Mirror: A Tale of Twin Cities (2022) poster
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,602 users
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Ranked #6076
Popularity #2154
Watchers 1,602

Legend has it that God created the dreamlike paradise of Yun Huang. But when Na Sheng flees from the chaos plaguing her home in the Central Districts, it is clear that the Shangri-La does not live up to its legend. Nearly a century ago, Quan Xian’s Emperor Su Mo and Kong Sang’s future crown princess, Bai Ying, first encountered each other at the Mirror Tower. Su Mo, then a mere slave, had to cure the boredom of Bai Ying, bride to Kong Sang’s Crown Prince Zhen Lan. A mere three years in Su Mo’s company had her falling for him. But fate was cruel, Bai Ying jumped off the high Mirror Tower because the seal of the crown princess was broken, and she could not inherit the earthly power of the Bai family. Waking from a century-long slumber to find Kong Sang on the brink of destruction, Bai Ying reassumes her duties as the Crown Princess. Fast forward a hundred years, and an empowered Su Mo returns to a Yun Huang dominated by Cang Liu. He must find Bai Ying to deal with what will soon be a mutual threat. Will the burden of returning his people to Bi Luo Hai only enhance his hatred of Kong Sang? Or can Bai Ying’s enduring love alter his perspective? (Source: Liang Yun at MyDramaList; edited by Lee C at MyDramaList) ~~ Adapted from the novel "Jing - Shuang Cheng" (镜·双城) by Cang Yue (沧月). Edit Translation

  • English
  • 中文(简体)
  • Română
  • Español
  • Country: China
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 43
  • Aired: Jan 16, 2022 - Feb 16, 2022
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday
  • Original Network: Tencent Video
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Score: 7.5 (scored by 1,602 users)
  • Ranked: #6076
  • Popularity: #2154
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Where to Watch Mirror: A Tale of Twin Cities

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Cast & Credits

Reviews

Completed
afterrnoont
78 people found this review helpful
Jan 19, 2022
43 of 43 episodes seen
Completed 12
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 6.0

A Background Story Review

P.s. this review focuses more on the background story, hope that others can grasp what's going on better.

Mirror: A Tale of Twin Cities (镜双城) is a xuanhuan drama, adapted from the novel with the same title, 镜·双城by 沧月 (Cang Yue). The novel is broken down into 6 series: Su Mo, Bai Ying, Zhen Lan, Na Sheng, Yan Xi, and Yun Huan. But their stories are all correlated. Mirror Twin Cities drama adaptation focuses more on the story of Su Mo and Bai Ying.

A little background story for those who didn’t read the novel nor watched the donghua yet, the story takes place in the Yunhuang continent. In Yunhuang continent, there are 6 countries (Kongsang, Cangliu, and more). 7000 years earlier, Kongsang destroyed the sea kingdom. The previous sea emperor made a pearl to preserve his power and bloodline; and 7000 years later, a mermaid unaccidentally swallowed the pearl. Thus, Su Mo was born.

In Yunhuang, the mermaids were tortured and enslaved. A mermaid’s tears will turn into pearls, the mermaids were forced to cry; and if they cannot try, their eyes will be gouged out. Mermaids were tortured, forced to break their tails, and sold as a commodity and slaves. Both Su Mo and his mother are also very miserable. His mother has her hand and leg amputated and turned into a human swine. Su Mo was also tortured, and in order for others not to have his eyes, he gouged his own eyes. So Su Mo itself is a very dark character and he hates Kongsang people.

Mirror Twin Cities drama narrative centers around Su Mo and Bai Ying. Su Mo is a merman who also bears the identity of a sea emperor, he has the responsibility to bring the mermaids back to the sea. Meanwhile, Bai Ying is the eldest daughter of the Bai clan who has the responsibility to marry the Kongsang’s crown prince. The drama story timeline takes place when Kongsang was invaded by Cangliu, and after the sea emperor resurfaces again and wants to bring the mermaids back to the sea.

The first few episodes of the drama tell the flashback of what had happened 100 years ago. It has very weird and fast pacing, everything is thrown at you so sudden that you might need some time to process what’s going on. And you also won’t feel their chemistry yet. But stay and keep watching, it gets better! It has a pretty average script, but it has gorgeous landscape shots and CGI! But the editing and set are lacking, there is a lot of choppy editing especially during their fight scenes. The fight scenes are beautifully choreographed, but the shots and choppy editing makes it hard for people to understand whats actually going on. In addition, the set is also poor, this is a S+ project but the set looks like its a low-budget project. The "real" locations such as forest, houses, mirror tower were still okay but some like the sea kingdom, underwater scenes are poorly executed

Mirror Twin Cities is led by Li Yifeng (Su Mo), Chen Yuqi (Bai Ying), Zheng Yecheng (Zhen Lan), and more. This drama is Li Yifeng’s comeback historical drama after almost six years. Li Yifeng's portrayal as Su Mo is right on the point. A lot of people may say, “his expression stays the same”. But that’s what Su Mo was like, he is a cold and emotionless man. And also Li Yifeng looks REALLY GOOD in a historical drama. Meanwhile, Chen Yuqi's portrayal as Bai Ying was fine, she did improve a lot from her previous projects. But I can’t help but to notice that she has almost the same expression throughout the whole drama (except when she’s crying). Last but not least, Zheng Ye Cheng acting in a historical drama never disappoints, from his fighting scene, articulation, looks, everything is superb. Zheng Yecheng is also really commendable for being able to portray two totally different characters

In addition, Mirror Twin Cities also has an amazing OST lineup with star studded singers! And I love how there’s a specific OST designed for each character and situation that’s happening. The line up for Mirror Twin Cities OST includes:
1. 念归去 - 周深
2. 无惧 - 阿YueYue
3. 爱若无声 - 毛不易
4. 不为喜欢 - 张碧晨
5. 我是你的雨 - 银临
6. 相思不相忘 - 利胜
7. 风月唱 - 锦零
8. 问酒 - 姚晓棠
Sung by Zhou Shen, Mao Buyi, and Zhang Bichen, you can expect how much angst this drama has.

As someone who has read the novel, I’d say the drama has changed around 80% from the novel, especially character-wise. In the novel and donghua, Su Mo is a very cold and ruthless character. In the novel, Su Mo has no real feeling for Bai Ying at all. All he did was use Bai Ying to overturn Kongsang and try to rebuild the sea kingdom. It was only after Bai Ying jumped the tower, did he realized he was long fallen for her. However, in the drama, he is someone whose more emotional and compassionate (not that it is a terrible thing). For instance, during episode 1, you can see Su Mo as a bright young man helping other mermaids passionately, but that was not the case in the novel. Going through torture and betrayal when he was small, he was a dark and cold character. But in the drama, Su Mo has a straightforward attitude towards his love for Bai Ying. All in all, the drama focuses more on the romantic side of the story. If you have read the novel or watched the donghua, you may find the whole Mirror Twin Cities character deviate from the novel or donghua, except Zhen Lan. But when you are watching the drama, just try to forget the novel and donghua.

If this drama premieres after The Longest Promise (Xiao Zhan and Ren Min), the audience would probably grasp better whats going on.

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Completed
Xiao Zi
46 people found this review helpful
Feb 16, 2022
43 of 43 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 2.0
This review may contain spoilers

Good plot ruined by bad editing and story telling

I have been looking forward for this drama since its news reached my ears because of its star-studded cast and plot.

Mirror: A Tale of Twin Cities is a Xuannhuan drama adapted from the novel "Jing - Shuang Cheng" (镜·双城) by Cang Yue (沧月). This tells us a the story of Su Mo, a merman, and Bai Ying, the eldest daughter of the Bai clan. While Su Mo bears the identity of the Emperor of Sea and has the responsibility of taking all the merpeople back to Biluo sea from Yun Hung, where they were mistreated and enslaved for their tears which turned into pearls, Bai Ying should marry the crown prince of Kong Sang, Zhen Lan, inherit the earthly power and become the crown princess.

The first episode starts with Su Mo coming back to Yun Huang, the place where he and Bai Ying met, after becoming the Emperor of Sea. During his journey back, he meets Na Sheng, who then states a prophecy which plays an important role throughout the drama. Then, the rest of the 1st episode and the next few episodes shows how Su Mo, Bai Ying and Zhen Lan met a hundred years ago in the Mirror Tower and how their lives changed as they were compelled to bear great responsibilities. For me, the first few episodes felt really rushed. Actually, Su Mo spends 3 years in the Mirror Tower before Bai Ying's crown princess seal was broken when she fell in love with Su Mo and she jumped off the tower. But, in this, it felt like a few days like they fell in love too quickly. The chemistry was not felt. Their love was neither love at first sight nor slow burn. In my opinion, they should have given more time for the character and love development.

By the half of the 5th episode, we come back to the present time and it becomes more interesting and watchable. In this we discover that Bai Ying is actually alive as the Earthly ring saved her. The entire Yunhuang was invaded by Cang Lui a hundred years ago and is now under its control. While trying to save Kong Sang, the crown prince fell in deep sleep which continued for a hundred years, until Na Sheng inadvertantly finds the Heavenly ring. To save Kong Sang's people from Cang Lui's army, the six princes opened Wu Se city by sacrificing half of their spirit. After a series of incidents, Su Mo and Bai Ying meets again but the lovers couldn't reunite because of the circumstances.

Eventhough the script is a little sloppy, the plot is compelling with many predictable as welll as unpredictable twists. Sometimes, the story feels rushed while some times it feels too slow. The editing is done badly and the CGI effects and sets are not lively. But, this has pretty good cinematography.

There are many side couples in this drama. The main one among these is Na Sheng and Yan Xi. Yan Xi is also a mermaid from Biluo. During their first meeting, Na Sheng saves his life and they fell in love. Some other side characters also have their own love intersts. While some unite, some are compelled to seperate. Also there is a love triangle in this but, it is not severe. As Zhen Lan knows Su Mo and Bai Ying loves eachother, he just let it be and didn't try to pursue her.

Anyways, the cast did a good job. Li Yi Feng looks so good in costume dramas and so does Chen Yu Qi. Zheng Ye Cheng too didn't disappoint me. But, Li Yi Feng and Chen Yu Qi are still a bit backwards in pulling out emotional scenes but, they improved a lot in comparison to their previous works

This has many good OSTs sung by famous singers:

Love Is Silent 爱若无声 - 毛不易 Mao Bu Yi
Returning Home 念归去 - 周深 Zhou Shen
Want To Go Home 念归去 - 周深 Charlie Zhou
Not Afraid 无惧 - 阿 Yue Yue
Not For Joy 不为欢喜 - 张碧晨 Diamond Zhang
I Am Your Rain 我是你的雨 - 银临 Yin Lin

The one by Zhou Shen and Mao Bu Yi are my personal favourites. I also loked the starting BGM.

Overall, the only plus points of this drama is the cast, the plot and the OSTs. The other aspects like set, CGI, editing etc. are just meh. The rewatch value is also really really low as I don't want to struggle to enjoy the bad editing again :(
I cannot say this is a must watch or anything but, I can say this is an enjoyable drama if you disregard the sloppy editing.

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The Longest Promise

Details

  • Drama: Mirror: A Tale of Twin Cities
  • Country: China
  • Episodes: 43
  • Aired: Jan 16, 2022 - Feb 16, 2022
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday
  • Original Network: Tencent Video
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 7.5 (scored by 1,602 users)
  • Ranked: #6076
  • Popularity: #2154
  • Watchers: 6,896

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