Cruel Romance

Details

Statistics

  • Score: 7.9 (scored by 2,033 users)
  • Ranked: #1331
  • Popularity: #608
  • Watchers: 5,272

Weekly MyDramaList Support Goal

0%
Help Support MyDramaList

Top Contributors

24 edits
9 edits
6 edits
6 edits

Recently Watched By

Completed
purplenette
29 people found this review helpful
Jun 10, 2015
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
Cruel Romance has a decent main story line, but the story gets bogged down with some of the secondary story line to the point of annoyance. At one point I thought "not again" and realized that they pretty much recycled the same plot point with a few minor changes. I gave it a higher score because of the main romantic story. One of the problems is that the women characters aren't that smart. One lets herself be manipulated into doing things that end up hurting herself and the other seems smart, but makes really bad decisions. Anyway, at least the antiheros were smart. If you like action, romance and suspense, then this is a good drama for that.

Joe Chen is really cute and a good actress, but Rong Jin Xiu wasn't the best role. For her character to be smart at one point and then to make foolish decisions. Well, her character paid for those decisions in a huge way. I think she had decent chemistry with Huang Xiao Ming who played Zuo Zhen. He is an excellent actor. I like how he showed control of his emotions without being a cold person. Plus he is HOT! Kelsey Lu is also a good actress, but the character Yin Ming Zhu is one of the most annoying I have ever seen. I get her past and why she did some of the things and I felt sorry for her when certain things happened to her that were totally not her fault. The problem is that I couldn't have cared less what happened to her by the end of the show. The other male characters weren't likable to me. The actors did fine jobs at playing the characters though. At least Qiao Kimi as Xiang Ying Dong admitted his selfishness. Let’s talk about some hotness overload in Qi Ji as Maeda Ryuichi. He plays crazy really well and there absolutely no redeeming qualities for his character, but he did it so well. I really enjoyed his acting. The other actors are good too.

The music is ok.

I won't rewatch this.

I recommend this drama. It isn't perfect, but it is entertaining.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Seung_Min
38 people found this review helpful
Apr 6, 2015
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This story is really really amazing! Outstanding action/fight scenes, very awesome and very very cool love story that would make you fall head over heels most especially with Huang Xiao Ming's character as "Zuo Zhen". Each character was portrayed flawlessly.

You won't be disappointed once you watch this and you'll definitely watch this over and over again, that's a 110% guarantee (as I, myself together with my Mom kept watching and watching this over and over and over again)!

The story is all about Love, Loyalty, Trust, Understanding, Forgiveness, Pride, a little bit of Revenge and or Outrage, Deception, Endurance/Hardships (in protecting one's love, protecting sworn brother's and turf "gang related matter" as well as preventing Opium to spread all over Shanghai Bund). Lastly, Humanity, Care, Compassion, Grace and above all Dignity.

A standing ovation to the Casts, Director, Crew members, Writer, Special effects dept. and everyone who made contribution on making this story/series Perfectly! This is what we can say "created that's worthwhile''. I thank everyone who made this series - you guys made the impossible possible and I (with my Mom) thank you guys from the bottom of our hearts!

Huang Xiao Ming and Chen Joe's chemistry is very awesome! Hope we can see them together again on other films, movies or series or shows!

Best of luck to everyone! Looking forward to other shows as Brilliant as this! Keep up the good work! Thanks guys for making it possible for us to watch and enjoy this!

Cheers and Have a good one!!! Jiayóu!

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Annalisse
9 people found this review helpful
Jun 2, 2015
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.5
This review may contain spoilers
Seeing some comments people either LOVE this or are indifferent and I can relate to both sides. Let me start by saying that I watched up until episode 23 the first time before I had to put it on hold so I could wait for the rest to be subbed. So, for weeks, I obsessed over this drama and thought I had it pegged as a cute love triangle drama between a naive girl, a Shanghai playboy, and a Triad leader. Once the rest of the drama was subbed and I got the chance to re-watch the entire drama, I found out I was VERY wrong. The first 20+ episodes are cute and romantic with points of seriousness, but the remaining 15 or so episodes are HEAVY on the drama. I'm not complaining. I didnt expect the plot to go in the direction it did, but at the same time, I was not ready for just how bleak the characters and storyline became. I will say this: after watching so many dramas where, after watching half the episodes, I can call who will do what and what will happen, it was refreshing to be surprised. That being said:

Story: a love triangle centered around a naive 'country' girl who tries to make it in the big city, been there and done that. But the way the story unfolds, and how Zuo Zhen gets Jinxiu to fall for him is totally sweet and will have you rooting for them for the entire series. The side love stories only added to the main plot and you end up getting invested in ALL of them (even the backstories and romances of the characters I hated I was interested in).

Acting/Cast: I have no complaints. I should note that I love when dramas aren't afraid to give side characters a bigger role and allow the audience to fall in love with them. Sometimes they help make the show what it is, and thats definitely the case here. I would like to give an extra special round of applause to my dear Qi Ji who plays Maeda Ryuichi. I have NEVER seen such a good villain. After seeing him in Cuo Dian Yuan Yang (worth checking out) I got used to seeing him in a more positive light...which was quickly destroyed after Cruel Romance. He plays evil/crazy so well, he became a reason to watch all on his own. And that's all I will say about that for fear of revealing any spoilers :-)

Music: Solid Nothing to write home about, but it certainly helped the tense and dramatic moments.

Rewatch Value:YES! I re-watched the first half and certain scenes multiple times to tide me over until the subs came out.

Overall: I adore this drama. One of my only gripes is the amount of flashbacks, especially towards the end, was a bit too much. And it wasnt that they would flashback to a moment, but for a few scenes worth. One of the last episodes had more than 20 mins of flashbacks (I timed it). I felt they could've devoted some of that time to better wrap up the story at the end rather than show us scenes we've already committed to memory. Also, be warned, there are character deaths. No spoilers, just thought you should know seeing as how I was sobbing for the last few episodes over some much loved characters. Even with all that this still ranks as a 9.5 overall. Definitely worth the time!

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Aryael
10 people found this review helpful
Mar 27, 2015
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 6.0
Story: A young and naive lady, Rong Jin Xiu went to Shanghai in pursuit of the men who murdered her family and to search for her elder sister, Ming Zhu who had left the family many years ago. Along the way, she accidentally met and rescued Shanghai's most notorious and powerful gangster leader, Zhuo Zhen, and Shanghai's richest playboy, Xian Ying Dong. She fell in love with Ying Dong but was aggressively pursued by a possessive Zhuo Zhen. Through a series of near death experiences and clearing of misunderstandings, Jin Xiu finally learned that the man who truly loves her is the rough and tough Zhuo Zhen. However, happily ever after for Jin Xiu does not come easy even after she and Zhuo Zhen realised their love for each other. There are many who are out to separate the couple. More misunderstandings ensued amidst the setup of pre-World War 2. The ambitions of the Japanese to conquer China and the world, especially the financial empire of Shanghai cannot be denied. The Japanese spy/businessman that was given the responsibility of conquering Shanghai is Maeda Ryuichi and Maeda has his own personal agenda when it comes to Rong Jin Xiu. And what of Jin Xiu's sister, Ming Zhu? She has her own sad and painful story to tell:- of love, sacrifices, death, murder, betrayal and salvation. Hers is a character that will experience, change and grow a lot through the drama. Will Ming Zhu find her happiness as well? It is for me to know and you to find out! :)

The story is typical of 1930s Shanghai romance with the involvement of businessmen, gangsterism and Japanese spies. Personally, I think the entire story can be told in around 25-30 episodes. There were just too many flashbacks and insignificant scenes that distracted from the main story. The main story itself is actually not too bad. Therefore, I blame the lower rating of story and overall on the directing of this drama. If the director had cut down on the flashbacks, insignificant scenes and tightened the drama - the story of Jin Xiu and her sister Ming Zhu would have been better told and Cruel Romance 2015 would have been a better product. If you are planning to watch this, I highly recommend that you fast forward the flashbacks. It'll be less annoying this way.

Acting/Cast: I give 10/10 for the actors and actresses. They all did a superb acting job. The reason for my final lower score of 9/10 is the many obvious errors in directing and editing of the drama. There are parts that seem to drag 2-3 seconds too long - the pause causing a less smooth shifting of scenes. It is not the actors' fault as it is the director and editor's job to make sure each scenes flow nicely into each other without any obvious or awkward pauses. Again, I place this blame on the doorstep of the director.

Music: Nice OSTs:- sad, nostalgic and meaningful. I have them downloaded and am enjoying the OSTs now.

Rewatch value: Due to its' length and the many flashbacks, it is not a good candidate for re-watching. However, there are some romantic scenes between Zhuo Zhen and Jin Xiu that may warrant some re-watching for those of you romantics at heart!

Overall: Considering the directing hiccups, I give this drama 7.5/10. It is a passable drama but not great. Story-wise, it is worth your time watching but only if you are happy to be pressing the fast forward button over tonnes of flashbacks.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
FreeWhirpool
5 people found this review helpful
Jun 22, 2017
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 5.0
Story 4.0
Acting/Cast 5.5
Music 5.5
Rewatch Value 4.5
This review may contain spoilers
Regret. That's what I felt after wasting more than 3 precious days of my life binge watching this hot mess.

But if you asked me how I felt, say, 28 episodes or so in, I would've gushed loudly and happily, rambling on about the great chemistry, suspenseful story and amazing atmosphere. Sure, I would've admitted to plot holes and glaringly obvious breaks of logic, but my love for the passionate romance would have made me gladly overlook the negatives.

What went wrong, then? What made me go from giving this show a solid 7.5 (or even an 8) to giving a measly 5 (which I have given very reluctantly, considering how I actually want to give it a 4)?

To start off, I'll say this: The female lead is utter bullcrap. I have never, in ANY of the dramas I've watched, seen such a fickle, pushy, entitled and naive female lead- she's about as frail and intelligent as a dandelion. There is a limit to how dumb you can be, but this heroine surprises me every time. I can't say anything without spoiling the show for you (if, you know, you're still adamant to watch the show), but she acts VERY immature and heartless sometimes.

She's beauty,
She's grace,
She's a COMPLETE waste of space.

The male lead is dense. There's no other way of saying it. He constantly pushes around the female lead, directly or indirectly dictating her life and clings like a vine. I get it, you like her (for reasons beyond my understanding), but, sheesh, get yourself under control, man. But I'd take him over her moody ass any day; he was at least likeable.

But despite the problems I had with the characters, the story was engaging. It made me stay up till 3:30 in the morning on weekdays, desperately trying to find out what happened next...

...which is probably what made the shit that went down after (maybe) the 30th episode feel almost like betrayal.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

The heroine chooses, CHOOSES, to believe some random seedy looking dude she just met over the male lead (who she, by this time, already hooked up with and has his bun in her oven) that he killed her parents. She doesn't bother to confirm what she heard or to even ASK the male lead on if it's true or not. No, she just packs up and LEAVES.

And then, through some miracle of god, somehow ends up joining a group of rebels whose aim is to drive away the Japanese from Shanghai (and possibly, China). Yes, this chick, who has never held a gun in her life, got magically chosen to train with an elite group of rebels, who just happen to have the support of high-ranking officials in Shanghai, such as our male lead. Not only her, even the pissy and spoilt second male lead who just smells of bad decisions manages to snag a top spot with the group.

But maybe she's actually good? Maybe she actually learned some moves? WRONG! In the first fight we see her participate in, she comes in an expensive coat, loose hair and heels. HEELS! Not even practical block heels, but freaking 3-4 inch pencil heels!

Alas, somehow, I'm not even surprised at this point.



Final thoughts: Skip. Escape. This should go to the dustbin of Chinese drama history, where it should never rear its pitiful head again.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
DreamDramaCatcher
4 people found this review helpful
May 9, 2016
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
You either like this drama or get bored in the middle. I loved the story so much I can't even begin to explain how perfect it is for me; this is my first Chinese drama and to be completely honest I found it interesting from the beginning to the end! Every episode held a new mystery and it was just simply amazing to see the love between the main characters develop. I did not find any of the characters annoying and the action was out of this world. I may be exaggerating but this drama had a great impact on me. The story/plot was the best I have ever seen so far, acting was really good, the music set the mood but to me it felt more like a background melody than a song but I liked it bearing in mind it is my first Chinese drama. I don't know about re-watching this, it's very time consuming but if I ever have time I would like to remind myself of this great story. Overall it's a 9 but I could easily turn it to 10. You must absolutely watch this, it teaches you life lessons and gave me the thought that what goes around might not always come back around.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
pammo1949
4 people found this review helpful
Mar 16, 2016
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 5.5
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 1.0
Just a warning. This drama has the most luscious male lead I have seen in a drama. That said I felt the rest of the cast lacked the chemistry and skills to make the story lines work You almost begin to hate the people around him (save two sidekicks). There are some unexplained transitions, unrealistic transitions and most of all the cruel part is generally watching each episode waiting for the writers to stop doing flashbacks to fill up time. I am new to Chinese dramas - trying to transition from K dramas after watching Nirvana with Hu Ge but I am not giving up. 40 episodes is too many for weak story lines. Watch it if you are just bored.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
AphmauAaron
3 people found this review helpful
Aug 8, 2018
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
Cruel romance is one of my most re-watched series. I love the story line and the actors playing their characters. The story line is amazing! There are a lot of action moments that pull you to the edge of your seat. Also, comedy moments with the main female and male leads. Backstabbing time's between the characters and each others sides. An romantic moments between different people.

I'm a person who likes drama's were the guy is cold, and a leader of a mafia or group, and is mean at first. In this, the 2nd master falls in love. But, he doesn't know he is in love at first. A love-hate relationship and some misunderstanding moments between the leads. We watch through the side stories of different characters, and back stories of the main characters. Also, the lead up of what is to come between the main leads.

The fighting between the two sides against each other, and the two sides of men getting the girl. If you like a romance with action pack times, backstabbing moments, cute comedy times, with a cold leader with a girl on a quest this drama is for you!

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
Angela
3 people found this review helpful
Jul 8, 2015
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.5
I've finished watching this, and I still can't get it out of my mind. I absolutely loved this drama, and the whole "hero rescuing this young damsel" thing. I love the casting, even the supporting roles.

Although in some parts of the drama while watching, some problems would be repetitive. Like, "Oh no, this is happening again." But even so, this is worth watching. It's kind of sweet to see how such a "cold-hearted" mafia boss to sacrifice everything for a girl he loves.

I would say that the ending doesn't top the drama off. It kind of left me with: "Wait, it's the ending?" This drama makes me crave for more, which is why I'm going on an unhealthy binge-watching phase, and trying to look for other dramas similar to this. And I love the music and soundtrack.

This is definitely in my top 5 list.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
BeKaiLLe
9 people found this review helpful
Mar 31, 2015
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 10
I just stumbled upon it and Maaaaan!!! i love it.
It was more than i ever hoped for, and he is soo hot. I like the story line, the acting. Everything is superb. Finding it in subtitles is going to be hard but i am looking forward to everything.
Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
BORA
4 people found this review helpful
Dec 2, 2015
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
I give this drama 10/10 because i was really amazed with the Story line and the Characters, they all had they own role they had to play. This is my First Time watching this kind show it is so different, and i would watch it again.
Was this review helpful to you?
Completed
SSKF
4 people found this review helpful
May 1, 2016
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 7.0
Story 6.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 6.5
Rewatch Value 7.5
Honestly, I watched because of the romance. The romance part of the story was well done. The progression of the relationship, the development of feelings, the forthrightness of the main leads, and the protective male lead made this very enjoyable for me. The plot as well kept me engaged... for a while. Honestly, after episode 24 I skipped a lot. the plot was getting deeper but not better, the characters (except ZZ and XCH) got a little annoying. Even the female lead begun to annoy me - If you watch it you'll understand why. The relationship devolvement in ep 30 on was a deal breaker for me and my real problem, so that contributed to my ratings. I like strong consistent romance.

It did have a happy ending if anyone wants to know.

For Chinese drama, I go for the romance and not the plot so please take this review with a grain of salt. This drama was about a damsel in distress (spunky though) with a protective lover. The script made her seem incompetent to give him the chance to be the hero and to be more manly in front of her. But he was devoted from beginning to end so I enjoyed all the examples of that. Honestly, this was one of the best romance I've seen in a while (until Ep 30 and beyond ep 37), but the plot was horrible. Lucky thing I wasn't in it for the plot. Warning: Possessive male lead who's so obsessive, he's only good in a fiction and never in real life. Which I love.

Acting: Wonderful acting by all. All, I tell you. The supporting cast gave you feels - whether you hated them or loved them, they made you feel something.

Music - Didn't really notice... except for a few 1930s music performed in the show. Those were good.

Rewatch: Yes, I will rewatch the meeting scene, and various romance scenes.

Read More

Was this review helpful to you?