Apr 26, 2022
Luoyang Divine Youth review (contains non-explicit spoilers)
Luoyang Divine Youth, or its mononym Luoyang, is a historically-inspired donghua that combines fantasy elements from the Wu Zhou period. A verdict on the imperial examination has impeded the interests of traditional aristocrats. During this time, Pei Kun came to the city Luoyang and got entangled in the "fox demon" case as a wanted man. His persistence in catching the felon led to his involvement in the conspiracy of the Chun Qiu clan. Alongside Li Ying and those of the imperial court, Pei Kun tears apart this massive conspiracy to achieve his original goal.
Story & character: 7/10 and 5/10
donghua goes on a slow pace to build up depth. I was pretty surprised it could fit the main storyline into 16 episodes with fillers for Pei Kun and Li Ying, princess of Tang’s relationship. Everything was set in stone from the first episode until it threw in more hooks and pinch points, which made keeping up with the story a bit perplexing. The most notable episode was episode 8 because it revealed current events but not everything for obscurity.
I like how it showed each character's reason for actions because of their struggles (such as the Shangguang siblings' misunderstanding, Li Ying’s “betrayal,” etc.). What I did not enjoy is that most of the introduced characters exist for the sake of others. They are “disposed” or forgotten about later on after events that fit accordingly to their principle (mainly Bai He’s wasted development in the season finale).
Art & Sound: 7/10 & 6/10
There is nothing special about sound. However, there are some notable things about art. The fight scenes are pleasing to look at; they successfully capture fluidity during most of the character’s stunts. I appreciate this donghua's efforts in designing extras and scenery according to its period, which is a bonus for me. Some sets have a drastic change in quality when characters are standing in sunlight or any bright light. It creates a blur effect or an unrealistic glow on their faces, but it is not something that ruins the experience.
Overall and enjoyment: 6/10
The mystery elements captivated me. The number of vaguely answered questions by foreshadowing hinted at a sequel, but there is no information about a second season (as of writing this). I expected the story to have a play on politics, but the mix of fantasy and vitality themes is not so bad. A 6 is fair, so I consider this a decent donghua to watch.
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