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The long journey of Alchemy Of Souls finally completed this month. It began in June last year and was divided into two parts. Part 2 was marked with lots of talks on change of the female lead but I’m glad the discussions shifted to plot once the second instalment started. Overall, Alchemy Of Souls Part 2 encompasses the good elements of Part 1 and delivers a satisfying story and conclusion. But it never achieved the magic of Part 1. The second part also goes by the moniker Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow.
The story continues after 3 years since the events of Part 1. Naksu’s soul is still inside Jin Bu Yeon but without any memory. She is kept in complete protection and isolation by Bu Yeon’s mother. No one knows about it. Jang Uk is back from the dead because of the ice stone inside him and now he spends his days catching soul-shifters. One day, both meet by coincidence and she asks him to free her from her captivity by marrying her.
This part encapsulates many elements of Part 1 that made it so captivating — epic romantic segments, humour, action and heroic moments. But the swashbuckling adventure somewhat lacks. It could be attributed to the limited length and the change in the vibe as now things are darker and sombre and the show is on the path to wrap up the story.
But there are plenty of things to like and enjoy. Starting with the romance. We sort of get a marriage of convenience situation and there is a gradual build up. New colors are added as both leads don’t know they are each other’s love. The equation is reversed too as in earlier part, it was her being serious, him being playful. This time, she is the one who is cute and adorable and wooing him while he is super serious and brooding. Considering the overall arc, there is an epic feel to their interactions.
The chemistry is great between Lee Jae Wook and Go Yoon Jung, but I could not help but wish that we got Jung So Min back in the end. I just loved them so much in the first part. But as a fan of the characters, I liked their overall story. Go Yoon Jung looks stunningly beautiful and graceful. She brings new elements to Naksu this time with her innocence, cuteness and sassiness. She delivers a great performance. Lee Jae Woo delivers the physicality and emotional side of his role perfectly. He makes us swoon!
The show is deft as far as fantasy is concerned but it does make convenient rules at times to fit the narrative. It’s fun to see how the female lead connects with different male leads this time as it results in similar dynamics as previous part.
The show is now darker and serious but it’s sprinkled with humour via various characters. Especially the scenes between the mages and Park Jin who has now developed a liking for cooking. The main couple too has funny and mischievous interactions.
One of the highlights is the bromance between Jang Uk and crown prince Go Won — so funny and adorable. Shin Seung Ho again impresses with his wit as crown prince Go Won. A perfect balance of arrogance and reluctant softness.
The drama is blessed with amazing ensemble cast — the main cast as well as the bits and pieces players combine to make the drama truly memorable and fun.
The show has impressive action sequences and there is a central plot of firebird that’s exciting to watch.
Alchemy Of Souls Part 2’s gorgeous cinematography is one of its key strengths. The show has some good and thrilling surprises up its sleeve in the last episode.
THE MINUS POINTS
Coming to the minus points, the drama becomes unexciting in last two episodes. Certain plots are rushed and others take way too much screentime than required. Some character dialogues and decisions are confusing and don’t make much sense. The whole arc of main villain Jin Mu becomes repetitive and it drags on and on and on.
IN A NUTSHELL
Alchemy Of Souls Part 2 completes the journey satisfyingly and it masterfully blends romance, humour, fantasy and action. But it never reaches the heights of its predecessor.
MY RATING: 7.5 out of 10
Review for Alchemy Of Souls Part 1