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Series / Awaken

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Awaken (낮과 밤, Natgwa Bam, literally "Day and Night") is a 2020-2021 South Korean thriller series starring Namkoong Min, Kim Seol-hyun, Lee Chung-ah and Kim Chang-wan.

Someone is killing people related to a village where a tragic event happened over twenty years ago. Do Jung-woo and Kong Hye-won try to uncover the link behind the event and the murders.

The series can be watched on Viki with English subtitles.

Not to be confused with the webcomic of the same name.

Contains examples of:

  • A Minor Kidroduction: The children in the prologue grow up to be Jamie and Jung-woo. Another child shown in flashbacks grows up to be Jae-woong.
  • Arc Words: "I'm standing on an empty road all by myself. The sun is shining brightly. And the clock that's never wrong says it's 12. Then I wonder, is it noon or midnight?"
  • Asshole Victim: The serial killer's victims are thoroughly unpleasant people, so no one is too upset at their deaths.
    • Kim Young-joon was a rapist and murderer.
    • Park Kyu-tae was a psychopath who enjoyed beating people to death.
    • Baek Seung-jae held drug-filled parties where eight people died and many more were injured.
    • Choi Yong-suk was a rapist.
    • Son Min-ho experimented on people in White Night Village.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Jung-woo is a very eccentric policeman, doing things like sleeping in the holding-cell. He's also a very good policeman, and the one who decodes the killer's messages.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Jamie flings herself upright after a nightmare about White Night Village.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Hye-won rescues Jung-woo when he falls over the stair-rails. Jung-woo isn't grateful because she pulled his hair in the process.
  • Creepy Child: The child in the prologue (later known as Jung-woo) claims to be responsible for everyone in the village going mad and attacking each other, and he doesn't bat an eyelid at seeing people killed in front of him.
  • Creepy Crows: Crows appear in the prologue, watching as the village burns.
  • Criminal Mind Games: Before killing his victims the serial killer sends warning letters to Ji-wook.
  • Deadly Nosebleed: A child develops a nosebleed after being injected with experimental drugs. They die shortly afterwards.
  • Death of a Child: In a flashback Jung-woo sees a child's body being carried away.
  • Disney Villain Death: Kim Young-joon dies by being pushed off a building.
  • Dissonant Serenity: The child in the prologue stays perfectly calm even though the village is burning, people are killing each other, and a man drops dead right in front of him.
  • Distant Prologue: The prologue takes place twenty-eight years before the rest of the series.
  • Dramatic Drop / Slow-Motion Drop: Jamie drops her cup and knocks her chair over when she regains some of her memories. Both fall in slow motion.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Ji-wan is so preoccupied by looking for cards that he doesn't notice the table-cloth being changed or Hye-won and Jung-woo changing their clothes.
  • Faking the Dead: Jung-woo fakes his death in the final episode.
  • Faux Fluency: Jamie's English is much more stilted than you'd expect from someone who grew up in America.
  • Free Wheel: A burning wheel is seen rolling along the road in the prologue.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Jamie is a woman.
  • Harmful to Minors: In the prologue the people in the village attack and murder each other in front of a child. And at least one of them tries to kill the child too.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Park Kyu-tae was killed by his own dogs, which he used to torture people.
  • Improvised Weapon: Jung-woo stabs Gong Il-do with a fountain pen.
  • Jump Scare: In the prologue a child opens a door. A man covered in blood jumps out at him then collapses, apparently dead.
  • Karma Houdini: Son Min-ho was involved in the deaths of almost everyone at White Night Village. Not only did he get away with it, he became a billionaire from the profits of selling the drug developed in the village. Then the serial killer comes along, blows up his house, and he still survives.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Jamie lost all her memories of White Night Village after she escaped it.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Hye-won comes on the scene seconds after Jamie gets kidnapped. If she'd been just a bit faster she would have seen what was happening, but instead she's just in time to see the kidnapper drive away.
  • No One Could Survive That!: A burning building collapses with Jung-woo inside. Everyone assumes he's dead. Of course he survived.
  • No Sense of Direction: Jung-woo. Jamie learns this the hard way when he gets both of them lost.
  • Ominous Korean Chanting: Shows up on the soundtrack occasionally.
  • Playing with Syringes: The children at White Night Village were experimented on by Son Min-ho and his team.
  • Poetic Serial Killer: The serial killer's victims are all criminals, and his warning messages show he kills people in ironic ways.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: Choi Yong-suk dies by refusing to get off the train tracks when a train is approaching.
  • Red Herring: The evidence points to Jung-woo being the serial killer. He's arrested, and then Lee Ji-wook is told about another murder that Jung-woo couldn't be involved in.
  • Secretly Dying: Jung-woo is terminally ill. The sweets he's constantly eating are actually medicine to hide his illness.
  • Shipper on Deck: Seok-pil and Ji-wan ship Jung-woo and Jamie.
  • Split Personality: Jae-woong has two personalities, one of which is a psychopath who's the serial killer.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Baek Seung-jae drowns in a shallow pool. This is one of the reasons Jung-woo knows his death was murder, not suicide.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: The people responsible for White Night Village get their Laser-Guided Karma. Jung-woo fakes his death but still checks up on his former teammates.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Byeong-cheol throws a tennis ball at Jung-woo. He misses and hits his favourite potted plant instead.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behaviour: The prologue shows a child walking through a burning village and watching the survivors murder each other, apparently unconcerned by the devastation all around him. Made even creepier when he claims to have caused it all.
  • Wham Shot: Lee Ji-wook sees someone in the serial killer's lair. He zooms in and sees it's Jung-woo.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • In the prologue a man sneaks up behind a child and is about to hit him with a rock before someone else intervenes.
    • Son Min-ho and his team experimented on the children in White Night Village and killed many of them.
    • As a child Jae-woong poisoned a group of men.