Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

Unrelated to the prequel that left fans with many sleepless nights, would Season 2 have the same effect? Nirvana In Fire 2 stars Liu Hao Ran, Huang Xiao Ming, Tong Li Ya, and Zhang Hui Wen. It airs Mon-Wed, 2 episodes per day, totaling 50 episodes. First night’s ratings aren’t very well-received on two tv stations (0.263% & 0.271%). Let’s hope the number rise in the days ahead.

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MV and BTS:

  1. 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

    I am a big NIF fan and watched the first 2 episodes raw so I cant understand much – but I have a few thoughts.

    Its got the aesthetic and the cinematography style of the first season – the colours are more military and muted but I like it!
    The action scenes are good, especially the first episode, and also we see a lot kf Langya Hall and that was nice.
    The pace of the story is a bit slow- but by the 3rd and 4th episode more plots!wuxia!action!
    The greatest takeaway is the family dynamic – Sun Chun, Liu Haoran and Huang Xiaoming are giving off very natural, warm vibes together and their relationship is a treat to watch! This family will induce major heartbreak I tell you! (Also in some bits, HX’s profile looks like WK’s and they totally seem related aaaah)

    I cant speak for the Chinese audience of course- but maybe when you have such a huge prequel to live up to, and an unrelated storyline – people may not want to watch?
    Another reason may be the internet. Iqiyi has released eight episodes for VIP members and I bet hardcore (mainly younger and female) fans will head over to binge watch rather than wait for some days on TV?

  2. 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

    I do like the production quality. Honestly I don’t see any obvious flaws, but somehow it’s just not doing it for me. I’m not hooked at all. The worst thing is I can’t even really pinpoint why; NiF is my like, one true love, and somehow it clicked for me. Just enough intrigue, lighthearted banter, wuxia mystical-ness, serious politicking… NiF2 is not clicking AT ALL. I don’t even know why but the politics feel to dry so I FF, the MC and girl feel too young-first-love-budding-romance that I feel uncomfortable with how the tone switched between almost idol-period-esque to serious-historical-vibe so I FF. Like honestly, the production is great, plot seems to hold together, things are moving at a brisk pace, but somehow I’m just not interested at all.

    NiF for me is like Lin Shu: the brightest star in JinLing. Idk if I’m subconsciously comparing too much, if my expectations are too high, but I’m not enjoying NiF2 – maybe they’re just too dim.

    • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

      I think comparing it to the original (especially at such an early stage) will totally kill it, and also unfair on the show. Thats my biggest fear, because if a show that is done well does not get the praise it deserves just because it cannot come out of the shadow of its predecessor, then it will be a big loss. NiF set such a high bar that no show since has even come close to reaching it.

      • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

        I’m not intentionally comparing it. In fact I’m trying hard not to, but I also think some comparison is inevitable. The production company is labeling it at a continuation of Nirvana in Fire, and they’re making unavoidable connections in character and plot, so…

    • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

      Your mention of the idol-esp factor is what kind of bothers me too. It’s not that there’s anything obviously idol like about it but it’s giving me those vibes. I’d mentioned quite a few times how much I like Liu Haoran but I can’t seem to get into the fact that he will be the one carrying the plot, something about his lines/his scenes give me slightly idol feels. His character is just too young to be at the heart of a serious drama plot.

      • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

        Exactly, LHR’s character is written so young that I’m not sure how I feel about him being the central character anymore. I love LHR and I really supported his casting but I didn’t realize how much it would affect the tone of the whole drama to have a central character so young, brash, and naive.

        • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

          I think part of the success of NIF2 or at least people’s opinions on his character will turn on whether he can very convincingly portray his character growth later on and kind of shift the tone.

  3. 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

    I’m giving NIF2 a chance because because I trust the integrity of this production team. The descendants of NIF1 characters and the destiny of the Liang kingdom 50 years after Mei Changsu’s death has me intrigued.

    • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

      Three actors from NIF 1 appear as different characters in NIF2. The evil Xia Dong as an elderly white-haired character, princess Liyang in a commoner role, and actress Qiao Xin also appears.

      • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

        Evil Xia Dong? :O I think u mean Xia Jiang ?

  4. 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

    I’m a big fan of Nirvana In Fire, and unlike many others, I was very excited about the sequel because I felt that the production team (including the directors and scriptwriter) is unmatched in cdrama. I love the world and a sequel would be able to build it further, in different ways. And although I know that sequels may ruin the beauty of the original series, the set up made me confident that it would stand alone as its own story and not retread the plot of the first series.

    And my early verdict is – NOT DISAPPOINTED! Really enjoyed the first few episodes, it brought me right back into the universe. Its distinctly Nirvana In Fire but also different; the intrigue is there. Whilst NiF has certainly lead to a boon in the number of similar historical shows, none have captivated me to any level close to how NiF did (unlike many, Tribes doesn’t really click for me). The first few episodes of this make me confident that it will.

    Huang Xiaoming is putting in decent shift so far, granted most of his scenes are in the battlefield, which don’t require amazing acting skills, but I feel like he fits the character and is doing it justice.

    I also think Liu Haoran can be a real star.

  5. 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

    I’ve just watched the first two episodes, and I feel sort of vindicated in me thinking that the drama is going to be fine. People automatically assumed that Huang Xiao Ming is going to be the weak link, but right now I actually think Liu Hao Ran is the one not on par.

    As I’ve mentioned before, HXM can be very good when he wants to. As a general, he’s certainly got the gravitas, not to mention that his speech delivery is also great. If the show “fails”, he’s not the reason. As for LHR, his character is not as likable right now, and his acting is… average. I do hope that he’ll improve as the show continues and his character develops. Also, for some reason he’s dubbed, so he sounds like the odd one out (the female lead’s dubbing is more natural).

    • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

      To be honest, I always thought HXM’s acting was fine. Albeit it may be because the first chinese drama I ever watched was his & Liu Yifei’s version of ROTCH and I quite liked him there. And I’m liking him in NIF2, he really suits the war general look and I find he’s quite convincing in non-idol dramas overall.

    • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

      Huang Xiaoming has always been great at playing serious characters. He only starts to falter when playing boyish/playful character much like Hu Ge.

      On the other hand LHR is definitely the weak link, as much as I love him. I think it’s because he gives off a playful vibe always and thus has a hard time commanding this type of show. While the playful spirit is part of his natural charm and great for variety shows, It’s better suited for idol or characters like Guo Jing

  6. 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

    I like it so far. Everything looks good. Great cinematography, good acting, interesting story. If it keeps it up, I think it will be great.

  7. 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

    I actually thought that they purposely made LHR to be so young and playful in attitude. In NIF, we were immediately introuduced with adult version of Mei Chang Su/ Lin Shu thus the whole vibe became more serious. However, if you notice, that actually the young Lin Shu in flashback was as playful as LHR, together with Xiao Jing Yan. Both of them (Lin Shu and LHR) are playful but they know they needs to be responsible. The difference is probably Lin Shu is the first (only?) son while LHR’s character is the second one thus it might look that he’s more playful.
    Also, from Mydramalist, the central plot of this sequel would be similar to flashback of NIF where this time it’s the Changlin Army that would be blamed.

    • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

      I don’t wanna really disagree since his character is totally up for personal interpretation. The way I personally see it though, not to intentionally compare, but young Lin Shu and XJY were perhaps a little more “solid” than LHR’s character. Like they’re were playful and fun, but I don’t think from what little characterization I know of them, that they would have necessarily turned on Ms. Lin (in ep 1) the way LHR did. I think you’re right, that the difference is that LHR’s the second son so he’s used to relying on his bro in a completely different way than Lin Shu and XJY who were either only children or as a prince was “distant” to some extent from brothers (Xiao Jingyu being an exception, but even still I don’t imagine as princes they would’ve had the same time together and dependence necessarily as the Xiao Ping bros). But for me the “turned-off” point to LHR’s character was when he immediately started “yelling” at Ms. Lin and questioning her, his father, her credentials, etc. I understand his worry, but the difference for me between LS and XJY’s playfulness in NiF1 is that considering the time period and level of status they were all raised with, I would perhaps expect a little more caution or thinking to go into whatever they day. Lin Shu was written as strongheaded and playful, but he was also whip-smart and aware of consequences and shit even before Meilin, at least that’s what I came out of NiF thinking. and I can’t see him or XJY taking the same actions, perhaps, as LHR’s character.

      I’m not really hating on LHR’s character, but I feel like that small distinction make LHR’s character seem much more ignorant, naive to me. Which is something we don’t really see in the main characters from NiF as much. (XJY was stubborn but he wasn’t unaware of politicking; he just didn’t like it). Perhaps that’s the difference that’s most striking to me personally.

      I’m not really judging NiF2 as a whole in comparison to NiF, but just an observation since we’re on the topic.

      • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

        Sure, people have their own level of acceptance towards this sequel and i agree with your nice observation. I also had the same reaction with you during LHR’s scene with Miss Lin, by far i immediately thought “that was rude!?”. I’m also not following the young actors in Chinese dramas such as him who people here regarded as idol, i’m inclined to the mature ones. So actually, i prefer to take more positive view about this drama since even NIF didn’t start with high ratings initially. I believe that the directors and producers know their stuff, maybe we will see a greater development for LHR as he would be the main hero of the drama. It might be worth of waiting 🙂

  8. 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

    Aesthetically pleasing but honestly feel like I would not have bothered continuing if this was not the sequel to NIF or from a different production company. (It’s not bad, just not that entertaining yet)

    Voices are dubbed which is already a minus for me haha. I was surprised when HXM’s character died in the 1st ep but then he miraculously came back to life XP Can’t complain much about his acting, I’m sure any complaints I will have are mostly because he’s such a high-profile celeb that it’s hard to forget that he’s HXM when watching him in a drama.

    First type seeing LHR in a drama. He’s likeable enough, I’m not much of a fan of these type of brash young characters though.

    I got really bored and only finished one episode. Long and dramatic war scenes aren’t great to watch when you’re not attached to the characters yet and there’s no face to the opposing side.

    Will continue when there’s more episodes to binge-watch and as I’ve been saying, after Tribes and Empires cos no time haha.

    • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

      Totally agree. To clarify, I definitely don’t think there’s anything wrong with the show necessarily. It’s good production. But somehow I’m just not hooked. On a completely emotional-reaction level without talking about acting skills, directing, pacing, or plot,, I’m just not enjoying. Sometimes I can like some pretty crappy shows, so I generally try to base on a gut-feeling. And here, I’m not feeling it. Maybe I need to give it more time and stuff cuz I’ve literally only watched a single episode. But honestly, I’m on break, I’m bored, I’m on hiatus from Tribes and Empires but suddenly didn’t feel like watching it, but even still I lack any real motivation to keep watching NiF2. That’s really telling me that I’m either not in the right mindset right now, or we’re just not fated to be.

      • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

        Totally agree with your comments. This sequel is boring. The dubbing really is bad. Also, the story line doesn’t pique my interest or curiosity unlike the original NIF (where Lin Shu’s physical weakness belied his true royal history and purpose). I’m going to give this NIF II a miss.

  9. 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

    I thought I wouldn’t like HXM in this since I generally don’t like his acting, but he’s surprisingly doing well. The problem I have is with Liu Haoran. I’ve never watched any of his shows before so I don’t have a real opinion on him, but he kind of turns this into an idol drama with high production values, which isn’t what I want to watch. Maybe because he’s too young? Young Muyun Hanjiang over at Tribes and Empires did a great job so it could be that LHR’s just not suited for period dramas? He must have a lot of fans though because all the comments on other forums have been aggressively singing his praises.

  10. 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

    Going to wait until it finishes so we can watch it straight through. Didn’t want to start another period drama at the same time. Happened before, watching 3 or 4 period dramas, the queens, emperors, ministers, etc. get tangled up, you don’t know who is who anymore.

  11. 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

    I think what happened here is like what happened in Chinese Paladin 5. It just doesn’t live up to the expectation.

  12. 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

    i am a huge fan of NIF, and in the first few episodes I did have some reservations. While the colors, cinematography and characterization was alright, but the story was not moving along fast enough. But the actual story starts after a dozen or so episodes. And now I am hooked. The intrigues are back and they are interesting. The dynamics and relationships are interesting. They are keeping the main conflict under wraps for now. It is being revealed in bits and pieces. What made NIF a great show was that it never lost its heart throughout. The themes of family, friendships, relationships are still there (more emphasis on romance though), it retains its heart, but the story will decide if its a hit or miss overall.

    So my recommendation guys… hold on through the boring episodes and go ahead and watch it. It one drama I am willing to bet on.

    • 26 thoughts on “Nirvana In Fire 2 First Impression: What do you think?

      I totally agree with you. It gets better and better. Episode 20 onwards are the best. The storyline, acting, cinematography etc. are as good as NIF 1. You can really feel for the characters in the drama.

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