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  • Data de Admissão: Julho 9, 2018
  • Awards Received: Flower Award4
Completados
Different Princess
50 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC Flower Award2
Fev 1, 2024
36 of 36 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 9.5
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musical 9.5
Voltar a ver 8.0

Striking.

This drama had been shelved for almost three years and I happened to follow it (along with ‘Echo Of Your Voice’ which is heading towards it's own three year anniversary this year) because of Song Yi Ren, whom I personally find to be an excellent actress.
It dropped out of nowwhere and released it's first trailer and episodes. So, I was unaware about anything except the Baidu synopsis that has been here since 2021.

Striking is the only word I could describe Different Princess as because oh boy. This drama surprised me a LOT. It's the perfect blend of comedy, tragedy, romance, mystery, fluff, politics, scheming and poisons - all in one package that somehow managed to not mess up until the very end. It is one of most well paced/written dramas I've seen and I appreciate the scriptwriters and the crew behind this for their effort. I can see their sincerity towards the characters and the story, and despite being not promoted heavily and even unconventionally pushed out after years with no warning, Different Princess is truly memorable.

I'm digressing, so let's cut to the chase shall we? I shall also explain why I rated this a 9.5.

The opening scene is a dramatic one: a Crown Prince and his consort are both killed off by a ruthless villain, who then takes over the throne.

Flash forward following the opening title card, we learn that this tragedy was concocted by a Web novelist Hua Qing Ge in an attempt at being innovative and making her novel memorable… by killing off the main characters. Her idea backfires in a twisted way – the readers are left enraged instead of upset, and promptly trash her for writing a plothole ridden story with no character logic for sheer popularity. She adamantly refuses to change the ending even after being threatened.
What she does not expect is to be sucked into her fictional world as a self-titled canon-fodder character who is killed at the night of her wedding to the villain Ji Chu.
Thanks to her being the creator of the world, she manages to escape with the help of Ji Yun, the leading character and Crown Prince whom she had killed off in her novel. But, as she decides to dismantle Ji Chu’s plans and seek justice for Ji Yun, she starts to realize that she knew nothing about the characters and the world she had created, including the terrifying arch villain Ji Chu, who is hell bent on thwarting her plans.

Why I Think You Should Give this Drama a Chance.

*THE CHARACTERS*:
The drama has several important characters - the cast has both long time and new actors, but never once did I feel that anybody was miscast. Even the ML, despite of being a newcomer, fit his role well, and did not try to overdo it. Nobody seemed unconvincing and it looked closer to certain serious dramas, rather than an obscure 36 episode drama that decided to drop its trailer and episodes within the blink of an eye.

This is probably the first time I'm seeing a Chinese drama where all the main characters are smart. (Particularly the royal siblings - Ji Yun, Ji Feng, Ji Chu and Ji Wan’er. May it be EQ or IQ. There was tension that could be cut with a knife in scenes where the four of them were together, but there was an unshakeable bond within, whether they admitted it or not.)

Pretty sure that this is what makes the plot move quite quickly and had me on the edge of my seat, because Different Princess does not run out of plotlines to explore.
There are plenty of characters and plotlines. But, I'll start write off with Hua Qing Ge, our eponymous female lead/writer of the novel.

Being a long time reader of novels, I've heard a lot about techniques that writers adopt during the process of outlining a story. I'll give points to Hua Qing Ge for managing to squeeze in plot threads (that she openly admits, she had written to fill up the word count), but I can see that she had zero sincerity towards what she was writing.
It's evident that she has a rich imagination, but within the first two episodes, it's clear that her reviewers were not baseless in their criticisms.
It looked like she wrote the fan favorite male lead Ji Yun with the intend of getting him killed off – and for that to happen, she randomly threw in a villain with a backstory that is gleaned over.
(I know an author who told how hard she cried while killing off a character and realising that there was no other choice. Qing seemed quite happy with the ending, indicating that she had pre-planned it quite earlier, but lacked the patience to execute it well.)

Moreover, she never concentrated once on the process of the story or ‘why’ the villains existed, but rather the ending and perhaps the leading characters, Ji Yun and Xiao Yao.
She ‘is’ smart, but unfortunately for her, the villain is smarter. And she is straightforward, thanks to being thrown from the modern world to the ancient one, bringing hilarity at the least expected moments.
I loved how she tried to maintain her composure and accept her fate.

Ireine Song is perhaps the most apt actress for such a role. I know that most people will skip over this drama, but personally to me, she can pull off any character with ease.
She managed to turn even the most emotional scenes into comedy - - her modern background was never really tamped down, her inner monologues and sudden bursts of hilarity at the most unexpected times made Hua Qing Ge alive.

That gets us to Ji Chu - the villain of Hua Qing Ge’s original story. How she managed to tangle him in a love triangle in her original plot, I have no idea. Because within the first episode, the dude was plain terrifying.
He was an excellent schemer, making back up plans and taking risks, making Qing question his decisions and constantly on her toes. [Different Princess also has one of the most comedic first meetings ever. EP2 will remain my favorite because of this very reason.]
The way he outsmarts Qing in the first few episodes had me laughing.

One thing that is consistent throughout the drama is that Ji Chu ‘is’ not a fairy, although his actions are justifiable. He is ruthless in his quest for revenge, making radical decisions that plays with the life and death of people.
He was a very clear-headed character from the opening scene to the very final shot - the writers clearly knew what they were doing.

To support him, there exists Gong Ye Qi, a physician whose entire family was wiped out by the Liang Royals. Both of them made a dangerous duo and I liked their brotherhood snd sincerity.
Thus is Ding Ze Ren's first drama as a leading character, and although it's evident that actors for Ji Feng and Ji Yun have much more experience
with emotional scenes, he was perfect as the cold-faced and enigmatic Ji Chu, whom no one really knew well. Seeing him genuinely smile was a delight since he was almost always sardonic.

"A person can't be everyone's dream man."

That brings us to the intended male lead of the novel - Ji Yun, the Crown Prince. I can understand why he was the leading character in Qing's story. Or atleast in the rewritten version. He was one of the most genuinely nice character on screen, but his very loyalty to his blood is his Achilles Heel.

The drama does not lack female characters either. Ji Wan'er, described as the smartest character out of everyone by Qing, was surprisingly strong girl. Her scenes with Gong Ye Qi, particularly one at the end of EP28 was one of the most emotional ones I've seen to date.
Xiao Yao (the Crown Princess/Coroner aka the FL of Hua Qing Ge's novel), was the perfect counterpart for Ji Yun. She was calm and perhaps the wisest character. Some of her speeches and dialogues, particularly in EP36 were noteworthy.

Even the Empress and Consort Wei had their moments. You'll have to watch to know why. ?

*THE PLOT*:

What Qing cooked up, I guess we'll never know. What we do know starts from Chapter 3 of her original novel - where the fictional Hua Qing Ge is killed by Ji Chu.
Qing did plot an excellent tale when it comes to mysteries. She had the key to answers, which gave her the upper hand, but the plot begins to veer off course, and Qing questions if somebody else was writing her story.
What initially begins as a defeat-villain-save-Crown-Prince plot soon starts to pop out hidden characters and plots, before finally terminating at the gates of the Imperial Palace.

The screen time and duration were carefully utilized so that multiple character threads progressed equally well without lingering on anyone in particular.
So, I suggest that you brace yourself for some major fight for power before you proceed.

The last few episodes in particular are plot focussed with no filler, so that might be jarring.

*RELATIONSHIPS*:

The romance was an added bonus and not the focus of the entire story. But, also very integral to it without taking away it's edge.
Ji Chu's budding romance with his ‘victim’ Hua Qing Ge was definitely the other highlight of the show that kept people watching.
Both of them were already a married to begin with, although one of them was trying to murder the other and the victim in question was openly sitting on a throne of thinly veiled lies all the while being directly under her assailant's nose. Ji Chu was not stupid to begin with and I liked how he trapped Qing with her own words. Although, he was dangerous while trying to force the truth out of her.

Their relationship was well paced and made sense.
From murder attempt, plain suspicion, bickering, master-servant, and being fish baited, to finally giving off an old married couple vibes, it's a wonder how they ended up where they are now but the journey there was one of the sweetest I've seen.
Now that I think about it, neither Hua Qing Ge nor Ji Chu ever openly said that they 'loved' each other to their face; rather they were a 'show' not tell couple.
I usually don't feel this way, but I did not want their story to wind up so fast. It was one of those rare 'to infinity and beyond' romances that was worthy of my time.

Gong Ye Qi and Wan'er's plotline was definitely the more dangerous one to me. They had a lot going on and inspite of their contrasting personalities and views, they were sincere to each other.

If Ji Chu + Qing and Wan'er + Gong Ye Qi were a deeply passionate mess, Ji Yun and Xiao Yao were the less lovey-dovey couple. There was an intense understanding and maturity between them. Xiao Yao in particular was exactly whom a character like Ji Yun needed.

The friendships and rapport between several characters, even transient ones did not feel superficial. Xiao Yan, the 24/7 guard of Ji Chu was a scene stealer in this aspect. Mo Yu and Qing's hilarious conversations lightened up even serious atmospheres. Also - the siblings. May it be between Ji Wan'er and Qing, Feng and Wan'er or even Ji Yun and Ji Chu, there was a tacit understanding of each other. T

*COSTUMES:

Ji Chu, the villain had some of the most beautiful costumes and outfit designs I've seen in CDramaland ever. He had both bright and dark coloured clothing and they were coupled with unique head accessories (the star/sun thingy was my favourite) and embroidery that were eye cat hing.
One thing I noted was that Qing and Chu had couple outfits, even though there were not many of them.
Qing had simpler, but elegant attire. Ji Yun’s wardrobe reminded of the Lan Clan from Mo Dao Zu Shi, unfortunately. He was always in blue. Wan’er and Ji Chu had plenty of color in theirs.

*MUSIC:
The opening and ending songs are haunting and foreboding. Particularly the lyrics. They make me feel that I've lost something.

The Soundtrack and BGMs altered, but never overshadowed the scenes.

**FROM THE WRITER'S DESK*:

I can tell that Different Princess will probably end up getting buried beneath the ridiculously excessive number of CDramas released per year. The Douban oage for the drama is almost dead and to top it all off, the very cookie-cutter plotline of a transmigrating writer never attracts jaded viewers.

I did not regret beginning this. Because Different Princess was indeed a different kind of delight. For a low budget, brushed-under-the-rug drama, it has done better than many of the hyped up budget blowers.
The ending is the best that the writers could've given, inspite of all the everything. I know viewers might not be satisfied, but believe me when I say that this is one of the better endings out there. But, the fact that viewers are dissatisfied itself speaks volumes about how much the writers excelled in making us root for the characters.

A 9.5/10 from me.

There are stories that receive a neatly packaged closure - sometimes hopeful, sometimes tragic. Then there are some stories that are just not meant to end. And Ji Chu and Hua Qing Ge's tale is definitely one of them.

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Completados
Legalmente Amor
28 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Mar 22, 2022
33 of 33 episódios vistos
Completados 2
No geral 9.0
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musical 9.5
Voltar a ver 8.0

There and Back Again... A Lawyer's Hopeful Journey of Life, Family, Friendship and Love.

What would you do if you were given a chance to erase your regrets and cherish the ones whom you missed out on? Does life really give you second chances?

Well, 28-year-old Qian Wei successfully managed to get this golden opportunity and from here starts our journey.

First and foremost, this is no regular rom-com if you are seeking pure fluff. It is a moving and heartfelt tale of life, family, justice, perseverance, love and about finding yourself.

It has elements of slice-of-life and sometimes deals with heavy emotional themes such as grief and loss. And I request you to forget about the hedgehog hair for a while, if you happened to stumble across it. In short, it is one of those rare gems that gets overlooked for various reasons.

As someone who stayed away from CDramas this year, thanks to the disappointing storylines and pacing, Legally Romance was the unexpected 'it' drama for me. This is a CDrama, so my hopes were low, but for a regular drama, this has exceeded itself in several departments and is definitely much better than the deluge of fluffy rom-coms that are released every day or so.

Despite having had her future planned ahead since college, 28-year-old Qian Wei never got to fulfill her wishes. Stuck as a paralegal assistant to her former classmate and valedictorian Lu Xun for the past ten years, she bears a grudge against her draconian boss for having stolen her 1st position during their youth. (And now stealing her leisure time by overworking her.) When her boyfriend is revealed to be working for the opposite party and she accidentally misplaced evidence, her life reaches a bleak point. However, an unexpected tumble down a manhole while has her waking up as her 18-year-old self. Taking a leaf out of Lu Xun's book (or a whole new book out of his dreams) Qian Wei decides to change her fate through the years of experience she had acquired for the better... or is it for the worse?

The drama isn't an original work and is based on a web novel with a tacky title "Don't Want To Fall in Love With The Boss". I've not read the novel, but from hearsay, the changes made to the script so far have been more advantageous to the story. After browsing through several chapters, I have to say, the scriptwriters managed to inject a lively and fresh ambience to the drama.

I was admittedly a bit sceptical while beginning this as the trope of redoing life has been repeated multiple times and has almost nothing new to be explored. The flowery poster did not help (the Youtube thumbnail is much more enticing), neither did any earlier information about the drama, which gave me the impression of a regular idol romance with a fantasy twist. Keeping aside the latter half, I'll get to what makes me feel that this drama is worth a chance.

☆ Legally Romance is not a complete romantic comedy. Yes, romance plays a major role. But, it focuses more on Qian Wei's growth. Or rather how much life has tested Qian Wei and explores her regrets and mistakes. When she is given an opportunity to experience her youth, even if it isn't real, she discovers herself once again through this. She rebuilds her vision from scratch (almost) an attempts to vanquish the possibility of any terrible event that she knew she would experience. Including major oned such as saving her father from death...

Qian Wei is no idiot -- she ranked 2nd for a reason. Trenchant about her dream to be a lawyer, we see how dedicated she is to her job further along her journey. I loved her resilience and passion.

What's more? She is definitely a flawed character. She helped her twin Qian Chuan steal Lu Xun's supposed girlfriend after she realized that they had trouble going on their side. She makes a plan to outsmart Lu Xun with her prior knowledge and foresight about what was going to happen. Frankly, I did not understand why she loathed Lu Xun in college when all he seemed to have done was study well. Yes, he was her study rival, but her past self was very deluded with the idea that his sole purpose was to defeat her that she failed to see that he was a good friend and boss, something that her own friend Shi Yun tells her in the second episode.
I loved seeing the events through Qian Wei's eyes. But, this also piqued my curiosity about how things turned out the way it did for her. What we see is her manipulated version of the past. So, what exactly happened during the times that Lu Xun did not intervene in the past?

☆ Another aspect? ALL the characters are well written. I can't find a single annoying character. This includes the second male lead, Li Chong Wen, whose backstory is well fleshed out. I couldn't blame him for his actions; it was completely realistic.
Nobody is good or bad. No one is 100% the ace of the club. The little imperfections in this drama is what makes it perfect. And the life lessons that we are given on the journey along with Qian Wei were heartfelt. I could feel that the writers really sat down and spent their energy into making sure that no character is pushed aside in their pursuit of goals.

☆ Now, the romance... the highlight of the drama. The very wacky title that screamed at the audience to run the other way doesn't do justice. This is literally a story of how the invisible second lead finally managed to get the girl.

Lu Xun is definitely not hailed as the all perfect star hero student of the college. He is known for his talent. The ideal male lead would've been someone like Li Chong Wen —- everyone has their eyes on him at campus. I loved how they didn't overdo or glorify Lu Xun as unbeatable. The 18-year-old never held a grudge towards anyone, even Qian Wei for stealing his 1st position.
What's admirable about his character was how he gave Qian Wei space when she needed it. He was a villainous shadow in Qian Wei's past.
Seeing the tables get turned unintentionally by Qian Wei after she attempts to change her past and instead gets further entwined with Lu Xun was funny, yet heartwarming to watch.
Also, yes, he has a roastworthy hair that he himself is aware of. (I laughed both during EP3 and EP5 when he is described.) Do Not let that detter you from observing the story. Lu Xun is really innocent and worth your time!

Both Song Zuer and Z. Tao had a natural chemistry. The relationship between Lu Xun and Qian Wei was innocent and romantic without ever being cringey. Yes, there were cringey moments, but it was humorous at the same time. This was one romance that is worth your time and there is none who knows this better than Qian Wei.



☆ The show is effortlessly comic without even trying hard. All the characters have a sense of humour, including Qian Wei and even Li Chong Wen (her ex-boyfriend).
Qian Wei and Lu Xun's colleagues at work were particularly funny. I loved that despite the heavy issues that the drama deals with, the touch of humour is never lost even once.

☆ The side characters have distinct personalities. Mo Zi Xin, the quiet-almost-rival to Qian Wei was a highlight. Their best friend Liu Shi Yun; her bickering with Qian Chuan, their talks and care for each other were well portrayed. Everyone has unique or different dreams and passions they pursue. Including Qian Wei and Lu Xun.
Qian Chuan and Shi Yun, the second leads, grew on me episode by episode. I usually do not care about side characters, but this one is an exception. Even Li Chong Wen is a character completely worth your time.

The parental relationships are well portrayed. I adord every scene between Qian Wei and her dad. By the episodes after 20, it really hit the nail right on the head.

☆ I'm now convinced that being a lawyer is more dangerous and risky than people realize.

I'm not a fan of prosecution dramas. (The very reason I've not watched Miss Hammurabi. ) Legally Romance has "Law" as its very backbone, if you are curious. Despite all that, I'm happy as it gave me an insight of how lawyers and cases work though I do not know how close to the truth the drama is. (Watching thrillers helped me get accustomed to it too.)
There are plenty of legal jargons and rules thrown around casually as all the characters are Law School students who are actively involved in the field. It did pique my curiosity, though. The show begins to focus on certain legal cases and have them discussed in depth.

☆ The cast and the production team might be the reason why this drama stood out for me. Song Zu Er and Z.Tao nailed their roles to tee. ( I began this as I was already familiar with Tao's Brightest Star in the Sky.) Song Zuer is a seasoned and lauded actress from what I've heard. I can see why after watching a few clips of her other works. I can distinguish her mature 28-year-old self from her younger version during pivotal moments in the drama. (Particularly EP11 for me.)

Huang Zitao, despite being a certified idol, seems to choose characters whom he thinks he might be able to act comfortably as without forcing himself. A wise choice since I can feel that he put in effort to portray both the resilient workaholic and naughty side of Lu Xun.

I can not detect anything off about their performances, even the supporting cast. [I hope that the entire cast stays safe and alert during these times.]

☆ The pacing is for once, completely suitable for the drama and the themes portrayed. We do not spend a huge amount of time dwelling in Qian Wei's dream, neither do we spend time on useless romance. Both Qian Wei and Lu Xun were intelligent enough to know the value of time.

☆ The soundtrack is beautiful. I have had Destiny by HAPPY and You Are The Rest of My Life by Z. Tao on repeat since the first time I heard them. No particular BGMs have struck me as memorable yet, as many of them are meant to have a comic effect. But, there were various instrumental renditions of all the songs that were so memorable. Honestly, each track that played were so appropriate for the scene and invoked emotions.

☆ This also happens to be my first contemporary Chinese drama that I've followed while on air. Completely unnecessary, but it made me happy to see that there were no VIP schedules and that we international fans could enjoy it at the same time as Mainland fans. And that too for free! (Atleast on Youtube.)

☆ The ENDING ... was perfect in every sense and no loose ends were left untied. It was as if the writers racked their brains about how to give everyone what they deserved and simultaneously give us viewers who stayed with the characters a truly satisfying conclusion. (There is a post credits scene that completes the wheel of time.)
My only complaint was that I did not get to see a certain character onscreen.

I'll wrap this up with a 9 on 10. Yes, the basic storyline is overused and might be cliché, but it held on long enough with a solid storyline that is not injected with unnecessary emotional drama and has a talented cast with a unique charm. (I am also aware that it's getting roasted on Douban for the same reasons I praised it for, unfortunately.)

Ultimately, Legally Romance is more of a didactic comfort show that not only gives us the butterflies, but instills a spark of hope. There are many of us out there who can relate to Qian Wei's regrets, but seeing her really start to live her life even if it was ten years late was heartwarming and hopeful. Following this journey along with Qian Wei was absolutely fantastic and an experience that I won't be forgetting anytime soon. And I wish her, Lu Xun and their loved ones the very best for the future.

Dated - March 22, 2022. (Updated - 5th, April.)

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A River Runs Through It
47 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Ago 30, 2021
36 of 36 episódios vistos
Completados 14
No geral 8.0
História 7.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 9.0
Voltar a ver 6.5

Exceeds Expectations.

Generally, if there is one genre that has been reused too many times to the point that nobody really watches them anymore, Youth dramas take one of the top spots. A River Runs Through It is no different. Dealing with the regular issues of teenagers growing up and their relationship with their parents, it can be compared to the vibes of Lovely Us and Reply 1988 during its initial episodes and proceeds to follow an almost slice of life like plot with the daily on going life of the characters at college and their relationship with their friends and 'person of interest'.

(It's also very loosely based on a novel "Yan Lei De Shang You" (眼泪的上游) by Ming Qian Yu Hou (明前雨后) which is literally translated to 'Upstream of Tears.' It dealt with the ignorance of youth and had a realistic portrayal of the 'One that Got Away', if you are curious.)

***THE WARM FUZZIES:

☆ Set during the late 90s and early 2000s, what makes ARRTI stand out from regular youth dramas is the absolutely vibrant portrayal of the various characters, the real nostalgic vibe that it brought along, and the absolutely relatable incidents and events that anyone can relate to. There's always a constant feeling of warmth throughout our journey with characters

☆ Right from the first episode, we come across Xia Xiao Ju, a timid but hardworking girl, who accidentally has an unceremonious first meeting with the naughty Lu Shi Yi. We meet their neighbour Cheng Lang, a compassionate and sincere boy, the fluffy Bao Xiang Xiang and the empathetic Qiu Le Tao. The journey with the five characters from high school to gaokao and their moments of happiness and sadness were deeply touching. Characters, even with less screen time, managed to flesh themselves out as realistic ones, breathing life into the drama. We fall for them, laugh and feel their sorrow with them. One of the most memorable scenes I would pick during their highschool days is the one where the gang chases after the departing train. What I initially thought to be a funny moment was painful. And I related a lot to the 'bidding farewell' scenes. For a coming of age drama, this is one of the best I've seen.

☆ None of the characters were cookie cutters. Everyone were multi dimensional with their own strengths and weakness. Cheng Lang, the studious sweet boy, does have his own share of naughty stuff with Lu Shiyi. Shiyi often plays around, but proves to be one of the best friends that one could wish to have. It was absolutely funny watching this drama on Youtube and each new episode had people saying how much Shiyi was starting to grow on them. Bao Bao comes off as lazy and funny, but is more understanding and his own share of difficulities to face. Tao Tao might be confused, but has more grit and resolve in her. Xiaoju is shaky when it comes to her own internal struggles, but recognizes her faults and attempts to correct them. The variety of characters, each with their own uniqueness and the brilliant portrayal by the actors was one of it's highlights. In terms of acting alone, this drama deserves a better rating than many of the hyped up ones.

☆ I was particularly impressed by Jiang Zhuo Jun's Qiu Letao. I'd found her role in Just an Encore almost forgettable, but from here, I could tell that she deserves characters with more depth and intensity. It was also a treat to see Wang Rui Chang as Lu Shi Yi. The last few episodes were some of the best moments of his and showcased his talent. Hu Yi Xuan never disappoints and this was no exception. Chen Bo Hao was another surprise - his character never annoyed me, even though he was set up as a someone who was supposed to rival Lu Shiyi. In fact, now that I think about it, none of the characters were annoying.

☆ The strong friendships are really well depicted with a hint of realism to it, emanating a lambent ambience that is bouyed by compelling performance by the cast. I couldn't find a single scene where I felt that anyone was trying too hard to make it seem natural. Nothing was forced. It was really heartwarming and relatable. Particularly the original gang: Xia Xiaoju, Cheng Lang, Lu Shiyi, Tao Tao and Bao Bao. Then later, at college, the bromance between Shiyi, Huang Jun and Cheng Lang. Not to mention Xiaoju and her roommates, including Tao Tao. The comedy element was never lost until some of the final few episodes.
Shiyi and Xiaoju's friendship is perhaps the highlight and backbone of the story. Their support, banter and care for each other was what kept us waiting for new episodes each day. In a way, we see them realize where their hearts lie and it was heart warming to watch. (Also a bit frustrating.)
Lu Shiyi just raised the bar up when it comes to best friend standards. Although annoying at times, he is often ruthless with his words and desperately attempts to help his friends when they are at their worst, may it be Cheng Lang or Xiaoju. His character was a standout for me among many leads I've seen - he is usually the kind of guy who is set up as a second lead whereas Cheng Lang would be the leading man. But, all the five of them (six including Huang Jun) had distinct personalities and worries that made each of them interesting in their own right. Their journey along the bumpy road of life was 100% worth my time.

☆ Another aspect that I love about this drama are the parental relationships. I'm sorry to say that I was at the opposite end of the Xiaoju - Mother arc, but some of the way that Xiaoju reacted reminded me exactly of my sister. Her conversations with her father were beautifully portrayed. I also found Cheng Lang's relationship with his mother really touching. Shi Yi's banter and arguments with his parents were absolutely funny. The parents' continued to make their appearance even towards the very end, which was something I've not seen much in many Chinese youth dramas and found it relatable and realistic.
Those moments with the family never failed to make me emotional and kudos to everyone involved.

☆ In terms of relationships, I personally feel that ARRTI covered some of them in a rather realistic/bittersweet manner that was much closer to reality. The last half of the drama particularly has a lot of focus on relationships, but never seemed too mushy and romance focussed. I never disliked any couple or ship, however boring they might be.

☆ The soundtrack was perfect; not flashy or over the top, but nostalgia inducing and warm. I was unable to understand a single word, but nevertheless, they made me feel the exact emotions that I was supposed to be feeling. My favourite ones:
▪Still Singing (依然歌唱) by Liu Xin (刘心).
▪Between the Lines That Year (那年的字里行间) by Guo Jing/Claire Kuo (郭靜).

The ending theme 'Dear Journey' (亲爱的远行) by Cao Xuan Bin (曹轩宾) was pleasant to listen to. I particularly liked the instrumental renditions of various songs. None felt out of place and complimented the scenes perfectly.

The BGM only added to the effects of ARRTI. Some of them were really memorable:

1. A flock of birds flying away.
2. A top toppling. (I read a YT comment pointing it out to be a tennis ball.)
3. A goat braying.
4. A chicken and duck crowing and quacking.
5. A train wooshing.
6. A cat meowing and dog barking - particularly when there was some humorous conversation between Tao Tao and Xiaoju.

***THE COLD PRICKLIES: [Mild spoilers.]

---- Xiao Ju's one-sided crush on Cheng Lang dragged waay too long, about 25+ episodes. It should've wrapped up right around EP24 or 25 so that the story could focus on Xiao Ju's growth and relationship with her family, but it didn't and so much time was unnecessarily wasted on the arc. On the positive side, none of the side characters were affected by this, so there was smooth development from their side. (Plus, I was unable to connect to her character as I had never experienced this. It looked like she was imagining a lot of stuff.)

---- As a result of the above point, the final few episodes are the weakest, particularly from EP32. They were a total rush as expected from a show destined to squeeze everything into 36 episodes. Not to mention, the warm quality and realistic character growth got totally thrown in the bin to give way for a really cliché and uninspired script that could be a part of any drama. We already have an excess of such Youth dramas with the same tropes, so it was extremely disappointing to see such a promising show take the exact same route. I, for one, was dissatisfied by the way everything got wrapped up with a bow as it almost seemed more like fanservice than actual content.

---What makes this more obvious is how closely the writers stuck to the novel upto episode 34. Possibly the most fatal flaw they had made. Had they wanted to give a more fulfilling and realistic end, they should've steered clear off the book's influence. Slow burn romance needs a lot of depth and time to construct; Xiao Ju and Shi Yi's friendship was more memorable than the push and pull crap that kept happening past EP30, completely failing to bring justice to their "romance". It just wasn't a convincing slowburn with only five episodes to stuff everything in. The last two episodes, albeit being beautiful, is plain mediocre; it was clearly a deus ex machina. It was forced and banal, completely forgetting it's realistic slice-of-life storyline in favour of a flamboyant end to satisfy viewers.

---- The character Xiaoju, never really got a chance to face the repercussions of her actions and her realization and growth were stuffed behind several dream sequences or time skips that was unfavourable for her.
Out of all the characters, she had the potential to have a really well portrayed storyline, but I failed to see any significant change in the way she was written. At some points after EP31, I could feel the inconsistency in her behaviour, which might be the result of trying to serve justice to her character, who in the book was a rather depressing one. Some of her actions suddenly seemed indecisive and stupid, often slow with her responses, thanks to the awful pacing and a timeskip that crowded the plotline of several characters together. I couldn't sympathize with her actions as somehow I glimpsed the shadow of the novel's end. It's such a shame when she could've been right up there with characters like Duk Soon and Chengzi, yet the drama failed to live upto it's potential. Time was what she needed, but it wasn't done convincingly. It's also understandable as the original novel wasn't as fleshed out as the live action. I could feel that the writers kept the book in mind and it somehow got unintentionally hinted for a minority of viewers, including myself.

--- There were more scenes of the leads getting support from their friends that I really liked, but when it came to themselves, the communication about their troubles and fears regarding their relationship was almost zero. Shiyi got no better than her - there are still questions and misunderstanding remaining from his side. It didn't help that we see his character's efforts for the first 30 episodes, but get little to no actual response from Xiaoju during the final episodes, where multiple character arcs come to a close, and the story took a very generic turn that was a stark contrast to its original tone. Which is a shame since more than half of the drama was spent on strengthening their relationship, but hits a rocky road after a time skip. It felt off and did both Shiyi and Xiaoju a disservice. Had the scriptwriters chosen a more slow and convincing progress, it would have been much better.

---- The timeskips worked excellently for the evolution of supporting characters. But, the slice-of-life like balance got lost during the last bit. The main leads disappeared offscreen in what seemed like an attempt to give other characters a proper closure. It didn't help that unnecessary misunderstandings were stuffed at the very end, sucking away the uniqueness of the drama. Also, a few scenes that could provide some credibility and continuity to the story were completely cut off, or clipped and locked behind a paywall. Which just might be one of the worst decisions I've ever seen a streaming platform make - many of us waited for crumbs and finding out that minor scenes that could develop the plot got cut off was iffy.


But, I enjoyed the story of each of the original gang members, hence my rating.

***FROM THE BANK OF THE RIVER:

Overall, the cast and crew attempted their best to bring the story to life.
Personally, the drama portrayed the bitterness of youth and the dilemma one faces during those times excellently.

My rating is an 8, minus the enjoyment factor, for which I'd gladly give this one a 9, even if the last few episodes were unnecessary for the leads. The characters and execution made this watching experience a really memorable one. But, for a drama that could've followed it's slice-of-life plot, it fell far off the mark and now I only can lament about its wasted potential.

In a way, I can understand why the Chinese Title of the drama is Shang You/Upstream.
Going upstream is never easy. There is the gravity constantly pulling you down and the river itself that stops your smooth passage. Time and river have two things in common: they pass by and if we are lucky, we find what we want at the right time or realize what we missed out on too late. But, in the end, they are all bittersweet and nostalgic memories that we will forever cherish. And if that was what " A River Flows Through It" wanted to pass on to us audience, they did it really well.

Do I think it's perfect? No way. Did it make me mad at times? Yes, definitely.
But the fact that it riles up such intense emotions within the viewers itself is a win for ARRTI.
And I do not plan to erase this small, flawed story of two lovable idiots and their friends anytime soon.

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Uma Antiga Canção de Amor
16 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Jul 19, 2023
14 of 14 episódios vistos
Completados 3
No geral 9.0
História 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musical 8.5
Voltar a ver 8.0

"My Tommorow, Your Yesterday."

Watching Chinese dramas for a couple of years finally makes you realize what exactly is wrong with the plethora of them released every month: there is little to no uniqueness in many of their productions or even if it did hold up for a while, they somehow manage to make me lose interest halfway through.
For a country that is far behind when it comes to changing their game or shying away from neat finales, An Ancient Love Song satisfies all that I wanted: a no-nonsense story that sticks to its logic to the very end.
So, if you are looking for some regular, well paced drama with sweet fluff, this one might not be for you. "Reverse timelime" is quite serious. Meaning you know the ending before it even began.

An Ancient Love Song reminded me strongly of the Japanese movie, "Tomorrow, I Will Date Yesterday's You." Or the alternate title which is the same as my review's.
Both of them deal with the concept of reverse timelines, although, AALS is anchored to a plot with an objective: fighting your destiny.

Shen Bu Yan, a professor/writer, has released a hit novel he had written based on the few evidences and relics left behind regarding the "Kingdom of Sheng". Unfortunately, when he is pressured to write a sequel about the leading character, an obscure Demon Queen who plundered the Kingdom to ruins, inspite of lack of further information, he hits a dead end. While pondering about the future of his tale, he dreams of the so called Demon Queen and finds that he has time travelled to the past.
Whats more? Lu Yuan, the Demon Queen herself seems to be waiting for him.

While trying to piece together the truth of the events, Shen Buyan discovers that he plays a far greater role in determining Lu Yuan's fate… and that he was stuck in a reverse timeline. He decides to attempt to change destiny.

☆ The Story/Characters/Acting:
I have to mention, I felt that the writers messed up the timeline a bit: it's stated that he meets Lu Yuan after every 10 years into her past. Meaning that there is no way he could've met her at 21 and then at 18 again.
The run time of almost 25 to 30 minutes per episode was well utilized. The story did not stray away from the main leads and their missions.

Setting this aside, the story has a solid plot with strong characters, albeit not having many of them.
Lu Yuan is definitely the star of the show: Zhang Ya Qin manages to portray every single emotion convincingly. From the naive 18 - year - old to the 36 - year - old Empress, she did not falter. The scenes were she grieved for the dead were particularly striking.
Her character was a person of her own, intelligent, powerful and sharp.

Although Shen Bu Yan falls on the silent side of the crowd, I liked him as a person. Though, I would like to know who chose his wig in ancient times - he reminded me of the second senior in Love and Redemption.

The romance was just pure. [I can't find the right words to describe what I felt.] It's not overly passionate, but sincere and gentle. The time reversal does leave us with an unpleasant feeling once we lay down everything from both the leads' point of view, but it is this very feeling that makes the couple one who are not easily forgettable. If you have seen 'My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday', you might get a feeling of deja vu at times.
The secondary couple had little time onscreen, but even the focus on them did not appear annoying.

The supporting cast were strong enough to appear believable and invoke emotions to varying degrees.

In a way, all the characters were tragic in their own right. Though, I found the portrayal of Prime Minister Li Yong's pivotal moments lacking. The time skip of 10 years into the past left several voids in the storytelling -- we are 'told', but never shown how things came to be. One another downside of seeing the story through Shen Bu Yuan's eye's.

☆ Soundtrack/Visuals:
After seeing some flamboyant dramas such as Till the end of the Moon, AALS doesn't have much. But, it did not really matter to me as the story was the one that had me hooked. The OST was plain simple. And the title An Ancient Love Song did not even strike until the end of the series.

Kudos to the bilibili video editor who is the reason why this drama exists. I hope other studios are inspired by this and start making content with quality and not quantity.
All in all, I will recommend this to anyone who seek something unique, romantic yet unfluffy, frustrating yet logical, and entertaining, yet emotional tale of love, loyalty and loss.

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Difícil de Encontrar
17 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Abr 22, 2024
28 of 28 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 8.5
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musical 9.5
Voltar a ver 6.0

Brutal, Logical, True to Itself.

Hard to Find, indeed. The only flaw I can point out right from the get go is the music which sometimes sounds too loud, and the rules of Lin Chuan's ancient tree, which I personally found unclear in some instances. This might have also taken the ‘impact’ away from the final episodes as I was trying to make sense of the character's actions and trying to link events and laws.

Alrighty, now that I've got out these *cold pricklies* away from my mind, I'll dive straight into why I think this drama is far better than many other throwaway idol dramas released per year.

Also - thank you to whoever selected the English title and designed the opening credits. If it was some big budget drama out there, we'd probably be stuck with some title such as ‘Love Lasts Forever/Forever Love’ or the word which is currently in vogue - ‘Blossom’.

When Master He Lian Xi of the divine Lin Chuan clan married Princess Feng Yuan, a marriage with a foreigner after almost a century, he expected to live a quiet life with his wife and the rest of his tribe away from the turbulent world as always. What he did not know was that Feng Yuan was purposefully sent to him with a motive far bigger than what his tribe could've handled. The fatal marriage results in an unprecedented bloodshed in which his entire tribe is wiped out and Lin Chuan falls into ruins, forgotten by all.
Three years later, he returns with vengeance to seek for answers and find the divine artifact that can bring back his clan, which belongs to Feng Yuan, the person who initiated the tragedy.

The drama runs for around 19 to 20 minutes and it does not dawdle around unnecessary plot points and ‘twirly’ swirly dramatics.
It's one of the most brutal ones I've seen in terms of CDramaland with plenty of knife cuts and torture. The entire aura of the story is dark right from the start. Not to mention, the very ominous all-black end credits.

The Characters in particular are given plenty of background and depth. I could see why they made the choices they did, their anger and despair. I felt particularly sad for the Lin Chuan clan – they were pure souls who did not deserve the fate that had befallen them. Props to Zhao Yi Qin in particular. He is definitely one of the best actors in CDramaland and it's a shame that he is not given an opportunity to showcase his talent in some full length drama. Or maybe it's safe that he is away from toxic fandoms.

Shen Yu Jie was not behind at all, but for some reason, I kept getting distracted by her well manicured nails, which seemed out of place in certain situations. [There were close up shots of her hand.]
Her emotional scenes were convincing enough, and I liked how strong her character was.
Also, two familiar faces: Feng Yin and Hua'e. Though, I have to tell that I liked Feng Yin better in A Familiar Stranger. His character was more challenging here, and kudos to the actor, particularly in the final episodes.

With supporting characters such as Shu Yin, Qing Sang and Xiu Jiu, the ultimate finale seemed more hopeful.

The costumes were beautiful without being overdone, leaning more towards darker shades without any splash of color for Feng Yuan and He Lian Xi.
Though, I have to say, the outfit designs for Xi Jiu were the most eye-catching to me.
Music was hauntingly beautiful. But, it was overpowering at times. Also, the background score was to die for, particularly the one in EP16 and EP27. I hope they release every single track.

I'd suggest this to anyone who wants a break from filler-stuffed long dramas and seek a solid plot with excellent performances and chemistry. This is the second time I was relieved that a drama was over, (the first being Goodbye, My Princess) both for myself and the leading couple. They deserved a break after all that mayhem.

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Poesia de Amor Milenar
31 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Jun 22, 2021
49 of 49 episódios vistos
Completados 4
No geral 9.5
História 9.5
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 10
Voltar a ver 9.0

An Exquisite Xianxia That You Shouldn't Miss!

When I initially came upon Ancient Love Poetry, it was being slammed from all sides, but I still decided to watch it for some reason.
Now, 49 episodes later, it has blown my expectations and is perhaps one of the best dramas out there in my list. The unique storyline, outstanding performances by the entire cast, numerous lovable characters, villains that make your blood boil, suspenses that leave you worried along with numerous tales of sincerity and undying love completely bewitched me. I'm so glad that I didn't pay heed to all the negative reviews and kept going. Bear with me, my review will be long and I have tried covering a few points that might put off many viewers and the things I loved about this drama. I hope that it convinces you to give it a chance:

1. Don't be fooled by the bland beginning. Ancient Love Poetry has one of the most unique storylines I've seen. And they did not kid around with the title "Ancient God". The story takes place waaay before the existence of humans. In the God Realm - where our lazy female lead, Shangu, is forcefully pushed to master the Power of Chaos in a race against time to stop the Tribulation of Chaos and also protect the Three Realms as the power that protects it begin to dissipate, something which only she had the ability to permanently solve. Her master happens to be Bai Jue, one of the True Gods, who is rather cold and strict towards her, but slowly warms upto her rather humble nature, eventually falling deeply for her. Her hardwork pays off, but the tribulation turns out to be her ultimate test which no one is able to stop. But, destiny has more in store for her....
The story is also the most strongest point of Ancient Love Poetry. It delves away from the Heavenly Realm, focussing on the life of the Ancient Gods, the most powerful beings across all Realms, which was a first for me. The events and mysteries unravel in a rather ominous and nerve wracking manner. I paused an episode and decided to spoil myself as I couldn't handle anymore surprises that were often accompanied by painful experiences. The plot purposefully takes a drastic turn after a certain point, but it did not feel disconnected and maintained the right flow. The chronological way of narration is done right in Ancient Love Poetry - it might have been shot that way to avoid unnecessary flashbacks to the past and helps us connect with their present selves better.
[The author of the novel, Xing Ling herself was involved as a screen writer. While the story does deviate from the original work at times, it stays true to the novel for several major plot points. And the script is well plotted despite having some issues at the beginning, but that was necessary for the plot.]

2. The timeline - is a MAJOR factor that no one probably notices. A single episode may consist of several days or even months, hence the romance is pretty fast paced. Right from EP1, it's implied that several days/weeks had passed. Three months and 1000 years, all pass within two episodes. Shangu's training might have taken months or years, but we see glimpses of it. This might be off putting for many, but I personally was not bothered by it. The actors played the roles really well and nothing felt rushes.

3. The characters, particularly the leads and even the supporting ones are the pillars of the whole story. Get ready for an emotional rollercoaster.
The Female lead is very unlike the ones we usually see - she is not stunningly pretty or the typical Goddess type. While she might not be everyone's cup of tea, I think she is beautiful and was the smartest choice out of the cast to be chosen to portray the young, innocent Shangu who grew up to become someone who was wise enough to hold the title of the "Chief God". I had begun watching ALP for the lead - Zhou Dong Yu is well known for her acting skills in movies, but I can tell that she brought justice to her character here just like she did for her other roles. She managed to portray the duality of Hou Chi and Shangu beautifully. I missed her smile as Shangu and I don't think anyone could have played that role and still managed to maintain a smooth balance between emotions.
I loved Xu Kai's role as Bai Jue. I think most people have seen him before in his previous works where he played lighter characters, but its good to see him in something new. As for stereotypes and how comfortable we are with the actors, its upto you, reader.
The supporting characters, I have to mention, left a deep impression on me. Particularly in EP15. Even the ones that had only a few minutes of screentime managed to convey the emotions perfectly. Characters like Gu Jun (a flood dragon who ascends to the God Realm), Tian Qi (a noteworthy, naughty True God of Demons and the one who brought Shangu up), Yuemi (Tian Qi's closest friend who spoils Shangu with him) , Zihan, Hongri... all manage to steal our attention. They were very well portrayed and I'm sure that I'll never forget any of them anytime soon and will definitely be looking forward to their future works.

4. The romance... has a more "natural" feeling, particularly for Shangu and Bai Jue. Their relationship is not forced, even if it seems rushed. Ancient Love Poetry is not heavy on physical display of affections, but their sincerity towards each other is completely driven by their actions. There are no declarations of love or confessions, but their actions are strong and silent enough to convey the depth of their devotion to each other. When the second arc begins, we see a whole new side of the "fire and ice" relation of the Gods. This change is particularly delightful as we get to see the "Ice Cube" be warm and talkative while the "Bubbly and strong" Shangu becomes the meek and powerless Hou Chi. Their story in the second arc is particularly well written with plot twists, villains and schemes that puts them against the Immortal Realm.
The romance is not just for the leads. Two supporting characters in particular, had, good solid relationships that managed to make me root for their happiness. They might have not had enough screentime, but were beautifully portrayed with such intensity that many of us wished for their happiness. The plus side was that no one imposed themselves on the one they care about, but accepted their choices and supported them, never once becoming an ill wisher. (In short, no serious love triangles.)
There are several other memorable relationships, may it be between the Gods and their Divine Beasts or just plain loyalty and friendship between each other. The God Realm arc might be a bit unsatisfying to many, but I yearned for those precious moments and missed the characters from the first arc terribly during the second one. The bromance between the Four True Gods, Yuemi and Shangu are noteworthy. While the second arc might be serious, we have several supporting characters such and Fengran, Chang Que , Jingjian and Jia Ye who lighten up the mood for Hou Chi and Qingmu as well as for us. Their banter and loyalty to their friends was constant throughout the drama. It's worth watching even if its just for them.

5. The Antagonist: That's one major question. From my perspective, it has two. An intangible entity that can not be stopped and an actual vile villain.
What sets this drama apart for me is that the 'villain' is not introduced as such. Rather, the seeds of what lies ahead are already planted in the earlier episodes and we see the gradual transition to the current state. Driven by covetous intentions, the disgusting actions and motives sets them aside from the ones I've seen. And the absolutely stunning portrayal by the actor alleviated the character to such a level that we are beyond disgusted whenever the person appears on screen. Not to mention, the character was an actual crook, who was cunning and clever. Never have I wished for a character to stop breathing as much as I did for this one. Whenever the abode of the 'evil one' appeared, I wished that the episode would move faster and go back to the locations where I feel calm enough to watch.
As for the former antagonist I mentioned... watching the drama might give you a better idea about why I mentioned it.

6. The CGI is hands down the best one I've seen to date in a major xianxia drama. It doesn't lack in intense action scenes too. One thing I noted was that most of the Gods and Immortals used a mixture of both magic and weapons in a combat, which is the first time I saw such excessive use of CGI. I was impressed with the God Realm in particular. As I mentioned in my earlier review: The make up and costumes compliment the scenery so well that each shot seems to have been spun from dreams.
While the costumes may lack in colour (something minor, but that may put off a lot of viewers), the production team went so far as to visit historical sites and attempt to weave the details into them.

7. The OST: I suck at evaluating music, but the song "Perseverance" is heartbreaking, even without the scene. I get goosebumps whenever I listen to it. Many of the BGMs were my favorite. The lighter fun music during the initial arc were really memorable, but turned to nostalgia inducing everytime I heard it in the second arc.

8. The Finale: As a hint, the drama ends exactly like the novel. I loved how the writers managed to provide closure to two storylines in 49 episodes. I, for one, am left with a bittersweet feeling of parting with my favorite characters. I grew to care for many of them, both major and minor ones. (Special mention to Sen Yu, Chang Qin, Chang Que and Jia Ye, Hongri, the Gods of God Realm, Puhua.)

All in all, I'm glad I picked up this drama while it was being avalanched by negative reviews. (There were some with valid criticism, but 80% of the CNets slammed it just for the actress's looks and the ratings and general reviews almost made it seem like an unwatchable atrocity.) I have to warn though, it might not be your cup of tea. In the end, it depends on preference. I usually drop dramas within the first five episodes, but this one being a Xianxia, I had to give it a go for some more.
Does it deserve a 10? Maybe not. (I knocked off a .5 from the Rewatch value cause the pain is real. But, this is the second CDrama that I did not drop this year and one of the best in terms of cast and story as a whole. And based on it's quality and storyline, it deserves a better rating albeit its faults. Watching it was a truly delightful experience. It made me go through a roller coaster of emotions. We see multiple hardships and sacrifices being made by people for the ones they care about. Almost every character was memorable in their own ways, even the bad guys.
And I certainly will not be forgetting the Legend of ShangGu and Bai Jue anytime soon.
‐---‐-----------------------------------------------------
I left my first impression/review below as a memory. :)
June 20, 2021: The major drawback of Chinese Dramaland is the predictability of storylines and the numerous over used tropes that pop up as a result of it, particularly for Xianxia and Wuxia genres. Which is why it is hard to find something that captures my attention.

One of 2021's highly anticipated xianxia dramas, Ancient Love Poetry follows the progress and growth of our Goddess of Chaos - Shangu. I have to admit, I needed three episodes for the drama to finally pique my interest. The rather slow and uninteresting first episode, coupled with the carefree attitude of the female lead who is still unaware of what lies ahead is jarring for viewers looking for a fast paced drama. I have to note, the MDL synopsis seems to spoil the furure of the plot, but gives enough hint to know what trials the happy-go-lucky Shangu is yet to face. I have not seen anything yet and I'm on EP6 at the time of writing this review.
Zhou Dongyu nails her role... if the character Shangu is whom I perceive her to be - she is not dumb or stupid, but had been pampered for too long and shielded from evil by Zhiyang and Tianqu (two amusing Gods) until they are left with no choice but to ask their fellow God Bai Jue, who had retired to the lower real, to return to train Shangu as she would soon have to bear the task of protecting the dangerously thinning barrier between the Nether world and the other realms.
Xu Kai fits his role as Bai Jue, the cold God of War and his performance is convincing enough to know the power and grace he wields.
The slow moving tale (as of EP6) has scattered several hints of what lay ahead and I am curious to know how the legend of Shangu and Bai Jue come to conclusion.
The romance is... 'natural'. I have no other words to describe it. It's not mushy or cringeworthy, but there's something real about their interactions which are the highlights of the first few episodes.
Another strong point: usually the VFX of CDramas make me frown. This drama exceeds expectations. Taking place completely in the God Realm, the CGI is top notch and can be on par with many Hollywood productions. The make up and costumes compliment the scenery so well that each shot seems to have been spun from dreams.
Rather light colored without being flamboyant, the costumes are surprisingly stunning. The make up doesn't look too bright, but just good enough without being overbearing. Most of the "supernatural aura" is carried by the actors' performance. None of them disappointed me as of now.
I will rate this an 8/10 as of now. I recommend that you check it out for atleast three episodes before deciding to drop this. Long Chinese dramas often have a slow start. So far, this is one of the better hyped up fantasy dramas Tencent rolled out this year for me. Now, I'll wait to see if this one can leave a remarkable impression in Xianxia land to stand the test of time...

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A Vingança da Criada
13 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Set 21, 2022
30 of 30 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 7.5
História 6.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musical 6.0
Voltar a ver 7.5

Strange, but Good.

I kid you not, this mini-drama would've probably been buried beneath the plethora of mini-dramas getting released every month, had it not been for the very impressive performance by the cast. I barely watch mini dramas as almost everyone of them have terrible acting or is just plain wish fulfillment.

Also, had this been a full length drama, I can foresee the wars that would've taken place in the comments section. (Some people might find some scenes particularly triggering or difficult to watch.)
Coupled with a very tropey and common storyline, almost similar to something written in a wattpad fiction, Maid's Revenge was hilarious and an emotional viewing experience for me. Hilarious because it's entertainment value is 100%, if you manage to turn off your brain.
The final episodes start to descend into a more serious atmosphere, though.

Emotional because somehow, the writers managed to convey that each character was different. [For example, by episode 2, we barely know about the Governor, except that he is an almost insane muscled dude who had a penchant for pulling a gun on literally everyone who stepped on the wrong stair.]

By EP20, we are aware of everyone's intentions, goals and why certain characters made the choices they did.

I had begun this for Chen Fang Tong, whom I had seen in Always Have, Always Will last year. Having never seen her in a serious role, I wanted to check this one out. Plus, the release schedule along with the run time was perfect for me to watch everyday.
I was not disappointed by her performance. The male lead, Dai Gao Zheng was surprisingly a strong actor.
The entire small cast were excellent and convincing.

The storyline/plot was delivered well. Within roughly three and a half hours, we have a clear idea about everything. Kudos to the production team for that.

Chinese Republican dramas are something I washed my hands off a long time ago, so this might be the first one under this genre. I was wary about certain tropes that helped me predict the turn of events.
The plot has several acrimonious elements towards the end.

I won't say I'm completely satisfied and I certainly won't say no to seeing the two leads paired again in a proper drama.

7.5 might be an overblown score. But, for a small budget production, it was surprisingly well made, minus the budget constraints. It was entertaining enough to keep me hooked and I for once, do not regret starting this.

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Jun Kyoju Takatsuki Akira no Suisatsu
12 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Out 1, 2021
8 of 8 episódios vistos
Completados 2
No geral 9.0
História 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musical 8.0
Voltar a ver 8.0

Subarashii!

That's the feeling I got when I binged this little drama. At a single glance, there really is nothing overtly fabulous or amazing about it. But, it had a strange captivating magic that weirdly reminded me of Harry Potter. Or maybe it's because of the soundtrack and Fukamachi Naoya-kun.

☆ The plot doesn't exist on the surface. Each episode consists of basic mysteries and legends that many of us might have heard in high schools. The two leading heroes and Reiko-senpai set out to mentally solve the troubles that arose and dispel the rumours. What did continue was Takatsuki-sensei's unsatiated search for an actual mystery.

☆ I really loved the leading character, but he might be one of the most boring male leads I've ever seen. But, there was something really realistic about the way he was portrayed. Fukamachi Naoya had accidentally stumbled across an event that was forbidden to be witnessed by the living when he was ten years old. What follows his later years is a punishment: to be a human lie detector. This causes him to isolate himself from literally everyone. By coincidence, he chooses to study Japanese Folklore, leading him directly into the arms of Takatsuki Akira, his young and vigilant professor. Taking an instant connection to him, his new sensei hires him as his assistant and they together unveil legends and solve mysteries. But, Naoya-san never really is able to let go of the negatives that his little "gift" brought along. I connected to him in several ways. There were moments I wished that he would become normal, then I'd wish that he was once again back to being a lie detector. I liked seeing his growth and loved his smile. The dude rarely smiled, but when he did, I would become happy too.

☆ J Doramas rarely disappoint in the acting department. This one doesn't either. (I'm surprised that both the lead actors are Jpop idols.) There were numerous interesting individuals that we got to meet and I looked forward to every new mystery or legend. Most of their performances were really convincing. When it came to Sewai University, there were only a few characters in the spotlight; thanks to his little gift, Naoya-san doesn't have a pack of friends following him. But, those whom he finds solace in are his Sensei and his perky assistant Reiko-chan and later, a lively Nambu-san. I loved their mystery solving though nothing about it was far from normal. EP6 and 7 in particular captured my heart.
The cottage core atmosphere of the drama helped quite a lot. It was calming and simultaneously thrilling to watch.

☆ The opening BGM was very Harry-Potteresque and the drama as a whole felt really magical. Though there was rarely any magic in it. The ending OST Gunjo Runaway by Hey!Say!Jump! grew on me eventually due to many reasons. It's a shame that Japanese songs do not have english lyrics coming along with them.

☆ Last, but not the least is Takatsuki Akira Sensei, the eponymous character of this show. Though we see the events through the eyes of Naoya-san, it is Sensei who is the scene stealer. I didn't know what to think about him. His actions left me ---and Naoya-san-- in a whirl of confusion and his over enthusiastic response to the woes of people made me suspect if he was possessed. Half of the time, I didn't know whether to trust him or pray that Naoya-san runs away from him. He was enigmatic, charismatic and eccentric all rolled into one and I was beyond curious to know about his intentions and plans. His friendship with Ken-Chan piqued my interest.
Not to mention his hyperthesemia, a condition that makes him remember each and everything he has ever come across.

☆And the Bromance! It was a delight seeing the closed off Naoya-san struggle with the very extraverted Sensei. Their interactions were one of my favorite parts of the show. What's more, their rapport was slowly built through trust, something that Naoya-san grappled with. Also, watching the friendship grow between him and Nambu-san was amusing.

☆ I appreciated how they dealt with the topic of the supernatural and the real world in a very neutral manner. It didn't cross the border, but neither did it completely deny its existence. I hope it stays the same way.

☆ The down side about it might be the format of the episodes. We don't focus much on the main characters, but learn some part about them through the experiences of others. This can come off as boring if we aren't interested in the mystery or just don't like episode after episode of a new mystery each. The cases/unsolved events themselves were nothing new; they involve folklore and urban legends that we might find similar to the stories we hear or had heard at school. (Dead ghost/haunted rooms, objects similar to ouja boards, etc.)
Also, if we don't find ourselves comfortable with the characters and their antics, then there is a high chance that the watching experience will be quite bitter.

Many thanks to the fansubbers who spent their time to make it available and understandable for us International viewers. This drama was completely satisfying. (I pleasantly surprised by the montage at the end of the final episode!) Definitely a binge-worthy gem.
I'm still uncertain about whether to watch the second season. As a saying goes, there are some mysteries that are better left unsolved.

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Wan Wan Ru Meng Xiao
14 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Abr 2, 2024
28 of 28 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 6.5
História 4.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musical 6.5
Voltar a ver 3.0

Circle of Dumb.

Okay. How do I even start with this one?
After seeing the trainwreck of the trailer, I checked out the author and stumbled across another book of hers which is even more evil than this, so I guess it's entirely not the screenwriter's fault.

I have my University Exams going on right now, which might be partly why this drama pissed me off so much, cause out of the 10 minutes we get per episode (which is perfect for a short break), 80% of it is spent on twirling, BGM and 'look-at-my-aesthetics' camera work.
It's a waste not because of the actors, who are the ones carrying this drama and who actually have the skills.
The story itself is so... something that it made me double up.

A dude, Ling Xiao, finds an opportunity and overthrows a City Lord to avenge his mother; he later forcibly marries the deceased Lord's young daughter, Su Wan'er, who for once, is a female lead whom I absolutely adored.
If there is one reason for you to watch this drama, then do it for her cause she is definitely up there with Princess Xiao Feng when it comes to giving apt response to their husbands.
Throw in a female villain and voila! - we have all the elements for a plot that we will either enjoy as pulp fiction or want to burn to ashes.

Sadly, the ML is the most dumbest character I've watched on screen in a Chinese Drama. [It does not help that the last two dramas I've watched were In Blossom and Different Princess, both of which had smart characters.]
His biggest contribution to the drama was it's pivotal misunderstanding. [@phroggies70 from Reddit described him as a handsome brick.]
It's a shame because the actor has the ability to boot.
I've seen the Second ML in another evil drama, but he is truly a sunshine in this one. So, kudos to his character!
Even the leading and supporting actors were highly talented, considering that this was the script given to them.
Costumes were nice, albeit a bit cliché styled and the chemistry between the leading characters was also nice. Aesthetics were good. Sigh...

Atleast, it ended how I expected it to. I'd suggest this drama to anyone in search of a chokeworthy ML and a female lead who deserved better.
[6.5/10. Cause it was nice to look at and the actors and crew really worked hard.]

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Completados
Máquina Do Tempo
14 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Ago 8, 2021
24 of 24 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 9.0
História 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musical 8.5
Voltar a ver 8.0

What would you do if you were given a chance to change your past?

This is probably one of the most well thought out time travel dramas that I've felt satisfied with. I haven't seen Someday or One Day or any other acclaimed ones, but this made me think and wonder what was about to happen after each episode. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes time travel, romance and a mix of fantasy.

Very rarely do we meet someone who absolutely has no regrets in life. Ye You Ning was no different - he had chosen his path since a young age and followed his heart, until he realizes that his decisions cost him the things that were worth more than words. When a freak thunderstorm has him thrown back into his 2006 younger self, he is forced to make new choices all over again and change his view on life itself… he also discovers that the girl, Xia Wen Xi, whom he had declined to be the deskmate of in the past had the "time machine" - and thus starts his journey to relive his life once again.

This is no simple romantic drama. Although classified under Sweet On Series, this one is far from sweet. It's also one of the most well written time travel dramas I've seen. And be warned - the time travel aspect governs the whole plot. With only 24 episodes, we see Ye You Ning change the past and travel multiple times through various timelines, in varying situations from which he once again attempts to escape. In a way, the time machine gives him a chance to redo his days as a student and cherish the time he'd been given. What makes this drama special is that the cold male lead is literally forced to change and re-experience his life through multiple ways, each time realizing how certain small things in life could change your fate. We experience his varying parallel universes with him, and by the end of the drama, I realized that I had somehow begun to care a lot about him.

I gradually grew attached to the characters. I liked how the young and silly Xia Wen Xi communicated with the adult Ye You Ning. I liked Yang Youchung and Xiaoai; Ting Ting and Jiaqi. I loved how the relationship between the Grandfather and Grandson progressed!
Although the drama shifts to romance as promised by the title, I often wondered about the future of the two fated people. The Universe had laws after all. And this drama managed to make me wrack my brains to find out how it all ended. And it did not disappoint with the ending - the writers for once actually thought for once instead of pulling a cope out.

Both Xia Wen Xi and Ye You Ning start off as 'barely' classmates, yet the time machine forges a strong, unyielding connection that crosses both time and space. The last few episodes solidified this and I couldn't be happier.
Both the lead actors stunningly portrayed their roles with viscious intensity. It was only 24 episodes long, but it seems like I had gone along on an adventure with them. To me, time travel has never been a thing that seemed impossible - It's just that science hasn't yet reached a threshold where it can theoretically be explained. It was absolutely fascinating to watch the drama unfold.

I initially did not find the music appealing, but by the last episode, I was crying with the songs. Time's magic indeed...

One thing I might advice for future viewers is to get a grip on the time jumps and events. Those are the most rushed parts in the drama. It also provides pretty sweet high school and college memories to momentarily save us from all the angst.
I will rate this a solid 9. Despite it's flaws, it stole my attention and is one of the best dramas I've watched this year. It made me look back and think for once - what would've happened if I had done this or chosen that?
All in all, it's 100% worth watching.
I hope that both Xia Wen Xi and Ye You Ning finally get to enjoy themselves together in whichever timeline or universe they are in.

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Bu Liang Zhi Nian Qing Chu Shi
15 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Mai 12, 2023
12 of 12 episódios vistos
Completados 2
No geral 9.5
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 9.0
Voltar a ver 9.0

Hilarious, Tear Jerking, Endearing.

This one is truly a rollercoaster ride. Mainly due to its ability to make me laugh and cry simultaneously within the same episode.
It reminded me strangely of Hikaru No Go, for some reason, though I have only watched the first few episodes of that one. Maybe the bromance and ‘Chu Ying’ being the keys?

Pu Yi Yong, a rowdy highschooler hailing from a family of well respected calligraphers fails to perform well at school and is constantly accused of bullying the star student, Cao Guan Yang. Discovering his talent for calligraphy while on detention, his principal and teachers encourage him to enter a contest.
Whilst on the way to the contest, the bus gets into a freak accident, severely injuring Yi Yong and plunging his family into misery. He wakes up after ‘a long time’ in coma to discover that he has somehow acquired the power of seeing the dead – or rather “things” that are invisible entities. With the help of a traffic cop Chu Ying and the most unlikely ally, his own nemesis Cao Guan Yang, he sets on a journey to piece together the puzzles that will eventually lead to the answers he is in search of.

What makes this drama a highlight of 2023 (for me) is the realistic portrayal of the various relationships in life.
Starting off right away with an inauspicious and ominous scene (although the drama has several funny moments) the major cases or “things” that Yi Yong come across are related to the dark or rather unpleasant aspects of human life. Some of them were genuinely heartbreaking and made me tear up.
There are about 5 or 6 different mysteries within the twelve episodes, and I appreciate how the scriptwriters and crew managed to almost deliver a satisfying conclusion to each one of them.

On the other hand, the shenanigans of Chu Ying, Cao Guan Yang and Yi Yong were to die for. They made a perfect mixture of realistic, dumb and wise all at once. Sprinkled in is also the bromance between Guang Yan and Yi Yong, which I adored. [There is no romance to focus on, so don’t you worry. Or you can imagine a budding romance by yourself.]

Yi Yong was definitely the character whom the writers spent more time and effort on. Guan Yang is much more reticent. Peng Cian You was “really” convincing as a highschooler and a sophomore who barely interacted with human beings. His performance in the final episode was gobsmacking.

I have to say, Tseng Jing Hua managed to convey Yi Yong’s dilemmas, fears and the comedy naturally and is easily a favorite. Aside from him, the supporting actors were terrific, particularly after EP4. The writers managed to somehow circumvent 'plot blockers' and utilize almost every character onscreen.
Even a random baker who appeared by chance had some impact in the story, but I'm not quite convinced by the way it proceeded as it felt out of place.

Yipa, aka Chu Ying was lively, but I felt that she had a more comedic role than Yi Yong. This is my second time watching Vivian Sung after “Our Times”, and it was good to see her back on screen, but for most part, she existed to help Yi Yong with his ‘cases’. We see that she has begun to view her job through a different light by the half mark.
Then, there were times I realized that she really is the elder one amongst them. Her colleagues at the department and Yi Yong’s two buddies were hilarious and never failed to make me laugh.

Setting that aside, several wise and haunting words in the drama are spoken by supporting characters.
Aside from all this, I loved the relationship between Yi Yong and Mom - who for once was a constant part of his life and made an attempt to genuinely encourage him despite his setbacks.

The OST was solid - there was only a single tune that was well emphasized with different renditions for each situation. Plus, a set of cartoonish BGMs were exclusive whenever the “Frenemies” came on screen.
My favorite is the closing song “Painful Hug” by Ozone. It perfectly encapsulates the core theme of the story.

From what I gathered so far, Taiwanese dramas tend to do a better job at plotting stories well if they have an idea.
I found the first two episodes quite slow in spite of all that happens, but I had experienced the same with another Taiwanese Drama, so I decided to stick around. The 'main' or rather the heart of the drama can be a bit predictable, however, it does not feel worn out and had a much more emotional impact.

I will rate this a 9.5/10. It had been a fun ride that I will definitely rewatch. I would not say no to a well developed second season, but sequels usually ruin the memories of it's predecessors. All in all, this was definitely an indelible drama worthy of my time.
I hope that Yi Yong and Guan Yang are still bickering somewhere and driving Chu Ying crazy and that every character finds their happy place.

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Círculo do Amor
9 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Jun 6, 2023
24 of 24 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 8.0
História 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 7.5
Voltar a ver 5.5

A Terrible and Well Executed Drama.

If Maid's Revenge is a wattpad story, this one is those young adult romance novels that we read purely for guilty pleasure, sometimes even wondering why we were sticking with it.

It's a terrible story indeed. It has a mix of all tropes that make me despise a character, but it's so well done and neatly portrayed that we can't help, but watch more. [Gaslighting, lying, manipulation, abuse.]

The purpose of the story is simple: the daughter of an influential household that was exterminated by her fiancé returns after a long hiatus for revenge. But, an accident during her mission ends up with her falling right into the arms of the perpetrator, who is now a respected and ruthless Governor. Trouble was that she had lost her memories.

As much as this drama is a mix of brutality and insanity, I have to say, it's well written and logical. Unlike many short dramas, the events make sense and secrets unfold in logical ways. Plus point? The female lead Gu Meng is never a pushover. She fights back tooth and nail, schemes when necessary and stays low when she needs to.
The male lead was abhorrent, but he was portrayed beautifully.
There was a genuine reason for each characters' actions and motivesm

Both the leading actors, whom I've not yet seen in any other works, were the real heart of the show. They were intensely emotional without appearing overdone and their chemistry was excellent.
The OST is surprisingly good for a short mini-series and the leads had adequate costume changes, so I suspect that this one had a slightly bigger budget.

The ending would've been perfect but they fumbled at it and the final result was plain stupid in my opinion. So, I'll forget the last two minutes of it and rate this a solid 8.

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Bad Buddy
7 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Jan 21, 2022
12 of 12 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 9.0
História 8.5
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 10
Voltar a ver 6.5

Happy, Fluffy and Intense!

First and foremost, I have never watched a single BL from GMMTV. Hence, I dove into this one with no expectations, without any prior knowledge about common BL tropes. I was immensely surprised by how popular Bad Buddy was. Everywhere on Tumblr, I couldn't escape it. Well, lucky for me. I'm so happy that I watched this drama while it was still airing. One of 2021's good surprises.

Two rival families and also next-door neighbors attempt to etch their grudge upon their sons, starting a chain of events from Kindergarten to University. Pran and Prat, the aforementioned sons, have their own cliques, friends and interests. After a few years of separation, they are flung together in the same University. But, this time, they get to decide whether they really need to rekindle their grudge, or start anew.

Is it cliché plot? Yes. But, it was a cliché done right. Right upto the ending.

The drama was a wholesome package. It had family, siblings, friendship, career, character growth and everything so neatly arranged, acted and directed that right now, I have nothing to complain about. I've not seen a single drama of both the leading actors. Their performance literally blew my mind and there were scenes where I would simply feel their emotions and smile like crazy because it was so unbelievable. That's some Oscar level acting. •_○

We slowly watch the two opposing rivals grow closer and support each other, ready to force real conversations when things go wrong. It was a simple plot, but the depth of sincerity and time the entire crew took to bring it to screen is palpable from the final product.
There were no unnecessary misunderstandings or time leaps that were senseless.

(I'll forever remember that one tumblr post that went: P' off, I'll be under your bed tonight.)

Shout out to characters like Wai, Korn, Pa, Ink, the theatre Big-Bro and Nang Nao who were a few memorable ones.

And last but not the least, the people who chose the BGM better get a pay rise. Because it was absolutely heavenly and pulled all the right strings, making the scenes indelible.

My review sucks and I know it. Bad Buddy is a story that needs to be experienced and I'm at a lose of words to describe my feelings.
9 is much too high a score, but this is definitely one of the most excellently made dramas I've ever seen. I'm so happy I watched it. The hype didn't lie for once. And thank you, tumblr, for bringing this to my dashboard and eventually making me watch it.
If you are seeking a satisfying and sweet, yet slightly angsty and serious escape from reality, definitely give this one a try!

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Blueming
8 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Abr 1, 2022
11 of 11 episódios vistos
Completados 4
No geral 8.5
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 7.5
Voltar a ver 6.0

Beauty is In the Eye of the Beholder.

Blueming is not your typical short KBL – It is a painting. Honestly, there is no other way I could find to articulate it. The entire drama is like a mysterious work of art that has to be viewed in person to prod your emotions.

And I feel like Jin Moo Hak from 'Dali and Gamjatang'. I'll get to that later, but this is definitely one of the most difficult dramas to score. It would be somewhere around 8 - 8.5 for me.

Si-won, having been bullied for being chubby when he was a child and following his dad's abandoning their of family, has had a rough time. He values keeping up his external facade of a cool and handsome young boy. Until he stumbles into Da-Won, a new classmate who is automatically God Gifted with everything that he worked hard to attain. Despite feeling jealous of him, Si-Won Inadvertently gets stuck around the enigmatic Da-Won.

Blueming is a drama that floats due to the very interesting characters and their insecurities. There is a high chance you won't like it if they don't grow on you.

I initially cringed so bad at Si-Won. He appeared like a typical hero with an inferiority complex who landed in several highly embarassing situations which directly got him in front of Da-Won, the object of his jealousy. But, after you get over the cringefest, Si-Won starts to become a really realistic and lovable character.
However, there was a constant air of sadness and pain in him. This is explained really well in the latter half of the drama.

Da-Won takes the cake for the most eccentric character I've ever seen in a KBL. He falls for the insecure Si-Won and attempts to treat him in the best way he could. Dude creeped me out a lot, unfortunately, during the first half of the drama. But, I found his pursuit of Si-Won a highlight.

The characters are flawed. A lot. But, aren't we all? That's the charm of Blueming. At one point or the other, we get to interpret their actions/misconceptions and even relate to their insecurities.

Si-Won had a couple of friends, especially Boom Mike guy and Yun-jeong. Despite having little screentime, we got enough to know that they are more than just one dimensional characters.

The framing in Blueming is one of the major highlights. I don't know anything about filming, but this drama was just plain beautiful to watch. It had an almost abstract quality that reminded of Utsukushii Kare and To My Star (which is directed by the same director).

One major issue that I personally had with this drama was how we needed to conjecture certain details about characters. Particularly Da-Won. I felt like a lot of his life is a huge fill-in-the-blanks. And I felt that certain emotions that the director/writer wanted to convey to the audience did not reach me. (I had the same trouble with Utsukushii Kare.)
So, some of the subtle hints and beauty of this show where wasted on me. Hence, why I compared myself to Jin Moo Hak, who never understood art.

Looks like I wrote this while I was half asleep. I still feel like a dizzy squidward after watching this, but I'll rate it an 8.5 for now.

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Até o Fim da Lua
10 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
de KingC
Mai 9, 2023
40 of 40 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 8.0
História 8.5
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 9.0
Voltar a ver 5.0

Dark Xianxia With Emotional Performances Impeded by a Plot that made me Squint.

I was never planning on watching this one, but my friend began narrating the episodes for me while it was airing, so I finally caved in.
If I'm being honest, I don't know what to feel about this drama. Is it a good Xianxia? Yes, definitely.
Is it perfect? Nope.
I've been hearing right from the very start about how the drama had deviated very much from the original novel, "Black Moonlight Holds the Bad Ending Script". Yes, it's the English's translation of the original title and you have to keep it in mind.

But, I really wish that the book is much more legible in terms of characterization with plenty of in-depth analysis of each character’s motivations, because in that aspect, TTEOTM falls far off the mark.

Long after the Gods had sacrificed themselves in an attempt to kill the Devil God, a new Devil God mysteriously arises, wrecking havoc and destruction across the immortal sects. When the Xiaoyao and Hengyang sect are attacked, Li Su Su, the daughter of the sect leader of Hengyang Sect, accidentally sees the origin of the Devil God through a magical artifact which he was attempting to steal. The immortals learn that the Devil God was a mere mortal named Tantai Jin 500 years ago. The sect leaders decide to send someone back in time to kill the to-be-soon young devil god by removing the 'evil bone', which makes him destined to become one after his demise.
Li Su Su agrees to the mission and is sent back, but not without witnessing her entire sect massacred .
500 years in the past, she wakes up in the body of Ye Xi Wu, a spoiled daughter of a General of Sheng Kingdom… and learns that the person who Tantai Jin, now a captive prince from the Jing Kingdom, fears the most is her. And that she was also married to him due to her own evil plans going down the drain. Now, she tries to keep Tantai Jin alive despite her deep hatred for him as she plots a plan to remove his evil bone.
But, the more she gets closer to him, the more she realizes how the world has failed him.

That's the basic plot for the first 30 episodes or so, or 18, if you take away 10 or 12 episodes that are part of a dream arc which is literally the characters role playing as Gods from 10,000 years ago before they vanished.

I'll get straight down to what I liked about this drama:

***The Story: Takes place across a span of several years and has certain "arcs".
The beginning of the Mortal Arc, Tantai Jin's past and Cang Jiumin arc (first two episodes) and the Bo're Arc are my personal favorites.
To future viewers, I request you to view the Dream Arc as a part of the drama within a drama. It has the most solid and purposeful plot line out of all 40 episodes and it was highly satisfying and reached a conclusion that made sense and did not drag on unnecessarily.


***The Cast: Honestly, if the actors were just average, I would never have stuck past episode 24, or was it 25?
The cast were spot on, delivering immaculate and heartfelt performances that I would not be forgetting soon.
I don't remember exactly. Leo Yunxi had been on my radar since Ashes of Love and he never disappoints in pulling such villain/pathetic helpless roles. I hope there were people to take care of him on set because the amount of tears he shed in this are too much. He managed to portray four different characters with ease: the mysteriously alluring Ancient Demon God 1.0, the Demon God Tantai Jin 1.0 and whatever version we see in the drama, the abused mortal Tantai Jin, and the majestic God of War Ming Ye. His costumes were a highlight of the drama, in all shades of colors and hues.

Bai Lu, I finally found a drama of hers that I could actually complete. It's not that her acting is bad, but I've never managed to find her works captivating enough to make me sit through all the episodes. As for her character… that's another rant entirely. But, I could tell the difference between the occupied Ye Xi Wu and the free Li Su Su.
Supporting characters were portrayed well by the relatively lesser known cast, but they managed to steal the scenes several times - particularly Ye Qingyu and Pian Ran. I liked Deng Wei as Gongye Jiwue and Shang You a lot more than Xiao Lin. (His mortal avatar.)

***Costumes and CGI: Whoever was behind the computer screen lost his mind cause the CGI was stunning for a Chinese Xianxia. It did fluke at some points, but overall, it was a highlight. Costumes were inspired by traditional Dunhuang paintings and the characters looked like real God's in the posters. It came in all colors and I coveted several headpieces worn by many of the cast. But, my favorites definitely are from the Bo're Arc.

***Soundtrack: Plenty of Original Songs, but my most favorite one was Mysterious Bird by Sa Ji. There were several action scene soundtracks that I loved.

Now… let’s get down to the cold pricklies:

***The Character of Ye Xi Wu and Plot:

Tantai Jin is heavily softened for the drama, and apparently, Ye Xi Wu was too. I don’t know what the original treatment looked like, but I was confused by her. I was never once convinced that she truly loved him - particularly during the mortal arc of Tantai Jin. Except for a few well targeted words spoken by Pian Ran that unsettles Xi Wu, and a handful of scenes, she seemed to be hell bent on getting her mission accomplished and had no time for romance. Granted, their fates were pre-determined and she was on a mission. But, how am I supposed to believe that these two were fated to be together at some point in their life regardless of the ending? I'm not sure because it was all 'tell' and no 'show'.

It’s understandable as she had witnessed the destruction of the world via this dude’s hands, but she appeared almost cunning and insincere in most of her actions even after she found out that she was his Achilles heel. Her character seems to have been under utilized. At one point, it turned into a "Tantai Jin" show. We see his motives and reasonings in depth, yet I do not think the same attention was paid to Li Su Su's character. She appeared to be fooling around a lot in the Mortal Arc, which made no sense. Then, boom! She gets an epiphany and things just plunge into a dead end. The story went around in circles for the first arc and by EP 24, I lost all hope.

Bai Lu and Leo Luo’s explosive chemistry helped to elevate their “romance” to a phenomenal level, but it was painfully obvious that the script was leaning towards Tantai Jin’s backstory. I could tell when he began to thaw and when he began to truly care for Ye Xi Wu.

For someone who was abused throughout his life and did not possess an ounce of trust in anyone, I could not understand why she underestimated Tantai Jin’s actions. He had proven his sincerity over and over, but how come she never saw through it? She did prove herself, but her duty outweighed her trust and love.
Personally, Li Susu was better than Ye Xi Wu.
But, had many novel and dramaland characters had her temperament, I doubt that there will be many happy endings.
Bai Lu is an excellent actress, and she attempted to give it her best shot for sure. But, till the very end, I did not know what was going on in Li Su Su’s mind.

Even in the final episode, I just couldn't help but feel terrible for Tantai Jin.

As for pacing, the first 20 - 22 episodes were definitely the strongest ones for me. Even the Bo’re Dream which I loved. Then came the latter half of the mortal arc and boy… I feel like I missed swathes of character development or should I call it regression? Everything can’t be attributed to editing, but also, to inconsistent writing.

I found it an absolute chore to follow through after EP24. There were several questionable decisions and miscommunications that seemed plain awful and squeezed in to somehow conclude that part of the tale.

[As usual, we have brainless immortal sects like any standard xianxia, so it was of no surprise. And what's a xianxia without a pesky God of War around?]

One particular plot point legit seemed like a deux ex machina that was a gateway for the drama’s flamboyant ending, which just irritated me. A very regular xianxia style ending, which barely lasted for 3 minutes. An attempt was made to make it emotional, but too late, I grew used to the drama’s reliance on their powerful cast and music to make up for damages.

Side characters appear and disappear as they see fit - and apparently, several scenes were cut, though I have no idea how it would have impacted the story. Pian Ran and Ye Qing Yu in particular were just forgotten.

That being said, I still do not know how to rate Till The End of the Moon. The cast and crew obviously put their heart into it. I’ll have to go through a re-review before finally rating it, but for now, I give it a solid 8.

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