Thursday, September 19, 2013

KDrama: Reply 1997 Director's Cut OST Album Review

Reply 1997 is a coming of age drama set between 1997, when the cast was in high school, to present day, at their class reunion. This hipster-like drama focuses on the emergence of Kpop and fandoms in the 1990s, as well as a group of six friends and their developing relationships with each other between high school and present day.  I love how this drama isn't fluffy like the typical teen school drama, and has unique charm and humor that makes this drama so endearing.  I quickly fell for the acting of Eunji's arrogant and saessang attitude, as well as Hoya's gentleness.  After shunning my eyes to Hoya's solo stage from Second Invasion Evolution, this drama has restored the innocence I can imagine in Hoya.  An interesting fact that blew my mind weeks after I had finished this drama is Shin Soyool's character was a diehard fangirl for Seches Kies in 1997, and Seches Kies member Eun Jiwon is one of the six friends, while in present day she loves Infinite, and Hoya plays one of the six friends as well.
The front cover of the Reply 1997 OST is like a VHS, reflecting the technology of the 1990s. The artistic design is very creative and brings me back to my days as a '90s kid, which is what first caught my attention to look into this album.  The image in the center is of the main characters while they were in their prime days of high school.
The backside shows the main stars, Jung Eunji and Seo Inguk, along with their main group of friends. Included is the tracklist, which includes 15 songs, and the contents of the DVD.
This album has two flaps.  The first flap reveals pictures of the group of friends in 1997.  The following flap reveals the photobook in the center and the CD and DVD at the bottom.
Inside the photobook is a set of goodies reminiscent of the drama.  There is a set of stickers of the cast, along with adorable coupons.
Here is a close up of the tracklist and DVD contents.  The first two tracks are covers from the 1990s and sung by Seo Inguk and Jung Eunji, while the remaining 13 tracks are popular first generation Kpop songs that were important during that time period.  It'll take me awhile to listen to the latter 13 tracks just because older Kpop songs don't catch my attention much.  However, the covers by Inguk and Eunji are absolutely beautiful and I'd listen to these tracks often.  There are no subtitles for the contents of the DVD, but it's still comprehensible just by watching.  The first feature on the DVD tells of Yoonjae's and Shiwon's relationship as it hits milestones throughout the entire drama.  It's a very elaborate recap of their relationship as it shows many scenes from the drama (this one segment was definitely at least 45 minutes long).

The second feature has a similar layout to the previous feature, but this time the collective scenes are mostly of events of Inguk's and Eunji's daily lives and surroundings, with not much focus in their romantic relationship.  The scenes show the six main cast members and Eunji's parents more, as well as emphasize Eunji's fangirling craze.  This feature is much shorter, about 20 minutes long.  The third feature is the only real new footage that the DVD provides.  The clips show the actors in between takes, redoing scenes, interacting with staff and holding impromptu interviews with the cast.  Sadly this portion is very short, only about 10 minutes long.  The two music videos are of Inguk's and Eunji's two recorded songs.  These videos show behind the scenes of Inguk and Eunji hanging out and having fun while recording in the studio.  They also intertwine with scenes of Inguk's and Eunji's developing relationship.
The wrapping had this adorable sticker attached, I think to describe the contents and features of this album...not onto the photobook.
The photobook is pretty thick for an OST, with 46 pages, and is divided into four sections.  The first section is dedicated to each of the six main characters and includes a photocopy of their adorable autographs, as well as select photos from their school days.
The next section displays the lyrics to all 15 songs, along with more high quality screenshots from the drama. These photos illustrate various scenes from the drama that bring so many memories!
The third section dedicates one page per episode, outlining the most important dialogue and accompanying screenshot from that episode, creating a good summary of Reply 1997.
The last section is filled with screenshots and behind the scenes photos from shooting, giving a more carefree and lighthearted ending to a beautiful photobook.  Overall I love this photobook because it shows many high quality photos from throughout the drama.

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