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Demon Girl: Episode 1 “A Pretty Facade.”

This show feels like a fantasy fanfiction played out in real life. Beautiful characters, check. Sweeping romances, check. Monsters and some gore, check. Contrived plot, check. Enjoy the pretty, guys.

Demon Girl Episode 1 RECAP:

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The narrator tells us that demons are just like humans. But their tears are golden, their blood pink. Aside from their strength, agility and the ability to fly, they still grow old and die. Come winter, they must hibernate or die and melt into a puddle. When they do, they turn into a baby without their memories.

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A fight in the capital sends everyone, including a family of four, running. The mother sends her family away and stays to stop the English soldiers. Turning in her demon form, she swipes at the soldiers in what appears to be the most gentle way possible (though Ady An’s expression is anything but gentle!).

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But the solders finally gather their wits and shoot her down. She takes bullet after bullet in her torso before dying. Her blood, as promised, is pink.

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1915. Older daughter Nie Qing Cheng (Li Yi Tong) is all grown-up and is a dancer at a nightclub. When she accidentally hurts herself, a bright light flashes in her. She brushes it off as her hallucination and joins the rest of the girls on stage.

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In the same nightclub, a gangster has invited the new sheriff Ming Xia (Zhang Zhe Han) to bribe him. When he turns down money, the gangster orders his men to bring Qing Cheng instead, who he notices Ming Xia has been eyeing. Qing Cheng refuses to be a damsel in distress but there’s a gun to her head.

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Ming Xia points out that he became a sheriff because he can’t stand injustice. He’s clearly good at his job because he outmaneuvers the gangster using his own men. He drags Qing Cheng out by the wrist, but she’s not too happy about it. She tells him not to get any ideas.

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Ming Xia calmly explains to her the situation: he has helped her this time and by acting like they know each other well, he’s preventing the gangster from coming after her again. He sends her home with his coat over her shoulders. It’s clear she’s moved by their encounter.

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Back home, Qing Cheng’s father nearly catches her but her sister smartly defuses the situation. He doesn’t know she’s a dancer and it’s clear he wouldn’t approve. Qing Cheng tells her sister about meeting Ming Xia. Her demon energy(?) seems to be getting stronger, as the tub they’re using cracks from it.

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The next day, it seems like Ming Xia has really left an impression because Qing Cheng even waits outside the nightclub for him. But he doesn’t appear and she’s left disappointed. Her lovesickness is all over her face, even the other girls can tell. She even dreams about him visiting her, waking her with a kiss.

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Later Qing Cheng finds her sister crying. Qing Xin is a student at an upscale school and she is devastated over missing the most important social event of the year. Ever the doting sister, Qing Cheng promises to take her. And she does, by sneaking them in.

Qing Xin is enthusiastic to mingle but bullies insult her, asking if she even knows how to be an educated lady. They call her a wallflower but Qing Chen shuts them down. If no one wants to dance with Qing Xin, she’ll show them how good Qing Xin is.

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Qing Cheng allows her sister to shine and before long, dance partners come by the droves. I like that she’s not above rubbing it in the bullies’ faces. She tells them the stink of vinegar (jealousy) is too overpowering and excuses herself for a breather.

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Outside, she sees another girl pestering Ming Xia to love her. Qing Cheng runs up to him and with a wink, he understands and introducers her as his girlfriend. To prove his point, he even kisses her on the cheek. Qing Cheng returns the favour, hee. Upset with the sudden rival, the girl run away in a huff.

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Alone now, Qing Chen learns that Ming Xia doesn’t know how to dance. She offers to teach him and he accepts. They twirl and twirl in the garden, so sweetly that it draws the envy of another couple. Ming Xia tells her he doesn’t want her to return his coat, so he’ll always have a dancing teacher.

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It turns out that Qing Chen has been teaching Ming Xia dancing for months and her sister teases her for it. But her father has finally found out about her job and locks her in her room. She doesn’t despair for long. Using a make-shift rope, she climbs down her window. She has someone to meet.

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When she arrives at the bridge, she is disappointed that she doesn’t see Ming Xia. But he is there and he is good-humoured even though he has waited for five hours. She tells him she can’t leave home anymore. She is upset that her father doesn’t understand her. With her sister’s school fees, there is no way they would survive without her salary.

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Ming Xia tells her to yell her worries away, which cheers her up. He also seems to be looking at her differently. If before, he only likes her, now he has fallen for her. He narrates, “There’s one such saying: Some people, some things are meant to happen. I think this must be one of those moments.”

-ENDS-

Ryu: Some shows go over the top to manufacture the most bizarre meet-cute, Demon Girl sticks to the cliches and it works well. I adore the earnest Ming Xia and his sense of justice. The fact that he patiently explains his actions to Qing Chen without putting her down, as so many male leads tend to do, puts him in my good book. He’s so perfect that his only flaw so far, his lack of dancing capabilities, is a plot device for our couple to get together. And I’m debating whether Qing Chen fits the bill of a Mary Sue but I really like her. It’s clear she loves her family and would do everything for them. I admire her for making use of her talent to make a living. Her character resonates with me on a purely personal level, but I think we can agree that Li Yi Tong is absolutely adorable.

With the hindsight of having watched up to episode 4, this first episode is pretty deceptively tame. Don’t think I will be recapping this because I don’t like where the plot is going. Which is a shame, because the show is so pretty, the acting is decent and it is always a treat to watch a Republican era drama. If it improves, maybe I will brave it with my fast forward button!

9 comments

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  1. Kappy

    This show is ridiculously pretty. The colors and her fluffy hair…

    My favorite scene has to be the dancing party where Qing Cheng allowed her sister to shine. What’s better is that they didn’t need a HERO to swoop in and ask for a dance. Qing Cheng was the hero and created the moment. LOVED IT.

    It’s also nice that she warms up to him because he’s a nice, decent human being, instead of the hardass we usually meet.

    I’m going to watch more and see where it goes! Frankly, I want to see her turn evil like real soon. Several demon girls have failed me. keke. Thanks Ryu!

    1. Ryu

      I have a feeling demon girls never truly live up to their potential, because l-o-v-e.

  2. Aryael

    Do come over and follow us in viki – Team Gone With The Shirt! Although I am actively subbing this drama at viki at the moment, I must admit that I am doing this for my kids who for reasons unknown had decided to get themselves addicted to this drama. Honestly speaking, I’m more interested in Novoland and the upcoming Legend of Chusen than this one. The chemistry between the female lead and the male lead is more like a brother and sister but the chemistry between the female lead and the demon You Tong is more believable and we all know that she will not end up with You Tong since he’s the 2nd male lead. Wow! There I’ve said in one mouth full! Whether you guys wanna watch this to the end or not is up to you but I’m stuck subbing this for the sake of my kids. *sigh* I should’ve insisted they continue with their Mandarin classes when they were younger! >_<

    1. so

      Which Novoland are you interested in? Castle in the sky doesn’t look promising from the first 2 eps. The male actors look rather weak.

  3. Angela

    Li Yi Tong is so adorable!! Zhang Zhe Han was awkward to watch against the mafia Boss! Lol. He’s quite stiff and his expressions were slightly exaggerated.

    Will watch up to episode 4 and see what happens! Thanks Ryu!

  4. lilhanh

    It’s a pretty drama with pretty actors, and while I was captivated with the first few episodes, it started to go downhill with typical cliched plots. I’m up to episode 9 and am just fast forwarding to see where it goes. I originally loved the first male lead for our female lead but the chemistry for the 2nd lead became stronger for me. It’s getting less and less developed with both story and character. So I’m waiting for some better dramas to follow.

  5. Coralie

    The plot is too slow (pace-wise), but it’s too fast-pace in others where it should be developed slower, like the falling in love process. It’s just all-around bad. Cliches riddle the drama and some scenes and plot-lines are utterly unbelievable. It’s pretty, but pretty doesn’t keep your attention for very long.

  6. Aryael

    Yes, I agree with lilhanh and Carolie’s sentiments about this drama. The plot is slow and I would be fast forwarding the drama if not for the fact that I had to sub it. I think the story-line is really simple and they are just pulling out all the delaying tactics to make it into a full length drama. I think this could benefit from being a short drama – maybe 13 episodes.

  7. kongshiah

    Can someone please tell me how the drama is doing in terms of ratings in china? I love it so much and is currently waiting for the episodes to be fully subbed

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