A car accident sends Zhang Xiao back in time into the body of one of her previous reincarnations, a 16-year-old aristocratic Manchu girl, Maertai Ruoxi, who lived during the Qing Dynasty. Despite knowing that she shouldn’t get involved in palace intrigue over the succession to the throne, Ruoxi became a pawn in the struggle since she couldn’t help but love someone, as others came to love her. ~~ Adapted from the novel "Bu Bu Jing Xin" (步步惊心) by Tong Hua (桐华). Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
I don't even know from where to begin with. You know when drama leaves you spechless, with many emotions that even after finishing it you can't gather yourself and keep replaying that song that reminds you of every single moment of a drama. Yes, that's how I am right now. Here I am sitting on a chair with tears in my eyes and writing a review for this wonderful drama.
I liked everything about this drama. Literally. The story-time travel, historical, romantic one, princes and Ruoxi who had so many beautiful relationships with them. One phenomenal story that will move you to bones. Beautiful China, deep, passionate love, season changing, scenery, every single detail is done in the most professional way that you totally forgot about the time and enjoy in this magnificent piece. Cecilia is a beautiful woman, so beautiful that I couldn't take my eyes of her. They way she acts, cries, loves is the wonderful enjoyment for my eyes. Everyone did a fantastic job in their own roles just like as it is written for them.
The part that made me bound for a drama is Ruoxi's relationships that she had with all princes. With one she was a drinking buddy, the one who understands her the most, with the other she was goofy and happy, with third she felt protected and with last she was in love with. Their interactions with each other, words, gestrures, glance they shared with each other simply crawls into your skin and you become a part of it.
Another thing that fascinated me is that every character in this drama has it's faults, nobody is perfect. As the story progress you see them change eather good or bad, precisely they changed in a way which their ambition led. Nobody's perfect, we all know that, we all make mistakes and regret later, we all have that moment of glory that makes us forget how we really were before, that moment when we all want to go to the past and correct things is something we all have and this was exactly the case in this drama. Their decions, mistakes, pain, sadness, happiness are made in such a stong way that you can feel it, understand why they done that and simply connect with every character in there.
***** SPOILER ALERT!*** ( About her relationship she had with princes, so if you want to know nothing, don't read it).
13th prince was the one for me. Right from the start. Their relationship was real, they understood each other completely, for him she didn't need to say anything, he'll understood her with one single gesture she makes. She liked him as her drinking buddy, but I, I felt that that is the real relationship between man and woman. He was there in her the most hardest times, happiest times, he was always there as a loyal friend. Soulmate friend. The scene when he deeply hugged her, directing her this words: "When the grass is green next year, old friends will no longer look the same. The sea holds our closest friends and the ends of the earth are our neighbours" moved me to bones and that's why it'll be carved in my heart forever.
14th prince has a special place in my heart. Principle man, weighed down by deep sense of honor and loyalty, kind, strong, He liked Ruoxi as a friend, even married her just so he can help her and that was what I appreciated the most.
Ah, here are her two loves 8th and 4th prince. 8th prince is her first love, the man whom she experienced the meaning of a love. He is romantic, protective, she felt safe when she was with him. They both know that it is a forbidden love, love that hurts, but what do you really can go against the feelings? Rouxi and 8th loved each other, but not enough to give up on everything. Later, their love was replaced by respect towards each other.
As for 4th Prince, well he was her true love, love 'till her death. Their chemistry was breathtaking, passionate, intense. It was so stong and powerful that when they were apart, their longing makes your heart break and you can't help but cry. He is calculative, with secrets, but towards Rouxi, he's different. He can be honest with her, tells her openly that he wants the throne, he was like himself with her. And that was love. Love that can last 'till eternity even when they're not together. But, when 4th Prince became Empreror their minds and opinions changed. Like they are strangers they didn't understand each other. The more they didn't understand each other, the more their love hurt. They were so close, yet so far, under one Heaven, but like miles away. They hurt each other, wanted to hate but they couldn't, longed for each other. He didn't care for anyone, only for her. Ruoxi was her everything, his soul, heart, mind, love. I vividly remember when he told 13th prince: "She cares for other, I care only for her."That was the proof how much he loved her. I wasn't that fond of him, cause he became selfish and tyranic, but their love was truly the strong one and it will always stay with me.
*** SPOILER END***
Oh and to say that Rouxi is the one of the strongest female characters in dramaland. She is intellegent, brave, unselfish, when she loves she loves till her core. The burden she carry is big, but wasn't able to share her story. She was a true survivor after all. She smiled, cried and loved to the fullest and that makes a woman strong, that even know it hurts, you're trying to get the best out of it. And that job was done by Cecilia whom I just have a words of praise and admiration.
I'll for sure rewatch this drama cause it's totally worth it. Even though it is sad, I took a positive side of it and placed some hope at the end. It is truly a beautiful story about love, friendship and passion. I laughed, cried, felt happy. I simply lived with this drama.
At first, I wasn't sure if I was going to watch it. Let's face it - half balded guys aren't exactly eye candy. But I was wrong! And I'm glad I found people who were raving about it because it made me want to watch it! I got over that issue by the 5th episode - and some of the Prince's are still cute! And whatever else lacks, the story is the most important part - and it was excellent! I had mixed feelings about the princes' throughout the drama.
The acting was amazing! I've heard that Chinese dramas tend to not be acted out that well - but this one is certainly an exception! Wonderfully done - whatever the characters were feeling were clearly portrayed. They cried - I cried.
The music is beautiful! I love the soundtrack! Listening to it now, it just makes me sad - but I can't stop listening! Beautiful!
I don't think I'll rewatch this drama soon - only because there's already so many I have lined up to watch.
Overall - this drama was really worth the time. 35 episodes may seem like a lot - but the story is really done well and it made every episode worth it!
On a side note - keep in mind to expect some not so good greenscreen use and such. Actually some of it was bad enough that it made some scenes [when they're riding on a horse] look like something straight out of a video game. On the plus side - I found it comical and it added humor to a scene haha. Another thing to note that slightly bothered me - she's stuck in the past for many years: but none of them seem to age. It's not until it's almost over that they look slightly different. Because of those things I can't give this drama a full !O. I almost gave it an 8 but it's such a great story, the ending.... get some tissues ready!
Another thing - you don't have to know anything about the Qing Dynasty to follow along with this story. In a way I think it might be better if you don't. I didn't and it left surprises for me when I found out what would happen to the characters.