The Similarities of C-drama's "The Backlight of Love" and K-drama's "49 Days"

Screenplay adaptation is a normal practice in filmmaking. In many instances films and television series are adapted from books, web novels, and manhua (comics). Even in Asia, C-drama, K-drama, and Thai drama are all adopting this trend.

However, there are rare moments when we have noticed similarities between the two series, even though one is not an adaptation of the other.

The glaring example is the similarity of The Backlight of Love and 49 Days. The Backlight of Love is a C-drama released in 2015 starring Dilraba Dilmurat, Merxat Yalkun, and Zhang Xuwen. While 49 Days is a K-drama released in 2011 starring Nam Gyu-ri, Lee Yo-won, Jon Hyun-jae, and Bae Soo-bin.

Plot of The Backlight of Love:

Jiang Li is an ultra-rich girl who is about to marry an executive who works in her father's company. But on the day of their wedding, she runs away and goes to an abandoned building to elope with his high school love, but she gets stabbed.

As she lays on the ground dying, an angel appears before her spirit and tells her she needs to uncover the identity of her murderer within seven days to live again.

As her body lays in a coma in the hospital, she starts wandering as a ghost and delves into her past to find clues of the identity of her murderer. 

But she suffers a memory loss due to the impact of her injury, and thus, needs to enter the memory of the two men in her life to extract information to resolve her mission.

Plot of 49 Days:

Shin Ji Hyun (Nam Gyu-ri) is about to marry her boyfriend, Kang Min-ho (Bae Soo-bin), an executive who works in her father's company. 

But before the wedding could take place, she discovers Kang Min-ho being unfaithful, she speeds her car in a busy highway and she meets an accident. 

As she lays on the ground dying, a scheduler appears before her spirit and tells her to collect three genuine tears within 49 days to have the chance to survive.

To accomplish her mission, she needs to enter another body to appear like a normal person. She chooses the body of Song Yi-Kyung (Lee Yo-won).

COMPARISON

In The Backlight of Love, Jiang Li gets stabbed while in 49 days, Shin Ji-Hyun meets a car accident. Their soul both meet an angel/scheduler.

The angel/scheduler explains the condition of their chances of survival, and also the consequences if they fail to accomplish the mission. 

Both female characters become comatose in the hospital. But while Ji-Hyun penetrates someone else's body to appear like a normal person, Jiang Li remains a wandering ghost.

In 49 Days, the ghost Shin Ji-Hyun has 49 days to collect three genuine love tears to have a chance to live again. In the Backlight of Love, Jiang Li has seven days to identify her murderer to have a chance to survive.

In 49 Days Ji Hyun discovers her high school classmate, Han Kang (Jo Hyun-Jae) secretly loves her, while in The Backlight of Love, Jiang Li wants to know if her high school love, Mo Yan, truly loves her. 

While wandering in the spirit world, both characters uncover the deceit of their respective future grooms whose real purpose in marrying is to take over the company of their rich fathers. 

Both characters however have similar endings. Ji Hyun accepted her fate that she was destined to die. Jiang Li, after uncovering the identity of her killer, also accepted her fate that she was destined to die. They both walked in the direction of light to eternity with the angel/scheduler.

The Difference

In 49 Days, Ji Hyun uses someone else's body to find people who can give her love tears, while in the Backlight of Love, Jiang Li remains a wandering ghost.

But while 49 days has so much love from Han Kang (Jon Hyun-jae) for Ji Hyun, The Backlight of Love is totally devoid of love. 

Han Kang treasures Ji-Hyun and genuinely loves her, he gives one of the three tears. While in The Backlight of Love, it's the other way around (just read my review in a separate post to avoid giving spoilers here).

The scheduler has a deep connection with Song Yi-Kyung and realizes the reason why his spirit still wanders on Earth, while the angel in Jiang Li's spirit does not have a backstory. 

Ji-Hyun able to collect the three genuine love tears. She temporarily recovers from the coma. She enjoys a brief time with her family and Han Kang and is able to save her father's company from Kang Min-ho' treachery.

However, she suffers complications from her injuries and later died. She heads to the direction of the afterlife with the scheduler (who was also able to fix his past). 

While Jiang Li realizes the deception and manipulation she suffered in her life and accepted the fact no one loves her. After uncovering the identity of her killer, she refuses to be revived. She heads to the direction of the afterlife with the angel.  

Both have sad endings.

49 Days is an original script. It has 20 episodes. While The Backlight of Love is adapted from the novel, "Love Against the Light". It has 11 episodes.

Read Related Articles:

Review of The Backlight of Love

Profile of Dilraba Dilmurat

Profile of Merxat Yalkun

What's the Difference between K-drama and C-drama?


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