Eight hundred years ago, Xie Lian was the Crown Prince of the Xian Le kingdom; one who was beloved by his citizens and the darling of the world. Unsurprisingly, he ascended to the Heavens at a very young age. Now, eight hundred years later, Xie Lian ascends to the Heavens for the third time as the laughing stock of all three realms. On his first task as a god, he meets a mysterious demon who rules the ghosts and terrifies the Heavens……yet unbeknownst to Xie Lian, this demon king has been paying attention to him for a very, very long time.
Story: Took a while for my dumbass to understand since I was always too busy adoring the art. Anyway it's pretty complex and I've only begun to understand around like chapters 20-30. Art: What can I say?? It's literally stunning. Absolutely gorgeous. Characters: Honestly, most of the characters don't stand out that much except for Hua Cheng & in the recent chapters Xie Lian. Overall: 4.5/5 stars
I'm hopping on the "praise the god-tiered art" bandwagon because it really deserves all the gushing. It's so gorgeous hun it fucking blinds me, I found myself admiring the art rather than focusing on the plot coz it's that DAMN distracting (in a good way). That aside, I'm only 45 chapters in atm so I couldn't really say much about the plot, didn't read the novel either so I could only understand based on what I can gather in this manhua. So far the setting is not strictly Chinese cultivation-oriented, there's a goddamn Sahara-esque location integrated into the fiction and it's bout to get exciting... But the main elements in this fantasy world are still about gods, their ranks, ghosts and all that shit. Xie Lian has gone through a painful amount promotion & demotion in terms of his godhood status, much sympathies to the poor guy (LITERALLY). This dude is quite impoverished currently and he's also lacking worshippers so in other words he shares similar background with Yato just a much tamer, BL version. As for Hua Cheng, I can only say he's a jack of all trades for now who's a total gentleman to Xie Lian. That's all. Lol.
First of all, the art is getting a 10/10. It is absolutely gorgeous. I have barely seen any art that can truly top this, especially in a manhua/manga. The characters are expressive and all of them are beautiful, even the side characters. The backgrounds are amazing, the art is literally perfect. However....everything else isn't great. CHARACTERS:1. The main character, Xie Lian was wildly bland and boring. He is presented as the kindest, purest, most selfless person in the world, but really he was just a bland white lotus. With Xie Lian, his personality can be described in just a sentence or so, while the author's other two MC's (Wei Wuxian and Shen Qingqiu) are both charming, funny, and deep with their own motivations. Xie Lian just walks around in the story with no purpose and he says that he wants to help the common people, but he really hasn't done that! He's barely helped anyone at all, and those times he did help people are quickly followed by flirting with the ML and forgetting all about the people he was supposed to help. 2. The ML, Hua Cheng, is equally as bad. He is extremely shallow and such a static character, with his development in the present times being nonexistent and his development from the past to the present being wholly nonsensical. His personality is very cliche and his motivations and thoughts are left entirely up to the reader's imagination, which significantly reduces character depth. He could've been such a great character, a ghost king who rules over hell and is morally grey, but instead he is dumbed down to a Xie Lian fanboy. Everything about him not related to Xie Lian is thrown at us in a few paragraphs if at all, and what little motivation and thoughts about him we do get always fall flat. Also, he is wildly unlikable. Of course, this is purely subjective, but he is irritatingly smug and lords over literally everyone he meets. It doesn't help that he's an insufferable Mary Sue with an endless array of powers, intelligent as hell and knows literally everything, really good at painting, sculpting, woodworking, and on top of that the richest, most powerful, most handsome, and most charismatic man in the book. His biggest flaw is supposed to be his insecurity and inferiority complex, but that barely ever comes up and 90% of the time he is arrogant and smug. 3. We have not yet gotten to the side character arcs, so although I've read the original, I can't say much about them. So far the few we've gotten are pretty cute and interesting, but we don't have much of them yet, so there's not much to base it off of. 4. I lost interest in the story pretty quickly due to the bland characters and their out of place romance and how unlikable they were. A lot of this novel/manhua was very surface level, and it's pretty on paper, but when you think about the characters a bit longer, the more bland and shallow they become. PLOT:1. The plot was... There was no plot. It was just a collection of monster of the day arcs that aimlessly meander about and then everything returns to the status quo once they return to Xie Lian's temple/home. There was way too much fan service, pointless romance, and plotlines that don't really contribute to the story. We haven't gotten much plot so far, but the bits we got were decent, if a bit too fan service and pandering 2. The incessant flirting really got on my nerves. The tension and tone of the entire story got completely ruined because of the MC and ML flirting and the MC blushing and giggling while the ML teases him and everyone else is literally fighting for their lives. This felt very fan-service like, and it felt like the author stopped trying and just fed us dog food after an emotionally taxing arc so that she wouldn't have to close out the arc properly, completely destroying the tone. Speaking of the tone, the tone whiplash was just... wow. You're fed fluff and romance during or after a high tensity and highly emotional scene with no connection at all, and you're just supposed to accept it instead of wondering what's happening to the characters you actually care about. 3. Romance and side arcs quite disconnected from the story. Quite frankly, most of this book is just romance with the plot and characters put in second place because "lOOk hOw CuTe the COuPLe iS!" You could literally take out all the side arcs and the story would literally be no different. The romance overtakes the entire plot and becomes the main point of the story. With her other two books, the romance is like the icing on the cake. With this book, the icing overtakes the cake and becomes the cake. 4. The fact that HC does the bare minimum in arcs frustrates me. If you're going to include a character with powers that will basically deem any threat against them null, then actually use them at least! HC's apathy does not feel like a coherent part of his character, but an excuse for MXTX to drag out plot lines and make things unnecessarily long and winded. Additionally, his apathy is contradictory. On one hand, he is super overprotective of XL and wants to make sure he won't get hurt a single bit, but on the other hand, he has this advanced ideology of the 21st century that he believes XL is capable so won't constrain him as much. ROMANCE: 1. The romance was really cheesy. There were some powerful moments, but it was mostly flirting and "he fell on top of me" or "he needs mouth to mouth". Most of it was just the ML flirting with the MC, which you may like if you like this kind of stuff, but I really didn't enjoy it.
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