They sell noodles and catch evil spirits. These demon-hunters are not our usual heroes. They are average people with superhuman powers and a whole lot of humor. OCN’s latest drama The Uncanny Counter has set the bar high for this new year, and I couldn’t be more proud to have witnessed the journey of So Mun (Jo Byung-gyu), Ga Mo-tak (Yoo Jun-sang), Chu Mae-ok (Yum Hye-ran), and Do Ha-na (Kim Se-jeong) in defeating the absolute evil and saving the world.
The Counters of Eonnie’s Noodle Restaurant
The series had a very strong start in terms of world-building and plot layout. Set in the fictional city of Jungjin, we are introduced to four “Counters” or grim reapers who catch akgwi (evil spirits) on the loose. These Counters summon the demons that possess the human body and deliver them to “Yung” or the boundary between the human world and the afterlife. Each Counter has a partner from the Spirits Immigration Office, who also resides in their body. This also gives them their unique abilities such as psychokinesis, reading memories, healing wounds, and superhuman strength. After each successful battle, all human spirits who were eaten by the demons are also saved and ascend to heaven. Amazing, right?
The drama premiere opened with Mae-ok, Mo-tak, Ha-na, and Cheol-jung (Sung Ji-ru) having a fierce battle against a Level 3 evil spirit, which resulted to the unexpected death of Cheol-jung. During this tragic fight, Wi-gen (Cheol-jung’s Yung partner) was forced to look for another body to reside in for her own survival. Now short of one member, the Counters are determined to convince the young limp boy possessed by Wi-gen to join their team.
I’m not sure about this but So Mun as the titular character (the drama’s Korean title is Amazing So Mun) feels very familiar to me. The drama itself seems like a modernized “Yu Yu Hakusho” (Ghost Fighter) because the premise had a teenage protagonist tasked to take on cases involving demons lurking the human world. However, for the main hero, I first thought of Peter Parker and his adventures as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man because of the similarities in character sketch. But after watching Jo Byung-gyu’s own take of the amazing AND uncanny So Mun, I was really drawn to him and I already separated him from the Marvel superhero. Who would not root for a crippled orphan boy with secret superpowers who saves the world while catching the bad guy who killed his parents? Even though the drama’s main writer quit in the middle of filming, I can say it was able to sustain the audience’s interest until the end. The finale even recorded the highest viewership ratings ever achieved in OCN history.
With the addition of retired Counter leader Chairman Choi Jang-mul (Ahn Suk-hwan), I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the dynamics of all the major characters. Even So Mun’s interaction with his friends was super adorable to watch. It’s wholesome and charming, and for once, there’s no love triangle looming in a group of co-ed high school trio.
As So Mun joined the Counters, he also embarked on a journey to uncover the truth behind his parents’ deaths and the evils that surround him. So Mun evolved as the Uncanny Counter whose powers include strength and speed. He becomes the ace of the team because he can also summon the “territory” where the Counters’ powers are stronger. Admittedly, there were some plot developments that I didn’t agree with, ie: Wi-gen turning her back on Mun at some point, Kim Jeong-yeong (Choi Yoon-young) dying just as Mo-tak regains his memories, and the evil spirit becoming one with the Mayor. I have to mention these scenes before I can confidently say that the drama was able to overcome the midway exit of Yeo Ji-na writernim and tied the loose ends in the finale.
The ending also felt like it was pure fan service. We all knew the Counters would defeat the evil spirit but it’s still satisfying to see everyone in their right place. The Mayor’s son aka the rich bully apologized to his victims, Ha-na was slowly letting go of her hurtful past, and the grandparents were also able to meet with Mun’s parents. The drama may have some hiccups but it was able to pull through just as how So Mun and the squad crashed the evil in the end.
👻 I know it’s an OCN drama but thank God for this cute date between Jang-mul and Mae-ok! I love this OTP!
👻 God Sejeong’s visuals and acting skills in this drama… 100/10!
👻 I knew that Son Ho-jun was just there for a cameo but did he have to die like that???? I already invested so many emotions in his character in just one episode, and he had to break my heart so soon!
👻 Jo Byung-gyu is a perfect So Mun. He really aced this character. What a role!
👻 Can’t wait to see The Counters “step on one” in the next Season!