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Liao Zhai 2

Uploaded by: chiffon168

Ending Theme Versions:

Featuring Luo Sha Hai Shi and Yan Zhi: Here

Featuring Yi Ning and Fen Die: Here

I said that I would do an overall analysis on this one so here goes. I thought these set of stories were quite lacking comparing to part 1. Don’t say ‘Duh’ ’cause honestly, it’s not a whole story to be on the same scale with the whole ‘sequel’ thing. YES, it is a sequel, BUT because it is not just one story and then this is following it in that matter to be counted that way. But it is more accurate to say that this is 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 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 deserves its place and then provide the reason as to why.
Yan Zhi – I can’t believe this has 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. 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 drive 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 vs. 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 but 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 was really disappointed in it. Regardless 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 but 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 “Bai Hu” aka “White Fox”, which really suited this kind of theme with the mystical settings. It is also included above for your enjoyment!
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 are nice–for the most part. And the scenery are 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 formula. 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 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 it all.

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Liao Zhai 2: Luo Sha Hai Shi

This is of course my most anticipated story among all in here, considering how I’m a major fan of Eric and while following the shooting of it, it seemed quite intriguing. It was really, really, really disappointing on all parts with characterization, plot, and possibly acting. I’ll start with acting first. Michelle was better with tragic scenes or when she didn’t try to act playful and young. ‘Cause she went quite overboard that I was cringing from time to time seeing her trying too hard. What happened? Maybe she was trying to do it for this role BUT her experiment failed. It was better that she just didn’t do those exaggeration and just act normal. Eric, on the other hand, I felt he brought out his character well though his character wasn’t perfect. That was the nice way to put it though since I really hated the wishy-wahsy nature of his character. It made everything so frustrating to watch, plus Michelle’s exaggeration. As for plot, it was minimal but what made it worse was the way it was written with trying to drive the plot forward. The wishy-washy thing with Eric’s character and not being able to decide on anything made the plot even worse ’cause the progress was so lagging. I liked the refreshing chemistry between Eric and both girls and sometimes I would prefer Eric with Cheung Sai than Michelle for some reason. BUT of course I wouldn’t mind either. Just that the characters need to improve. I did not blame Cheung Sai’s character for pushing Eric at times and even bring out the hammer, wanting Michelle to leave. ‘Cause Eric was so undecided and wanted both girls–OR probably he was confused. Then later when he realized who he liked, he couldn’t let go of Cheung Sai. So that was a mess all right. Like I said above, draggy. I wish they focused more on the fairy matters and the fighting. Don’t know.
Why am I so harsh on it? I expected A LOT more than this. A LOT!
To switch gears, was I the only one who thought that Eric’s outfits seemed like 10 times better than Michelle’s? OR were they trying to create a dragon-like image for her? I don’t know. I thought they could have done better. I liked both of Eric’s outfits, the blue flowery one and the green one with the leaves. Those were really nice. That was about it.
As for the ending? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry because I thought it would have an equally tragic ending as the other ones–aka not letting Ma Ji and Xiao Qiao end up together. But then it turned out differently. Though it was a happy ending but I swear it didn’t make up for the poor plot and characterization throughout. The moral sucked major time also. What the heck was that? It was like they needed a villain at the end so they made it like Qing He was in the wrong and tried to convince her. It was pathetic because the message of living a happy life was not backed up properly. What would anyone do if they were misled and felt like they were cheated and robbed? SO do I agree with the ending? Yes on the finding happiness and what one wanted the most. And that Ma Ji was finally able to realize how all of those status didn’t matter and having witnessed how that one Zhao dude went crazy over his lost chance and how he’d lost his fortune because he didn’t win. BUT it did not make up for anything. I don’t care if Ma Ji and Xiao Qiao weren’t perfect. But I felt it was going in the wrong direction with how they made Qing He out to be the villain. She was hurt and was fighting back, that was all.
Favorite character? Must be Xu Biao portrayed by Guo Ding Wen. I know, I know. He could be considered the evil disciple who tried to chase Xiao Qiao (Michelle) down and helping his master with the dragon hunting task. YET he was very clear as to where he stood on the whole thing. Xiao Qiao saved him so he gave Ma Ji (Eric) some information to help Xiao Qiao in running away. Then he drew the line with them after the scores were already settled. I don’t blame him for acting on his master’s orders either because he has done all he could to repay Xiao Qiao. Not to mention the memorable ending. I swear he totally made up for everything in the end because he was the one to save the day with helping Ma Ji rescue Xiao Qiao. It was good to know he had a background story also–and it wasn’t draggy at all. Just a summary of his character through his own story-telling but it made a lot of sense. It was WAY better than dragging it out and dramatizing everything like how they did with the rest of the story. Another reason I don’t know why they were able to pull this off but dragged out the other things so long.
Most pitiful character? Qing He. I know, people usually lean toward the main couple after they were together, etc and went through a lot of trials together already. And not to mention how she was hunting Xiao Qiao down near the end too. But I honestly feel sorry for her. It wasn’t her fault that she was misled into believing that Ma Ji honestly loved her and yet he abandoned her just like that. She seemed spoiled OR whatever with her attitude at times. But I could totally sympathize her. Just because she was from a wealthy family didn’t mean she didn’t have feelings. Yes, sounded too much like ‘poor rich girl’ but I don’t think she deserved to be misled, used–among other things. And so what if she was thinking like the others who thought about marriage, status, and all those riches? So what if she didn’t ‘love’ him correctly like some of us might want to criticize her for? IF Ma Ji hadn’t made all those promises in the first place, she wouldn’t have sunk so slow. OR if she was the one making the despicable moves, then she would deserve the outcome. So, it didn’t matter if she was being stubborn clinging onto someone who didn’t love her. Take it that she was throwing a tantrum or was just mad for being tossed around and being misled. Not trying to take her side on purpose, but I honestly feel like why is it always right for the so-called ‘good people’ to get mad at others BUT the so-called ‘villains’ can’t? LAME-O! I swear Cheung Sai brought the character out very well, making it believable but I think Qing He should be pitied more than being hated. (I swear Xiao Qiao had no right to yell at her either. Though it wasn’t her fault Ma Ji loved her BUT she had no right to scold Qing He for turning into that hateful being.) AND let’s not even forget that Qing He did tell Ma Ji to leave her, not to pity her anymore when she knew she was really sick YET he kept insisting that he really loved her AND promise to take care of her for the rest of her life (or be by her side for the rest of her life)–even if she couldn’t live for so long. SO, who was the one that drove Qing He to insanity? HELLO!
So I wouldn’t even recommend this one for Eric fans. Unless you want to see for yourself. And we all know I have a weird point of view so my accounts can’t really be trusted at times.

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