JH out of the misery, and convincingly starting over as functioning responsible adults. I don’t care for Ahn much as a character, he’s a cipher, the guy all the bad deeds have his prints on, nth more to me and to JH. I quite like the little exchange btn JoonHa stopping JH to start another tryst with Ahn out of pity and indebtment, not with someone looking like he’s still not at peace. Do I wish for a bigger fallout for him or even JH. Yes. But I’d rather have the fluffy albeit a bit rushed ending. Ha.

      I appreciate how LKH is sticking firmly on her character’s construct all along. At times we all are screaming for them to step out of the misery and just give themselves a break and be normal…but they r not me or you. So in a sense it distance the characters from us, but from an appreciative standpoint, her characters have been consistent in their confines.

  2. haha ionno… maybe i’m just that picky… CYHMH was one of those rare gems where they developed a really messed up character (or maybe 2 if you count the mom) and worked very well in bringing us along in the process of how they worked out their messed up baggages so that they can be functional adults. that’s why I wanted an extension for NG… i don’t mind Maru finally getting good in his life and be able to put things down, or EG letting go of all those expectations she had to stake her life on… I was fine with the treatment of JH and Ahn going to jail and through that emerge for the better

    I think what I’m greedy for is the journey they had to take to become functional… we went on the journey with them from making their mistakes to finding themselves entangled and suffering for to consequences, to realization of what their mistakes were… I’m greedy for completion… to see through as well their journey to healing and reconciliation =P i loved the characters even though the ways that they can be stubborn sometimes are stretching it a bit… their basic desires/motives are real to me… so it hits me hard to be deprived of continuing their journey with them

    two words: i’m greedy XP i don’t like how having only one episode left made the writer have to twist and stick together stuff in such a jarring way to bring us to the concluding scenes XP

    1. One of these days, I’ll watch CYHMH, I need to see it for myself. My gut is telling me it’s not my cup of tea, but I’m always up for pleasant surprises! NG is much better than I expected tbh.

      You know what, now that I have a day of mauling over the ending, and it did take me a moment to collect myself to conclude I love the ending as is right away when I was burping the post, I think by deduction, MR has been wanting , wishing begging to end his misery and die with the side of bringing JH down with him. His eyes have been empty void globes for more than half a drama, but when I look at the gifs of the climatic scene when they r waiting for the light to meet in the middle of the street, SJK’s eyes r full of verve, it’s sparkling with a drive to live, to make it. It’s quite meta when he’s yelling at JH prior to this Why should he die? What had he done to deserve death?! Nth really. And to kill him off right when his beaten down hopeless character JUST sparked a hope is just silly. That’s why I love it more, because I can’t see it any other way. True, we can have another filler ep to see it with our eyes what’s transpired, but then we do get all the bits adequately and I, for one, will think it’ll drag down the impact if we spend more time in btn the 7 year gap.

      And with MrX pointing out about the subtly different opening credit for 20 than the rest of the episodes, it’s soooo brilliant a touch and just those few seconds, fill in the missing puzzle that the ep is a work of brilliant premeditated design and no way a last minute PPL galore fanservice.

      At the end of it, I’ve never felt as sentimental, full of warm fuzzies and a blob of shoujo goo a day after finishing a LKH drama. It really is impactful a work illustrating how a wonder love is, both in destruction and as an elixir for revival, a source of powerful healing,even turning back time, and granting second chances.

      1. CYHMH isn’t as quiet as nice guy in terms of makjang elements, esp for the first few episodes. In terms of character development, It’s mainly focused on one character, his discontent with simplicity and the long wandering that he went through because of it… kinda like the prodigal’s son? And the persistent love and patience that his “family” gave while waiting for his return… Ionno if that stuff would b your cup of tea but it was a very satisfying tale for me… Even though u wonder sometimes if people that nice exist…. But that’s no matter… They’re just foils to a VERY human character… To show us that very often we just need is lots of love, patience, and a second chance =D

        1. It sounds lovely esp the ‘family’ drama aspects. I’ll see if any of the acting does anything for me. 🙂 I’ve witnessed a lot of flailing from drama friends, and I’m not one missing any spazzing party.

          1. =D
            there are some gorgeous acting going around in this drama… especially from the titular “prodigal son”. Funny thing is, the “main” OTP doesn’t include this “prodigal son” and their acting is… passable, not terrible. But their relationship and dynamics are awesome, considering who they both mean to the “prodigal son” and try so hard to bring him back =P

  3. Awww chinggu, your writing always make me go o_0 U(I#)+_#(+_#(#_ speechless, you make everything so poetically lovely, love it!

    As much as I preferred to have drama end there at 50th mark (I truly am a sadist), an afterthought sunk in with MR’s amnesia. I thought it made OK sense with everything going back to MR’s purest and most innocent, with him starting anew, a clean slate. But then I had to entertain the thought (with many people speculating and concluding) that Maru had in fact never forgotten about EG at all (last scene hinted that many said) and that he’d tricked her for all that 7 years o_0 imagine that!

    Overall NG’s a good watch, I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite of LKH’s, but one of the better written and handled melodramas in years. ;D

    1. Aiya…. this is nth but embarrassing fangirly spazzingI

      I wasn’t expecting the ending because my opinion of LKH is what c netizens lovingly call them lot : the EbilStepmother type. They r wicked and will kill off the hero. LKH loves to kill them off the more she loves them, her writing them off is some noble act of redemption. So seriously I WAS biting my nails looking out for trucks instead of staring at them hugging and kissing.

      I know the intent is MaRu remembers, probably all along but I’m sticking with what get across to me when I’m watching it and I prefer him not intentionally putting up an act till the ring moment. When I’m watching it I totally see some hesitation on MaRu’s face and just a slight smile, when I can’t imagine what a relief and ecstatic moment it must be to keep it to himself for 7 years with her within hand’s reach. It is rubbing me the wrong way if he’s keeping her in the dark all along just because of some silly principle of making sure they can start anew or almost like observing her and putting her through unnecessary testing. On EG’s face though there is no buts or ifs, I can see all the bubbling overwhelming shocking emotions of ‘YOU REMEMBER!!!’ It doesn’t matter to her if he rems all along but that moment at least she and their past meant sth to him, he has some recollection knowing the rings mean sth, btn just the 2 of them (does she know about the rings prior? coz MR didn’t give it to her right?!) and I love her very slight tilt looking up to the sky, like sending a lil prayer of ‘Thank you~!’ to the makers. I won’t regard it as a ‘second’ life if it’s just mostly an act on his part and thought it’s much more romantic for him to truly forget everything but memories still creep up bits by bits till the bench. I don’t mind the very next scene be he got flashbacks of everything or sth, they are both masterfully experienced to deal with the exact reciprocated aftermath.

  4. I am with Ripgal on this one, the emotional, bitterness addicted masochist in me wanted the 50th mark ending. The actual ending was all sorts of cute though and I think I might actually love the fanfic version more than what LKH had in mind with Maru not being amnesiac and actually just teasing Eun Gi.

    Also, completely agree with this – “but there’s a safe distance between me and the drama, vis a vis manga reading when new volumes may take an indefinite wait”
    It’s cool when a rare manga comes by that completely obliterates that safe distance. Hasn’t happened to me in year though.

    Going back to Nice Guy…Yeah, it was totally safe until that moment when Maru lying down on the road explaining how he just prayed for a chance to meet Eun Gi in another life. It is so bittersweet and painful and real…but also very shortlived.

    Anyway, loved reading your thoughts on this as well ^^ Also, noticing a bit of change in design 🙂 How are you liking wordpress so far?

    1. After 19, I gave a good thought over what ending I want vs what I prefer vs what LKH usu serves us and thought killing OTP off will actually do the least for me. it really does make sense with all the play with themes of Memory, Amnesia, Second Chance, Redemption so forth and the emotional impact is nil when MR has been talking out loud his death wish most of drama. So I like the ending because I can’t think of one better logically actually, not because it’s cute and sweet. I’m stubborn as well to prefer things darker than LKH’s design. And things are too neat with JH and Ahn, I was anticipating Ahn getting run over by a truck that scene in the middle of traffic. Yes, it’s much less ‘Surprise!’ if ending at 50min mark but that whole sequence should be better written out anyway with all the ridiculousness prior. It’ll be much more forgettable for me if MR just dies off then.

      I like WordPress so far! ^^ It handles my major jab at lj with the spam and p)rn stuff, it’s now all in one neat folder for deletion, instead of meddling with the ham! There’s a lot of layouts and widgets to play with and I’m still so hopeless a newb 😛

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