Read Episode reviews for:
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 1-2
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 3-4
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 5-6
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 7-8
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 11-12
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 13-14
Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Episodes 15-16
Contains Spoilers for episodes 9-10
Chi-Soo has come to the end of his wits, regarding Eun-Bi. He can't stop thinking about her and even though he sees her every day at the ramyun shop, he's not satisfied. But since Chi-Soo doesn't understand human emotions (he aways has to ask his best friend "What is jealousy? What is compassion? What is pity?), he doesn't know that he's in love with or at least severely infatuated with Eun-Bi. For her part, Eun-Bi finally realizes that she's in the middle of a love triangle and it dawns on her that Chi-Soo and Kang-Hyuk both like her, but she doesn't know how she feels about them at all.
Chi-Soo and Kang-Hyuk are having some epic verbal showdowns, but they don't do it when Eun-Bi is around. The tension continues unrelieved until Kang-Hyuk asks Eun-Bi for a date to the movies. But Chi-Soo is a bit of a stalker and can't help but follow them, so the triangle continues. Bwa-ha-ha.
Things I Loved:
1. New Perspectives. I really enjoy seeing scenes from the previous episode re-shown from different viewpoints. Now we know why Kang-Hyuk showed up out of nowhere and punched Chi-Soo in episode 8! This is a very clever filming technique, and it's really the only time when we get something akin to Kang-Hyuk's POV.
Does Not Get as Much Screentime as Chi-Soo
2. The wacky humor. At one point, I complained about the sort of slapstick comedy and cartoony humor that detracted from the seriousness of this show, but now I'm thankful for it. The audience would be either crying or biting their nails through the whole show if we didn't get these breaks to laugh. Bring on the absurdities!
This Guy's Hobby is Knitting. Even Funnier Than It Sounds.
3. At the hair salon, while Eun-Bi is feeling good about herself for connecting with Kang-Hyuk, 2NE1's song "I Am the Best" plays in the background.
"Naega chae chalaga!"
4. Finally, we get a kiss! After 10 episodes, it's ABOUT TIME. And literal bells ring, just like Eun-Bi was told they would back in episode 1.
1st Kiss Gets Bonus "Cool Points "for Being Beside a Motorcycle.
Complaints: 1. In Ep. 9 when you think the song-selecting plot device is going to bring some resolution to Chi-Soo/Eun-Bi...it doesn't! Argh! Foiled again.
The power of music: Chi-Soo remembers how Eun-Bi said that a certain song was basically the "our song" for her and Jaeho, so he tries to find the song. Chi-Soo's dad frequently listens to a song that was his "our song" with Chi-Soo's mother. Aww! Chi-Soo's dad deepens the concept by saying that the person you love always has music associated with them. Chi-Soo embraces this information as evidence that he does not love Eun-Bi because he doesn't have a song that reminds him of her.
Almost-magic: This is not a paranormal show, but there is the occasional sort-of supernatural element, like when the woman in episode one gave a prediction about bells ringing when Eun-Bi kisses her one true love. In Ep 9, we see more of this type of magic when Chi-Soo employs an iPod app that selects random songs, but the songs actually match his feelings for whichever person he's looking at. Chi-Soo uses the magical iPod app to determine his feelings for Eun-Bi, but this time, it's not 100% accurate.
Incorrect names: Kang-Hyuk has now called Cha Chi-Soo by the surnames Kim, Park, Jung, and Lee. Choi and Kwan are probably next.
Mirrored scenes: So very many. In Ep. 9, Kang-Hyuk emerges from a shop while drinking from a giant carton of milk with a straw, which is reminiscent of his first appearance in episode 3, when he gets a similarly jumbo sized drink.
Kang-Hyuk and Chi-Soo walk into the same music store to request a CD, hum the same song, and then offer similar compliments to the unhelpful music store clerk.
Chi-Soo gets a bloody lip from Kang-Hyuk's punch, which matches the bloody lip Kang-Hyuk had from Chi-Soo's punch, back around episode 5.
Eun-Bi has to ask Kang-Hyuk how old he is and he replies that he was born in the year of the Rooster. Eun-Bi has flashbacks to when she assumed Chi-Soo was older based on his zodiac year, but it turns out that although Chi-Soo and Kang-Hyuk were born in the same type of year, they are 12 years apart: Chi-Soo is 19 while Kang-Hyuk is 31.
Chicken feet: Eun-Bi chows down on barbecued chicken feet like they're steak, while Chi-Soo, spoiled rich boy that he is, looks on in abject horror and says that this is not a part of the chicken that should be eaten.
New words: "Gasum" is "heart", and hearts are mentioned often. "Ddong" is "poop", and it is mentioned often as well. For some reason, this romantic series does not shy away from poop jokes. I think I hear Hyunwoo call Kang-Hyuk "sunsangnim" which is like "teacher" or instructor, but I don't get the connection, because he's Hyunwoo's boss, not his teacher. "Hajiman" is "but" or "however", a frequently used conjunction.
"Oppa" gets special attention again because So-Yi introduces Ba-Wool to another oppa of hers, but doesn't really make it clear whether she means a just-friends/older-brother oppa or an I'm-dating-this-person oppa. Ba-Wool assumes the latter, and is undoubtedly right. Later, Chi-Soo flies into a jealous rage when Eun-Bi describes Kang-Hyuk as her oppa, again, because the context is not clear and Chi-Soo guesses that she means the romantic oppa.
Despite Being Younger, I Thought /I/ Was Your Oppa?
Random words: Eun-Bi says her ramyun is "hot" in English, and she says "thank you" to Chi-Soo who replies "no problem". Ba-Wool says "recipe". Chi-Soo says he likes "Paris Hilton', but it turns out that he doesn't mean the socialite--he has named his car Paris Hilton. A kpop song says "be happy!"
Episode Evaluations: So many confounded expectations. So many dramatic declarations. Yay!