The Uncanny Counter
|The Uncanny Counter|
|Revised Romanization||Gyeong-iroun Somun|
|Literally||Amazing So Mun or Amazing Rumor[a]|
|Based on||Amazing Rumor|
by Jang Yi
|Developed by||Studio Dragon|
|Opening theme||"The Uncanny Counter" by Kim Woo-geun|
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||16 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||70 minutes|
|Production company||Neo Entertainment|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital|
|Original release||November 28, 2020 –|
January 24, 2021
The Uncanny Counter (Korean: 경이로운 소문; RR: Gyeong-iroun Somun; lit. Amazing So Mun or Amazing Rumor)[a] is a South Korean television series starring Jo Byung-gyu, Yoo Jun-sang, Kim Se-jeong and Yeom Hye-ran. Based on the Daum webtoon Amazing Rumor by Jang Yi, it centers on the titular character So Mun, a high school student with disability who is enlisted to be part of the Counters, a group of paranormal-hunters who search for and fight against evil spirits that escape from the afterlife to prey on humans.
The first season aired on OCN from November 28, 2020 to January 24, 2021 on every Saturday and Sunday at 22.30 (KST) for 16 episodes. Each episode was released on Netflix in South Korea and internationally after their television broadcast. The series became the highest rated OCN series so far. The series has been renewed for a second season.
In the fictional city of Jungjin, a group of four demon-hunters called the Counters bear the arduous task of searching for and banishing evil spirits (akgwi)[b] that escape from the afterlife to gain immortality. These evil spirits possess local human hosts who have committed murder or have a strong desire to murder, encourage their host's desire to kill, and consumes the spirit of the victim. The Counters were once under coma when a partner spirit from Yung, the boundary between the afterlife and the world of the living, possess them and give them perfectly healthy bodies and consciousness along with superhuman strength and supernatural abilities. Three of the Counters—Ga Mo-tak (Yoo Jun-sang), Do Ha-na (Kim Se-jeong) and Choo Mae-ok (Yeom Hye-ran)—pose as workers in Eonni's Noodles, a noodle restaurant which serves as their hideout.
One day, the fourth Counter Jang Cheol-joong (Sung Ji-ru) is killed in a battle against a strong "Level 3"[c] evil spirit. As his spirit gets consumed by his killer, his Yung partner Wi-gen (Moon Sook) struggles to find a new comatose human to possess. Uncannily, she is quickly drawn towards high school boy So Mun (Jo Byung-gyu) who, despite being disabled, is nevertheless perfectly healthy and alive. As soon as Wi-gen possessed him, the unknowing Mun starts noticing bizarre changes to his body and starts seeing Wi-gen in his dreams. Soon, Mun finds the answers in Eonni's Noodles, and as he becomes the replacement to the late Cheol-joong, he finds himself in a thrilling journey of battling against bloodthirsty demons, reconnecting to his past, and uncovering the ugly truth behind a major redevelopment project in Jungjin.
- An 18-year-old high school student and the newest member of the Counters; part-time server at Eonni's Noodles. Physically disabled following a car accident that killed his parents seven years ago, he joins the Counters after being possessed by the Yung spirit Wi-gen due to his strong sense of justice, responsibility, and desire to protect those dear to him. He was frequently able to summon the Yung and was chosen in a healthy and not comatose state due to his piled-up anger and frustration that might as well destroy every evil spirit. As a Counter, he possesses superhuman speed, short-range psychometry and the ability to sense evil spirits that enter Yung's "Territory"[d] (but in a range minor to that of Ha-na's). He later acquires psychokinesis and the ability to touch and summon the Territory at will. Mun has a strong talent in drawing and is currently illustrating a superhero webtoon alongside his best friends Woong-min and Joo-yeon.
- Yoo Jun-sang as Ga Mo-tak
- The assistant cook at Eonni's Noodles. After a near-fatal fall that caused his memory loss seven years ago, he joined the Counters after being possessed by Gi-ran, granting him superhuman strength and short-range psychometry. Mo-tak is notable for his gruff appearance but can be a joker occasionally. He was somewhat like a mentor to Mun after he got to know about his past and relationship with Mun.
- Kim Se-jeong as Do Ha-na
- The server at Eonni's Noodles. The sole survivor after she and her family were poisoned, Ha-na joined the Counters after being possessed by Woo-Sik who granted her superhuman strength and psychometry. She is capable of sensing evil spirits even from hundreds of kilometers away, as well as being able to read and enter memories from years ago as if she was physically there.
- Yeom Hye-ran as Choo Mae-ok
- The chef at Eonni's Noodles. In the past, she ran a photography studio for a living. Now a grieving mother dealing with the death of her son Su-ho. She joins the Counters after being possessed by Su-ho's spirit. She gains powerful healing abilities. Exuding an extremely caring and positive personality that highly contrasts with Mo-tak and Ha-na, she serves as the team's advisor and a mother figure to Mun.
- Moon Sook as Wi-gen
- Mun's first Yung partner. Wi-gen is the leader of the Yung, the boundary between the afterlife and the world of the living. She is amazed by the fact that she was able to possess Mun despite the latter not being comatose.
- Kim So-ra as Kim Gi-ran
- Mo-tak's Yung partner. Gi-ran is an upright spirit who is greatly angered by Mo-tak and his fellow Counters' occasional rule-breaking.
- Eun Ye-jun as Woo-sik
- Ha-na's Yung partner. Woo-sik appears to be a young boy but he is mature in his mindset and personality.
- Mae-ok's Yung partner and her biological son. Su-ho is in charge of keeping Yung's record of deaths.
- Woo Mi-hwa as The Prosecutor
Humans possessed by evil spirits
- Lee Hong-nae as Ji Chung-sin
- A human possessed by a Level 3 evil spirit (akgwi).[b][c] Chung-sin works in a junkyard and is frequently hired as a hitman by Mayor Shin through his adoptive father. His biological father ran the care home he was adopted from, yet both of his father figures were extremely abusive towards Chung-sin during childhood and provided very little affection to him growing up, instead honing him into a criminal servant for their own dirty deeds. He killed the late counter Cheol-joong in a fierce battle. He possesses an advanced level of psychokinesis which can effortlessly incapacitate individuals.
- A human possessed by a Level 3 evil spirit. Hyang-hee is inclined to marrying rich men in order to murder them and steal their money. She has the power of psychometry and is able to communicate with the possessing evil spirit, as well as demonstrating superhuman strength. Naturally flirtatious, her charm often catches her victims off-guard leading to an easier murder.
Mun's high school
- Kim Eun-soo as Kim Woong-min
- Mun's schoolmate and childhood best friend. Without Mun's knowing, Woong-min is constantly being bullied by Hyuk-woo and his henchmen. His suffering is later discovered by Mun, who then uses his newfound Counter powers to humiliate Hyuk-woo.
- Mun's schoolmate and childhood best friend. Joo-yeon kept the truth from Mun that Woong-min is being bullied by Hyuk-woo.
- Jung Won-chang as Shin Hyuk-woo
- Son of Jungjin Mayor Shin Myung-hwi; Mun's schoolmate. As the mayor's son, Hyuk-woo receives preferential treatment from the school faculty who let him get away with his bullying. His behavior however, stems from fearing his father and estranged relationship with him.
- Kim Min-ho as Baek Jun-kyu
- Mun's older and bigger schoolmate and the leader of a gang of bullies who collects money from younger bullies except Hyuk-woo with whom he is nicer with. Jun-kyu also has a strong grudge against Mun after being publicly humiliated in a fight with him.
People of Jungjin
- Ahn Suk-hwan as Choi Jang-mul
- The first and the leader of the Counters in Korea; owner of Jangmul Retail. Jang-mul is one of the richest chaebol in South Korea. He manages the Counters' expenses and supports them in matters that need his influence. He retired from being a Counter, though his powers and responsibilities as a Counter remain.
- Yoon Joo-sang as Ha Seok-gu
- Mun's maternal grandfather.
- Lee Joo-sil as Jang Chun-ok
- Mun's maternal grandmother. Chun-ok suffers from dementia and does not recognize Mun most of the time.
- A police detective at Jungjin Police Station; Mo-tak's former fiancé. Jeong-yeong is an upright detective who is always overpowered by her corrupt fellow police officers. She was in charge of the case of the death of Mun's parents.
- Lee Kyung-min as Kang Han-wool
- A police detective at Jungjin Police Station; Jeong-yeong's junior and partner.
- Son Kang-gook as Choi Soo-ryong
- The police chief of Jungjin Police Station, easily influenced by Shin Myung-hwi for his own selfish interest.
- Choi Kwang-il as Shin Myung-hwi
- Mayor of Jungjin City; father of Hyuk-woo. Mayor Shin is in charge of a major redevelopment project in Jungjin which worries many residents.
- Jeon Jin-oh as Noh Chang-kyu
- A gangster who led the mob that cornered Mo-tak seven years ago; Hang-kyu's younger brother.
- Kim Seung-hoon as Noh Hang-kyu
- Director of Taeshin Group; Chang-kyu's older brother. A criminal who used Cho Tae-shin and Shin Myung-hwi's influence to fly through the ranks of Taeshin Group.
- Lee Do-yeob as Cho Tae-shin
- CEO of Taeshin Group, the company in charge of Jungjin's major redevelopment project that acts as a façade for a sinister motive.
- Kim Jung-jin as Jang Hye-kyung
- Secretary of Mayor Shin. Extremely obedient and hard-working, although not by choice.
- Kim Yi-kyung as Kim Yeong-nim
- A young woman who went missing after volunteering in Shin Myung-hwi's electoral camp seven years ago. She was close friends with Jang Hye-kyung.
- Jeon Seok-ho as So Gwon
- Mun's father and a policeman who was an acquaintance of Mo-tak, who investigated Mayor Shin's corruption together. (Eps. 1-2, 11, 15-16).
- Son Yeo-eun as Ha Mun-young
- Mun's mother and a policewoman. Despite the two of them being constantly busy with their line of work and having no time to bond with Mun, they deeply care and love him. (Eps. 1-2, 16).
- Sung Ji-ru as Jang Cheol-joong
- A late member of the Counters. Cheol-joong was the strongest Counter among the former quartet. He was killed by Chung-sin in a fierce one-on-one battle (Ep. 1, 16).
- Lee Sun-bin as Heo Hee-young
- A coffee shop owner whose parents were killed by a Level 2 evil spirit (Eps. 1, 3)
- Lee Jin-kwon as Subordinate
- A Dajeong ENC employee. (Ep. 12)
- Choi Go as an orphan
- An orphan at the same care home Chung-sin grew up in, quickly seeing him as a father figure due to the lack thereof prior. (Ep. 13-14)
- Son Ho-jun as Oh Jung-gu
- A South Korean Counter who was delegated to work in Singapore. A former rock musician, he became a Counter when his Yung partner Dong-pal possessed him when he was comatose; he had healing powers, similar to Mae-ok. He was dispatched back to South Korea in order to heal a severely wounded Mae-ok, and later joined them on a mission against a Level 4 spirit. (Ep. 15)
- Im Ji-kyu as Dong-pal
- Mun's second Yung partner; the former Yung partner of Jang-mul and Jung-gu. Dong-pal became Jung-gu's partner after Jang-mul's retirement. (Ep. 15)
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date||South Korea viewers|
|1||"Episode 1"||Yoo Seon-dong||Yeo Ji-na||November 28, 2020||0.737|
|As a man possessed with a Level 3[c] evil spirit kills the Counter Cheol-joong in a fierce melee, Cheol-joong's afterlife partner Wi-gen leaves his body and searches for a new comatose human host. Mun is treating his friends to food on his birthday when he is suddenly struck with a burst of light which leaves uncanny changes in his body. He finds the answers to his questions in a noodle shop run by three strange people.|
|2||"Episode 2"||Yoo Seon-dong||Yeo Ji-na||November 29, 2020||1.208|
|Rescued by the Counters from the savage bullies led by Hyuk-woo, Mun wakes up to a stunning surprise from Mae-ok. After having a glimpse of his newfound powers, Mun joins the Counters in his first ever demon-hunting. Mun meets Wi-gen and accepts the role as Counter on one condition.|
|3||"Episode 3"||Yoo Seon-dong||Yeo Ji-na||December 5, 2020||1.446|
|Mun joins the Counters on his first official demon-hunt and experiences how to banish an evil spirit from its host. Woong-min and Joo-yeon starts to notice something is different about Mun who later confronts the bullies and puts them in humiliation. The amnesiac Mo-tak goes to the police station in an attempt to find answers about his forgotten past and the truth behind the death of Mun's parents.|
|4||"Episode 4"||Yoo Seon-dong||Yeo Ji-na||December 6, 2020||1.857|
|Taking revenge against Mun, the bullies gang up on Woong-min and Joo-yeon. Just as Wi-gen feared, Mun loses control and quickly overwhelms all of the bullies in a formidable frenzy of rage. As the Yung spirits consider punishing Mun, Mae-ok and the other Counters come to his defense. A surprise awaits Mo-tak as he reunites with his old cellphone.|
|5||"Episode 5"||Yoo Seon-dong & Park Bong-seop||Yeo Ji-na||December 12, 2020||1.786|
|In a demon-hunt at a shopping mall, Mun attempts to fight a woman possessed with a Level 3 demon. When Ha-na comes to his rescue, the demon reads into her tragic past just before Mo-tak arrives to knock the possessed woman out cold. Mo-tak partners up with police officer Jeong-yeong in finding evidences relevant to the case he was working on when he lost his memories.|
|6||"Episode 6"||Yoo Seon-dong & Park Bong-seop||Yeo Ji-na||December 13, 2020||2.352|
|Mo-tak's former tormentors—a group of gangsters—recognize him in a encounter and fearfully relate his apparent return to their boss. Mo-tak continues to uncover the past with Jeong-yeong, who is also investigating a recent brutal murder. Mun feels betrayed when he discovers the Counters already knew the truth behind his parents' death. Ha-na helps Mun look into his traumatic past.|
|7||"Episode 7"||Yoo Seon-dong & Park Bong-seop||Yeo Ji-na||December 19, 2020||2.343|
|While travelling with Ha-na into his tragic past, Mun comes face-to-face with the powerful Level 3 demon that murdered his parents. Recalling the dangerous encounter, Mun uncovers where the demon's host might be hiding. Mo-tak's tormentors swarm at Eonni's Noodles in an attempt to get rid of him.|
|8||"Episode 8"||Yoo Seon-dong & Park Bong-seop||Yeo Ji-na||December 20, 2020||2.666|
|The Counters survive an attempt by the gangsters to eliminate them. Ha-na's role as a Counter is put to the test as she fights against an evil spirit possessing his abusive uncle. Jungjin's police launch a hunt for the culprit behind the successive brutal murders in the city. As the Counters search for a reservoir linked to a case Mun's late father had worked on, they make an appalling discovery.|
|9||"Episode 9"||Yoo Seon-dong & Park Bong-seop||Yeo Ji-na||January 2, 2021||2.701|
|After nearly perishing in a one-on-one battle against Chung-sin, Mun practices how to summon Yung's Territory[d] at will. The Counters gatecrash Mayor Shin's groundbreaking event in an attempt to expose his and his accomplices' crimes. Unbeknownst to the quartet, their partner spirits in Yung face interrogation for the Counter's frequent rule-breaking.|
|10||"Episode 10"||Yoo Seon-dong & Park Bong-seop||Yeo Ji-na||January 3, 2021||2.793|
|Upon Wi-gen's proposal, the afterlife's council of investigators orders Mun's dismissal from his role as a Counter. Mun consequently loses all his powers, and the devastated Counters let Jang-mul do the task of erasing all of Mun's Counter memories. Mun and the remaining Counters face heightened threats as city officials fake Chung-sin's death and Mayor Shin declares his presidential candidacy.|
|11||"Episode 11"||Yoo Seon-dong & Park Bong-seop||Yeo Ji-na||January 9, 2021||2.816|
|Mun and the Counters are in grave danger as a group of demon-possessed humans, recruited and led by Chung-sin, kidnaps Mun to lure the Counters. A soul that managed to escape from an evil spirit suddenly gives Mun the capability to contact the Yung. Ha-na helps Mo-tak restore his lost memories from seven years ago.|
|12||"Episode 12"||Yoo Seon-dong & Park Bong-seop||Yeo Ji-na||January 10, 2021||3.216|
|Jeong-yeong is murdered just before she could meet up with Mo-tak. As Mun tries to comfort him, Mo-tak reveals to him that Jeong-yeong's killer is one of her fellow police officers who have been with the force for over 20 years. After gaining Yung's permission, the Counters decide to close the noodle shop and fight against Mayor Shin, his accomplices and Chung-sin.|
|13||"Episode 13"||Yoo Seon-dong & Park Bong-seop||Yoo Seon-dong||January 16, 2021||2.974|
|Chung-sin's parasitic evil spirit upgrades to Level 4, the highest rank possible for evil spirits. The four Yung spirits demonstrate to the Counters a method they could use in defeating Chung-sin, but it has a catch: unless they are always inside the Territory, the Counters will lose their powers while using it. While Mun struggles with practicing his Territory summoning ability, Mo-tak and Han-wool apprehend the culprit behind Jeong-yeong's death.|
|14||"Episode 14"||Yoo Seon-dong & Park Bong-seop||Kim Sae-bom||January 17, 2021||2.981|
|The Level 4 evil spirit compels Chung-sin to kill himself and escapes from his dead body. Despite being deprived of the chance to meet his parents' souls, Mun claims he still can feel his parents' presence in the human realm and refuses to give up. Using the Territory, Mun scours Jungjin for the powerful evil spirit which has found a new host in Mayor Shin.|
|15||"Episode 15"||Yoo Seon-dong & Park Bong-seop||Kim Sae-bom||January 23, 2021||2.925|
|Mayor Shin escapes after Mun acquires a new ability. Ha-na successfully casts the Level 3 evil spirit out of Hyang-hee's body. Mun takes the traumatized Hyuk-woo to Eonni's Noodles. A Counter who returned from overseas to help the Korean team perishes after battling Mayor Shin, but things turn uncanny when his Yung partner unexpectedly possesses the body of an active Counter.|
|16||"Episode 16"||Yoo Seon-dong & Park Bong-seop||Kim Sae-bom||January 24, 2021||3.257|
|Mun and his fellow Counters engage in their final battle against Mayor Shin who has held Mun's grandparents hostage.|
Scriptwriter Yeo Ji-na left the series after 12 episodes due to "different opinions on the series' final storyline;" the 13th episode was written by director Yoo Seon-dong and the final three episodes of the season were written by Kim Sae-bom. On January 25, 2021, the series was officially renewed for a second season.
Through OCN and tvN, a special broadcast titled The Uncanny Return (경이로운 귀환) is scheduled to air on February 7, 2021 at 22:40 (KST). The special broadcast stars Jo Byung-gyu, Yoo Jun-sang, Kim Se-jeong, Yeom Hye-ran, Ahn Suk-hwan, Choi Kwang-il, Ok Ja-yeon, Lee Hong-nae and Jung Won-chang.
The following is the official track list of The Uncanny Counter: Original Soundtrack album, which was released by labels Genie Music and Stone Music Entertainment on January 24, 2021. The tracks with no indicated lyricists and composers are the drama's musical score; the artists indicated for these tracks are the tracks' composers themselves.
The first teaser was released on October 19, 2020, giving sneak peeks of the characters.
The first episode of the series logged an average viewership ratings of 2.7% nationwide and 3.2% in metropolitan area, peaking to a high of 4.1%. The second episode logged ratings of 4.35%, witnessing an unusual increase in average nationwide viewership compared to the ratings of the first episode. The audience rating for the 3rd episode was 5.2% nationwide. It rose 0.8% points from the ratings of last two episodes. The 16th episode recorded a rating of 11% for nationwide audience, which was the highest for the series.
|Ep.||Original broadcast date||Average audience share|
|1||November 28, 2020||2.702% (5th)||3.167% (5th)|
|2||November 29, 2020||4.350% (3rd)||4.145% (3rd)|
|3||December 5, 2020||5.329% (1st)||5.789% (1st)|
|4||December 6, 2020||6.724% (1st)||6.370% (1st)|
|5||December 12, 2020||6.060% (2nd)||6.695% (2nd)|
|6||December 13, 2020||7.654% (2nd)||7.364% (2nd)|
|7||December 19, 2020||7.721% (2nd)||7.602% (2nd)|
|8||December 20, 2020||9.302% (2nd)||8.963%(2nd)|
|9||January 2, 2021||8.386% (2nd)||8.289% (2nd)|
|10||January 3, 2021||9.093% (2nd)||9.188% (2nd)|
|11||January 9, 2021||8.677% (2nd)||7.764% (2nd)|
|12||January 10, 2021||10.581% (2nd)||10.203% (2nd)|
|13||January 16, 2021||9.372% (2nd)||9.476% (2nd)|
|14||January 17, 2021||9.926% (2nd)||9.870% (2nd)|
|15||January 23, 2021||8.995% (2nd)||8.550% (2nd)|
|16||January 24, 2021||10.999% (2nd)||10.785% (2nd)|
Awards and nominations
|2021||57th Baeksang Arts Awards||Best Supporting Actress (TV)||Yeom Hye-ran||Won|||
- The word 소문 somun (pronounced [ˈsʰo̞ːmun]) in the native title of the series refers to the main protagonist So Mun (played by Jo Byung-gyu); along with 경이로운 gyeong-iroun [kjʌ̹ŋiɾo̞un] (conjugated form of 경이롭다 gyeong-iropda [kjʌ̹ŋiɾo̞p̚t͈a̠] "amazing"/"marvelous"), the series' title roughly translates to Amazing So Mun. The name So Mun means "rumor" when taken literally, so the title can also be translated as Amazing Rumor. In the name So Mun, "So" is the surname and "Mun" is the given name.
- Korean: 악귀; Hanja: 惡鬼; RR: akgwi; pronounced as [a̠k̚k͈ɥi] ~ [a̠k̚k͈y]
literally "evil spirit" or "demon"
- In Jang Yi's Amazing Rumor universe, an akgwi can be classfied into one of four "levels" (단계 dan-gye; literally "stage of progress"; pronounced as [ta̠nɡje̞] ~ [ta̠nɡe̞]) of increasing severity. Level 1 (1단계 ildan-gye) means the akgwi has possessed a human host only recently and is relatively easier to capture and banish. Level 2 (2단계 idan-gye) means the akgwi has committed at least one murder and is gaining more strength. Level 3 (3단계 samdan-gye) means the akgwi has become more powerful and has gained supernatural abilities, such as communicating with its host (who will now be able to speak into two voices), psychokinesis and psychometry. Level 4 (4단계 sadan-gye) means the akgwi and the host has become one, gains an additional ability and is near-invincible.
- In Jang Yi's Amazing Rumor universe, the Territory (땅 [t͈a̠ŋ]) is an energy field that amplifies the Counters' strength and superpowers. Generated by the Yung through the merging of the energies of the human and divine realms, the Territory appears sporadically in random places and lasts for varying lengths of time. To the Counters, it appears like multiple iridescent pillars of energy that shoot from the ground up to the sky. To a human possessed by a powerful evil spirit, it appears like smoke or fog.
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