Winter Sonata is Korean. That took some getting used to -- I can't make heads or tails of the language, whereas I can almost understand the more common phrases used in Japanese anime. Watching an animated series in Korean is certainly something else.
Anyway, the story details the romantic entanglements of Yujin, starting from when she is a sixteen year old girl, and then jumping to when she is twenty-six. As a girl, she falls in love with Yoonsang, who then walks under a truck and dies when she is waiting for him for a date on christmas eve.
Ten years later, she is about to get engaged to Sanghyuk, her childhood friend. Their friends throw a party for them, and in walks the boyfriend of one of their friends: Minhyung, who looks like Yoonsang! And then it turns out that his company hires her to do some designing work, and Yujin gets confused, Sanghyuk gets mad at Minhyung for confusing Yujin, Minhyung doesn't know what the fuss is all about, and then regains his memories and turns out to be Yoonsang after all! And then just when Yujin and him are getting married, it turns out that they are actually related (they have the same father!) but no-one bothers to tell Yujin. Minhyung dissapears, gets a brain tumor, Yujin goes to a monastery, and then it turns out that they don't have the same father after all, because Yoonsang is actually the half-brother of Sanghyuk! And then at long last they find each other in a house on the sea side, which Yoonsang has been designing/building, after some sketches of Yujin. And then they get married!
So yes, it's a total soap opera. I'm not much into those, and most of the plot hinges on people not sharing the information (or feelings) that they have. About 75% of the plot could have been short-circuited by simply picking up the phone and telling the person you love about this thing you found out. Seeing characters blundering about like that irritates me.
And the closing scenes (a re-do of their marriage) is actually live-action footage. And some of the actors look like their animated counterparts, but in some cases it's really off: Yoonsang is actually a pudgy toad instead of a dashing young man, and Sanghyuk looks like Yujin's kid brother instead of her childhood friend.
The animation itself is OK. There are some parts where the animators obviously cut some corners, but if you're in to the subject matter, it'll be the least of your worries. I did like Yujin and Yoonsang's voices, though.
- Competently executed;
- Excellent way to introduce soap addicts to animation.
- Drags on and on and on;
- The closing live-action segment.
All in all, I was glad to see the last of it. It's not bad, but it's certainly not something I enjoy. Sure, I like slowmances, but the plot of this series was so stupid and convoluted that I found it hard to take it seriously after 20-odd episodes. I'll give it a 5.5.