Ashes of Love/Heavy Sweetness, Ash-like Frost (2018) 香蜜沉沉烬如霜
starring Yang Zi as Jinmi, Deng Lun as Xufeng, Luo Yunxi as Runyu, Wang Yifei as Suihe, Xia Zhiyuan as Danzhu, Liao Jingfeng as Yanyou, Zhang Junran as Lord Liaoyuan, Chen Yuqi as Liuying, Zou Tingwei as Muci
After becoming a fan of Deng Lun (after I saw him in Sweet Dreams), I searched for his dramas and happened to chance upon this drama. But it is a long series China period/historical drama and the plot of such drama is usually a combination of reincarnation and tragic love+sacrifice which I dont really like. Finished this drama at around September-October. Happy to get a hold of this drama and Sweet Dreams when there is a lack of kdramas to watch.
Loved the fantasy element in this drama! Liked how the characters can fly in the air, especially liked the scene when Xufeng brings Jinmi up to Heaven Realm and flies through the different layers of skies. They have supernatural powers depending on the tribes (?) they are from such as Bird tribe, Dragonfish tribe, Flower tribe. Xufeng’s power is based on fire as his parents are dragon and phoenix while his elder stepbrother’s power is based on water as his parents are dragon and dragonfish. Jinmi’s power is based on flower and water. Liked how Xufeng is powerful and can use his power for many purposes such as healing, transformation, fighting. He looks good when shooting fire arrows haha. Liked how Jinmi can grow different types of plants and herbs with her power, especially healing herbs. My sister likes water power the most as she likes water but too bad the guy with water power is not the main lead. It is cool how they can change clothes using power!
Loved the scenery in this drama, especially when they go to Demon World, the beautiful river and sky! Liked the boat-riding when going there haha.
Liked the development of relationship between Xufeng and Jinmi.
For the first part, it is fun to watch how naive and playful Jinmi slowly breaks the ice with seemingly cold Xufeng. Could see that Xufeng has a good time having Jinmi by his side haha. After he brings her up to Heaven Realm, he helps her improve by making her memorise the spells (?) and theories. When she is lazy, he punishes her once by transforming her into different objects. Enjoyed watching how Xufeng cant help but smile when Jinmi complains about him or at Jinmi’s naivety. It is funny how Jinmi only thinks of how to increase her power and can do anything for that. Jinmi saves Xufeng a few times but I think she causes more danger to him haha. Because of Jinmi, the invincible Xufeng ends up getting injured as Jinmi either distracts him or causes him to risk his life to save her. But I guess that shows how important Jinmi is to Xufeng and how she has an impact on him. Although Jinmi cant feel love due to her deceased mother putting the Unfeeling pill in her, I could feel the relationship and love between them growing. Liked how Xufeng gradually falls for her and how Jinmi cares for him. The two defining moments in their relationship to me are when Xufeng is injured because of Jinmi, Jinmi’s sudden forced kiss to feed Xufeng the healing herb she grew and when she believes in Moon immortal and hugs Xufeng to repay his kindness and he accepts it happily. This part was the best to me. Feel that the love is simple at this point and it is good that no one is interfering. I chased the drama for this part. I watched the drama while it was screening. Luckily, many episodes were added per week.
For the second part where the relationship between Jinmi and Xufeng starts from scratch as they both go to the mortal world and their memories are erased, there are some similarities with the first part like Jinmi meeting Xufeng through saving him. The main difference here is that the unfeeling pill starts to crack and Jinmi is able to feel her love for Xufeng. Xufeng is now the king and Jinmi is a physician who is forbidden to marry anyone and will be buried with the king when he dies. Liked how there is a different scenario and subplot and their relationship gets to develop again. Especially liked the scenes when Jinmi didnt know Xufeng is the king and Xufeng pretends he is still unable to hear so that he wont cause any potential danger to her. Although there is less fantasy element due to them being at the mortal world and Jinmi, Xufeng not being able to use their powers, I enjoyed the romantic scenes and their chemistry. Touched by their love in this part.
For the final tragic parts, what hits me the most is their longing for each other and there are some good emotion-provoking scenes.
Liked how Yang Zi portrayed Jinmi and Deng Lun portrayed Xufeng and they add depth to the characters. Felt that Yang Zi’s crying scenes touched me more than Deng Lun’s ones haha. For example, I felt like crying when she cries for her reincarnated friend who sacrifices her life for Jinmi once again. Yang Zi acted well and she feels different when she is the naive and playful Jinmi and the confident and lovely mortal world Jinmi. My sister was hit by the scene where Xufeng is sad, happy then sad and she almost drops the drama. He is sadly playing the harp at first, thinking that he has no chance with Jinmi since they have the same father then he is suddenly very happy as Jinmi’s biological father comes in and say that Jinmi is his daughter and then he is sad as it is already part of an agreement between the elders that his elder stepbrother is supposed to marry her. Felt that Deng Lun’s expressions are on point. Felt sad at the scene where Xufeng bids farewell to Jinmi and say they are not meant to be together to Jinmi who he cant see as she was under invisibility spell. The atmosphere for that scene was well-evoked. Liked how Xufeng is very sure of what he wants and is able to reject what his mother plans for him.
Liked how there are many distinct characters in the drama and enjoyed watching the interactions between characters.
Liked the relationship between Xufeng and his stepbrother, Runyu, at the start. Runyu protects his younger brother, Xufeng, and Xufeng stands up for Runyu when others talk negatively about him or when Xufeng’s mother try to frame Runyu for things he did not do. However, this changes due to Jinmi later on haha… Didnt like Runyu as a character after he uses the elders’ agreement to his advantage. It is fine if he competes with his brother for Jinmi but he should not have taken advantage of the unfeeling pill in Jinmi for his own purposes. Didnt like it when one of the servants say that in terms of history, Jinmi is meant to be with Runyu first since the agreement is set long ago. Without Xufeng meeting Jinmi, she wont even be acknowledged as Water immortal’s daughter.
Liked the relationship between Xufeng and his uncle, the Moon immortal. Liked the character, the Moon/fox immortal Danzhu, who is in charge of love and marriages of mortal beings, as he is cute and funny haha and eager to help Xufeng and Jinmi get together. He is actually powerful and old but his actions make him seem like a child haha. Liked how Danzhu is always on Xufeng’s side and supports and guides him when needed.
Liked how Lord Liaoyuan, Xufeng’s personal guard, is loyal to Xufeng and was touched when he sacrifices his life for Xufeng (sry for the spoiler). Liked the relationship between playful Yanyou, snake deity, and Jinmi. Although Yanyou likes her, he doesnt mind staying by her side and just being her friend. Liked how Jinmi can summon Yanyou when she is bored and Yanyou is happy to come whenever his help is needed. Felt sad for Yanyou when his good friend, Rat immortal, is killed. Liked how he chooses not to participate in Runyu’s revolution later on. Suihe looks quite pretty haha with her costume. Felt neutral about her character. She is too persistent to be with Xufeng even though she knows Xufeng doesnt like her. The only time I felt sad for her is when she recalls that she cruelly killed her mortal father to save Xufeng and feels sad about it after she returns to Heaven Realm. Liked the relationship between Liuying+her father and Xufeng. Xufeng helps them when they need it and they later help to hide him when Runyu is all out to make sure he is dead. Didnt like the relationship between Muci and Liuying enough as I think I happened to skip most of the parts they are in. Guess it is some nice tidbits haha.
Didnt like Jinmi’s father as he supports Runyu without knowing how cruel he can become. Didnt like Jinmi’s father as he can neither protect the woman he loved in the past, nor can he protect his current family later on. I felt that it was not a good choice to let Jinmi stay in Heaven Realm after Jinmi’s father acknowledges that Jinmi is his daughter. Heaven Realm is a dangerous place to be at haha. They should have followed what Jinmi’s mother wants and let her be alone at the Flower Realm and be free of problems. But I guess that cant happen for the plot to develop haha. Liked how Linxiu doesnt try to force Jinmi’s father to like her even though they are married, as well as how she treats Jinmi as her own daughter. Felt neutral towards Xufeng’s parents+didnt like the bad deeds they did but liked how they treat Xufeng.
The pace for this drama is good for around episodes 1-14 and episodes 18-32 and those parts I wrote in The best way to watch Ashes of Love. It is slow at other times but to me this drama is overall worth the time. I skipped quite a lot and scanned through here and there. I was satisfied with the ending and happy it is not a tragic one haha. Felt that there was good closure for the characters.
Woah, this review is so tedious as there are so many characters to write about haha… This is the first time I watched a China Period/Historical Drama and maybe the last time. See if any other such drama is worth the time haha.
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