Sound of the Desert (Da Mo Yao): Eps 7-13

Chinese DramasDrama Reviews

When I first started watching Da Mo Yao, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to commit to watching the whole drama.  Episodes 1-6 didn’t feel addicting to me, nor did they draw me into the story.  BUT I’m happy to say that now that I’m 13 episodes into the drama, I’ve concluded that it’s worth the watch.  Eps1-6 were largely focused on Xin Yue’s endeavors with her Luo Yu Fang business, but episodes 7-13 are more about the love triangle and the political situation between Nan Chao/Da Mo.  So things are starting to pick up pace.  And yes, I am addicted!

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It’s no secret that Wei Wu Ji (Eddie Peng) is my favorite character.  Just look at all my screenshots and my comments on the show, they are all about Wu Ji.  😛  *cue instant giggling*     All he has to do is appear on screen and I’ll instantly start giggling to myself, THAT’S how charismatic he is.  One of the things I like about Wu Ji is his composure–he always has the aura of a dignified general and a ~gentleman~.  Sure, we often see him being acting like an adorable love struck boy around Xin Yue…but there’s still something about the way he holds himself that makes him seem very poised and manly.  Again, props to Eddie Peng for his portrayal of Wu Ji.  His stage presence always dominates his scenes and he really makes Wu Ji into a character of his own.  I can’t imagine anyone else as Wu Ji.  I also love the outfits/styling for Wu Ji’s character because the black/dark navy blue colors & gray furs really suit him.

At a first glance, Wu Ji  seems like a perfect hero.  After all, he is a dashing general who patiently waits for Xin Yue for over TWO YEARS and proclaims that he will protect Xin Yue no matter what.  Wu Ji usually plays the role of the protector and the confidant..the guy who will always be there for Xin Yue even when she is heartbroken over another man.  However there’s more to Wu Ji’s character than just the ‘perfect gentleman’ persona.  He does have a darker side to him, especially when it comes to his status as a young established general and as the nephew of a princess.  Wu Ji’s high rank comes with a price.  Many people are jealous of him and are waiting for him to make a wrong move to fall from his glory.  There is undoubtedly a lot of pressure on Wu Ji to fulfill people’s expectations and to maintain his position as a high-ranking general. On top of that, Wu Ji is disillusioned with the politics of the royal family; i.e. he mentions how everyone is duplicitous and has ulterior motives/how he learned to distance himself from the palace politics for his own protection.  Considering all that Wu Ji has seen in the palace and on the battlefield, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some trust issues.  His upbringing may also be a factor in why he sometimes has a cold exterior when he’s with people he doesn’t know well.  (Hong Gu refers to Wu Ji as cold and intimidating in earlier episodes)  In contrast to Mo Xun, who pretends to be weak so that he’s not perceived as a threat, Wu Ji takes on a strong and imposing persona to signal to people that he’s not to be messed with.  He only lets down his guard and shows his warmer side when he’s with Xin Yue.

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^I can’t get enough Xin Yue x Wu Ji screenshots!

Currently Xin Yue and Wu Ji are best friend status.  I like how their interactions are open and natural.  I always get a kick out of their scenes together because of their great chemistry!  😀   Xin Yue wouldn’t want to admit it but Wu Ji is now a normal part of her life and it feels kinda weird when he’s not there.  (ex. when he goes to battle and can’t see Xin Yue for a while, she looks disappointed!)  Wu Ji has really grown on her even though she always complains about how annoying he is, heheh.  Of course Xin Yue knows how Wu Ji feels towards her–it’s so obvious you might as well stamp “I love Xin Yue” on Wu Ji’s forehead.  Instead of rejecting Wu Ji, she feigns ignorance, probably because she doesn’t want to lose her best friend.  Maybe she doesn’t want to look at Wu Ji as a man/potential love interest yet because she’s so set on having Mo Xun as her life partner.  So Wu Ji is friend-zoned for the time being.  There are some moments where Xin Yue unintentionally hurts Wu Ji’s feelings. (Since Wu Ji is well aware of Xin Yue’s love for Mo Xun.)  i.e. In episode 12, Xin Yue abruptly leaves Wu Ji to go with Mo Xun.  She looks back at Wu Ji to see that he looks totally crushed and hurt.  :”””((((((  Then he tries to force a little smile as she leaves.  AWWWW!!!  Don’t worry though, for the most part, Wu Ji takes all this in stride and he never gives up pursuing Xin Yue.  He’s always by her side and he takes it upon himself to cheer her up when she’s feeling down. A lot of Wu Ji’s actions are bold and impulsive but when it comes to Xin Yue’s feelings, he’s very sensitive and considerate.  I love the scene when he comforts Xin Yue after she gets rejected by Mo Xun!  Hopefully Wu Ji’s persistence will pay off in the future episodes…in fact, I’m betting on it since there are plenty of signs that Wu Ji and Xin Yue are meant to be:

  • Xin Yue’s flowers blossom for the first time in Wu Ji’s presence.  The flowers represent LOVE.
  • Xin Yue gets a love fortune about heartbreak & Wu Ji vs. Mo Xun.
  • Xin Yue has a dream where the person she loves gets shot by an arrow.  She calls out Jiu Ye’s name….only to see that Wu Ji is the one who got shot!!!
  • Xin Yue starts worrying about Wu Ji’s safety..while she’s with Mo Xun!
  • Qin Xiang makes Xin Yue swear on the name of the person she loves.  Xin Yue starts to swear on Jiu Ye’s name but Qin Xiang stops her and says ‘no, the person you LOVE’.  MMMHMMM.

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^Unfortunately, this didn’t actually happen.  It was in Xin Yue’s dream.

The Mo Xun/Xin Yue/Wu Ji love triangle is in full swing and so far, Mo Xun is winning.  Xin Yue still only has Mo Xun in her heart, and she’s convinced that she has to share in his burdens so that he can be happy.  To do this, Xin Yue gets into some shady business, helps Qin Xiang enter the palace, and rapidly expands her Luo Yu Fang.  The problem with Mo Xun is that Xin Yue has no idea what he’s thinking about.  Their conversations rarely give her any insight into what’s going on in Mo Xun’s head.  She even resorts to reading the same books that Mo Xun reads to try to understand his mindset.  T_T”  At one point Xin Yue wonders to herself ‘what exactly did I see in him?  I don’t want to marry a book!’.  (Me: WORD!)  Mmhmm.  So as you can see, Mo Xun is quite a mystery of a character.  So far we know that he talks to pigeons, grew up isolated and alone, and is actually not as immobile/physically weak as he appears to be.  Despite his powerful position as a boss, he doesn’t seem to be like a threat or a major political player.  In fact, Mo Xun is an important person who can influence the outcome of the conflict between the Nan Chao kingdom & Da Mo.  He pretends to be weaker than he really is to keep a low-key profile/to not raise the emperor’s suspicion of him.

As for Mo Xun’s feelings for Xin Yue, I think he’s holding himself back from accepting Xin Yue’s feelings.  Wu Ji is the type that boldly declares his feelings whereas Mo Xun is the kind that quietly holds in his love.  But when Xin Yue confesses her feelings for him, Mo Xun pretends that he doesn’t know what she means.  (HE OBVIOUSLY KNOWS!!  Even Xin Yue can tell!!!)  So he rejects Xin Yue in a round-about way by avoiding the topic and pretending he had no idea that Xin Yue just put her heart out on the line for him.  X__X  Poor Xin Yue is totally heartbroken and decides to pretend that nothing happened.  I think Mo Xun has his reasons for rejecting Xin Yue..who knows, maybe he thought that not acknowledging her feelings would hurt her less than rejecting her outright? Or he doesn’t want her to get involved with his precarious situation with the emperor?

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^ Bottom right pic: I like the outfit Xin Yue wears during the confession scene.

Liu Shi Shi has gotten more comfortable in her role as Xin Yue.  There are less scenes where she goes into Ruo Xi mode and more scenes where she portrays Xin Yue’s free spirited and playful ways.  Xin Yue is very adaptable–she can conform to the situation whether it be in the palace, her business or with Mo Xun & Wu Ji.  She’s the most lively when she’s with the leading men, so I enjoy those scenes the most.  We find out more about Xin Yue’s past–she grew up with the Jie Tribe in Da Mo as “Jin Yu”.  Her happy life in Da Mo was destroyed after her father died in a coup d’etat.  Xin Yue escaped to live with the wolves, while her old acquaintances presumed that she died.  This is why Xin Yue hesitated when she gave her name in episode 1!!!  It all makes sense now!!!  In light of this, I don’t get why Xin Yue claims that she has no attachment to Da Mo.  (forgot what episode this was in…it was when she was talking to her old friend)  She experienced happiness, rebirth, death and betrayal all Da Mo, so of course the land is quite close to her heart.  Maybe Xin Yue views Da Mo & her life as Jin Yu as a thing of the past, which is why she doesn’t want to continue dwelling on it.  Keeping her old ties to Da Mo would only come back to haunt her especially now that she’s heavily involved with the palace politics and is a resident of Nan Chao.  It’ll be interesting to see whether she’ll support Wu Ji’s battles even though he’s fighting against the people that she used to love.

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Lastly I have to talk about Qin Xiang.  T_T” She’s a side character that’s still quite central to the story since she’s used as a means through which we get a glimpse into the juicy intrigue of the palace.  Unfortunately, the drama in the palace is not all that juicy or exciting.  T_T”  All of the palace scenes/Qin Xiang scenes feel draggy and repetitive.  I just can’t empathize with Qin Xiang or understand her motivations for revenge.  She’s always harping on and on about how this is her fate, how she can’t escape it, how she must go on this path to self-destruction, blah blah blah. Xin Yue was totally right in pointing out that Qin Xiang is the one bringing the burden of revenge upon herself and that she’s the only one who can free herself of it.

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I LOVE WEI WU JI!  Enough said!  😛  Obviously I’m totally biased towards Wu Ji.  Mo Xun is a good guy and I can see why Xin Yue adores him so much.  Unfortunately I don’t think Mo Xun will come around anytime soon since he seems set on maintaining a platonic relationship with Xin Yue.  Admittedly I took a sneak peak at the episodes ahead (again please no spoilers in comments, for those who haven’t gotten that far yet!!)  and the love triangle only gets more intense from here on out!! I’m READYYY!!!

At this point in the drama, I can’t call Da Mo Yao a must-watch although I enjoy it immensely.  I feel like the side stories about Qin Xiang and the Luo Yu Fang are holding back the drama since they aren’t all that interesting in the first place.  I know that Qin Xiang & the Luo Yu Fang are important to the political aspect of the story…….I just wish they didn’t have so many repetitive scenes.  >_>”

Take Over by Hu Ge

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heisui

I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
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Sound of the Desert (Da Mo Yao): Eps 1-6
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  • I really do like how they are developing Wu Ji and Xn Yue’s relationship. Their’s is starting more on equal footing while Mo Xun’s is very delicately imbalanced. Sure he is in a very precarious position politically, but you can argue so is Wu Ji although his position isn’t quite as bad as Mo Xun’s in certain respects. He is a cripple (though we can see him struggling to get out of his wheelchair at long last), but Xin Yue likes him even if he can’t walk. He’s gentle and kind and boy when he’s cruel, he’s cruel. That botched confession and telling her she played the maiden’s song badly. Ouch.

    The story was a bit laggy with the buildup of acquiring the dance halls and putting on the play. I, too, am not enamored with the Qin Xiang scenes, although I do like it when Xin Yue shows her loyalties. She will not betray Wu Ji, but that doesn’t mean she won’t throw our artiste general (Li Ji) to the wolves by giving Qin Xiang’s zither back. Her contemplating her actions and the inspiration behind them being to help Mo Xun, makes me hope she realizes sooner rather than later that what she is doing is all for naught. And Qin Xiang had her chance at happiness and blatantly sabotaged it to keep a promise to her mother for revenge, but wasn’t it the former emperor and not the current that her father was murdered under? Sure, you can still hold a grudge against the empress’s family, but Xin Yue is accurate in telling her to let go of everything and grab what she can to ensure her own happiness.

    I, too, am a blatant Eddie/Wu Ji fan. He does have that commanding aura and sparkling charisma. Just as Xin Yue silently watches Mo Xun, he silently watches her. Although he’s not above interacting and showing how much he cares while Xin Yue can’t really bridge that gab between her and Mo Xun. She’s forever afraid to actually see him and talk to him and Mo Xun won’t bridge the gap really unless she concocts an illness, which I’m sure he knows she’s usually lying about, but he can’t quite cut this woman out of his life and that just makes his actions towards himself and her even crueler in the long run.

    I need to watch episodes 12-13 still. Things are definitely heating up with our love triangle and all our political tension between the city and the desert.

    • Yeah I think Wu Ji also has to walk on eggshells since if he gets too powerful the emperor might see him as a threat. But currently I think his position is more stable than Mo Xun’s since the emperor is on his side.

      And AHAHA yes I like how Xin Yue refused to spy on Wu Ji for Qin Xiang. I don’t really get why Li Ji was sooooooo furious that he wasn’t able to meet Qin Xiang. It’s not like he was entitled to be with her, even if the two of them were enamored by each other.

  • I love this drama.. And lv the action between WWJ and XY.. As the series continue it gotten better and better… I recommend this series to my friends, and they all love it.. They did the one day catch up show and now have to wait for this week episode to air….

  • I’m like half way through Sound Of The Desert but I pretty much ff/scan through it most of it than fully watching it….
    I love ShiShi as an actress, at first she was over-acting as Xin Yue, her smiling faces seems so fake in some scenes, she needed to tone down the cutesy look and those arrogant and smirk looks but now she is starting to fit better….
    Eddie Peng and Hu Ge!!!! nothing to complain about them other then EP needs to tone down some of his face expression while HG needs show a little more expression…
    I love WJ and XY, i’m a shipper as well but some of there love scenes are so high school and childish love, (go head, stone me) but it is…. the bickering, the pinching, the chasing, carrying and snuggling, and feeding, i mean its sweet and cute but so childish, sorry I just have to say it but im still a shipper, maybe i’ve seen to much of those love scenes and was hoping for something new…
    so far the drama is going good… *Run away from WJ and XY shipper*

    • Heh I haven’t gotten that far to where WJ/XY have tons of love scenes yet. I think the nature of their relationship would not be like a really smoldering mature one though..especially since Xin Yue is more mischievous?

  • I really think Qin Xiang is just simply a case of bad casting, Chen Fa La just doesn’t fit my image of Qin Xiang, she made her look far more cunning than she was in the book. Anyways, Wei Wu Ji is definitely my favorite Tong-Hua’s male lead, he’s just so bold and upfront about his feelings but he do it in a considerate manner that makes people hard to not love him. I also really like Xin Yue’s interactions with him, they make such a cute couple, the rom-com mode is always turned on whenever the scene cuts to these two.

  • Is it really that good?? I guess I have to re-visit this drama. I watched the first two episodes and just couldn’t go on. But Eddie Peng does look really good in your screenshots. And Wu Ji sounds like…Lu Li Cheng in Best Time? Ha! Same author so I guess that makes sense.

  • This drama is so addicting. Agree it started out slow–but not all the episodes are out yet, and I’ve already finished reading the novel ahead AND its sequel (Yun Zhong Ge)!!

    I like WWJ but I also like Jiu Ye… 🙂

  • I can’t stand Wu Ji. Probably because I think Hu Ge is way hotter that Eddie Ping (long chin!), but also because WJ comes across as stalker-ish. But I guess it’s too much to ask that someone with a disability would be the romantic winner.

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