Since I have watched previous iterations (and even a 2D version) of Absolute, I sort of knew how the ending would turn out. My only anticipation of the ending would be whether the scriptwriters stick to the original (where the robot “dies”) or re-write it to be a happier one. As it is, Absolute took the chicken-hearted method — the “neither here nor there” ending. Although you could read that the person Da-da was smiling at under the umbrella was Young-goo (after all, we saw his fingers twitched when Da-da came to say her last goodbye to him). But…it could also be Wang-joon returning from the States. (see? open-ended, chicken-hearted)
As to how I’d rate the Kdrama version of Zettai Karashi, I’d probably give it a 5-6 over a 10? Thanks to the premise of the narrative — a “perfect” boyfriend, who would be really perfect if he is human — the beginning of Absolute was pretty cute to watch. And also when Young-goo oversteps “boundaries” and transcends to having “real feelings” instead of merely programmed reactions to learned emotions — similar to the original manga, Absolute raises the important question of how “love” is defined. Can a love between an inanimate object and a human be “real”? Given that the human is an unspoken “owner” of the robot?
Likewise, the other characters in Absolute also voiced our innate misgivings over Da-da’s choice of having a machine be her lover — for one, Young-goo (if he doesn’t have that pesky meltdown), would not age. Very soon, Da-da will be bringing along a boyfriend who looks like her grandson (I would be quite sure she’d be very disturbed). Plus, the fact that their relationship has to be kept under wraps, cos of Kronos’ “company policy”, but in reality, likely due to society’s inability to accept such a pairing (Da-da’s group of friends are a microcosm of the naysayers).
So, like its predecessors, Absolute has to “kill off” the main lead and turn the romcom into a melo. But maybe to satiate hardcore fans of Young-goo, Absolute has to “suggest” an alternative ending: where the robot’s love transcend his (its?) physical damage and thereby allowing a “miracle” to happen(?)
Possible — after all, this is the 21st century. The earlier narratives of Zettai Kareshi are all set years ago, where AI and robotics are still at their infancy.