The Fangirl Verdict

Completely biased reviews and fangirling

Dropped: Ashes Of Love [China]

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After 41 episodes out of Show’s 60, I’m finally calling it quits on Ashes Of Love.

Admittedly, part of my brain is a little reluctant to drop this one, because, “Loads of other folks loved this one! What if you’re quitting before it gets good again?” and “You’re already two-thirds of the way through! What a waste, of the 41 episodes you did watch!”

Try as I might, though, I just can’t muster up the interest to continue with episode 42, so it’s gonna hafta be the end of the road with this one, for me.

DID I LIKE IT RIGHT AWAY?

The short answer is, no, I didn’t like this one right away. But YouTube suggested episode 1 to me one day, and I remembered that some of you had liked this one, plus, I mean, a show that’s exceeded 15 million views(!!) in China alone is pretty darn impressive, so I dived in to check it out.

By episode 2, I decided that this felt somewhat like a less pretty, more magicky, funnier version of Ten Miles Of Peach Blossoms, which I rather liked the sound of, coz I really enjoyed Peaches. I did cringe at the humor a little bit from time to time, but a bit of lens adjustment took care of that quite easily.

By episode 6, I felt nicely sucked in. As imperfect as this show was, I felt somewhat addicted to it, and was watching several episodes in a single sitting. That’s a Pretty Big Deal, in my books.

STUFF I LIKED

Deng Lun as Xu Feng

I wasn’t immediately drawn to Deng Lun as our male lead Xu Feng, but it wasn’t long before I came around to his charms.

Basically, I really like that in this story, our male lead falls in love first, and falls hard and fast. There’s something very swoony about seeing a very powerful man hopelessly smitten. So, the more obviously smitten Xu Feng became with Jin Mi (Yang Zi), the more giddy with glee I felt. He was just so earnest and sincere, that my heart couldn’t help but waver at him.

I loved seeing Xu Feng’s protective side, even as he teased Jin Mi, and I loved seeing the small flashes of pleasure on Xu Feng’s face, when he felt secretly pleased by Jin Mi’s presence.

Beyond Deng Lun’s personal charm, though, I do think a lot of Xu Feng’s appeal is thanks to Xu Feng’s voice actor. Xu Feng’s voice is just so expressive while managing to sound even, and I felt the vocal nuances added a lot of dimension and depth to how Xu Feng comes across. I liked that a lot.

Fun cracky stretches

As a general rule, my enjoyment levels of this show varied in direct correlation to how well things were going for the OTP loveline. From initial meet-cute, to early misunderstandings, to the blossoming of feelings (even if said feelings were mainly felt by Xu Feng), to occasions for hyper-proximity and hyper-awareness, any permutation of these things was enough to brighten my watch and get me to readily click on the next episode, when I got to the end of one.

Not only was there a fair bit of cute, there was also a nice amount of melty, and I flailed and swooned dutifully, through it all.

Here are a sprinkling of my favorite OTP moments, from what I did watch.

[SPOILER ALERT]

I have a big soft spot for the mortal trial that starts in episode 19, because this is an opportunity to watch Xu Feng fall for Jin Mi all over again. How fun, that we get to distance ourselves from the building angst in the Heavenly Realm, and just bask in the fresh feels of blossoming romance.

I love the way he looks at her in episode 21,ย while pretending to be deaf and mute, so quietly searching, with small leaked smiles of wonder and appreciation by turn. Melt.

There’s also the moment in episode 22, when he looks at Jin Mi with such a softness in his gaze, and such a gentle affection and amusement directed at her, as he tells her, “I’m Ya Ya.” Flail.

And then there’s the way he puts on this big show of being sick in episode 23, just so that he can spend time with her. The way he teases her gently; the way he stifles little smiles which are full of affection; I lap it all up, and wish for more.

In episodes 29 and 30, tipsy Jin Mi confessing her feelings to Xu Feng and kissing him while fueled by liquid courage, is a bit of a breakthrough moment. The way Xu Feng just looks at her intently through her repeated “I like you’s” and says, “I will marry you,” is just mesmerizing. Puddle.

[END SPOILER]

STUFF THAT GREW ON ME OVER TIME

Yang Zi as Jin Mi

Imma be honest; I wasn’t really into Yang Zi as our female lead Jin Mi.

Jin Mi’s character is written to be extremely sheltered, naive and innocent, and for a good stretch in the beginning, she’s also supposed to be very young. This made for a female lead character who came across as ditzy and rather scatterbrained, which isn’t my favorite thing.

Over time, though, I got used to Jin Mi being bubbly but a little dense in some ways, and that did improve my watch.

For the record, I’d heard some viewers say that it’s worth waiting to see how Jin Mi’s character changes later on in the show, because she has a very different vibe and personality then, but to be honest, the bits of muted seriousness that I did glimpse from her, felt quite flat and one-note, and I didn’t find that very promising.

STUFF I WAS INDIFFERENT TO

Luo Yun Xi as Run Yu

I’ve heard that there’s a lot of viewer love for Run Yu as a character, but I must admit that I didn’t feel much for his character, overall.

In Show’s earlier stretch, I found Run Yu pleasant but bland, and then in Show’s middle stretch, I found him a little more interesting, but also, disappointing, at the same time. As in, his behavior leaned darker and that gave Luo Yun Xi room to make Run Yu more interesting, but that darker behavior ultimately made me lose respect for Run Yu as a character, which doesn’t balance out very well overall, in my head.

[SPOILER ALERT]

There’s one scene that stands out in my mind, where I was rather impressed by Luo Yun Xi’s delivery, and that’s in episodes 29 and 30, where we get a whole lotta drama with Run Yu’s birth mother dying by the Heavenly Empress’s hand. I was rather jaded with the whole thing, but I must say that in that moment when Run Yu turned on the Heavenly Empress, he was quite arresting. The look on him was a mix of drained grief and all-his-cares-to-the-wind badassery. He’d never looked this cool, to my eyes.

Other than this instance, though, what we see of Evolving Run Yu is a lot less cool. Here’re 2 examples:

E14. Run Yu wanting to assert himself to wed Jin Mi is understandable, but the sneaky way in which he put on that show for Water Deity was not cool, and I lost a whole bunch of respect for him there. Of course it’s easy to swear that you don’t mind losing your deity rights and becoming a mortal for Jin Mi’s sake, if you already know that she’s actually your intended fiance.

E35-36. How horrible, that Run Yu seals the Fallen Pellet within Jin Mi, without telling her. It’s such a terrible thing to do. He basically decides that if she can’t love him, he can’t let her love anyone. Gah.

..Which, basically, evens everything out to neutral for me, with Run Yu. In my head, this is how the equation works out:

[Darker & more interesting + underhanded actions = just as disappointing as Bland Run Yu]

[END SPOILER]

STUFF I DIDN’T CARE FOR TOO MUCH

When we get too much backstory and flashbacks

From about the episode 17 mark, Show started serving up a LOT of flashbacks, to fill us in on what happened among the previous generation of immortals. The flashbacks are deep, detailed, and quite convoluted, and because of them, we sometimes spend entire episodes in flashback, rather than in the present timeline.

I told myself that it’s probably important information to the story, but I got really bored every time a flashback surfaced, and I honestly just wanted to zone out and fast forward through it all. It really didn’t help that Show felt it was necessary to serve up AS MANY flashbacks as possible.

The loveline between Liu Ying and Mu Ci

There’s a secondary loveline between Biancheng Princess Liu Ying and half-masked shadow guard Mu Ci (Chen Yu Qi and Zou Ting Wei), which I didn’t care for very much.

Essentially, Liu Ying is a lot more interesting when she’s being badass, and up till the point where she’s reunited with Mu Ci, I found her refreshingly fierce. BUT. When she’s pining for Mu Ci and trying to get him to stay with her, she becomes sad and teary, and very breathy and kind of desperate, and it really doesn’t become her.

The thing is, from the episode 21 mark onwards, all the way to where I stopped at episode 41, Show decides that it’s important to spend an inordinate amount of screen time on this loveline. I found it very trying to watch Liu Ying continue to pursue Mu Ci, even though he repeatedly tells her not to. He desperately wanted her to stop, and uh, so did I. ๐Ÿ˜›

SAYING GOODBYE

I found that the deeper I got into the show, the more bored I felt. There’s a lot of Stuff that happens, some of which is supposed to be a Big Deal, like the Heavenly Empress trying to kill Jin Mi, but I just couldn’t seem to feel interested.

By the episode 41 mark, I found myself thinking during my watch, that Xu Feng wasn’t quite as regal or imposing as I’d like him to be, and that Run Yu looked weirdly like he was always talking as if he had marbles in his mouth and couldn’t close his mouth comfortably.

I realized that it was definitely Not A Good Sign, that I’d be so bored by the plot that these were the things that I was noticing. ๐Ÿ˜›

That’s also pretty much when I decided that I ought to quit while I was still a little ahead, so that I could preserve the happier memories that I did have of this show, and avoid collecting more unhappy, dissatisfied ones.

I’m sorry I couldn’t hang in there for you, Xu Feng. You were one of my bright spots in this show though, if that’s any consolation.

Author: kfangurl

Proud to be a k-fangirl since 2007. Main diet of kdramas with movies and kpop on the side.

70 thoughts on “Dropped: Ashes Of Love [China]

  1. Thank you for your review!! I got the feels starting in episode 19 lol!! Just like you ๐Ÿ˜„

    *SPOILER*
    Like you, I enjoyed it when the characters went to the mortal realm. I honestly skipped to see parts of Jin Mi and Xu Feng until almost 4 AM. ๐Ÿ˜… I loved the way Xu Feng looked at Jin Mi and her excitement when Yaya got better after they met again in the palace. I loved it when Jin Mi finally had the courage to confess, and Xu Feng immediately said, “I will marry you.” ๐Ÿ˜

    I gotta applaud Xu Feng’s attendant too. It was such a joy whenever he advised Xu Feng. Jin Mi diagnosing Xu Feng of being impotent was hilarious too lol.

    And I was so sad when Rou Rou died in the mortal realm. Xu Feng’s tragic end also hurt… ๐Ÿ˜ข Yet, I’m not happy at Run Yu restoring that unfeeling pill to its previous state, so Jin Mi didn’t have the same feelings anymore. She and Xu Feng went through life and death in the mortal realm and they even consummated their love in the heaven realm. I just want to tell Run Yu to shoo and for the main couple to just get married already lol. I feel so bad for Xu Feng to devote himself persistently to someone who just can’t feel love due to the pill. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ What the heck were their days in the mortal realm for?!
    *END OF SPOILER*

    I feel a little conflicted. My feelings on this drama, as I’m watching, aren’t consistent… I was getting a little tired of Jin Min still not knowing love, which I understand is due to the pill and being so sheltered. I had hope and feels starting in episode 19, and then it’s starting to fade again at about episode 37…

    I know Run Yu changes later, and that’s not what I’m looking forward to… I enjoyed it when Run Yu and Xu Feng were supportive brothers. Based on the opening, we know they have tension later on…

    I’m telling myself to take it slow. I’m glad I’m not the only one who appreciates Deng Lun as Xu Feng, but I’m not sure about the rest… I also miss seeing Xu Feng and Jin Mi, knowing that I will have flashbacks in the following episodes. ๐Ÿ˜ข I’ll get back to watching without skimming lol, so I really just finished episode 22.

    Anyways, thank you again! I didn’t read your spoiler comment on Liu Ying’s relationship. I hope I like it when I watch it! And I have such joy watching the Moon Immortal.

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    • Hi there Cloe, hi5 that we felt the feels at the same point in the show! ๐Ÿ™‚ Although I must say, I think you have more patience with the show than I do! ๐Ÿ˜† I think you’re right about the frustration of the reset.. just when we think we’re getting somewhere with the story, Jin Mi gets “reset” to her previous “I don’t know feelings state.” I just couldn’t deal with that. ๐Ÿ˜† I ended up FF-ing through to the end, coz everyone said I was missing out big time, but in the end, after seeing what I missed, I don’t think I would’ve ended up loving this show like everyone else, even if I’d stuck it out properly to the end. I hope you enjoy your watch more than I did!

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      • Oh my gosh! I’m glad I checked this link again or else I wouldn’t have known you replied; I didn’t get an email notification ๐Ÿ˜ข

        Anyways, thanks for praising my patience kfangurl! ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™ƒ I was honestly questioning my patience too lol!! I’m understanding of the Unfeeling Pill preventing Jin Mi from knowing she loves Xu Feng, and I honestly thought the mortal realm arc helped us moved forward!! But damn, we moved backwards ๐Ÿ˜ญ I realized that one of my frustrations is when the characters suddenly boomerang, as if their accomplishments were nothing. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

        It also bothers me when a character is not in charge of their own life! (I dropped Princess Weiyoung, since the female lead was constantly in danger, despite us knowing the stepmother won’t stop until she’s dead… ๐Ÿ™„) I saw Jin Mi speak to her father about wanting to marry Xu Feng and just… There’s honestly a powerless feeling, you know? It sucks that Xu Feng can’t supposedly do anything, despite being the Fire Immortal. And the main couple need to wait for permission from the Water Immortal to cancel Jin Mi’s engagement and then talk with the Heavenly Emperor. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

        Part of me is wishing the mortal realm arc stayed longer lol. I tried rewatching episode 23, and it was sweet to see the reunion! No Run Yu to interfere, no parents to control their romantic lives… Damn, I’m already missing that arc, despite me technically not finishing it yet. ๐Ÿ˜”

        I’m not sure if I even love Jin Mi as a character. For a main lead, she doesn’t have much control of her life, considering that the Unfeeling Pill and the politics in the heaven realm are shaping her life ๐Ÿ˜ฃ Poor Xu Feng came to Jin Mi and questioned her on why she suddenly doesn’t want to be together anymore (they both don’t know the Unfeeling Pill was reset ๐Ÿ˜ข)! He even asked if he did something wrong ๐Ÿ˜ญ “Dude, I know love is love, but I feel frustrated for you! You felt like you were on Cloud Nine when you were finally together in the mortal realm, and she even told you she wants to spend her life with you in the heaven realm,” is how I feel. I would feel like I got slapped in the face if I were him lol ๐Ÿ˜ญ

        I like Yuqi (actress of Liu Ying) overall. I saw her in Princess Weiyoung and she guest featured on Produce Camp 2019. I’m not sure of the chemistry between Liu Ying and Mu Ci, based on the vibe I get from him… He follows the Heavenly Empress’s orders, without really having autonomy… I’m not sure if he “deserves” her, although I know love doesn’t pick and choose like that. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

        + There’s part of me that doesn’t care too much about the drama that’s happening in the demon realm. There was the Demon Lord who was STILL talking about his two (useless) sons, and I’m like ??? about it lol. That drama got shoved aside when Jin Mi was learning about her heritage and then she got engaged to Run Yu… I wasn’t in love with the switching between the mortal realm, demon realm villains, and whatever else. Partially because it took time for me to skim to only the mortal realm parts between Jin Mi and Xu Feng lol. But seriously, I think it would have been okay if we knew about Zi Fen’s tragic life earlier – I know Xu Feng thought Jin Mi was his sister, but I just knew she wasn’t because incest is not what the audience wants lol.

        So, yeah, I was talking with someone who said this drama sounds circular… That’s honestly how I’m feeling, especially with the Unfeeling Pill being reset and Jin Mi telling to Xu Feng’s face she’ll still marry Run Yu. – Ouch. She clearly has memories of being in love, despite not feeling it presently anymore… I wish she thought for herself and even Xu Feng ๐Ÿ˜’

        And sadly, I’m starting to feel how you felt about Xu Feng… I grew to appreciate his charms, especially during the mortal realm arc. And I skipped to the part where the Heavenly Empress was trying to kill Jin Mi, and Xu Feng came to protect his love interest and later his mom. It’s just…that regal aura is fading for me lol?? When he was King Yi, he had authority and he put in the effort. But as the Fire Immortal, I’m just not feeling it… Maybe putting the mortal realm arc backfired because I enjoyed their mortal selves better lol. (And we got to see the Moon Immortal and Immortal Yuanji bicker ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ‘)

        Apparently, it’s rewarding once Jin Mi is no longer impacted by the Unfeeling Pill?? I did see the trailer prior to watching, and it looked so intense. But damn, this love story is being stretched out ๐Ÿ˜ฃ I read a comment here where someone said they skipped to epIsode 45 on their fourth attempt. Lol maybe I’ll do something like that if I really can’t take it ๐Ÿ˜…

        Although, the good news is that I have warm feelings towards the Moon Immortal. I want more screentime for him lol ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฅฐ I have warm feelings towards the Wind Immortal too, since she treats Jin Mi as her daughter and doesn’t follow the evil stepmom trope. Based on the ending theme, the poor lady and her husband suffer later, so… that will probably make me sad. ๐Ÿ˜ข

        Maybe curiosity, if anything, will help me pull through?? Sometimes, I take major breaks on stories, but I come back for a sense of completion and to move on with my life lol. What finally motivated you to skip to the ending? And are you planning to watch the second season? (I don’t know what’s the synopsis there, so no spoilers please ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ)

        … Damn, typing all this had me realize I’m falling out of love. Like you, I used to be able to even watch numerous episodes in one sitting. (I got the feels even when Xu Feng jumped into the mortal realm ๐Ÿ˜) But that passion is gone now lol.

        Thanks for reading!! And thanks in advance if you choose to reply ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ’œ

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi there Cloe, thanks for checking back, and sorry that you didn’t get an email notification.. Sometimes those get channeled to spam, so it’s possible it’s in your spam folder?

          It does sound like you’re falling out of love with this show, unfortunately. ๐Ÿ˜› I agree that the most cracky part of the show was during the mortal realm days, when the OTP was free to explore their feelings without all the heavenly complications and interferences. And YES, the reset just sucked. It was so very frustrating coz it felt like we were pretty much back to square one, which is such a frustrating place to be, after investing so many hours in so many episodes up till that point! ๐Ÿ˜ซ I think your friend has a point about this show being somewhat circular, in that sense. Like you, I also found the stuff in the demon realm a lot less interesting. :/

          As for me, I FF-ed through to the end, because SO MANY fans told me that I dropped this show just before the best part. Since multiple people were convinced that I’d missed the best parts, I thought I’d give Show a chance, in fast forward. Unfortunately, I still didn’t think I missed all that much, and the most interesting bits that everyone else loved, were just ok for me. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I used to finish every show just to have the sense of completion too, but I’ve learned that it’s ok to drop a show. So.. if you’re not enjoying this one anymore, maybe you can consider dropping it, and using the drama hours on something that you’ll enjoy more? ๐Ÿ™‚

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          • Hey kfangurl,

            I realized when I first posted, I wasn’t subscribed to receive comments through email. So, I got email notifications this time! ๐Ÿ™‚

            I gave the show another chance just ten days ago, where I had episodes 23-25 playing in the background. I saw parts of Liu Ying and Mu Ci’s romance (my eyes were off the screen, but he absorbed some dark energy while he was trying to protect everyone, and we learn he’s part of an extinct clan that the Demon Realm deem dangerous…). I didn’t fall in love with this either lol. I didn’t feel the chemistry between the pair… I like Yuqi. But I also didn’t feel much for Mu Ci… :/

            Taking a break from the show since then, and after reading your comment, it solidified to me that I dropped the series too. You’re right about spending time on shows we enjoy instead :)) Once I realized I fell out of love, I recognize I don’t feel a curiosity for the characters. I know Jin Mi and Xu Feng will become a couple. Saying you will marry the person whose parents killed your mother out of love – I personally don’t see myself being okay with that, if that were me. >< If Zi Fen didn't suffer because of Xu Feng's parents, Jin Mi and Xu Fengโ€™s romance may not have met so many obstacles, sadly. :/

            I adore seeing people mutually get to know each other and fall in love overtime. That's why I appreciated the mortal realm days. Going back to square one was how I felt and that was annoying lol. One of my pit-pees about stories is when that happens… @___@ There's a manhua called Here U Are, which I enjoyed because you see the characters get to know each other and the protagonist has a strong sense of self-awareness. But there was something circular that happened, and I sadly fell out of love. :/ I like a side couple that hasn't been appearing after the two main characters resolved what was going on, and LOL it's one of those moments where you're like, "I spent so much time and I honestly loved this. Will I fall in love again with this story?" XD I don't have a strong impression I'll fall in love with Ashes of Love again too. – We still got the bird tribe leader who's in love with Xu Feng… ;——; And I guess you're not watching season 2 of this drama? x))

            Anyways, thanks for the validation and hearing me out! ๐Ÿ™‚ I appreciate it! It's quite a different experience to talk with somebody who hasn't watched the drama (and not want to spoil for them), versus talking to someone who has seen it and even dropped it xD High ratings may be something, but your own enjoyment matters ๐Ÿ™‚

            Like

            • Hi there Cloe, I’m glad you got an email alert this time! ๐Ÿ™‚ No need to feel bad about falling out of love with a drama, I say. And no need to feel bad for dropping it either. I’ve come to realize that with dramas, we are all so different in our tastes, preferences and personal contexts, that it’s completely possible for one person to love a drama with a passion, and for another to hate the same drama, also with a passion. I know lots of folks loved this one, but it just didn’t work for me, and that’s ok. And it’s ok that it didn’t work for you too. ๐Ÿ™‚ And you’re right, I’m not planning to watch S2, since S1 didn’t work for me. No point trying to force myself to love something, just because other people love it, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  2. I gave up on this show 3 times, thought they could have picked a better looking male lead, story was going nowhere, 63 episodes?! I just couldn’t… At my 4th attempt, I skipped all the way to episode 45, that’s when the story got interesting, and I watched till the end. What I’m most fascinated with is how and when did ‘ugly’ Xu Feng become soooo attractive?! Once I ‘get’ his appeal, I’m hooked… till this day!

    Like

    • Lol. Your comment made me chuckle, Cubic! ๐Ÿ˜† I guess attraction and appeal is as mysterious as you’ve described. One day, he’s just ok, and then suddenly – WOOF! – he’s swoony and all kinds of mesmerizing. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜† You are not alone, my friend! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  3. Well I don’t agree with u about RY, if u lost respect fir him then what about XF ?? Is XF even human ??
    The moment even after telling XF about how his mother treated RY and he was like sorry …that was my bottom line after that scene, I was like I don’t care if XF lives or die …
    The marriage agreement between JM and RY was unpredictable but that’s called destiny in real life …when u get connect to someone without doing much …
    What XF and JM had between them wasn’t love …it was all manipulated by Moon Immortal…we all know that moon immortal was the one who tied JM and XF in mortal realm thus making them into a couple…if he had done that with RY and JM then, they were also bound to fall in love.
    Making out with your sister in law while your brother is mourning for his mother …hats off to disgusting people like that ….

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    • All great points, Makino! I guess my feeble defense is that my brain was responding to years of training, to side with the male lead instead of the second lead. ๐Ÿ˜ That, and probably I was affected by Deng Lun’s personal charm. ๐Ÿ˜† Overall though, I really didn’t enjoy the show much, so whatever affection I have for any of the characters is also really limited. I wouldn’t put too much store by my affection for one character vs another, in the grand scheme of things. ๐Ÿ˜…

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  5. Hi kfangirl
    I just came across your review because Iโ€™m deciding whether to skip to the end of this drama! I was reading the blurb to this on the site Iโ€™m watching and it revealed a little too much and made me question whether I want to continueโ€ฆ I just find Chinese dramas soooo long ๐Ÿ˜… and I donโ€™t have much time to watch them, Iโ€™m only up to episode 10!

    I like Xu Feng, and how Jin Mi is so lively, mischievous and completely oblivious to his feelings!

    The thing I find most disappointing though in dramas is when characters who start off as decent change for the worse, and you start to lose respect for them. The other thing Iโ€™m not a big fan of are love triangles, I find them frustrating and one of the worse sort of conflict a story can have because many dramas drag this element out needlessly.

    Have you watched Journey of Flower? This is another drama within the same genre, and one of the the few that I actually finished! The thing I really liked about this is that none of the characters are truly evil and one dimensional, most things are in shades of grey. Even the showโ€™s main and smaller antagonists, while you may hate what they do, you understand why they are doing it. Most of them exhibit characteristics that are admirable in some way and do manage to redeem themselves in the end. Iโ€™m still on my search to find another drama that does this! Any recommendations?

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  6. I really think you need to watch it to the end. I get what you said about the second lovestory, but you need to continue the main story to the end. I have never seen a male actor display his emotions like Deng Lun, I could feel the pain as he loses his breath while crying. I cried as hard as he did. Jim Mi also did an impressive job I love watching her funny faces, silliness, and the full range of emotions she is able to display as her character matured and breaks the spell she is under. I have to say that Yang Zi’s & Deng Lun chemistry is superb and would love to see this couple together again.

    Like

    • I think the thing that people love most about Ashes is itโ€™s heroโ€™s Journey, fulfilled at the end in a way we are grateful for. XuFeng literally not only goes to the underground, but he becomes SPOILER itโ€™s prince! And then he marches to Heaven again, after having gone through so much darkness, to make peace.

      Moreover, he meets with Jinmi again after a few hundred years, and they have their happily ever after. SO RARE in Chinese Historical/fantasy dramas. I think thatโ€™s the candy that everyone loves about Ashes.

      But thatโ€™s just imo.

      Like

    • Hi Annie, thanks for the suggestion. I actually did FF through to the end, after everyone else told me that I was making a huge mistake. Unfortunately, even then, I never loved this one as much as everyone else did. I guess it really isn’t for me, after all. ๐Ÿ˜›

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  7. But I totally agree with the scenes that you found boring. i skipped most of them! haha

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  8. Hi! It’s sad that you dropped this show,.. The best episode for me so far is Episode 43. THE LEGENDARY WEDDING SCENE! It was so unexpected that I shouted at my phone when I was watching it! Haha And to think I was alone in my dorm room at that time. It’s sad that you did not reach it. Xu Feng is truly the brightest character in this drama and it was so refreshing to see his character development in the later episodes. This is my second C Drama after Ten Miles Peach Blossoms and this is just my opinion but I like this one better than Ten Miles. ^_^

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    • Oh man. When I was skipping through episodes, it was honestly on this episode that I went โ€œWAAATTTTโ€ and turned to Legend of Fuyao. Different strokes for different folks, right? My ranking of C-historical/fantasy Dramas:

      1.). Peach Blossoms (always and forever)
      2.). Legend of Fuyao
      3.). Princess Weiyoung (still watching)
      4.). Ashes of Love
      5.). ??

      Going to dive into Nirvana in Fire, but I donโ€™t want to get depressed. Have you seen it?

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      • OMG I LOVE NIF! But.. it does have its tragic moments, so I don’t know what to say, about whether or not it would make you depressed.. ๐Ÿ˜›

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        • I tried to watch Nirvana in Fire, I really did, but the only version I can find (I cant watch on my computer) is on Viki, and thatโ€™s dubbed. So I got five minutes in and couldnโ€™t stop laughing. Iโ€™m pissed.

          Instead, Iโ€™m watching Fights Break Circle. I really donโ€™t get the Harry Potter parallels … it just reminds me of your typical Chinese fantasy. Or any fantasy. Itโ€™s super cracky, the bubble gum of Asian dramas. Loving it so far:)

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          • Dang. You mean, dubbed in English?!? I’d heard whispers of that, but I wasn’t sure it was true. No wonder you couldn’t stop laughing! ๐Ÿ˜† I don’t know if this is available in your region, but I found NIF on YouTube with subs. Try this playlist, let me know how that goes! ๐Ÿ™‚

            I haven’t tried Fights Break Circle, though I think I’ve heard that title mentioned somewhere. Glad you’re liking it, I hope it turns out to be a worthwhile watch! ๐Ÿ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

      • Hi! Yeah Definitely different strokes for different folks. haha The scene was just very heartbreaking for me that’s why I love it.

        Unfortunately, I haven’t watched any CDramas aside from Peach Blossoms and Ashes of Love. I would definitely check out the dramas in your list! ๐Ÿ™‚

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        • I’d like to add some of my favorite C-dramas to your possible list! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d like to suggest A Love So Beautiful, and Put Your Head On My Shoulder for youthy romance, The First Half Of My Life for an elegantly done journey of a mature woman, and Nirvana in Fire, for excellent writing, cinematography and strategist-type plotting and action. ๐Ÿ™‚

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        • Iโ€™d like to add on to Fangurlโ€™s list:

          Legend of Fuyao: all about the live story. The heroine is so strong, and the hero respects her first and they sort of fall in love at the same time. The villains are fantastic! The plot is pretty good, but The acting done by Yang Mi (of Peach Blossoms) and Ethan Juan (of Taiwanโ€™s โ€œFated to Love Youโ€) have incredible chemistry.

          Thereโ€™s also โ€œFights Break sphere.โ€ Itโ€™s hard not to be charmed by the hero, and his โ€œsisterโ€ is fantastic at martial arts. Thatโ€™s the plot – like naruto or Harry Potter or Star Wars – level up until you get ALL the skills and fight the bad guys. Not much by way of plot, this is a bubble gum drama, wherein the hero saves the world with help from his friends (I hope! Havenโ€™t finished it yet.)

          Above all, if you like cracky, watch Love020. It requires little brain power. If you want a life story with 50+ views, watch โ€œ10 of Peach Blossoms.โ€ If you want stratagem, intricate plot and all over incredible, watch โ€œNirvana in Fire.โ€โ€ This is based off Fangurlโ€™s recommendation.

          Thatโ€™s all!!! I hope it helps:)

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    • I actually ended up speed-watching the rest of the show, because so many folks told me I was making a huge mistake! ๐Ÿ˜† Long story short, the wedding scene was quite a game-changer, just like everyone had promised. But.. I still wasn’t that into the show, even up till the very end. So my conclusion is that this one really wasn’t for me, after all. ๐Ÿ˜… I’m glad you loved it tho!

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  9. Truly, I never thought a love could rival Bai Qian and Ye Hua, but Fuyao calls Wuji out on all of his lies, whereas SuSu was meek and took it all. We know why, but it was damn refreshing to see a female lead who had such integrity.

    Hang through the Harry Potter IV bit, and then things start to really roll. I even enjoyed the Deep Water villian – he was so hateful but played it so well!

    Plus there are some very sexy fights between ML and FL. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    • You have such a way of convincing me to check out shows, Sarah! ๐Ÿ˜† It’s like you know just which buttons to press, to pique my curiosity! I’ve dutifully put Fuyao on my list, and will definitely be checking it out soonish! Thanks for the recommendation! โค

      Liked by 1 person

      • Iโ€™m hoping you enjoyed it as much as I didโ˜บ๏ธโ›ฉ

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        • Fair warning, that I’ve plans to watch Fuyao with a friend, so progress will be slow, and we won’t be starting on it right away either, coz we’re watching another show first, before we start on Fuyao. But it’s got a definite spot on our shared watch list, and we will get to it – eventually! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  10. Iโ€™m with you, Fangurl. The show was nice for the first 20 or so, and then I just wanted to do a MASSIVE SKIP to episode 50. The concept of a girl with the pellet causing soooo many misunderstandings and there being sooooo many flashbacks? Iโ€™ll give the show itโ€™s superficial beauty, but thatโ€™s about it.

    Have you tried Legend of Fuyao? It also needs a healthy amount of suspension of disbelief, but itโ€™s closer to Peach Blossoms. Yang Mi kicks ass, and I think her love with Ethan Juanโ€™s character is just about as powerful as Ye Hua (gasp! I know!)

    Iโ€™d love to see what you have to say about Fuyao. Iโ€™m on my second watch, skipping the intrigue. Even if you drop it, it would be great to see a review Fuyao. I think itโ€™s worthwhile.

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    • I should say Wuji (Ethan) rivals Ye Hua fin love, but NO ONE can rival Ye Huaโ€™s hair

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      • WELL. That is a BIG statement, Sarah! I’m going to have to reconsider Fuyao! ๐Ÿ˜†

        Like

        • Truly, I never thought a love could rival Bai Qian and Ye Hua, but Fuyao calls Wuji out on all of his lies, whereas SuSu was meek and took it all. We know why, but it was damn refreshing to see a female lead who had such integrity.

          Hang through the Harry Potter IV bit, and then things start to really roll. I even enjoyed the Deep Water villian – he was so hateful but played it so well!

          Plus there are some very sexy fights between ML and FL. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Like

    • Lol. I wish I’d had the foresight to do the massive skip you mentioned, Sarah! ๐Ÿ˜† I tried too hard with this one, I realize. ๐Ÿ˜›

      I did watch E1 of Fuyao some time back, but got distracted by something else (I can’t remember what) and shelved it indefinitely. This comparison you make with Peaches, that their love is just about as powerful is doing a great job of piquing my interest, I must admit. ๐Ÿ˜† I’ll have to put it back on my list now. ๐Ÿ˜…

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  11. Actually felt the same too… Runyu’s character just sucks ang his hairstyle gahd that’s horrible! But I kinda like him on first bit when he is a caring bro and my heart goes out when he cries in bed alone after his mom’s death..

    I also think those flashbacks of old gen immortals are kinda cringey and doesn’t really need to go into too much details..

    I fall in love with Xu Feng when he went into his battle white and gold costume when Jinmi tries to dress him up with her clothes..

    There are some dragging scenes of other characters specifically the villains ehem Heavenly Empress which I find annoying cause I think they want us to see her good side like she just love and whatnot..
    I don’t like Muci at all but I just love the demon princess so much so I did tolerate it!

    The main otp is the one of the (mainly) reason I’ve finished this show and is actually on my beloved list (I fall in love with Xu Feng’s idealistic and unrealistic love for Jinmi) and tbh Xu Feng’s good looks, acting,(his eyes whenever he looks at Jinmi) goddamn voice and character made me love him and also Deng Lun as an actor …other reasons are beacause of Jinmi, Moon God, Mr. Puchi, and Demon Princess!

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    • Glad you managed to find things to enjoy in this show, despite your misgivings about the other things that you mentioned, Axix Fxngxrl. I liked Xu Feng and I thought Deng Lun pretty melty for the most part, but I think there was just too much that wasn’t working for me, with this show. :/ The time spent on the previous generation was indeed draggy and cringey for me, and I found the Heavenly Empress (and the Heavenly Emperor too) very hard to watch. In the end, there was just not enough good stuff to pull me through the meh stuff. ๐Ÿ˜›

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  12. I FFW a lot of this show and still can’t understand the hype. To be honest you should watch the scence when YM is dying since it is done great in artistic way. The directing and artsy ways it was kept me despite the dragging ridiculousness script.

    And I would have prefered if YM died since none of the lovers deserved her. She was so adorable and selfless but she hardly was more than a toy from mid series. When she discovered that herself she refused it to be a pawn. Reviving her was kind of lame and made her refusal a joke. At least Dragon truly repent at the end and decided to live alone but Phoenix just had “seconds” in immortal lifespan to wait until he got rewarded for whatever reason. Since I really liked YM probably they should have given her happy lifes with normal men and reborn as mortal again and again.

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    • Hahaha, to be honest, I ended up FF-ing through to the end after everyone said I should’ve stuck with the show, and while the end was more interesting than where I originally dropped it, I still don’t love it and therefore, you could say that I don’t quite get the hype either. I guess every show works differently for everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. Ah I was so hesitant to watch it because of how long it is so Im glad I feel like its now okay to skip it. Lol.

    I totally agree with you and felt the same way about SKY Castle. I really, really tried to like it and have watched until the 11th episode. I couldnt get myself to like it and see what so many others saw in it. I wanted to and I felt it a waste of time to drop it at that point because I was more than half way through.

    It was always the thought that it might get better the next episode but sadly I got to the point where I couldnโ€™t get myself to sit through it anymore. I guess I should listen to myself more and remember I don’t have to like something just because others did.

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    • Lol, yes, that’s something that I’m learning too, that I don’t have to like something just because others like it. And often, I also end up liking something that others disliked. It’s all down to personal taste, and we got to go with what works for us. I really liked SKY Castle, but I can also understand that it just didn’t work for you.

      As for Ashes, there are folks who really like this one, so if you’re at all hesitant to miss it, I’d say give it a try, and see whether it gets better for you, or worse. I felt there was too much filler and backstory, but others loved the side stories and backstories, so there’s that.

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  14. Aww. I really liked this drama, too bad it wasn’t your cup of tea. Tho I agree with you on the excessive subplots and backstory of the supporting characters. But FYI, Xu Feng’s voice is really Deng Lun. He dubbed his own voice. I just love his voice and overall charm

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    • I did end up FF-ing through to the end, but I have to admit, this just wasn’t quite my cup of tea, even though there were stretches that I genuinely enjoyed. I must agree that Deng Lun is very appealing, and it’s really nice to know that the voice I was appreciating, is his own. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  15. I really really loved this drama and literally XuFeng became the love of my life but near the mark where you dropped I just started skipping it a whole lot which is why I was able to make it past and barely notice parts which would probably have been boring for others. I literally skipped 90% of the Liu Ying and Mu Ci scenes akdfjslkjlkfjd

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    • Lol, you did the wise thing skipping through the parts you didn’t like, Amy! ๐Ÿ˜† I tried watching it without skipping, and that’s why I couldn’t continue. But, after everyone expressed that I was missing out big time, I went back and FF-ed my way through to the end. This was a lot more bearable, but I must admit I just wasn’t as into the show as everyone else. It did get more interesting in the last stretch though, I’ll give it that! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  16. I enjoyed this drama though it easily could have been cut around 10 to 15 episodes (the c-dramas are so bad with the filler), but I still liked it flaws and all. I do think spending so much time on Night really slowed the show down way too much.

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    • Oh yes, I recall that you did like this one, Kat. I also remember you said it requires one to be in the right mood, in order to enjoy it. Yes, I so agree on the filler and the bloated narrative. I do wonder if I would have had a more enjoyable watch overall, if Show had been tighter. I did end up FF-ing through to the end, but by then, I already felt rather disengaged, and so didn’t feel as many feels as everyone who loved the show did.

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  17. Love this review it was pretty funny hahahah

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  18. Ahhh sad to hear you dropped it. Yeah, Xu Feng’s voice is Deng Lun himself! The voices of the 3 leads are the actors voice. It did get draggy in the middle, but it picks up after (spoiler) Jin Mi kills Xu Feng. Deng Lun is sooo good in this show. I loved every bit of his scenes.

    I tried to get into Peaches (3 times) but could not get pass ep 1. I’ve dropped so many fantasy cdramas and this was the first one I can finish and absolutely love.

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    • That’s so interesting that you couldn’t get into Peaches but loved this! I’ve heard that before, I guess there’s something about this that just works for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I did end up FF-ing through to the end, partly coz of your spoiler, lol. I’m happy enough to know what happened, though I have to confess I still didn’t love it as much as you did. I did enjoy Deng Lun quite well though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  19. Lol my fav 2 portions were the mortal trial and RunYu’s section where he’s trying to save his mom from the Empress. Idk I thought the chemistry and romance was pretty fantastic in the beginning, but I actually didn’t quite like Xu Feng as a character as much as you did. I liked Deng Lun as Xu Feng, but certain personality traits of XF I really couldn’t like. Sort of the way you lost respect for Run Yu, I sort of…didn’t think too much of XF at times.

    Maybe because I personally ascribe to a more logical sort of display of emotions, but first, I feel like on JinMi’s situation, RunYu was a total ass for not giving JinMi a chance to express what she wants, but honestly…as someone who was basically engaged to a different guy but was really dating his brother. I didn’t know how to feel about her “not understanding” the fact that she was honestly kinda keeping a foot in each boat. And then XF, is RIGHT that JinMi gets to make her own choice and we all know she chooses XF, but at the same time, dude that IS your brother’s fiance and you’re basically TELLING him “I want your fiance and she wants me just leave the picture dude” BEFORE RunYu went all greasy berserk to try to manipulate everyone to get her.

    And then most importantly, I have strong feelings about RunYu’s family situation with the Empress and Emperor. And then here comes XF all high and mighty (even in the end esp in the last episode — lol I skipped literally half the drama but did watch the last 2 eps) where he lays out what RunYu “should and shouldn’t do, must and mustn’t forgive”, all these nice Confucian concepts about how “they were wrong but they’re your parents” WITHOUT understanding the whole picture. As a child spoiled from birth, who doesn’t even see half the disgusting things his mother does in the name of “protecting him” who isn’t even aware of all the cowardly blindness his father exhibits to “keep the peace”, I was just REALLY enflamed about like, what gave you the right to lecture someone else about these things when none of this has really affected you! In a more realistic dysfunctional family, you can definitely argue a child like XF is also a victim, definitely affected by guilt etc from such a family. But in THIS drama XF has never exhibited that kind of emotional turmoil or consideration for this aspect of his pretty damn awful family. So I mean, honestly, I also didn’t really respect XF for that. Yes he represents the “good”, a lesson on how when you get slapped, turn the other cheek and all that. But to me it just made me feel like he was very self-righteous regarding this situation because none of these hurts and injustices ever affected him until RunYu basically decided to lose all morality and pay retribution (honestly I felt a little guiltily gratified when he screwed over the emperor and empress). It rubbed me the wrong way so much. I’m not excusing RY, but honestly I didn’t like how XF handled this at all.

    Overall I thought Ashes was pretty cracky in the beginning, but I got tired of it mostly because the drama was all about just the romance, and I’m rarely about that “I live for romance and romance only” life where the characters aren’t really defined outside that romance. Hence why I did like RunYu a little more at first cuz the backstory gave him a bit more of substance outside of “I wanna date JinMi”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there Julianne, thanks for popping on by to share your thoughts on Ashes, and I’m sorry this reply comes so late!

      I think I gave XF more of a pass when it came to the love triangle because he did meet Jin Mi first, and Jin Mi did have feelings for him too, even though she didn’t know it coz of the pellet. So I guess because in my head this was THE lead couple that Show was serving up to me, RY’s fixation with her became categorized in my head as futile second-lead pining. I think that’s why I was more accepting of XF’s desire to elbow in on the betrothal between RY and JM. Of course, that doesn’t excuse XF’s behavior since you rightly pointed out that he shouldn’t have felt like he had the right to expect RY to give up his betrothed for him. Overall, I think I just really liked the cracky early eps and the mortal trial. Everything was just.. not so compelling, to me. ๐Ÿ˜›

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  20. Amen, sister. You got farther than me, and i was constantly skipping episodes. Meanwhile, Iโ€™m on my 2nd watch of Peach Blossoms on Viki for the commentary ๐ŸŒธ. What an amazing show! Ashes seems a poor copy.

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    • Hi there sarah, it’s great to see you around here. Apologies this reply is so late, but you did make me giggle with your description of your experience with this show! Yes, Peaches is definitely more enjoyable than this one, for me anyway. There are some folks who much prefer Ashes to Peaches, which I personally don’t get, but as they say, different strokes for different folks! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  21. *pat your back it must be hard decision. Great review! Thank you for your honesty ๐Ÿ˜€

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  22. When it comes to cdramas I realised early on that xianxia ain’t my genre. There have been few exceptions… like Peaches, though with that one I’m beginning to think it was mostly due to Mark I actually finished it. ๐Ÿ˜€ I can generally tell by the trailers already that ‘nope, not for me’. So, I did not even try watching Ashes of Love. I fare better with wuxias but with those I often get bored half way through, even if I’d inhaled the first 20 or so epis.

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    • I really think Peaches was the exception, and yes, I do think Mark gets a lot of credit for my being so drawn to Peaches! ๐Ÿ˜† I guess my enjoyment of Peaches made me think that I might like other xianxia shows, but so far, I haven’t actually found one that I really liked. So yeah, I’m starting to rethink that one. It’s quite possible Peaches was a very special anomaly. ๐Ÿ˜›

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  23. Hi, Iโ€™m a late entrant to the k&c drama party(Thank you, Netflix) A friend suggested your blog as a reference point and I checked out your reviews on the shows Iโ€™ve watched. Mostly, Iโ€™ve found our viewpoints matching though there were a few that we seemed to have opposing thoughts on.
    On this one, your review is bang on! I did complete it only because I have this absolute need to finish anything I start be it a book or a movie or a tv show. I can honestly say I completely skipped whole episodes in the middle just so I could get to the finish line. Sometimes, I wondered why I was putting myself through this! I started off liking the male lead then became indifferent. The FLโ€™s childish innocence was okay for a while then started grating on my nerves. For a while during the middle episodes, I fervently wished someone would knock some sense into her ๐Ÿ˜ก
    Ultimately, I felt so let down because honestly I thought the premise had so much potential. Some what like how I feel after watching a Indian show ๐Ÿ˜›
    Okay, my rant for the day is done!
    BTW if I have failed to mention it, I love reading your reviews.

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    • Hi there Sandya, welcome to the blog! I’m happy that your friend’s recommendation didn’t disappoint and that you enjoy the reviews! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I giggled at your rant, especially about the childish aura of the female lead. I feel ya, there were definitely times when I was really So. Over. it, because it just didn’t ring true to me. Hopefully you won’t be feeling too sore about this drama for very long, and that another, better drama will come along to steal your heart! โค

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I’m with you on this one. Didn’t love it at first but stayed through first few eps and got sucked in by OTP moments, then started losing interest and pretty much fast forwarded through most of it. There’s a whole lot of love for this drama out there but for me personally, even though it had its moments, it wasn’t quite on the level of 3L3W Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. Maybe Mark Chao was the secret sauce lol. ๐Ÿ˜

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    • OMG Owl Star, I feel like you liked exactly the bits I liked, quite possibly, and then just did the smarter thing and FF-ed through all the stuff that didn’t work for you. I wish I’d done what you did! ๐Ÿ˜† I ended up FF-ing through to the end coz so many people told me I was seriously missing out and that it got much better.. It was better than where I’d originally stopped, but I must confess, I don’t think I would’ve missed ALL that much if I hadn’t gone back to FF through to the end. This show does have a lot of love, but I guess it’s just not really for me. I’m with you on Peaches, and yes, Mark Chao was quite possibly the secret sauce! ๐Ÿ˜†

      Like

  25. Xu Feng’s voice actor is Deng Lun himself! Haha.

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  26. Your criticisms were spot on, and I felt mostly the same way as you at that point in the story. But ep 43 is such a game changer for this show, and the last 10 episodes were so good. It really is a shame you put in all that time and didn’t even get to see the best parts!

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    • Hi there jc – I must give you credit for getting me to at least FF through to the end of Ashes to see the important bits. You were right, E43 was a total game changer. I still didn’t enjoy the show as much as I had in the beginning, but it did have a bit of an uptick towards the end. For the record, though, without the FF button, I wouldn’t have been able to last through to the end. ๐Ÿ˜›

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  27. Sad to know that you dropped it…I agree with you that there were a lot of things that made me fast forward a lot of stuff. But cling on I did, for Xu Feng. I wish you had seen his journey till the end. It was worth the time and effort for me ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Hi there TC, sorry this reply comes so late. After everyone told me that I was missing out in a big way, I FF-ed my way through to the end of Ashes, just to see the important bits, so I didn’t miss everything. It did become more interesting right at the end, but I must confess, without the FF button, I would’ve never survived to see the end! ๐Ÿ˜†

      Like

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