First Love Again Summary
첫사랑 만 세번째
Around 2 hours and 30 minutes
Mature and interesting
Around 20 to 25 minutes
Yeon Seok is the famous author of the hit novel, On the Day the Second Moon Rises. This bestseller is a historical romance about a reincarnated man reuniting with his lover across multiple lives. Unbeknownst to his readers, Yeon Seok's book is like an autobiography. He has reincarnated into the present timeline, carrying the memories from his past lives.
Originally, Yeon Seok lived in the feudal era as a servant. Yeon Seok served a kind woman named Ha Yeon and developed romantic feelings for her. However, their class difference in society meant they could never be accepted together. Yeon Seok and Ha Yeon reunited in their next life, becoming lovers. However, Ha Yeon's risky job as a spy put her in great personal danger. Her early death devastated Yeon Seok so much that he committed suicide.
During his first life, Yeon Seok was compassionate to a stray cat in the wild. That animal was actually Sin Bi, a mystical deity with magical powers. She offered to grant him a wish to repay his kindness. Instead of asking for money or power, Yeon Seok wished for love. Unfortunately, Sin Bi struggled to fulfill Yeon Seok's request in his first two lives. Now on their third attempt, Sin Bi promises to reunite him with his former lover.
Sin Bi finally locates Ha Yeon in the present timeline. However, there is a twist. Ha Yeon has been reincarnated as a man, and he possesses no memories of his past lives. The current reincarnation of Ha Yeon is a young university graduate from a wealthy family. After studying overseas in the United States, he recently returned to South Korea. Ha Yeon was deeply inspired by Yeon Seok's novel and wanted to meet his idol. He even applied for an editing job at Sin Bi's publishing company.
Yeon Seok doesn't react well to discovering his former lover is now a man. He feels conflicted between his desires and his confusion. Sin Bi makes arrangements for Yeon Seok and Ha Yeon to work on a project together. Although Ha Yeon is excited to interact with his favourite author, Yeon Seok acts cold and standoffish towards him. Tension builds in their dynamic until it reaches an emotional breaking point. As Ha Yeon drifts away from him, Yeon Seok must confront the complicated feelings for his former lover.
First Love Again Trailer
First Love Again Cast
Jin Gun (진건)
Yeon Seok is the famous author of a bestselling romance novel, On the Day the Second Moon Rises. Yeon Seok was actually reincarnated, carrying painful memories from his previous lives. His book is secretly based on past experiences. Yeon Seok fell in love with the same woman in his earlier reincarnations, but their romance always met a tragic ending. He is determined to find his former lover in the present timeline and reunite with her again.
Jeon Chang Ha (전창하)
Ha Yeon is a young university graduate from a wealthy family. He studied overseas in the United States and recently returned to South Korea. Ha Yeon is an enormous fan of Yeon Seok's novel. He applies for a publishing job to become closer to his favourite author. Unbeknownst to him, Ha Yeon is Yeon Seok's former lover from his previous lives. However, Ha Yeon has no memory of their past together.
Song Han Hee (송한희)
Kim Jeong Seok (김정석)
Jung Hyun Ji (정현지)
Gong Ra Hee (공평희)
First Love Again Review
Drama Review Score: 6.7
First Love Again has a compelling concept for BL, highlighting an epic romance that transcends eras and genders. Initially, I was intrigued by the creative story with so much exciting potential. While the first few episodes weren't perfectly executed, they carried a steady momentum. Sadly, the plot drops off around the middle and goes into freefall near the end. First Love Again runs out of adrenaline, loses my enthusiasm, and never hits its stride.
Let's start this review by focusing on the positives. First Love Again is beautiful, energetic, and innovative. The series is backed by polished production values, maintaining a clean-cut and elegant aesthetic. In addition, the plot moves along at an upbeat tempo. The lively characters inject tons of perkiness and enthusiasm into the narrative. Best of all, First Love Again has a unique and compelling hook. To my knowledge, we haven't seen another BL drama with this premise, so the storylines feel extraordinary and refreshing.
First Love Again also has a decent cast. Ha Yeon's actor (Jeon Chang Ha) is terrific, offering a persuasive performance. He conveys a delicate sensitivity and authentic vulnerability. Maybe his character cries too much during the series, but the actor does a splendid job tearing up each time. In contrast, his costar (Jin Gun) is sometimes too hammy, showing his inexperience in the dramatic moments. However, I enjoy the chemistry between the leads and they work well together. On a related note, I also like Sin Bi's actress, whose charisma clearly shines on camera.
The fatal flaw is how the romance develops. Yeon Seok and Ha Yeon had a rocky relationship in the beginning until the tension culminates in an emotional climax. All of a sudden, their feelings accelerate too quickly. The couple was still getting to know each other up until this point. Yet, the love story dashes ahead at an unnaturally fast pace without clarifying the vague attraction between the characters. Their rushed connection throws the narrative off-balance, totally taking me out of immersion. My reaction to their first kiss is bewilderment instead of enjoyment.
I don't believe Yeon Seok has genuine feelings for Ha Yeon. Instead, he seems to love the Ha Yeon from his past reincarnations. You claim you're attracted to him right now, yet you barely even know the guy. Your affection is based on the history you shared previously, not because of your weak bond in the present timeline. The series actually addresses this problem as a storyline, but I still question Yeon Seok's sincerity. Each relationship scene leaves me skeptical about the hastily developed romance. I can't ship the BL couple without a nagging doubt.
First Love Again suffers from a quality decline in its final arc. The last episode indulges in too much angst and misery before rebounding to a predictably happy ending. Plus, the love triangle with Jin Hyeok occupies unnecessary time and adds little value to the narrative. Although the series begins with so much ambition and promise, it concludes flatly without much fanfare. Overall, First Love Again could have achieved incredible triumphs with the imaginative story. Sadly, this BL drama underdelivers and never capitalizes on its full potential.
First Love Again has an ambitious and innovative love story unlike anything else in the BL genre. Although the plot isn't executed perfectly, the series wins points for creativity.
The epic romance between Yeon Seok and Ha Yeon feels too rushed. The series develops their connection hastily. The relationship scenes feel bewildering instead of enjoyable.
Ha Yeon's actor (Jeon Chang Ha) delivers a delicate and sensitive performance. His costar (Jin Gun) doesn't ace the dramatic moments and seems too hammy.
First Love Again goes downhill in its final arc, wasting time on a love triangle. Ultimately, the series has a happy ending, but not before indulging in too much angst and misery.
The production values are polished and presentable. Every shot in this BL drama looks sleek and clean-cut, exuding a chic, contemporary vibe.
First Love Again has an imaginative concept and begins with the potential to be incredible. However, the romance is rushed, the momentum is lost, and the last episode is underwhelming.
First Love Again Episodes
First Love Again has a total of 6 episodes. Each episode is around 20 to 25 minutes long. The last episode is around 20 minutes long. It is a medium-length BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 3 hours. First Love Again began airing on February 10, 2022 and ended its run on March 18, 2022.
Episode 1 Summary
This episode introduces Yeon Seok, a famous author. He was reincarnated into the present timeline, but still retains memories from his two lives in the past. Yeon Seok fell in love with a woman named Ha Yeon in his first life, but their class differences prevented them from being together. They reunited again as a couple in his second life, yet she met an early death in her line of work. Now on his third and final attempt, Yeon Seok is determined to encounter his former lover.
Yeon Seok has a confidante called Sin Bi, a deity with magical powers. She is like his fairy godmother, helping him reunite with his long-lost love. Sin Bi has finally traced down Ha Yeon's whereabouts in this timeline. Shockingly, Ha Yeon was reincarnated as a young man. Sin Bi shares this information with Yeon Seok, but doesn't disclose his lover's new gender. The episode ends with Yeon Seok meeting Ha Yeon at the restaurant where he works. Yeon Seok is shocked to discover his former lover is now reborn as a man.
Episode 2 Summary
Yeon Seok gets drunk at the restaurant after discovering his former lover was reincarnated as a man. Ha Yeon is a massive fan of Yeon Seok's novel and recognizes him. He offers to take the drunken author home safely. An intoxicated Yeon Seok pulls Ha Yeon into bed and grabs him in an intimate embrace. Nothing else happens between them.
Yeon Seok gives up on reuniting with his lover since they are both men. Sin Bi chastises him for his narrow-mindedness. In private, he starts reading BL manhwa to experiment with the idea of same-sex attraction. Although he enjoys reading the stories, Yeon Seok still feels resistant to having a romance with another man.
Meanwhile, Ha Yeon has applied for a job at Sin Bi's publishing company. Sin Bi assigns Ha Yeon to work with Yeon Seok on the upcoming novel. The grumpy author is rude towards the new editor despite Ha Yeon's friendliness. The episode ends with Yeon Seok noticing the uncanny similarities between the current Ha Yeon and the past Ha Yeon.
Episode 3 Summary
Ha Yeon gets drunk at the staff welcoming party. Yeon Seok offers to take him home. However, he is intercepted by Ha Yeon's childhood friend Jin Hyeok, who takes over the chaperoning duties instead. Jin Hyeok reveals that he has known Ha Yeon for over twenty years.
Yeon Seok meets with an investor who wants the movie rights to his novel. This investor is Ha Yeon's sister, Ha Jin. Yeon Seok is shaken to discover Ha Jin looks identical to the Ha Yeon from the past. Despite her physical resemblance, she isn't the same woman he fell in love with. Yeon Seok's confusion turns into frustration as he argues with Sin Bi. She calls out Yeon Seok for not feeling attracted to his former lover just because of Ha Yeon's gender.
Later, an oblivious Ha Yeon shows up to work with Yeon Seok. However, the moody author behaves rudely around him. Ha Yeon is upset and doesn't understand what he did to deserve this treatment. Before storming off, Ha Yeon leaves behind the presents he originally got for the author:
- The first item is a new mug to replace one of the cups that broke earlier.
- The second item is a flower bookmark. It is a similar gift gift Ha Yeon gave Yeon Seok in a previous life.
Seeing the present makes Yeon Seok realize Ha Yeon is the same person he used to love, regardless of gender. He chases after the young editor, currently in tears after the argument. The two men share a tender moment. Suddenly, Ha Yeon initiates a kiss and Yeon Seok reciprocates the gesture. The episode ends with them kissing passionately through the night.
Episode 4 Summary
Ha Yeon reacts poorly after the kiss and keeps his distance from Yeon Seok. The apologetic author does his best to make amends. Sin Bi notices his sincerity and sets up the two of them to work together. Jin Hyeok tries to intervene, but Ha Yeon ultimately chooses to spend the day with Yeon Seok.
Yeon Seok wanted to talk about the kiss last night, but Ha Yeon insists they don't bring up the subject again. The two men arrive at Yeon Seok's apartment, where tensions heat up again. Ha Yeon gets emotional because he feels confused by the mixed signals. However, Yeon Seok embraces him and reaffirms his feelings. They spend the night sleeping together. Afterwards, their relationship becomes more affectionate until Ha Yeon's sister notices how intimate they are.
Episode 5 Summary
Ha Jin seems okay with her brother's relationship, although Ha Yeon denies anything happening. Meanwhile, Yeon Seok and Jin Hyeok get into a heated spat over their feelings for Ha Yeon. Later, Yeon Seok is willing to compromise and change his novel to have a happy ending. This move pleases his positive mindset since dating Ha Yeon. Ha Jin is pleased with the decision.
The two leads start dating and get to know each other better. Ha Yeon and his coworkers also celebrate Yeon Seok's birthday during an office party. As the couple becomes closer, Ha Yeon feels comfortable speaking casually to Yeon Seok, calling him by his name instead of "Mr. Writer".
Ha Yeon spends the night at his boyfriend's apartment. However, he accidentally discovers a picture of Yeon Seok and the female Ha Yeon in the previous life. Seeing the picture triggers the memories, and Ha Yeon suddenly remembers everything again. He is terribly upset, believing Yeon Seok was only interested in him because of his past reincarnation. The episode concludes with Jin Hyeok giving Ha Yeon a comforting embrace, a moment witnessed by Yeon Seok.
A tearful Ha Yeon feels confused and betrayed by his boyfriend. He accuses Yeon Seok of not loving him for who he is, only the version of him from the past. Yeon Seok is devastated by their breakup, admitting to Sin Bi he has fallen in love with the present Ha Yeon. He tries talking to Ha Yeon again. However, Jin Hyeok intercepts their meeting. Jin Hyeok plans to return to the United States with Ha Yeon, telling Yeon Seok to give up.
A month has passed. Yeon Seok gives a video interview promoting his book. Suddenly, he sees a comment from Ha Yeon, inspiring Yeon Seok to contact his ex-boyfriend again. Upon his arrival, he sees Ha Yeon & Jin Hyeok just about to leave for the airport. Yeon Seok confesses his love and wants to get back together with his ex.
It turns out that Jin Hyeok is returning to the United States alone. Ha Yeon has no plans of leaving South Korea with his friend. Touched by the love confession, Ha Yeon reunites with Yeon Seok. The series ends with the couple watching the movie of Yeon Seok's book together. The final scene shows them sharing a delightful kiss in the apartment.