Good Ol’ Review: “Love for Love’s Sake” a Revelatory Series

Love for Loves Sake Korean Drama Review

No spoilers.

There might be a tendency to judge a Korean BL series within a certain parameter. But Love for Love’s Sake (연애 지상주의 구역) is not just an excellent Korean BL drama. It is an excellent Korean drama period. The series is able to transcend and overcome the limitations and hurdles of the emerging Korean BL genre and online streaming format. This romantic fantasy features a higher concept in style, substance and execution than some might be used to, either in Korean BLs or Korean drama as a whole. And its total package makes it a standout and memorable experience.

Love for Love’s Sake tells the story of Tae Myung Ha (Lee Tae Vin), a 29-year-old man who finds himself transported into an online role playing game where he is now a 19-year-old version of himself. In this seemingly virtual world, Myung Ha meets Cha Yeo Woon (Cha Joo Wan) who, while a talented track star from humble beginnings, maintains a wall around others. Myung Ha discovers his mission is to bring him happiness.

Love for Loves Sake Korean Drama Review

As Myung Ha navigates this strange reality, he forms relationships with rich kid Cheon Sang Won (Oh Min Su) and introvert Ahn Kyung Hoon (Cha Woong Ki). Both of whom unwittingly help with his mission.

But as his relationship with Yeo Woon grows and develops as well, Myung Ha struggles with the unexpected surprises of the game only he is aware of. All while also dealing with scars and shadows of his own life.

Love for Loves Sake Korean Drama Review

Adapted from a webtoon, Love for Love’s Sake explores themes of self-discovery and the search for happiness. Using the high school setting, the series is able to touch upon those themes in a refreshing and engaging way. Also while introducing a few other ideas such as the complicated feelings of love and friendship as well as loneliness and loss.

Romance is of course to be expected when coming into a series like this. But it never gets in the way of the grander message the series appears to be trying to convey. The series manages a careful balance in which each thematic piece of the narrative work hand in hand with each other.

At its heart, Love for Love’s Sake tells a story of friendship and bonds. And the relationships formed between our four main characters perfectly depicts how the bonds and connections that we make in this world can help shape our lives. Whether that is the relationships of family, friends and love. Those connections and the choices that one can make with the help or due to those connections are cleverly played out through the guise of a video game.

Love for Loves Sake Korean Drama Review

It is a creative and unique way to tell what is sometimes a very emotional and dramatic story. While at the same time also presenting some wonderfully nostalgic, sweet and bright moments.

Though the series does run into some pacing speed bumps towards the end, its refreshing take on familiar stories and ideas allows it to overcome those hurdles. And those pacing issues are not necessarily pronounced as other series in the genre. Perhaps due to Love for Love’s Sake‘s strengths in pretty much every other area.

One of those areas is its excellent cast. The talented cast elevates what is an already strong pairing of writing and direction. Lee Tae Vin, Cha Joo Wan, Oh Min Su and Cha Woong Ki have excellent and immediate chemistry. It is easy to be able to get drawn into their world and their relationships. Lee Tae Vin and Cha Joo Wan particularly deliver some captivating performances as well, especially when the story turns to heavier material as it reaches its climax.

Love for Loves Sake Korean Drama Review

It is their performances that make you want to see more of their stories and lament the fact that the series is only eight episodes long.

Visually, the series features careful and purposeful direction. With a beautifully filmed cinematic look and feel that makes you feel like you indeed have entered a video game. Or even just a fantastical storybook.

Again, the writing, directing and performances of the talented cast work hand in hand to elevate each other just as much as the narrative pieces are able to support each other as well.

Love for Loves Sake Korean Drama Review

And that is what makes Love for Love’s Sake such an impactful series. Everything comes together to offer up what is a unique and refreshing blend of romance, fantasy and human drama. The balanced focus between characters and the intricate story allow for what is ultimately a sincerely resonant, emotional and thought-provoking series. And one that would be difficult to forget anytime soon.

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