[Review] Bloody Romance (媚者无疆)

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! ^_^

Title: Bloody Romance (媚者无疆)
# of Episodes: 36
Release Date: 7/24/2018
Where to Watch: YouTube (raw/subbed) / Viki

Plot/Storyline
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.
The Beginning.
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.
The Middle.
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.
The End.
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.

Overall
Wan Mei
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

媚者无疆长安真实身份是什么?长安目的是什么?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.

Animated GIF

Gong Zi
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.

Related image“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
Image result for 媚者无疆
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
Related imageCha 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.

The End
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!

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27 thoughts on “[Review] Bloody Romance (媚者无疆)

  1. I think Wang Duo, the actor portrying Gong Zi did a great job of making a manipulative character into someone who was likeble, sympathatic and, more interesting then Chang An. In the hands of another actor, Gong Zi may not be as appealing to the audiencr

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  2. Totally agree, omg; Gong Xi’fans r so blinded they drove me nuts, He’s such a ruthless, manipulative guy who clearly wants to control everything. How hard could it be to see through the beautiful face?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wan Mei’s love for Chang An is merely an attachment. Attachment is where you feel the need of talking to this person, you need to feel happy, you need to feel loved. You become heavily dependent upon your partner (in this case her shadow) and may even try to control him to avoid abandonment. Instead of confronting your own issues, you use your partner to improve your self-esteem and fill a void within you. You believe that they are responsible for your happiness and become frustrated and angry if they fail to bring you contentment.

    While Love itself does not need all that. It’s impulsive, it’s unreasonable. In actuality, love transcends control. Your partner’s ability to accept you for who you are and encourage you to pursue your dreams allows you to let go of your fear and become the best versions of yourselves. This is what Gong Zi taught Wan Mei. This is love

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    1. Completely disagree; Prince Ning’s love is abusive and controlling; no matter how much flowery words U wanted to use to describe his love for her, you cannot deny that he attempted to force himself on her twice and always tried to make Chang An look bad in front of her. He did help her to grow but mostly so he can use her as a pawn on his master chessboard, he did have feelings for her but it will never be enough for him to give up on his revenge path. Your completely ignorance of his manipulative love is why so many women got into an abusive relationship or fall for the wrong guys and did not understand why. The ability to see through the handsomeness and the smartness of a man to see who he really was is luckily what Wan Mei has. that’s why after everything she only loves Chang An, who truly loves her n cares about her happiness more than himself; who did everything to protect her humanity and kindness rather than forcing her to give up her heart to become a ruthless person like Cha Lou. The prince never deserves Wan Mei’s love because at the end of the day, he didn’t love anyone else more than his revenge plan.

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  4. ooooh nooo,, now i already watched this,, so good the story line, the charecter, is so satisfying.. all that i want in drama has been packaged in this drama now it’s difficult fo me to find another good drama that can suit my taste after watching this one,,, anyone can give me any recomendation for drama that have strong female lead ?? i mean not the female lead that strong and baddas in the beginning but get weaker an weaker when the male lead appear… i like this one the female weak at first but gradually stronger both mentally and physiccally ..

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    1. I can’t think of a Cdrama right now, but if you’re into Jdrama (Japanese dramas), then you should check out Tantei no Tantei. The female lead portrayed by Keiko Kitagawa is badass and I love her!!!

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    2. I’m like you where I enjoy watching cdramas with strong female leads. The female leads are weak at the beginning but progressively get stronger. The male leads ofc play a significant part in their growth but I’m not sure if they match the second part of your request (female lead gets weaker when the male lead appears) A few cdramas I recommend are “Legend of Fuyao” and “Princess Agents.” Princess Agents is very good. So good that I’m wishing for Season 2.

      BTW, does anyone know of a wuxia cdrama with a happy ending? These ones are rare. Any suggestions would be great =)

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        1. I enjoy watching similar cdramas to Bloody Romance, Princess Agents, Legend of Fuyao, and Ten Miles of Peach Blossom. So, strong female leads who know good martial arts, interesting story line, hot male leads with morale and martial arts experts OR it can be the other way around where the male lead was weak at the beginning but got stronger with each passing episode due to the help of the female lead’s advanced martial arts and moral guidance. I just feel like it was a waste of my time when I sit through 30+ episodes only to find out that the ending was tragic. Many of the cdramas have tragic endings and I, for once, want to watch with a happy ending or no cliff hangers. Just recommend any that are to my above liking and I’ll look into it =)

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          1. Then I recommend Lost Love in Times with Liu Shi Shi and William Chan. It gets draggy in the middle, but I love Liu Shi Shi’s character. She’s badass and extremely capable.

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            1. Thank you! Tbh, I had put that one on hold for a while but I will watch it while I’m waiting for eng subs to Minglan’s new episodes =)

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  5. I just love Gong Zi – his potrayal of the prince is spectacular. His emotions are controlled likes crescendo. I feel that Wan Mei is best complimented with Gong Zi. He understands her ambitions because it parallels his. Why? They both have the same fate growing up – both do not have the love or care of their parents. Chang An is kind however quite bland thus I feel does not paired well with Wan Mei. I just felt that Wan Mei’s and Chang An’s romance are inhibited and phlegmatic while I feel Wan Mei’s and Gong Zi’s feelings are exhilarating antipicated because it makes you as a viewers to be wishfully hoping for them to be a couple (I did). Chang An is stoic and not as expressive in profressing his love while Gong Zi, a proud nobleman dared to professed to Wan Mei that he loves her. What more can a woman wish for??? That speaks love to me. I believed that Wan Mei has attachment issues with Chang Anwhereby she believes that is love. This is something most young girls coming of age goes through when they fall for the first guy – foolishly blind. I don’t like the ending of bloody romance because it leaves you hanging and a feeling of annoyance.

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    1. Ah actually Going Xi is the one most young girls coming of age / stupid women would fall for because he is handsome and smart and then they would cry and scream later on as to why they got themselves into an abusive relationship. Only a shallow person would think Gong Xi was a good choice.

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    2. While I do agree that GongZi is a spectacular character, I don’t agree with what you said about Chang An. Chang An also did not have the love of his parents growing up, and shares the same motive as GongZi, revenge. Just because GongZi is more expressive in his feelings towards Wan Mei does not make him a better match for her. Chang An is a person that expresses his love silently, with all his actions speaking for themselves. When he does verbally say anything to Wan Mei, they’re worth more than the flowery words GongZi uses. True, Chang An does seem ‘bland’. But he’s so steady and strong in his feelings for Wan Mei that personally I’d choose him over GongZi: who wouldn’t hesitate to manipulate Wan Mei for his goals. I low key feel that you’re pushing your own wishes onto Wan Mei with some of your words. Granted, everyone does some self projection. But just because GongZi is a prince doesn’t mean ChangAn isn’t… He’s of royal descent too. I also do agree that Wan Mei had attachment issues with ChangAn, but what couldve she done, she was in such a scary place and he was the only one there for her. Where was GongZi when this was happening? Tbh I don’t think GongZi would’ve fallen for her if she didn’t fall for ChangAn. After all, the ‘first’ time they met, he got charmed by her sincere emotions towards ChangAn. He was moved by her will to live, and her unwavering belief in her morals and ChangAn. And when she was getting tortured, GongZi knew about it first, but didn’t try to save her. Even if he knew that if he tried she might’ve gotten killed and his stupid I’m not actually blind secret got out, so what? Isn’t she the person he likes? Why did he just let her be tortured like that? He surely could’ve done SOMETHING to lessen her pain. Yes, ChangAn made a huge ass mistake by trusting that a hole other girl. But he made up plenty in the future. And I really do think this torture helped WanMei grow like the reviewer said. So I’m not complaining there coz if we were still stuck with a naive WanMei then I’d bang my head against the wall… BUT my point is, bluntly said. I think GongZi is a manipulative piece of s that needs a pity party. He makes me sad but he’s such a frigging ass! Makes me wonder if he likes WanMei or if he just likes something he can’t have. Anyways I’d say that neither should end up with her, even if I personally want Wan Mei and Chang An to get together. Wan Mei has suffered too much. She deserves better.

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  6. I absolutely loved this – I agree the characters are so well written and their actions although sometimes frustrating was fitting of the situation and character growth. I’d say the ending was good – there is hope for a reunion!!! Please bring a season 2 coz I want more Gongzhi!!! I definitely loved this way more than Ashes! So happy to see another post spreading the love of this unappreciated drama!

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  7. I love the drama,easily became one of my top favs. LYT did an amazing job portraying Wan Mei. I only watched the drama for her but I ended up loving all the characters, even Cha luo. Especially love the romance between Wan Mei and Chang an, sweet yet bitter. Definitely hoping for a season 2!

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  8. Is this one of those drama again that reel you in and spat you out at the end like The King’s Woman. I don’t know how much more my poor heart could handle after watching all this heart wrenching dramas.

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    1. Well, there are a lot of heart breaking scenes that make you just wanna cry. So definitely prepare yourself if you want to watch this.

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      1. Hahaha Maybe I’ll just give my poor heart a break for awhile. I had been binged watching Dilraba and Vin Zhang’s drama together for over a month now, from “Pretty Liuh Zhen”, “The King’s Woman” and “The Flames Daughter”. And Im still feeling heartbroken right now😅😅😅. But no regrets I would have not known Raba & Binbin if I had not seen those drama. Very captivating performance and chemistry, would definitely wanna see them again in any future drama series and hoping for a happy ending.

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  9. Love the drama, Wan Mei transition from beginning, middle, and end was done write. So much fear and opmisism to a woman who had been through enough wanted to believe that there was still hope in the world. That part when she decided not to bting her little mei mei to that Hell showed how much she’d grown. Saying that the little girl should have a choice to enjoy life. Also, her relationship with Chang An was beautiful its like they were so fragile with each other and just wanted to be loved but didn’t know how. Anyways I NEED AN S2, THAT FOOLISH AT THE END WAS A KNOW *side eyes Princess Agent* also, I’M DISOWNING ANYONE WHO SHIPPED HER WITH GONGZI! She never gave him the time of day, he also saw her as a toy and ChangAn was right to tell him” i don’t want to own her, she’s not something to bw own” he just wants to be her light if she needs him.

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    1. LOL I initially hard-shipped Wan Mei with Gong Zi but after knowing him a bit more with each passing episode, he became the typical power hungry monarchy fool and therefore he was not the overall happy choice for Wan Mei, tho I do give Gong Zi lots of credit for helping Wan Mei to increase her martial arts. Wan Mei did well to not lead him on and to follow her heart, which is to Chang An.

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  10. This drama was a pleasant surprise stylistically. It looked great considering it did not have a big budget. i’d love what to see what this director could do with more money. The plot was interesting too but a bit convoluted at times. Unfortunately I wasn’t convinced by the main romance at all so I wasn’t at all invested in their relationship.

    Gong Zi was such a fascinating character. Wang Duo’s performance was superb and he was the best looking one in the drama IMO. I’d like to see more of his work.

    I was surprised by how inconsequential Puff Guo’s role was too. Maybe it’s a way to get her foot in the door in C-entertainment as she is not as well known there as she is in Taiwan.

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  11. Thank you for the end review, and I mostly agree with what you write here. The Bloody Romance is about Wan Mei’s journey. While Wan Mei tends to be Mary Sue-ish, the writing is actually rather feminist. Sure there is her love interest and another man who is in love with her. But to me it also feels like these characters are there — like you have also said — to help her character’s growth. And if you look at it, the two leading males can be said feminist as well. Chang An will let her be what she wants to be, but he will be there for her when she needs to and when she asks him to. (A little too perfect, I must say. But he has this annoying uncommunicative tendency). Gongzi likes to control her — but he understands what she’s capable of and has always encouraged her to use her potentials to the fullest, even if it is also to serve his purpose. And Gongzi likes to control everything, not just Wan Mei :))). Anyway, the ending could’ve been more suitable to my liking, but I think it fits the theme. It also doesn’t feel abrupt and actually has pretty good writing. Moreover, it feels hopeful :).

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