K-Drama: Grim Reapers on Duty to Save Lives

by Isabel Bang

Tomorrow | 내일 (2022)

MBC | Tomorrow

The main character, Jun-woong is a young uni graduate with an enthusiastic personality, eager to join any company that’s ready to take him on board. Sadly, job seeking in Seoul isn’t the easiest task out there. After being turned down from an endless amount of applications, life’s getting a little tough for Jun-woong. On his way back home one night, he comes across a homeless man trying to jump off the bridge to put an end to his “unbearable” life. Of course, our protagonist, full of justice, tries to stop the man. At that moment, two people enter the scene and (literally) kick Jun-woong aside. What seems to be the mysterious man and woman’s effort to convince and stop the homeless man’s suicidal attempt, does not go well. Due to the failed convincing, both the man and Jun-woong end up falling from the bridge as Jun-woong jumps off to save him. 

MBC | Tomorrow

Luckily Jun-woong wakes up at the hospital, yet to his confusion, finds his body in a coma. The mystery woman named Ryun once again appears and reveals that she is in fact a grim reaper who works as a Team Manager in the Risk Management Department at a company called Jumadeung*. She explains that what happened was their responsibility and offers to take Jun-woong to her company to meet the Director, Okhwangsangje (옥황상제). A quick culture lesson - Okhwangsangje, also known as the Jade Emperor, is the first-ever God in East Asian cultures that is above all living and dead! When Jun-woong finally meets the Director, she offers him a choice. To be in a coma for the next three years, or to wake up after just six months of hard working for Jumadeung.

*“Jumadeung” (주마등) in Korean, is a flash of memories that you see just before your death, a very fast flicker of your life events. 

MBC | Tomorrow

As he accepts the job offer, the first team for him to observe before his official positioning is no other than the Risk Management Team. The main purpose of this department that nobody wants in, is to save those who are at the risk of committing suicide. When the ‘negative energy level’ of one hits too high, it alerts the team with a red light as it means those people are at high risk. So, the series deals with a number of issues of different people who are at hardships of life, and how the grim reaper trio save their precious lives. Given the plot that deals with people at extreme risks, each episode is dealt with serious stories that can be depressing or even disturbing for some. Nonetheless, as each episode gets resolved, it gives hope and comforts those viewers who might have been in similar troubling situations. Personally, I found the first episode of No Eun-bi and high school bullying to be shocking and heartbroken of the fact that this actually happens in reality. If I got to choose who wins the Oscars this year, I would gladly hand all awards over to the actress who played Eun-bi in episodes 1 and 2. 

MBC | Tomorrow

Another aspect of this K-Drama that I’m interested to find out about is the story between Ryun and Jung-gil, the Team Manager of the Escort Department. Jung-gil believes that the worst crime that a living soul can commit is committing suicide, and does not believe the Risk Management Department is necessary. There seems to be a centuries-long back story between the two Department Managers, and fans are trying to guess the reason behind this evident love-hate relationship. Guess we’ll find out in the next couple of episodes!

The last two episodes of Tomorrow will be released on Netflix this week. So for everyone intrigued after reading this article, cosy up on your bed and couches for a good binge. Fingers crossed that we’ll enjoy the series till the last minute! As all good K-Dramas do these days, Tomorrow also originated from a WEBTOON of the same name. Episodes are uploaded every Saturday, so click on this link if you’re interested in the original piece. Watch the trailer to the K-Drama below!

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