This drama is so much more than anything can describe. This drama is an exhibition of China during the Japanese invasion, and all the way until the end of the second world war. If I were to describe this drama in one word, I would call is *genuine*. The reason is it gives us an honest outlook of China and its residents during the war without sugarcoating it or hiding any flaws their society at the time may have had. I also want to add the interesting thing about it, even though it is set during the Japanese invasion, it's not there to make Japan to be this evil entity, and neither is it trying to humanize it, this story is mainly and only about the Chinese people, and how they behave during time of war. Although this drama is all about the politics of the time, what makes it so addicting is that it is very character driven. We go through the events through the eyes of a family that couldn't get any more normal. The writing here is exceptional. Since we are going a painful time, the writing makes it not only bearable, but also addicting to watch, by balancing slice-of-life and comedy, yes COMEDY, with war and tragedy throughout most of the story. Romance is there, but in a very subtle manner, just like the way I like it. Though understated, the moment it surface, it brings out all those tingling feelings and excitement. The overall way the characters are written, they feel real, relatable, and more than just good or evil. A lot of times it felt like a character study, and the characters were always more than what they appear. The development was slow but apparent, and very realistic. I got to the point that I felt like part of the people there, part of the family, and was in it with them. Without knowing how it ends, I felt I wasn't gonna mind any ending chosen, and the more I watched , the stronger this feeling became. It goes beyond trusting the writer giving a satisfying ending, and more of me having to accept fate. I can't help but talk about the characters and their relationship. Jun Shan, the brother-in-law, is the star here. He is one piece of work. My first impression of him was *WHAT THE HELL?!* He's bossy, he's pushy,he's uneducated, he's overbearing. But then I notice, he's loyal, he loves his family. I won't say more and let you discover more of him. Believe me that is just the tip of the iceberg of his character. His relationship with Xiang Jun was a highlight in the drama. Beyond love, there was a certain harmony in the relationship. Then there are the twins. I don't know where to start. They are childish, foolish, reckless, and they certainly need to grow. But they are fun to be around, lively, and sure know when to come through when it counts. Being of different genders, they're growth and maturity come at different pace, but the people we leave at the end of the drama may not recognize those we met in the beginning. A part of me wished they stayed how were, but we can't help but grow up. Specially during war, reality hits and you find yourself growing years at each passing day. Qing Ming is another interesting one. He is an educated soldier, always wanting to fight for his country. He can be pretty stubborn, to the point of acting childish. His view of life, of elders, and of women, is that they are all incomprehensible. Only when he starts to understand them he becomes the man he wanted to be. I specially appreciated Qing Ming's relationship with Jun Shan. One hell of a bromance they make. They couldn't be any more different but somehow understand each other well. Another highlight was the grandma. She is a strong, stubborn old lady, but when she's around, you always know that everything is going to be just fine. Xiu Xiu might have appeared as a sweetheart, and submissive, but I always knew she hid fearlessness to appear when needed. The list can go on and on, but I just wouldn't know where to stop. Lets the say, even the smallest roles have been given thought as to make them real, and their development authentic. What to say about the acting. Brilliant! It turned the character into real human beings, and not just something written on paper. Everyone gave their all to their character, and I have zero complaint. Honestly the music didn't stand out for me, but didn't ruin anything either. If I have any complaint at all, is some side characters that appear later on in the drama that weren't given enough time or focus early on, so it was hard to make the connection. Overall though my satisfaction with this drama goes beyond any complaint. I would say that overall, it deserves a 9 or 9.5/10, but the delight it brought me deserves a 10/10!!
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