I started watching this drama in late 2017 and it exceeded my expectations. It is such a feel-good and cute drama. There are no obnoxious characters and every character has qualities that we can all appreciate. The storyline is pretty similar to Itazura na Kiss’ but I dubbed this drama Itazura na Kiss on steroids. I was never a huge fan of Itazura na Kiss for so many reasons. The male lead was a total douchebag and I was never convinced of his feelings for the female lead. It’s like halfway through the show the male lead decided he liked the female lead. Just out of nowhere. Also the female lead never truly grew a backbone. Luckily, none of this with this drama.
Xiao Xi and Jiang Chen have known each other since they were small kids. They are neighbors and their parents have a pretty good relationship. Xiao Xi has had feelings for Jiang Chen since they were little, but now that they are both in high school she pursues him harder than ever. Yet, both are polar opposites. Xiao Xi is lively and not too good at school. Jiang Chen is cold and an extremely good student. You can pretty much guess where this is headed…
Jiang Chen is cold but he shows his affection toward his friends and Xiao Xi in so many ways. Helping them study and standing up from them when needed. It makes his character more likeable. Despite his cold demeanor, Jiang Chen clearly has a soft side.
We also see Jiang Chen developing feelings for Xiao Xi. He might try to hide it to the people around him. Yet for viewers, it’s obvious. It made me happy to see that the feelings were not one-sided in this show or that one person didn’t love the other more. There are so many episodes in which Jiang Chen shows jealousy, expresses the desire to spend time with Xiao Xi or innocently teases her. Cuteness overload.
I experienced a strong case of second male lead syndrome with this drama. There are so many times I wished Xiao Xi would pick Wu Bo Song. Wu Bo Song provides more than comical relief. He is attractive, popular, talented with a strong personality and he grows up to be an extremely successful person. All this is in addition to his total devotion, which spans years, to the female lead. What more can we ask for?
Lastly, I love the fact that Xiao Xi grows a backbone, which is something that never happened for Kotoko in Itazura na Kiss. There is a point in the show when Jiang Chen and Xiao Xi break up. They each go their separate ways for a few years. During these years, Xiao Xi starts building her career and gains so much confidence. I usually hate unnecessary break-up plot twist but not in this case. Here, it gives the time to Jiang Chen to realize that he needs to be a little more proactive with Xiao Xi while the latter learns about herself and builds a life of her own. The years apart give us a stronger and more mature Xiao Xi overall.