You Are My Glory Review and Final Thoughts

Guest Post: Snow Violet

So…once again, this article is coming out late hahaha. Besides the usual university excuse, it has been a rough couple of months with NZ’s COVID situation worsening and so many things needing to change, I just had no time to watch let alone write so I really apologize for the late post.

So! On to the drama. I only have one word that literally describes most of the runtime — sweet!

Actually, it was not so sweet for the first 20 or so episodes but the rest of the drama was really full of lovey dovey moments that would make the romantics “d’awww” and the non-romantics cringe.

In that sense, please don’t watch this drama if you are not the biggest fan of public displays of affection (that also goes for the novel, it’s pretty sweet too!).

Despite the overflowing love basically flowing out of the screen, the drama has a moderately paced storyline. My distaste for slow-burn romances was properly disproved by a drama with pretty good screenwriting (and acting!) and to be honest, it is a show that is just…lovely. Yeah, that’s it…no other words to describe it.

Commitment to the Original Novel

A lot of dramas are adaptations of novels these days and you get a mix of those that commit to the source material and those that change up the story and having read the novel before watching You are My Glory, I wanted to see how much of the novel the drama retained and how much they exercised their creative license.

I have to say that the drama not only retained most of the original story but also added a lot more depth to the narrative that I couldn’t have imagined while I was reading it.

There were many things I could say on what kind of “depth” was added that made me impressed but I think the greatest addition was the emphasis on the overarching theme of the novel. This theme is the difference between dreams and reality.

Dreams and Reality

Our male lead, Yu Tu, has spent most of his adult life chasing his dream to be an Aerospace Engineer but he is now brought back to Earth with the news of his family’s struggles to finance his mother’s medical bills. With work setbacks also looming over his head, he decides to do the practical thing and leave the institute for a more high-paying position.

Yeah…and that’s the catch. Sure, finance has monetary potential but the rewards are cumulative y’know. Would you take that risk?

However, Yu Tu agonizes over this decision for like 20 episodes because he really doesn’t want to leave and it doesn’t help that those around him give him advice that is rather unhelpful if I were to put it nicely.

Only Jingjing, our female lead, reminds him of his true feelings and tells him that his dreams are not meaningless. If he still wanted to leave after realizing that, then he’ll have no regrets.

I think this theme is highly relatable to many of us today due to the pandemic situation de-railing all of our plans. One day, we may have to give up what we want to do in order to do something more practical or urgent. However, if that is the case, then you’d better end your dreams in the most bold way possible so that you’ll have no regrets afterwards — finish it on your own terms.

I guess it’s catharsis for many because what you did was meaningful so it feels like moving on to the next stage instead of an early demise.

The acting I feel really nailed home the inner turmoil and outer expressions of the two main leads. I could feel the struggle in Yu Tu through Yang Yang’s acting (and personally speaking, this role really suited him. Love 020 made Xiao Nai rather boring even though that novel depicted him to relay a myriad of emotions) and I could also feel the disappointment in Qiao Jingjing when Yu Tu wasn’t dealing with his problems properly and took it out on her by accident. Dilraba Dilmurat portrayed Jingjing as sad at the moment but not petty later on which I applaud because it’s the first time in a while I’ve seen a female character act maturely to being slighted.

This kind of depth really adds on to the original source material and I was really hooked on to the drama which honestly hasn’t happened in a long time.

Also, side note, the space and stars references link with the theme of dreams and reality.

The stars are so far away but we are still drawn to their light.

The Gaming References

The synopsis of this drama is based on Qiao Jingjing and Yu Tu reconnecting through a mobile game. This game is an actual mobile game that is popular in China 王者荣耀 (Kings of Glory) and that’s where the ‘Glory’ in the title drama came from(荣耀 = Glory).

The avatars are based on mostly Chinese historical figures with some Western ones (eg. Marco Polo) and mythical ones. It’s classified as a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game which can be comparable to Dota 2 or any other game where you have to play with other players to win battles.

Look at this tournament! My inner Otaku is screaming. I wanna go to this event even though I’m not a fan of MOBA games hahaha

To be honest, this game is only a plot device since only 14 episodes are dedicated to Jingjing’s training. However, it’s not an annoying plot device since it is not of significant importance as there is a “lifespan” (counting down to the exhibition event). Because it was not significant, not mentioning it again doesn’t matter because it has served its purpose.

However, despite being just a plot device, the drama went all out to portray the gaming aspect and made it as entertaining as possible. Lots of visual effects and the usage of actual gameplay allowed non-gamers to enjoy the mechanics despite never playing the game before.

I have to hand in to the special effects team, they know how to make a gaming exhibition and the world of gaming look fun (at least to a MOBA non-gamer like me).

A Mature Portrayal of a Relationship

Now age doesn’t make one mature in relationships. I’m sure there are many people older than Jingjing and Yu Tu that act like teenagers when they are in relationships.

Jingjing being the great confidante to Yu Tu

This highlighted line is literally one of the best sentences I’ve seen. It was in the novel too.

“But you are the rabbit who has seen the most stars.” It’s really profound and beautiful.

However, Yu Tu and Jingjing are really suited for one another. Yu Tu, being the lofty dreamer, needed a down-to-Earth woman like Jingjing to help him look at things in the real sense.

Without such a person, he was bad in his relationships (his ex-girlfriend was particularly bitter about his attitude when they were together) and he couldn’t cope when the “real world” slapped him in the face with his family’s dire financial situation. Jingjing, despite her success as an actress, was very lonely at the top. Yu Tu with his quiet devotion allowed her to freely work and make him proud, giving her a reason to persevere.

Is it no wonder that their relationship from episode 20 onwards was very lovey dovey? They are not only confidants but also great lovers.

It is such a great relationship the two of them have.

Final Thoughts

I initially thought this drama would not entice me enough to continue but I was very wrong! I loved this drama which is something I have not said in a long time. I have not felt so satisfied with a drama since The Story of Minglan (3 years is not a short time hahaha).

The fidelity to the original novel, the in-depth representations of the themes, the acting and the music (OMG the music! Beautiful! *chef’s kiss*) are top-notch and honestly, this is one of the best well-rounded productions I’ve seen.

I ended this drama with a warm feeling in my chest and honestly, I would watch it again. So if you are feeling love-lorn and need a nice story to cheer you up, watch this drama, you won’t regret it.

P.S: Listen to the ending song Time Monologue (光阴独白) by Lala Hsu, the lyrics are extremely meaningful, especially when you watch EP15.

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Coco
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Coco (@coco)
27 days ago

Still chugging through the episodes where Yu Tu is on the fence, 😆 But I will get to the lovey-dovey parts soon!

Thanks for your review and highlights Snow!

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