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meiberry
meiberry rated it
Legend of Concubine’s Daughter Minglan
June 2, 2018
Status: c120
The title of this story "知否?知否?应是绿肥红瘦" literally translates as: "Do you know? Do you know? It should be fatty green and thin red." This title describes how the essence of a plant is a small spot of color surrounded by dense greenery. The flower is the star of the show while the leaves are numerous and in the background. Just like plants, a man in ancient China is the star of the show and the center of power while surrounded by numerous women.

A young woman from contemporary China transmigrates into... more>> the bed-ridden body of young toddler Minglan, whose beautiful concubine mother has just died at the schemes of another concubine, Lin, in the house. Minglan's interior thoughts are weary and hilarious as she muses over the house gossip that she has no choice but to hear spoken among the maids that take care of her. She is incredibly depressed to learn about her body's identity and the family situation into which she's been plopped by the hands of fate. She has no will to live in this s*xist world in this deeply disadvantaged body, and she literally tries to sleep to death until Concubine Lin, who was responsible for the death of her new body's mother, shows up and bawls in front of the father and other members of the household in the room next door.

Minglan's eyes literally open in shock from the concubine's impressively manipulative acting. In a humorous twist, Minglan is inspired to live on in this world after witnessing how far the concubine was willing to go in her manipulations. Basically, she thinks to herself, "If this Concubine Lin has the balls to turn black into white, why can't I be brave enough to face my new reality?"

And so Minglan lives. She takes each day by each day. There is no fast-paced scheming to take revenge on her mother - Minglan nearly never interacts with Concubine Lin for the rest of her life. The story is a slow-paced, slice of life drama - although it's not without its tensions and conflicts. There is always plenty at stake for every character.

This 220 story has two main arcs, the first half of the story is pre-marriage and the second half is post-marriage. Up to chapter 120, I have been immensely impressed by this novel. It definitely reminds me of Yue Xia Die Ying's To Be a Virtuous Wife and Eight Treasures Trousseau. I have yet to read Mei Gongqing, but I also assume they have resounding sensibilities. The biggest theme across all of these C-novel romances is the same - what is a girl to do if one were to transmigrate to ancient China? The closest love story you could tell would probably be this.

This story gracefully included all the implications of a polygamous society where women had no rights and no power. It's incredibly hopeless for a girl to fall in love in ancient China. The author carefully calibrated all potential male leads' levels of desirability to make sense from the other characters' (such as Minglan's Grandmother or Minglan's Father) points of view as people strictly from that time period. Why does the Grandmother prefer one boy over another boy for Minglan? Why is a boy from a "poorer" family better than a boy whose father is a marquis?

Male character A is good looking, and his family background is good - in fact, TOO good, which means it's likelier that he'll cheat because powerful men never have only one woman in their lives. In fact, he's already slept with his maids and marrying him would mean becoming a wife to a husband who already has concubines. Another male character B is kind and gentle and unlikely to cheat. But he's not that great looking, and the family background is so-so.

We've read other Chinese romance novels like this, where we pit an attractive character against a "safe" character, however, this is the first time that I feel deeply for Minglan and strongly resound with desire to be with the "safe" man whose risk of cheating is so much lower than the attractive man's.

"Cheating" or "chu gui" is a term that Minglan brings with her from the modern world, because there is no such thing as "cheating" in ancient China. Sleeping with many different women is a normalized, legalized thing for men to do.

How does a girl live in a world where she has no rights and powers and all of her livelihood depends on her husband, especially when the chances are very slim that her husband will love and cherish only herself for the rest of their lives? This is one of the many questions that this story sincerely ponders, sometimes in tragic tones and sometimes in light-hearted humor.

The favorite of the story is definitely Minglan's grandmother. Sheng Grandmother is not blood-related to Minglan, because Minglan's father was a son of a concubine. (Someone needs to make a family tree of all the relationships...) I was spellbound by this character and all of her interactions with Minglan. I was actually in love with every one of Minglan's familial relationships - I loved her interactions with her sisters, her brothers, and her Mother (who is not her birth mother but is the official wife of her father, so Minglan must call her Mother with a capital M).

What does it mean to care for someone? What does it mean to be an elder who truly cherishes a child? Does it look like letting her child marry into wealth and power? Does it look like letting her child fall in love? In the case of Minglan, it's neither. Loving and caring for a child like Minglan comes in the form of being honest with her about the reality of living as a woman in this world.

Love, for Sheng Grandmother, comes as a form of acknowledging reality and fighting for Minglan's freedom to be happy.

Spoiler

I think one of the most stirring scenes for me was after when Gu Ting Ye agreed to marry Minglan after Rulan was caught with the Wen kid, and to patch up the abysmal mistake, Minglan's father offered Minglan. Obviously, Sheng Grandmother disapproved of this, and they screamed a lot about it.

I was so incredibly touched that moment when Sheng Grandmother said to Minglan, "Don't you worry my child, I'm not dead yet! There is absolutely no way I will ever let them do this to you. In their dreams!" I was just so struck by this little old lady who is willing to go against Minglan's father, the head of the household, and all of the might that comes with the suitor's background as a general and new favorite lanky of the emperor. How could she possibly do it? She could have done it, I'm sure. But the odds were so against her and it just showed how much she loved Minglan and how far she was willing to go for Minglan's happiness.

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The author is patient and compassionate in her storytelling. Every character is impressionably colorful, even all of the villains. Pettiness is portrayed three-dimensionally, there is no action that is not driven by human motivations. Above all the drama of the people around her, Minglan rises to the top like cream.

Spoiler

But I have to admit that it's rather boring now that Minglan has married. I preferred her days with Sheng Lao Tai Tai. I ship that relationship forever. Love doesn't need to be about romance.

This story has really not prepared me well for the man that she married. She marries the former wild child Gu Ting Ye, who has basically berserked his way through Jiang Hu and the army in recent years and made a not too shabby name for himself.

It has been a REAL struggle for me to get into this relationship. I just can't help but feel like Minglan deserves so much better. I really actually preferred the doctor boy. I felt like that would have made for a romance that made more sense in light of the first 90 chapters of this story that went on and on and on about the emptiness of vanity and how upper-level ancient Chinese marriages are basically dead-ends for every girl - no matter if you are the concubine or the wife, it just sucks to be married to a powerful man. The breathtaking descriptions of the male lead's romantic feelings for Minglan don't seem to suffice. I feel like I was catfished into reading a historical-feminist story by a romance story cover, but then when I was getting into the strong, feminist themes, I got dumped with a romance story that I don't really want to read anymore.

This male lead is SUCH a weird character for a romantic male lead. He's related to Minglan in really weird ways - like how Minglan's friend used to almost be engaged to him and Minglan helped her break off that engagement before it became an engagement, or that he has some type of seniority over Minglan where she calls him "Uncle" (in some contexts, that's like the Chinese version of the daddy kink).

I think that above all the weird aspects of his character, I'm probably most bothered by the fact that Gu Ting Ye has been married before and has a kid already. It's a little too realistic, you know? The romance aspect just doesn't seem to work for me. I'm exactly like Sheng Lao Tai Tai when she was like, "They all think that the prodigal son who made a comeback as a general is some kind of treasure... I don't think he's all that at all... 却我就瞧不起... (she holds him in contempt) " I'm like, EXACTLY, Grandma! He has a kid already. Come on. When Minglan married him, the kid is like 8 or 9.

I'm not against single dads (on that note, the birth mom of his kid isn't even dead yet, she's just locked up at the hamlet because of her propensity towards violent schemes, so that's another point for uncomfortable baggage). But do you know what I mean... it's just not easy. Pragmatically speaking, an existing concubine's kid is a big no-no for Minglan's future kids as well. What if this girl gets raised to be a violent schemer like the usual trope for concubine children and takes revenge on her father who treated her and her mom like crap? And the fact of the matter is that he treated her and her mom like crap.

It's just not a fair marriage (which is the whole point of marriages in ancient China I know). Minglan deserves better. Like, maybe if Minglan were also a widower or has already spent her tender youth with the doctor boy and that didn't work out - then I would be so much more accepting of her marrying Gu Ting Ye. A widower with a widower. Of course, that's like assuming women have any chance of equal standing with men, which they don't.

Anyways, I'm going to move on to something easier for me read... I still think that this a really good story but I'm here trying to read some romance to escape from real life and this story kind of gets a little too realistic...

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meiberry
meiberry rated it
Kenkyo, Kenjitsu o Motto ni Ikite Orimasu
January 25, 2017
Status: c294
Review on July 12, 2017 at chapter 292:

So I went and read the Chinese translations. The English translator, Estelion, is really an amazing translator. They (he?) also include extremely helpful explanatory references and I always appreciate the cute pictures of the food that everyone's eating... *phantom stomach gurgle* That said, they're really busy in life and with other translations, and I just couldn't wait anymore. If you know Chinese, I suggest you also relieve yourself and look for the collaborative fan translations on the tieba forums by googling the Chinese... more>> title: [ 谦虚踏实的生活下去吧 ].

Ya'll. I am so in love with Reika. She is such a damned coward and the distance she will go for food and for saving face honestly makes me secondhand blush in embarrassment... but Reika is a true blue friend and she works hard and she's just a really good kid. She has a truly "humble" attitude in life that's honestly kind of inspiring. She knows that there are a lot of people around her who are way more talented than her, more attractive, more graceful, cuter than her (LMAO I sound like I'm backhand complimenting her like one of her friends might in the story)... And yet she's just always honestly trying her best while following her own interests to the best of her capabilities. And she's a really respectful person who listens to people and where they come from. It's really cool.

When I read this story, I usually swing between two states: peaceful fascination or uncontrollable laughter. VERY occasionally, I get struck dumb by glimmers of emotional development. And when those rare moments of emotional development involve even rarer suggestions of developing romance between Reika and certain male characters, I get REALLY thrown off. Totally preoccupied with Reika's adorable daily antics, I always forget that this is a shoujo story. But this is a really special shoujo story. Like really special. And as you might have read in other reviews where people have read ahead:

Spoiler

292 chapters into this story... and Kisshouin Reika still has no true love life.... MY POOR BABY! I think that she deserves all the spring happiness she yearns for and yet all around her are these people with actual romantic developments while she's just doing her best to not be envious of all the fun everyone's having while in love. Remember her elementary [?] school fortune: "Future blessing." But just exactly HOW far off in the future is that love blessing...?! Will we ever get to read up to that point?! I truly feel for her... *cry*

I mean you soon understand the reasons why literally no boy at her school has ever dared to approach her with romantic intentions. Her girl friends cherish her maybe a bit too much... You can only just sympathize with Reika when she just sighs in hopelessness at her situation and yearns for the day she leaves Suiran's high school section and maybe finally go to gokon...

To be sure, there has been a very [like REALLY] large increase in interactions with male characters, especially Kaburagi and Enjou, but nothing has been really suggestive. If it's suggestive, it's really only our vain wishes. For sure, I always think that I want to read an Enjou perspective chapter, but even if I ever do, I think that it will still only be a chapter [albeit a really funny chapter] about how adorable Reika is, and there will be nothing particularly compelling about how anyone feels. *grumble*...

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To summarize the core of my reading experience of Kenkyo Kenjitsu, I'll say this: as a reader with already impossibly low expectations about Reika's romantic prospects, the moment I perk up my ears at the slightest hint of a romantic development, the author immediately smacks me in the face like, "Hahhh! What do you think this is? A Kdrama? You fool..."

I honestly can't say that I know what will happen. I really just don't know. This story has surprised me too often (usually in a funny way). And other readers who speak too definitely could very well just end up getting smacked in the face by the author. But despite the utterly perplexing drought in romance, this shoujo fan is still devouring refreshing chapter after refreshing chapter about the adorable Reika's life...

January 25, 2017 review (~chapter 90s?) :

Spoiler

I adore this. It's hilarious. This is around my third or fourth "otome transmigration into the body of the evil rival" story though it's actually a transmigration into a shoujo manga rather than a game. But I adore it. I think Reika is totally hilarious and adorable. She has a ton of interesting friends, and she herself is super fun and sweet. I hope that her high school days aren't hectic.

Oddly my favorite male characters are Onii-chan and Akisawa-kun, guys that she can't possibly end up with. But that's alright. I came here for the possibility of a romance, but I stayed for Reika. I think that eventually this will turn into a romance, though, between the more obvious characters, but it's just a matter of how that will happen.

The translator Oniichanyamete is GREAT. Excellent translation!

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meiberry
meiberry rated it
The Rebirth of the Malicious Empress of Military Lineage
May 28, 2017
Status: Completed
--- THIS IS AN UPDATED REVIEW AFTER COMPLETION OF THE CHINESE on June 16, 2017 ---

TL;DR: Sweeping romance. Amazing plot for the most part, fell apart towards the end, but actual ending/epilogue was acceptable. Happy ending.

This was a great story. It wasn't perfect, but compared to Stunning Edge and Genius Doctor BBM, this was leaps and bounds better written. There are actually character flaws and there is actually character development. Side characters actually have purpose and I actually loved them and didn't want to part with them. The actions... more>> and reactions of characters are nuanced and usually unpredictable in an intriguing way, and the romance completely swept me off my feet; the romance started out at a pianississimo and then it grew a breathtaking crescendo across two hundred chapters.

WRITING: 10/10 Speaking of music, this was so well-written that I thought I heard soundtracks at some of the more intense scenes in the story. I am now used to very lame language in C-novels (easy because a lot could be lost in translation), but even with the English translation, I knew that this was a well-written story (and the good translation quality also helped I'm sure). The original author's pauses and the exact right phrases felt like drum strikes. There were so many moments in the story where I felt like I could hear background music ; it wasn't exactly because the author used a lot of poetic phrases and idioms, but like at the exact right moments, she chose to describe the exact right objects in certain lengths and rhythms...

Some of my favorite scenes where I thought I heard music in my brain as I was reading:

Spoiler

The presentations of Guang Wen Tang and other youths:

Spoiler

Shen Miao thinking "Do you dare? Well. I dare." as she was pulling the bow at Cai Lin at the presentations

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Chapter 71:

Spoiler

When Xie Jing Xing watches Shen Miao set the ancestral hall on fire, risking her life to show her family what the uncles' families are TRULY like under their masks, so that she could carve a future for herself

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Chapters 140s-150s, can't remember which chapters:

Spoiler

When Princess Rong Xin invites Shen Miao to her house to interrogate her [this is a HUGE SPOILER of like a series of unexpected progression of events...]

Spoiler

and Princess Rong Xin keeps asking her, Is Xie Jing Xing alive? IS he alive? And Shen Miao just keeps saying No, he isn't. And Shen Miao was thinking to herself, "the Fu family is just like this. They are all like this. They turn into heartless people." And then Xie Jing Xin shows up. I was crying so hard. I was so sad for literally all three characters in the scene; I was so sad for Princess Rong Xin and Shen Miao for picking Xie Jing Xing over her family and her own life, and then XJX for losing this mother figure who loved and cared for him for so long. CRY. But beautiful scene.

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OH and also the scene right after that scene,

Spoiler

when Shen Miao decides to climb over each and every wall between her house and XJX's house because XJX is too jealous to let Cong Yang touch her to carry her over to his house.

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And finally, MY FAVORITE SCENE. Literally the best scene of the novel, probably, chapters 190s

Spoiler

THE WEDDING. The entire wedding. From head to toe; from the proposal to the emperor to the family visit, to the betrothal gifts, and to the actual day of the wedding, omg I'm like crying right now thinking about it. I never had thoughts about my own wedding, but this wedding actually was legendary. The descriptions of the gifts that XJX sent to the Shen family and the gown that he had people make for Shen Miao gave me endless goosebumps; this was how much he loved her. The whole show was for Shen Miao's family but also for the readers. It was so beautiful. I also loved the part where Fu Xiu Yi watched as Shen Miao left her house and felt like crap.

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PLOT: This novel had an incredibly strong story for like 190 chapters, I was hooked, it's a 9/10. I was on the edge of my seat with the time travel revenge and the plot and the new discoveries of Shen Miao's new life. But then it seriously fell apart around chapter 200. I give the last 40 chapters like a 5.5/10.
Spoiler

Basically when they go to Da Liang, I felt like the new plots were totally crammed into the end.

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Though I liked certain new characters, I definitely felt that it was a little sudden. It felt like a different writer wrote the ending. But I am satisfied with the actual ending itself, with the epilogues and everything. However, the last 40 chapters were certainly kind of a mess.

There was a reviewer here who said that they never felt worried or anxious for Shen Miao and XJX because it felt like the main characters always had a grasp of everything, and I would say for the most part, I also felt this way-- not to the extent where it was like the main characters were too OP and had no difficulties doing any thing.

HOWEVER! For the last 40 chapters, I have to say that I seriously wasn't sure whether or not Shen Miao was going to come out on top. There was like a good ten chapters towards the end where she had one last "final boss" so to speak, and I was literally so anxious for her to the point of tears. I felt so cheated of the 190 chapters of confidence. XJX also had his own final boss. BUT!! I want to reassure you all that it's a happy ending. They make it through their difficulties. It will all be okay. All the villains are dead at the end of the story. No worries.

I would rate this novel a 3 actually, on the scale for all novels ever written in every language, but the ratings on this website are seriously inflated so I have to give this a 5 because it's the best C-Novel I've read so far.

ROMANCE: 10/10. Highly recommend.

READING IN CHINESE: I was so hooked on the English translation that I ended up reading the Chinese by copying and pasting the Chinese chapters into the Pleco app on my phone. (You could also use Pin1yin1. com) Luckily I had the time because I just graduated from college. This took me FOREVER and I think I have permanently ruined my eyes, but it was SO WORTH IT. If you know a teensy bit of basic Chinese, I highly recommend you do this too! You can learn so much Chinese this way, like idioms and stuff. And it was just plain gorgeous in Chinese.

------- This is MY OLD REVIEW from May 28, 2017, at the English translation of c63 part 2. I'm putting it all in a spoiler thing only to save space since I wrote so much in this review already ------

Spoiler

Kudos to luckychaams! This story with its long title that I can't even remember is also now my all-time favorite! Just a day ago, I had declared Chu Wang Fei my all-time favorite, and I picked this up as a recommendation from CWF, and overnight this one has now suddenly taken the lead. I stayed up until 8 am reading all the translations in one sitting...

The transmigration premise is slightly different from the more mainstream ones. This time, a woman dies in her ~late 30s and goes back in time to when she was 14 to fix her life to prevent evil people from completely ruining her life along with the lives of the people she loves. In her first life, she thought she was in love with him, but at her deathbed I guess she severed all these feelings... not sure yet because in the English translations we have yet to see her interact with that character personally and who knows she might still have lingering tender feelings for the asshole (THOUGH I REALLY HOPE NOT).

So the character goes back in time with all the knowledge about the two-faced people that she didn't know about in her first life until too late. The beginning of the story that lays out the background of her tragic end felt a little bit heavy-handed, but it ended up helping us really make sense out of the endless wrath that she carries in her second chance and you really don't feel overwhelmed by her merciless dealings. She is out for blood, but in a patient, abiding way...

This actually reminds me a lot of the Hunger Games. They both have some settings where the main character is like "on stage" and performing in front of a larger audience. And they both have this sort of noble lone girl resisting against the evil greater rulers and astonishing heaven and earth... And finally, the way she gets to perform and come out on top as the underdog. It honestly feels really good. This sort of "coming out on top" is way better than the OP'd characters in Stunning Edge of Genius Doctor. This one is actually a good story. Of course, our character also has her sense of OP-ness...

Spoiler

given that she unexpectedly inherits all of her skills and knowledge from her previous life (word for word, without practice, without muscle building? really?)

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but at least it's not completely ridiculous. At least in my case, I was truly not certain about which things she would win at and at which things she would lose...

As for the romance; it develops very slowly, but it's there! It's just well entwined in a larger, exciting plot. In any case, when I read romances I also appeciate if the characters are good and if the plot is good, and in this case, all of these things are here. I think that the romance in this story might defeat the one in my beloved Chu Wang Fei... I thought Chu Fei Yang was a good male lead, but this guy actually gives him a run for his money. This story's protagonists are a smidge younger than in CWF, but they actually interact a little bit more. It feels a little more natural, watching how they might end up falling for each other...

I also think this transmigration (really it's more of a time-travel) story is my favorite because it is just clearly better written. It's a really good translation too. The translated prose is fine and the elegant, the punctuating, key phrases are harrowing and succinct.

Highly. Recommend. It feels like a short read but it took my like 9 hours so it is a nice escape.

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meiberry
meiberry rated it
Father, Mother Escaped Again
May 27, 2017
Status: c14
Hilarious. How can you not read something with a premise as promising as this? This story reminds me of a lot of Japanese manga... it has a similar pace and rhythm and outlandishness that C-novels seem to shy from. Well, at least the C-novels that I've read... I also probably just really enjoy this because the translator did a really damned good job. They have good updated lingo that might be the English equivalents for whatever the Chinese was.

Read for a good hour's laugh!!!
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meiberry
meiberry rated it
A Slight Smile is Very Charming
January 23, 2017
Status: Completed
This is my hands-down all time favorite C-Novel! Thank you to all the wonderful translators!

I loved Wei Wei Yi Xiao so much that this was the first C-Novel I read in the original Chinese, despite my low reading proficiency!! What I did was I copied and pasted portions into this pinyin translator (pin1yin1. com) so I could read it aloud and see dictionary translations for certain words and phrases... it took a tiny bit of devotion but I did it!

I have only played one MMORPG once in my life, when... more>> I was in middle school (so like 11-13 years old), which was zOMG! on gaiaonline. I am not sure if anyone has ever heard of it... It was an online no-download game, and it was a lot of fun, where I could fight bosses and team up if I wanted, so I had some basic intuition for the basic character roles on typical MMORPGs, like "tanks" and "healers" and stuff. Since that time, I have never played any more games, but I think that was enough for this novel's premise to get me hook, line, and sinker. I think Wei Wei Yi Xiao is really genius.

I mean, obviously, this is not "high art" or whatever, since the main characters are super perfect and you're just like here vicariously for the titillating romance (WHAT a romance this is, though! Da Shen! You manipulative genius! First love is a SLAM DUNK!).

Slightly off topic to review the live action franchise: About two weeks ago, I finally discovered that they made a movie and drama series since the last time I (re) read this, and I nearly reincarnated in excitement. I've seen the movie like three times now (LMAO yes. and props to Angelababy, this is my first time seeing her act and she well exceeded my expectations... which were admittedly low due to prejudice over her exceedingly pretty face and the hot novel-turned-live-action-franchise e_e please see: Horikita Maki). I also stayed up painfully to finish the drama series, despite how slow it was (this is like the Twilight of China, LMAO! need to drag that popular YA romance out and milk it for all its worth!!!), and this is my first time seeing Yang Yang, and omggg what kind of Chinese Apollo on earth!!! He too, exceeded my expectations. He nailed Xiao Nai. Also, no one else can act otherwordly and arrogant enough other than Yang Yang for Nai He Da Shen. WATCH, MY FELLOW WEI WEI YI XIAO FANS! <<less
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meiberry
This story is SO. CUTE. The tone actually reminds me of Kenkyo Kenjitsu, but from the male lead's point of view. I can't wait to read more. The translator needs an editor though... There are a lot of little typos that could be easily fixed.

The male lead is sooo manipulative. He is a Chinese trope called "black bellied (fu hei)." He smiles and has a nice veneer but he's actually super manipulative and shady and subjects it to the main female lead! I guess "black belly" not a tag here... more>> since this is a Japanese light novel. Lol. <<less
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meiberry
meiberry rated it
Tensei Oujo wa Kyou mo Hata o Tatakioru
January 26, 2017
Status: c40
This is pretty good. I think it's interesting and the characters are likable. It's a fast-paced plot. All the characters seem to change, which provides for suspense. Despite knowing the otome game well, it seems that the FL reaches a point where she has no idea what will happen.

The thing that I that I am most uncomfortable with are the heavy undertones of lolicon... I think that with most of the events, the FL could be older. It's age progression but the characters that she spends the most time with... more>> are all like way older than her (and the characters that she seems to like the most), and though it's respectable that they treat her with respect rather than patronize her... for some reason it's actually weirder that they all take her SO seriously? I think there should be a lolicon tag. In fact it got to the point that I couldn't continue just because I can't get over the lolicon undertones. ALSO what someone else mentioned - she doesn't have any female friends?

These two flaws are too big for me. But otherwise the story's pretty interesting and it reels you in. <<less
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meiberry
meiberry
My Chief Husband, Too Mensao!
September 16, 2017
Status: c212
This is a romance / erotic story that is basically a combination of the following c-novel tropes:

    • girl doctor who is good at both western and traditional Chinese medicine with an amazing cheat...
    • rebirth novel where the MC was abused and schemed to a horrible end in her previous life by family
    • hot and domineering main male lead
    • sort of a reverse harem...
    • it looks like it's going to 5000 chapters like Chunqing Yatou Huolala but I hope less melodramatic and less misunderstandings...
I'm disappointed that...

Spoiler

The main girl lead isn't as quick as I would expect for the way the author designed her character. Her plans to protect her loved ones are not... airtight, so to speak?

When she fell out of touch with her friend Xiao Ning, ummm, yeah, that was bad writing, imo. I think that Gu Qiqi would have tried harder to do more for her friend even when she didn't know her friend's number was blocked on her phone... but I think that author just forgot about Xiao Ning. And then later when Xiao Ning was acting weird, the main girl lead still didn't realize what a crappy situation her friend is in... ugh, it makes me feel really frustrated. Honestly I really hate reading about her friend Xiao Ning because of this (not because I hate Xiao Ning - though I am also extremely unimpressed by everything she's done so far...) all the scenes and parts about Xiao Ning makes the main character look like a dumb, uncaring friend, and we all know she is not! And she still thinks the Little Uncle is Bai Lang! Yuan wang ah!

Whatever the author plans for Xiao Ning, I do hope that it gets resolved well and makes me feel good because right now it's terrible a stain on the main female lead's attempt to relive her life with flying colors...

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meiberry
meiberry rated it
My Disciple Died Yet Again
August 20, 2017
Status: c328
I really love this novel... I had been putting this off for months and months for some reason, but I highly recommend that you pick this up! What is already translated so far is really easy to read. Also the translators did an AMAZING job. You can't tell at first glance, but after moving onto the raws, I realized that this was probably such a hard story to translate because the original has so many Chinese puns and contemporary slang... it could be that they just skipped things to make... more>> it easier, but still, you'd still have to decide which jokes to skip and which ones you can't skip.

So I actually really liked the concept of Hua Qian Gu (special disciple and special master relationship), but I basically hated literally everything about that story. I also couldn't finish it. My Disciple Died Yet Again has the few important things that I wanted from Hua Qian Gu, but like, minus everything I hated (the misunderstandings between the leads, STUPID female lead, green tea bitches, disappointing character developments, dog blood melodrama, garbage relationship conflicts and cliches... basically EVERYTHING! Phew, I am SO sorry if you are a fan of HQG and you read this!!! please excuse me, I am just really bitter and petty).

Anyways, reading this in place of Hua Qian Gu was a complete win-win-win for me!

The only reason why I actually have not yet finished My Disciple Died Again before writing this review is because I am at a reincarnation story that is a little tough to get through...

Spoiler

I'm at the arc where she doesn't have a body and she's inhabiting the body of the super beautiful "pillar of the world" girl and she's like in the worst imaginable third wheel situation. This reincarnation arc is actually SO hard for me to read. I can't seem to confront how this damned "romance" between that one violent sect leader with the crazy acting skills and the "pillar" beauty is the Exact sort of cliched romance I normally love to read... and yet it looks SO STUPID AND EMBARRASSING when you put a normal character (the female lead) as a foil against the whole situation. *buries face in hands*

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On that note, I adore the way this whole story is framed around various different "plots" and "cliches" that feel really familiar to the readers. Basically, this story is about a main female lead who transmigrates into a xianxia universe where she has the special role of cleaning up "bugs" in that universe. In each reincarnation, the main female lead has to swoop into the situation and try to prevent the "bugs" from wreaking complete havoc in the universe that she's currently occupying. She talks about most of the bugs in otome or novel terms such as "the male protagonist!" or "the supporting female lead!" and it's just really funny and refreshing for us readers who have a lot of experience with these cliches... For the most part, it seems like a fun outlet for the author to rehash all our favorite video game tropes, xianxia tropes, and novel tropes.

I truly appreciate all the innovative aspects of this story. The main female lead is a NORMAL, likeable girl.

Speaking of normal. PSA: 28 is not middle-aged. I certainly still consider 28 to be young... most people don't have real careers yet at 28. Honestly, I feel like even in most parts of Asia we wouldn't consider 28 to be old these days. I feel like I only see such a judgement in Asian novels!!!!!!! That is, the judgement that for a woman to be 20 and older she must be considered "a spinster." UMM? As a visual reminder, please take a look at many Korean dramas such as Healer and My Love from Another Star, etc., look at how young and good-looking 28 can be. At age 28 is when you have the normal amount of intelligence and maturity suitable for the type of battles and situations that the female lead is up against... "High school age" or whatever is considered "young" in these universes is the weirdly young age...

Spoiler

I have very little criticisms about the main male lead for all his good qualities and poor qualities, but if there was one moment when I deeply doubted that he was worthy of Zhu Yao was when they first met and he sighed and regretted that she wasn't younger.

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Of course, age is basically completely irrelevant when we talk about how old the characters actually are, considering the hundreds and thousands of years that it takes to cultivate. The main male lead is like at least 16, 000 years old while by the chapter 300s, the main female lead has about a couple thousands of years under her belt as well. I'm just saying the note above about how 28 is not old in case some people are really wildly mistaken about how "old" Zhu Yao looks because PLEASE! My Park-Min Young is still a fresh and young and beautiful girl...

I might update this review but bottom line is I love this! Please read! <<less
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meiberry
(i stopped at ch. 35 and its side stories cuz I don't like leaving myself with cliff hangers...)

Hilarious and sweet! It's a super harem... and it's hilarious. I honestly wish that there could be more substantial relationship building but that's really not what this story is about. Read it for the laughs. Bakarina is hilarious.
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meiberry
meiberry rated it
Eight Treasures Trousseau
May 28, 2017
Status: c34
Ahhh I LOVE Dream of Jianghu's translations. They are such high quality, and they pick such good stuff, too.

I absolutely adored TBAVW, and Eight Treasures Trousseau is similar in that one, they're quiet transmigrations where the dynamic between the female lead and the male lead feel similar. The female leads are REALLY similar, which I enjoy since I rarely get to see such cool as a cucumber female leads who are so dang smart and yet stay in their lane in literally every aspect. If you liked TBAVW, I think... more>> you would like ETT even more. Number one reason is that there isn't already a fully formed houyuan to screw with the female lead. Number two reason is that the female lead comes from a nice family... uwwuuhhuuuhuhu never knew how much I longed for the female lead in these stories to have a bearable family that actually likes her, after coming from Chu Wang Fei and Rebirth of a Malicious Empress of Military Lineage (both highly recommended by the way)...

The male lead in this one, however, I think is what makes Eight Treasures Trousseau different from TBAVW. Unlike TBAVW, where He Heng is sort of mysterious and yet basically not really, I think the author actually made a bigger effort to shroud Xian Junwang in more mystery. Still not sure what all is happening, but you can kind of get the idea.

Can't wait till everything is translated, this looks like a great story. <<less
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meiberry
meiberry rated it
Stunning Edge
March 12, 2017
Status: c30
Alright, I just wanted to leave a review so far even though I'm barely into the story. I have tried to start this several times but I could never bring myself to make it past the first chapter because 1) this transmigration thing is hella cliche by now 2) the western names and the golden hair and whitewashing!!! At first I kept thinking to myself, what the HELL were the translators thinking, trying to make up western names for Chinese names!!!

IT TURNS OUT: I was totally misled by the novel... more>> cover to think that it is supposed to be an ancient Chinese setting... ok, so this C-novel is kind of like those Japanese light novels or manga where they make up some European setting with vaguely western names. Think Fullmetal Alchemist or Baccano. When I looked up the Chinese version, the names in Chinese are really like the Chinese counterparts for "Claire" and "Jean" and "Nancy" and "Hill." The translators did a REALLY GOOD JOB.

That aside, so far I think it's a great story!!! This is very similar to Genius Doctor: Black Belly Miss. There seems to be a very fast-paced and robust plot. In fact, I think SE might be even better than Genius Doctor: BBM so far... I'll update my review if my opinion changes. <<less
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meiberry
meiberry rated it
Doomed to be Cannon Fodder
June 23, 2017
Status: c227
I'm not done yet, but I have to say that I really love this story! It's a Light read. Basically this story starts out as pure comedy and then sets itself up as a reverse harem. Up until the recent chapters around 220, nothing ever really went wrong... everything went smoothly and happily for our main character. She's super cute and pretty nice. It is really a pleasure to read. Total escapism. I am just stopping around 227 cuz I read this purely for the fun, and I think that... more>> the challenges are starting to get steep...

Chapter 220~ spoiler:

Spoiler

Basically another person from her time also appears and they are literally fighting in a war opposite each other and this person is like a lot smarter than her... Idk, I've been skimming the recent chapters because there hasn't been much Li Wang and Bai Xiangxiu time ;_; I picked up this for the romance but the romance has been waning in recent chapters. Plus, since they really got together and mutually loved each other and everything, it feels like the plot has exceeded its raison d'etre... you know what I mean...? or I'm just a lazy reader

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If you know a little bit of Chinese, you should download the Pleco phone app or use pin1yin1. com website to read the Chinese chapters!

One serious critique that I have is that the story gets Super s*xist. There is some seriously ridiculous slut-shaming. This is nothing new to Chinese light novels, but warning to those who have higher standards.

Spoiler

The poor "original main female lead" ends up a villain and her "downfall" is that she ends up having a lot of s*x with many different men. BOOOOO!!!

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meiberry rated it
Soshite Shoujo wa Akujo no Karada o Te ni Ireru
January 26, 2017
Status: c13
I had high hopes for this from the description and the first two chapters, but I'm really not enjoying this by chapter 13.

... more>>
Spoiler

The premise of the story is that a super cute and innocent girl who is in love with life transmigrates/reincarnates into the body of a girl with a horrible personality and who has done really horrible things. There is so much potential in this premise! The way I wish it would have gone was that the moment the main FL realized how horrible the original body's owner was, she should have done her best to fix things... But it was never her priority.

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In fact I'm not really sure what her priority was. She didn't seem to have strong motivations, which frustrated me. I'm not here for a paper-clip adventure.
Spoiler

I was most frustrated with the weird residual chemical reactions that her body's brain had upon seeing the Ichinose character. It actually scientifically makes sense, but... I'm not for that... Apparently in the past girl's life, these feelings ruined her and everyone around her, so like... she's better off without these feelings.

ALSO, if the original girl was seriously so horrible, people's reactions to her were not negative enough, in my opinion. More people should be like Yuuya. She should have made friends with new people, people who never knew of her. But it was weird that people who knew her quickly believed in her amnesia (despite their couple of lines of cruel skepticism in the beginning). ??? Is it cause she's good looking? That's not enough for me as a reader...

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I wish that the main FL was MORE in love with life. I wish she had done more weird and cool things like quitting the student council committee for the environmental committee.

Two other way better versions of this plot premise are: 1) Reincarnated into an Otome Game Villainess with only Destruction Flags and 2) Kenkyo, Kenjitshu. They're also former villains, but they are so much more interesting. <<less
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meiberry rated it
Assassin Farmer
June 25, 2017
Status: c57
This is such a fluffy slice of life. I really like the main female lead. She has a great temper. The story premise is exactly as the summary describes.

The first chapter felt exceedingly long though, in describing the Republic era lifestyle of the main female lead. But after that, it gets to the main part of the story soon enough.

The Chinese novel is like 170~ chapters long. So far in the 50s chapters, it is still a very fluffy slice of life. The main male lead is basically the exact... more>> man we all want but who doesn't exist... I peeked at the chapter titles for the later chapters, and sure enough, later on by the 90s we might get some drama relating to the two main characters' past lives. <<less
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meiberry
meiberry rated it
Full Of My Love To You
October 10, 2017
Status: c29
What a fun read! Yesterday I just finished reading a long and tragic romance that ripped my heart out so this was a lovely and healing change of pace.

I love how believable and true-to-life everything is (which I think owes to the work actually being semi-autobiographical), from the stuff about the University of Oxford to the YY-ing with friends...

My favorite part of the story was the way the male lead and the female lead started out being proficient in humanities and sciences respectively, but when the male lead chose the... more>> sciences in hopes of being in the same stream as his love, and somehow the female lead muddles her way into the humanities instead, they end up growing into people who work in those fields (with the male lead going into military research and the female lead going into the arts). In that way they shaped each other into the people they are by the end of the story. <<less
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meiberry rated it
Chongfei Manual
June 20, 2017
Status: c115
This isn't completely horrible I guess, but I just finished Rebirth of a Malicious Empress from Military Lineage (damn that name is so long and clunky) and THAT time travel one was so good that Chongfei Manual totally pales in comparison.

This story is in some awkward suspension between a reverse harem and an OTP with a super possessive male lead. There isn't really much of a plot. I think the author's main priority is getting the main female lead and main male lead together... But their relationship doesn't feel satisfying... more>> to me, especially after reading the OTP from Rebirth of a Malicious Empress from Military Lineage whose male lead was actually jealous in an exciting way. In Chongfei Manual, the male lead is jealous in a boring, misogynistic way. In Chongfei Manual, there's just too much misogyny and oppressive patriarchal baggage for me to enjoy the romance. When I read Chinese/Japanese light novels, I have to sort of dissociate a bit and ignore the s*xism and otherwise piles of problems... and I guess I did that for like a good half this novel but I can't keep it up.

Someone should also add the Lolicon tag. I don't mind much older male leads, but only AFTER the female lead is completely of age. Even though technically in her mind, the female lead is basically the same age as the male lead, the fact of the matter is that in her body she is not. (I ALWAYS thought about this in Rebirth of... Military Lineage LOL like, Shen Miao basically like a 40 year old. Cougar!!!???) and from the perspective of the male lead, the female lead in Chongfei Manual is a child...

Spoiler

DID NOBODY ELSE THINK IT WAS UNSPEAKABLY CREEPY HE WAS EXCITED FOR HER FIRST PERIOD? 0_0

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Oh, and I don't understand what was the purpose of the second and third "male leads" (can I even call them male leads? I mean they were also in love with the main female lead) :

Spoiler

I really don't understand the main female lead's animosity towards the both of them. I understand taking revenge and feeling bad from your previous life, but her attitude and her actions really felt heavy-handed. I actually felt so bad for both Song Hui and Li Song.

Spoiler for Rebirth of Malicious... Military Lineage:

Compare Song Hui and Li Song to Pei Lang. Yes, Shen Miao hated him and was angry and took her revenge, but like... she did exactly what was reasonable. And he got what he deserved. But there was a limit, and she also eventually stopped hated him and torturing his heart with her animosity.

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I should rate this story even lower, but the ratings on here are way inflated anyways. Maybe 4 years ago I would have found this romance super titillating but now it just feels super flat. I don't feel interested in finishing this... I honestly just picked this up because its premise was similar to Rebirth of a Malicious Empress from Military Lineage in that both main female leads died a first life and woke up to a time when they were younger and had a "second chance" to take pre-emptive measures against the villains in their lives. But whereas Rebirth of a Malicious Empress felt epic, Chongfei Manual feels like a third-rate s*xual fantasy... Dx <<less
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meiberry rated it
Chu Wang Fei
May 27, 2017
Status: c111
Wow, just caught up to the translations. WOW. This was not what I expected! Chu Wang Fei has been the Least unrealistic and Least ridiculous transmigration story I've read so far, lol.

I'm coming from Genius Doctor: Black Belly Miss and Stunning Edge, so I thought this would be along similar veins. And it is for the most part, since the Good characters and Bad characters are so apparent. And the main female lead's wit is basically incomparable to anyone in the world to which she transmigrates. No one can beat... more>> her in a game of wits!!! She outwits Everybody, Every time. Which is really comforting, because the villains can be so evil and annoying. But unlike GDBBM and SE, I think Yun Qian Meng actually has to struggle a lot more... she has to plan for longer and wait and abide for her profits more. In that way she is a little less OP. Chu Wang Fei feels like slightly more mature storytelling (this is far from high literature, but at least it's less far than most Chinese light novels!!!)

Somebody compared this To Be A Virtuous Wife, except a lot more happens, and I think that's a really good comparison. Just like in To Be A Virtuous Wife, there is a lot of "houyuan" wit-battling. And TBAVW is one of the few houyuan stories that I can stomach. I can't stand imperial drama stories, but I LOOOVED TBAVW. But you can read my review for that story on its page. However, UNLIKE TBAVW where rarely anything earth-shaking happens, Chu Wang Fei is PACKED with drama. Lol. It's like Gone With The Wind, except Yun Qian Meng seems to have control over her life.

The romance is almost like a side dish... honestly, so far in the story it's only been Yun Qian Meng trying to get revenge for her mom. She still hasn't completely fulfilled it yet, even!!! And there's all these villains coming at her left and right. I feel so bad for YQM actually, because she has to deal with such horrible and hypocritical people all the time. I'd want to move and live in the mountains and never see these people ever again. But then she would have never met Chu Fei Yang... who is SO HOT. Probably the hottest male lead ever. He's like everything in one. He's smart and charismatic and strong. I've never read a male lead with a better personality, except maybe in Husband, Be a Gentleman. They are somewhat similar, except Chu Fei Yang is actually publicly known to be awesome, and they've both got this incorrigible/riling up the female lead thing going on that works out so well. I think that the "tall dark and handsome" thing is kind of boring... if they have few words to say, that just means they're empty characters. If they were in dramas, it'd be easier to at least fawn over their face, but in novels, you need some colorful dialogue to keep you hooked on a character...

The other 2 male leads are pretty interesting but really do not compare to Chu Fei Yang, which is good! Because, we all know who Yun Qian Meng will end up with. I'm just kind of sad there aren't more scenes with them together. But when they get together, it's super thrilling to see what happens. You can never expect what will happen. Actually, for the whole story, you're not totally sure what's going to happen. I think the author did a good job of making this story filled with just the right amount of using familiar tropes and then also being super original. <<less
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meiberry rated it
Honey Stewed Squid
January 28, 2017
Status: Completed
I thought it was adorable. I think Tong Nian is adorable. And there were many parts that I found absolutely hilarious.

I do feel sad that Tong Nian sort of fell so head over heels in love to the point where she kind of seems to have lost sight of herself. She mostly stopped doing the things she liked most after meeting Gun. It's weird. But oh well, it's just a romance.

This reminds me of Wei Wei Yi Xiao for sure, along with Really Really Miss You - they both have... more>> famous people online and some fun internet interactions. Gun is also a really special character. But once again, I wish there was an extension of this story where their relationship develops in a more complex, realistic way. <<less
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meiberry
meiberry rated it
Doctor Unruly
January 23, 2017
Status: Completed
I like it, lol. Not a bad hospital romance. You could add "manipulative male lead" to the tags, since he really got there towards the middle of the story with the housing situation...

It's not a melodrama, despite the way the author aspired towards that towards the end of the series. It finished off alright. Anyways, I'm pleased with it. It was a fun romance, kind of steamy when they finally got together, and cute overall.
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