Liao Zhai 2

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Ending Theme Versions:

Featuring Luo Sha Hai Shi and Yan Zhi: Here

Featuring Yi Ning and Fen Die: Here

Featuring Lian Xiang and Yi Qian: Here

I said that I would do an overall analysis on this one so here goes. I thought this set of stories was quite lacking compared to part 1. Don’t say ‘Duh’ ’cause honestly, it wasn’t a whole story to be on the same scale with the whole ‘sequel’ thing. YES, it was a sequel, BUT because it was not just one story and then this was following it in that matter to be counted that way. It would be more accurate to say that this was another set of stories that followed the previous set of stories. I remember not watching only one story from the last one ’cause I already watched another adaptation elsewhere hence not watching it because it was basically the same with a different cast. However, this one was quite fresh with the set of stories but some of them seriously failed to capture the main points and let it drag on so it was quite disappointing. I will list the order of the stories to which I feel it deserved its place and then provide the reason as to why.

Yan Zhi – I can’t believe this had become my favorite and also earned the first spot. I was really, really surprised that the story was soooo good. Possibly because it stood out from the rest so it seemed really good to me in the end. Because I thought it was average at first but analyzing it more later, it was the only one that I seemed to write an in-depth summary about. It actually had a good theme, a solid story, and was not dragging at all. Things kept happening to drive the plot forward, not letting it dwell on one or another thing for too long. There were frustrating parts, but it soon passed and gave way for other things. It was also my first time watching Cecilia Han Xue and really liked her in here. My second time watching Yan Kuan and really liked his performance, feeling he deserved this lead role.

Lian Xiang – Though I felt the story was strange with them at times and I thought I wouldn’t like the way how things were with them but I finally understand why it must to be that way. One thing drove the other forward and many events were unavoidable. I actually felt that their chemistry wasn’t bad. I actually accepted the ending though it was not a happy one. It did not have to be that way. A possibly typical battle between good versus evil but it was all right. At least it did not drag out to the point of unbearable. There were also enough actions going on to drive the plot forward, keeping it mysterious with providing us with pieces of the puzzle slowly until the end.

Ying Ning – The story became somewhat dragging and repetitive toward the middle and somewhat in the ending parts but I forgave them because somehow the story still made sense. I actually liked the chemistry between June and Zhao Yi–like I said in the other review. It was really cute between them at first and then there was some bitterness. Not too bad at all.

Fen Die – What made this one standing fourth though it was supposed to be one of my most anticipated was its stupidity with dragging on and on about believing too much what the dreams were implying. YES, it could be true and could hint at the future. BUT I felt Fen Die relied so deeply on the dreams to tell her things or let her decide that it was way too pathetic for me to endure. Eddie and Esther still had great chemistry but the story was a bit weak to endure. Not to mention how the ending was a bit weak–to say the least. Though it was a happy ending and it did show how Wang Feng was able to see through their true love and let go but it was too much of a rush.

Yi Qian – Kind of refreshing idea like I said in the other review with the reversed role of letting the girl accepting the guy. However, the plot became sort of weak in the later parts. Though there were some comedic moments, it could not make up for the ending. Too fast and too ‘whatever’  to forgive.

Luo Sha Hai Shi – It was way too obvious from the individual review that I didn’t like it. Or more like I was really disappointed in it. Regardless of how it became so tragic (as most Liao Zhai stories should be) near the end, I could not make myself move it up from the list. It was too dragging to endure. Not to mention though it was a happy ending, it was just too much of a disappointment with the plot and characterization as I said before in the other review.

Just to end this on a positive note, I really liked the ending theme song used for this part. Does that even count? LOL! The song is called “White Fox“, which really suited this kind of theme with the mystical settings.

Seriously though, it would be nice to collect and watch and skip around and then snap some caps to do nice wallpapers or other types of graphics with since the costumes were nice–for the most part. And the scenery was equally mesmerizing. If only they had worked more on the plot development because like I said before, there were a lot of good ideas yet wasted with repetitive scenes or draggy formulas. So recommended or not? If you’re curious, go ahead and hunt for it to watch. Or you could be collecting because you like the artist mentioned. BUT I wouldn’t recommend it for the plot. The good thing is I saw on YesAsia you could buy the stories separately so you could try it out for yourself without having to buy the whole set of stories.

Liao Zhai 2: Ying Ning

(image credit: net)

For being just six episodes, this was like a never-ending story. Not that I didn’t like the chemistry between June and Zhao Yi. I found them really entertaining to watch–whether they were the bickering couple–or the cute one. Yet what made the story lacking was its repetitive formula with how Ying Ning just never learned. I did understand that she was kind and not scheming unlike various characters in here. But it was the trouble with her downfall. She created just too many opportunities for others to hurt her. I guess what made her a fairy was her kind heart and forgiving nature, etc BUT I just can’t stand it anymore. The formula was repetitive. Though Zi Fu was very intelligent in his own right, he was trapped within a group of people who were too wishy-washy. He was the only determined one yet others think he was cruel. I had to agree with him regarding some people’s deserved fate regardless of how cruel it seemed to be. They were the ones who acted out that way, so why should they be pitied? They did bring it upon themselves.

Just when I was clapping them on regarding how Zi Fu pretended to lose his memory again to expose his brother and step-mother, the others had to interfere AND create an opportunity for future troubles. It was just too repetitive and frustrating. That was the thing with trying to keep it lenient just because of family relations. It was just another excuse and like an immune spot SO the other party could hurt you even more.

What made it even more frustrating while watching was seeing the character Ji Lan stirring stuff up but kept being forgiven for what she’d done. IF Zi Fu had known, he wouldn’t be as lenient. But Ying Ning–like I said before–created the opportunity for her or something. Ji Lan was just so despicable, thinking that she was so good. Zi Fu never liked her regardless of whether Ying Ning appeared or not. It was a stupid excuse like any sore loser out there would make up regarding those situations, saying how “If so and so didn’t exist, I would have a chance.” Oh really? You had your chance ages ago AND nothing was moving either. She was just plain pathetic, to say the least. Why didn’t she just admit she was just plain jealous? She had to give all the stupid reasons and saying how Ying Ning did not deserve those things. Ridiculous!

Gordon Liu’s appearance was random all right. Not too random in the context of the plot. But still a bit random. He had to take on a badass role again. Oh well…

Aside from all those things, I thought Zhao Yi was really good in acting since he managed to convince while he was the clever and stern Zi Fu as well as the innocent and simple-minded A Fu when he lost his memory. June did a great job also, trying to exude her innocent side at first and then her serious manners later on as the story progressed. Though I said liked the chemistry between June and Zhao Yi, I must say that my favorite character must be the Lightning God portrayed by Zhou Hao. He was so strict and fierce at times but he was the only one who truly cared for Ying Ning and wanted to protect her from getting hurt, from getting punished, etc. He was like an older brother figure to her.

The ending? It was satisfying all right since it made up for everything that was ever so frustrating in the first place. Interesting how they made it so that it was fast YET satisfying. Kudos to Gu Ren (the old servant) and the Lightning God for wrapping it up so nicely! And the touching parting moment from Ying Ning and A Fu. Let’s just say that it had a good beginning and ending–for the most part.