4 Reasons To Watch Historical Fantasy C-Drama

The Chinese historical-fantasy drama “Lost You Forever S1,” which premiered in the summer of 2023, has emerged as the season’s biggest hit. Adapted from the third book of Tong Hua’s novel series “The Book of Mountain and Sea,” the show is set in ancient times where humans, deities, and demons coexist under the rule of three kingdoms: Xiyan, Chenrong, and Haoling. The story revolves around Xiao Yao (Yang Zi), the daughter of the King of Haoling, and her childhood friend and cousin, Cang Xuan (Zhang Wan Yi), the grandson of the King of Xiyan. Initially inseparable, they dream of a shared future but are separated by personal tragedies. Xiao Yao loses her identity and royal heritage, eventually disguising herself as a male doctor in the town of Qing Shui. Here, she encounters Ye Shi Qi/Tushan Jing (Deng Wei), whom she saves, and the bloodthirsty nine-headed demon Xiang Liu (guest starring Tan Jian Ci). Meanwhile, Cang Xuan, who has never given up on his search for Xiao Yao, also arrives in Qing Shui under the guise of a wine maker.

“Lost You Forever S1” garnered significant anticipation due to its engaging storyline, stellar ensemble cast, and the fusion of historical and fantasy elements. Post-premiere, it rapidly gained popularity among fans of Chinese dramas, captivating both domestic and international audiences with its compelling narrative and visually appealing scenes. If you’re curious, read on to discover the top reasons why embarking on a binge-watch of “Lost You Forever S1” is a must!

Resilient and level-headed female lead

The lead female character Xiao Yao, originally a princess of the Haoling Kingdom, shares a close bond with her cousin and best friend Cang Xuan. However, their connection is forcibly severed due to political upheaval among the ruling kingdoms. As a deity, Xiao Yao endures centuries of intense physical and emotional hardships. Now grown, she finds herself in Qing Shui, disguised as the male doctor Wen Xiao Liu, specializing in infertility treatments.

Diverging from the typical female-centered romantic dramas, this series adopts a multi-dimensional narrative approach to explore Xiao Yao’s choices and attitudes in the realms of family, love, and friendship. Her nurturing and protective demeanor toward the bereaved Cang Xuan reflects her kindhearted nature. Similarly, her sincere connections with the residents of Qing Shui, now under her care as Wen Xiao Liu, showcase her sense of responsibility. And her initial rejection of second male lead Tushan Jing’s advances underscores her cautious approach to relationships. Yang Zi’s versatile portrayal of both Xiao Yao and Wen Xiao Liu unveils a strong, self-reliant, and emotionally resilient character who maintains her integrity and sincerity despite adversity.

Actress Yang Zi adeptly brings to life these contrasting roles as both Xiao Yao and Wen Xiao Liu. From the cheeky middle-aged man to the elegant noblewoman, she effortlessly navigates these transitions, conveying pain, love, and every other emotion with authenticity. Her natural and captivating performance truly deserves commendation and recognition.

Multifaceted male lead characters

“Lost You Forever S1” also boasts an impressive male lead ensemble, enhancing its character-driven narrative and bold exploration of the complexities of human emotions. Among these leads is Cang Xuan, grandson of the King of Xiyan. Cang Xuan’s life trajectory is defined by the loss of loved ones and separation from his cousin Xiao Yao. This drives him to reclaim his rightful role as Xi Yan’s ruler and reunite with Xiao Yao, despite eventually becoming a hostage in the Haoling Kingdom. Cang Xuan is characterized by sophistication, calmness, and strategic ruthlessness, consistently vigilant of his surroundings. While his past suffering evokes empathy, he also utilizes his shrewd intellect to manipulate, and his actions often sway between empathy and frustration.

The second male lead is first discovered by Wen Xiao Liu/Xiao Yao along the riverside. He is severely injured, and Wen Xiao Liu/Xiao Yao takes him in and treats his wounds while haphazardly giving him the name Ye Shi Qi. It turns out that his true identity is Tushan Jing, the second son of the wealthy and powerful Tushan clan and a nine-tailed fox spirit. He carries himself with gracefulness, and his conduct exudes dignity. Despite his privileged upbringing, Tushan Jing undergoes excruciating physical and mental agony inflicted by his own family, leaving him emotionally and physically shattered.

The third lead is Xiang Liu, a nine-headed demon, notorious for his cruelty and insatiable thirst for blood. Allied with the remnants of the Chenrong Kingdom as a military strategist, he also assumes the identity of Fangfeng Bei, the second son of the Fangfeng clan. When he takes on the persona of Xiang Liu, he adorns a silver mask, draped in white garments with silver hair, his otherworldly beauty contrasting with his ruthless facade. Yet, beneath his tough exterior lies a more intricate and compassionate side.

The drama’s essence lies in its characters, carefully shaped to feel real and genuine, and is brought to life impeccably by the talented cast. The drama’s readiness to explore moral uncertainties adds depth to the characters and their challenges, making them even more interesting. And the realistic portrayal of characters who are not solely good or bad adds a layer of authenticity to the story.

Multiple ships

One of the joys of being a drama enthusiast is diving into the world of shipping, and “Lost You Forever S1” offers not just one but three potential ships for fans to enjoy!

First, there’s Cang Xuan and Xiao Yao who are childhood sweethearts. Viewers can’t help but be touched from the moment they promise to always be there and protect each other despite needing to part ways due to the conflicts of their royal families. After their separation, Cang Xuan never gives up on his search for Xiao Yao. His past wounds have driven him to harbor great ambition of world conquest, fueled by the desire to create a life where he can safeguard his only remaining family, Xiao Yao. The complexity of his emotions is portrayed masterfully by actor Zhang Wan Yi, invoking both affection and ambivalence from the audience.

The second ship consists of Deng Wei, who adeptly portrays both Ye Shi Qi and Tushan Jing. Named Ye Shi Qi by Wen Xiao Liu/Xiao Yao, he encounters Wen Xiao Liu/Xiao Yao during a period mirroring her past hardships, enduring torment, and abandonment by his own brother. Rescued and nursed back to health by Xiao Yao and reborn as Shi Qi, he seeks to stand by her as a mark of gratitude for his second chance at life. His bond with Wen Xiao Liu/Xiao Yao is one of unwavering companionship. He is meticulous, considerate, and incredibly dedicated to her. The persona of Ye Shi Qi fully comprehends the sanctity and significance of the moments spent with Wen Xiao Liu. This is precisely why he invests great effort into concealing his true identity. Despite his former prominence in the Tushan family, he values being with Wen Xiao Liu/Xiao Yao over fame and fortune. Actor Deng Wei’s captivating portrayal of a kind-hearted gentleman who wholeheartedly loves Xiao Yao resonates with viewers as he places her above all else.

Of the three romantic interests, Xiang Liu is the only one who loves Xiao Yao but protects her silently without honestly confessing his feelings. Xiang Liu also encounters Wen Xiao Liu/Xiao Yao in Qing Shui, finding her intriguing and amusing. As they spend time together, his feelings evolve into genuine attachment and love. However, he always restrains his emotions and doesn’t hesitate to exploit Wen Xiao Liu/Xiao Yao to achieve his own goals, even though he desires to shield her from danger. Xiang Liu acknowledges his inability to offer Xiao Yao the lifelong companionship she desires due to his own prior commitments. Nevertheless, he doesn’t waver in his efforts to keep her safe, going so far as to teach her archery for her own self-defense. “Lost You Forever S1” fans can’t help but be drawn to the enigmatic Xiang Liu, portrayed skillfully by guest star Tan Jian Ci. He is a ruthless figure who occasionally reveals glimpses of tenderness beneath his tough exterior. Additionally, the undeniable raw sensual energy the actor shares with actress Yang Zi simply cannot be ignored!

High quality production

Not only does the cast of “Lost You Forever S1” serve as eye candy, but the overall production is of top-notch quality. The show’s cinematography doesn’t heavily rely on special effects; instead, it places a strong emphasis on practical settings, utilizing real locations to portray the expansive world of “Lost You Forever S1.” The quaint yet sprawling Qing Shui town featured in the series was constructed on-site by the production team over a six-month period, spanning 20,000 square meters of land. This effort resulted in a setting that exudes the allure of a hidden paradise within the human world. The design of the palace was equally meticulously planned, drawing inspiration from various ancient architectural styles and blending historical authenticity with realism, resulting in palace structures that are distinctive and grand.

“Lost You Forever S1” captivates with its enchanting aesthetics from the mesmerizing color palette to the meticulously designed sets and picturesque scenery. The costumes also stand out as they perfectly reflect each character’s personality. And the drama’s high-quality production values shine through in every aspect, including the carefully crafted cinematography, makeup, and music, showcasing a genuine dedication to quality. The attention to detail is praiseworthy, creating an immersive experience for the audience.

Overall, “Lost You Forever S1” is a drama perfect for binge-watching. It features an attractive cast, intricate characters, breathtaking landscapes, remarkable cinematography, and a tightly woven storyline. Plus, it also has a level-headed female lead who shares great chemistry with all three leading men! Not to mention—the drama is gearing up to release Season 2, which fans are already anticipating greatly!

Start watching “Lost You Forever S1”:

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Those in Southeast Asia can watch here!

Hey Soompiers, have you seen “Lost You Forever S1”? If so, what did you love about it? Let us know in the comments, and tell us your favorite ship by voting in the poll above!

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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:Stand or Fall” and “Call Me By Fire Season 3.”
All-time favorite dramas:Go Ahead,” “Nirvana In Fire,” “Queen In Hyun’s Man,” “A Witch’s Romance,” “Love O2O,” “Skate Into Love,” and “My Mr. Mermaid.”
Looking forward to: “As Beautiful As You,” “My Journey To You,” and “Amidst a Snowstorm of Love”

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