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  • Last Online: 10 days ago
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: drama hiatus but I'll hop on MDL here and there!
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Blizzardahm

drama hiatus but I'll hop on MDL here and there!

Blizzardahm

drama hiatus but I'll hop on MDL here and there!
Completed
Moonlight
124 people found this review helpful
Jun 7, 2021
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 18
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0
This review may contain spoilers

When Perseverance, Confidence, and Strong-Will Work Together

"As long as I'm working as an editor, I will never give up on any author. That's why I became an editor in the first place." -Chu Li

This quote? Chu Li, the female lead, who is also an amazing editor, said it. I admit I was a little reluctant to start Moonlight, as I was watching other airing rom-coms. But I don't regret my decision at all, because it has just joined my favorites list. I was expecting a cute and fluffy rom-com, but not only is Moonlight cute, but it is so inspirational as well.

Moonlight is a unique rom-com. It's not a love story that takes place in high school or even college. It takes place in work, but it's not exactly an office romance-comedy. It's a cute romance between an editor and an author. Moonlight has made me think more about the powerhouse behind an author's success: The editor. From this drama, I've learned that editors contribute more to a book's success more than most of us think, and even if these characters aren't real editors, authors, and publishers. they've certainly shown us the hard work and perseverance needed to be one.

Story-9.0
As this was an airing rom-com, I was scared as to what would happen in the later episodes, because as we experienced Asian drama watchers know, a drama's later episodes can go downhill sometimes. With this doubt, I continued to watch this fluffy drama, and it did not disappoint. When you're watching Moonlight, say goodbye to the stupid misunderstandings and "I'm doing this for your own good" breakups, because there aren't any! We all love relationships with trust and encourage and love and nothing more, don't we? There are jealous scenes, yes, but when it comes to trust, Zhou Chuan and Chu Li is our model couple! They trust each other no matter what, and help each other on their editing and writing journeys.

Why do I keep on mentioning trust? Well, another female is introduced around episode 30 or so. I was totally unprepared for her, and was terrified that she would cause a huge misunderstanding or breakup, but our strong leads were mentally prepared! 500 second female leads could've stormed in and our couple would probably be left unharmed. Perhaps a tiny bit of suspicion, but nothing more than that. The second female lead was a bit unnecessary, but I like how she found her closure at the end. She deserved hate, yes, but also deserved some understanding.

On the surface, Moonlight is an ordinary rom-com, with a few cliches: Cohabitation, a little bit of Hate-to-Love, Male Chases Female First, but these cliches are used in such a cute manner that this drama was an absolute gem of a rom-com. We do have the online and offline connection, as Chu Li and Zhou Chuan didn't know that they were online friends at first, but the trope wasn't boring at all. Not to mention all the lovable side characters, who never stopped teaching the audience life lessons. If there were two things that Moonlight showed me the most importance of, they would be the importance of mutual trust in a couple and the importance of seeking help from the people around you. It's great to be an independent person, but we all need some help sometimes.

As I said before, I really liked the new environment in this drama. Moonlight was adapted by the Chinese novel "Chu Li is Coming", so most of the story can be owed to the author, but it was refreshing to see a Chinese rom-com set in a different setting. This time, in a publishing house. Chu Li starts off as an intern in the editor branch, but through her hard work through the long nights and many troubles, she proved to everyone just how good of an editor she could be.

The antagonist of this drama shows real life so accurately. Sometimes, jealousy can be dangerous, both to the person we target and ourselves. We shouldn't allow jealousy to overcome us, and take it slowly. This drama also showed the different kind of relationships during work, from friendships to almost-enemies. These relationships are all normal, but we should learn to control these relationships well to not learn these overly take control of our jobs.

Cast-10.0
I'm just going to talk about the dubbing first. Some people had issue with the female lead's voice: Chu Li's voice is dubbed by the actress of the character herself, Yu Shuxin (Esther). Yes, her voice is very high, but that's what I love about Chu Li. She is a perfect example of a bubbly but hard-working girl! Ding Yuxi (Ryan) isn't dubbed either, so you're getting the leads' real voices! I've heard some small complaints about Esther's voice, but I had no problem with it at all.

Back to the cast. No better actor and actress could have been chosen for Zhou Chuan and Chu Li. Ryan Ding gives off that seemingly-cold-at-first-but-actually-cuter-than-a-bunny vibe so well. I did not want another ignorant cold male lead, and Zhou Chuan satisfied my needs. He might be a little cold to total strangers, but he knows when to be polite and when to be cute! From the earliest episodes, I had already decided that he was going to be one of my favorite male leads. Zhou Chuan is a successful author, but there is a rocky path before success. With his perseverance and the encouragement of his family and friends, he made it to the peak of the mountain.

I would not have chosen another actress for Chu Li even if the director gave me a chance. Esther Yu as Chu Li is perfect! She is a real cutie pie in real life, with her kindness, generosity and intelligence, which is why Chu Li was acted so well. You could say that Chu Li is almost an exact version to Esther but in another universe. Chu Li is cute and bouncy, but she is (thankfully), a real strong female lead as well. This tag has been thrown around a lot these days, but you have my word that Chu Li is actually strong. When something seemingly fails, she never gives up, but only stands up from the place she fell down and tries again. And just like Zhou Chuan, her perseverance led to success that no one in her publishing house expected from her.

I loved the second couple as well. I don't tend to smile like a donkey when it comes to second couples, but I did for Jiang Yucheng and Gu Baizhi. They did have some on-and-off moments, but they never stopped loving each other even when they thought they didn't. Sometimes, jobs can be hard, but when you manage to balance them with your lover, you will get the perfect combination. I also like how this couple was a little older than our lead couple, giving us a different perspective of love and jobs. (both couples had to overcome difficulties and such, but their journeys were a little different)

And the supporting characters were real concoctions of happiness and frustration as well, depicting different kinds of people in our lives so well. There are supporting co-workers, as well as jealous ones, bosses who believe in us, and family and friends that will always be there for you. No, while Moonlight mainly focuses on Zhou Chuan and Chu Li's love story, it shows the importance of friends and family as well.

Music-8.5
Moonlight doesn't have many songs, but they songs it has are upbeat and cute. Both leads contributed to the ost; Esther Yu, a member of the girl group The9, sang "Chu Li is Coming", which is the ending song and is very cute. I didn't know that Ryan Ding sang songs for his dramas, but his "Heartless Poems" was very well-sung and upbeat. There were a few other songs as well, "Niu Niu" by Shuang Sheng, and another specially used for the second couple scenes.

Rewatch Value-9.0
I don't tend to rewatch dramas, but I am sure that I will rewatch certain episodes of Moonlight in the future, if not all! This journey has been so inspirational and it never hurts to take a look back at your favorite characters once in a while.

Overall-9.5
As a person who has watched almost 40 Chinese rom-coms, I would recommend Moonlight for people looking for a fluffy drama in a heartbeat. With two cute couples, no stupid misunderstandings, and such inspirational stories, this rom-com should not be missed! (Not to mention the extra cute and satisfying ending!) We can't be successful in a flash. Success takes years of dedication and confidence in yourself. These characters failed countless times, but what made them succeed at the very end? It comes down to these things: Perseverance, confidence and encouragement from others. And that, my friends, is how an amazing Chinese romance-comedy is made. Enjoy Moonlight!

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Completed
Falling Into Your Smile
106 people found this review helpful
Jul 15, 2021
31 of 31 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.5

Cute and Inspirational From Beginning to End

I have to admit, I was not one of the countless drama-watchers waiting tirelessly for the premiere of this drama. But it’s true that some of the most unexpected things are the most precious. As a sucker for Cdrama rom-coms,I can confidently and lovingly say this about Falling Into My Smile. It has stolen the hearts of many many people, including myself. I can’t exactly find any words to describe this drama; It’s perfectly cute, funny, and inspirational, tackling both problems that normal people like us face daily and problems that idols encounter during their career.

Story-9.0

There haven’t been many E-sports Cdramas, but most of them that aired were very much enjoyable to me. Falling Into Your Smile doesn’t have the most unique storyline, but I was pleasantly surprised to be presented a drama with minimal plot holesn and boringness, and that kept its strong foundation from beginning to end. (The gaming scenes were also very cool, but were also quite skippable. Fans were brought ‘into’ the computer, and we watched the fights take place.)

Adapted from the web novel ‘You’re Beautiful When You Smile’ by Qing Mei, Falling Into Your Smile delves into the world of E-sports, a professional online gaming sport that started to show prominence around the world, especially China. Just like the drama, the novel is full of sweet moments, and although some bits here and there have been tweaked, the drama is a pie served to us with just the right ingredients and the right amount, with no piece missing.

As I’ve watched more dramas, something that always stands out is how much inspiration this drama has given me; The motivation to help someone or do something for myself and the world, the inspiration that emanates from a certain character or the story itself. Right now, you’re reading a review of a very inspirational story. Perhaps not everyone will feel this way, but Falling Into Your Smile provided so much inspiration and happiness to me.

Falling Into Your Smile is perhaps the cutest and loveliest drama I have seen to date. (girl who has seen 90 Cdramas speaking here!) While other Cdrama rom-coms focus heavily on the love story between the main couple, Lu Sicheng (ML) and Tong Yao (FL)’s love story is also perfectly balanced with the strong bromance. This powerful friendship between the members of ZGDX not only provides smiles and laughs, but also shows us all the sides to a friendship, from trust, teamwork, and forgiveness.

Unlike other E-sports dramas, though, Falling Into Your Smile explores a more sensitive and harmful side of idol fans. The characters had to overcome major criticism on social media that threatened their well-being, confidence, and careers. Although this is no new problem for us veteran drama-watchers, tension was everywhere during these scenes as we rooted for our favorite characters.

Cast-9.5
Boom! Xu Kai does it again. Amazing acting? You bet! (Not to mention those smiles and teasing...) This talented actor portrays Lu Sicheng, a supposedly cold male lead, so well. Unlike other Cdrama cold male leads, though, Lu Sicheng gives off quite warm and especially caring vibes, attributes that make us a lovable male lead. Xu Kai certainly proved to us that he can slay any role, from those perky male leads in historicals to a cold but very caring modern male lead. As Falling Into Your Smile was his first modern drama (besides the Republican drama Arsenal Military Academy), he certainly has started on an amazing note.

I do not usually follow the lives of Kpop or Cpop celebrities, so I had minimal knowledge about Cheng Xiao when I started this drama. But, like her lovely singing, her acting was very natural and extremely cute! But even though Tong Yao is cute and sunshiney, she is not at all a damsel in distress. Her expressions and actions are direct. Cheng Xiao executed Tong Yao to her best, and although her acting wasn’t the most breathtaking, she took a major step in her acting career when she chose to portray Tong Yao. When the scene becomes intense, so does her expression. Tong Yao’s stern and persistent expressions can also shut someone up, while her bubbly but intelligent side makes you want to pull her to your side. I will definitely follow up on her future dramas because she certainly deserves more praise and attention from drama-watchers, not just Kpop and Cpop fans.

This chemistry is bloomingly strong and fiery. Xu Kai and Cheng Xiao couldn’t have done better showing us Lu Sicheng and Tong Yao’s cute and loving times together.

Without the supporting characters, Falling Into Your Smile would not have had that exploding spark. The pie is served to us on a golden platter: A cute main couple, another cute second couple, powerful bromance (from all teams, really), caring friendship between Tong Yao and her ‘gui mi’ (best friend) Jin Yang, and familial love as well. Did I really just list almost all the most important relationships in our lives? This drama is so well rounded when it comes to these relationships.

Please allow me to take some more time to gush about Lu Sicheng’s teammates and best friends. They. Are. The. Best! Rather than providing awkwardness when it comes to our leading couple, they were necessary for their relationship to progress. Don’t even get me started with Lu Yue or Pang Zi. These boys are a necessity, not just some supporting characters you can throw into the mix, and they were expressed so well. We followed them on their journeys of growing up, realizing that success is never without failure. Oh, the lessons we learn from dramas that seem so simple!

OST-11
FIYS’s OST deserves a solid 11. I never expected to fall in love with this soundtrack this much, but I have. Don’t be surprised when you look into my listening history and find all of the songs played over and over again. Or if my non-drama-watching friends complain about me forcing them to listen to these songs and them also falling in love with them. I think I’ll never be tired of them. With heartfelt emotion and meaningful lyrics, this rom-com’s songs are the toppings of this magnificent pie.

Rewatch Value-8.5
Oh, those sweet scenes? A definite yes! As someone who rarely rewatches dramas, so many scenes in FIYS tempt me.

Overall-9.5
Countless hours and days gushing and blushing over this drama wasn’t for nothing. This pie is wonderful, amazing, magnificent. Perhaps Falling Into Your Smile will be my favorite Cdrama rom-com of 2021, and we’re only a little over halfway through the year. The drama was cute when necessary, hilarious in other parts, and most importantly, inspirational.

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Completed
Ancient Love Poetry
202 people found this review helpful
Jul 18, 2021
49 of 49 episodes seen
Completed 11
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 9.5

Ancient Love Poetry: The Xianxia Drama of 2021

Countless days of waiting weren’t for nothing. My anticipation was sky high for this Xianxia, and my patience was also tested to the maximum. With a lengthy list of countless words to describe Ancient Love Poetry, I can say without any hesitation that ‘disappointment’ is an excluded word.

I’m probably not lying if I call the Xianxia genre my soulmate. I am a sucker for this beautiful genre, and Ancient Love Poetry is a must-watch if you enjoyed/loved the previous famous Xianxias. The drama brings you into a world of magic and beauty that makes it terribly hard for you to take your eyes offscreen.

Story-
What may appear at first glance to be a Cdrama filled to the brim with Xianxia tropes, it is not false to say that Ancient Love Poetry has difficult tribulations, character reincarnations, and most of all, heartbreaking sacrifices. But with the addition of beauty and elegance, a Xianxia drama can take these tropes to a heavenly level. Adapted from the well-known Xianxia novel “Shang Gu”-Ancient God (上古) by Xing Ling, the drama followed the original piece evidently well, and maintained the tension, angst and beauty masterfully to the very end.

A Xianxia would not be very well-rounded off without world building and character introduction, which Ancient Love Poetry did magnificently with. As with the majority of costume Cdramas and even more with Xianxias, it can be difficult to attempt the memorization of characters and locations. With a helping hand that is the first few episodes of Ancient Love Poetry, the audience found less struggle with this concept. I could even call Ancient Love Poetry educational in terms of the Xianxia genre- From just 49 episodes alone, I, who has done extensive research on this fantasy genre, broadened my knowledge even more.

What comes with the introduction also comes with a slight impatience towards a rather slow-paced plot in the beginning. In easier words, Ancient Love Poetry did not entirely succeed to capture everyone’s attention at the beginning, resulting in the creation of let-down droppers. As many of us say, the story gets very interesting starting from eps 12-16. And as expected, the story only progressed towards more captivation. Longer dramas may provide more time for the background story, which may seem unnecessary and boring but are actually important for the story as a whole. The sheer level of love and angst in this drama is enough for one to cry out numerous waterfalls.

It was also a pleasure to discover that aside from the lead couple, romance spread across many lovable supporting characters, as well as familial love, long lasting friendship, and even hateful grievances. Although Ancient Love Poetry focuses heavily on romance, the story also kept the audience on the edge of their seats with a few major problems that spread throughout the four realms and that threatened the existence of the true gods.

Production-
Ancient Love Poetry’s production is such a gem that I decided to give it its very own section in this review. The production is simply gorgeous, and the drama’s high budget certainly paid off and was used to its full potential. The costumes look simple with its light pastel colors, but with its simplicity comes a wave of freshness and slight joy. The drama’s CGI is not a joke, either. Each strand of magic and spell is carefully produced to the most believable extent, providing a most magical experience for the audience. Each realm in the drama also gives off special vibes. The bright gold Heavenly Palace boasts its grandeur while the lighter-colored Qingchi Palace expresses its beauty in the form of nature and water. Inside the palace, rooms and props are delicately adorned with the uniqueness of its realm, from shimmering golds to billowing blacks. Editing was not a problem either, as traditions were neatly made without any distraction.

Cast-
Please allow me to disagree to the fullest extent with the Chinese netizens claiming that Zhou Dongyu was not fit for the role of Shang Gu. She absolutely nailed this with astonishing talent. With the challenge of Ancient Love Poetry being her very first costume Cdrama, Zhou Dongyu portrayed Shang Gu perfectly, a playful girl who later grows up into the leader of the God Realm with a difficult destiny. Zhou Dongyu does exceptionally well with deep scenes, and Ancient Love Poetry gave her another chance to display this talent. Her acting was not forced at all, creating a lovable character with a heartbreaking history.

Believe it or not, Ancient Love Poetry is my first drama starring Xu Kai. As I watched this along with his first modern drama, Falling Into Your Smile, I got the perfect chance to compare his completely different roles and made the conclusion that he is an amazing actor who can portray almost any character. As a caring male lead holding unspeakable love, Bai Jue stole the hearts of everyone. He successfully made us cry rivers for him as we accompanied him on his grueling path of love and sacrifice. Xu Kai as Bai Jue and Xu Kai as Qing Mu couldn’t have been more different and heartbreaking. With contrasting personalities but the same passionate love, both characters gave way for the audience to experience their love and pain.

Shang Gu and Bai Jue are cute. Period. With cute chemistry and powerful love and care for each other, the director of ALP, Yin Tao (one of my favorite directors), did not make a mistake when he casted Zhou Dongyu and Xu Kai as the leads. I can’t think of anyone better.

Many of the supporting actors and actresses did phenomenally, to say the least. A drama is never complete with a complex range of supporting characters, all with different beliefs and lovable or hateable traits. Completely contrasting with Bai Lin in Love and Redemption, Liu Xueyi as Tian Qi was an absolute pleasure to watch. Liu Xueyi kept the balance between a playful and perky true god to a caring friend and master. Lai Yi as Gu Jun was one of my favorite characters. This righteous high god couldn't have cared less about power and the messiness of the Heavenly Realm, and lived life to the fullest. Even as a father, no one and nothing could stop him from protecting his daughter at all costs. Last but not least, I would also like to give a big round of applause to Zhang Jiani, actress of Wu Huan. This complex character is a major challenge for anyone, but Zhang Jiani did more than wonderfully, and was such a pleasure to watch on screen.

Even with characters of very minor importance, I was always invested in their own stories and their part in the drama. Character development was done so well in Ancient Love Poetry that some characters made quite a big personality change, while others never failed to keep our attention.

Soundtrack-
What more than breathtaking awe for the OST of Ancient Love Poetry? With songs sung by exceptionally talented singers, they truly brought out the magic and beauty of the drama. Along with traditional background music and propelling lyrics, what a gem of a soundtrack this is.

I will do another thing I have never done before in any review, which is listing the soundtrack, to show the very preciousness of the OST:
-----------------------------------------------------------
“Penannular Love”《绝恋》by Zhou Shen (周深)

“Yearning”《年岁》by Mao Buyi (毛不易)

“Sense”《感应》by Liu Yuning (刘宇宁)

“Twilight”《朝暮》by Deng Shenme Jun (等什么君)

“A Thousand Years of Searching”《千寻》by A-Lin

“Mountain Sea”《山海》by Zhuo Yao (灼夭)

“The Thought of Life”《执生念》by Ye Xuanqing (叶炫清)
------------------------------------------------------------
Here is a verse from “The Thought of Life” that I deem most beautiful and heartbreaking:
“她, 化身飞烟, 生死离别, 他为她守护三界”

“She, turns into flying smoke, parting life and death, while he protects the Three Realms for her”

Overall-
It is still quite hard to believe that Ancient Love Poetry might have just become my favorite Cdrama of all time. The title of Xianxia of 2021 is most fitting for this drama, if not enough. With tens of thousands of years of love and grievances, I was sucked deep into this moving love story. What started off on quite a good note only got better and better with a diversity of characters and relationships and a journey across the magical Xianxia world.

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Completed
Love and Redemption
188 people found this review helpful
Aug 17, 2020
59 of 59 episodes seen
Completed 13
Overall 10
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

A Love Story That Is Truly A Treasure

Love and Redemption summed up for people who don't want to read this long review:
- Beautiful love story
- Misunderstandings could be frustrating for some
- Amazing acting from main and supporting leads
- Music with deep meaning and value
- Highly recommended for Xianxia romance lovers

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Love and Redemption is truly a treasure. You know that a drama is a treasure when you try to find that special word to describe it, but instead come up with many. Everything is so beautifully acted out and composed, and the ending result of the directors, actors, and others' hard work is a drama that will make you laugh and cry until you can't anymore. It really shows the importance of the three kinds of love: the love between lovers, love between friends, and love between your family. The setting and special effects all seem so real, and the costumes are just so intricate and beautiful, which makes this rare gem even better. And this drama is not only fun to watch, but it also teaches us life lessons on friendship, loyalty, and love. Over 200,000 people in China have rated this drama on Douban, and it is extremely popular.

Story: 9.5-
Love and Redemption was adapted from the Chinese novel The Glass Maiden (琉璃美人煞), and has parts similar to those of Ashes of Love and Eternal Love, being a love story that lasts for quite a long time. (ten lifetimes, to be exact) The love story, like most, encounters various frustrating problems but is one that shows the beauty and sweetness of true love, and how we strive for it. Chu Xuanji and Yu Sifeng are truly a match made in heaven, but it just took them longer to find their happy ending.

Love and Redemption has become one of my favorite c-dramas, but the reason why I did not give the story 10 is that while the misunderstandings made the story more captivating and interesting, I felt like there might have been too many of them, which made it quite frustrating sometimes. If you’re a person who can’t stand long term misunderstandings, this may not be the perfect drama for you, but when the misunderstandings are slowly unraveled, it is certainly satisfying. Another smaller reason is the editing. The cinematography was gorgeous throughout the whole show, but some scenes (mostly the sweet ones in the last few episodes or so) had rather bad editing, which disappointed me, as I had seen the scene in the trailer but the one released was edited differently. Well, no drama is perfect.

This love story is certainly one that is very special and memorable. All male leads in romance dramas are willing to do things for the female lead, but Yu Sifeng takes this male lead image to a whole new level. I sometimes wonder how he can do so much for Xuanji even if he knows she may misunderstand him. In the first few episodes, Xuanji is portrayed as a clueless girl, which frustrated a large number of watchers. After she regains what she was deprived of, she turns into one of the strongest female leads I know, protecting her love at all loves. The ending was happy and very satisfying as the good were paid for the good they did and the evil received retribution. While 59 episodes may seem long for some, it is definitely worth your time. In fact, you might even think that 59 episodes is far from enough.

Acting/cast: 10-
Many of these actors and actresses can be found in other dramas as leading and supporting roles, and their performance here was outstanding, especially the two main leads. Everyone's characters and personalities contrast greatly, and the actors acted their parts so well that many characters are either extremely loved, or extremely hated. And although I just wanted to simply stab the evil characters to death, I really need to give them a round of applause. The evil characters have so much personality that without them, there would be no drama. And their stories are all captivating, even if they are evil people with no sympathy or heart, especially Hao Chen and Wu Tong. They were both acted exceptionally well, as the actors showed their emotions and evilness quite well. Those two were the two main antagonists, along with Tianxu Sect Master, but both Hao Chen and Wu Tong found peace at the end. I really liked how this story showed how the evil characters accepted their fate, and their closures was one that was fulfilling.

The main leads, Crystal Yuan as Chu Xuanji, and Cheng Yi as Yu Sifeng have amazing chemistry, and their acting can truly make us feel the character's happiness, sorrow, anger, and pain, and not help but shed a few tears here and then. I almost never ship actors and actresses, but I just couldn't stop this awesome ship in my head. In my opinion, both actors did amazingly well here and showed the characters' thoughts and feelings very well. I have heard quite a lot of people comment that Cheng Yi did better than Bingyan, but I believe that they both acted spectacular well. Cheng Yi did kind of pop out though, because his portrayal of Sifeng is so accurate and heartbreaking at times. Bingyan also did great at showing the change in Xuanji as time goes on, from a naive little girl to a woman of great strength and power. I was also quite amazed at their acting of different characters in ten different lives, they were all so different. Bravo to these two talented actors!

There is a second and third lead couple, and they made the drama more interesting as well, but I felt that the second lead, Linglong and Minyan, played by Zhang Yuxi and Li Junyi did not have much chemistry, and while it's cute that Minyan loves Linglong so much, his “sacrifice” seemed rather stupid to me. But Linglong and Minyan do make a very happy family together. In my opinion, the third lead, Purple Fox and Wu Zhiqi, have an amazing love story that lasted for a thousand years as well, and I cried a river when, well, I'll leave you to find that out.

And the other characters, such as the sect leaders and elders were acted out so well that I was laughing at their uselessness and stupidity. Man, these actors have talent. If you watch any behind the scene clips, you'll know that they're all pretty different or are literally the opposite of their character.

Music: 10-
All of the songs in this drama have such deep meaning lyrics that they could just tell the story with the music. I am Chinese, and listening to these songs honesty made me cry. The OST could easily go on my top five, and the song Thousand Years of Love (千年之恋)by Shuang Sheng is just so beautiful and sorrowful it brought tears to my eyes. The songs all are so special and suit all the different situations in the drama very well, and you could probably understand this love story even if there wasn’t any drama. (Okay, I may have exaggerated, but this music is, just, indescribable with words) There is a song for every occasion that is repeated. For example, Xuanji unleashing her powers always has that exciting music while Wu Zhiqi and Zi Hu always have the music that sounds like a sense of longing.

Rewatch value: 10 -
There are parts that I have rewatched multiple times, and just won't get tired of it. I also have a few episodes that are my favorites, either because they are so cute and sweet or because a misunderstanding was cleared. There are many satisfying parts that I keep watching over and over again. So yes, the rewatch value is high, unlike some dramas that just have cliche plots.

Overall, this drama is just amazing, from just the story itself to the diverse characters. You should definitely give it a shot, and discover the wonderful Xianxia world in the love story of Chu Xuanji and Yu Sifeng!

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Completed
Lie to Love
46 people found this review helpful
Dec 27, 2021
32 of 32 episodes seen
Completed 6
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 8.0

Enemies at the Beginning, Lovers at the End.

I started Lie to Love on a whim. It basically went like this, “Ooh, Cheng Xiao and Luo Yunxi? Cool, I’ll watch.” I wasn’t looking for much, I admit I went into this drama for the visuals. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. I’m going to get this out of the way, if you’re looking for Cdramas similar to A Love So Beautiful or My Little Happiness, don’t dilly-dally here because Lie to Love isn’t your best option for Next Fluffy Cdrama Rom-Com. BUT of course, the audience is provided with plenty of sweet scenes that makes you yearn for more.

The story begins with an amazing scene of ‘bad-ass’ Su Xieyi (Cheng Xiao) on some under-cover mission…and she has amnesia? The drama isn’t as tropey as it seems to be in the beginning. It does have amnesia, the concept of Enemies to Lovers, but instead, the flower blooms into a drama full of secrets and investigation, with a huge shocking moment that either makes you want to hate the story or feel even more compelled. In my case, these twists and turns caught my attention, and like the characters in the drama, I was always on my toes for the next scenes and episodes. Again, side characters do pose some problems in the leads getting their Happily Ever After, however, the difficulty is more directed towards power struggle rather than the leads losing their trust towards one another. Like many dramas, Lie to Love is like a story in a fantasy world, the details in this drama are not going to happen in real life. This is what makes the plot intriguing. The investigation aspect is the bright cherry on top of an ice cream scoop.

Acting/Cast - 9.0

The actors’ eyes say everything, they paint love, worry, desperation, shock. This was especially evident in Luo Yunxi. Li Zeliang (ML) could be standing on the concrete sidewalk, and you would still be able to see the emotion pouring from his eyes. As for the character himself, he has his setbacks, but he proved himself worthy of standing amongst the top leaders of the hotel business industry. His moves weren’t unpredictable, but rather deserving of applause. Luo Yunxi brought a new aura into any room or scene he was in. Besides his refined looks and dazzling smile, his confident and intelligent image enhanced his character.

On the other hand, while Cheng Xiao can still be a newbie in the drama industry, she had been improving endlessly. As opposed to her character in the popular drama Falling Into Your Smile, Su Xieyi (FL) carries a stronger air of dominance. She, unfortunately, wove some disappointment into my intrigued soul, however, this feeling was quickly wiped away. The small loss in her Strong FL spark was replenished as Su Xieyi made her solid decisions. This was more of a small bump in the plot roller coaster rather than Cheng Xiao’s acting, which she did wonderfully in fulfilling. Su Xieyi isn’t a very complex character, however, the audience received a mixture of determination and care from her.

Luo Yunxi and Cheng Xiao’s pairing was satisfying. Their chemistry was not ‘The Bomb’, however, it was powerful but also cute. (The eye candy as well!) The sweet scenes were especially fun to watch, as Zeliang and Xieyi is such a lovable couple. Of course, I think it’s safe to say that a big portion of the audience was demanding more fluffy sides to the story.

With only a few important side characters, it was fun watching character progressions, whether it be the playful musician Oscar or the talented and poised Shi Chuchu. As much as side characters are often disregarded under the spotlight of the main leads, these supporting characters play a major role in the progression of the plot. Of course, some of their actions were in the wrong, but these were the steps to achieving a rolling plot. In the end, I was more than satisfied with many of the characters’ endings, especially with those who ‘grew up’, who became better people than before.

Music - 9.0

It’s not rare to see me vibing to fun and cute Cdrama songs, and even more so with the addition of Lie to Love’s OST. Nothing much to say about the soundtrack besides the fact that I love it. Another surprise? Luo Yunxi sings a song! (It’s beautiful.)

~
Overall, Lie to Love was a fun and enthralling watch with a blend of both sweet romance and captivating mystery. Characters had secretive pasts and unspeakable confessions, however, they were all given the endings they deserved. Production was high-budget, which was clearly evident in costumes and props. Lie to Love was a breath of fresh air among the cutesy rom-coms that I’ve watched.

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Completed
Love Between Fairy and Devil
198 people found this review helpful
Aug 29, 2022
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 20
Overall 10
Story 10
Acting/Cast 10
Music 10
Rewatch Value 10

Love Can Melt Even the Coldest of Hearts

If there is a must-watch Xianxia drama every year, Love Between Fairy and Devil (苍兰诀) undoubtedly earns this honor for 2022. The novel with the same name is written by author Jiu Lu Fei Xiang (九鹭非香), who is a proclaimed writer in China for many of her famous novels, a few of which have been adapted into successful dramas, including The Legends and The Blue Whisper, and a few more on the way. The Chinese title of LBFAD directly translates to “The Legend of Cang and Orchid”, which is exactly what the story is about, a romance between the lofty Moon Tribe leader Dong Fang Qing Cang and a girl with the true form of an orchid flower.

However, don’t fret! Love Between Fairy and Devil is not your usual tropey Chinese fantasy romance. Instead, the introduction of a unique plot and characters is wonderful for veteran Xianxia lovers who have begun to become tired of Xianxias with cold and powerful god male leads and naive and pretty much powerless female leads. The love story between Dong Fang Qing Cang and Xiao Lanhua is pretty much a beautiful forbidden love, as there are over thirty thousand years of hatred between the Moon Tribe and Immortal Tribe, where these two lovers are from, respectively. While other Xianxia male leads are busy “protecting the world” and “ensuring eternal peace”, Dong Fang Qing Cang has set his world on destroying Shui Yun Tian, the home of his enemy tribe, the immortals. An emotionless man, he only knows of hurting and killing.

That is, until he meets Xiao Lanhua, a pure soul who believes that every little life is precious. Unfortunately for the timid little orchid at the beginning, fate ties her to the terrifying Moon Lord. One glare from Dong Fang Qing Cang is enough to make her shiver for hours, but even DFQC wasn’t an exception to her immense love for the world. A few viewers have even mentioned that their romance gave off a Beauty and the Beast vibe at the beginning, and I can totally see it, however, Xiao Lanhua quickly became the only person that could make Dong Fang Qing Cang, smile, laugh, and scream his heart out for her.

Even if she was a mere orchid. And this is the beauty of this forbidden romance, how this emotionless man who killed without hesitating warmed up in front of Xiao Lanhua, showing that human relationships can indeed help heal and recover from painful pasts. True love does not have boundaries, nor does it care about status or nobility.

Before gushing about the talented cast, it is crucial to talk about the production of this drama. As with most dramas, the production of a series can either destroy or bring the story to light. The latter was the case for LBFAD. From the ethereal beads that glistened against Xiao Lanhua’s hair to Dong Fang Qing Cang’s golden branch-like crown, it is clear that everything, from hairstyles to costumes to the sets has been meticulously planned to enhance the entire drama experience. The director of LBFAD, Yi Zheng, once mentioned that preparation before filming took more than 4 years, the reason for the gorgeous production quality. Costumes embodied every character’s personality, from the hyper Jie Li with a dark past to Xiao Lanhua’s pastel translucent dresses. The interior of Dong Fang Qing Cang’s Moon Palace is also very appealing to the eyes, including a bit of western influence, as apparent in his grand canopy bed and busy inner courtyard. Although a Chinese drama, the Moon tribe sets surprisingly gave off a rather early European vibe.

Character and location names were added to the side, and were immensely helpful to both new and veteran Xianxia watchers, as we all know, a large majority of Chinese costume dramas tend to have countless characters, and it takes quite a few episodes to remember who is who. That being said, the different locations in the drama each have different feelings for their unique appearances. Shui Yun Tian is home to these supposedly “good” immortals, the vastness of the palaces and hall bereft of friends and family, while the small villages filled with Moon Tribe women are filled with love and care as they grieve for their dead husbands, brothers, and sons.

When I first learned of the cast of Love Between Fairy and Devil, I admit, with full guilt now, that I scoffed at the lead pairing. But please, please do not give up the thought of watching this drama because of Yu Shuxin (Esther) and Wang Hedi. In fact, I believe that Director Yi made one of the best decisions by casting these two talented actors. If you, like me, have watched a few of YSX and WHD’s previous dramas, you will be blown away by how much their acting has improved. Not only have they perfectly embraced Dong Fang Qing Cang and Xiao Lanhua, but they have also truly brought them to life. When they smile and laugh, we follow along. When they cry, bawling their tears out, the audience can’t help but do the same.

Here’s an important heads up: If you’ve watched Yu Shuxin’s Moonlight, you have already gotten a sense of her voice, which she dubs herself. I myself do not find her voice annoying, however, many have expressed their opinions when it comes to her rather high-pitched voice, which is not very appealing to some. Xiao Lanhua’s high voice does not indicate a naive little girl, or what we would call a ‘Sha bai tian’ (傻白甜) in China, but rather shows her character growth in the series, which will become more apparent in further episodes. Yu Shuxin started as a very talented singer, and she was blessed with the talent of being able to change notes and pitches flawlessly. Xiao Lanhua’s higher voice at the beginning is an indication of her carefreeness as an unimportant orchid as she travels on this journey.

The personality contrast between the leads is interesting, but what’s more special about this pairing is how different they are from what one could call your ‘usual’ Xianxia pairing. It’s about time we got a badass evil sexy male lead who was trying to destroy the Three Realms. No more wonderful Three Realms saver! The female lead doesn’t need saving every time, either. Although she is much weaker than Dong Fang Qing Cang, Xiao Lanhua’s broad understanding of love has taken her a long way. As she’s said before, “I love all beings, but I also love one person.”

Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of LBFAD, however, is how much the leads’ have improved with their acting. Wang Hedi and Yu Shuxin were absolutely BOMB in a way that no one saw coming. When DFCQ and XLH swapped bodies, it was still clear as ever who was who. Wang Hedi immediately embodied Xiao Lanhua’s bubbly but panicked appearance, while Yu Shuxin became a stone-faced character in a pastel-costumed girl. Furthermore, as the story advanced and the leads experience more together, their acting drops mouths as our leads smile and laugh, and eventually, cry and scream. It is simply astonishing how much Dylan Wang and Esther Yu have improved that it’s pretty much hard to describe in words. And their chemistry? Hands down a flammable perfect. I’m sure all of us who have watched the entire drama would agree that it wouldn’t be fair for them to not win a prestigious acting award for their roles in LBFAD. This drama is truly their drama breakthrough, winning them millions of followers on social media platforms, not just in China, but all around the world.

It was also nice to see the spotlight on supporting characters in a balanced way. They weren’t given too much screen time nor were they not given enough. All the stories of the more relevant supporting characters were addressed in very well-rounded ways. No matter good or evil, each character showed significant growth, prompting the audience to cheer them on. This is another beauty of the series, how each figure was given a bit of screen time with an understandable and apparent growth in their experiences and personalities. Even the so-called ‘villains’ had their own backstories and reasons. (cough cough, besides Yun Zhong Jun, aka Lord in the Clouds) I myself have a selection of favorite supporting characters, from the ‘stupid’ black dragon Shang Que to even the villainous Rong Hao. Li Yitong even acted as Xiao Lanhua’s master, Si Ming. Although she was invited as a guest role, she has had an immense impact on this drama.

Finally, this review would not at all be complete without a description of this amazing OST. It’s been a long time since a Chinese drama has had such a well-rounded soundtrack. By well-rounded, I imply songs with smaller stories woven in, with a multitude of well-known talented singers. Zhou Shen, Liu Yuning, Faye Chan, twins Jing Long and Jing Di, Shuang Sheng, basically any famous Cdrama singer you can think of. Do you want a song of longing? You got it. A song of the happy romance between the leads? Here you are, sung by our wonderful leads. Each melody was beautifully written and sung, and you probably won’t find a better 2022 Cdrama OST than this one:

1. Finding You (寻一个你) - Liu Yu Ning
2. Remaining Feelings (余情) - Zhou Shen
3. Cutting Off Love (诀爱) - Faye Chan
4. Shore (彼岸) - Jing Long & Jing Di
5. Longing (念) - Shuang Sheng
6. Amnesia (失忆) - Yu Shu Xin
7. Cang-Lan’s Oath (苍兰契) - Li Chang Chao
8. I Still Remember That Day - Shen Yi Cheng
(我还记得那天)
9. I Want To Be With You - Yu Shuxin, Wang Hedi
(想和你)

All in all, if you’re tired of the cliche Xianxias that have been aired over the past few years, you’re in the perfect place. The drama is also ‘only’ 36 episodes, which is quite short for a well-produced Xianxia romance (which tend to be 50-70 episodes long), but is so well-rounded in all aspects that you will be longing for more when you finish the last episode. The romance between Dong Fang Qing Cang and Xiao Lanhua is so pure, yet so beautiful. With a nice little ending, you will certainly fall in love with LBFAD.

“My Xiao Lanhua, there is no reasoning to love. No matter good or evil, immortal or mortal, if you love him, you love him.”

-Si Ming

Update: Btw, check out my article with Cho na about LBFAD!
https://mydramalist.com/article/how-to-make-a-romantic-xianxia-love-between-fairy-and-devil

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Completed
Legend of Fei
54 people found this review helpful
Jan 15, 2021
51 of 51 episodes seen
Completed 7
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
This review may contain spoilers

"Remember, your fate hangs on the tip of your blade." ~Zhou Fei

Legend of Fei is not only a Wuxia drama, but it has several cute love stories, an intriguing mystery, and a lesson that all of us should learn from. This drama is based on a popular Chinese novel with the same name by Priest, which I have not read before. (Translated version is only available as machine translation) Two large downsides to this drama were the the terrible editing skills, and unrealistic backdrop that was very obvious from time to time, but the lovable characters and fascinating storyline eventually overshadowed these disappointments. It is quite understandable that many would be unwilling to "wait" more than 20 episodes or so to finally get into the drama, and this is a barrier that everyone should be aware of before attempting the drama. With strong martial arts skills and intelligent thinking, Zhou Fei teaches us that we can achieve our dreams, but achievements are only the result of endless and persistent hard work. With many setting high expectations for a drama with their favorite actors or actresses, this rather low rating isn't very surprising, but I really enjoyed it.

Honestly, I don't even know if this contains spoilers. If it does, please message me about it.

Story-8.0
With the usual pugilistic world (Jianghu), there are admirable heroes who help others, but there are also people greedy for wealth and power. Zhou Fei is born into Forty-Eight Fortress, a sect founded by her grandfather (Li Zheng) known for its good deeds and efforts toward eliminating evil. Growing up, Zhou Fei had always been taught by her parents to only do good, to work hard. Her mother seems overly strict to her, but loves her more than anything in the inside. Zhou Fei longs to please her mother, and to achieve this goal, she plans on becoming a famous heroine. After a series of events, Zhou Fei meets Xie Yun, who appears carefree, and quite annoying. Zhou Fei leaves Fourty-Eight Fortress for the first time, and along with Xie Yun, her two cousins (Li Sheng and Li Yan) and some newly made friends, they start to uncover the reasons for the deaths of her grandfather and many other martial artists. The moves for the martial arts were choreographed fairly well, and it was clear that each actor and actress had put in a lot of effort to perfect their moves. I also really liked the costumes; Although they were simple, they fit perfectly for every character, and the light-weight clothing worked reasonably well to portray everyone's personalities. Each story behind the famous heroes are very motivating, and we learn lessons along with A'Fei. The story starts rather slowly and quite boring (and a few episodes could have been cut), but to make fire, wood is needed, and I promise, as the story progresses, it becomes more and more intriguing. There is no clear plot until episode 20-something, which disappointed many viewers. The story revolves around the idea that evil may seem to win, but oh no, it doesn't. Only with a kind heart can you rule the world.

A very important aspect of this drama is the mystery incorporated into it. An item said to be able to assist one into ruling the world was coveted by countless people, and this didn't exclude the evilest of the evil. In the later episodes of LoF, the main plot is revealed, and things do not cease to captivate.

Acting/Cast-8.5
Legend of Fei has some of the most lovable characters in the history of Wuxia characters, as well as some of the evilest. There were some with some annoying attributes, such as the Third Prince, who I still don't know why he was included in the story. We have quite a few comedic duos that give us quite a show, and each and every character has their own story, no matter if their journey throughout their life was tragic, hopeful, or just mediocre. Here are my descriptions of a few of the most influential protagonists and antagonists:

ZHOU FEI and XIE YUN- A strong-willed young girl, Zhou Fei had wild ambitions, but luckily, her ambitions were to do good for the world. (and impress her mother) She and Xie Yun start on a rather bad note, but friendship quickly links them. She discovers that the world outside of her home is not all that cheerful and fun, but rather dark and scary. A hatred towards the Demons starts to grow inside her after she learns of their countless evil deeds, and she manages to kill many of their leaders through the guidance of many martial art heroes and heroines she meets on her journey. The persistence in Zhao Liying's eyes are present throughout this drama, and her acting never fails to disappoint. (I am not a die-hard ZLY fan) Our female lead matures from a girl ambitious to be the best to a young woman who is admired by the many people she had helped. (may contain spoilers:)With a complicated past, Xie Yun is not your typical male lead. He and Zhou Fei first meet when Xie Yun "steals her father". Underneath his cheerful personality hides an unforgiving identity, which Zhou Fei and everyone else learns later in the drama. This identity isn't very surprising, but is crucial to the story. He is very agile, and always manages to escape the Demons without even exerting too much energy. As talkative as he is, he is also very intelligent, although he doesn't always show this aspect of his personality. In front of Zhou Fei, he is funny but also caring. Although Wang Yibo could be considered a rookie actor, he managed to pull off the complex personality of Xie Yun, which is quite impressive.

Wang Yibo and Zhao Liying do not have that fire chemistry, but their pairing was more than acceptable. It may be disturbing to some that ZLY is 10 years old than WYB, but their interactions in the drama made me forget about this irrelevant detail. Xie Yun and Zhou Fei are our troublemakers, they are really two peas in a pod. They only want the best for each other, and will go to the ends of the earth to save each other.

LI SHENG and WU CHUCHU- Another cute couple, Li Sheng and Chuchu are very adorable as well. Li Sheng never manages to beat Zhou Fei in martial arts, and was rather jealous of her. Later, though, he discovers that he doesn't always need to be #1, because as long as he can use his strong skills to help, he is satisfied. Even though he doesn't have the strongest martial arts skills, his leadership and intelligent are two of his main strengths. I found him particularly annoying in the beginning (because he was rude to A'Fei), but his smart and caring personality eventually stole me heart. His love interest, Wu Chuchu, was born with a silver spoon, but her parents are both killed mercilessly and she spends a large portion of her time with Zhou Fei and Li Sheng on the run. Some of her early actions were very frustrating, because she was doing some really dumb things, but her determination to avenge her parents led her to even start to learn some basic martial arts skills.

LI YAN, YANG JIN and YING HECONG- Oh boy, our three troublemakers. They are quite the trio! These three never fail to make me laugh, especially Yang Jin. His motion of rubbing his head is his most famous movement, and makes him appear dumb and useless, but he has some strong martial arts skills. The actor who portrayed him did a great job in showing his funny but strong personality. His love interest, Li Yan, could be said to be even dumber than Chuchu. I love her as well, but some of the things she did were very unexplainable, and led to all sorts of trouble. She wasn't a very crucial character here, but she did manage to add some comedic elements to the show. Last but not least, Ying Hecong, aka The Poisoner. I didn't really understand his presence until I realized that he was very knowledgeable in poison, and he eventually was a very helpful friend to A'Fei and everyone else, and like the others, after undergoing a tragedy or two, he musters up the courage to stand up for what is right. I loved this trio, they are hilarious.

HEROES/HEROINES- Without the wise and famous heroes and heroines, Zhou Fei couldn't have achieved what she did. Each and every martial artist gave her priceless life lessons, as well as had some of the most beautiful stories. Although most did not have much screen time, they each played a crucial role in fighting the Demons, and passed on their skills to Zhou Fei. Li Zheng and Duan Jiuniang had an unforgivable love story, while Ji Yuncheng was an honest man who couldn't forgive himself for a certain event. Madame Ni Chang was a great woman, and saved Zhou Fei and the others quite a few times. Unlike the Demons, these wise men and women were even willing to give up their life to keep the world at peace, and they probably could have a drama just about themselves!

DEMONS- Demons are demons, evil and merciless. They do not even know what the treasure is, but spent years trying to uncover it. Without these terrible characters, the drama could not have progressed, and the actors/actresses did quite phenomenally as the evil roles they portrayed. I wish that some of them got a closure where they learned the valuable life lesson, but even if none did, their satisfactory ending was enough. Each of the demon leaders had their own detestable personality, and not all of them wanted the treasure.

Music-8.0
The music in this drama wasn't very memorable, but it was far from bad. The OST could have been more delightful with a few more songs, and it was kind of a surprise that Zhao Liying didn't sing any of them. Wang Yibo did, and the tune and lyrics fit quite nicely. As for the background/instrumental music, they were very common in fighting scenes and calming scenes, and were also a snug fit. With the mysterious but upbeat music, the audience could predict that Zhou Fei would win the battle, or that some despicable Demon was about to be defeated. In Forty-Eight Fortress or with our Yunfei couple, the soft music showed us the beauty of peace.

Rewatch Value- 8.0
If I had to rewatch this drama, I would most likely skip the first 10-20 episodes, and go straight to when I started to actually make strong connections with the characters. I did enjoy the second half of the story, and did not skip a single part of it.

Overall-8.5
The start of the drama was a little disappointing and underwhelming but the ending was not, as well as the story as it progressed. Some interactions between the characters were hilarious, while others were tense and dark. We are given three cute couples as we followed the main characters' journey to eliminate evil and help the poor civilians. No matter what happened, Zhou Fei did not give up, and her persistence was the key to defeating the Demons. She and Xie Yun have a very valuable relationship, growing from an unfriendly encounter to unbreakable love. And without the amazing acting of every actor, this drama wouldn't have been able to portray the most important life lesson, which I'll leave for you to discover.

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Completed
The Starry Love
107 people found this review helpful
Mar 11, 2023
40 of 40 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 8.5

A Xianxia filled with love, friendship, disaster, and most importantly, comedy.

If you, like me, did not have your eye on this drama but decided to watch it on a whim, you will be pleasantly surprised by The Starry Love. And understandably so, because the past few years of Xianxias have exposed us to the ‘overuse’ of familiar Xianxia tropes. Fortunately, director Chu Yuibun (朱锐斌) seems to have realized this and decided to add a unique comedic spice to The Starry Love that significantly differentiates this drama from the rest of the modern Xianxia genre. Overall, The Starry Drama is a story of the love between two main couples as well as their adventures with friends, and what it means for the world to love or hate you.

The Starry Love (星落凝成糖) is adapted from the Xianxia novel of the same name by Yi Du Jun Hua (一度君华), and is the last installment of the Honey Trilogy, three romance dramas directed by Chu Yuibun. Therefore, you might notice the vast similarities between color selection, setting appearance, and costume design between The Starry Love and Ashes of Love. The Starry Love also has several actors that also played major roles in Skate Into Love, and its catchy OSTs are once again sung by the talented Sa Dingding and Mao Buyi, as well as Liu Yuning and Shuang Sheng. Here's another thing that may motivate you to watch The Starry Love: the leads voice their own characters, with the exception of Chao Feng. (no need to be worried about the high FL voice this round!)

Once again, the story is established with many of the usual Xianxia tropes. The world is composed of Four Realms, the Immortal, Demon, Mortal, and Beast. However, the Mortal Realm is fully aware of the other realms and works with the other leaders to maintain world peace. The Immortal Realm is again the ‘good’ realm, the Demon Realm is the ‘bad’, the Mortal is the ‘weak’, and the Beast is basically the ‘extra’. The main female leads, Ye Tan and Qing Kui are twins with a sealed fate, which they don’t learn about until later in their lives. Qing Kui is the hailed princess, the girl living everyone else’s dream. She is the destined Heavenly Consort, the future wife of Heavenly Deity Shao Dian You Qin. On the other hand, younger sister Ye Tan is not as fortunate. She was deemed a ‘bad luck star’ from birth, never having experienced the warmth and love from her father and servants. Destined to marry the future king of the Demon Realm, she vows to be a powerful evil being to defeat those who have always down on her. However, the sisters’ wedding carriages are swapped, and they end up in the wrong realms.

As you can see, we’re presented with a pretty unoriginal premise, so what makes this drama so interesting and keeps us on our toes? Well, to say this in the simplest way possible, it’s the way comedic scenes are inserted into the drama at the most surprising of times that makes The Starry Love such a fresh breath of air. One minute, you might be sad or even crying because of a certain scene, and a few seconds later, you are laughing so hard you might even be clenching your stomach. I personally really enjoy this unique addition, as I’ve certainly never seen this before in Xianxias and loved the comedic aspect.

The Starry Love is 40 episodes long, as with many of the new dramas after the maximum 40 episode rule. (in which some dramas divided the series in two parts to bypass this new Chinese law) The drama is well-paced, without many, or perhaps even any, filler scenes, unlike a few of the long dramas. I really enjoyed how there was understandable time spent on each You Qin arc, and how each couple was given enough time per episode to bond and give us the sugar we deserve.

Onto the acting. The acting here was PHENOMENAL, especially when it comes to Chen Xingxu. This man here had to act five totally different personalities. In the usual Xianxias we may get one or two reincarnations, but Shao Dian You Qin here went on a total personality-changing spree. From the cold You Qin, he was also the cute and heartwarming La Mu, greedy but caring Mei You Qing, elegant womanizer Wen Ren, and of course, the You Qin at the end, all of his previous personalities melded into one. Chen Xingxu pulled off his roles perfectly, effectively showing the great contrasts between each personality and making them seem like totally different people. (fun fact: (Mei You Qin) 没有情 means Emotionless)

As I was watching a drama with Li Landi for the first time, I loved her acting and her role as Li Guang Ye Tan. The changes her character experienced were phenomenal, and Landi displayed this through her acting, especially in the eyes. Not only is The Starry Love about the strong love between lovers, but between friends and family as well. Ye Tan and Qing Kui’s sisterly love is a strong relationship that not many others can compete with. The contrast between the two sisters’ personalities was also a sweet treat. Although Qing Kui always received the love that Ye Tan never had in her first 18 years, Ye Tan never blamed her older sister for it. Instead, they were always worrying about the other. While Ye Tan is a girl afraid of nothing, Qing Kui’s pure kindness guided her younger sister to the path of happiness.

The chemistry between both couples was just right. You will be gushing for not one, but two extremely compatible couples. As I was rooting for the Heavenly Couple, I was also squealing for the love story that was blossoming in the Demon Realm. As they say, you’ll always find each other if you’re destined to be together. It’s amazing how each of the characters influenced others to change and become better versions of themselves.

Of course, a Xianxia drama would not be complete without both loveable and hateable characters. Ye Tan, who had never received much care and love in her life, felt so fortunate to have become friends with not only Man Man and Di Lan Jue, but with Qing Heng, Zi Wu, the three senior immortals, and even with her future brother-in-law, Chao Feng. It was so heartwarming to see everyone warm up to this princess, who had always longed for a happy life. On the other hand, we have the power-hungry Immortal and Demon Emperors who put their own power before their family’s happiness. The Heavenly Empress demonstrated her true love for her children before any noble title or riches, while the Demon Empress’s power-hungry eyes not only showed her pure-evil heart but her universal love for her only son. The side couples were all very cute and fun to watch.

Production-wise, The Starry Love did a phenomenal job. The special effects for magical spells in all realms complimented their respective backgrounds and were all natural to the look. Like previous Xianxias, the Immortal Realm is given an almost-whitewashed look, while the Demon Realm is a land of darkness. However, the fireworks and magical trees were gorgeous to look at, to name a few magical elements of the drama.

Like Ashes of Love, the OST for The Starry Love includes songs sung by Mao Buyi and Sa Dingding, as well as Liu Yuning and Shuang Sheng, and were epic as always. Sa Dingding once again awes us with her amazingly high vocals managed with immaculate precision, while Mao Buyi and Liu Yuning sing with longing emotion. Shuang Sheng once again displays her lovely voice with a sweet tone. The soundtrack is as follows:

[Theme Song] “The Starry Love” (星落凝成糖) - Sa Dingding
[Opening Song] “Speak with You” (与子成说) - Liu Yuning
[Ending Song] “Flawless World” (天地无瑕) - Mao Buyi (with another version sung by Sa Dingding)
[Additional Song] “Twin Flowers” (双花儿) - Shuang Sheng

If The Starry Love is not THE Xianxia drama 2023, it is one of the best. Although it includes many Xianxia elements used in previous Xianxia dramas, the comedic aspect of this series differentiates it from the rest of the group and will certainly brighten up your day. The emphasis on strong sisterly love is also something that is not to be missed. (there’s eye candy too!)

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Completed
The Wolf
104 people found this review helpful
Nov 20, 2020
49 of 49 episodes seen
Completed 21
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 10
Rewatch Value 8.5
This review may contain spoilers

The Love Story of a "Wolf Pup" and a Spoiled Princess

EDITED 12/02/20

Summed up for lazy readers:
-Wuxia Romance involving some politics and obviously, the concept of wolves.
-Not exactly tragic, but you will probably cry.
-Misunderstandings that some would call "stupid" or "unnecessary", but show the purest love. (just don't watch it for you can't bear misunderstandings)
-All main leads and seconds leads mature throughout the drama.
-Not the best CGI, but not the worst either.
-Not for people who dislike darkness and war.

This drama is simply...how would I say it...majestic. You may not be a big fan of wolves and darkness, but one thing is for sure: the moment you click that play button on episode 1, you are sucked into this mesmerizing world in which you cannot escape from. I ensure you, this drama will result in your panda eyes for the next few days.

(this review is kind of long. The main parts are in the first two or so paragraphs in every section)

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Story: 9.0
The Wolf is a romance drama in which their story starts with an unbreakable bond of friendship. We have "Lang Zai", or Wolf Pup, the nickname given to him from Xing'er, our female lead. He was abandoned at birth, but miraculously saved and then raised by a wolf pack. They become his family, and he learns the way of the wolves. He is a "wild man", but he has the purest and kindest heart inside, and will protect his family and friends at all costs. After he meets Ma Zhaixing, the pampered and doted daughter of the city master, he starts to learn that he is a person, not a wolf, and they become the best of friends. It also includes the concept of political power; Prince Bo must learn to avoid the devious plot of others and gain the emperor's full trust. And with this, he must obey the evil emperor, even if it means sacrificing his purest love. At times, these scenes bored me, because I'm not particularly a fan of politics in dramas, but it was satisfying when the evil are exposed.

Why would I call this drama majestic? The story simply reminds me of mountains, of peaks that soar into the sky. First of all, the CGI in my opinion, is quite breathtaking. The animals created by computers may seem simple to make, but they include such intricate detail that their interactions with Wolf Pup, the later Prince Bo makes it hard to believe that wolves would have such kind hearts to take in a baby boy, a human, a wolf's greatest enemy. They truly do give us that feeling of familial love, the warmth, the affection, how much they care for each other. And when Wolf Pup's family members sacrifice themselves without any hesitation to save him, the tears start falling like an endless waterfall, they really do.

Xing'er starts out as this spoiled girl, the "jun zhu", or princess, of the city. Even though she is just the daughter of a concubine, she is most doted on by her father, and they have a very strong father-daughter bond. She is a playful and adventurous girl, always giving off happy bouncy vibes. After she meets Wolf Pup, she begins to go to the mountain to visit him regularly, and she eventually even persuades and encourages him to go down the mountain to see the world of humans, and that not everywhere is as evil as he thinks.

(SPOILER ALERT) We meet our next box of tissues when they have to separate. (I will not say much in case I spoil it too much) In every drama, sacrifices must be made, and unlike many other ones, this one was certainly not "childish" or "stupid". The female lead had a very good reason to leave our dear Wolf Pup, even if it was too heartbreaking for some of us to handle. The separation lasts 8 years. Xing'er still refuses to marry, as she can't let go of her love for Wolf Pup. Meanwhile, Wolf Pup has been adopted by the emperor and is made the third prince, Prince Bo. He is strong and powerful, but it hasn't occurred to him that his survival was just for the emperor to manipulate him for more power. After a tragic event, our princess meets this cold and ignorant prince, who keeps denying his true identity. Their relationship starts out on a bad note, but they become closer and closer over time. But as we progress further into the story, we meet our doom: a misunderstanding that causes even more heartbreak. Unlike the first sacrifice, this one seemed a little stupid and cliche. Chu Youwen breaks Xing'er's heart on purpose to "protect her" and although this is pretty necessary, his way of overcoming this situation was not the very best. Misunderstandings lead the drama for quite a long time, but we, the audience, could definitely learn a few life lessons as well as enjoy the bitter romance. At first, I thought that explanation would've been better, but I was wrong: The silent sacrifices that both of them made for each was true love. Some people say that it was dumb and that they could've just told each other everything, but would you be able to tell your love that you betrayed them? Most likely, no.


But the few misunderstandings doesn't stop us from loving this drama and following the couples as they experience love, hate, trust and doubt. It is truly an adventure. As for the ending, if you want to be spoiled, it will be at the very bottom.

-----------------------------

Acting/cast: 9.0
CHU YOUWEN- Darren Wang's wild side is truly wild. (and sexy!) He starts off as that "wolf" who is oblivious about everything, but after he experiences the terrible heartbreak from the person he was closest to and becomes a royal prince, Chu Youwen. That cold air around him is so cold that it makes me literally shiver. He still loves Xing'er, but thinking that she despises him, tries hard to let go of his past. (which, obviously, he fails at) We can see the desperation in his eyes when Xing'er is in danger, and he always saves her in that moment of terror. Xing'er's hero. And when he's cruel to the enemy, he is truly c-r-u-e-l. If anyone hurts his Xing'er, they're basically doomed. Prince Bo is not just a royal prince, he's also a wild wolf, loyal to the ones he love, but merciless to the ones he hate.

MA ZHAIXING- Personally, Li Qin's acting at the beginning was not the best, but the emotions she showed eventually were so top-notch that (you guessed it!) my tears start falling every few minutes or so. I wouldn't consider myself someone who cried often, but I'm just a few episodes in and my eyes are strawberry red. Xing'er's love for Wolf Pup is just so pure that you sometimes wonder why she won't simply just go explain to him why she said those terrible words to him. The tragic event causes a personality change in Ma Zhaixing, and although she is still bright and relatively talkative, we don't really see that spoiled princess anymore. Xing'er is intelligent, and undoubtedly kind. She will sacrifice almost anything for the people she loves, including her life, if she has to.

When I said that they were made for their roles, it also included chemistry. Their chemistry is one of the very best. When the main leads get close to each other, we also feel the excitement and the butterflies in our stomach. Their expressions show everything. Even if they try to be cold to each other, the coldness is only temporary.

As of the supporting roles, we have quite a few talents, including the subordinates of Prince Bo and Ma Qing, Zhaixing's friend. They are servants, but they are the most loyal and most caring. The evil characters were unlike the ones we see in other dramas. They are purely evil, evil to the point that they could manipulate people so easily that they wouldn't be discovered for years. We also have two other supporting characters that really gained my love: Ji Chong and Bao Na.

JI CHONG- Ji Chong, played by Xiao Zhan, is the second lead that will give you second lead syndrome. (unfortunately) He's there when the female lead needs him, and loves her as much as the male lead, but he just doesn't get the chance to show how much he loves her, because the female lead only sees him as a friend. He married Zhaixing, kissed her, hugged her, but failed to gain her affection. It has quite heartbreaking for me, because Ji Chong is a talented, caring and intelligent man, and he's no worse than Chu Youwen. He stayed with Ma Zhaixing for quite a long time, and helped her a tremendous amount, but no matter what he did, it simply wasn't enough. He met her later and that was the main disadvantage. Xiao Zhan's acting was especially nice (but it could also be because I'm a fan of him). As Ji Chong, he showed he care and desperation for Ma Zhaixing clearly, and I felt him tremendous pain when he knew that they weren't meant to be together. So yes, we have the ill-fated love triangle.

BAO NA- Bao Na is another character that I love. She starts out as the bratty princess who thinks that she will get everything she wants. She was "deeply in love" with Prince Bo at the beginning, and was terribly annoying. I was afraid that she would be a second female lead, but she actually isn't. She realizes her mistakes and after seeing Ma Zhaixing also die to protect her, becomes great friends with her. She also grows into an intelligent and brave young woman, very different from the whiny and bossy princess she started as.

YAO JI- She starts off as the archenemy of Chu Youwen because of certain reasons, and we hate her from the very start. I mean, even her look is 100% evil! She is skilled in astronomy and poison, and is very skilled in scheming. She is that most hateful character at the start, but she's unlike Bao Na, who just pesters Prince Bo. She's more of his competitor, but it always seems like she wants to kill him. But...that's not the case. As we move further into the story and she reveals more of her personality, it is clear that she cares deeply for Prince Bo, but she simply can't express her feelings. She has helped Prince Bo go through multiple hardships, and in the end, they become great friends, the kind of friend that will stick together no matter what. Bravo, Xin Zhi lei, for showing us that someone may look evil, but are the most caring inside.

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Music: 10
There are only a few songs (7 to be exact), but I simply love the OST. While they may seem repetitive at times, the songs are presented to us in quite a few ways: Normal singing, different instrumental backgrounds, and the change in speed and pitch. The singing is beautiful, the background instrumental music matches perfectly and the lyrics are like the ripples of a river, moving the story along slowly. The songs clearly show us the longing the two main leads feel for each other, and the unsaid words they just need to say. There is also some rap incorporated into one of the songs, which takes the music up another notch.

---------------------------

Rewatch value: 8.5
I do not think that I will ever get tired of this drama. The amazing scenery alone is enough for me to stare at the screen for hours. And with the interaction of the main leads and second leads, oh, how would I not want to rewatch it?

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Overall: 9.0
This beautifully written and majestic story is one rarely seen in C-dramas. We do start with a spoiled princess, but she meets the wild boy, and learns that some people have the evilest hearts. Even if you wanted to go take a break, I don't think you could, because this drama is certainly not merciful in terms of allowing you to get out of your seat. There are a few misunderstandings that seem a little unreasonable, but they all work out in the end. We are presented with the occasional comical scene to give us a short break from the next situation. Oh, and prepare the tissues and the explanation to your friends and family about why your eyes are so swollen and red.

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Completed
The Sword and the Brocade
29 people found this review helpful
Mar 30, 2021
45 of 45 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.0
This review may contain spoilers

From Belittled Concubine's Daughter to Respected Marquis's Wife

As a historical Cdrama lover, The Sword and the Brocade was certainly a delightful watch, giving an insight and story that is both informational and enjoyable. Set in the Ming Dynasty, viewers follow the journey of Luo Shiyi Niang, as she gains respect from the people around her as she rises from a concubine's daughter to the wife of a powerful marquis. As a 45 episode drama with 45 minutes per episode, I thoroughly enjoyed most of the drama, especially the progression and improvement of many characters' personalities.

This is definitely not a low-budget drama, with colorful and intricate clothing, realistic Ming dynasty props, and nice sets. Shiyi Niang's clothing showed off her sunshiney personality and simplicity, showing off pastel colors of many shades to viewers. And rather than clothing that looked too royal and fancy, Shiyi Niang's clothing fit her personality perfectly.

Story-8.5:
If you enjoyed The Story of Minglan, you will most likely love this drama as well. The drama doesn't have a very spectacular plotline, but rather shows how the many characters in the drama changed as they experienced more of life, and the very inspirational outcomes from various circumstances.

Born in the rather influential Luo family, Luo Shiyi Niang (Luo= last name, Shiyi= 11, Niang= character given to all Luo girls) is not given upmost care from the family, with the exception of her concubine-ranked mother. In ancient China, children born of the main wife were considered the legitimate children, while concubine-born children were illegitimate. As a young girl, Shiyi Niang only experienced true familial love from her mother, who later dies in a tragic and mysterious way. Determined to find the murderer and avenge her mother, Shiyi Niang can only marry Xu Lingyi, the powerful marquis of the Xu manor, who was the husband of her eldest sister, Yuan Niang, before she died.

Shiyi Niang and Xu Lingyi's marriage is a perfect example of a normal marriage in ancient China, where parents would decide the spouse of their children. This couple started out without any love at all, but through various circumstances, romance started to bloom. The drama explores love from family, lovers and friends, as well as life in ancient China.

It should also be noted that a harem of a few concubines and children was perfectly normal in ancient China. Some viewers may be uncomfortable with this significant detail, but this picture of an influential official's harem frames ancient Chinese polygamy quite well. (I'm not implying that this is acceptable now, just that it was normal in ancient China, and we can also learn some history from it.)

My story rating dropped from a 9.5 to an eventual 8.5 after a few parts of the drama. Some parts were rather unnecessary, while other parts would have been much better off with more explanation (especially the ending, which felt very rushed). I have to admit that I started to get bored at times, but fortunately, the plot managed to keep the drama rolling.

Acting/Cast-9.0:

First, please allow me to say that the main reason I gave this drama such a high rating overall (9.0) is being of the character development. The Sword and the Brocade has one of the best character developments I have seen in dramas. Shiyi Niang is such an influential and motivational figure. Although she is concubine-born, she managed to win over the hearts of the entire Xu family, who were all cold and distant to her at first. Adding on to this trait, she also displays kindness and care towards her family, friends and anyone in need, and is willing to sacrifice if necessary. She is definitely not the whiny female lead, or a woman in ancient China who has to depend on her powerful husband to live well. She starts a, we'll call it an embroidery educational system, and she is quite good at teaching the young girls embroidery, being amazing at embroidery herself. (which is an essential talent for women in ancient China) As always, Tan Songyun slayed her role, perfectly pulling off this headstrong but caring female lead, who used her wits and kindness to gain the affection of her husband and respect of her new family members.

Wallace Chung did not disappoint as well. He kept the image of a powerful and intelligent marquis throughout the drama, one traumatized by the death of a few of his family members when he was quite young. This event also changed him to the cold man seen in the beginning of the drama, who only cared about filial-piety and protecting the nation. After Shiyi Niang's arrival, though, his change was clear and evident. He began displaying signs of affection towards not only her, but other family members as well. He began to understand the hardships of others, and also the importance of family (which, Shiyi Niang saw importance in as well).

There is a rather significant age gap between both the actors (Actress Tan Songyun and actor Zhong Hanliang) and the main leads in the drama, the gaps being 16 years and most likely 10 years respectively. I have noticed a disturbance in viewers after this discovery, but this gap did not bother me from enjoying the drama at all. Seven Tan and Wallace Chung had acceptable chemistry. Shiyi Niang and Xu Lingyi are a cute couple. Not so-cute-I-could-look-at-them-at-day cute, but they were a nice couple. There were a few intimate scenes, which were conducted fairly well.

Some of the other characters who won me over were Shiyi Niang's sisters, her Fifth Sister-in-Law, Hu Po, and so many others. Almost of all of the characters had amazing character development (excluding the antagonists, of course). It was normal for sisters to fight over the most trivial things, as the atmosphere in families were highly competitive, but Shiyi Niang stayed back, while her other concubine-born sisters gained more of the main wife's favor. One of her sisters was most deserving of my scorn, but I took the hate back as the drama started to near the end. Most of these actors and actresses did a wonderful job playing the roles of people living in ancient China, managing to make everyone's stories and goals realistic but also pretty relatable. The antagonists were fine, wanting to gain from greed and influence from others.

How did Shiyi Niang even manage to gain the respect of so many people and also establish such successful and stable relationships? These results can be attributed to a tiny bit of luck, but mostly her high EQ and patience that helped her in the long run. Even Xu Lingyi's mother, who disliked her greatly at first, eventually took to her as her own daughter. Shiyi Niang's personality is one that all of us can learn and benefit from.

Music-8.0:
The Sword and Brocade does not have a very memorable soundtrack, but it had nice songs nonetheless. I especially enjoyed he song sung by Seven Tan. Who knew that she has such a sweet and gentle voice! Fortunately though, my ears did not receive any complaints of the bgm or OSTs not matching with what was going on eith the drama, making the music a nice add-in.

Overall-8.5:
Overall, a great drama, and a great perception of Ming Dynasty life as well! Not only was the story intriguing, but the character developments are so rare and motivational, showing us how patience and kindness will pay off in the end. Greed will get us nowhere, and the antagonists got what they deserved in the end. From a girl who no one took much importance in to an influential wife of a powerful marquis, Shiyi Niang managed to achieve many things she never thought she would achieve, as well as help many people in the nation.

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Completed
The Long Ballad
51 people found this review helpful
May 4, 2021
49 of 49 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 8.5

A Perfect Blend of Adventure, Friendship and Romance

The Long Ballad, adapted from a popular ongoing manga, Chang Ge Xing, by Xia Da (夏达), won over me with its inspirational characters and life lessons, strong friendships and bonds, and unique storyline. Not only did it provide me with an amazing drama watching experience, but also made me sympathize and feel for many of the characters. In case you didn’t know, the Long Ballad’s title comes from Li Changge’s name. Li is her surname, while Changge means ‘Long Ballad’. (or long song)

I have to admit that I set my expectations quite high for this drama, as it has a star-studded cast, a cast filled with actors and actresses that I have watched in other dramas before, and impressed me with their acting skills. Adding on to my excitement was the director, Chu Yui Bun, who had directed 3 dramas that I exceptionally loved. But even with my bar set high, this historical Chinese drama won me over.

Something especially unique with the Long Ballad is that it provides some connections and reminders to the manhua. Quite a few war scenes and other scenes are in a cartoon-ish form. The actors may be in the scenes, but the backdrops are green screens. The transitions were a little abrupt, but I really enjoyed these scenes and they were very beautiful. I also really loved the costumes. They were absolutely gorgeous, and fit the different settings and period very well.

Story-9.0
As I started the drama, I was introduced to a bustling Chang An, the capital of the highly successful Tang Dynasty, which lasted from 618 to 907 AD. Many historians consider the Tang Dynasty a 'Golden Age', specifically of arts and culture. During this period, people from all around the world came to China for education, traveling, business, and many other reasons. During the reign of Li Shimin, also known as Tang Taizong, civilians lived in peace and happiness, and without poverty. It truly was a beautiful time. The drama also motivated me, who already had some knowledge of the Tang Dynasty and Tang Taizong's achievements, to research more about this era. My research also resulted in the knowledge that quite a few people in the Long Ballad are real people that lived during the Tang Dynasty, including Ashina Sun's cousin, Ashina She'er, Wei Shuyu and his father, Wei Zheng, a well-known Tang Chinese politician and historian, and the crown prince of the drama, Li Chengqian.

The beginning of the Long Ballad is not set during the most famous prosperous period, though. It is actually set right before Li Shimin's successful reign. Li Changge is a Tang Dynasty princess, the daughter of the crown prince, having everything and even more that a girl during that time or even now could have. But her entire family is killed by her Second Uncle, Li Shimin, and her life is turned upside down. At first, I was worried that the drama would be centered around a normal revenge plot, but thankfully, I was very wrong. Revenge might have been something that Li Changge focused on, but this is not the main topic/theme of the drama. The Long Ballad also explores strong friendship, cute romance, loyalty, family, and so much more.

The drama is by no means centered around politics or war. Politics is almost nonexistent in this drama, which is a relief for many, although power played an important role in the Long Ballad. We are shown that power was very important for one's success in ancient times, and this can also apply to us during modern times.

The main goal of the drama is not for the characters to gain some mystical object, but rather to show their immense character growth, and the growths are shown very realistically. I was not only entertained, but was also given different perspectives of life and the many relationships in our lives. The plot was not very predictable, and the plot twists made the drama experience even more memorable.

Fortunately, the actors and actresses also did very well with the fighting scenes. We are provided with well thought-out and practiced fighting scenes that look very polished and natural. Bravo!

There were a few loopholes, though. I won’t elaborate too much on this, but there were a few spots in the drama where I felt that the characters could have done something differently for a better result. Otherwise, I wouldn’t change anything else about the drama. The plot is very propelling, and unlike some other historical Cdramas, is not very slow-paced.

Cast-9.5
The cast is one of the reasons I decided to watch the Long Ballad. What better to watch my two favorite Chinese actresses in one drama, along with the handsome and mature Wu Lei? And Liu Yuning is a plus!

I had absolutely no problems with the 7-year age gap between Dilraba and Wu Lei. In fact, they looked so compatible together that my smiles and fawning were almost always uncontrollable. It is more than evident how much Ashina Sun and Li Changge care for each other, from their actions to even just their facial expressions. The Long Ballad is not centered around romance, but it does have a good amount of it. We are given a few couples, each with their own cute scenes.

Leo Wu, at age 21, just awed me again. For those who have watched Nirvana in Fire, he is nothing like that cute and innocent Fei Liu. I mean, Ashina Sun is also handsome (amazingly handsome) and cute, but in a much more mature way. His aura spreads everywhere. Ashina Sun is a man of righteousness and kindness. Although he seems cold and perhaps a little emotionless, viewers start to see his real personality as he interacts more with the ones he cares about, including Changge. Not only does he have a great personality, but his fighting skills are also one of the best, with him being able to hit a certain point with his bow and arrow long distances away.

Li Changge is not an easy character to play. Her determined personality becomes even more prominent after the deaths of her family, as she becomes even more determined to avenge for their deaths. No, she is not that naive and bubbly little princess. She is a strong-willed, talented, and intelligent young woman who, as she leaves the place she had called home for her entire life, discovers the real world and the things that lay ahead for her. Again, Dilraba impresses me with her portrayal of this awesome Tang Dynasty princess.

Now we come to Li Leyan, played by our lovely Zhao Lusi, and she is the daughter of Li Shimin and the cousin of Li Changge. I admit, I was hoping for a "stronger" Li Leyan in the beginning, as her personality was quite naive and perhaps a little too generous and kind, but she, like Changge, entered the real world, where there were no servants to wait on her and no jewels and crowns for her to wear. Li Leyan's growth is phenomenal and inspirational. In the end, I absolutely adored her character. She, unlike a few other characters in the Long Ballad, is not completely useless. Li Leyan's kindness spread throughout the nation, from donating food to saving civilians from natural disasters. She is almost the perfect princess, with a little more intelligence and thoughtfulness sprinkled in.

Hao Du is another favorite character in Long Ballad. Liu Yuning acts him out very well, being quite disliked by Leyan at first, he shows her that he does not have a heart made of stone. In fact, he cares for his friends and family very much. Unlike Wei Shuyu, he was not born into a very wealthy family, although he was adopted by his godfather. He was taught at a very young age to work hard for the Tang Dynasty, to even sacrifice his life for it. Along with many other characters, Hao Du’s personality slowly grew on me.

Some other characters, although minor, were also essential in this story. A few good examples include Mu Jin, Ashina She’er and Mimi Guli. There were many other characters that I both loved and hated. At first, the main antagonist was not very clear, but as the story progressed, everything was revealed, providing me the very person to despise and wish for the worst. The antagonist, which I will not say, does have a considerably good reason to do what they did, and they were a major obstacle for the protagonists of the Long Ballad to pass. Sacrifices were made, along with alliances and friends and enemies. There were many characters in the Long Ballad, and it was a little hard to remember everyone's names at first, which is the norm for Chinese historical dramas. But most characters had their own special purposes, and everyone acted very realistically and well.

Music-9.5
Amazing osts. Period. When I watched the first episode, and first heard the opening and ending songs, I already fell in love with two Long Ballad osts. If you are an avid Cdrama watcher, you probably recognize the voices, or even the names, of these singers: Zhang Bichen, Zhou Shen, Sa Dingding, Liu Yuning. They have sung osts for countless dramas, and are very well-known in China. The soundtrack for the Long Ballad is very enjoyable and unique, with wonderful melodies, voices, and lyrics. It’s very hard for a drama to have one or two good songs, let alone five or six.

Rewatch Value-8.5
The Long Ballad is a very good drama to rewatch, for both the plot and character development. I’m not high on rewatching, so my rewatch values are often pretty low for most dramas that I have watched. But this drama certainly has many scenes to rewatch and to re-enjoy. I'm also happy to say that I was more than satisfied with the ending, as it gave me an amazing closure for many characters.

Overall-9.5
The Long Ballad has creeped up to my top 10 Chinese dramas, and probably my top 5 Chinese historical dramas. As a big fan of historicals, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It provided me with an amazing sense of what Tang Dynasty life is, and the goals and perspectives of people living different lives. It would seem impossible that a Tang Dynasty Princess would meet and fall in love with a Turkish prince, but it happened, and made many of us fall in love with the couple. I highly recommend the Long Ballad for Chinese drama watchers, especially ones that like to watch historical adventure and romance dramas.


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Completed
Amidst a Snowstorm of Love
35 people found this review helpful
Feb 18, 2024
30 of 30 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0

The Perfect Winter Watch!

“In the past, no matter how hard I worked, how hard I fought, I would always feel empty. Since life is unfair, why do I fight like this? There is no place I have to go, nothing I want with all my heart, no one I need to be with. Until…we met one another in a snowstorm.”
________________________________
Where should I start? Perhaps with the statement that if you are looking for a fluffy Cdrama rom-com to watch in the middle of winter, Amidst a Snowstorm of Love is a strong candidate for you to consider. It is a drama full of cute romantic scenes, strong friendships, and endless support from so many different characters. I started this drama in the middle of a pretty bad Cdrama slump, and this was the perfect comfort drama for me to watch while it was coincidentally snowing outside. The leads meet in Finland during a snowstorm, and their story of love and persistence unravels from there. Additionally, much of the plot revolves around the pool table, as the leads are nine-ball and snooker players. Coming into this drama, I knew almost nothing about the sports, but I found myself watching each player anxiously as they competed, silently cheering them on. Amidst a Snowstorm of Love was adapted from the novel of the same name by Mo Bao Fei Bao (墨宝非宝). The novelist’s name may sound familiar; she also wrote the original novels for Go Go Squid!, The Flame’s Daughter, and One and Only.

The first ten or so episodes of the drama are essentially the build-up of Lin Yiyang (ML) and Yin Guo (FL)’s relationship. Lin Yiyang and Yin Guo meet in an evening snowstorm in Finland. The first third of the drama was a bit slow for me, but it quickly picked up speed. Lin Yiyang is an international student in communications, and Yin Guo has come to compete in a major nine-ball competition. Much of the drama is centered around their cute moments in Finland, or as I commented earlier, are basically snapshots of the two walking around in the snow. And of course, food, food, and food! The Chinese characters speak English for a good portion of the drama in Finland. Lin Yiyang and Yin Guo’s relationship is literally the biggest green flag you’ll see in CdramaLand. They are extremely considerate of each other, are amazing communicators (after countless dramas with stupid misunderstandings, thank you!!), and are supportive of each other’s goals. Their little WeChat conservation moments are adorable! Additionally, despite Lin Yiyang being away from the pro-snooker life for over a decade, Yin Guo didn’t hesitate at all when she told him she would support him if he wanted to compete again. Lin Yiyang was the Chinese snooker champion by 13, but soon ‘retired’ due to conflicts with the judges. Yin Guo also started nine-ball at a young age and is currently one of the top internationally-ranked players.

You could say that Lin Yiyang took the initiative for their romantic relationship, but both of the leads were drawn to each other from the get-go. It was so sweet to see Lin Yiyang and his friend Wu Wei taking time out of their day to show Yin Guo and her cousin Meng Xiaotian around Hull, Finland. Lin Yiyang would go on such long train rides just to see Yin Guo again! They’re both more introverted, so as they got to know each other, it was more common to see them eating and chatting over the phone than actually speaking to each other. And after Yin Guo went back to China, they continued to talk to each other over the phone nonstop. The communication between the two is mature and impeccable. There are no stupid misunderstandings at all, and although both leads have attracted a lot of admirers (especially Lin Yiyang), there is just an amazing level of trust that leads to absolutely no jealously at all. I also appreciate the fact that the ML and FL’s admirers backed off after seeing the two together. Thank you, thank you!

Another essential aspect of the drama is the undying support the characters pour on each other. Not only does Lin Yiyang help Yin Guo get ready for her first competition in Finland, but the support is mutual. As Yin Guo slowly learns about Lin Yiyang’s past, she and his old friends are thrilled to learned that he wants to go back to professional snooker. And the bromances are so funny and heartwarming! Even before I knew that the novelist for this drama was the same for Go Go Squid!, I could see similarities between the close-knit friendships tied together by a shared love for the sport. In the beginning, I thought that Yin Guo’s other cousin, Meng Xiaodong (Xiaotian’s older brother) would be a problem in their relationship due to his seemingly hostile past with Lin Yiyang, but I was so wrong. Meng Xiaodong turned out to be one of the most supportive people towards both their relationship and Lin Yiyang’s return to pro-snooker. (There’s plenty of eye candy as well, but that’s just a plus!) We also witness the rekindling of friendships between Lin Yiyang and his former peers whom he left years ago.

I would say that the only major roadblock in Lin Yiyang and Yin Guo’s relationship is Yin Guo’s mom, but she wasn’t much of a problem either. I won’t say why she wasn’t initially supportive of them being together, because it’s explained in the drama. However, her initial dislike towards Yiyang is pretty reasonable. I also think that this progression from dislike to a loving embrace really shows Lin Yiyang’s character changing for the better since he was that stubborn and haughty snooker champion as a teenager. Some people were unhappy with the lack of "subtance" in the drama, but then were upset about the mom. (Just an example of how we can't cater to everyone.) I’m also going to take a minute here to appreciate his amazing teacher, Mr. He Wenfeng. Lin Yiyang was his last student, whom he treated like a grandson. Mr. He is the teacher all of us want, and Lin Yiyang wouldn’t be where he was at 13 or today without his guidance.

In my opinion, Wu Lei and Zhao Jinmai had amazing chemistry. It didn’t help when their characters were so loving and supportive towards each other either! Even as opponents, every clap and congratulations were extremely genuine and everyone was happy for one another, no matter who won or lost. All the actors and actresses made the rom-com enjoyable, with plenty of smiles and laughs. The OST is cute and perfect for the leads' happy moments together. Amidst a Snowstorm of Love was the first drama I’ve watched that shines the spotlight on the pool table. Since I know basically nothing about snooker and nine-ball, I can’t testify to whether the drama showed gameplay correctly, but it sparked my interest in the sports. And given that China is currently very high-ranked internationally in terms of snooker and nine-ball, the drama also was able to raise awareness for the sports in China, and of course, outside of China.

All in all, Amidst a Snowstorm of Love is the perfect cuddly winter watch! It is a perfect combination of romance, friendship, and healthy relationships across the board. You are not only transported to the world of pool, but also get to experience a Finnish winter and amazing love story. It’s definitely a plus if you start this drama when it’s snowing outside. (That’s what happened for me!)

Thanks for reading!

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Completed
Uncle Cool
18 people found this review helpful
Jul 2, 2021
12 of 12 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.5

A Cute and Funny Rom-Com That You Can Watch Under 2 Hrs!

STORY-8.0
Based on the Webtoon of the same name, which I have not watched, Uncle Cool tells the love story between a cheerful high school girl and a cold but caring doctor. Besides these tropes, we have some others: Height Difference, Older Man/Younger Woman, School Bullying, Neighbors. The rather big age gap (seems to be 10 years at most) may be a bit bothersome for some, but as someone who usually doesn't mind these kinds of age gaps, I was perfectly fine with this couple. They are cute, and awkward in a good way! There were also quite a few comedic moments where I was laughing quite fiercely, a nice cherry on the top!

As this drama was only about 80 minutes, there wasn't a very deep and long story, but it managed to pack in the details very nicely. There are two rather touchy topics- School bullying, and child abuse. They played a crucial part in the drama and we watched the female lead become more confident and stronger as she overcame these problems.

There were also some heartwarming places in this drama. I particularly loved Na Na’s ‘enemy-to-friends’ relationship with a girl in school. Shows how much friendship is important to us and can help us get through hard times.

ACTING-8.5
The actors are all at the novice level-they haven’t acted in many dramas, but I loved their characters and they were not awkward or strange as their characters at all. I felt that the main leads had reasonable chemistry; Of course, there wasn’t enough time for more cute interactions that would have left me fawning over them.

There weren’t many actors either, but they all did reasonably well, expressing their emotions very realistically and touchingly.

OVERALL-8.0
If you just want some relaxation with some fluff and a few laughs, I would immediately recommend Uncle Cool. There were no annoying details or characters with numerous heartwarming and cute scenes. Awesome character development as well!

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Completed
Love Like the Galaxy: Part 2
34 people found this review helpful
Aug 21, 2022
29 of 29 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 9.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
This review may contain spoilers

Love Among the Vast Galaxy of Stars

Love Like the Galaxy: Part 2, or Yue Sheng Cang Hai (月升沧海), is the continuation of the first part of the drama, Xing Han Can Lan (星汉灿烂), with a bit more of a political twist to it. The titles of these two parts are simply gorgeous, as they relate to the shining stars and vast waters of the sea. To be completely honest, I did not even plan to watch Love Like the Galaxy, not expecting the plot to be so gripping, the character development to be so well-rounded. With many veteran actors in this drama, the characters were brought to life, with bright smiles as well as tears to be shed.

“If the husband is the sun that brightens the road for thousands of Li way, then the wife would be the star, the brilliant galaxy. The sun, the moon and the galaxy neither is superior or inferior, they’re indispensable. We can only create a world by coexisting."

STORY- 8.5
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While the first part of the drama was focused on Cheng Shaoshang’s journey of getting to know her family members, the second part also highlights Ling Buyi’s path to seeking revenge, with bits of political strife among officials as well. One could perhaps use the term “Star-crossed lovers” on Cheng Shaoshang and Ling Buyi. Although loving and caring towards one another, it was clear that the two did not truly come to understand each other fully in Part 1 of the drama, and Part 2 witnesses the two gaining the full trust of each other and walking towards the frontlines as a duo, and not one person trying to protect the other.

Again, I write that the second part does include more political scenes, which do affect the couple’s relationship. The audience also learns more about Ling Buyi’s past and the path he has decided to take for the future. Being the sole living descendant of the Huo Family other than his mother, he is forced to choose who to protect. Both Ling Buyi and Cheng Shaoshang grew up with minimal love, learning that they had only themselves to rely on. This caused both of them to grow up to become strong-willed people who were determined to do whatever their heart was set on. This, however, also meant that it took much longer for both of them to start trusting other people, and their frustrating stubbornness sometimes caused what you could call unnecessary arguments. The drama undoubtedly has some of the most heartbreaking scenes that were filmed in the most beautiful way, prompting the audience to rewatch specific scenes over and over again.

If you’ve already watched the first part, you probably won’t be able to list many common drama tropes that show up in Love Like the Galaxy, because simply, the director was smart enough to avoid these annoying tropes. No second lead causing unnecessary misunderstandings, no close friend turning evil, and even no fighting in the emperor’s harem. The relationship between Empress Xuan and Consort Yue is so pure and loving. Even if the two did not have many direct interactions, their dialogues are one of the most heart-warming scenes in this drama. Xuan Shen An lived a life of longing, longing for true love, longing for a life without high authoritative power. Unlike other empresses, she isn’t a haughty, all-above woman. Instead, she only hopes for her children to live a happy and free-spirited life, unlike her, bound inside the imperial palace, knowing that Emperor Wen loved another, Consort Yue. But even so, this didn’t hurt the two women’s strong relationship. They treated each other as true sisters, with no scheming and hatred.

The last few episodes were a bit of a drag, with the precedented time skip, but the separation was executed strongly, even with just actions and no dialogue. The last arc, which was about Shaoshang and Zisheng getting back together, was edited a bit messily, putting some more focus on unprecedented side characters. Apparently, 10 episodes were edited out of the series, resulting in the rushness. This was a bit unfortunate as the audience wasn't looking forward to the multiple Ling Buyi-Comes-to-Shaoshang's-Rescue-Again scenes as much as the scenes that focused on the couple's relationship, which was overshadowed by schemes and headstrog leads.

However, even with the numerous tense scenes in Part 2, some comedic scenes were added here and there for bits of laughter. Emperor Wen wins Funniest Man in a Historical Cdrama, no joke. He cared for Ling Buyi as if he was his own son, and was probably the couple’s best matchmaker. It was beautiful how the emperor and his two wives stood up for Zisheng and Shaoshang, as if they were their own children. Empress Xuan was Shaoshang’s quiet resort, her paradise.

CAST - 10
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Again, LLTG is filled with experienced actors, many well-acclaimed in mainland China. The eye candy is a plus, but the emotional expressions on every single one of the actors’ faces were astonishing. Each tear fell at the perfect time, each smile crooked at an angle. Leo Wu’s face was truly terrifying at times, showing the revenge he had to take, his hatred toward those that killed his uncle and the rest of the Huo Family. Zhao Lusi’s Cheng Shaoshang started off as a hyper and chirpy girl, and if you’ve watched a few of her other dramas, is a role that she shines in. However, this girl became a quiet and virtuous young woman as time grew by, and Zhao Lusi brought this time and the experiences that Shaoshang faced to life.

Rather than saying the character development was the most amazing, the development between character relationships was even more phenomenal. More than half of the Part 1 of LLTG had a Xiao Yuanyi that the audience strongly disliked. She was portrayed as a heartless mother who only knew of military punishment, and frankly, this description is not very wrong. However, her estranged relationship with her daughter slowly thawed as she started to show love and care physically, and not just inside of herself. Xiao Yuanyi slowly learned what it meant to have a daughter, and how to truly care for her. This is only one detail of the strong Cheng Family. There is not a single person in the family that does not care for Shaoshang’s well-being, and her parents, siblings, cousin, and even grandmother were always ready to step in front of her, to protect her. In the direst times, even the shy Yang Yang looked the opposing official in the eye, ready to fight.

No team of actors could have executed each scene as intricately as this team did. The audience could feel the heartwrenching pain, not only for the leads but for the supporting characters as well. Each supporting character had their own story, no matter loving or evil. With lovable characters came jealous figures and power-hungry villains.

PRODUCTION- 10
—----
Although not a formal MDL review category, LLTG’s production is worth mentioning. Each scene is set at a thought-provoking angle, from the bird-eye view of a lone carriage among the grand walls of the palace to the ancient curtains that basked in gentle candlelight. Even the opening to each episode showed figurine scenes of the drama, instrumental and mysterious. As simple as the costumes seemed at first, clothing colors were chosen with care, ranging from mahogany reds to soft cerulean blues. The earrings were studded with one of two beads that highlighted the beauty of the actresses’ faces. The hairstylist also did a good job of putting the long hairs up in a regal way, but also with a simple air to them. The costumes seemed much simpler than in other dramas at first, but the gentle patterns and colors were unique to every character. Although it is important to ask if Wang Ling was wearing the same purple dress the whole time. Perhaps it would of been better to give the supporting characters some wardrobe changes as well.

Another point was the terms in this drama, which I’ve never heard in other historical dramas due to different time periods. Instead of Jie Jie (姐姐), for example, older sister was called A’Zi (阿姊), and mother and father were called A’Mu and A’Fu, different from other traditional callings such as the much more common Mu Qing (母亲) and Fu Qing (父亲).

MUSIC - 9.0
LLTG has three sung OSTs (two of them were special to the two parts), as well as a few theme songs played with traditional Chinese instruments for a few characters. The OSTs were sung with emotion and feeling, prompting the listener to close their eyes and enjoy the tender melodies. As beautiful as they were, it would have been to have a few more supplemental OSTs to enhance the drama atmosphere.

The OSTs are a beautiful treat, though:
Love Like the Galaxy (星汉灿烂) - Sung by Shan Yi Chun
Song of Strings (弦歌) - Sung by Ayanga
Sigh of Starry River (星河叹) - Isabelle Huang

Overall, Part 2 has nicely wrapped up the historical series, with a gripping plot and lovable characters, both leading and supporting. Character relationship in Love Like the Galaxy is one of the most precious and unique parts of the drama, showing every kind of love, and not just romantic. Through interactions and experiences, Cheng Shaoshang has finally come to accept her position in the world, and Ling Buyi has come to trust Shaoshang as not just the person he loves, but as her own separate person.

“I know it’s her with just one glance, it’ll be her this lifetime, this century.”

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Completed
You Are My Glory
88 people found this review helpful
Aug 17, 2021
32 of 32 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 9.5
Story 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 9.0

You Are My Glory: A Beautiful Romance Carrying a Jade Rabbit's Dream

Landing on the moon’s surface on December 14, 2013, the Yu Tu Rover (玉兔, Jade Rabbit) worked on the moon for a total of 31 months, far exceeding its original expected lifespan of 3 months and becoming the longest-operating rover on the moon. Part of China’s Chang’e 3 Mission, Yu Tu traveled a total of 114 meters, sending amazing data back to earth.

Yu Tu said goodbye on August 3, 2016, with a beautiful message:

“There are still many questions I would like answers to, but I’m the rabbit who has seen the most stars.”

(As a girl from a Chinese family, I knew of Yu Tu before YAMG, but this still makes me tearful T^T)
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Enough of story-telling. I’m sure most people were anticipating this drama for days, weeks, months...Admit it, one of the main reasons for the tiresome wait was for the gorgeous main leads. Yang Yang and Dilraba...in a rom-com? Are you kidding me? (nope!)

As soon as the drama started, I was fully immersed. The first 2 minutes, with Liu Yuning’s Fireworks and Stars (烟火星辰) was just a beautiful blessing to my eyes. The galactic palate was a job well done.

With an MDL low of 8.3 at a point when You Are My Glory (YAMG) was airing, the ratings slowly increased to a very understandable 8.7. All credits to the story goes to Gu Man, the author of the original novel- You’re My Glory (same Chinese name as the drama as well, 你是我的荣耀). Gu Man is also the screenwriter of the drama, the reason why you would realize that there is a shortage of differences between the novel and drama if you read the novel, which is a must-read if you’re craving for short but cute webnovels. And the small number of differences was a delightful surprise, as there wasn’t much in the fluffy story that needed to be changed to make the drama a success. (and it is!) As someone who rarely reads Cdrama original novels, I thoroughly enjoyed You’re My Glory as I impatiently waited for the last releases of the drama.

The story is simple but unique; the love story between a popular actress and an aerospace engineer who were high school (and middle school) classmates 10 years ago. Seems kinda cliche at first glance, doesn’t it? Haha, well, I do daresay that it isn’t! Gu Man really played around with her creative ideas. Qiao Jingjing has a month to improve her oh-pretty-bad (actually, quite bad) gaming skills to prove to everyone that she can play the game that she endorses. Who does she ask for help? The very talented Yu Tu, of course!

Before I continue with my hopeless YAMG gushing, please allow me to clarify a point: YAMG is NOT an E-sports drama. While it does involve an online game, King of Glory, no one in this drama is a professional gamer. Ok, continue reading. :)

Yu Tu (spelled, 于途, a homophone of the Jade Rabbit Yu Tu) may seem like your typical Cdrama male god - Earning full marks in high school, attending Tsinghua (the top university in China), being even a god at basketball, even looking like a god (I mean, he’s Yang Yang lol). He’s the full Male God Package!

But WAIT. What is that? He has a dilemma? Hmm...not your typical male god, perhaps? Yu Tu had more realistic problems, but that doesn’t stop him from being thoughtful and caring to his family and friends. You Are My Glory is a much more mature rom-com, with not just characters dreaming of a lovey-dovey future, but with hardships that accompany their dreams.

Let’s go back to that quote from the Jade Rabbit Rover, “I’m the rabbit who has seen the most stars.” Qiao Jingjing said a version of this beautiful quote to Yu Tu, who carried with him his inspirational aerospace dream. Supportive of Yu Tu no matter what, she was always there for him.

“You’re the rabbit who has seen the most stars.” Explains Yu Tu’s dream, which seemed unreachable at first, but he slowly neared that dream, being an inspiration to all.

Behind Actress and Superstar Qiao Jingjing is a girl with a huge heart. Her kindness is almost unparalleled; As much as she seems to be self-centered with her glamorous attire and noble air, you’ll soon discover that there is so much to see than just being in the spotlight. She also displays unwavering perseverance. If Qiao Jingjing sets her mind on something, she’ll get it done AND she’ll get it done well, from her demanding job to helping out friends. People who were talking about Jingjing’s high EQ were totally right.

Oh, and YAMG is frustration-free! No b*tchy exes nagging the leads, no annoying in-laws in opposition, no unnecessary drama in the entertainment circle, this is what I call the full Cdrama Romcom Package, with no unnecessary details and a perfectly cut diamond.

YAMG provides plenty of cute scenes, as well as ‘omg DAMN’ ones, and hilariously funny situations. There were several times where I was telling my friends (who didn’t understand Mandarin) to not watch the episodes without subs because the scenes were THAT funny. What else is there to ask of a cute and funny rom-com?
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I won’t gush about eye-candy, but I’m sure you already know what I’m talking about. (*wink*) Yang Yang and Dilraba can both be considered veteran actors and are very popular, both on MDL and around the world (including mainland China), thus the high number of users with YAMG on their PTW lists. As for acting, Yang Yang and Dilraba have witnessed both praises and insults, but they really shone here, wonderfully embodying their characters, both their lovable traits, and their hard times as they faced their challenges. The acting was not at all forced and had a very natural air from beginning to end.

I could name a few actresses that Yang Yang had great chemistry with and a few actors that Dilraba looked great with, but wow, these two can really act as a pair! This is what ‘off the charts’ chemistry is really like, my friends!

YAMG doesn’t have a second couple, but with Jingjing and Yu Tu’s sweetness, another couple wasn’t necessary at all. Besides, we got Jingjing’s Pei Pei and Sister Ling, who supported her no matter what, and Yu Tu’s Zhai Liang and Guan Zai, accompanying him through both happy and lonely times.

One more surprise- Janice Wu and Gina Jin are guest roles here! Although they didn’t have much screen time, it was just delightful seeing them in a drama again, and like always, they did amazing. :D
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You Are My Glory’s OST is short but delightful. There was one song that stood out to me- Fireworks and Stars sung by Liu Yuning. The other songs were lovely and nice, but they weren’t extraordinarily outstanding. In fact, there was one song with a nice start but started to feel a little nagging in the middle. Maybe it’s just me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But background music was chosen very nicely and always gave off a light and airy feeling.

The production is also very deserving of two high thumbs up. Jingjing’s outfits were always very beautiful, but they never were over-the-top fancy or anything of the sort. And don’t even get me started with Yu Tu, I could go on for hours about Yang Yang’s outfits and his GLASSES. Lighting and camera angles were very pleasing to the eyes, especially the camera angles during intimate scenes.
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All in all, the looong wait for YAMG ended with no disappointment. In fact, I think You Are My Glory has exceeded many of our expectations. Of course, it doesn’t suit everyone, but if you’re in need of a light and cute rom-com, give You Are My Glory a try! Maybe you’ll be like many of us, falling in love with the drama and its wonderful story.

~

If you would like to know the Jade Rabbits story (the rabbit, not the rover), here’s a quick read for you: https://www.waiyeehong.com/oriental-culture/jade-rabbit-yutu/

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