College Romance And Fantasy Gaming: 4 Reasons To Watch C-Drama “Love O2O”
“Love O2O” is a Chinese romance drama based on the novel “Just One Smile is Very Alluring (Wei Wei’s Beautiful Smile)” by Gu Man. The drama is described as a simple love story with one major twist. Gaming expert Xiao Nai (Yang Yang) first encounters the beautiful computer science major student Bei Wei Wei (Zheng Shuang) at a PC café. But it isn’t her looks that he first notices – it’s her incredible gaming skills, as her fingers move rapidly across her keyboard. Xiao Nai is immediately smitten and is determined to use his skills online and offline to capture Wei Wei’s heart.
The drama exploded in 2016 with over 24 billion online views in China and made Yang Yang a household name in the country. “Love O2O” was the No. 1 most-searched and most-discussed topic online, and it also ranked first in television ratings during its broadcast. The drama is also well-loved internationally, with praises for its unique plot and following the details of the original novel faithfully. Many love “Love O2O” as it does not give in to overused plot devices and cliches, making it stand out from other dramas with similar themes.
There’s no doubt “Love O2O” is one of my top favorite modern Chinese dramas, and here are my top reasons why this drama is worth checking out!
Warning: minor spoilers for the drama below.
A strong and confident female lead
Bei Wei Wei is a computer science major and is known as a campus beauty at Qing University. She is an aspiring game designer and goes by the username of Luwei Wei Wei in the online role-playing game called “A Chinese Ghost Story.” Wei Wei is also the only female in the list of the 10 best players of the game. Despite being obsessed with gaming, Wei Wei excels in her studies and is a top student in her class.
One thing to admire about Wei Wei is how fiercely independent she is and how she doesn’t need a man to help solve her issues. When her laptop breaks down, Wei Wei buys all the parts and fixes it herself. When Cao Guang (Bai Yu) spreads false malicious rumors about her online, Wei Wei immediately uses her hacking skills to find out who the culprit is and confronts him in person to set the record straight. Wei Wei is truly amazing as she isn’t easily discouraged or succumbs to others.
Wei Wei is an awesome female lead – she’s independent, smart, confident, not afraid to speak up for herself and capable of solving her own problems. It’s also a major bonus that she’s kind and a loyal friend. She is the kind of woman we need more of real life and in dramaland.
The perfect male lead
Xiao Nai is also a computer science major in his fourth year at Qing University. He’s a legendary figure in the gaming world, ranking as the No. 1 player in “A Chinese Ghost Story” under the username Yixiao Naihe. In real life, he’s known for being the best of the best in terms of looks, academics, and athletics. It’s not surprising that he’s also the most popular guy on campus and is heavily sought after by many girls.
On the outside, Xiao Nai has a distant and mysterious demeanor, but in reality, he’s actually quite cheeky, straightforward, and honest with a kind and gentle attitude. However, if you cross him and the people he cares about, he’ll be sure to use his sharp and cunning wits against you. Xiao Nai is also very aware of the effect he has on others due to his smarts and popularity, but he never uses it to his advantage and he does not look down on others.
People genuinely respect Xiao Nai because he does not follow the traditional route of following his parents’ wishes of a career in education. Instead, his love and passion for gaming are what lead him to create his own startup tech company, Zhi Yi Technology, from scratch. Xiao Nai is too perfect to be real!
Xiao Nai and Wei Wei are what you would describe as the ultimate power couple. They are hands down the most well-matched couple in terms of brains and visuals. They’re both intelligent, confident, classy, and of course, incredibly attractive.
Being such a strong, desirable, and popular pairing, they’re bound to attract many jealous people and haters who want to sabotage their relationship. This is what makes our OTP a breath of fresh air in how they support, trust, and respect each other unconditionally. They don’t go through the typical drama cliches of couples having misunderstandings and separations. Any sort of conflict or angst gets resolved quickly because Xiao Nai and Wei Wei always communicate and solve their problems together.
What I love most about our couple is how Wei Wei is seen and respected as an equal to Xiao Nai. They’re not your stereotypical rich guy who falls in love with a poor girl, a trope that is often portrayed in dramas. Their relationship is built upon their interests in gaming, evolving from a mutual affection to genuine love and trust. Xiao Nai and Wei Wei are the most level-headed couple, as they do not fall easily into their enemies’ shady schemes and don’t let others shake their loyalty and trust. Can we say relationship goals?
What makes “Love O2O” a truly unique drama is how the story revolves around the game “A Chinese Ghost Story.” In fact, the game is a real MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) in China called 倩女幽魂 in its native title. Gamers and non-gamers (like myself) can really appreciate this drama because the drama is filmed in a way where the viewer is immersed inside the game. The production quality of the gaming sequences is superb with stunning graphics and beautiful game character designs and costumes. The in-game sequences are also aesthetically pleasing to watch, making viewers want to learn how to play the game. Gamers will also appreciate all the gaming lingo sprinkled out throughout the drama.
What is most captivating about the drama is how the online world often mimics real life in many ways. In real life, we encounter various disputes, including bullying that Wei Wei often encounters both in-game and in real life. It’s fascinating to see how our various drama characters are fleshed out in the game and how they conduct themselves online versus the real world. It’s also fun to see bromances and female friendships develop and strengthen throughout the game.
It is also through “A Chinese Ghost Story” that Wei Wei and Xiao Nai get to know each other and fall in love. As odd as gaming relationships sound, they do exist and our OTP is the perfect example of those that take their relationship from online to offline. It’s always a real treat to see our OTP outsmart and defeat their opponents in real life and in the virtual world.
There’s been a long time stigma that gaming is seen as a waste of time. “Love O2O” has a clear message that gaming isn’t bad at all. In episode 28, I was deeply moved by Xiao Nai’s game demo presentation where he expresses how gaming can promote culture through innovation:
“To many people, playing online games is a waste of time, but to me an online game is just like a book, movie or a museum. It’s not just entertainment, it is a channel responsible for promoting and conveying culture to people.”
Overall, “Love O2O” perfectly has a sweet college romance, attractive leads, and fantasy gaming – all wrapped in one fun package. It is a drama you surely don’t want to miss!
Start watching “Love O2O”:
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blacksesame88 is a long-time Asian drama and entertainment addict. She enjoys discussing her favorite dramas and sharing her knowledge of Asian entertainment. When she’s not watching dramas, she’s busy snapping aesthetic photos of delicious food on Instagram. Follow her on Twitter and join her for recaps of the current dramas she’s watching, also feel free to say Hi and have a chat!
Currently watching: “Touch Your Heart “I Will Never Let You Go”
All-time favorite dramas: “Nirvana In Fire,” “Queen In Hyun’s Man,” “A Witch’s Romance” “Love O2O” “My Mr. Mermaid”
Looking forward to: “Le Coup de Foudre” “The King’s Avatar” “Cry Me a Sad River” “Novoland: Eagle Flag”