[Chinese Drama] Ashes to Love (香蜜沉沉烬如霜)

Starring: Deng Lun, Yang Zi, Luo Yunxi, Wang Yifei, Chen Yuqi, Zou Ting Wei

Total number of episodes: 63

This drama could have slipped through my radar if it wasn’t for Netflix and their recommendation notification (yes, thank you Netflix!). Even though the show was aired in 2018; I only managed to complete the series recently.

Ashes to Love is a fantasy drama based on a novel about the romance between Xu Feng (starred by Deng Lun), who is the fire immortal and Jin Mi (starred by Yang Zi), who is the daughter of the Flower Goddess that transcends the different realms.

Jin Mi first met Xu Feng at the Flower Realm after his Phoenix nirvana went wrong as he crash landed into the Flower Realm. After she rescued him, Xu Feng promises to bring Jin Mi to the heavenly realm to thank her for saving his life. As the two of them started to hang out more often, Xu Feng realizes that he was in love with Jin Mi. Meanwhile, as Jin Mi continued to be beside Xu Feng, she had also gotten to know other immortals such as Run Yu (starred by Luo Yunxi), the elder brother of Xu Feng, the Fox Immortal (also known as the matchmaker) and even a demon Liu Ying (starred by Chen Yuqi).

However, due to Jin Mi leaving the Flower Realm and to the Heavenly Realm, it was found out that she was actually the daughter of the previous Flower Goddess. Since then, she was often put in harm’s way by various immortals, such as the Heavenly Empress herself. It was also because of her birth history that she became the Fiancee of Run Yu, which caused Xu Feng to be heartbroken and would do anything to have Jin Mi.

As a result, things began to spiral out of control as the two brothers go against each other to win Jin Mi’s heart…

Let me be honest… Apart from the fact that it is a fantasy drama that suits my palate, I watched this drama because of the main lead Deng Lun. I knew of his presence since my Sis mentioned about him in another drama that she had watched. Though I never got around to watch the drama that he had filmed previously which was recommended by my sister, this guy was on my radar. So it was natural choice for me to give this show a try when it was out on Netflix. It was as I watched this drama did I realized that Deng Lun’s acting skills were pretty good. I personally felt that he was very suitable for the role of the Fire God Xu Feng and how he portrayed his character as the story progresses.

Then we have Yang Zi, whom I knew as she acted in another drama that I had watched previously. Initially, it was hard to like Jin Mi the character because after all, the Yang Zi that I knew in dramas was someone powerful, cold. So when Jin Mi turned out to polar opposites, it was hard to adapt in my opinion. (Author side note, I initially watched 5 episodes of the show and stopped for a good 1-2 months because priorities. I picked up this show up again during my Shanghai trip because I was having a lot of free time). However, after getting used to Jin Mi, it wasn’t so hard to continue with the show. The story also picked up in the later episodes so it was worthwhile.

I really enjoyed the two lead characters and their scenes together. Though it was more fluffy at the start before things turn south and it became more upsetting.

Of course, I will need to give credits to the supporting casts that had made the show more enjoyable. I personally like the demon princess Liu Ying (starred by Chen Yuqi) and have also made a mental note to keep a look out for her future dramas!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Unfortunately for Ashes to Love, the water injection ( 注水剧 ) made to the drama was very apparent. Midway to the drama, I was back to fast forwarding game because the focus had shifted from male and female lead to the supporting casts; Run Yu and Liu Ying.

I’m not saying that drama shouldn’t showcase the backstory of the supporting casts. However, when the supporting casts story takes up approximately 5-6 episodes (if not even more), it drags the show.

What keeps me going for this drama was because I want to know if there was any happy ending for the main couple. (I was really praying for it at some point). But I was happy with how the plot turns out at the end of the day.

Do I recommend this drama? Definitely! (of course, if you get really bored in the middle, I recommend the fast forwarding option). Of course, this could be purely biased, because I am known to like fantasy genre dramas amongst my family and friends.

Ashes to love can be found on Netflix.

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