Kdrama Jen and I (Kmuse) loved doing the Chatty Recaps so much that we decided to try it again, this time with the new Chinese drama Bloody Romance–a story of female assassins, political intrigue, and sexy shadows. Will this one be as entertaining as Legend of Fuyao was? Come join us and find out as we begin our next Chatty Recap journey.
You might be wondering what a chatty recap is. That is where we ignore all linear plot details and just chat about the top aspects of the episodes that stood out to us. That could be an in-depth look into a certain character’s actions, or it could be about the cut of a dress or the flowing mane of glory one of the men is sporting. We are pretty open to any and all topics as long as they strike our fancy.
On the off chance you have a point that we did not cover in the recap, be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments. We are always open to more drama discussion and would be happy to share our thoughts in more detail there. So without further ado, let’s chat Bloody Romance!
Kmuse: This time you will probably have mostly myself & Kdrama Jen’s chatty thoughts. The other Fangirls are worn out on Chinese dramas for a tiny bit. Hopefully, it won’t lessen the experience for everyone. We just love these shows so much that we have to have some kind of outlet for our random thoughts.
Kdrama Jen: They don’t know what they are missing! We have already had plenty of murders and blood and internal politicking. Oh…right. It is Kmuse and I that enjoy that kind of thing. I guess I can see why they bailed. Still, I plan to spam them with pictures and quotes, just so they can see what they are giving up.
Wan Mei’s father really sucks
Due to the fact that he and his son are about to starve, Wan Mei’s father (we are going to just call her Wan Mei despite the fact she had another name at this point. Just makes things easier) sells her to a brothel for a bag of rice.
Kmuse: Wow. That is some cold-blooded parenting right there. Not even going to sell her in marriage or to be the woman of a single person. Nope, just sell her straight to a den of sin. I suspect I am not the only one that would happily see the father starve for what he did. Not to mention, he didn’t even let Wan Mei have a tiny bit of porridge before he sent her off.
Kdrama Jen: I actually felt a bit sorry for Daddy Awful at first. He was all hunched over and coughing. I thought he was avoiding eye contact with his daughter because he was at death’s door. Nope. The slimy excuse for a parent was selling off his daughter. And, you are right, it was especially harsh to send her off without giving her an opportunity to snack on that lumpy porridge.
This brothel is excessively creepy… except for the revolving dancing stage
Wan Mei is sold to a brothel and promptly slated as a virgin sacrifice. Her first customer lusts after her blood . . . literally. Wan Mei escapes, only to find herself in the clutches of a successful general whose lecherous likes include tying up virgins and deflowering them. Rumor is that when a woman enters his camp, they don’t last for more than three days before death. Needless to say, he is no better than the blood drinker and our heroine is in trouble. On an up note, the brothel has a super cool revolving stage where the dancers try to entrance the men. I know that I am entranced by the unique directing this prop created.
Kmuse: I get it, brothels are home to all kinds of deviants. But do we have to have super creepy ones who want to bleed virgins dry and drink their blood? Ew. Wan Mei’s disgust and interest in escaping are totally valid. Luckily for her, the general has a price on his head and his days are numbered. Even better, it happens before she is deflowered by the disgusting pervert.
Kdrama Jen: Now, can we really blame someone for wanting to guzzle down a goblet of virgin blood? It’s purported to cure all kinds of ailments. I am not sure we should be getting all “judgy” when someone is just trying to take care of their health. Maybe you think Flintstones chewables are yummy and he thinks they are gross. Yeah, I’m not buying it either. It’s just icky. Good thing the General was being stalked by the lady with the blood-sucking parasol and a can of killer bugs. Have you ever imagined being in a situation where the less revolting option would be a lady assassin with face-eating insects?
Survival is the name of the game
Wan Mei is informed that, since she is a plucky kind of girl, there is a possibility of breaking free. If she escapes the brothel and arrives at the cemetery before sunset the assassins will take her with them. Wan Mei sneaks away by wearing the dead general’s clothing and tricking the soldiers into following a decoy. But her blood loss is too great and she passes out before reaching the cemetery on time. Luckily, though, she does arrive in time to watch the Prince take down a band of assassins. Once again, her plucky nature saves her, and Wan Mei is taken to be the Prince’s bodyguard.
Kmuse: I loved the assassination attempt scene. The way the director would slow down some of the rain only to whip it forward was very cool. I was also not expecting the person killing everyone to be blind . . . or a prince . . . or to be so sexy with guyliner on. I was pleasantly surprised on all accounts.
Kdrama Jen: So, I had to go back and watch this again because it was all so dark and rainy, and I was watching late at night. I totally missed that the blind prince guy is a totally different guy from the bodyguard shadow dude we met. The second re-watch was much better. Totally agree about the blue-eyed guyliner prince. I think we need more of him!
Parasols of death
Talking about the female assassins, I think it is important to note the really cool parasols that they all sport. Inside every parasol is a blood bug and when someone makes a kill, the blood is magically sucked up into the parasol and a flower is painted on the white lining.
Kmuse: The parasols are so artistic. I especially love the visual of them in the opening credits with the black and white painting. The red really makes it all pop.
Kdrama Jen: I am way too geeky to just accept that these little blood bugs hang out inside these umbrellas and lap up the blood. I want to know HOW they do this! Also, if the slurpy blood bugs are sucking up the blood, then how is it reaching the top of the parasol to make the cool patterns? I need answers!
Does everyone in this assassin drama look like a vampire?
We have a Prince/Chief who totally looks like a vamp in the first scene he is in. The rain and glowing blue eyes really increase his magical vampy style. Then we have a sect leader who looks like an extra from Queen of the Damned. That is if Queen of the Damned had had a vampire who drags her large chunky throne everywhere she goes. That chair is so ugly. Almost as ugly as her evil heart.
Kmuse: Yup. They all have that slightly pasty white vampish glow about them. Especially the ones in charge.
Kdrama Jen: I am fine with the prince vampire thing. He looks the part. I think the Queen with the chunky chair is just creepy and vile. She seems to delight in tormenting the new recruits. So, I guess she gets to name them? That is one major power trip she is on!
There is also some confusing politicking going on
From what I can gather our Blind Prince is, well, blind. At this point, I am not sure if it is well known or a super secret fact. What I do know that the Sect Leader Vamp really hates the Prince and his position in the sect, which is above hers. From what I pieced together, it had something to do with his mother being her rival, blah, blah, blah. Pretty much she hates the family and wants to be Queen of the
Kmuse: Yes, I know there is politicking going on, but I need to focus on something more important. Does the Prince go back and forth on the hotness scale? Sometimes I think he looks crazy hot and other scenes he is just OK. Is there a difference in guyliner usage? Is it because he is fighting sometimes and other times he is not? It’s literally driving me crazy wondering what changes between the various scenes.
Kdrama Jen: The guyliner thing must just be his evening look for when he is plotting mayhem and carrying out killings. It is such a difference from his “day look” that I had to watch certain scenes again because I wasn’t sure it was the same guy.
When training to be an assassin you get one person to help you, your shadow. This person will live if you live and die if you die (at least after they have two masters). Wan Mei chooses the man who tested her as she awoke. Chang An, her shadow, was set to die the following day if no one had picked him, since he was on his second master. And while I am not sure if he is a good shadow or not, he does seem to be connecting with Wan Mei.
Kmuse: Awww, Chang An is like the older dog at the pound who is about to be put to sleep. And Wan Mei is the sweet owner that picked him so he wouldn’t be euthanized. That is so . . . not really romantic. Maybe the romantic sizzle will come later in the drama.
Kdrama Jen: Nothing like comparing our potential love interest to a geriatric hound in doggy prison to make me swoon! Seriously, though, I thought that scene really showed us a glimpse at the level of freaking craziness in this organization.
Di Sha or die
In Gui Hua City, there is no quitting. There is only doing . . . or dying if you decide that murder isn’t really your jam. So, regardless of her feelings about the assassin life, Wan Mei is stuck. Not only does she have to continue down the assassin’s path, she has to beat all the other girls for the one spot opening among the Di Sha (the lowest rank of assassins).
Kmuse: I am not sure if this is actually better than dying in a brothel. Both options seem to really really suck.
Kdrama Jen: I guess the upside is you get your own man-servant who brushes your hair, and puts slimy stuff in your ears to enhance your hearing, and brings you stuff to eat. I am pretty sure that’s not the case in that blood-letting brothel.
The Henry Higgins of shadows
Chang An is all set to teach his charge everything she needs to be a good assassin. Wan Mei obviously needs to better her skills in areas like zither playing, dancing enticingly, and holding her breath underwater. And just like Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Wan Mei rebels as well. Who wants to actually play the zither anyway?
Kmuse: I start to giggle every time I start singing Poor Professor Higgins in my head. Since the correlation was very obvious, it happened a lot more than you would expect. Poor Chang An is just trying to save his life and here is this newbie not taking things seriously.
Kdrama Jen: I do think he could have straight out told her she was being poisoned or that he wanted to teach her to use her other senses in the water. It was kind of rude to dump her out of the boat and then leisurely dive in to rescue her from drowning. I am quite sure Professor Higgins never actually allowed Eliza Doolittle to drown!
Death by head bonk is looking pretty darn nice in comparison
Tired of dealing with Chang An’s teachings and what Wan Mai sees as cruelties, Wan Mai declares she is done and wants to leave. Chang An marches her up to the caves of tortures to show her the other girls who wanted to escape the city. Let’s just say that suicide by bashing your head against a column (our favorite Chinese suicide) isn’t looking so bad at this point.
Kmuse: Wow. Those where some inventive ways to torture a girl. Somehow I don’t see the evil queen as being the type to let girls go easily, so I bet that cliff-side gets a lot of action.
Kdrama Jen: Ah, yes. If someone runs away, then we should begin to teach them a lesson by encasing their feet in molten iron and then let it harden around them. Have I mentioned we are dealing with freaking crazy people? Who DOES that?
Trial by murder
Two girls are neck and neck in the competition to become a Di Sha. Since only one can win, and the other is tortured to death, the stakes are high. But does Wan Mei have what it takes to be a killer? Um . . . not so much. While Wan Mei does achieve the task of getting the special herb, it is the assassin sister who kills the doctor. Once again, a tiebreaker is needed. Vamp Sect Leader demands that the girls’ shadows will fight to the death to decide the winner. But, before they even begin, Chang An coughs up some blood and Wan Mei throws in the towel.
Kmuse: I like Wan Mei when she is being smart and thinking things through. Impulsive emotional Wan Mei is a bit of an idiot, though. Although I might be comparing her to Fuyao, and of course she will be lacking in that situation.
Kdrama Jen: It’s never a good thing when your shadow bodyguard dude starts spitting up blood. Of course, in this crazypants organization, I am not sure throwing in the towel is going to do the trick. I keep thinking, “If it was Fuyao, she would . . . .” I think I might need post-Wuji/Fuyao therapy.
Is this an OTP (One True Pairing)?
Kmuse: I’m going to be honest here. I am not really feeling the chemistry between our leads. Separately they are fine. I even found Chang An’s voice to be super sexy when he was talking zither to Wan Mei. But they just lack that special spark. I am enjoying the rest of the drama, though, so I can make it through a measly thirty episodes. And if sometimes I put the Assassin Prince and Wan Mei together in my head, well, that is just how the OTP cookie crumbles.
Kdrama Jen: I think there is some potential here. It was certainly sensual as he instructed her in calligraphy, dance, and zithering. Yeah, I know that is not a word, but I really think it should be! I am not sold on this OTP, but I am willing to wait and see. I am definitely not making all those squee-ing sounds like I did when Wuji and Fuyao smirked at one another, but maybe things will heat up. It’s a Cdrama, so we have plenty of time!
There you have it! Our thoughts on the first several episodes of Bloody Romance. I’m excited to see if our OTP find a way to survive until next week (just kidding, you know they will).
Til the next parasol murder,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi