See You in My 19th Life 1 Offers an Unusual Start to Romance

See You in My 19th Life 1 cover of Jieum holding someone's tie.

See You in My 19th Life 1 focuses more on drama with occasional laughs.

It’s fitting that See You in My 19th Life 1 has a K-drama. As the title suggests, this is about reincarnation, but there will surely be many more shocks. It starts with Juwon Yun narrating her frustration with having and remembering her past lives. Now she’s on number eighteen. Funny, with two main characters readers latch onto and cannot resist learning more about, See You in My 19th Life 1 is surprisingly sweet, sad, and magnetic. 

Created by Lee Hey, translated by Webtoon, and lettered by Toppy, Juwon exudes a disconcerting maturity for her age. That’s because she remembers her past lives. Now she’s on her eighteenth. She doesn’t want to be reborn anymore or, at the very least, wants to have no recollection of her past lives. But all that is about to change. The Yen Press comic covers the first eleven chapters and compels readers to keep reading except for one or two moments that drag. 

See You in My 19th Life 1 Sets Up Tension

Even while the story begins light, expectations build. After all, this is Juwon’s eighteenth life. So, it’s an immediate death flag. Still, when twelve-year-old Juwon meets Seoha Mun, they clash at first. To Juwon, he’s a younger kid in many ways, given her history. But then a gradual friendship builds between them. Juwon cares for Seoha and vice versa, but the other shoe drops too soon on their friendship in the form of a car accident. Now, Juwon does not wish to stay dead or forget her memories. She wants to be reborn as soon as possible to find Seoha. And she gets her wish, becoming Jieum Ban in her 19th life.  

Reborn and Still Throwing Seoha for a Loop

Seoha gleans similarities between Juwon and Jieum Ban—Juwon’s reborn identity. Even in the short time they knew each other as kids, Juwon kept surprising Seoha. First, she scared him, but his determination to be an adult so his ailing mother wouldn’t strain herself touched Juwon. Now, as an adult, the first thing she does when she meets Seoha is ask him out. No matter who she is, Jieum will always surprise Seoha. She freely admits she chose to work in his family company to get near him. She transferred to the hotel division because he returned to South Korea to take it over.

See You in My 19th Life 1 cover of Jieum holding someone's tie.
See You in My 19th Life 1 cover. Yen Press.

The real question is why Jieum does not come clean to Seoha as soon as they meet. Unless the series explains, it feels like manufactured tension to keep the series moving. If she’s so forthright, leaving out vital information makes no sense since she wants to be with Seoha. Even her friend says as much. Still, See You in My 19th Life 1 teases greater issues with Seoha and Jieum’s former family.

Trauma and Possible Danger

When she lived as Juwon, she had a sister, Chowon. When Jieum sees her try to visit Seoha, for some reason, Seoha’s assistant tells her to keep him occupied so that Seoha and Chuwon do not meet. Juwon’s death took a toll on those around her. In addition, Seoha lost some of his hearing in the accident and still struggles to be in cars. Potential danger and drama loom as these two try to find their way back to each other. 

See You in My 19th Life 1 focuses more on drama with occasional laughs. Thanks to the story’s premise and adding someone with a disability, the story piles on its unique aspects. Hopefully, the series does not succumb to cliched or offensive storytelling. Thanks to Jieum’s history and the way the series builds her childhood connection and then jumps to her new life, See You in My 19th Life 1 starts a promising story of love and past lives. 

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