‘Lookism’ Recap And Ending, Explained – Did Hyung’s And Deok’s Duet Win The School Festival?

“Lookism” is the latest eight-episode anime, authored by Park-Jae-Toon, and produced by Studio Mir. The voiceover cast includes the likes of Nick Martineau as Jin Ho Bin, Mark Daugherty as Ji Ho, Eugene Ko as Deok-Hwa Pyeon, Hwang Chang-Yung as Lee Tae Sung, and more. The anime follows the story of Park Hyung-Seok, who is often bullied for his looks and body. However, his life changes when, one day, he wakes up in a new body and begins receiving the attention he has always yearned for. 


Spoilers Ahead

The Miserable Life Of Park Hyung- Seok

The anime opens up with the protagonist, Park Hyung-Seok, getting bullied and abused by a bunch of school kids for being overweight. Everyone at school calls Hyung a “pig” owing to his weight, often using him as a target for practicing football and betting to see who can hit his face. Seok’s life has never been normal, he was always bullied, pushed around, and beaten, and the only peace and solace he can find are via singing. Hyung has no friends, and his classmates always make a mockery out of him for his physique, forcing Hyung to think about transferring to another school. Hyung tries to convince his mother to transfer him to another institution but is forced to back down since it took too long for her mother to settle in the town. Hyung’s weight is also taking a toll on his mental health; he’s unable to concentrate on his studies and often gets chided by his teachers and friends for being dumb and poor. He blames his mother for their lack of financial support, always asking, “What has she done for him anyway?” But after visiting Hyung at his school and seeing how other kids treat him, Hyung’s mother decides to transfer him to another school; however, she won’t be able to join him because of her job but promises to visit him and send him money so he can buy his favorite snacks.


Waking Up To Something Unexpected 

Hyung shifts to a new neighborhood, hoping to make a fresh start for both himself and his life. He desperately wants to make friends and wishes for others to like him—something that he never experienced in his old school. Hyung even tries to act cool and smart after bumping into a lady; however, his dream is short-lived after the lady’s boyfriend beats him up in the middle of a square in front of hundreds of people who are busy taking stills of him getting bullied rather than helping him. Hyung cries heavily after returning home, dozes off, and wakes up to something unexpected. Upon waking up, he sees a ripped and handsome man lying beside him and learns that he has gained the ability to switch between bodies. Hyung is having a hard time making sense of the situation and decides to call 911, but he ceases after going through all the mean comments from the video of him getting beaten up by the man from before. Hyung could finally have what he wanted and use his new body to break out of his past life and the misery, bullying, and abuse that came with it. On the first day of his new school, Hyung left his new schoolmates and teachers speechless with his newfound body and confidence. His new body is doing wonders for him, and everyone wants to make friends with him, lining up to take a selfie with him, and girls are craving his attention, unlike his old school, where he was threatened to be “beaten” if he dared to talk to anyone. Hyung had no choice but to take fashion as his major because of his low grade and low attendance. Hyung even takes night shifts at a convenience store, so he can sleep during the day, allowing his other self to shine in school and obviously make ends meet.

The Trouble Follows

The next morning, Hyung is forced to fight Seong after the latter disrespects his mother and knocks him down. In reality, after years of bullying and getting beaten, Hyung, at some point, was able to see the punches coming but didn’t have the strength to react or dodge. However, that’s not the case with his new body, as he was able to defeat Seong with little to no effort and felt his body moving and reacting on its own. Hyung even frees himself from Bosco’s grab. Bosco is the leader of the “burn knuckle gang” of the architecture class. He is considerate and soft towards the weak and believes Hyung to be a bully like Seong, only judging him by his good looks. Bosco also saved Hyung (the original) from bullies when he was forced to fight another helpless kid. People see Hyung (original) and Hyung (new) in different lights. People are empathetic and nice towards Hyung (new) but despise the sight of the latter, and in a way, even Hyung is kind of jealous of his new body and yearns for the attention and praise he’s prone to. 


Hyung’s mother visits her son and asks his new body to take a walk with her with the intention of getting to know him better. In reality, she is way too conscious of his friend circle after she sees him getting bullied and beaten in his old school. She was so busy making ends meet each day that she had no idea about her son’s condition. Meanwhile, Bosco is still under the impression that Hyung (the new) is bullying Hyung (the old) and making him do his errands and again forces Hyung to exchange blows. Bosco has been training all his life and is a brilliant boxer, adept in fighting but is effortlessly knocked down by Hyung in a single blow. 

Hyung Seok And Deok Hwa

Students in the fashion class are so desperate to steal attention away from Hyung that they won’t even mind investing millions of won in watches, handbags, and chrome heart ring. However, their efforts are in vain, and the crowd is always drawn towards Hyung, thanks to his good looks, politeness, and friendly behavior towards others. They wonder why Hyung is always surrounded by girls, given that he’s completely broke and is always wearing the same shoes and carrying the same ratty backpack. Even the normal kids at school are curious and conscious when Hyung tries to bond with them, believing that he’ll later use them as his personal errand boy. But one kid, Jae-Yeol, is empathetic and considerate towards Hyung and gifts him designer and expensive clothing on his birthday. Jae-Yeol is a rich and quiet student who never judges someone based on their looks or finances. He even beats up a couple of bullies who were planning to hurt Hyung after the latter beats Bosco in a fair fight. Hyung has finally made a friend, and though Yeol doesn’t speak much, his efforts say everything. 


Not only the students but even school officials discriminate on the basis of class and appearance. One certain student from the vocational class, Deok-Hwa, aspires to become a successful rap artist, but his classmates always try to thwart his plans. He even was let down by the school officials and wasn’t even allowed to audition to perform in the upcoming school festival, saying, ” a guy like him could never perform in the school festival.” No one is interested in his singing voice just because he doesn’t have the looks to complement his talent. Deok is a brilliant kid and jots down lyrics for his rap from his experience and the people he encounters, but he feels that just like others’, his dreams will end up in the gutter. Like Hyung (the older), he too was bullied for his looks and physique and was used whenever his classmates wanted free food. After bearing witness to the prejudices, Hyung realized that no matter where he transferred, there’d always be someone like him and Deok. Who has decided that helpless kids like Deok belong at the bottom of the food chain? For Hyung, things are now easier because of his newfound body, but what about Deok and the other kids? Whenever Hyung (original) looks at himself in the mirror, he realizes that even though he’s free from the relentless bullying thanks to his new body, he’s still hopeless, given that he’s still the fat kid desperately trying to dodge fists. Bosco is also, in some aspects, similar to Hyung and Deok. Maybe he, too, was bullied, harassed, and then decided to train himself to death so no one could pick on him. 

The owner of a big record label is invited to chair the festival, and that’s why Deok wanted to showcase his talents so he could be successful like his idol, Eminem, who too was bullied but shocked the world with his skills. Like Deok, Hyung is also a brilliant singer, but he always keeps it to himself, fearing he’ll become a laughingstock. He knows how hard and saddening it is to be kicked, pushed around, and laughed at. Deok overhears him singing, and the duo decides to take part in the school event. Deok sees Hyung as a rich, tall guy with chiseled good looks and the one who defeated both Bosco and Seong, but after getting to know him better, he realizes that he’s no different than him. Hyung, too, like him, turns off the lights during the day to save money, keeps books in a tidy sack, and rolls vegetables up in newspapers to keep them fresh. And that’s why Deok feels only Hyung can sing his song, his lyrics, because he gets it. Both Hyung and Deok have found solace and inspiration in one another. To sum it up, they both have found the “looks” to complement their talents. Deok’s respect for Hyung skyrockets when the latter politely refuses when Deok’s grandma tries to offer him free food. Just like his mother, Deok’s granny is too busy working so she can provide for her grandson. 


‘Lookism’ Ending Explained – Did Hyung’s and Deok’s Duet Won The School Festival? 

Bosco, after overhearing Hyung’s (original) and Deok’s conversation, realizes that he has been picking fights with Hyung (new) for nothing and that he’s actually a great kid, not some bully beating up helpless kids! Bosco makes things right with Hyung, sarcastically commenting that he could easily take him down in their next fight. Doek and Hyung’s duet was scheduled for last, and upon entering the podium, people relentlessly praised Hyung for his good looks but chastised Deok for his physique. In reality, the majority of the students at this school are the same; they judge people solely on their looks and how heavy their wallets are. Deok is ready to seize the opportunity, and on the contrary, Hyung has cold feet, fearing he’s not as talented as his partner and other contenders. However, Deok encourages him and advises him to sing from his heart and for the one he loves. Hyung thinks of his mother, who did everything in her power to raise him after his father’s death. To everyone’s surprise, Deok and Hyung left the crowd in awe with their performance and won the competition, but the owner of the record label only offered to sign Hyung-Seok, offering him a giant advance. But why did the label owner offer to sign Deok? Because according to him, the public is biased and only appreciates when you put the stuff they like on the table. But for Hyung, friendship is much more valuable and precious than fame, and he, without hesitation, turns him down.

Even though he wasn’t offered the chance to sign up with a music label, Deok, thanks to his friendship with Hyung, managed to get his confidence back and vows to never give up till he achieves his dream of becoming a successful rapper. He had now realized that good looks aren’t everything, and when you’re up there, at the podium, looking at the masses, the only thing that matters is your talent. The looks that once divided him didn’t really matter anymore. Deok’s words moved people, and everyone listening in the audience could feel the emotion he put into that song. It’s not just the story of Hyung and Deok; it’s the story of every kid who is bullied because of their looks and financial background.


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Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh Shandilya
Rishabh considers himself a superhero who is always at work trying to save the world from boredom. In his leisure time, he loves to watch more movies and play video games and tries to write about them to entertain his readers further. Rishabh likes to call himself a dedicated fan of Haruki Murakami, whose books are an escape from his real being.

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