Song of the Moon (2022) 月歌行
Summary: Wealthy maiden Liu Shao 柳梢 ft Xu Lu 徐璐 has her fate changed as a young girl by a mysterious man. Ten years later, she is targeted by a powerful demon on her 18th birthday but is saved by the handsome Lu Li 陆离 ft Zhang Bin Bin 张彬彬. Little does Liu Shao know, her subsequent interactions with Lu Li were all preplanned in an effort to untangle mysteries of both Liu Shao and Lu Li’s past.
Total Episode Count: 40
Initial Airing Date: Dec 15, 2022
*Note – most English translations are my own and may not exactly match iQiYi’s official translations
Initial Score: 5.5/10 – A middling fantasy drama that falls into many familiar tropes for the genre. A good looking cast and impressive cgi does not make up for the drama’s lackluster writing especially for the main female lead.
Final Score: 5/10 – A meandering story with convoluted plot points, a female lead that kept getting the men who love her hurt and villains that refused to learn their lesson, this drama was one of wasted potential and frustration.
Liu Shao 柳梢 /Yao Ling 曜灵- Xu Lu 徐璐
Daughter of a wealthy family, the kind and naive Liu Shao’s life is upended on her 18th birthday as a powerful demon attacks her. She heads to Duke Wu Yang’s manor to learn skills to repel demons only to find that she has hidden powers within her. In her past life, she was the goddess Yao Ling.
Lu Li 陆离 /Luo Ge洛歌 – Zhang Bin Bin 张彬彬
Mortal Lu Li studied under Lu Sheng and did his bidding to trick Liu Shao into entering the manor of Duke Wu Yang. There, he wished to use Liu Shao’s help in procuring the powerful Bao Yue Sword. However, he falls in love with Liu Shao and sacrifices himself to save her and the rest of his mortal friends. Little does he know, Lu Li’s true form is Luo Ge, the all powerful fairy leader and also the moon god Yue Guang.
He Na 诃那 – Wang You Shuo 王佑硕
King of the Aquatic Demon Clan 寄水族。 Kind hearted and serene, his life’s goal is to break the curse that prevents his people from leaving water. He falls in love with Liu Shao.
Luo Ning 洛宁 – Zheng He Hui Zi 郑合惠子
Younger sister of the fairy leader Luo Ge, a cheerful and loving young woman who dotes on her older brother. She makes friends and ultimately falls in love with A Fu Jun.
A Fu Jun 阿浮君 – Wang Yi Lun 王以纶
Younger brother of He Na, this prince hates that his demon clan and his brother have a humiliating existence and conspires with others to destroy the fairy clan. He falls in love with Luo Ning but that does not prevent him from wreaking havoc for his brother.
Bai Feng 白凤 – Ma Yue 马月
Bai Feng and Lu Li studied together with the same master during their youth and since then, Bai Feng has liked this younger brother. Initially a spy for their master as a student of Duke Wu Yang, she turns to the dark side when she discovers that Lu Li falls in love with Liu Shao instead.
Liu Shao is bumbling, naive, kind but beautiful. She, despite being mortal, has the hidden powers of an all powerful sun goddess Yao Ling 曜灵 within her. Scheming but righteous Lu Li falls in love with Liu Shao even though he was instructed to use her by his teacher to get to the famous Bao Yue Sword owned by the demon Moon god. Liu Shao at first only sees Lu Li as a friend but in turn starts developing feelings for him as well. Meanwhile, Aquatic Demon King He Na also falls in love with Liu Shao but his love is unrequited. He is upstanding about his feelings not being returned while Bai Feng, Lu Li’s older classmate becomes insanely jealous that Lu Li would ditch her for Liu Shao and decides to retaliate.
Lu Li ends up sacrificing himself but is revealed to be Luo Ge of the Fairy Clan instead and is revived. Liu Shao becomes weepy that Luo Ge doesn’t remember her nor their love. Bai Feng. who betrays the mortals, also ends up with the fairy clan and continues to wreak havoc there for Luo Ge and Liu Shao. Elsewhere, A Fu Jun, He Na’s younger brother starts manipulating Luo Ge’s younger sister Luo Ning but they ultimately fall in love. A Fu Jun and Liu Shao become He Na’s biggest headaches as he tries to suppress the former from causing too much trouble and save the latter from all the punishments she is subjected to.
Add into the mix revenge and hatred that has lasted generations between the Aquatic Demon and Fairy clan plus the Sun Goddess and Moon God that fell in love but are destined to not be together because they could then destroy the entire world, that’s the general idea for this drama.
Sadly, this was not by any means a good drama. Zhang Bin Bin and Xu Lu separately made a great cast and the money poured into making a beautiful drama on screen could not save it from poor writing and uninteresting villains. This I think was a pretty widespread consensus because this fantasy drama only breached 8000 in iQiYi’s popularity index, well below what a fantasy drama of this caliber should have expected.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t pay TOO much attention while watching this drama and had it on 2x speed because it was just a boring and also infuriating watch. I’m just sad there was so much wasted potential. You will be in awe of the production because it is a feast for the eyes but the story was too boring to make me want to care. There were plenty of interesting magical items introduced to this drama but the items did not feel impactful, as with many other aspects of this drama.
Why did I not like this drama?
Female lead that had few redeeming qualities: I like Xu Lu even though I haven’t seen her in anything else yet outside of Empresses in the Palace. She is undeniably beautiful in this drama. But man, the character Liu Shao constantly had Lu Li, then Luo Ge, and He Na come save her because she would end up getting punished or walking into traps for the ENTIRE drama. I personally do not know how these men have any powers or health left because they were saving her non-stop. Her caring and kind personality did not make her interesting enough for me to care that much about it because often times it was her bleeding heart that led to her pain.
Villains that refused to be killed off: Bai Feng and A Fu Jun went round and round in the drama doing bad things, being captured and escaping, then doing bad things again. It just got boring after a while, or you just think, can we please make the main characters a little smarter? Bai Feng in particular was unimaginative. Her motivations stemmed largely from jealousy. A Fu Jun had some interesting reasoning for his behavior since he wanted to seek revenge for his clan and help his brother but then he turned straight up abusive to Luo Ning and we can’t condone that. Both He Na and Luo Ge infuriated me because they let these villains go too easily and caused worse problems afterwards. The more interesting villain, Ao Hen was killed off early and I wish she had stayed longer.
Poorly written relationships: Liu Shao cried and whined for many many episodes when Lu Li died and was revived as Luo Ge who forgot who she was. She couldn’t believe her lover was gone and kept pestering him about whether or not he remembered her. She got really annoying afterwards. However, her actions don’t compare to the abusive relationship A Fu Jun had with Luo Ning. He straight up said “I will not allow you to leave me” when she realized he had tricked him. Um. EXCUSE ME??? He then went and kidnapped her. Much of this drama was rather snooze worthy but A Fu Jun actively made me angry for how many bad things he did but then was either forgiven or not caught.
Why should you watch this drama?
- Impressive CGI
- Beautiful costumes
- Wonderful settings and production design
- An all right original soundtrack
- Handsome looking cast
This is a breathtaking drama to watch if you want to enjoy a beautiful sight on screen.
I feel bad for how much I’m bashing this drama but again, it had the makings of a good drama but the story was just so poor it made me angry.
Did any of you like this drama?