The plot of the story is based on the foreign settlement in Shanghai back in the year 1932. It is about the story of a ‘Spy Agent’ who uses the nickname ‘Athena’ who juggles between war of the country and family conflicts. Michelle Ye plays main lead as ‘Goddess of Revenge’ Liu Lizi, who appears on the surface as the top beauty attraction of the Bailemen entertainment house, but is in fact a female spy who has submerged among the Japanese officials in order to take the revenge for her family line.
-Michelle Ye's Realm (RM1314) Add Synopsis In Portuguese
Cast & Credits
I would recommend this to people just for the amazing action scenes and the love scenes between Liu Lei Zi (Athena) and Na Lan Dong!
The story line was amazing. You never know what's going to happen. There were times where things SEEM to be dragging along but it just added to the flow. The action scenes were mixed with Chinese kung fu (mainly Tai Chi) and guns. They were spectacularly filmed and even more amazing when Athena was using her special weapon! Sometimes the action scenes were a bit ridiculous though like having dozens of people shooting at one person and can't even get the target dead. Instead the dozens of men would be dead or something and the target wouldn't even be hurt.
The acting/cast was a 9 for me because I didn't really like Dean Wu's acting and Michelle Ye was meh. Her initial "crying" scenes made me want to just stop watching because all she did was whine and there were no tears. Her laughing seemed so forced sometimes, it made me cringe. What I really loved was Liu En You's acting (as Na Lan Dong)! This is the first drama I've seen him in and he's amazing at his role (and well I don't think this is a spoiler but he's acting out as a player who falls for this one girl, etcetc). It's really cute watching the scenes between him and Michelle.
I didn't really pay much attention to the music but when the sad scenes came, the music felt just right. Also, the music when Liu Lei Zi is dancing captures the essence of her dancing!
I would definitely rewatch this maybe in another few weeks-months. The chemistry between Liu Lei Zi and Na Lan Dong can sometimes be tiring to watch but most of the time, it's so exciting to see where they're going to head towards!
My first gripe is the historical inaccuracies. While most 1940's drama shows the characters wearing qipao and common minguo style dresses, the characters in Athena parade around in modern style dresses with 6 inch heels. While I was willing to overlook this, there were also some very unrealistic fight scenes. I never knew that the Japanese had massive dungeons underneath their factories and buildings, or unguarded halls of mirrors leading to their offices.
Secondly, the romance was unbearable, I knew there was bound to be romance, but not like this. I was expecting strong female characters fighting for their country, not whiny teens cat-fighting over the same man. If i had a dollar for ever time Liu Lizi ugly-crying, I would be rich. This show is basically an extended love triangle involving every character in the show, men and women alike. On the battlefield they might be badass, but the poorly written romance scenes that last up to 5 minutes reduces them to whiny characters that care more about finding romance than actually aiding the resistance.
Lastly, the characters were totally inconsistent. One moment, Liu Lizi will be killing her enemies, the next shes crying as Na LanDong drags her somewhere. All within the same minute. All of the characters have no personalities, and their character depend completely on their subject of romance. This includes the colonel lady, who, apart from being Japanese, is no different from every other character who does nothing to further their patriotic efforts. Occasionally, she shots random passerbys or smashes ornaments for no reason at all than to remind the audience that she is still a villain. None of the characters are relevant outside of romantic scenes and the rare fight scene.
In conclusion, Athena is a pile of lost potential because of the way it treats its characters. It had the potential to be a semi-feminist-semi-revolution drama, but it was just another frustratingly pointless love triangle, just disguised as a war drama. The plot was interchangeable with any other genre, and it would be generous to even call it a war drama at all.