So, this is what Heaven feels like!
That’s it! I’m done!
I am serious people, that is me this year! I don’t need anything else! I have found the IT for the year!
Remember how I gave away the award for Cutest Couple? Well, I lied!!
THIS, these two – Yi-oh and Joan, these two are the cutest since…since…the only other that comes close is the Shinmai Shimai (Yes, I know all about that! Just waiting to get my hands on the Blurays and we are a GO)!
My legendary Readers will know what I love most and what level of yuri I consider the best (with The Handmaiden being the only exception)! Well, this here is it! No kissing, no sex, no silver plate love confessions and no together happily ever after but by the gods, if this isn’t the most perfect gay thing I have witnessed this year!
To rejog the memory and to inform those that don’t know, I think that hand holding is better than sex scenes, I think that feeling something in the air is much better than couples kissing every other time and confessing love to each other and all that!
I just love that air of love that one can see and feel without being told so and diluted everywhere as if we don’t know that people are in love without them telling each other such and showering each other with kisses and making out every other night!
This, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what I am all about!
God, why did it take me so long to watch this?! Okay, I know the answer (I was searching hard for super high quality raws, which I did not find except for the first episode) but still, I should have watched this the moment one of my Readers recommended it to me since usually they know my tastes!
Where to even begin?
Let’s start with the specifics. Our girls are Yi-oh and Joan living in a dystopian future where surprise to no one, discrimination is dominant where the human race is broken into two classes; C and N and some variations of N. The C are the people who are essentially clean, having been vaccinated at birth to survive in the extreme conditions where they get to live a full human life, with life expectancy at 100 years.
Meanwhile the N classes are those that did not get vaccinated and thus are Not clean. One can not simply get a vaccine later on, because it is only effective within the first six months after birth so even if you are high class and miss it, even if you get it later, you are essentially fucked! Fucked as in your life expectancy is 30 years! But the Ns do have a chance to prolong their lives and that is by purchasing power suits that purify the air (they are basically like space suits). That suit can give you about 20 or less more years over 30. These are known as NCC, as if Not-Clean Clean (not a typo).
When we meet them we learn that Yi-oh (Joan calls her Io as in one of Jupiter’s moons and says whenever she calls her name she will think of Io. She loves Astronomy!) is a C but since she is wearing a power suit, something is amiss and we find out soon that it’s because when she was young, her vaccine was accidentally given to a different child, who by the way was not even supposed to get one! Yi-oh is played by Choi Sung-eun.
That means that Joan had to be the N, right? I mean, where would the drama be otherwise if our girls did not have different classes like that! Joan is played by Kim Bo-ra.
To the deep thinkers among my Readers, you might already be guessing but I am going to drop the shoe here (that’s the way we roll around here – if you are here you are in spoiler country) – What we think is going on is actually not what is going on! It turns out that Joan is actually a C while Yi-oh is the N (NCC to be exact) but that would be somewhat boring so they threw in the other shoe and gave Yi-oh cancer on top of already having found that she will barely live passed 30 anyway!
As you can imagine the story is already thick and tears are already booked with just that information but wait…there’s more! Remember how I said that Yi-oh’s vaccine was given to the wrong child? That’s right, that child was Joan but they did not stop there, those writers! Seriously, this whole series is a depressing marathon!
No, on top of that, Joan went on with her life without any of this knowledge! As far as she is concerned she won’t live passed 30! That is unacceptable already but hey, this is South Korea we are talking about here! On the other side of the coin, Yi-oh knows everything! We find out at the end that she has known before she even approached Joan!
Like, can you just imagine it!?! Living your life blissfully thinking you will live to 100 but then finding out while a quarter way through your life (more than 30 because she was wearing the power suit all her life) that you have been an N all this time! On top of that, you just got diagnosed with cancer, which is malignant (IE, an ant walking in front of a crowded Square has more chances than you surviving) but even on top of that you have been sitting right next to the person that took your vaccine all this time and you did not know it!
I have to say, I am surprised we even got the ending we got! It could have been a billion times worse!
But we are not here to talk about the plot! This is a no plot country! Here we talk about the gayness no matter the quality of said source! Now, to get that out of the way, this episode, nay, this whole series is perfection! There are eight episodes all standalone, meaning they aren’t connected, except they are all about the future, albeit different futures with different fates! The episodes that concern us and I will be covering are 1, 3 and 6! This is 3!
Back to the point at hand, I will again remind you all that I simply am a sucker for stories where the two characters we care about change each other’s lives! And I have to say, I think I have seen this story before, not the exact story of course but rather in the way that when the two characters meet, it turns out that they already have a history which of course always plays out differently towards the end!
Joan’s Galaxy (the title of the episode) is one such story as I have explained already! You see it goes like this – Once Yi-oh finds out who got her vaccine (which we learn is before the events of the episode), and as she explains to Joan, Yi-oh wants to find the person who got her vaccine and see what kind of person they are and what kind of life they are leading!
This is the basis of our story here and Yi-oh goes to Joan because she is the only N that she knows. Literally, the only one in their school, because like I said, they don’t live passed 30 and who wastes their precious life spending four years, which are probably your last, in school? But Joan does because she is that spontaneous! And so Yi-oh goes to her, confesses that she found out she is an N and wanted to know how Ns handled knowing their fate was so bleak!
But with all that being said and done, the first you watch the episode all you see is Yi-oh crushing hard on Joan! The girl was like primary school levels of whipped! She spent class time just sneaking glances at Joan, volunteered to be her partner in a project (something unconceivable) and all but stalked her on the streets! Like seriously!
And by the gods that scene in N-town when Yi-oh sees Joan for the first time at her home! If you have never shouted the words ‘hanyan’ or ‘cute’, your virginity is gone! Like, my goodness! It was like the textbook definition of smote! That moment when Yi-oh was caught spying by Joan…her reaction—priceless!
I tell ya all, I have watched this episode four times since yesterday! It’s that fuckin good! I put it on my phone to watch it just before bed because I did not want to think of anything else in my sleep and first thing I have watched today in preparation for this post!
Like, I seriously don’t even…
And that was not even in the top 2 moments! It is number three!
In 2 we got the song scene where Joan was basically sending her feeling to Yi-oh over the sound frequency! The song was heavy of course, being about family and thinking about the Ns and how the parents die before their children are even adults and shall never see their grandchildren (seriously, this shit is so depressing I am surprised they managed to overshadow the darkness) but the way Joan seemed to have eyes only for Yi-oh as if she was singing to her and the way Yi-oh received the message just clear!
If there is a moment where one really falls in love – this song scene is it!
What about No.1 then? Well, I am sorry all sex scenes I have ever seen in movies but you are nothing to me compared to the observatory scene! No, I’m not sorry, these are facts!
If I was a scientist, I could have discovered a new form of energy from just watching that scene! Seriously, who needs make out scenes with something like this!?!
What was the scene? Well, the two run into the observatory right after they leave No.2 to shelter from the rain but also because Joan wanted to show Yi-oh something – the stars! Remember, we are in a dystopian future where people have to wear space suits to survive (well, for a few more years) so you can surmise there is something very wrong with the atmosphere! There is, there are these dust particles that are basically like Silent Hill during the day, only without the visible ash but with microscopic dust! The look is the same though! Visibility is so bad international travel is no longer possible! As you can imagine, least of the problems is that the stars are no more! Probably Joan and Yi-oh’s generation have never even seen any with their own eyes!
So you can imagine that showing Yi-oh stars would have been such a great gift, no? But sadly even after the rain cleared, there were no stars to be seen even with such a powerful telescope! But while that plan failed, something else happens that puts seeing stars in the shade!
Joan suggests that they should do it then! Yi-oh is lost (and we all are too, totally thinking about something very inappropriate I am sure) but turns out that Joan just wanted them to practice their project – which was to make a presentation on the book – A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy. I don’t know the book nor of it is real and thus haven’t read it but anyway, apparently there is this scene where a man in Paris walks into a shop and asks to feel a woman’s pulse and she lets him.
Joan wants to re-enact that scene as she wonders what the two felt in that one minute in that moment in time that they met and never again!
Yeah, you can guess that what she found, what they both found, was definitely not what they expected!
But to fully enjoy this scene you have to have been closely paying attention up to this moment because the concept of ‘ physical touch’ is a rarity, especially with the Cs and most especially with Yi-oh, who spent her whole life in a suit and probably the only people she touched were her family! Joan too was in the same boat as like she tells us, the Ns don’t think of her as their own for some reason so she too is alien to that feeling of physical intimacy!
Knowing that, to them this scene, especially seeing as they have developed feelings for one another and are not strangers like the characters in the book, this scene is just earth-shattering when Joan goes to feel Yi-oh’s pulse and they touch, skin to skin, for the first time!
I was literally in heaven!
The emotions in that scene were just off of the charts! I had thought the song scene was heavy, that is nothing compared to this scene! The way we see the usually confident Joan be cautious, almost scared, definitely scared, as she went to feel for Yi-oh’s hand, and poor Yi-oh, I think she stopped breathing for a second there! And my god, the eye sex!
And then the just desserts, the finisher, the tio finale, that came when at the end, when everybody and their grand children wanted the two to kiss, thought they were going to kiss, Yi-oh said that she can finally see stars, she said that, while looking straight into Joan’s soul and then Joan confirming that yeah, she too can see stars! I nearly self-combusted!
It was all just too much!
From there on they became ‘touch’ lesbians, like, totally getting off on just simply touching each other!
As for the rankings 4 and 5, 4 would have to be the stairs scene where once again Yi-oh was acting like a young one in love the way she couldn’t stop staring at Joan’s exposed skin below her skirt as they went up the stairs, the girl was literally a young boy on those stairs! Even had the expected reaction upon thinking that she had been caught staring but Joan hadn’t noticed! (I mean, a girl wouldn’t do that, right? Right?)
No.5 is actually kind of before all these and that is their first date (kind of). I mean, the way they were all acting it was first date material! Yi-oh was all nervous having put on a dress for Lord knows since when and the way she stood there awaiting Joan’s reaction and take on her girly look! But she was not alone in this, as before her arrival Joan was no better off as she kept smoothing and checking herself over as well! Like, what kind of fan fiction is this!?!!
The director, Lee Yoon-jung, only has one movie under her belt and just this episode in TV with two short films as her rapporteur but I am in love with her OMG! She literally made this episode just for me! Maybe she is an avid Reader of this blog?
Hi Miss Lee, in case you are lurking here somewhere, from the deepest corners of my soul, I thank you for this present that you have gifted me with!
Seriously, I love this episode so goddamn much! And that all even with that ending! I have a feeling that they told her to change it because it was too hopeful because damn, for some reason I just can’t see the one we got being the true ending to this story!
How it ended, you ask? Well, Yi-oh left Joan without even saying anything. But to her credit she did not she would survive the surgery that she left to undergo and even if she did how long it would take her to recover! She did not want to put a stop to Joan’s ambitious life that Yi-oh was so taken with in the first place! If Joan knew of Yi-oh’s conditions, she would definitely have changed the way she looked at life and Yi-oh did not want Joan to change!
Also the fact that she did not tell Joan the truth about her being immune and thus will actually live longer than she thought, that was already brought up between the two while they were still looking for the fake child that got Yi-oh’s vaccine and they had come to the conclusion that it was better if the person did not know so Yi-oh did not tell Joan!
But I think it is safe to say that Joan will find out when she is still alive after graduating from college and then she will figure it out, given how bright she is! And even as Yi-oh survived the procedure, even if she would have to be on medication the rest of her life, she still only had the life expectancy of an NCC because like I said, she did not get the vaccine! So again I guess we can look at it as her not wanting to put that pain on Joan down the road!
But of course that did not mean there was no pain! The two were obviously in pain when they separated. A year later and Yi-oh is still somberly watching Joan’s brilliant progress and how can we forget about the presentation scene where Joan could not finish it because she was just so broken when Yi-oh did not show up! First time we see her cry!
I am sure that once Joan finds out she will go looking for Yi-oh and since Yi-oh’s family is famous, she won’t have to look for long, given that she even knows where her parents work! I mean, she works for the biggest company in the world so I am sure Joan will have a lot of ease finding any person she wants!
Gid, what an episode! What a series! It probably should be a very depressing feeling I am feeling after the fact but unlike the other two (and the rest) episodes I will talk about, this one just left me on the moon! Sure the ending is bittersweet but damn, if there are blu-rays, I am buying the whole damn thing just for this episode!
Go watch it on Dramacool OR Get it below…