Name: Bloody Romance (web drama) 媚者无疆
Writer/director: Banking Bonnie/ Yi Jun
Date: July 2018
Number of episodes: 36
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, and Romance
Based on book/manga?: Yes, Bloody Romance by Banking Bonnie
Why did I press play? The promotional artwork and title caught my eye.
Initial thoughts/The good and the bad: First and foremost the opening intro is stunning; the music, the sketches, and the cinematography are all breathtaking. It builds anticipation for what each episode will bring. The first episode is dark, but if you can stomach it, it’s worth sticking around. The ball gets rolling when the two leads meet in episode two. Their chemistry is.. cracking – when he teaches her to play the zither… wowza!
The Good: Under different circumstances, young girls enter Gui Hua City to become hired assassins. Each girl is instructed to pin their uniqueness and hone in on individual strengths, develop them, and use to their advantage. For example, Chang An informs Wan Mei that hers are cuteness and courage. It sounds cheesy, but tactfully implemented it increases their success. they work really well. The acknowledgment of her beauty is refreshing because often female characters are gorgeous, but their good looks are irrelevant to the character and their place within a story.
The girls develop general skills to help with assignments. For example, strategic thinking. and become level-headed under pressure. Inevitably the accumulation of these circumstances leads to exponential personal growth and maturing.
This drama has with equally strong female and male characters – the scales aren’t tipped. Everyone carries their own weight to create a satisfying world and story.
The Bad: Due to the disturbing and debaucherous behavior, many scenes (even if only implied) are hard to swallow. For example, the king and the soup.
Unfortunately, in roughly the final third of the drama, the plot is “much ado about nothing”. Many storylines rushed and others dragged out. For example, the copious attention given to the power struggle between Cha Luo and Wan Mei. It became too boring and motivation to follow along hit rock bottom.
Who are the main characters? Which actors play them?
Wan Wai/Su Qixue played by Li Yi tong
Chang An/Xie Huan played by Qu Chuxiao
Gong Zi/Li Si Yuan [Duke of Ning] Played by Wang Duo
One of my top two favorite male leads of 2018 is Chang An. He is just fantastic! He wears many hats and embodies many inspiring traits: kindness, strength, discernment, toughness, sense of style, maturity, adaptability, conviction, and underneath it all he devoted heart. Whether it be to his reasons for becoming a shadow or his steadfast devotion and love for Wan Wei, all these hats are incrementally revealed as the story glides along.
He is alone in the world, that lonely feeling unwillingly surfaced by Wan Mei’s care and sacrifice for him. His need to love and desire to protect surfaced during his role as her shadow. With sensitivity, wholesome, and care of her, the two quickly form a special relationship. Soothing each other’s wounds and flourishing within that bond. As for acting, Qu Chu Xiao is fantastic! He gives an excellent performance has a very strong on-screen presence, he has such a great look to him, one that suited the character very much. Everything created a living breathing Chang An.
Wan Mei is lovely. What makes her special is that no matter what goes on whether it is heartbreak, difficulties, enjoyments she always keeps her femininity. She quickly becomes attached to Chang An. He is the only person on the planet who cares about her. No matter the ups and downs, she just wants Chang An. I must say that her performances are best shared with either of the two main leads, they elevate the scene and her acting. But I suppose that’s the whole point, their influences are what brings her to life. Chang An’s love gives her hope and The Gong Zi agenda brings out her skill and ambition.
Wang Duo (Gong Zi) gave a powerhouse performance. Many of his scenes are intense and he rises to the occasion for every single one. Loved every scene with him – as an actor and character. His hair, when either up or down, added to the depth of the character.
The king is an absolute psychopath – incredible acting and frequently I re-watched his scenes. Everything about this character was perfect, from disturbing behavior, expressions, tone of voice, costumes, body language, you name it. I could not track down the actor’s name. Please let me know if you know who the actor is.
Themes: Finding your place in the world, moral dilemmas, love, and the unpredictability of best laid plans.
What it’s good for?: Once the to-do list for the day it done, kick up your feet, dim the lights, and become engrossed in a story.
- Li Yiton received her bachelor degree from the Beijing Dance Academy, where she majored in folk dance. It’s a treat to watch snippets of her skill sprinkled throughout the drama.
- Bloody Romance share production/ art director with LOVE O2O.