Just finished Love Between Fairy & Devil(henceforth LBFD because that is a mouthful XD)
I knew it was one of the highest-rated currently airing cdramas but I didn’t expect it to be SO. FREAKING. GOOD. It is with the mixed emotions of happiness and regret that I confess now - LBFD has replaced Ashes of Love as my favorite xianxia ever.
With only 36 episodes, it’s one of the shortest xianxias there is. It’s an S+ production, that is, the highest level of quality and budget a cdrama can have. And it lives up to that completely. From the CGI and VFX to the acting, direction, and scriptwriting - it blew my mind. I was blissfully wrapped up in their world for most of the thirty-six hours. The OST was hauntingly beautiful. Play that one “Tearful Goodbye” song and I’ll instantly fall down crying. The songs were all creatively placed, get you in the feels, and break your heart.
The CGI was in a class of its own. It complimented the actors’ good looks beautifully and brought the drama to a new level. It wasn’t just careless shoving of money everywhere. Lots of creativity and effort went into those well-placed, well-designed sets and action scenes. They literally built that world from scratch, and it was convincingly, fantastically beautiful.
The costumes were creative, detailed and chosen well for different scenes and settings. Some of it was funny because of the budget but I had fun reading the TCs.
I’ll get the cons done with first -
The FL’s babyish voice. ALL RIGHT. I did my duty and mentioned it. Personally, I wasn’t bothered much because the story and her acting were too good to miss just because of that minor inconvenience.
The last stretch(eps 32-36) was a teeny bit rocky. They tried to stretch it a little and gave unnecessary characters more screen time. The ending was abrupt and rushed BUT… fans screamed so loud that they’re giving us two epilogue episodes!
(cue wild, high-pitched, excited screaming and giggling)
The other thing is that, somewhere in the last stretch, the writers momentarily veered into typical xianxia territory, with some frustratingly unnecessary angst that could have been avoided. As usual, they make the ML suffer terribly for things he’s done and things he hasn’t done, and the things other people have done, and the things other people frame him for doing, and the things other people think he’s done. But that’s expected from a xianxia and, well, (cough, cough) the writers make up for it. Really. With a scene that I re-watched at least ten times before I had the strength and wits and sanity to move on.
That’s it. All the cons I could think of.
Dylan Wang. ohhhh Dylan Wang. I’ve never seen him before but he was AWESOME. Played his dual roles to perfection, made you feel every emotion his character felt, and made you fall completely, irreversibly, unwaveringly in love. I will never let go of my AOL Phoenix, but Dylang Wang’s Moon Supreme Dongfang Qingcang now shares the top spot with him. His eyes told entire stories. I love the way he carries himself as the Moon Supreme. You feel like dropping facedown whenever he passes XD
I loved DFQC’s character. As I said before, I was kinda tired of MLs who were constantly weighed down by the responsibilities that their heavenly ranks gave them, having to dance to the tunes of some useless Golden Head Emperor who never participated in any wars and had so much time on his hands that he spent his time punishing innocent people for no reason and forbidding random people from falling in love. Moon Supreme is your typical badass bad boy with a kind, dorky heart, ready to burn anything that stands in his way with his hellfire. His “I am the rules” smoldering self was a treat to watch - and his dual role when he switches souls with FL is hilarious.
Esther Yu is a cutie. I watched her before with Ryan Deng in the drama Moonlight. But xianxias always make the actors bring a lot more to the table. I was impressed with her acting. She’s your typical xianxia FL who starts out silly and innocent and grows up throughout the show. What sets her apart from the other FLs I’ve watched was her ride-or-die attitude. She was brave, kind, and formed her own opinions of people, instead of listening to what others said. She suited her role as a neutral deity perfectly. I absolutely LOVED how she earns the respect of all the subordinates of the Demon Realm. It was so cool to watch how they accepted her as their Moon Queen.
Dylan and Esther had loads and LOADSSSS of chemistry, too good to be true. The tension was perfect, and the two of them were just adorable. They complimented each other. I loved how the misunderstandings were minimal. I said this to some others but I have to post it here:
My eyes nearly fell out of my head and I went to check whether the sun was rising from the west when the FL didn’t go completely ballistic after someone told her ML was responsible for her family’s death. I liked how both had pretty strong personalities, thought for themselves, and came to compromises. I also loved how they didn’t let their “forbidden love” and various deadlocked issues come in between them. The deadlocked issues took time to sort through but they didn’t break up just because their views didn’t match.
The kisses were well-placed and creatively done. It wasn’t too much, nor was it too little.
I had the best time ever watching them switch bodies. They were just crazy and the actors pulled it off soooo well
I didn’t have much love for the SML, but he was really, really funny in Mortal Realm. His bromance with ML is just so hilarious; they had me laughing constantly
ML’s dragon sidekick was another source of constant laughter. They were true brothers, picking each other up, teasing each other, grieving together, and figuring out how women’s brains worked - blind leading the blind style
I think the theme of the drama was letting go. A lot of the main characters(and even the villain) all had to learn to let go of things. Letting go of the past, letting the other make a decision that will hurt instead of constantly trying to protect, letting go of revenge, pride, prejudice, and guilt - and what hurts the most - letting go of a person. ML had it hardest, as is the norm with xianxias. I liked the arc about his father and how he had to learn to forgive and heal. As the leader of what is known as the Demon Realm, he has to protect his people but also let go of his prejudice towards the Heavenly Realm, even though it’s filled with the most selfish jerks ever. Forgiving when the other refuses to forgive is a hard thing to do. As a leader and a lover, the Moon Supreme had a lot to learn and sacrifice.
Both main leads’ growth was fantastic. The artistic visual effects coupled with heartfelt OSTs were used so well, making some scenes “visual poems”… expressing abstract ideas visually. I really really want to describe some of those amazing scenes but I can’t give away spoilers