In some Korean dramas a mystery can take more than one lifetime to solve. The solutions are made more difficult because characters don’t usually remember their past lives when they are reborn. They must start anew, learning about the world, the people they are meant to meet and those they should avoid. That’s not the case with Ban Ji-eun, played by Shin Hye-sun, in the Korean drama See You In My 19th Life. Ji-eun remembers every detail of her 18 previous lives and she has lost none of the skills she acquired during those lives—from flamenco dancing to speaking fluent Arabic.
She also remembers which souls are important to her. In her current life she desperately wants to connect with Mun Seo-ha, played by Ahn Bo-hyun. They have known each other through multiple lifetimes and meeting as children in her last life, they became inseparable. As she was dying, Seo-ha’s mother, played by Lee Bo-young, asked her to protect Seo-ha. Then, in her previous life, Ji-eun also died young in an accident that traumatized Seo-ha and affected his hearing.
Since Ji-eun remembers everything about that life and how it ended, she dedicates her current life to reconnecting with Seo-ha and fulfilling her promise. He’s the heir to the Mi Group conglomerate, so access isn’t easy, but Ji-eun finds a way to work for his company and wait for their paths to cross. To an outsider it might not look like Seo-ha needs protecting. He’s composed and aloof, but he’s still plagued by memories of his mother’s death and the accident that ended Ji-eun’s previous life, which may not have been an accident.
When many of Ji-eun’s previous lives ended, she prayed that life would be her last. During her last life, when she was about to die in the car accident, she knew she had to protect Seo-ha so she prayed to return one more time.
Seo-ha doesn’t remember any previous incarnations, so he doesn’t recognize Ji-eun. He’s often lost in painful memories of his current life and avoids close relationships. All the important relationships of his past ended tragically and he’s not willing to take the risk. He may also avoid relationships because he’s subconsciously waiting for Ji-eun to return. She might be the only person he can trust.
Shin Hye-sun previously appeared in the dramas Mr. Queen, Stranger 2 and Angel’s Last Mission: Love, as well as the film Brave Citizen. Ahn Bo-hyun appeared in Adamas, Military Prosecutor, My Name and both seasons of Yumi’s Cells. See You In My 19th Life also stars Ha Yoon-kyung and Ahn Dong-kyu. The opening episode includes some compelling performances by child actors Park So-yi, as the young Ji-eun, Kim Si-a as her previous incarnation and Jeong Hun-jun as the young Seo-ha.
Currently on Netflix