Paul’s Miraculous Adventure is a Japanese anime series about a young boy named Paul whose friend, Nina, is kidnapped by the demonic ruler of another world. He daringly goes on a risky expedition to rescue his playmate. His journey is beset by many difficulties, but he also encounters a variety of delightful wonders.
After Pil Joo figures out that Jin is expected to have another heart surgery, he confronts Jin about it, worried that keeping it a secret will hurt Ae Jung in the long run. Jin says that since he may not have long to live he just wants to spend as much time as he can with her and give her as much love as he can give and warns Pil Joo to not say a word of it to Ae Jung.
Meeting up with Seri later, he admits that she was right in that he is not quite over Ae Jung. He explains how he feels like Paul in the story who is trying to rescue Nina (Ae Jung) from the evil ruler (Jin) and while he may have succeeded in saving her once, she replied that she wanted to return to the evil ruler because she felt sorry for him. It mirrors the love triangle of Pil Joo, Ae Jung and Jin as Pil Joo had tried to save Ae Jung, at her request, from going back to Jin. But after seeing that she was still in love with him, he showed her Jin’s text message from earlier that she resisted and sends her off to him (See: Potato). Considering the current situation now, he muses how if “Paul” were to argue with the “Evil Ruler” to let “Nina” go but was told that “Nina” was really happy there, then it would be really strange of “Paul” to continue to try to rescue her, right? Seri senses that Pil Joo is talking about himself and asks who she is in the anime. Pil Joo tells her that she’s the Mushroom Buddy who served underneath the Evil Ruler but has now gotten a bit closer with Paul.
While Ae Jung and Jin are enjoying their picnic date, they miss seeing the gossip storm brewing over the interview that Pil Joo’s mom gave to scoop-hungry reporter. Pil Joo tries to defend Ae Jung by telling reporters that he and Ae Jung quit the show after a mutual agreement and that she was completely honest with him. The media twists the story saying that the Perfect Man was not only betrayed but that he had known about the boyfriend. Pil Joo agonizes about what to do next and Seri tells him that in situations like this it is best to stay put. Plus, if he speaks any further it may spark people’s interest in finding out the identity of the celebrity that Ae Jung is involved with. A frustrated Seri tells Pil Joo to not think about running into that strange land again and whatever happens to “Nina”, that “Evil Ruler” will work it out for her.
But Pil Joo cannot standby idly and while trying to escape reporters, Ae Jung slips and falls. He rescues her from them and takes her to his home to tend to the scraped knee. They use double-talk using the wound as way of expressing how mad Pil Joo is that Ae Jung never stands up for herself. Pil Joo pleads with Ae Jung to leave the strange world with him but Ae Jung stands firm. There are things that she needs to protect.
After betraying Manager Jang, Seri goes to see Pil Joo to get his look of approval. She also informs him with Paul/Nina metaphors that Jin kidnapped Ae Jung after her press conference. So is he going to save her from the strange land? Pil Joo tells her the end of the story. The Evil Ruler of the strange land disappears and Nina returns to Paul. Seri asks incredulously if Paul takes Nina back. Pil Joo confirms that he does and reflects on how strange Paul is. Seri then asks what happens to the Mushroom Buddy. Pil Joo doesn’t remember since he wasn’t really interested in that character. She retorts that she may not know the story very well but knows that the Mushroom Buddy character was the most popular. So how long is Paul going to hang on to Nina? Pil Joo: “Until she doesn’t cry anymore.” While I don’t think it is Pil Joo’s intent to be cruel, telling the end of the story seems to indicate what might happen if Jin doesn’t survive his surgery. If Jin dies and Ae Jung returns to Pil Joo, Pil Joo would do his utmost to comfort her and take care of her.
The ever persistent Seri asks her assistant to photoshop faces of herself and Pil Joo onto the bodies of Paul and Mushroom Buddy. While she would love to show Pil Joo the picture, her assistant advises her against it since it would make her look like a stalker. She agrees to just put the picture on her phone and goes off to “accidentally” bump into Pil Joo at Jenny’s cafe. Not fooled for a second, Pil Joo calls her out on it but Seri cheekily replies that he pushed her away from the very beginning and made the resolution to do as she pleases. He makes a crack how similar she is to that person and since they are so similar they should have just stayed together. Seri wonders if he hates the Evil Ruler so much, does that mean that he hates her? The question catches him off-guard and before he can respond, she quickly decides that she doesn’t want to hear the answer. He quietly whispers to himself that he doesn’t hate her.
After some time has passed, Ae Jung runs into Pil Joo on the street right before her pending nuptials to Jin. They catch up with each other and Pil Joo is genuinely happy to learn that Ae Jung is happy. He says, “It’s fortunate that Nina has shed her last tear.” Ae Jung isn’t sure what Pil Joo is referring to so he continues, telling her that he’s finally going away to study. He then asks her if she could hold his pulse and she does. He says that he is finally getting over his feelings and thanks to her he’ll always remember that trip to the strange land. While it may hurt from time to time, the hurt will soon dissipate.
While the Dolphin Puzzle (See: Dolphin Puzzle) was something Pil Joo thought he needed to finish in order to get over the hurt of being rejected by Ae Jung, it was this story that made him understand his own motives better through Paul. Pil Joo recognizes how it is strange for Paul to keep going after Nina after she had insisted on staying with the Evil Ruler. It may have at one point provided Pil Joo with a source a hope that if the Evil Ruler disappears, he can step up and fill that void. It’s his own version of being the white knight. But alas, he realizes that this isn’t his fairy tale.
Most of the objects and words of affection are used in relation to Dokko Jin and Gu Ae Jung, this is the only one that is solely between Pil Joo and Seri. Even until the end, Ae Jung isn’t aware of the reference. Seri uses this story to get closer to Pil Joo while Pil Joo is using it to lament over his broken heart.