Bloody Romance might be one of those dramas that you would probably skip over because of the cliché plot and unfamiliar cast. But don’t let that fool you. The story itself has extremely well written characters and a plot that is woven with intricate details. The drama is definitely geared towards an older and more mature audience due to its violent content. However, nonetheless, I think this drama deserves some special recognition, which is why I wanted to write a review of it. So here it is!
BEWARE OF SPOILERS!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! ^_^
Click here to see information about the plot and character list at my First Impression page on this drama.
So, What Happens?
Just a little FYI on what happens in the drama if you want to know.
You can fine more information on this on my First Impression page. But the beginning is all about Wan Mei undergoing training to become an assassin. Not only this, but she is starting to understand how hard it is going to be for her to become a killer, as she’s never killed anyone before. She beginnings to doubt herself as to if she can really become a killer. And this makes her an easy target for other trainees that want to get rid of her, as well as for Cha Luo, who doesn’t like her.
Wan Mei goes through various trials (aka missions) that test her morals and confidence. Each trial is worse than the other because the more she goes forward, the farther she finds herself stepping back and not able to move on. This is because her conviction is tested each time. The more she kills, the more she hurts and suffers. But it is during these trials that she finally learns what it means to fail. During a mission where she failed to kill her victim, she is caught, sent to be tortured mercilessly, and suffers a fate even worse than being punished to death. But she survives it all. And, because she survives it, she becomes a stronger person.
Wan Mei is a stronger person than she was three years ago when she first came to Gui Hua City. Because of this, she is more determined to survive and overthrow Cha Luo to become the next ruler.
My most favorite part of this drama was watching Wan Mei. I think she is a perfect example of what happens when an innocent person is dragged into a chaotic world and forced to become someone that she doesn’t want to be but has to in order to survive. At the beginning, Wan Mei is weak, useless, and can’t do much. She cries a lot and begs to run away. Even though this may throw people off about her character, I think her reaction is actually pretty natural of someone in her situation. I mean, if it were me, I would certainly do the same thing she did.
The writers of the drama really did a good job with starting her off like this so that we can see how she was in the beginning to what she becomes at the end, because she totally changes. For example, each mission that Wan Mei is given tests her conviction and morals. She is obviously deeply saddened at killing people and she wavers a lot, but, in completing these missions, she becomes much stronger. She begins to understand the weight of what it means to be an assassin and what it means to survive and be strong. To me, it felt like each mission she went on was a test to her to see if she’d give up and let herself fall, but, thankfully, she doesn’t.
Wang Mei & Chang An
But I can’t go without talking about Wan Mei and Chang An’s relationship, because this is truly what ultimately causes her to change. Chang An is Wan Mei’s love interest. He has a quiet personality, but you can tell that he holds a deep secret. He initially is her servant (aka shadow) in the drama. His purpose is to serve her with an unyielding loyalty and protect her with his life. In the beginning, Chang An is the one who trains her in martial arts and helps her learn to become an assassin. In doing so, Wan Mei starts to deeply trust him. Her trust in him comes from the fact that he had been the only person to truly help her and be sincere towards her after everything that she had gone through. To her, Chang An was a saint because he was genuine and protected her.
“Anyway, I won’t fail you…” Chang An, Ep 8
However, this trust is given the ultimate test when Wan Mei fails a mission due to Chang An’s wavering (duh duh duh). And, due to this, Wan Mei has to suffer the repercussions of it. She is immensely tortured to the extent of death but is allowed to live so that the torment could continue the following day. And this is what drives her to hate Chang An, and her hate eventually is what helps her to overcome her insecurities.
“When I was in the heaven prison, what I hated the most is not the scratch on my face, or those silver needles running against my blood flow, or when they broke my leg every day. They would break it in the mornings and set it back at nights. Broke it and set it again. What I hated the most is you. Because you are the only one who promised that you would never ever fail me.” Wan Mei, Ep 16
She realizes that her trust in Chang An was part of what made her still weak and vulnerable. She relied too much on him. And that’s when she resolves to stop relying on others and only rely on herself, as only she can help herself survive in Gui Hua City.
But this does not stop her relationship with Chang An. After a serious of misunderstands, such as this incident, Chang An’s royal identity, Gong Zi’s conflicting feelings towards Wan Mei, and Cha Luo’s desire to kill them, they both overcome it and their feelings deepen. Towards Wan Mei, Chang An is willing to do anything to protect her and keep her happy and safe. Towards Chang An, Wan Mei is willing to give up everything and follow him. But fate is cruel to them and continues to test them over and over again. Eventually, they both had to separate with Chang An following in the will of his late father (to overthrow the current emperor) and Wan Mei is determined to become the new ruler of Gui Hua City. The departure between the two was soooo heartbreaking, but it’s what eventually helps Wan Mei to become stronger.
Gong Zi and Yue Ying are two interesting characters that I both secretly like. One reason is because they both are stronger than Wan Mei and are resolute. They don’t waver and have regrets like Wan Mei. When they are determined to do something, they do it without ever looking back. But I think they are like this because they had already gone through what Wan Mei went through at the beginning of their lives. Gong Zi had a sad childhood, with his mother blinding him and him being forced to live in ridicule by the emperor and prime minister. His own experiences since young forced him to be coldblooded and cruel. To him, people are only tools or obstacles, and if they hinder his plans, he will remove them. This is why Wan Mei dislikes him. Even though he helped and supported her, she doesn’t want to become a cruel person like him. She can only treat him like a friend and never reciprocate his feelings for her.
“What he does now is the same as me. But why is it different in your mind?” Gong Zi.
“He won’t look down on me waiting for me to ask for anything. He will do anything he can, even at the cost of his life, for me to achieve my goal. So, he’s nothing like you at all.” Wan Mei, Ep 34.
But it is his feelings for Wan Mei that helps him become a better-ish person. The goodness of her heart touches him and gives him a conscience. Hence, why he is unwilling to let her go, but eventually does because she doesn’t love him.
Liu Guang is another character that I like, and that I wish the series focused more on. She literally is only present in a few episodes. To an established actress like Puff Guo to have such a small role like this was truly disappointing. Not only this, but Liu Guang’s character plays an important role in Cha Luo’s dethroning. I just wish they put some more emphasis on her since it seemed like her storyline was also very complicated, much like the main characters. Heck, we got to know about Wan Xiang’s background story more and she wasn’t even that important of character, other than being the one that tries to best Wan Mei at everything.
Cha Luo & Xing Feng
Cha Luo and Xing Feng were the ultimate obstacle for Wan Mei to become the ruler of Gui Hua City. But, even though this evil pair were always up to no good, I pity them a lot. You could tell that Cha Luo had her fair share of suffering and the only reason why she is ruthless and cruel is because she, just like Wan Mei, underwent numerous torturous trials. But, unlike Wan Mei, Cha Luo became crazy and let go of her good heart in order to get revenge on those who looked down on her and wanted her dead. So, in a sense, Cha Luo is just like Wan Mei, but, instead of choosing to listen to her heart and believe in good, she gave it up for the sake of vengeance.
I will not go into much detail about the end, but I will say that it was befitting of this drama. You could already tell from the beginning that it wasn’t going to be a happy ending. And, I will say that while it was heartbreaking, even more so when Wan Mei was being tortured in prison, it really was needed for her to learn to move on.
Of all the characters in this drama, I think Wan Mei was probably the most pitiful, but also the most resilient. Why? Because she was the only one that, regardless of whatever obstacle stood in her way, continued to still believe in good. And every time, she was met with a disappointing end. She was betrayed, tortured, ridiculed, mocked, and looked down upon. But, even so, she persevered and stood by her morals which was why she was able to survive all those times. And, that’s why I believe she stood out the most. Unlike the others who had given in to their fates, she still fought back regardless of what others told her and whatever was thrown at her.
For those of you who’ve watched the drama, please let me know what you think of it below!