Bromance (2015)

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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 3,795 users
Reviews: 41 users

Because of one simple word from a soothsayer, Pi Ya Nuo has been raised as a boy all her life. By chance she saves underworld mob boss Du Zi Feng and his sister. His sister falls in love with Pi Ya Nuo at first sight. Things gets complicated when the she becomes "sworn brothers" with the mob boss, just as her 26th birthday comes closer, and with it her chance to finally read morelive as a woman. As her 26th birthday approaches, she must decide if she wants to return to a woman or continue to be Du Zi Feng's best pal.

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  • Also Known as:

    Ai Shang Ge Men

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37 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Feb 27, 2016
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 7.0
  • Acting/Cast 9.0
  • Music 8.0
  • Rewatch Value 7.0
I had no idea what to expect going into it. And the little things I did expect were completely shut down. I don’t know if I’m just not yet used to the format/style of Taiwanese dramas, but it felt weird to me.

But I liked it. I'm so torn about what to rate it, I keep going back and forth between 7.5 and 8. It's like a 7.8

There’s just something about read more it that kept me watching.

I started watching when there were already eleven episodes out. I kept telling myself, “This is a good place to stop. I’ll do something else, I’ll go to sleep, and I’ll finish tomorrow” and then I’d finish the episode and hit the next button and the process would continue until I was caught up with the lives.

Here’s the thing: you have to watch this drama with an open mind. I’m sorry, but I could not take the plot seriously. It was pretty predictable, and, I know this is a korean term, but it was a makjang drama. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was so weird and cheesy and over-dramatic, but I found it funny and enjoyable. If you go into the drama expecting some serious movie-like mob drama, you will be disappointed.

It was so freaking cheesy. Like every possible cliche happened within the first episode. The entire drama was like this, but it didn’t bother me because I thought it was hilarious. I know some people get annoyed with cliches though, so I’m letting everyone know now.

Also, part of the reason I couldn’t take it seriously from the beginning was because everything happened so fast. Like a whole episode’s worth (or two) of plot set-up happened within the first like ten minutes? It moved really fast and it was really extreme. But don’t stop watching because of this.

Also there were some little details with the plot that bugged me. For example: not putting someone into dry clothes when they have hypothermia, a person who just had surgery walking around without crutches. The birth. But whatever, I’m a nit-picky person.

One thing that made me really happy was that Megan actually looked like a guy. The stylists did a really good job. It was the first time I’ve seen a gender-bender drama where the girl convincingly looked like a guy. Also, she blew me away with her acting. She did a really good job at acting like she grew up living like a boy. Her posture and the way she walked were so convincing.

The romance was so enjoyable, they had fantastic chemistry together. And they had so many amazing kisses! Like a ton of them! Passionate ones! The main lead was nice from the start, and was a genuinely good and caring guy. I am now a fan of Baron Chen.

There are some issues I had with the drama, I won't go too deep into them because most of them contain spoilers. Basically I docked points from the rating because of some issues I had with the plot and some of the acting. I thought the cast had great chemistry together, but the things that should have been taken seriously, I couldn't take seriously. However, overall I enjoyed it, which is saying something coming from a person who doesn’t really like gender-benders.

What really made me happy about this drama was that there was never any homophobia. “As long as two people genuinely love each other, does it matter who the partner is?” Like damn, the messages in this drama were so good, I’m kind of wishing they were actually gay to make a stronger point. The message still came across strong, and not just through our leads, but through the other couples too.

This was a fun drama, and despite the issues I had, I’m glad I watched it.

*I cut the review short because of spoilers. Read the rest of my review on my tumblr: kfan-obsessions.*
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33 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Feb 22, 2016
  • Overall 10
  • Story 10
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 10
Bromance is the kind of drama that upon first look is remarkable cliché: a young woman cross-dressing as a man. For that reason it might fly under the radar for many drama fans. Aficionados will be familiar with the premise through Coffee Prince, You’re Beautiful and Beautiful Boys and might not be interest in another similar story as they’re pretty hard to top up in terms of innovation, script, performances and general read more appeal. Newcomers will likely dab through the first two considering the revered status both Coffee Prince and You’re Beautiful have in drama land.

Being familiar with previous dramas there was never an inkling to watch Bromance. It’s like eating the best ice-cream one has ever eaten in their lives. Once one has that experience it becomes borderline impossible to find another ice-cream whose texture might be better than that one. Coffee Prince, You’re Beautiful and Beautiful Boys are like vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice-cream; the most amazing flavours in the planet for some, for others, might be mango, lemon and raspberry or any other flavour, perfect, unique, irreplaceable.

Bromance will not top up the most amazing ice-cream one will ever have within the genre. Not because it’s bad overall, not because the script is bland, blasé, inconsistent and positively appalling, not because the acting is awful dabbing into dreadfulness at times making one cringe in agony, or the music so loud one that one is left tuning the sound down as not to hear the screen coil in desperation. Bromance will not become a favourite ice-cream flavour for either aficionados or newcomers for the simple reason that afficionados already have their favourite ice-cream and unless there’s nothing to watch, which there is with interesting plots most likely will stray from it and newcomers have their flavours to discover and Bromance does not make the top list, regretfully.
Bromance is a really good drama surprisingly and rather addictive from about minute 2 of episode 1 to the point where one will want to binge watch it straight.

The script is very consistent and full of texture like a raspberry sorbet, with the right balance and essence; the acting from an audience point of view is compelling and believable, bring the story to life in what seems like an effortless manner alternating scenes of pure screen silent screaming to giggles to a very loud laughter and nearly jumping on the sofa like a teenager being silly, enjoying a really tasty ice-cream, and not feeling one bit bad about it. The highlight being the end of each episode with entails the start of the next one when one binges on 15 episodes of Bromance in a day and half. To think that there are dramas that still have that effect on someone after countless dramas, some really spectacular, others not really but that’s the life of a drama enthusiast.

Zi Feng is a triad leader and the general manager of an amusement park. He commands respect although not as a villain but as a man who works hard, loves his family and protects those he cares about. Zi Feng is so incredibly human that is surreal and that humanity is what makes the audience empathise with him. He’s lovable as a male character; he’s honest and caring, incredibly loyal with a great sense of justice and responsibility but also struggling with his feelings for the person he loves in the beginning, a woman pretending to be a man. Zi Feng falls in love with Pi Ya Nou as a person, not caring whether or not Ya Nou is a man or a woman.

Ya Nuo is a young woman living as a young man due to a fortune telling prediction that she should leave as such until she reached her 26th birthday. She meets Du Zi Feng with whom she becomes sworn brothers but over the course of time develops feelings for him. Ya Nuo is fiercely loyal, kind and generous putting everyone’s needs in front of hers. She complements Zi Feng in ways that many female characters do not complement the male and for that the writers should be credited for. Megan Lai performs Ya Nuo brilliantly giving the character a life of its own.

Zi Feng and Ya Nuo should go down in Taiwanese drama history land as one of the most amazing couples ever to grace the screen so in tune they are with one another, like Ying and Yang.

The OST is particular vibrant with two solid exciting tracks performed by Bii, Ephocal Times & Back in Time.

Overall Bromance is a breath of fresh air in drama sphere biased towards old conceptual premises, however the mix of flavours between gender bender echo chic cliché with an original setting and character frames is like putting different ice-cream flavours in a blender. One might think that the consistency looks slightly off, that the taste might be just too familiar to give it a try but it’s left in awe wonderland when trying it out, wishing for more, needing more, wanting more and realizing that the ice-cream is nearly over so it’s better to start enjoying it while it lasts and before it melts.

The best things in life are those one has to wait the longest to achieve but in the end it’s all worth it!
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Make a Recommendation More recs (11)Recommendations

These two series have lot of parallels.
Gender-bender, straight guy falls for a girl he thinks is a guy, coffee, sworn-brothers, love triangle.
Recommended by Jedida Krogh
Gender Bending because her missing mother insisted that the female lead had to be a boy. Female lead is confident strong, witty and smart but she really wanted to be herself rather than 'himself'.

Historical setting.
Recommended by Art T

Comments (764)

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  • Reply
    lovecoutureflyy 4 days ago - edited
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    josephine 10 days ago

    i loved this dama! I always liked the "boy is secretly a girl" story's cuz come on, if a guy loves another person so much he is willing to overlook the fact that that person is a guy...thats called true love people!! XD
    I loved the storyline and the actors, and the kisses...ohmygawwdd <3

  • Reply
    Nernel Jul 21, 2017
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  • Reply
    LinLi Jul 19, 2017 - edited

    First drama where the actor looked good as a guy and actually looked like the other gender. It almost made me wonder if I was bi...

    • Reply
      fudanshi 9 days ago

      Admiration isn't to be confused with attraction!

  • Reply
    May Jul 16, 2017 - edited

    This is the Taiwanese drama with the best kisses I've watched so far.

    • Reply
      JTKdramafan2 Aug 20, 2017

      Omgawd yes i just finished it, and i was just, "Omgawd why can't i find someone to kiss me like that!!" And the ending like omg right?

  • Reply
    jinnborn Jun 27, 2017

    I'm on episode 4 now, and I should say that the lead actress is amazing, she is doing a great job acting as a man. I think this one is the best gender bender drama.

  • Reply
    Luna Vang Jun 21, 2017 - edited

    I enjoyed this drama a lot, there were a lot of cheesy parts, cliche plot lines, but what I found satisfying was Meghan Lai's role as she acts like a boy. What I usually find from other gender bender dramas was that they just didn't look the part and couldn't pull off the role to act like a man but in this drama I was glad to see that she was able to pull it off and LOOK the role. Like for once you finally have an actress who can pull off a pretty boy look and not look just overly pretty with “man” clothes on.

    On the other hand her acting as a boy;; i felt that she exaggerated a lot of her actions etc. to try to seem manly and in someways sometimes her acting looked cheesy/awkward but if i were to compared this drama to other gender bender drama I would say Bromance is the better one. It’s worth the watch guys (and just as a side note I loved Chen Baron in the drama, but his hair…I wished they could’ve done something to it, cause he had a lot of hair and they were long, not long but head-long, iono what I’m saying no more LOL but i loved his role not so much his hair style wished they could’ve changed it once or twice in the drama) (but it makes me wonder what kind of hair style would’ve suited him if not that one LOL i don’t know why I’m so focused on his hair)

    I didn’t intend to write so much but from other reviews and comments I just had to comment more. I understand how others can find this drama way weird and awkward and cheesy etc. but I’ve come to notice that most taiwanese/chinese dramas are like this. They’re way different from Korean dramas, the editing styles/the directing, these are all different. Putting these aside, the storyline, yes is cliche and predictable but most dramas are cliche and predictable. Aside from these typical plot lines I feel that the drama did justice to the role of gender bender and did justice to the love-line between the 2 leads. Each supporting cast had their own stories that were told and resolved. We were able to get brief insights to their stories. I enjoyed how other characters (although they were supporting roles) they were given their own individual time to shine in the drama. I truly enjoyed the roles of the mother and the daughter (Du Zi Han and her mother) as they both had a very close-knit mother-daughter relationship so it was fun seeing the mother rooting her daughter etc. Guang chao (friend to the main girl lead) is the comedy in the drama, he’s pitiful in a comedically way to bring laugh to the drama. Aside from this, some character’s role may be annoying, or boring, etc. but they’re all roles that are commonly seen in typical dramas and have their purposes.

    I'm sorry if my writing is so unthorough and it's such a weird way to end my comment but these were all things I’ve been wanting to comment so I’m just taking the chance. Hope you guys try the drama out and if you really don’t like it just drop it, not a biggie. :)

  • Reply
    Andrea Jun 16, 2017

    Hey, I was wondering if anyone knows when the male lead finds out that Pi Yanuo is actually a girl? Like a specific episode :)

  • Reply
    Liz Jun 12, 2017

    I'm seeing a lot of mixed reviews about this series. Personally i think this is one of the best dramas i have seen. Yes there are some parts where its slightly cringe but i don't think I've ever watched a show that hasn't been the slightest bit cringe. This is also a really good way of looking at gender bendering series because most of them spend the whole series trying to hide the fact they are a man or a women and then you lose other parts of the plot. This story doesn't just focus on the fact the she's cross dressing which i like because theres more of the story to enjoy. When watching, you need to keep in mind that this show has more than one thing going at once, heaps of different stories in one. Thats whats good about it because the stories all join up in the end. Dont you think the show would just be like every other gender bending series if they spend the whole series trying to hide it? There is more to this show than just the fact that there is a cross dresser.

    A lot of people are saying that they cant watch past episode 1, it gets better. I'm up to episode 11 and I'm really enjoying it. I also saw a comment about how it was stupid for Du Zi Feng to jump across the buildings to get to Pi Yanuo and give him/her an already wet jumper. Yes, the wet jumper wouldn't have helped much but he didn't just jump across risking his life to put on a wet jumper. He went over to make sure she/he stayed awake and he also sat there using his body temperature to warm them up.

    Over all i don't think there are many negatives i can give it.

  • Reply
    YJen Jun 3, 2017 - edited

    This drama had so much potential but it dropped the ball, with the script. I had to quit after 5 episodes. I originally gave it a pass on the 1st episode because it was the 1st episode and they are usually trying to find their feet. But as time passed I kept wondering when things were going to get better. Yanuo does not act like a person whose life depends on her keeping her identity a secret. To me, she makes a half-assed attempt. The problem lies with the way her interactions with Zi Feng are written which are awkward and forced to say the least. The drama has Yanuo putting herself in situations that will expose her (purposefully by the writers ?) and those attempts just felt cheap. Things didn't happen naturally like it would in a real life setting. The characters were just put together to make a story without real ties and a lot of exposition. Seriously, how many times have we seen the sharing bedroom stint done ?..HUNDREDS.

    I've seen this similar plot done tons of times before and better. They should have taken a note from Coffee Prince on how to write and act out different relationships, especially gender bending bromances.

    Having said that I would like to see the 2 main leads again in a better scripted show.

  • Reply
    YukiTsubaki May 24, 2017
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    Whiskas8 May 14, 2017 - edited

    I really wanted to watch this but before I could even finish episode 1, I decided to drop it. The first few minutes already had a lot of stupidity I couldn't continue seeing more. I love genderbender series because those are hilarious, but where did the writers come from that it has a lot of detached from reality scenes happening one after another???

    • Reply
      YukiTsubaki May 24, 2017

      How exactly is it detached from reality...? I don't get it. Although the acting was a liiiitle awkward at times, there are no events that happens to make it seem that its detached from reality. You're probably thinking about the 'reason' she kept her gender a secret. Although I get that its weird, you really shouldn't let that stop you from watching. At first I was a little put off about that, but the romance and comedy is really nice.

    • Reply
      Whiskas8 May 28, 2017

      Thank you for your advice, I will try watching this again some other time. I just couldn't get into as I am craving for some makjangs as of the moment. :) I'm sorry if I ever offended you as a fan.

    • Reply
      YukiTsubaki May 31, 2017

      I see lol, I can get that. Well there are some dramas that don't seem interesting to me at first, but then is later one of my favs. I like the comedy in this one... eh? No, you didn't offend me at all. I was just curious and confused about how you see this drama to be detached from reality.

  • Reply
    claudya87 Apr 17, 2017 - edited

    I can finally admit that I hate gender-bender series. There! I said it! and this series is to blame on my definitive choice.

    • Reply
      ReilaNimu Apr 23, 2017

      I don't like the theme all that much either, even though Coffee Prince is my favorite drama.

    • Reply
      YJen Jun 3, 2017

      I totally agree with you. Coffee Prince is the exception though.

  • Reply
    Meshe Apr 7, 2017 - edited

    Still can't decide if Qing Yang knew Ya Nuo was girl from the first time he saw her or if he's just that laid back.

    • Reply
      Lacey Jun 6, 2017

      Yes! I was wondering the same! He looked taken aback by Pi Ya Nuo from the start!

  • Reply
    Liang-Ying Mar 20, 2017 - edited
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      YukiTsubaki May 24, 2017 - edited
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  • Type:

  • Episodes:

  • Aired:

    Oct 18, 2015 to Feb 21, 2016
  • Aired On:

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  • Duration:

    1 hr. 15 min.


  • Score:

    8.1 (scored by 3,795 users)
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