Alchemy of Souls 2: Light and Shadow is set in a fictional country of magic and mages where Jang Uk (Lee Jae Wook) returns more powerful than ever as he hunts soul shifters but grieves the loss of his love. Little does he know, a woman (Go Youn Jung) he rescues from being imprisoned is actually his lost lover.
Lee Jae Wook is Jang Uk. After returning from the dead with the power of the ice stone, he now hunts soul shifters. He lives in misery though as he mourns the loss of of his master and lover Mu Deok/Nak Su.
Go Youn Jung plays Jin Bu Yeon/Nak Su. She is the recently returned eldest daughter of the Jin family who is being kept hidden away in a room. She eventually escapes though and seeks the help of Jang Uk to save her from the prison her family is keeping her in.
Park Jin (Yoo Joon Sang) is the former head of the powerful faction of Songrim and is close with Jang Uk. Kim Do Ju (Oh Na Ra) is a longtime servant of Jang Uk and is a mother figure to him.
Jin Mu (Jo Jae Yoon) is the head of the organization of soul shifters and is constantly plotting to take over the kingdom. Crown Prince Go Won (Shin Seung Ho) has been torn between is loyalty to Jin Mu and his own moral convictions.
Seo Yul (Hwang Min Hyun) is a friend of Jang Uk who has a past connection to Nak Su. Park Dang Gu (Yoo In Soo) is another friend who has stepped up as the head of Songrim.
So, what can I say about Alchemy of Souls 2: Light and Shadow? It was amazing! I LOVED it! Just like part 1, this drama embodies what I love in a show with fantasy, history, romance, action, humor, and heart. I really couldn’t ask for more.
We drop right back into this beautiful world filled with complexity, mages, and magic. We get a fleshed out story with consistent plot developments that is filled with twists and turns. The pacing was wonderful with the intensity building with each episode. The drama definitely leans heavy, but there is plenty of lighthearted humor scattered throughout it too.
The cinematography and special effects were top notch, and I loved seeing how this magical world was brought to life. We get to enjoy great music too. I was again able to get lost in this world, and it really felt good to be back.
Most of our sprawling cast of characters returned, and they definitely brought the drama! We continue with complex relationship dynamics, individual character journeys, and some secondary romances. It all adds so many enjoyable layers to the drama.
The villains are back too causing all kinds of trouble. I still loved our over-the-top baddie Jin Mu and his plans to dominate the kingdom. He was so entertaining in the best kind of way. He’s definitely the kind of villain you love to hate.
NOTE: I will discuss vague spoilers which reference events that happened in part 1 of the drama as well as key details from the first couple of episodes of part 2.
We continue our journey a few years after the events that happened at the end of part 1. Of course, a big concern many of us had was how the show would be with a new female lead. Jung So Min played Mu Deok (who was actually Jin Bu Yeon) until this point, but after Mu Deok “ran wild” and met a terrible fate, we knew that Go Youn Jung, who played Nak Su, the soul inhabiting Mu Deok’s body, would be coming in to take over the role. We had lots of questions about how this would all play out as well as knowing how much we would miss Jung So Min.
Thankfully, everything worked out beautifully. The transition to Go Youn Jung was executed so well, and it fit within the narrative of the story. We have Jin Bu Yeon’s body which is saved while still being inhabited by Nak Su, but her features return to appearing like Nak Su. So we end up with Nak Su in Jin Bu Yeon’s body but looking like Nak Su! Wrap your head around that! Oh, and she has amnesia just make things more complicated. Hehe
The drama does well at establishing Jin Bu Yeon as her own person while still concretely tying her to the Nak Su we previously knew. We again get to watch as she and Jang Uk get involved with each other and grow their relationship. It’s still very complicated but in a different way. He’s mourning the loss of Mu Deok/Nak Su while being unaware she is right in front of him!
It was interesting watching the different dynamic he had with the amnesiac Nak Su. He’s pretty cold towards her due to his grief, but that kind heart consistently shows itself. And of course, those hints start dropping that Jin Bu Yeon seems familiar as his connection with her grows. I loved watching this relationship develop. These two are the definition of star-crossed lovers and have some immense challenges to face throughout the series.
I enjoyed the drama so much that there weren’t really any personal negatives, but I will point out a couple of things people should be aware of that were actually very similar to part 1.
There are plenty of convenient plot developments and logic stretches that you just have to go with. This kind of show is just so fun though that I really didn’t mind. Honestly, the world, characters, and plot are so complex that I think they did amazing with it as a whole.
The ending was also a bit rushed, particularly the last couple of episodes. A lot happens in these episodes with so much information and new plot developments coming our way. We fly through the episodes at light speed. It would have been nice to be able to really savor some of the events and go deeper.
But on the flipside, the episodes were fast-paced and thrilling with building intensity. No fluff to be had here. We also get some very important moments with most of the characters. I was extremely satisfied with the last episode and the actual ending.
Alchemy of Souls 2: Light and Shadow was another thrilling ride. It was the perfect continuation of our story. It’s a world of magic, romance, heart, thrills, and action. That world is well developed with a complex story that has great twists and is populated by a sprawling cast of interesting characters. It’s a grand story that felt epic on many levels. The saga that is Alchemy of Souls 2: Light and Shadow is truly a special one.
My Rating: 10/10
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Yay! A well-deserved 10!
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Yes!! It was soooo good! 😍
I was so worried about the change of the lead actress that it took some time before I could watch the show. But there was no need to worry. And what a show! Go Youn Jung was great. I do wish that the romance between Park Jin (Yoo Joon Sang) Jang Uk. Kim Do Ju (Oh Na Ra) had gotten more screen time.
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I completely understand. I was worried too since I loved Jung So Min so much in part 1. But thankfully, they handled the transition wonderfully, and I too thought Go Youn Jung was great. Both actresses brought something different to the role in a beautiful way. I also would have enjoyed more time with Park Jin and Kim Do Ju. They were such a delight! I’m happy to see you enjoyed the drama so much too 😊
Oooh so happy to see the 10/10 rating! Absolutely deserved! Loved AoS 1 + 2 start to finish. If only we had 100 more amazing/perfectly executed dramas like this to feast on every day! 🙂
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It was definitely well deserved! I’m thrilled you enjoyed both parts so much too. I also loved both parts from start to finish. Such a fun drama with everything I love. Haha, yeah, it only we had dramas like that to feast on every day! It does certainly make this one stand out though! 😊
This is the first kdrama in a long time – maybe ever since 2019? – that I decided to lose sleep over. I usually finish kdramas in 3 to 5 weeks these days. I also drop a lot. But this long kdrama? I finished in 3 (or 4?) days. Not sure anymore. LOL. Definitely worth it and I was very happy.
Same as you, I loved it as well. After finishing – and still lacking sleep – I rushed here to read your review. Unfortunately you did not have one yet for Part 2. Now I forgot what I wanted to say. LOL. Anyways, it’s nice to have another 10/10 from the Hong Sisters. Hehe.
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Hi Fred!!! So happy to see you back 😀
And yay that Alchemy of Souls was able to reignite some of that kdrama fire! That definitely says something if you watched the whole thing in just several days 😂 I’m right there with you filled with love for this wonderful drama! I would say it’s worth losing some sleep over, lol.
Aww, sorry my review wasn’t ready and waiting for you when you were done 😅 I think I was a few weeks behind everyone else since I waited until it was over so I could watch all the eps without waiting, hehe. Week to week would be pure suffering wit this one! Waiting between the two parts was bad enough, lol. I think your love for the drama completely came through though and that says it all 😄
I too am so happy to have not only another 10 but a 10 from the Hong Sisters. They were definitely in top form for Alchemy of Souls 😊
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