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KajoPicks: 20 C-dramas based on Chinese novels you really should watch

We have made our list of K-dramas based on Korean novels that you need to watch.

So here are our 20 picks of C-dramas based on Chinese novels you really should watch:

1.Love Me if You Dare (2015)

This romantic crime drama is an adaptation from Ding Mo’s novel of the same name published in July 2014.

It stars Wallace Huo, Sandra Ma, Zhang Luyi, Wang Kai and Yin Zheng.

The plot tells the story of Simon or Jin Yan (Huo), a criminal psychologist who survived the notorious serial killer Flower Cannibal.

After his returns from the US, he hires Jian Yio (Ma) as his assistant/translator.

Along with police officer Li Xunran (Wang Kai) and friend Fu Ziyu (Yin Zheng), the group forms a crime-solving team to handle mysterious and violent cases.

However, what they did not know is that the Flower Cannibal is still lurking in the dark trying to finish what he has started on Simon.

Overall, the story development is well-paced and it offers enough tension as well as romance to keep viewers watching.

Thus, it is no surprise that the drama is one of the highest rated television series on Viki.

Here is a little trivia for you; in the first episode where Jian Yao is browsing through the bookshelves while she waits for an interview, you can see the titles of four books namely Battle of Changsha, All Quiet in Peking, Ode to Joy and When a Snail Falls in love. All these Chinese novels have been adapted into dramas.

2.When a Snail Falls in Love (2016)

Beside Love Me if You Dare, novelist Ding Mo also published a highly rated novel entitled When a Snail Falls in Love.

It follows the story of Detective Ji Bai (Wang Kai) who is the team leader of the Violent Crime Unit.

One day, a profiling intern named Xu Xu (Wang Ziwen) is assigned to join Ji Bai’s team.

Ji Bai is having a hard time with Xu Xu on his team. While she is talented in profiling, she lacks in physical ability as well as communication skills.

Xu Xu, on the other hand, turns to drawing comics to express herself better. In her comic, she portrays herself as a snail and Ji as a lion.

Do not be fooled by the title of this drama; the crime and suspense parts are heavier than the romantic plot.

For this reason, we absolutely love this drama.

The series may have aired from Oct 24 till Dec 12, 2016, but by Nov 15, the show had already reached 1 billion views online.

3.Memory Lost (2016)

Here is another C-drama based on one of Ding Mo’s masterpieces. Memory Lost is based on the detective trilogy of the same name by her.

It follows the story of highly intelligent police officer Bai Jingxi (Yang Rong) who works with her partner Han Chen (Bai Yu) to solve many difficult cases.

Despite the fact that they started off from a misunderstanding, the duo manages to work their ways out their differences to focus on their jobs.
The series has three seasons with every season comes with its own twists and turns.

Memory Lost was not only a hit in China but also internationally since it was aired on iQiYi.

Overall, the series is estimated to have garnered a total of 2.3 billion online views.

4.Love O2O (2016)

Based on the novel of the same name written by author Gu Man, this campus romance Chinese drama stars Yang Yang and Zheng Shuang.

It tells the story of Bei Weiwei (Zheng Shuang), a computer science student who aspires to be an online game developer.

To kill time, she engages in an online role-playing game “A Chinese Ghost Story” using the ID Luwei Weiwei.

After being dumped by her online husband Zhenshui Wuxiang, she is ‘proposed’ to by the number one player Yixiao Naihe who suggests that get married so they both can participate in the couples in-game competition.

After playing a few rounds together, the ‘virtual’ newlyweds start to hit it off.

What Weiwei does not know is that her online husband is her college senior who is the popular student jock and academician in campus.

After physically meeting each other for the first time, the duo start a romantic relationship.

The series is one of the most-watched Chinese modern dramas with 25.2 billion views online.

5.The Eternal Love (2017)

Qu Tan’er (Liang Jie) wakes up to find that another person has entered her body named Qu Xiaotan, who has time-traveled from the modern world.

Both girls share a different personality, with Qu Tan’er being gentle and submissive while Qu Xiaotan is wild and uninhibited.

Whenever one of them tells a lie, the other takes over their shared body.

Duty forces Qu Tan’er to marry Mo Liancheng (Xing Zhaolin) thus beginning an unexpected romance between two people thrown together by circumstance.

Things are complicated because Tan-er is in love with Liancheng’s older brother Yi Huai (Wang Rui Chang).

At the same time, Liangcheng is slowly falling in love with the modern girl, Xiaotan.

This transmigration drama is based on the novel ‘Hilarious Pampered Consort: Lord I Will Wait For Your Divorce’ by Fan Que.

6.Princess Agents (2017)

This commercially successful drama is based on the novel 11 Chu Te Gong Huang Fei written by Xiao Xiang Dong Er.

It stars Zhao Liying, Lin Gengxin, Shawn Dou and Li Qin.

The story takes place during the chaotic times of the Wei dynasty, where innocent citizens are often kidnapped and turned into slaves.

Slave girl, Chu Qiao is thrown into a forest along with other slaves and becomes the next hunting target for the rich lords.

She is saved by the Prince of Yanbei, Yan Xun.

Afterwards, she is brought into a powerful family of Yu Wen and witnesses their bloody power struggle. Seeing this, she swears to take her younger sister and flee from the situation.

However, she catches the attention of Yu Wen Yue and undergoes strict training to become a spy while building a sense of companionship with Yan Xun.

Like most of the dramas on this list, this series is a commercial success with more than 40 million views on Chinese streaming sites Youku, Tencent and iQiyi.

7.The King’s Avatar (2017)

In the multiplayer online game Glory, Ye Xiu (Yang Yang) is well known as the textbook-level expert and top-tier player Ye Qiu.

Due to a series of circumstances, he was forcefully expelled from his professional team.

After leaving the pro-gaming scene, he resides at an Internet Café employed as one of the managers.

When Glory launches their tenth server, he throws himself into the game once more—equipped with ten years of gaming experience, memories of the past, and an incomplete, self-made weapon.

This live-action streaming television series is based on Chinese webnovel of the same name by Hu Dielan.

During this era when esports is popular among young adults, there is no surprise why this drama was instantly a hit when it first came out.

It attracted more than 3 billion views on Tencent Video as well as moire than ten million views from other platforms such as WeTV and Youtube.

8.The King’s Woman (2017)

Set during the Warring States Era, Gong Sun Li (Dilraba Dilmurat) is the granddaughter and disciple of the powerful military commander Gong Sun Yu.

The first disciple Jing Ke (Liu Chang) and Li have always been in love with each other childhood.

When the Qin troops attack, Jing Ke is poisoned while trying to protect Li.

In order to save Jing Ke, Li agrees to marry Ying Zheng (Zhang Bin Bin), the King of the Qin State.

Ying Zheng finds out Li is already pregnant with Jing Ke’s child but accepts the child as his own.

Although she hates Ying Zheng at first, she slowly falls in love with him once she gets to know the kinder, gentler side of the ruthless ruler.

But what happen when Jing Ke comes to the palace to assassinate Ying Zheng?

Where will her allegiance lie? With her new or old lover?

This historical romantic drama is adapted from the novel The Legend of Qin: Li Ji Story written by Wen Shiren.

9.A Love So Beautiful (2017)

This slice of life drama follows the story of a group of high school friends.

Chen Xiao Xi (Shen Yue) and Jiang Chen (Hu Yi Tian) are neighbours who go to the same high school.

Their circle of friends include swimmer Wu Bo Song (Gao Zhi Ting) who has a crush with Xiao Xi and Lin Jing Xiao (Wang Zi Wei), the most beautiful girl in school.

Xiao Xi doesn’t like to study but has a talent for drawing. In the meantime, Jiang Chen is popular in school for his good looks and high grades.

The storyline takes you from their high school years, to college days and well into adulthood.

It is based on the novel To Our Pure Little Beauty by Zhao Qianqian.

10.Guardian (2018)

How about some science fiction drama on this list?

Set on the Earth-like planet of Haixing, populated by a native human population and two alien races.

The Yashou are aliens to shapeshift into plants and animals while the Dixing are super-powered beings who live deep underground.

The plot circles around the hotheaded Zhao Yunlan (Bai Yu) leads the Special Investigation Department (SID).

It is a group that works with the Black Robe Envoy to uphold peace and investigate cases related to the Dixing people.

While investigating an incident at the local university, Zhao is assisted by Shen Wei (Zhu Yilong), a biological engineering professor.

This mystery, science fiction drama is an adaptation of the 2012 web novel of the same name by Priest.

In the novel, the relationship between Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei is depicted as romantic in nature. However, the web series depicts the relatiohip as platonic friendship with some homoerotic subtext.

The series was a hit when it came out and received a total of 1.8 billion views by August 2018.

11.Legend of Fuyao (2018)

Based on the Chinese novel Empress Fuyao by Tianxia Guiyuan, this fantasy-adventure drama has 66 episodes altogether.

It follows the story of Meng Fuyao (Yang Mi), a young woman who was born out of a divine lotus petal.

Adopted as an orphan, Fu Yao served as a slave for the Xuan Yuan sect in the Taiyuan Kingdom.

After a series of tragedies, she journeyed across the lands searching to lift the curse that blighted her life.

Along the way, she meets the Crown Prince of Tianquan, Zhang Sun Wu Ji (Ethan Juan), and falls in love with him.

Together, they tackle political issues in the five kingdoms and unearth secrets regarding her birth.

Unfortunately, the drama was not well-received among the Chinese audience. It was criticized for having cliche plots and a ‘Mary Sue’ protagonist.

Some even claimed it has a similar storylines to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Regardless of the harsh criticism, the series still managed to gain 14 billion views in 50 days becoming the most viewed online drama of the summer season that year.

12.The Untamed (2019)

Are you familiar with danmei? It is Chinese genre of literature and other fictional media that features romantic relationships between male characters. Danmei which also means indulging beauty, is typically created by and targeted towards a heterosexual female audience.

One of the most famous danmei novels out there is Mo Dao Zu Shi by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu.

The drama adaptation of the novel is The Untamed (2019), starring Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo.

It follows the adventures of two soulmate cultivators who travel to solve a series of mysteries that link to a tragic event in the past.

Wei Wuxian (Xiao Zhan), a loathed cultivator of what some called “dark and demonic arts”, is resurrected 16 years after his tragic death.

His return to the world brings him to reunite with the people in his first life, including his soulmate, the honourable Lan Wangji (Wang Yibo).

Wei Wuxian then begins to remember his time before his demise, from his beginning as a young cultivator using traditional tools like the sword and musical instruments, to his very personal methods of using resentful energy of departed beings, with the help of innovative tools of his own creation.

While the original web novel featured an explicit romance between the two main male characters, the adaptations have homoerotic subtexts instead.

Regardless, the drama was one of the highest-earning Chinese dramas of 2019.

13.Put Your Head on My Shoulder (2019)

As Si Tu Mo (Xing Fei), an accounting student’s graduation nears, she is unsure about her future plans although she dreams of joining an advertising company.

While living at the dorm, she is forced by her mother to move into an apartment coincidentally owned by Gu Wei Yi’s mother.

Unlike Tu Mo, Wei Yi knows exactly what he wants from life and he isn’t afraid to chase his dreams.

Watching Tu Mo figuring out her future plan during her last fleeting days of university life, Wei Yi decides to step in and help her out.

Unbeknown to both, their mothers were classmates who thought their two children would make a good match and set them up.

Before they know it, the matched couple begins to fall in love.

This campus drama is based on Zhao Qianqian’s novel of the same name.

14.Le Coup de Foudre (2019)

Zhao Qiao Yi (Janice Wu) and Yan Mo (Zhang Yujian) may have been high school classmates, but the only thing they had in common was the desk they shared in class.

While Yan Mo is a top student, Qiao Yi is failing miserably, these two couldn’t have been more different, and yet, it doesn’t take long for a strong bond to form between them.

Promising to study abroad together after high school, this unlikely pair seems to have the world before them. But when an unexpected family emergency forces Qiao Yi to back out on their plans, the two drift apart and eventually lose touch.

Four years later, the long-lost friends are reunited, and old flames are quickly rekindled.

Finally willing to accept her feelings for Yan Mo, Qiao Yi moves to the city, determined to pick things up where they left off all those years ago.

But with Yan Mo already in a relationship, Qiao Yi’s love seems destined to fail. But is it really?

Unbeknownst to Qiao Yi, Yan Mo hasn’t forgotten his old friend, nor the feelings he has for her.

This is one of the most realistic Chinese dramas that surely will make you cry and laugh throughout the series.

It is a story about love, friendship and family.

Based on the Chinese novel I Don’t Like This World, I Only Like You by Qiao Yi, the drama does a great job in portraying the realistic struggles of young adults.

15.First Romance (2020)

This series is an adaptation of a Chinese novel of the same name by Wei Mian Jun.

It follows the story of Yan Ke (Riley Wang) and Xiong Yi Fan (Wan Peng) who were schoolmates.

But back in her younger days, Yi Fan never discovered that she had a secret admirer in Yan Ke, who kept his crush a secret and loved her from afar.

Now things are very different for both of them, and Yan Ke is at college, where he is one of the most popular and well-loved students on campus.

Dashing, sensitive, a hit among the female students, and unfailingly charming, he has also become a budding young pianist.

This time, it is Yi Fan’s turn to be smitten by Yan Ke. What would happen to ther pair?

16.Word of Honour (2021)

Here is another danmei novel turned into a drama that made it into this list.

Word of Honour (2021) is an adaptation from the novel Faraway Wanderers by Priest.

Here is a fun fact about the author Priest. She is a woman born in 1988 whose works have been adapted into manhua, donghua and Chinese dramas. Her novels have also been translated into Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese versions.

The drama tells the story of the leader of assassin organisation “The Window of Heaven”, Zhou Zishu (Zhang Zhehan).

In order to leave the assassin organization, he performs an obligatory departure technique, leaving him with three years left to live.

He disguises his face and tries to live the remainder of his days as a drunkard wandering the martial arts world.

During his travels, he meets Wen Kexing (Gong Jun), the reclusive leader of Ghost Valley who wants nothing but revenge.

The two become entangled in various machinations within the martial arts world, and eventually become soulmates instrumental in each other’s redemption.

This series was featured on Teen Vogue’s Best BL dramas of 2021.

17.Falling into Your Smile (2021)

In the world of e-sports, the all-male ZGDX OPL team is second to none. They have armies of adoring female fans follow the team wherever it goes.

But when one of the team’s star players suffers a hand injury, the tall, handsome, and notoriously hard-to-please ZGDX captain Lu Si Cheng (Xu Kai) will not be rushed into choosing a replacement.

Meanwhile, Tong Yao (Cheng Xiao) is a budding amateur gamer – obsessed with OPL.

When the ZGDX team manager learns of her skills, he contacts her, thinking that recruiting her as the scene’s first female player will help score a major PR coup.

Lu Si Cheng is dismissive of her initially, but eventually agrees to accept her as part of the team.

As they grow closer as teammates, the duo also starts to have feeling for each other.

KajoMag previously picked this series as one of the must-watched e-sports dramas.

It is adapted from the web novel ‘You’re Beautiful When You Smile’ by Qing Mei.

18.You Are My Glory (2021)

Speaking of esports dramas, here is another one that is based on the novel You are My Glory by Gu Man.

It mainly tells the story of the popular actress Qiao Jingjing (Dilraba Dilmurat) and her former high school classmate Yu Tu (Yang Yang) as they unexpectedly reunited through the mobile game Honour of Kings.

The drama was an instant hit due to the popularity of its original work. As of August 2021, the series has reached 4 billion views.

19.Love between Fairy and Devil (2022)

Drama based on Chinese novels 1

According to legend, in order to obtain a terrible power, Dongfang Qingcang (Dylan Wang) of the Moon Tribe became an emotionless monster.

He killed his father, seized the position of Moon Supreme and led an army of 100,000 Moon Tribe soldiers on a path of devastation.

Shuiyuntian (the immortal fairy realm), Cangyan Sea (the Moon Tribe), and Yunmeng Lake (the mortal world) were in grave danger.

To save the world and stop Dongfang Qing Cang and his army, the first God of War of Shuiyuntian destroyed her primordial spirit.

Dongfang Qing Cang’s army and primordial spirit were sealed and his body was locked away in Haotian Tower under the immortal bonds of the Haotian Matrix.

But due to a mishap, a fairy named Xiao Lanhua (Esther Yu) unwittingly sets him free. In the process of setting him free, some bizarre magic appears to have taken place – the two have swapped bodies.

Though they are able to sort that out quickly, there’s another problem – somehow, when Xiao Lanhua woke him, she cast the “One Heart Curse”, which links them so that he suffers her injuries, feels her emotions, and would even die if she did.

Now his life is at the mercy of a fairy who doesn’t even know the curse exists.

Since she is his biggest weakness, he has to protect her life in order to protect his own.

As he searches for a way to undo the spell, a forbidden love begins to blossom between the fairy and the devil.

This fantasy series is based on the novel of the same name written by Jiu Lu Fei Xiang.

20.Who Rules the World (2022)

Based on the novel Qie Shi Tian Xia by Qing Ling Yue, this wuxia drama follows the story of Hei Feng Xi (Yang Yang) and Bai Feng Xi (Zhao Lu Si).

The series is set in the Dadong Empire whereby the country is divided into seven factions with six autonomous states with their respective lords.

Emperor Chunxi rules over them but knows each of them is coveting the throne.

The legitimacy of the dynasty’s rule comes from the Empyrean token. With the token suddenly declared missing, there is a fight among the states to get hold of it.

In the midst of all these chaos, two great martial artists get drawn into the tussle.

They are Bai Feng Xi of the Tianshuang Sect and Hei Feng Xi of Fountain Abode. Bai Feng Xi has no interest in politics but ends up with the token by accident. Thus, she becomes a target and is shadowed by Hei Feng Xi who also saves her in the process.

The pair then continues their journey together as they find out who is the villain behind the scene that masterminds the political chaos in their country.

KajoPicks: 10 Chinese transmigration dramas you need to watch

If you are a fan of Chinese webnovels, you must be familiar with the transmigration genre.

This is when the main character finds himself/herself transported into a fictional world such as a book, drama, game and so on.

It also covers stories in which the protagonist inhabits an existing person’s body across different time periods.

Perhaps the most famous Korean drama which carries a transmigration type of plot is Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo.

In the drama, Go Ha-jin (Lee Ji-eun) from the 21st century finds herself in the body of Hae Soo in the year 941.

As for C-dramas, here are KajoMag’s choices of 10 Chinese transmigration dramas you need to watch:

1.The Eternal Love (2017)

As if being transmigrated into another person’s body was not complicated enough, in this story the main character’s body switches back and forth between two souls.

Set in the ancient China, Qu Tan Er (Liang Jie) is the second daughter of the Qu family.

She is in love with the king’s oldest son, Mo Yi Huai (Wang Rui Chang).

Unfortunately, she is being forced to marry, Yi Huai’s younger brother, Mo Lian Cheng (Xing Zhao Lin), the eighth prince of the Dong Yue Kingdom.

Unhappy with the forced marriage, Tan Er tries to commit suicide, only to wake up from her failed attempt with the spirit of another woman also taking up residence in her body.

The modern Xiao Tan (also played by Liang Jie) has the opposite personality of Tan Er, cheerful and assertively strong.

She is stuck in the past world and has so far been unsuccessful in her attempts to find a way back to the modern time.

Whenever one of the women tells a lie, the other personality takes over the body.

To complicate the situation, Lian Chen falls in love with the vivacious Xiao Tan.

The drama is an adaptation of Fan Lai’s popular novel ‘Laugh Favourite Concubine: Sir, I Wait for You to Divorce Me’.

Yes, it is quite a mouthful for a title of a novel. It is no surprise in the drama adaptation is simply called ‘The Eternal Love’.

2.Cinderella Chef (2018)

This drama follows the story of Ye Jia Yao (Zhong Dan Ni) is a chef who runs a mobile diner in the modern day.

One day, a dejected young man comes in one day and asks her to cook his last meal.

Apparently, he plans to take his life that night. As it turns out, the man is devastated that his professor has stolen all of his data for a time machine that he built.

The man then brings Jia Yao to his lab to show her his time machine. An incident happens in the lab and Jia Yao is catapulted back to ancient times.

There, Jia Yao finds herself in the body of Ye Jin Xuan who is the daughter of a magistrate.

The moment she wakes up, she is suddenly kidnapped to Hei Fang Camp where she meets the leader of the bandits Xia Chun Yu.

He is the former master of the Jing An Marquis manor. One thing leads to another, the two get engaged in a fake marriage.

Like many fake marriages in the drama world, both of them starts to fall for each other.

3.Princess at Large (2018)

This Chinese transmigration drama follows the story of Ji Xian Yun (Yang An Qi) who is preparing for her career as a doctor.

However one day, she is transported back to the ancient times and finds herself in the body of a powerful minister’s daughter at the Imperial Court.

The moment she is transmigrated, the minister’s daughter has just survived a suicide attempt.

Her parents are forcing her to marry the Emperor’s favourite son, Prince Ming or Qi Ling Xiao (Sheng Ying Hao).

Despite being the favourite son, Prince Ming is suffering from mysterious illness.

As Ji Xian Yun is looking her way to return to the modern times, the minister’s family is pushing the marriage ahead.

After being forced to go through the wedding, Ji strikes a deal with Prince Ming. If she can cure him from his mysterious sickness, the prince will divorce her.

Being transmigrated from the modern era, Ji is definitely not a weak princess in this drama and that makes the whole series fun to watch.

4.Joy of Life (2019)

Based on the webnovel Qing Yu Nian by Mao Ni, Joy of Life (2019) follows the story of Fan Xian (Zhang Ruo Yun).

He is born in the ancient empire of Southern Qing with memories of the 21st century.

He lives in a rural town as the illegitimate son of the Minister of Finance, raised by his grandmother.

His mother, Ye Qing Mei, was once a celebrated inventor and the founder of the Overwatch Department, the country’s spy network but was killed shortly after her son was born.

Fan Xian has since been protected by a blind martial arts expert, Wu Zhu, his mother’s bodyguard.

He learned martial arts and the art of poison as a child, also assisted by his knowledge from the 21st century.

After an assassination attempt, he decides to venture into the capital to find out more about his mysterious mother and why anyone would want to kill him, as he perceives himself to be an unimportant person.

He also wants to know why he has memories of a sharply different era. In the capital, he accidentally meets Lin Wan Er (Li Qin) the sickly illegitimate daughter of Princess Royal, and falls in love with her.

Unbeknownst to him, she is the woman the emperor chose for him to marry so that he would be the new overseer of the Royal Treasury, an institute Fan Xian’s mother established in the palace and currently handled by Princess Royal.

In the capital, however, he gets entangled in the Imperial Court conflict as well as in the Overwatch Department.

The drama garnered high viewership and mostly positive reviews for its comedic elements and logical story flow. It won two awards at the Shanghai Television Festival including Best Adapted Screenplay.

5.My Heroic Husband (2021)

This Chinese transmigration drama is adapted from the novel Zhui Xu by Fen Nu de Xiang Jiao.

It follows the story of a successful entrepreneur in modern-day China.

Due to some business dispute, his former business partner has him brutally beaten.

When he awakes, he has transmigrated back in time hundreds of years and now inhabits the body of a young man named Ning Yi (Guo Qi Lin).

He immediately discovers that he is engaged into the family of a successful cloth merchant and will become a matrilocal husband.

Even though at first he is reluctant to get married, things change after he meets his fiancee Su Tan Er (Song Yi).

Ning Yi changes his mind and the couple ties the knot.

After their wedding, Ning Yi discovers some of the problems of his in-laws’ cloth merchant business.

Using his modern day business skill, Ning Yi helps the family’s business to grow.

6.Love Better Than Immortality (2020)

How about a Chinese transmigration story with some love triangle drama?

The plot starts in the year 2196 when technology has advanced so much that was once considered extraordinary has now become ordinary.

For example being immortal has now become a normal thing.

Humans can even experience different life through virtual reality program.

However, Chun Hua (Zhao Lu Si) wants more than virtual reality. She yearns to experience true love.

Hence, Chun Hua agrees to participate in a VR program called Tianlei System where she can transmigrate into a different world to find true love in exchange for her immortality.

After waking up in a world of martial arts, Chun Hua is caught between the love of two men; the arrogant and aggressive Qie Yue (Li Hong Yi) and the kind and gentle Xiao Bai (June Wu).

Both men are mortal enemies and are different as night and day, yet both falling in love with the same woman, Chun Hua.

Like many drama on this list, this series is based on the novel of the same name by Shu Ke.

7.Mr Bad (2022)

If you are looking for something light and sweet to watch, this is the C-drama for you.

The plot follows the life of Nan Xing (Shen Yue) who works an online novel writer.

In the novel she wrote, her main character is based on her favourite idol Lu Zi Chen (Luo Ming Jie) while his main antoganist is Xiao Wu Di (Chen Zhe Yuan). He is a cunning and manipulative martial artist.

One day, after making a wish for an ‘unforgettable love’ in a Fairy Pool.

To her surprise, Xiao Wu Di who is the villain of her novel appears before her.

She tries to avoid him but Xiao Wu Di keeps on threatening her into taking care of him.

After awhile, Nan Xing realises that she develops a special power; whenever she needs help, Xiao Wu Di would teleports next to her to fulfill her wish.

8.Dance of the Phoenix (2020)

In modern-day China, a quiet, shy young female student named Meng Yuan (Yang Chao Yue) works hard at her dream of becoming a leading practitioner of Chinese traditional medicine.

But on one fateful day, she finds herself transported into the body of a woman named Feng Wu who lives in a fantasy land where magic and martial arts rule the world.

Feng Wu is forced into a marriage with a prince named Jun Lin Yuan (Xu Kai Cheng), who also resents the fact that his bride has been selected for him against his will.

Meng Yuan soon discovers that if she is to make her life as Feng Wu a success, she will have to learn how to defend herself against danger and make powerful friends.

Fortunately, she soon discovers that her knowledge of Chinese traditional medicine will be invaluable here and will help her treat the ailments of her newfound friends.

9.The Romance of a Tiger and a Rose (2020)

Overall, this Chinese transmigration drama is cute and enjoyable to watch.

But what we love the most about it is how the drama plays around the idea of stereotypical gender roles.

Chen Xiao Qian (Zhao Lu Si) is a struggling screenwriter who has never been in love before.

Her script was finally being picked up but the filming has been delayed because the main actor Han Ming Xing (Ding Yu Xi) questioned a lot about the storyline.

The next day, she finds herself being transmigrated into her own script in the body of the third princess of Dong Liang named Chen Qian Qian.

Dong Liang is a unique country where females dominate and males are perceived to be the weaker species that need to be protected.

Since she knows the storyline of her script, she knows that her character Princess Chen Qian Qian is a supportive character that soon to be killed in the third episode by the male lead character Prince Han Shuo.

Prince Han Shuo is from the neighbouring country where the gender roles are conservatives and are opposite of Dong Liang’s.

On top of that, Han Shuo looks exactly like Han Ming Xing who is the actor in Chen Xiao Qian’s drama.

Being in her own drama, Chen’s goal is simple which is trying to find her way back home while avoiding being killed by the male lead.

10.The Player (2022)

This Chinese transmigration drama follow the story of Lu Ren Jia (Zhang Yun Long) who lives a lonely life.

After being abandoned by his mother as a child, he lost all trust in other people and became an almost reclusive.

He has shunned society, but has also taught himself a range of IT-related skills, transforming himself into something of a tech whizz.

His daily existence is dull and relatively uneventful until he discovers the latest gaming craze, an AI-based game named 5W.

5W becomes a massive phenomenon in the gaming world, pitting humans against one another and artificial intelligence, allowing them to interact with one another and aid or harm each other in the battle to gain ultimate transcendence.

In this online arena, Lu Ren Jia meets Zhou Zhi Shu (Deng Jia Jia), a beautiful and kind-hearted kindergarten teacher with some mysterious secrets of her own.

Her former boyfriend introduced Zhou Zhi Shu into the virtual world of 5W.

Because of a bug, a group of gamers get transmigrated into the game and the border between reality and the gaming world begins to blur.

5 reasons to watch C-drama Falling into Your Smile (2021)

One of the hottest Chinese dramas in 2021 is none other than romance esports series Falling into Your Smile (2021).

Directed by Qiu Zhong Wei and produced by Kelsey Yang, the story is based on Qing Mei’s webnovel “You’re Beautiful When You Smile”.

The series follows the story of Tong Yao (Cheng Xiao) who is scouted to be part of an esports team called ZGDX.

When she finally agrees to join the group and be a professional gamer, Tong Yao officially becomes the first female esport athlete in China.

Her new teammates include the leader Lu Si Cheng (Xu Kai), Xiao Pang (Sun Kai), Lao K (Gao Han) and Lao Mao (Kevin Xiao).

WeTV reported that Falling into Your Smile is the most watched Chinese drama in the month of July 2021 on its platform, beating out other on-air Chinese and Korean dramas.

So what is the buzz all about?

Falling into Your Smile 3

Here at KajoMag, we have watched all 31 episodes of the series so here are five reasons you should watch Chinese drama Falling into Your Smile (2021):

1.The buildup of the story and main characters

The plot builds around the journey of ZGDX playing through China’s Onmyoji Arena Pro League or OPL.

Like any other sports teams, ZGDX has ups and downs throughout the series.

Moreover like any other sports, they win and lose their matches in the story.

The storyline progresses steadily, focusing more on Tong Yao becoming a professional gamer, the teamwork of ZGDX as well as Tong Yao and Lu Si Cheng’s romantic relationship.

Tong Yao who is used to playing video games as a pastime has to learn how to play it professionally.

She also has to learn to deal with her new status as a ‘celebrity’ whose every move is being watched and posted online.

Other than that, we can see how ZGDX grows as a team and work out their differences whenever conflicts arise.

2.The chemistry among the characters

Speaking of ZGDX, their chemistry in the drama is undeniably good.

The team members Lu Si Cheng , Xiao Pang, Lao K and Lao Mao as well as their coach Yu Ming (Yalkun Merxat) and manager Xiao Rui (Cui Shao Yang) are like older brothers to Tong Yao.

Lao K, being portrayed as the metrosexual guy in the group, notices the little things happening around them.

In the meantime, Lao Mao is the fitness fanatic who is clueless of his surroundings.

Xiao Pang is like a human version of a teddy bear who always sticks by Tong Yao’s side.

The only one who always bickers with Tong Yao is Lu Yue (Yao Chi) but in more like sibling’s rivalry kind of bickering.

Last but not least is Chen Jin Yang (Rachel Wang), Tong Yao’s best friend.

Their friendship is just how you imagine it would be between two young women.

They spend time together, care for each other, are protective over one another and talk about work, love, men and even sex.

3.Healthy romantic relationship between the two main characters

Of course, the most interesting relationship to watch in the series is between Lu Si Cheng and Tong Yao.

Honestly, healthy romantic relationships are hard to find in C-dramas as well as K-dramas.

A cliched plot usually consists of an intelligent, handsome, cold and borderline God-like male lead falling in love with the damsel in distress.

Throw in insecurities, misunderstandings and some love rivals on either (or both) sides, and there you have it; a typical background love story in C-dramas and K-dramas. Sometimes, you don’t even know why the two main characters fall in love with each other in the first place.

Thankfully even from the beginning of Falling into your Smile, Lu Si Cheng and Tong Yao have something that you can rarely find in most fictional couples on TV, and that thing is growth.

First, they begin to trust each other as teammates and then slowly become friends.

From there, they start to show interest in each other with the little things they do for each other and some innocent flirting being thrown back and forth.

When they are finally sure about their feelings, they decide to pursue a romantic relationship together.

Even when they are dating, Lu and Tong are helping each other to be better people and esports athletes.

They do have issues… because which relationship doesn’t have problems, right?

However, they deal with it using very less dramatic way for a fictional couple, which is by communicating.

Don’t expect over-dramatic scenes like someone left crying in the rain after a fight or a love rival coming out of the blue to sway their feelings.

However, there is one thing that is very cliche and cringing to watch when comes to Lu and Tong’s relationship in the series; the slow-mo scenes of Lu catching Tong every time she falls and then them gazing into each others’ eyes.

These scenes are just unnecessary.

4.It addresses the social issues around esports industry

Most of the social issues addressed in Falling into Your Smile are about the esports industry.

With Tong Yao being the only female pro-gamer in the fictional story, it naturally highlights the sexism in the esports industry.

While her teammates are unfazed by her gender, the world seems to be more interested with the fact that she is a girl who plays video games.

Since the esports industry is relatively new, the series focuses on society’s general perception on professional gaming.

The general population deso not see gamers as a profession and there is no future in playing video games.

In the series, the parents of these professional gamers all have different reactions to their children’s choice of work.

Some are supportive while some even disowned their sons.

Their reactions portray the different opinions of society in professional gaming.

Apart from esports, the drama also highlights other social problems that are not just happening in China.

These issues include cyber-bullying, irresponsible journalism, obsessive fans and invasion of privacy for public figures.

Today, athletes are treated like celebrities whose private lives are being reported in the news.

Gone are the days when athletes’ names only appeared in the sports news section.

5.Thrilling fighting animation scenes

If you are not familiar with the game Onmyoji Arena, you might find all the talking about the game strategy and the animation scenes in the series are confusing.

You might even think ‘What on earth are these people talking about?’ or ‘What the hell is going on?’ or ‘Who is who again?’

Once you get familiar with the nature of the game and the game’s characters, the fighting scenes are very entertaining.

The fighting matches in the series are depicted through animation so it is like watching an anime in the same time.

Every fight is not the same as these players used various characters and strategies in different matches.

Moreover, the background music in the fighting scenes makes it more thrilling to watch.

Falling into Your Smile 2

So is Falling into Your Smile (2021) really worth watching?

Falling into Your Smile is Xu Kai’s first ‘modern’ role in a television series.

His previous roles are all in historical or periodic dramas such as Story of Yanxi Palace (2018), The Legends (2019) and Dance of the Sky Empire (2020).

Meanwhile, K-pop fans might recognise Cheng Xiao as one of the members of girl group WJSN.

Although she has been active as a K-pop idol since 2015, Cheng only made her first debut as an actress last year in the drama Detective Chinatown.

Speaking of K-pop, one of the drama soundtracks ‘Warrior’ is by Korean group SEVENTEEN.

Other artists who contributed to the impressive line of soundtracks are WayV, Angela Chang, Chen Zhuoxuan and even the two lead actors Xu Kai and Cheng Xiao.

Overall, Falling into Your Smile is story about a group of young adults who share the same dream and goal.

It is a still a romantic comedy so you will find yourself chuckling every now and then.

While international fans might enjoying the drama including Cheng’s performance as Tong Yao in the series, the esports community in China was not entirely thrilled.

Global Times reported that esports players in China were accusing her of being ‘unprofessional’ and ‘ruining the spirit of esports’.

This series of criticism led into an online uproar between esporting groups and Cheng’s fans.

The drama’s production company had to publish a statement urging the fans to “watch these episodes rationally, pass fair judgement and do not insult or target any actors.”

Perhaps Cheng’s performance was so good in Falling into Your Smile that some viewers could not differentiate between fiction and reality?

You have to watch the drama yourself to find out.

KajoPicks: 6 Chinese esports dramas you need to watch

Do you know that in China more than half a billion people play video games? This explains why the obsession over esports even transcends to the fictional world of dramas.

If you are into video games and drama series, here are six Chinese esports dramas you need to watch:

1.Go Go Squid! (2019)

Based on the novel ‘Stewed Squid with Honey’ by Mo Bao Fei Bao, Go Go Squid (2019) is a romantic comedy drama circles around an esports celebrity player.

20 years ago, nobody would believe that one could earn fame and fortune from playing video games.

Han Shangyan (Li Xian) is a legend in the world of esports but he is lacking in his people skills.

Meanwhile, Tong Nian (Yang Zi) is a brilliant IT programming student with a large social media following thanks to her covers of Japanese songs.

When Shangyan walks into her life, Tong Nian falls for him head over heels.

But can she attract the attention of the Shangyan who is famously known for his cold personality?

Putting aside the romance, the drama focuses on what it takes to prepare for a world-class esports competition.

Watch the drama Go Go Squid (2019) on Youtube here.

2.Love O2O (2016)

Basically, this drama is a romance story between the most popular boy and the most beautiful girl on campus.

In this story, the most popular boy Xiao Nai (Yang Yang) is the CEO of gaming company Zhi Yi Technology.

He meets computer science major Bei Weiwei (Zheng Shuang) through online game A Chinese Ghost Story.

They form an in-game ‘marriage’ with Bei Weiwei not knowing the real identity of her online husband.

Apart from the romance plot going on between Weiwei and Xiao Nai, the drama also focuses on all the hard work goes behind developing a game.

For examples are the details of NPC (Non-player Character) in a video game and the programming work to make the game to load smoother and faster.

Based on the novel of ‘Just One Smile is Very Alluring’ written by Gu Man, the drama is one of the most watched Chinese modern dramas.

The game featured in this drama is ‘A Chinese Ghost Story’. It is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) famous in China.

Watch the drama Love 020 here on Youtube.

3.The King’s Avatar (2019)

Here is another Chinese esports drama starring Yang Yang as the main character.

This time he plays the role of professional gamer Ye Xiu.

He is kicked out from his own team and becomes a manager of an Internet cafe.

After awhile, Ye Xiu slowly works his way up again to regain his spot as the number one gamer.
The plot circles around the conflicts and incidents happening within professional gamer teams.

This is quite close to reality as even here in Malaysia, we have seen numerous times professional gamer teams breaking up and moving on to new groups.

It is based on the web novel of the same name by Hu Dielan.

The game featured in the King’s Avatar is a MMORPG called Glory.

Watch the trailer here.

4.Gank My Heart (2019)

Today, there is a rising number of internet broadcasters who specialised in esports commentary.

Just like the traditional sports commentator, these broadcasters would live-stream an online game, watching them while commenting about the move.

In Gank Your Heart (2019), Qiu Ying (Wang Zi Xuan) is the noob internet broadcaster who aims to be a professional e-sports commentator.

She falls for Ji Xiangkong (Wang Yibo), a professional gamer whose nicknames are ‘Battle Swindler’ and ‘Hand Remnant’.

It is based on the novel Dian Jing Lian Ren by Nanye Lin’er.

While most Chinese esports dramas are based on real-life games, Gank My Heart (2019) centers around iConquer, a fictional multi-player fantasy game similar to World of Warcraft.

Watch the first episode of Gank Your Heart (2019) here.

5.Cross Fire (2020)

This Chinese esports drama shows how much the gaming industry changed in less than fifteen years.

In 2008 when the money is little to earn while playing game, Xiao Feng (Lu Han) is an e-sports team leader who barely keeping his team together.

Meanwhile in 2019, Lu Xiao Bei (Leo Wu) is a wheelchair-bound gamer who’s trying to make it as a professional.

Something happens and the two gamers from two different times finding themselves playing in the same game.

They find friendship in each other and continuously growing together in the gaming world.

As you can tell by the title of this drama, the series circles around the video game CrossFire.

6.Falling into Your Smile (2021)

Chinese esports dramas

When professional gamers are treated like internet celebrities, it bound to have gossip columns and obsessed fans following these gamers around.

In the drama Falling into Your Smile (2021), the all-male ZGDX OPL team has a large following of die-hard fans.

All eyes are watching the team when one of their star players suffers from a hand injury and they need of a replacement.

What they do not expect is that the replacement is a girl named Tong Yao (Cheng Xiao).

With this, she becomes China’s first female profession esports athlete.

In a male-predominated industry, the Chinese esports drama highlights the scepticism and prejudice suffered by female players as well as fans.

One of our favourite quotes in this drama is, “If a woman can be your mother, why can’t a woman be an esports professional gamer?”

Overall, the storyline does a great job in portraying the struggles faced by these athletes for choosing this unconventional profession.

If you are a fan of the game Onmyoji Arena, this is definitely a must watched drama.

Watch the drama Falling into Your Smile (2021) here.

Special mention

You are My Glory (2021)

Besides Love 020 (2016), Chinese novelist Gu Man wrote You Are My Glory which inspired another Chinese esports drama of the same name.

Again, she collaborated with Yang Yang as her main lead actor who plays the role of an aerospace engineer/expert gamer named Yu Tu.

In this currently ongoing drama, celebrity Qiao Jing Jing (Dilraba Dilmurat) is about to lose her endorsement for an online game.

Someone leaks a video of her sucking at playing an online game, which is the complete opposite of her public image.

In order to prove herself and not lose the endorsement, Jing Jing’s agent suggests that she join a gaming competition.

While trying to improve her gaming skill, Jing Jing encounters her old classmate Yu Tu and eventually asking him to become her gaming couch.

Unlike other Chinese esports dramas which circle around role-playing video game on PC, this drama centers around mobile gaming.

Chinese esports dramas 1

Watch the trailer here.

Do you have any favourite Chinese esports dramas? Let us know in the comment box.

#KajoPicks: 3 C-drama romances featuring traditional Chinese art to watch

Chinese art is arguably the oldest continuous tradition in the world dating back to 10,000 BC.

The earliest form of Chinese art discovered may have only been simple pottery and sculptures, but since then, the Chinese have developed and introduced to the world their iconic paintings, sculptures, ceramics and chinoiserie.

Even to this day, China continuously introduces to the wider audience their traditional Chinese art.

One of the most subtle but effective ways taken to promote traditional Chinese art has been through Chinese dramas.

It is reported that China produces more television dramas than any other country.

So how do these television dramas raise awareness on their culture? Easy, one or both of the main characters usually happens to be the prodigy or master of some kind of traditional Chinese art.

While watching these characters falling in or out of love through the story, viewers receive ‘unplanned’ lessons on Chinese art.

So imagine a Malay drama telling the story of how a sape player falls in love with a songket weaver. Isn’t that an infectious way to indirectly promote Malaysian culture?

If you are a fan of traditional Chinese art and romance dramas, here are three C-dramas you should watch:

1.Sunshine of My Life (2021)

Watch this drama on Kukan Drama Youtube Channel

Have you heard of Suzhou embroidery? With a history spanning over 2000 years, it is one of the oldest embroidery techniques in the world and was designated an Intangible Cultural Heritage by Unesco in 2006.

In the drama Sunshine of My Life (2021), Tang Fei (Xu Lu) is a lively woman with a passion for Suzhou embroidery.

During a fashion show, she comes across Tang Ming Xuan (Zhang Han), the general manager Ming Yuan Fashion Group.

Unlike Tang Fei, Ming Xuan sees traditional embroidery as just a business venture.

When their paths collide, Ming Xuan begins to see the importance of traditional art like Suzhou embroidery.

In one scene, Tang Fei explains hand embroidery is a way that gives ‘warmth’ to fabric and is something that can never be replicated by a machine.

The drama also shows that with the support of big corporations who can provide huge funding, it is easier for traditional craft to survive.

2.Because of You (2017)

Speaking of embroidery, here is a romance drama set in an embroidery shop.

Guo Guo (Sun Yi), the real granddaughter of a master embroiderer. She loses her memory after a car accident as a child but was saved by the driver who then raised her in a wonton shop.

As she grows up, Guo Guo’s talent in embroidery begins to reveal itself.

The production team really shows off how much research they put into the drama.

It showcases the various technique of traditional Chinese embroidery including the double-sided embroidery, feather embroidery and golden thread embroidery.

Most people do not know that this Chinese drama is actually based on Korean drama Jang Bong-ri is Here! (2014).

Instead of embroidery, the Korean drama focuses on hanbok or Korean traditional dress making. It highlights the traditional way of making hanbok; from hand-dyeing to hand-sewing every piece.

3.Mountains and Ocean (2019)

Watch this drama on Youtube

Restoring ancient painting requires a lot of effort and intricate work and this Chinese drama really shows that.

Xia Rui Ning (Zhuang Da Fei) is a student at the Cultural Institute of Xiling University who is passionate about ancient Chinese art.

It has been her dream to make a full-time career out of ancient painting.

During her art history class, Rui Ning encounters Ye Lin (Huang Sheng Chi) and Ye Miao (Fan Zhi Xin).

These two brothers have ancient scrolls, painting and artifacts that have been passed down for generations.

With Shen Zhen, the daughter of Rui Ning’s former nanny, the four of them are assigned to restore ancient painting that they accidentally found.

In between sessions restoring an ancient painting, romance and feelings begin to blossom and entangle the four of them.

KajoPicks: 8 Chinese coming-of-age dramas you need to watch

A coming-of-age story is a genre of film and literature which focuses on the growth of a protagonist from youth to adulthood.

In Chinese dramas, a typical coming-of-age story starts when the characters are in their secondary school, then during university, and ends when they become working adults.

While in real-life it is rare to have the same body size from your teenage years into adulthood, some of these Chinese drama characters even have the same hairstyles throughout the years.

Nonetheless, most Chinese coming-of-age dramas manage to capture the real essence of growing up from their teenage years to adulthood in an Asian country.

Although these dramas are set in China, some of the conflicts and inner struggles that these characters experience are relatable, especially if you are from a typical conservative Asian household.

One example is how some of the characters are advised to get “real jobs” like becoming a doctor or lawyer.

While the main storyline is typically about the love story between two main characters, these Chinese coming-of-age dramas also showcase how good friendships can grow over the years.

In real life, some of us still do keep in touch with our high school friends.

If you are looking for heartwarming Chinese coming-of-age dramas, here are eight of them that made it to our list:

1.A Love So Beautiful (2017)

Based on the novel To Our Pure Little Beauty by Zhao Qianqian, this Chinese coming-of-age drama stars Hu Yitian and Shen Yue.

It circles around Chen Xiaoxi and Jiang Chen who are classmates in high school and neighbours since they were in kindergarten.

Their characters are polar opposites. Chen Xiaoxi has a cheerful personality but does not study much, while Jiang Chen is the popular kid known for his good looks and high grades.

After losing his father at an early age, Jiang Chen becomes very distant towards people.

Despite this, Xiaoxi still expresses her crush towards Jiang Chen.

The story also follows their friends, a swimmer Wu Bosong, a tomboy Lin Jingxiao and Lu Yang, who has heart disease.

Even until when they are in university, Xiaoxi still crushes on Jiang Chen. Will Jiang Chen’s heart finally soften?

What happen to them when they finally made it into adulthood?

Like many other coming-of-age, A Love is So Beautiful focuses about these characters discovering themselves and their places in the world.

2.Rush to The Dead Summer (2017)

Starring Chen Xuedong, Zheng Shuang and Bai Jingting, the drama is based on Guo Jingming’s novel of the same name.

After winning a scholarship, Li Xia earns her place at Qian Chuan secondary school. There, she meets the two popular boys Fu Xiaosi and Lu Zhiang.

She also befriends a boyish girl named Yu Jian and the rich girl in school, Cheng Qiqi.

After they graduate, things seem to go fine, at least for some of them. Li Xia starts to date Xiaosi who is now a famous artist. Meanwhile, Qiqi becomes a celebrity after winning a singing competition.

Then, comes death, and betrayal after betrayal. Can their friendships survive all these hardships?

This Chinese coming-of-age drama was praised for its realistic life of youth and on campus as well as beautiful cinematography. Hence, it is definitely worth watching.

Watch the trailer here.

You can watch this drama on Youtube here.

3.With You (2016)

Speaking of realistic portrayal of youth, here is another Chinese coming-of-age drama that received high reviews.

Hailed as ‘best youth drama’ by critics in recent years, the drama tackles issues relatable to viewers such as family problems, school struggles as well as the ups and downs of friendships.

One of the most realistic scenes in the drama is when the students draw lots to answer objective questions during the exam. (Raise your hand if you did that in your high school years.)

It follows the story of Geng Geng (Seven Tan) who just move into Zhen Hua High School and is seated next to top student Yu Huai (Liu Haoran).

Unlike her who struggles in her studies, Yu Huai is the smart kid in class.

At first, the duo fights a lot but soon become friends. They also become close friends with the rest of their classmates, each of whom has their own interesting background stories.

However, things start to change after graduation when Yu Huai ghosts everyone in the group.

This drama gives a great reminder that even though high school memories might be sweet to look back on but there is not much to it other than memories. Sometimes, you just need to let go of your past in order to enjoy the present.

With You (2016) is based on the novel The Best of Us by Ba Yue Chang An.

Watch the trailer here.

4.My Huckleberry Friends (2017)

Here is another Chinese coming-of-age drama based on a novel by Ba Yue Chang An entitled Hello, Old Times.

The story starts when Yu Zhou Zhou starts her first day of primary school and becomes friend with a boy named Lin Yang.

Something happens and the two start to drift apart.

They meet up again during high school. At first there is an obvious awkwardness between them but soon they begin to reconcile.

It starts Li Landi and Zhang Xincheng as Zhou Zhou and Lin Yang respectively.

Watch the trailer here.

5.When We Were Young (2018)

If you spent your high school days in the 90s, you might enjoy this drama.

It is a story that revolves around high school students in the year 1996.

While chasing down a bike thief during the summer break, Yang Xi gets injured after a nearby lab explosion. This caused her unable to compete in a long-distance run.

When her school opens, she finds out that the culprit behind the lab explosion has transferred to her class. His name is Hua Biao and he even takes Yang Xi’s position as the class president.

Hua Biao is also known to be a hot-blooded genius.

Since the drama is set in the 90s, expect a lot of retro vibes in it from the hairstyle to 90s furniture and appliances.

Watch the trailer here.

6.Just An Encore (2019)

Yan Ze and Xi Ye are two best friends. Yan Ze does not see herself as beautiful and her grades are just okay. Meanwhile, Xi Ye is known in school for her beauty and grades.

Yan Ze has a secret crush on Ji Xiao who is the top student in school and unfairly handsome too.

She grows jealous of Xi Ye when she discovers that Ji Xiao might like Xi Ye. Then, another person comes into the love triangle, He Xin Liang.

He is the transfer student who always appears by Yan Ze’s side whenever she needs help.

Xi Ye, however, has a crush on Xin Liang.

Little that Yan Ze knows that her best friend Xi Ye is secretly jealous of her for her friendliness and how easy she gets along with everyone.

Remember those days when you do not have to worry about work or bill but only crushes and fights with your best friend?

Watch the trailer here.

7.All I want For Love is You (2019)

Gu Xiao Man is nothing like your average high school girl. She is a sanda (Chinese kickboxing) fighter. While she excels in sports, Xiao Man struggles with her grades.

Lucky for her, her crush, who also happens to be the school’s top student Zuo An (Liu Yu Han), is willing to tutor her.

To impress her crush (and improve her grades), Xiao Man is willing to study hard.

Thanks to Zuo An’s help, Xiao Man not only manage to graduate but she gets into the same university as Zuo An.

Their story continues in university as the duo adjusts to campus life together.

Watch the trailer here.

8.Le Coup De Foudre (2019)

This Chinese coming-of-age drama is based on the novel I Don’t Like This World, I Only Like You by Qiao Yi.

It has uplifting life lessons and a heartwarming storyline. In 35 episodes, it manages to cover various themes such as the impact of divorce on the children, the preference for sons in China, domestic violence, and the real struggles of startups.

Do not expect perfect main characters who could never go wrong in this drama as they rise and fall throughout this story.

It follows the story of Zhao Qiaoyi, a kind-hearted but timid girl and Yan Mo, a quiet and extremely disciplined boy who excels in his studies.

Qiaoyi has a twin brother, Zhao Guanchao who is an easygoing person but hides a secret pain from his past. Their circle of friends is joined by Hao Wuyi, a tomboyish girl who loves to write and Fei Dachuan, a tough-looking but kind guy.

There are plenty of realistic and relatable moments in the drama. Wuyi, for instance, is told off by her class teacher, Teacher Gao to let go of writing and focus to find ‘a real job that actually pays the bills’. As it turns out, Teacher Gao himself let go of his dream to become a musician and chose to become a teacher instead.

If we were to pick our must-watch drama from this list, it has to be Le Coup de Foudre (2019).

Watch the trailer here.

Chinese coming of age drama

KajoPicks: 10 Chinese detective dramas you need to watch

If you are interested in Chinese detective dramas, here are KajoMag’s suggestions:

1.Love Me if You Dare (2015)

Impressive acting, diverse character and intriguing storyline; these are just some of the phrases to describe Love Me if You Dare (2015).

The lead of the drama is Bo Jinyan or Simon (Wallace Huo), a brilliant criminal psychologist. He works as an analyst and adviser of the police department.

Meanwhile, his assistant Jenny or Jian Yao (Sandra Ma) is an observant and analytical whose eyes on details always comes in handy in solving cases.

Together, they are hunting a serial killer who eventually turns his target on the duo.

The drama is full of suspense, especially in hunting down the real criminal mastermind behind all the cases they encountered.

Love Me if You Dare (2015) won the Innovative Themed Drama of the Year award in the first China Quality Television Drama Ceremony.

If you love the male lead as a genius detective but slightly quirky and eccentric, this is the drama for you.

It is originally adapted from Ding Mo’s novel of the same name published in July 2014.

2.When a Snail Falls in Love (2016)

Do not be fooled by the title of this Chinese detective drama, it is barely a romantic story. It is based on the novel of the same title written by the same author of Love Me if You Dare, Ding Mo.

Just like Love Me if You Dare, this drama offers amazing storytelling, plot twists and full of suspense along the way.

It circles around Ji Bai (Wang Kai), the leader of the Violent Crime Unit and the new intern Xu Xu (Wang Ziwen) who specialises in criminal profiling.

As a hobby, Xu Xu draws comic panels of the life of their department, portraying herself as a snail and Jin as a lion.

They have plenty of clashes between them in the beginning but eventually they overcome their difference and work well together as a team.

Watch this drama here on Youtube.

3.Medical Examiner Dr. Qin

If you love watching CSI, then you will love this Chinese detective drama.

It is one of those police procedural dramas focuses on the forensic aspect of a criminal investigation.

The drama follows an investigation team consisting of medical examiner Qin Ming (Zhang Ruoyun), his assistant Li Dabao (Jiao Junyan) and police officer Lin Tao (Li Xian).

The criminal cases featured in this drama are unpredictable, intriguing and full of suspense.

However, save yourself from disappointment and do not watch the second season of Medical Examiner Dr. Qin.

4.Detective L (2019)

Detective L 2

Set in 1930s Shanghai, this Chinese detective drama definitely worth watching. It has fascinating cinematography, unpredictable story line and impressive acting.

This story centers around detective Luo Fei (Johnny Bai) and a new recruit Qin Xiao Man (Una You).

Unlike other Chinese detective dramas, Detective L focuses on crimes that could happen in 1930s Shanghai and how detectives would solve them using whatever they had in those days.

And that usually involved a lot of observation and analytical skills.

If you loved Sherlock Holmes, you might enjoy this drama too.

5.Young Blood Agency (2019)

Chinese detective drama 1

Here is another Chinese detective drama set during the Republican era of Shanghai.

Young Blood Agency is an investigative agency dedicated to solving mysterious cases. The crimes are mostly unpredictable and intriguing enough to keep viewers watching.

Starring Jerry Yu, Tonny Liou, Li Xing and Zhang Wei Hang, this drama is also another youth drama.

If you are into handsome young men as the lead actors and old school kungfu scenes, this drama is for you.

You can watch this drama on YoYo English Channel on Youtube here.

6.Visible Lie (2018)

This Chinese detective drama is almost similar to American crime drama Lie to Me starring Tim Roth.

It centers around a genius student Xu Lang (Juck Zhang) who graduated in Criminal Psychology.

He joins the public security bureau after his graduation. While solving a cases, he got severely injured and ended up losing his younger brother.

The drama continues seven years later with Xu Lang now working as a professor.

Then, his friend Tang Sen invites him to join the newly established “Criminal Psychology Team X”.

Together with two other, the team focuses on solving unsolved cases using criminal psychology.

7.Cold Case (2019)

Speaking of unsolved cases, here is a Chinese detective drama which centers around them.

The best part is this drama is all about girl power as it the story focuses on four female detectives in reopening cold cases.

The team is made of Luo Ying Wei, Cai Wen Xin, Xia Luo Yang and Feng Yi.

Each of them has her own quirk and gift to bring to the table.

As they continue to solve cases, little that they know that they are up against a massive drug syndicate.

Watch this drama legally here for free.

8.Guardian (2018)

Based on web novel of the same name, here is a Chinese detective drama with a dose of fantasy.

It is set on the Earth-like planet of Haixing, populated by a native human population and two alien races.

The Yashou who are able to shape-shift into plants and animals and Dixing, super-powered beings who live deep underground.

Bai Yu plays Zhao Yunlan who leads the Special Investigation Department (SID).

Unlike other investigation team, it is a secret group that works with crimes committed by the Dixing people.

Zhao Yunlan works together with Shen Wei (Zhu Yilong), a university professor to investigate supernatural cases around them.

While the novel depicts the pair has a romantic relationship, the drama depicts their relationship to be just friends because it is prohibited to depict same-sex relationships on television.

9.Burning Ice (2017)

Based on the novel The Untouched Crime by Chen Zijin, Burning Ice (2017) circles around Detective Liang Yan (Hao Qin).

After being demoted due to his aggressive behaviour, he tries to redeem himself.

That is when he comes across a cold case which he believed caused by a killer he has been chasing.

The killer, known as The Snowman, becomes the centre of investigation throughout the series.

10.Memory Lost (2016)

Memory Lost (2016) is another Chinese detective drama starred by Bai Yu. In this drama, he plays Han Chen the vice-chief of the civic police team.

He loses his memory but is haunted by mysterious memories of his fiancee. Han Chen gets confused because everyone denies her existence.

Meanwhile, another member of the civic police team Bai Jingxi (Yang Rong) also lose her memory. Is there something happened in their pasts?

10 things you should know about Empress Wu Zetian

Do you know what is the most expensive television series in Chinese history? With 82 episodes, The Empress of China (2014) boasts a budget of almost USD50 million.

The drama circles around Wu Zetian, the only female emperor in the Chinese history.

The plot of the drama roughly follows the historical accounts of the empress. It is based on events in the 7th and 8th-century Tang dynasty when Wu Ruyi (Fan Bingbing) enters the palace as one of Emperor Taizong (Zhang Fengyi)’s consorts.

Wu Zetian
Fan Bingbing as Empress Wu Zetian. Credit: Youtube.

The emperor soon takes notice of her and falls in love with her, inciting many to grow jealous of her.

They set out to destroy her numerous times by falsely accusing her of theft, murder and treachery.

She survives by her wits and intelligence but is kept at arm’s length by Emperor Taizong due to a prophecy foretelling a woman of Wu stealing the Tang Dynasty.

When Emperor Taizong dies, she is sent to a monastery to become a nun.

However, the Emperor’s youngest son Li Zhi (Aarif Rahman), who later becomes the Emperor Gaozong, has been in love with her since he was a child. (Yes, the emperor fell in love with his father’s lover). He brings her back to the palace and makes her his concubine.

She helped Li Zhi take back power from his Regent, and herself into the position of Empress.

She co-ruled with Li Zhi until his death, after which she ruled the country in her own right taking the name Empress Wu Zetian.

While the drama is entertaining to watch, the historical accounts behind the Empress Wu Zetian are way more intriguing. How close these accounts are to the truth of what happened? No one really knows.

Nonetheless, here are 10 things you should know about Empress Wu Zetian:

1.Empress Wu Zetian grew up as an educated child

Growing up as an educated young girl in this 21st century might not be a huge deal, but being an educated young girl in 7th-century China is.

Historians are not sure where Wu Zetian was born. Nonetheless, she was born in the seventh year of the reign of Emperor Gaozu of Tang dynasty in 624.

Her father Wu Shihou was in the timber business before holding governor posts and her mother was from a powerful family.

Since she was born into a rich family, Wu Zetian did not grow up doing domestic jobs. Unlike fathers in those era, Wu Shihou encouraged his daughter to study.

Thanks to her father’s encouragement, Wu Zetian was able to read and write as well as learn about politics, governmental affairs, literature and music.

A Tang Dynasty Empress Wu Zetian 1
Image taken from An 18th century album of portraits of 86 emperors of China, with Chinese historical notes. Originally published/produced in China, 18th century.  Credit: Public Domain.

2.When Empress Wu Zetian first entered the palace

Just like in the drama, Wu Zetian became one of the concubines to Emperor Taizong when she was just 14 years old.

Unlike the drama, Emperor Taizong was not that in love with her. Emperor Taizong’s love and attention was for his Empress Zhangsun, with whom he had three sons. He had no children with Wu Zetian.

According to custom, consorts of a deceased emperor who had not produced children were permanently sent to a monastic institution after the emperor’s death.

When Emperor Taizong died in 649, Wu Zetian was sent to Ganye Temple to live the remainder of her life as a Buddhist nun.

She didn’t stay there long. After Emperor Taizong died, his youngest son Li Zhi succeeded him as Emperor Gaozong of Tang Dynasty.

Once he was in power, Emperor Gaozong went to the temple allegedly to bring her back to the palace as his concubine.

There are several different accounts of what really happened between her and Emperor Gaozong. One account alleged that on the anniversary of Emperor Taizong’s death, Emperor Gaozong went to Ganye Temple to offer incense. That was when they saw each other after she had left the palace.

Emperor Gaozong did not favour his wife Empress Wang but favoured his concubine Consort Xiao. Seeing that Emperor Gaozong was still impressed by Wu Zetian at that temple, the empress invited her back to the temple with hope that an arrival of a new concubine would distract the emperor from Consort Xiao.

Another account pointed out that the Wu Zetian had never left the palace in the first place. Gaozong and Wu Zetian were already having an affair even when the late emperor was still alive.

3.She allegedly killed her own baby.

YouTuber Jack Rackam made a video about Wu Zetian in 2019, calling her “History’s Worst Mom”. But was she the worst mother of all time?

Once Wu Zetian entered the palace, she soon overtook Consort Xiao as Emperor Gaozong’s favorite and bore him four sons. By 654, Empress Wang and Consort Xiao were no longer deemed favourable to the Emperor.

So the two former rivals joined forces to go against Wu Zetian.

In the same year, Wu Zetian gave birth to a baby daughter. Some time after her birth, the infant died with reported evidence suggesting deliberate strangulation.

Wu Zetian immediately blamed the Empress of murder.

There are several theories what could have happened to the child. Since Chinese traditional folklore tends to portray Wu Zetian as a power hungry woman , naturally it was suggested that she strangled her own baby so that she could blame her rival.

Another theory is that the baby died due to carbon monoxide poisoning. This was possible as there was a lack of ventilation in those days combined with using coal as a heating method.

Besides that, it is possible that the baby died due to sudden infant death syndrome.

Regardless of what the cause of death might be, Wu Zetian blamed it on Wang, and the latter was removed from her position as Empress.

The peak of the rivalry between Wu Zetian and Wang took place in 655 when Wu Zetian accused Wang and her mother of using witchcraft.

Wang and Xiao were subsequently disposed from the palace.

When Wu Zetian heard that the Emperor was about to bring the two women back to the palace, she ordered them to be killed.

Wang and Xiao died in the most unimaginably cruel way; their limbs were cut off and they were both put in wine jars to drown to death.

She was alleged to have commented, “Now these two witches can get drunk to their bones.”

4.How she climbs to the throne

After the disposal of her rivals, Wu became Emperor Gaozong’s new empress consort in 655.

As she was a charismatic and well-educated woman, Wu Zetian rose to power becoming the most influential woman at court.

Emperor Gaozong was often sick and many historians believed she was the real power behind her husband’s throne. The emperor was just the puppet and Wu Zetian was the puppet master.

After Gaozong’s death in 683, she became the Empress dowager.

As her first son Li Hong grew older, he often came in conflict with Wu Zetian. It is believed that Wu Zetian poisoned Li Hong to his death in 675.

After Li Hong’s death, Wu Zetian’s second son Li Xian became the crown prince. In 680, he was accused of treason and he was exiled.

When he thought he could be free from his mother, something happened four years later when Li Xian in exile. In 684 when Wu Zetian was the empress dowager, she had her associate visit Li Xian to force him to commit suicide.

Wu Zetian’s third son Emperor Zhongzong succeeded his father in 684. However, Wu Zetian deposed him less than two months later in favour of her fourth song Emperor Ruizong. Again, many believed that Wu Zetian was the real ruler behind her son’s reign.

Six years later, Emperor Ruizong in turn relinquished the throne to his mother. Did he do that voluntarily? It is a debatable question.

Hence, Emperor Dowager Wu officially seized the throne in the brief Zhou dynasty (690-705), becoming the only female emperor in Chinese history.

5.Wu Zetian’s legacy at Longmen Grottoes

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There are 100,000 Buddhist images, 2800 inscribed tablets and 43 Buddhist pagodas found at Longmen Grottoes. Credits: Pixabay.

The only female Chinese emperor only took up the name Wu Zetian upon her coronation. She was previously known as Wu Zhao. She named her dynasty after the ancient Zhou Dynasty (1046 until 771 BC), from whom she believed herself to be descended.

While many records demonised Emperor Wu as the power-crazed ruler, no one could refute the legacy that she left behind.

One of them is located 12 kilometers from the ancient city of Luoyang called the Longmen Grottoes.

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Statues at Longmen Groettoes. Credits: Pixabay

In the largest cave of Longmen Grottoes, there is a statue called the Grand Vairocana Buddha. Historical records revealed that the Buddha statue was modeled after the Empress Wu Zetian. She supported the construction of the statue with her own money. What better way to leave your legacy than by putting your own face on a Buddha statue?

Today, the statue is often referred as the Eastern Mona Lisa.

6.The rebuilding of Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

This Buddhist pagoda was built in 652 and originally had five stories. Fifty years later, the exterior facade of the pagoda collapsed.

When Empress Wu Zetian came into rule, she had the pagoda rebuilt and added five new stories by the year 704.

However, a massive earthquake took place in 1556 reducing it to its current height of seven stories.

7.Her legacy at Daming Palace

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Daming Palace. Credits: Pixabay

Today, the Daming Palace is a national heritage site in China. This building once served as the imperial residence of the Tang emperors for more than 220 years.

Apparently in 634 Emperor Taizong ordered a summer palace to be built for his retired father, Emperor Gaozu.

However, Emperor Gaozu died in 635 before the completion of the palace and then the construction was halted.

In 660, Empress Wu took over the project, commissioning the court Yan Liben to design the palace.

The construction of the palace was completed under the reign of her husband Emperor Gaozong in 663.

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Daming Palace. Credits: Pixabay

8.How Empress Wu Zetian changed the Imperial examination

The Chinese imperial examinations were a civil service examination system in Imperial China for selecting candidates for the state bureaucracy.

Historians could not deny that Wu Zetian’s reign was a pivotal moment for the imperial examination system.

Before she came into power, the examination was only opened to the male members of the Li family (the aristocrats). When she officially took the title of emperor in 690, she opened the examinations to the lower class.

On top of this, she specifically created the palace and military examinations during her reign.

Furthermore, Wu Zetian started opening up opportunities to the wider population, including China’s then less prestigious area in the southeast.

Empress Wu of the Zhou published c 1690
A 17th-century Chinese depiction of Wu, from Empress Wu of the Zhou, published c.1690. Credits: Public Domain.

9.She created her own Chinese character but failed

As numerous figures and paintings revealed from Tang Dynasty, the women back then wore male clothes and fitted blouses with low necklines.

They also rode horseback, practiced archery and played polo. Some historians believed that it was due to Wu Zetian’s influence in changing what women could or could not do.

While she could change how women dressed, she was unable to change how people wrote.

Wu Zetian herself was a writer, having published many papers and poetry under her name. She also commissioned the biographies of influential women back then.

In December 689, she introduced the Zetian characters in order to demonstrate her power.

However, she did not create the characters but they were suggested by an official named Zong Qinke (the son of one of her cousins).

Wu Zetian forced her subjects to use them during her reign but they fell into disuse right after her death.

10.Her fall from grace, not because of one man, but two

It is common in history or legend to see the fall of a powerful man caused by one woman.

In the case of Empress Wu Zetian, her lust over two men caused her downfall.

In 697, Zhang Changzong was introduced to Wu Zetian by her own daughter Princess Taiping. The emperor was 73.

So what do you do when you have an emperor who is old enough to be your grandma as your lover? Follow what Zhang Changzong did, and introduce your brother.

Changzong’s brother Zhang Yizhi was reported to be good looking, “his skin was white and beautiful and that he was good at singing.”

Subsequently, both brothers became her lovers. Wu Zetian promoted them into higher positions in her court.

They became objects of hatred as Wu Zetian clearly favoured them. By early 705, Wu Zetian was slowly becoming ill.

Her chancellor Zhang Jianzhi entered into a coup with the other officials. After killing the Zhang brothers and their families, they forced Wu Zetian to yield the throne to her third son Emperor Zhongzong who previously only ruled for two months in 684.

The cycle continued of aaaaa woman ruling behind a man just like Wu Zetian did, since Emperor Zhongzong was a rather weak ruler.

The real power laid in the hands of his empress consort Empress Wu and her lover Wu Sansi who happened to be Wu Zetian’s nephew.

The end of Zhou Dynasty

On March 3, 705, the Tang Dynasty was restored with historians generally viewing the Zhou Dynasty as an interregnum of the Tang Dynasty.

As for Wu Zetian, she died months later on Dec 16, 705. She was interred with her husband Emperor Gaozong at the Qianling Mausoleum.

Mike Dash from the Smithsonian Magazine summarised Wu Zetian’s later life perfectly.

He wrote in 2012, “After Gaozong’s death, in 683, she remained the power behind the throne as dowager empress, manipulating a succession of her sons before, in 690, ordering the last of them to abdicate and taking power herself. Not until 705, when she was more than 80 years old, Wu was finally overthrown by yet another son – one whom she had banished years before.

Her mistake had been to marry this boy to a concubine nearly as ruthless and ambitious as herself.”

KajoPicks: 10 Chinese campus romance dramas to watch

Admit it; any youth or coming-of-age drama is better when the producer throws some campus romance into the storyline.

If you are looking for Chinese campus romance dramas to watch, here are 10 of KajoMag’s suggestions:

1.Your Highness, The Class Monitor (2019)

Su Nian Nian (Xing Fei) wants to go to top universities in big cities like Beijing University and Tsinghua University. But due to an accident on her way to university admission examination, she fails to enter the university she wanted.

She has to settle for a predominantly male engineering university. Things get complicated around her after she is appointed as the class monitor and come across Gu Zi Chen (Niu Jun Feng). Nian Nian strongly believes Zi Chen is the one who caused her accident. After constant bickering and getting on each others’ nerves, they eventually fall in love.

Basically, the campus romance in this drama is a love-hate relationship. Plus, there is a lot of push-pulls that at one point gets tiring to watch.

Putting aside the love story, the drama touches on some relatable themes, like how women need to work harder to prove themselves when choosing a career dominated by men. Or how some fields like engineering are gender-stereotyped, and can only be pursued by the male species.

2.Put Your Head on My Shoulder (2019)

Starring Xing Fei and Lin Yi, this drama is based on Zhao Qianqian’s novel of the same name.

It circles around Situ Mo (Xing Fei), an accounting student who wants to work in the advertising industry.

As she tries to find her place in the world, circumstances put her to live in the same house with physics student Gu Weiyi (Lin Yi).

Though the drama marks Gu Weiyi’s television debut, his performance as an uptight, rigid science student is rather impressive.

Meanwhile, Xing Fei is definitely in her ‘zone’ as she takes another lead role in a Chinese campus romance drama. But we do hope that she will take more versatile roles in the future.

3.Love 020 (2016)

This campus romance story is between a senior and a junior student of computer science. Bei Weiwei (Zheng Shuang) the brain with the beauty of the computer science department, while her senior Xiao Nai (Yang Yang) is the cream of the crop in sports and academics. Together, they make the A-list couple of their university.

What makes this pair different from most couples in campus romance dramas is that there is no relationship drama between them.

There is no over-the-top jealousy fights, no crying over insecurities and no dramatic disapproved parent.

On top of this, the drama highlights the work that goes behind the scenes in the game development industry.

Watch the drama here on Youtube.

4.Stand By Me (2016)

Not every group of high school friends is lucky enough to continue studying together in the same university. This group of friends in Stand By Me (2016) is one of the few.

Lu Qiao (Wu Ye Ze), Zhong Bai (Xu Xiao Lu), and Ren Yi Fan (Yu Xiang) are close high school friends.

They meet new friends as they begin their college life at the same university.

Things should not get complicated when Lu Qiao falls in love with a new classmate.

However, they dk because Zhong Bai has had a crush on him since, like, forever. Hence, Ren Yi Fan has to step in to mediate between the two.

Oh well, what is a campus romance drama without a love triangle?

5.Proud of Love (2016)

Here is a campus romance drama with a dose of fantasy! Shen Xi is a dance major student who has a sweet, caring boyfriend named Lin Yu Tang.

Everything is normal until she swaps souls with an engineering student He Zhi Zhou from a nearby university.

So you have an engineering student stuck in a dancer’s body and a dancer caught in the life of an engineering student.

If you are into hilarious, manga-like drama, then this series is for you.

6.Beyond Light Years (2018)

Computer science or specifically game development has become the trendy course for many male leads in campus romance dramas over the years.

Meanwhile, the female lead is usually pursuing an artsy kind of course.

In this drama, the male lead is a computing major named Li Yu Chen who is cold but extremely intelligent (why are we not surprised?).

In the meantime, the leading female is Xia Xiao Ci who is bubbly and passionate about reading and writing.

Clearly, the two leading characters’ personalities clashes. Will they finally be together in the end or will continue to drift apart especially after graduating?

Watch the trailer here.

7.Where the Lost Ones Go (2017)

First of all, let us praise the cinematography of this drama. It is aptly artistically beautiful as the revolves around two art students.

Ye Zi is a major in Chinese art painting while Xiang Zei Yi majors in oil painting.

They engage ina whirlwind campus romance until Xiang Ze Yi leaves without a word.

So what happen when Xiang Zei Yi comes back into Ye Zi’s life years later? Will she pick up the pieces and forgive her first love?

Watch the trailer here.

8.One and Half Summer (2014)

For K-pop fans, this is the Chinese campus romance drama that you need to watch. It stars Nickhun, a Thai member of K-pop group 2PM.

But wait, since when did Nickhun speak Mandarin? He doesn’t, somebody else does a voice over for his character.

Nickhun plays Zhang Hao, a Chinese American who come to China from New York just to find a mysterious woman whom he meets during a vacation in Greece.

Then, he meets her at Nanyang University where the two subsequently fall in love with one another.

Watch the trailer here.

9.My Sunshine (2015)

When two college sweethearts meet each other again seven years after they broke up, will they rekindle their old flame?

The drama starts with a predictable storyline; a girl falls in love at first sight with a boy on campus. They date and a third party comes into the picture to ruin their love.

In a classic romance drama move, the girl gets upset so she moves to another country.

If only real people like us have that luxury to move to another country every time our hearts get broken.

Watch the trailer here.

10.Suddenly This Summer (2018)

This slice-of-life drama feels realistic and somehow relatable to most of us. The 30-episode series divides into 10 episodes during high school time, 10 episodes at campus and the last 10 with the characters in adulthood.

Unlike the campus romances on this list, the couple ends up going to different universities in two different cities because that is the reality for some us who date during university. You juggle between your campus life and a long distance relationship.

10 Chinese drama YouTube channels to subscribe

If you love watching Chinese dramas and you want to watch them legally for free, you can actually watch them on YouTube.

Here are 10 Chinese drama YouTube channels to subscribe to:
1.YoYo Television Series Exclusive

YoYo Televisions Series Exclusive claims to be the biggest up-to-date Chinese TV series channel on the YouTube.

With more than 1.5 million subscribers for this channel, we couldn’t help but agree.

Perhaps one of the reasons that it has huge following is because some of the dramas even come with Indonesian subtitles apart from English subtitles.

If you don’t know what to watch on this channel, we suggest Young Blood Agency and Tornado Girl.

2.Tencent Video

Speaking of large followings, Tencent Video is perhaps the largest Chinese video streaming website.

As of March 2019, it has over 900 million mobile monthly active users and 89 million subscribers.

You don’t have to subscribe to the websites to watch Chinese dramas featured there. You can also subscribe to its official YouTube channel.

There you can find variety videos from entertainment shows to Chinese dramas.

Some of the hottest dramas from Tencent Videos in 2019 is Put Your Head on Your Shoulder and Detective L.

Detective L
Read our review on Detective L here.
3.Chinese Huace & TV Official

While most of these Chinese drama YouTube channels did not bother to group their drama into proper playlist, Chinese Huace & TV Official went to great lengths to categorize them according to genre.

Subscribers can choose dramas from categories such as Modern, Costume, Period and War.

Some of the dramas even come with English, Indonesian, Turkish and Portuguese subtitles.

4.Kukan Drama Channel

When We Were Young, Mr Swimmer, The Dark Lord are just some of the high-rated dramas being featured on this Chinese drama YouTube channel.

Interestingly, it also has channels dedicated to Vietnamese, Spanish and Arabic viewers.

On the down side, some of the dramas are not made available in Malaysia.

5.Croton Mega Hit

This Chinese drama YouTube channel is owned by Croton Media, one of the biggest TV drama producers in China.

Sadly, a handful of dramas from Croton Mega Hit are not made available in Malaysia.

But you can still watch some of them such as Love 020 and Boss and Me with full English subtitles.

Love O2O
Read what we thought about Love 020 here.

If this Chinese drama YouTube channel sounds familiar, it is because it is one of China’s top online video and streaming service platforms.

On its channel, you can also enjoy its entertainment shows and documentaries but most of these shows are without English subtitles.

So far, one of our favourite dramas from this channel is Fall in Love.

7.HLBN Entertainment and HLBN

Most of these Chinese drama YouTube channels such as HLBN welcome their subscribers to help in the translation subtitles.

So if you are well-versed in English and Mandarin, consider doing it for the common good of all Chinese drama fans.

While most of the dramas are not available in Malaysia, you can still watch some of them such as Lost Love in Times and Hey Daddy.


The Chinese dramas uploaded on this channel are mostly interesting and highly rated.

However, you need to sign up as a member to watch some of them.

The good news is you can still watch dramas like Colourful Bone, a love story set during ancient turbulent times.

9.Mango TV Drama Channel

The Night of the Comet, Where the Lost Ones Go, Hello Debate Opponent are KajoMag’s suggestion of dramas to watch from this channel.

Plus, the best part of Mango TV Drama Channel is most of the dramas have English subtitles and made available in Malaysia.

10.Letv Official Channel

Letv Official Channel might not give you the latest dramas from China like most of the channels on this list, but there are good dramas from a couple years back that still worth watching again.

Besides, you can also watch full length Chinese movies complete with English subtitles like Suddenly Seventeen starring Wallace Huo and Eavesdropping starring one of Hong Kong legends Louis Koo.