Is the sound of magic a musical?
Sure, but not as musical as the first episode suggests to viewers. There are fewer and fewer musical numbers as the series progresses, with the greatest number of musical numbers coming in the early episodes. Annarasumanarathe webtoon on which The sound of music is based on, is not a musical (because it is a webcomic); this element was added in the adaptation by Itaewon-class director Kim Seong-yoon. The series uses musical numbers as a way to access the interior of these reserved characters, as well as to describe what a childlike sense of wonder can look like to audiences perhaps unaccustomed to seeing characters burst into song. , the scenery coming to life around them. Bottom Line: Normalize TV shows having random musical numbers if and when it allows viewers to access the story, character, and theme in a productive and interesting way.
Who killed Seo Ha-yoon in The Sound of Magic?
One of The sound of magicThe less successful story elements are a plot to murder teenagers. Intended to raise the stakes over the community’s treatment of Ri-eul, allowing Ah-yi and Il-deung to come to her aid in various ways, it’s an unnecessarily gruesome addition to the world. Arguably, Ri-eul’s ostracism is unfortunately already articulated and exacerbated in other ways, including in the stigma surrounding mental illness.
That being said, we find out in the last episode that it was Ah-yi’s former boss, Kim Doo-sik, who killed Ha-yoon. Like Ah-yi, Ha-yoon took a part-time job at Doo-sik’s store. And, as he would later do with Ah-yi, he sexually assaulted Ha-yoon. Ha-yoon recorded everything and blackmailed Doo-sik for money. When Ha-yoon encountered Doo-sik at the seemingly abandoned theme park, he killed her.
What is the story of the Magician (Ji Chang-wook)?
In “The Last Performance”, Ah-yi and Il-deung meet Min Ji-soo, a woman who knew and loved Ri-eul (whose legal name is Ryu Min-hyuk) when they were in school together . From her, we learn that Ri-eul is 30 years old (but probably 28, “international age”, since Koreans use a different age counting system) and comes from a similar background to Il- deung. Like Il-deung, Ri-eul was born into a highly respected family; her parents were (and probably still are) well-respected teachers who were on a lot of television, according to Ri-eul’s friend. Her siblings have traditionally done well too, and Ri-eul has also always been top of her class in middle school and high school.
In a flashback narrated by Ji-soo, high school student Ri-eul is portrayed as odd and kind, as well as very focused on keeping up good grades to keep his parents happy. (This puts his mentorship of Il-deung in a more specific context.) Later in their high school career, Ri-eul becomes discouraged and depressed. He passes out in the hallway studying flashcards, and when he wakes up in the hospital, he won’t stop studying, even when Ji-soo begs him. “Maybe for Min-hyuk, that awesome wrapping paper [of being a brilliant boy from a family of prestigious professors] looked like an invisible prison,” Ji-soo muses. In the final flashback of Ji-soo’s story, we see Ri-eul fall from the top of the school building while searching for a butterfly that only he can see in what is coded as a suicide attempt. (Suicide has been the leading cause of death among young people in Korea since 2007.)
Ri-eul survives and continues to live with mental illness. We know from the police inspector that Ri-eul left a mental health facility. At some point, Ri-eul started learning and sharing magic. Following the theme park’s closure, Ri-eul found a home there. We don’t know what happens to Ri-eul after Ah-yi helps him escape the police. “You are a real magician,” she told him before he left. “Because you really made me believe in magic.”