Love Between Fairy & Devil (2022) 苍兰诀 : C-Drama Series Review

Main Couple Fairy Little Orchid & Devil Dong Fang Qing Cang

The title of the series already gives away the storyline – love story of a couple from the opposite sides – the immortal fairy Little Orchid (Xiao Lan Hua) and the “devil” from Moon Tribe’s Supreme Lord Dong Fang Qing Cang. Their encounter arose accidentally when Little Orchid is sucked into the prison in Heaven, in her clumsy attempt to protect her crush God of War Lord Chang Heng. Exchanging a kiss, Little Orchid and Dong Fang Qing Cang’s lives are intertwined with hilarious effects – both lives are dependent on each other, Lord Supreme will physically feel Little Orchid’s injuries and feelings, even exchanging bodies during thunder. Thereon, with their intertwined lives, both endures each other and goes on an adventure of sort.  

Life as Immortals in Heaven

Initially turned off by each other’s personality, Little Orchid and Lord Supreme gets to know each other better as they endure the mundane daily activities. Lord Supreme is eager to rid their connection to embark on his revenge against the immortals (considering that he has been imprisoned for 30,000 years upon his defeat at the death of the previous God of War Lady Chi Di) while the unsuspecting Little Orchid is a kind-hearted & innocent immortal with little power, mistaking Lord Supreme as an ordinary prisoner.

Muse #1 – Little Orchid lives in The Arbiter, a very beautiful architecture of heavenly abode which houses the Tree of Destiny whereby the leaves are destiny of all living beings of the three realms – immortals, Moon tribes & mortals. The Arbiter is very well-imagined & re-constructed in the series – portraying the mix of space with a beautiful garden of plants. If they have a villa for rent for tourists am very sure it will be popular!

The Arbiter in heaven vs The Pavilion in Cangyan

Both Little Orchid and Lord Supreme are often surprised at each other’s reactions, giving food for thoughts on their original assumptions on various matters. As both tries to escape the eyes of the other immortals, they face discrimination and persecution from the other high & mighty (and stronger) immortals of Heaven.

Emperor of Heaven Lord Yun Zhong is often prejudiced against many including Moon tribes and even his own brother Lord Chang Heng. As the series progress, more characters are introduced.

  • Lord Chang Heng’s feelings for Little Orchid, his conflicts with his brother’s ambitions, his struggle of his betrothal to the Goddess of Xi Shan and his close brotherhood with Lord Rong Hao;
  • Fairy Danyin’s crush on Lord Chang Heng, her jealousy & realisation of her unrequited feelings;
  • Rong Hao’s deep attachment to his master, the previous God of War Lady Chi Di and deep resentment of the immortals;
  • Lord Li Yuan’s (Fairy Dan Yin’s father) deep secret;
  • Shang Que, a black dragon who is the loyal chief guard to Lord Supreme Dong Fang Qing Cang;
  • Cunning mortal Jie Li, who is also forced to work with the Lord of Haishi;
  • Lord of Haishi and his loyal subject Die Yi.

Muse #2 Heavenly Immortals are often portrayed as detached of feelings. However, the tricks employed by the ambitious Lord Yun Zhong, the bickering little fairies (and unwillingness to help each other in the competition), the deep attachment of Lord Rong Hao and even Lord Li Yuan all points to the exact opposite of immortals devoid of feelings. Hypocrisy at its peak, considering the kind of reverence the immortal command.

Life in Sea of Cangyan

When Little Orchid is exposed to be hiding Lord Supreme Dong Fang Qing Cang in The Arbiter, she is punished and saved by Lord Supreme who whisked her off to Sea of Cangyan where the Moon Tribes reside. Although reluctant to be leaving Heaven, Little Orchid slowly acclimatises with an understanding of Moon Tribe’s sufferings along the way

  • As Lord Supreme Dong Fang Qing Cang has not returned for 30,000 years, there are constant internal strife and wars within Moon Tribes exacerbating the sufferings of the Moon Tribe from death of loved ones involved in the war;
  • Lord Supreme’s brother Xun Feng’s struggle to accept his brother whom he blames for killing their father;
  • The original Moon Tribe’s 100,000 army who left for battle with Lady Chi Di are frozen in time at the Xuan Wu battlefield, unable to be revived;
  • Lord Supreme’s own sufferings and his detachment from personal feelings, a sacrifice he has to make to master the power of Hellfire.

As Lord Supreme falls in love (and very hard too!) with Little Orchid, he slowly regains his lost “tree of feelings”, ultimately losing his control of the power of Hellfire. When Lord Chang Heng seeks Little Orchid to retrieve her to Heaven, she realises that she has fallen in love with Lord Supreme and willingly stays on in Sea of Cangyan.

Muse #3 The dark shades of Moon Tribe are very nicely contrasted with the white & pastel shades of the Heavenly immortals. One main costume of Lord Supreme is his claws when he dons his battle gears. And Shang Que Black Dragon’s transformation and flight back to Sea of Cangyan is a little reminiscent of How To Train Your Dragon. 😀

Lord Supreme with his loyal chief guard black dragon of Shang Que

Life as Mortals with Human’s Heart

When Heaven punishes Lord Chang Heng (who goes against his brother’s wishes), he is reincarnated as play-boy Xiao Run whereby Lady Chi Di is also reincarnated in the same timeline. Lord Supreme follows suit to seek Lady Chi Di to assist his resurrection of the frozen army at Xuan Wu battlefield, while Lord Rong Hao (who also hides behind the mask as Lord of Hai Shi City) chases the reincarnation of his master.

As all hell breaks loose, the main villain is finally revealed as the Ancient Immortal Tai Sui who is manipulating Lord Rong Hao. As the mortals die, all the characters return to their lives in Heaven and Moon Tribe respectively.

Little Orchid & Lord Supreme escaping mortal world

Muse #4 The dressing style portrayed in the series during the mortal life is reminiscent of the Tang Dynasty – with tight clothes enhancing the bosom and the standard red dot on the middle temple. Comparing the flowing robes of the immortals, the Tang Dynasty dressing doesn’t accentuate the ethereal beauty of the characters. Perhaps deliberate, considering that the immortals are supposed to be ethereal.

Muse #5 Most xianxia series will always have an arc whereby the immortals will reincarnate as human being, experiencing the happiness and sufferings of mortals. I have always been amused why would an immortal be interested to be human beings, and precisely because of the deep attachment & feelings (which obviously leads to sufferings) that they are often waylaid in their achievement of being detached and achieving the state of nirvana.  

Love Conquers All

As Heaven and Moon Tribe come closer to an imminent war, the main couple are torn with their conflicting desires. Lord Supreme in his desire to protect his Moon Tribe vs to protect his love – Little Orchid. Little Orchid in her desire to attain peace for all beings of the three realms vs to support her love – Lord Supreme.

Sacrifices with Love Conquering All

When Little Orchid discovers her own background as the sole surviving descendant of the neutral Xishan tribe, she chooses to sacrifice herself for Lord Supreme & his Moon Tribe. Lord Supreme and Lord Chang Heng works together to resurrect Little Orchid. However, when she is resurrected, she transforms into the Goddess of Xishan and commits towards ensuring the peace of the three realms by banishing Ancient Immortal Tai Sui. In their attempt to destroy Ancient Immortal Tai Sui, Lord Supreme in turn sacrifices himself to save Little Orchid. All turns out well when he is resurrected after 500 years and the lovers are reunited. Happy ending indeed.  

Muse #6 Another love story that is also the focus of the series is the deep attachment of disciple Lord Rong Hao and master War of God Lady Chi Di. From the beginning, I have always thought Rong Hao’s attachment to his master is misplaced. He is too obsessed with resurrecting his master that he loses his own moral compass, taking actions at the expense of hurting Lady Chi Di. Personally, the ending is satisfying as Rong Hao finally realises his actions are actually hurting Lady Chi Di (instead of redeeming her) and chooses to let go. My key takeaway – loving someone does not mean deep attachment, but always doing the best for the happiness of the loved one.  

Animation & Theme Songs

CGIs are great, I love the depiction of many of the background. Many of the scenes are actually very nicely animated and looks heavenly. The scenes in heaven’s Arbiter, the tree of feelings within Dong Fang Qing Cang, the Sea of Cang Yan, the River of Lost Memory.

The fashion sense of the immortals with flow robes are eye-catching but most of the immortals are almost like stick thin!  

Crossing River of Lost Memory

Almost like an imagination coming to life. In addition to that, the theme songs are great – be it the Opening Theme, Ending Theme or the songs in between.

Muse #7 My favourite theme song is the 诀爱 Parting Love – such haunting tune befitting of the beautiful sceneries.

Update Jan 2023 : Finally had the chance to share the piano sheet arrangement on one of my favourite theme song Jue Ai. Link as below:


Conclusion 9/10

Before the series has even finished broadcasting, raving reviews were already everywhere. These rave reviews are reflective of my own conclusion. The series is really a great one not to be missed. The beginning is light-hearted with great comedic timing. Chemistry between the main two leads is really great. Story is simple, direct with only a little misunderstanding along the way. At each step, there are enough surprises in the story line to pull you back to root for the characters.

Majestic-looking Lord Chang He in war gears

Personally, I think the series owe a great deal to Dylan Wang as the lead Lord Supreme Dong Fang Qing Cang. I am very impressed with his portrayal, and his acting ability has improved significantly. The first time I watched Dylan Wang is in Ever Night 2, whereby I hated his portrayal of Ning Que, whereby the comparison with Arthur Chen is imminent and the latter is better in his portrayal of Ning Que. The second time I watched him is in Rational Life, whereby his character as the young guy who snatched Qin Lan’s heart is surprisingly sweet cementing his grasp of portrayal of a more mature young guy. As the third time watching him, he has further improved. At such a young age in his early 20s, would definitely be looking forward to his other coming series.

On the other hand, although Dylan Wang’s chemistry with Esther Yu is great, Esther Yu’s performance is not quite natural nor consistent. She performs way better as the sweet, naïve and kind-hearted Little Orchid, but doesn’t manage to carry the elegance of the Goddess of Xishan Xi Yun. It would be interesting to see how she fares in other more demanding characters in other series in the future.

With the focus on the main leads, the rest of the characters didn’t really stand out. Not Lord Chang Heng, not Fairy Dan Yin, definitely not Jie Li. Not even Lord Rong Hao or Lady Chi Di.  

Generally, a great good-feel love story to root for the main couple. So go for it! Prepare the popcorn & sit back to enjoy the series over the weekend! It is now even on Netflix.

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