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Love You Seven Times was an anticipated xianxia Chinese drama that came out in the summer of 2023.
The xianxia genre is always popular with the public but how’s this drama in particular?
This drama review will go over all the details.
Let’s get started!
Love You Seven Times Synopsis
In the heavenly realm, the God of War, Chu Kong lost his memories from the war with Cang Hai 30,000 years ago. He has never fully recovered and is on a time crunch as there is a prophecy that Cang Hai will come back within 1000 years to destroy six realms.
To fully recover, he has to go through seven love tribulations.
His tribulation partner is a fairy from the marriage pavilion, Xiang Yun. They get linked together accidentally by a red thread of fate. They go through seven tribulations together and realize being connected might not be an accident after all.
Love You Seven Times Main Characters
Chu Kong, played by Ding Yu Xi, is the younger brother of the heavenly emperor and the God of War.
He’s a powerful God who isolates himself socially. No one knows what he looks like so there’s this mysterious aura surrounding him.
He despises romantic love despite being the affection of many fairies in the heavenly realm. He finally caves when he realizes that going through love tribulations is how he’s going to recover his primordial spirit.
In his tribulations, Chu Kong has different identities including being a boar, the son of a general, the master of a sect, a wealthy young master, a spirit King, a general, and himself 30,000 years ago.
Xiang Yun, played by Yang Chao Yue, is a cloud that became a fairy 3000 years ago. She’s a low-ranking fairy in the marriage pavilion who is responsible for matchmaking mortals. She enjoys her job and has close relationships with the Red Thread Master and Immortal Li.
In her tribulations with Chu Kong, her identities include being a tiger, the daughter of a prime minister, an orphan, and Chu Kong’s disciple, princess, and empress Cang Hai.
Their 7 Lives Together
Here are the 7 lives Xiang Yun and Chu Kong experienced together –
1) Boar and Tiger (Episode 1)
2) Childhood Sweethearts (Episode 2-12)
3) Shifu and Disciple (Episodes 15-21)
4) General and Princess Body Swap (Episodes 22-24)
5) Cang Hai and Chu Kong 30,000 years ago (Episodes 25-31)
6) Spirit Realm (Episodes 32-36)
7) 7th Life – Umbrella (Episode 38)
Some people thought their 1st life together was cute but to me, the scenes looked like a video game. It was also very short but a good introduction to them getting to know each other better.
Their 7th life had the most potential but it was too short. There were only minutes of them together in the final episode. Who knows what happened in that life?
Their fourth life was the worst. There wasn’t as much of a background story other than the fact they woke up in each other’s bodies.
I like their 2nd and 5th life together best.
3rd life and 6th life are a close second.
FYI, Xiang Yun has several variations of her name like Xiao Xiang and Song Xiang Yun so it’s not difficult to follow. Thankfully, the character names are not too confusing because it would have been difficult to keep up with 7 different names for the male AND female lead.
Love You Seven Times – The Romance
Their relationship reminds me of the two leads in Immortal Samsara.
Those who are regular watcher of Chinese reality TV shows will know that Ding Yu Xi and Yang Chao Yue was on a TV program together called Heart Signal. They seem to be familiar with each other because they banter back and forth.
The friendship between Ding Yu Xi and Yang Chao Yue is shown on-screen in Love You Seven Times because they seem like good friends more than a romantic couple.
There are also not as many skinship scenes so that doesn’t help with their romantic chemistry.
Love You Seven Times Supporting Characters
Xiu Ming is the last royal blood from the Di Xiu clan. He is a gentle character who has a one-sided love for Cang Hai.
Hao Xuan is Chu Kong’s older brother and the King of the heavenly realm.
Jin Lian/Jin Cheng
Jin Lian is the son of Jin Cheng and is responsible for Mo Luo Clan.
The actor who played this role, Lin Bo Rui will look familiar as he played Shang Que, another important supporting character in Love Between Fairy and Devil. Bo Rui’s role in Love You Seven Times is darker and more serious.
Red Thread Master
The red thread master is in charge of the marriage pavilion. He is a grandfather figure to Xiang Yun and makes her feel family warmth.
Best Parts About Love You Seven Times
1) The Costumes
The costumes were gorgeous. The costume design team went full out with the cast’s outfits.
When you’ve watched enough xianxia dramas, you might not notice the costumes as much. They’re all nice to look at but eventually, they all kind of look the same.
In this case, I couldn’t help but notice Chu Kong’s outfits. His was striking.
He looked extremely handsome in his blue outfit as the God of War in the heavenly realm. He also looked magnificent in his armour in the wedding scene with Xiang Yun in the 2nd life.
It’s surprising too because it’s usually the female lead costumes that are eye-catching.
2) Xiang Yun’s relationship with Her Dad
Xiang Yun had a cute relationship with her dad in her 2nd life. The dynamic between father and daughter was sweet. I wished he was in more scenes because they interacted together well on-screen.
The best scene of them together was when Xiang Yun had to say a final goodbye to her dad at the front gate.
3) Their 7 Lives
Their identities are distinct in each life. By looking at their costumes and hair in a screenshot, you can almost immediately tell which life they are in (or if they’re in the heavenly realm). The team could have easily screwed up this one.
Gotta give it up to the Love You Seven Times team for making a visible difference between each life.
4) Little Details
It’s little details that show how much care, detail, and effort was put into this production.
Some of these examples include:
- Love You Seven Times came out with new episodes at 7 p.m. when it aired
- Where they met in the 7th life is also where Cang Hai met Chu Kong for the first time
- The pig and tiger from their 1st life are likely based on the year the actors were born in real life. Ding Yu Xi was born in 1995, which is the year of the pig. Yang Chao Yue was born in 1998, the year of the tiger
What Could Have Been Better
1) Smoother Editing
Love You Seven Times originally had 40 episodes. The editing team had to cut it down to 38 episodes so there are 2 episodes of missing content.
These sloppy editing skills seem to be common now because there are dramas like Unchained Love that give the same type of feeling. There is an obvious disconnect between scenes and this heavily impacts a viewer’s experience.
The Chinese entertainment industry can work on their editing skills.
2) Chu Kong Cameo Last Episode
The supporting character, Xiu Ming had a whole monologue while the male lead rarely had any scenes in the final episode. He appeared at the beginning of the episode and the last two minutes of the episode.
Fans were not happy.
3) The Ending
The final few minutes of the last episode are Chu Kong and Xiang Yun’s seventh life together. The ending was rushed and Chu Kong did not even say a word. This can be interpreted as their love is so strong that they don’t need words to communicate.
But I wanted to hear him say something. It would have been more impactful if they extended the ending for even 10 more minutes.
Also, Xiang Yun is immortal while Chu Kong is a mortal in the mortal realm. How would their love work in that life? Though it was a happy ending, it wasn’t satisfying.
4) Pacing of the Show
38 episodes is not enough to cover 7 lifetimes with the two leads. Some lives were too short so it’s hard to get attached to them. By the time the audience is invested in the character, that life ends already.
On the other hand, some lives are dragged out. Their 2nd life was interesting in the beginning but it could have had a faster pace near the end.
Love You Seven Times Main Actors
Ding Yu Xi
Historical dramas are his thing. Some actors look better in historical costumes rather than modern attire. Ding Yu Xi is one of them. He probably knows it too which is why a majority of his acting projects are historical dramas.
The first Ding Yu Xi’s drama I watched was The Romance of Tiger and Rose back in 2020. His co-star Zhao Lu Si and him were on the same playing field then. Since 2020, Lu Si has starred in several popular dramas since then like Who Rules the World, Hidden Love, and Love Like the Galaxy.
Their popularity gap continues to widen. He didn’t catch up to her yet but I’m not sure why. He’s tall, good-looking, and has impressive acting skills. He only needs one popular drama to rise to a top traffic star.
Yang Chao Yue
Yang Chao Yue has a reputation for her lack of acting skills. Some people are even flat-out refusing to watch her shows knowing she’s the female lead in Love You Seven Times.
Since her debut, she’s had several main female lead character roles. Not everyone is suitable to carry a main female lead. Her acting failed to move a lot of people, including me.
She’s not good at emoting. When she is experiencing sadness or pain, you can’t tell. She scrunches up her face and squeezes some tears but it doesn’t look natural.
As an audience member, it’s hard to focus on the plot because of her acting.
There was a live broadcast of Yang Chao Yue and Ding Yu Xi promoting the show. She cried and pleaded with the general public to give Love You Seven Times a chance. People were not buying it in the comment section.
She got a lot of flak from netizens because she’s had multiple chances to improve already and is still lacking. Apparently, she got training from professional teachers too. For the sky-high amount of money a Chinese lead actor makes, many people do not think she deserves that type of salary.
If she wants to continue her career as an actress, she must work harder to improve her acting skills.
Similarities with Love Between Fairy and Devil
These two dramas are often compared because they are both based on a novel and written by the same author, Jiu Lu Fei Xiang.
Also, Love Between Fairy and Devil and Love You Seven Times had the same production team. The overall vibe, costumes, and music are pretty similar which is why often when Love You Seven Times is mentioned, Love Between Fairy and Devil would be too.
For example, the most-played song in both dramas is sung by the singer, Faye Chan. In addition, both have a body swap plot, and the status of the leads is about the same – a low-ranking fairy is paired up with a powerful immortal.
Lin Bo Rui comes back as a significant character in Love You Seven Times as well.
Another drama Love You Seven Times is similar to Love and Redemption. Both shows involve the God of War and the main couples have been connected for several lifetimes. If it’s a show you haven’t watched yet, it’s totally worth it and one of my all-time favourite Chinese dramas. Go check it out.
Final Thoughts – Love You Seven Times
The summer of 2023 has been competitive when it comes to airing dramas. For modern dramas, the winner is Hidden Love. A very close second is When I Fly Towards You.
As for historical dramas, it’s Lost You Forever.
Love You Seven Times belongs in the mid-category. It’s not terrible but not great either.
If you enjoyed watching Love Between Fairy and Devil, do not have high hopes that you will like Love You Seven Times more.
It might not be the most addicting drama but viewers who like the xian xia drama should still give Love You Seven Times a shot. You’ll enjoy the costumes, CGI, music, and Ding Yu Xi’s acting.
Now to You – Love You Seven Times
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