Things begin with a close up of some sizzling prawns, the protagonist – the cute one- cooks up a delectable looking burger. For the next few minutes of the episode, I couldn’t think of anything but that prawn burger, good way to distract viewers. They then introduce the next protagonist – the ‘hot’ one – working out in the gym, and my brain is still processing the bread, tomatoes and prawns…. They show the cute one again, so the food image is further re-enforced. My food-reverie is finally broken by the annoying scream of young high-school girls, swooning over the entry of the ‘hot’ one, yelling “oh he is so handsome!”.

Directed by Yoon Joon Ho, ‘Cherry Blossoms After Winter’ tells the story of fluff-ball Hae Bom (Ok Jin Uk) and Tae Sung (Kang Hui), both of who are in high-school and live under the same roof. Tae Sung’s mother takes Hae Bom under her wings after his parents pass away. While the boys are close when they are small, they practically live as strangers under the same roof in their late teens. Tae is secretly in love with Hae Bom and thus keeps his distance, to keep his feelings under check.

I wasn’t a fan of the first few episodes, because the sweet little Hae Bom is bullied by some evil boys at school. I’ve mentioned this in some other reviews – Korea and Japan seem to have a serious bullying problem that needs tackling. Luckily, Tae Sung gets transferred to the same class, so he steps up and protect Hae Bom and the two rekindle their friendship. How the two tackle their growing affection for each other forms the rest of the series.

Thankfully, the second-half of the show has no bullying and instead focuses on the romance between the lead pair. Actors Kang Hui and Ok Jin Uk are absolutely adorable together and the plot gets incredibly fluffy, complete with all the cuteness that comes with first love. The story is pretty simple and doesn’t go beyond superficial explorations of the relationship. The makers use a lot of bright and soft tones that blend well with the romantic theme of the story. So you’ll see a lot of peachy-pink colors, making the sets look aesthetically pleasing.

The climax is surprisingly smooth, so after brief moments of conflict, the last episode is filled with mush, it’s like someone dunked double the amount of sugar in their beverage. Definitely check the series out if you are looking for a simple no-brainer romance with a good-looking cast.

It’s 7/10 from me.

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