Blue of Winter is a Korean BL series about a high school love triangle. The main character is in the judo club, where he meets a new student with a secret crush on him. Soon afterwards, the protagonist receives an unexpected love confession from a friend. As these teenagers navigate their feelings, they struggle with confusion, insecurity, and heartbreak.
Made by an indie studio, Blue of Winter has many noticeable limitations in its low-budget production. The incoherent narrative struggles to introduce characters properly or develop the relationships organically. Overall, the series is confusing, frustrating, and unsatisfying to watch.
Blue of Winter Summary
Around 45 minutes
Sad and bittersweet
Around 8 to 12 minutes
Hyun Woo is a high school student who trains as a judo athlete. He recently injured his knee in a competition, sustaining potentially long-term damages. The competition winner is Do Jin, a new junior student who transfers to Hyun Woo's school. Hyun Woo respects Do Jin's skills and hopes to compete against him after his recovery.
Do Jin is bashful whenever he interacts with Hyun Woo. He finally gathers the courage to ask Hyun Woo for his phone number. Do Jin seems to have a secret crush on his upperclassman. In fact, Hyun Woo might be why he chose to transfer to this school. However, Hyun Woo remains oblivious. He doesn't believe their relationship is anything but platonic.
Hyun Woo and Jae Ho are friends in the judo club. Jae Ho's best friend Ji Seok isn't an athlete, but he develops a crush on Hyun Woo. Ji Seok has a bold and outgoing personality. He quickly befriends Hyun Woo after introducing himself. They live nearby and have many chances to hang out. Do Jin notices their close bond, yet the shy athlete is too timid to join their social circle.
Ji Seok confesses his feelings for Hyun Woo. Ji Seok admits that he doesn't live nearby, but lied about his address for a chance to hang out with his crush. Hyun Woo is surprised and doesn't know how to respond to the love confession. Subsequently, the two teenagers grow closer and they continue spending time together. The other students notice their bond as gay rumours swerve around them. Ji Seok feels self-conscious about the gossip, which escalates into bullying.
Blue of Winter Trailer
Blue of Winter Cast
Jeon Yu Bin (전유빈)
Hyun Woo is a high school student who competes as a judo athlete. He recently injured his knee after a competition and worries about long-term damages. Hyun Woo is friends with Jae Ho, another athlete in the judo club. Hyun Woo also becomes close with Jae Ho's best friend, Ji Seok.
Lee Jung Min (이정민)
Do Jin is a new student who recently transferred to Hyun Woo's school. He is a respected athlete who won the national competition. Do Jin has a secret crush on Hyun Woo. However, he's too shy to confess his feelings to his upperclassman.
Min In Gi (민인기)
Ji Seok is Jae Ho's lively and outgoing best friend. Although Ji Seok isn't an athlete, he attends judo competitions to support his buddy. Ji Seok introduces himself to Hyun Woo and they quickly become friends. Rumours about their close bond begin to circulate around the school.
Yoo Young Mo (유영모)
Jae Ho is a fellow athlete in Hyun Woo's judo club. His best friend is Ji Seok. Hyun Woo and Ji Seok meet each other because Jae Ho is their mutual acquaintance. Jae Ho is pretty easygoing and gets along with everybody.
Blue of Winter Review
Drama Review Score: 4.9
I feel a heaviness in my heart giving low review scores to indie dramas like Blue of Winter. The harsh feedback seems discouraging to a small studio for their first official BL project. I appreciate the effort it takes to produce a web series with limited resources. There's an urge to soften my criticisms, excuse the imperfections, and focus on the sincerity of the work. Nonetheless, Blue of Winter has glaring flaws that I cannot overlook.
The storytelling is in shambles from the get-go. Beginning the series with webtoon panels is a terrible idea, which cannot substitute live-action scenes with actual actors. The confusing introduction leaves me unclear about who the characters are or how they meet. Also, significant events like the protagonist's injury are downplayed due to the weird format. Blue of Winter starts on the wrong foot, creating a shaky foundation for the rest of the story.
After a rocky premiere, the writing in Blue of Winter never gets much better. The narrative doesn't flow smoothly with awkward scenes, banal interactions, and clunky dialogue. The characters aren't properly established, defined by vague motivations and little personality. Their relationship dynamics are also incoherent. Ji Seok and Do Jin develop an inexplicable attraction for Hyun Woo based on nothing substantial. There isn't an organic romance that blossoms over time. Instead, they suddenly fall in love without a sensible explanation.
The love triangle doesn't capture my interest. Hyun Woo is a charmless lead, so I don't understand why these guys fawn over him. He shares no chemistry with the timid Do Jin. Their scenes together are trite, unmemorable, and devoid of passion. I prefer Ji Seok as a love interest, and he's the only character who intrigues me in this series. Although Ji Seok is riddled with insecurities and unappealing traits, I like the moral ambiguity around him. Despite exhibiting some nuance, I don't feel invested in his relationship with Hyun Woo.
While Blue of Winter has stripped-down production values, the technical shortcomings are forgivable for a low-budget project. Sometimes, it completely eliminates the soundtrack, using silence to accentuate dramatic moments. This technique works surprisingly well. It allows the viewers to pay attention to the dialogue and focus specifically on the acting. Fortunately, the series has a decent cast and all four young actors give authentic performances. My favourite is Ji Seok (Min In Gi), who exudes enthusiasm in his body language and facial expressions.
Blue of Winter transitions from high school into adulthood in the final episode. The unexpected time skip is handled clumsily, presenting even more gaps in an already patchy plot. However, I enjoy the emotional confrontation between Hyun Woo & Ji Seok, an immersive showcase of their acting talents. That poignant exchange reveals a faint glimmer of potential, like a rare breakthrough late in the series. Regrettably, a brilliant final scene cannot make up for the rest of the muddled narrative. Overall, Blue of Winter is an amateurish BL drama that leaves me unsatisfied.
Blue of Winter suffers from a confusing and incoherent narrative. The characters aren't introduced properly, their relationships aren't established clearly, and the scenes aren't written meaningfully.
The love triangle isn't compelling to watch. Hyun Woo and Do Jin's interactions are devoid of romance. I also don't feel moved by Hyun Woo and Ji Seok's rapport.
The cast gives authentic performances despite working with poor material. I like Ji Seok's actor (Min In Gi), who exudes bright enthusiasm.
Blue of Winter has a sad ending. The final episode features a time skip, creating even more confusion in the narrative. However, the final scene is excellently acted and packed with poignant emotion.
This series looks okay, doing its best to film the scenes artistically with limited resources. Nonetheless, the low-budget production values are noticeable in the plain visuals.
Blue of Winter is an amateurish BL drama that struggles to convey a compelling love story. It suffers from undeveloped characters, vague motivations, and passionless interactions.
Blue of Winter Episodes
Blue of Winter has a total of 5 episodes. Each episode is around 9 to 11 minutes long. The last episode is around 11 minutes long. It is a short BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 1 hour. Blue of Winter aired its first episode on March 15, 2022 and finished on March 29, 2022.
Episode 1 Around 9 minutes Episode 1 YouTube
Episode 1 begins with a high school judo competition, but Hyun Woo lost his round and injured his knee. His performance intrigues Ji Seok, a fellow high school student who attended the match as a spectator. Do Jin won the competition. Afterward, Hyun Woo meets Ji Seok by the vending machine and congratulates him on his victory.
Later, Hyun Woo discovers Do Jin transferred to his school as a new student. The judo coach gives Do Jin a tough time, but Hyun Woo stands up for him. The two teenagers compete in a sparring contest, but Hyun Woo loses again due to his aggravated knee. The episode ends with Do Jin worrying about Hyun Woo's injury.
Episode 2 Around 8 minutes Episode 2 YouTube
In Episode 2, Ji Seok introduces himself to Hyun Woo. Since they live nearby, the two acquaintances begin walking home together. Ji Seok cheekily invites himself to Hyun Woo's home. Meanwhile, Do Jin notices the close bond between the pair. Ji Seok is quick to brag about their friendship, but Hyun Woo seems nonchalant.
Later, Ji Seok confesses his crush to Hyun Woo. Ji Seok admits that he lied about his address to hang out together. Hyun Woo is uncertain about his feelings. The episode ends with Ji Seok falling asleep as Hyun Woo caresses his face.
Episode 3 Around 9 minutes Episode 3 YouTube
Episode 3 begins with Hyun Woo cooking a meal for Ji Seok on his birthday. The atmosphere is lighthearted and they enjoy each other's company. Afterwards, Ji Seok brags about their time together to Do Jin. Ji Seok suspects Do Jin also has a crush on Hyun Woo, so he flirts on purpose to mark his territory.
Later, there are gay rumours about Ji Seok and Hyun Woo's close bond circulating around the school. The other students bully Ji Seok by moving their desks outside the classroom. A female classmate approaches him and offers to be his beard. Ji Seok accepts the fake girlfriend to alleviate the taunting.
Episode 4 Around 10 minutes Episode 4 YouTube
Hyun Woo is upset after learning that Ji Seok has a girlfriend. His injury has also gotten worse, preventing him from doing judo anymore. Hyun Woo refuses to talk to Ji Seok, locking himself behind the gym doors. Do Jin has a chance to speak to him one-on-one, comforting Hyun Woo in his time of need.
Later, Hyun Woo gets jealous seeing Do Jin with another girl. His acquaintance quickly clarifies she is his little sister. Unfortunately, Do Jin admits that he will transfer schools again and pursue his judo career at the national training centre. Do Jin confesses his feelings to Hyun Woo before he leaves. The episode ends with Hyun Woo in tears, upset over the day's events.
Episode 5 Around 12 minutes Episode 5 YouTube
There is a time skip in the last episode, jumping forward six years later. The adult Hyun Woo isn't a professional athlete, although he follows Do Jin's successful judo career on the news. Hyun Woo and Ji Seok aren't together anymore. They haven't seen each other since high school. Ji Seok misses his ex, but Jae Ho tells his friend to move on from this relationship.
Hyun Woo and Do Jin meet up by chance. Do Jin ambushes him with a kiss and confesses that he still harbours romantic feelings. We don't see Do Jin's response. Later, Ji Seok shows up at Hyun Woo's apartment and wants to reconnect. Their confrontation becomes heated. Blue of Winter has a sad ending where Hyun Woo and Ji Seok don't get back together. The episode ends with the doorbell ringing mysteriously, but we never find out who the visitor is.