“Pachinko”, the new Apple tv+ series is an adaptation of 2017’s best-selling novel Pachinko written by Korean-American author Min Jin Lee. The Korean drama unwinds a heart-rending tale of a Korean family through Japanese occupation.
The lead character Sunja (played by Minha Kim and Youn Yuh-jung) is an abiding Korean woman who after having lived a youth of endless struggles moves to Japan to provide her children with a better life.
Like most book-to-screen adaptations, “Pachinko” differs from its textual content in a variety of aspects, possibly perceivable as both positive and negative by the audience. We will be shedding light on some of the notable contrasts below:
Even though the series explores Sunja’s youth and the struggles of her youth in great detail, the book fails to unravel a lot of this information.
Solomon’s love interest
The series sweeps through with Solomon as a single man. Even though it does unfold the rekindling chemistry between kim and his old love interest Hana, Solomon is in a committed relationship in the book.
Sunja and Hansu are first introduced to one another at the village’s market, but they only get to know each other when Hansu intervenes as some Japanese boys attempt to sexually assault Sunja at the market. Hansu is painted as a tender and kind character at first but after Sunja reveals she’s pregnant, he starts acting distant and commanding.
However, contrary to their relationship blossoming in the series, the book unveils Sunja merely as Hansu’s persistent pursuit.
Different unfolding of Sunja’s events
A few of Sunja’s events are seen unfolding differently in the series than they do in the book for example Sunja going back to Korea, Hansu and Sunja’s meeting, Sunja helping Solomon close the real estate deal, etc.
Min Jin Lee’s book is written in English, whereas the show involves English, Korean and Japanese languages.
It is safe to say that the few deviations here and there actually added to the show’s charm as it turned out to be a hit with an 8.7/10 IMDb rating and 98% rotten tomatoes. For more books to show comparisons, stay tuned with Retrology.