See You in My 19th Life is a K-drama series that poses the question: Would you keep your memories from your past lives, every time you are reborn to start a new life? This series is based on a webtoon of the same name; has 12 episodes; was released 2023; and is a Netflix original series.
♦ A Runaway Gets a New Home
In the first episode of See You in My 19th Life, we meet Ban Ji-Eum as a child; an extremely talented child. They called her the Girl-of-All-Trades because she could do many things, including flamenco dancing. (In one of her lives, she was a flamenco dancer in Spain.) Her talents help her earn money, however, her father, who is a drunkard and a gambler, squanders all of her earnings.
One day she decided to run away from home? But where to? She’s only about 10 years old. Well! She’s young in this life, which is her 19th life. But a few lives before, she was someone’s uncle. She remembered that she had a young niece who should be all grown up by now. If she can find her and convince her that she is her “uncle” from another life, maybe her niece will take her in and raise her. The plan worked! She escaped that awful life with her worthless father and her niece who now owned a restaurant, provided her with a wonderful home.
♦ The Will to Finish What You Started
In her 18th life, Ban Ji-Eum was a young girl named Yoon Ju-Won. Ju-won’s life was tragically cut short because she was in a car accident. Her best friend and her first love, Mun Seo-Ha, was also in the accident. He survived but lost his hearing in one ear. Just before her death, she told him she would come back in another life. Ban Ji-Eum did not know if Mun Seo-Ha had survived the tragic accident, so she set out to find him. Ji-Eum drew upon the memories of Ju-won and recalled the house where Seo-Ha lived. When she got there she could see him clearly. It was a relief to see that he had survived.
Ban Ji-Eum believed that this time she had been reborn solely for the purpose of reuniting with Mun Seo-Ha. Of course, she could not approach him because he would not recognize her. Seo-Ha had physically grown up to be a handsome young man; but he was still heartbroken by the death of Ju-won. Ban Ji-Eum quietly followed him around, always observing him and making sure he was OK. She did this for the next 10 years. When she had grown up, she applied for a job at the company where Seo-H works as an executive director. She gets the job and from that point forward she intends to pursue the romantic relationship that had begun when she was Yoon Ju-Won.
♦ Questions That Need Answers
Ban Ji-Eum is determined to become Mun Seo-Ha’s soulmate. But her life (or lives) sort of cause complications and there are many questions that need answers.
Why Was Yoon Ju-Won’s life cut short? Ban Ji-Eum was reborn quickly after u-Won’s death. Usually that only happens if the person was murdered. So? Was it a tragic car accident or was it murder?
Is she the only person who can remember her past lives? It turns out she is not the only one. She meets a person who is in his 23rd life. He possesses shaman bells and tells her there is a way to forget all of the memories of her past lives and start brand new. To do so, she must remember the details of the memories from her very 1st life. Those memories are the reason why she never forgets her any of her past lives. The bells will help bring back the memories.
But are memories really important? This is her 19th life. She is happy living as Ban Ji-Eum. Is it really necessary to remember her very 1st life? Will her life be better if she keeps the memories from her past lives? -OR- Will her life be better if she has no memories? Others get reborn and never remember their past lives. They just start a new life again and again. Should she keep her memories or erase them? She must choose.
- Ban Ji-Eum (played by Shin Hye-sun, “Stranger”)
- Mun Seo-Ha (played by Ahn Bo-Hyun, “My Only Love Song”)
NOTES OF INTEREST:
Reincarnation is unique to Eastern religions. This belief is incorporated into tenets for Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. It is believed that after death, the soul returns in another form. This cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth is called samsara. Hare Krsna TV. “Reincarnation in World Religions.” YouTube, 3 Oct. 2016.
In “See You in My 19th Life”, for her 1st life, Ban Ji-Eum was a commoner living in the ancient kingdom of Silla, who dyed cloths. Her various other lives included being a flamenco dancer, a warrior, a guitarist, and a child star. Curiously, she was reincarnated sometimes as female, sometimes as male. But in her first life she was female.
Other K-Drama Articles on PopGeeks That Address Reincarnation:
Viewership and Rating:
- IMDb Rating: 7.7 out of 10 stars
- My Drama List: 8.4 out of 10 stars
I agree with the MDL rating of 8.4, and here are my reasons why.
- Reason 1: The storyline kept me interested because the clue to figuring out why the main character could remember past lives went back a thousand years. In different episodes, she recalled her memories in bits and pieces. The viewer had to follow along if they wanted to put all the pieces together.
- Reason 2: The viewer also had to struggle with the question: If you get reborn over and over, do you want your memories from your past lives? If this were MY life, I am not sure my decision would have been the same as what the main character ultimately decided to do.
LINKS OF INTEREST:
- K-Drama Review: See You In My 19th Life (2023) – KORB Blog
- See You in My 19th Life TV Review | Common Sense Media
- ‘See You In My 19th Life’ Netflix Review: Stream It Or Skip It? | Decider
Netflix K-Content. “See You in My 19th Life | Official Clip | Netflix [ENG SUB].” YouTube, 11 June 2023, www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yUYh-Rbysk.