By: Peggy Sue Wood | @pswediting
I know for a fact that some of you are sleeping on this series because its a CGI and a Chinese ONA, AND I AM CALLING YOU OUT.
This series is one of the best romances I have ever read, and the officially licensed English version is available to read for free on MangaToon, Tapas, and Webcomics (Webcomicsapp <- which is where I read it). Moreover, this series is completely translated. That’s right, you can read the whole thing NOW.
Our two central characters are the Emperor, seen on the right in the image above, and the Empress, seen on the left in the image above. The two switch bodies and while they seek to return back to themselves, they begin to rekindle their love for each other that was lost at the beginning of their marriage over a misunderstanding.
One of the things that makes this story so amazing is the writing, which has, thus far, translated perfectly to the animation. Nothing storywise is lost, though their have been a few changes artwise and dialogue wise that have helped adapt from the 2D comic form to the screen. Without giving anything specific away from the story (because I really want you all to check it out) is that both characters have to overcome misunderstandings about each other and their history to grow and find love for each other again.
In classical romance stories, this element has been considered the deciding factor of a good love story vs a bad one. Characters fall in love all the time, but those that stay in love are those that complete one another and promote a growth in each other. Anybody who has ever read a Jane Austen romance can find this in her stories, and even older examples can be found on all over in literature. Modern romances try to carry this idea too, where characters seek to better understand their partner and often–in the climax–display something of their partner’s nature that’s different from their own. It shows how knowing the other person has helped them grow, such as a wallflower gaining confidence to entering the spot light or a villain performing an act of kindness because they’ve fallen in love.
Art wise too, the CGI isn’t bad and keeps the same identifier for characters that was found in the comics–their eyes.
Eyes are typically understood as “windows” to the soul, and in a story with swapping bodies you definitely want to know who is talking. For all of you interested in watching I’ll give you some insight regarding the art of both the comic and anime:
If they’re from the Emperor’s family–they have blue eyes. If they’re from the Empress’s family–they have gold eyes. When the two have switched places, the Empress’s eyes turn blue because the Emperor is in her body. Vice-versa, the Emperor gains gold eyes after the Empress enters it. You can tell who is in a character’s immediate family based on their eye color and it’s adorable to see how they come to understand the members of their significant other’s families over the course of the story.
It is worth watching and reading at your earliest convenience. Especially, if you enjoy romances and historical stories. This is only the first season but I’m sure it will need at least a Season 2 or 3 to tell the whole story and the more people that watch and read, the more likely that is to happen. I do plan to write a thorough review when the season is over, and it will be filled with spoilers. SO, before that–I highly recommend you watch and read this series for yourself.
It’s sweet. It’s action packed. It’s got political drama and a war. But way more important than that. It’s got fantastic writing and embodies a romance that makes sense.