I know, I know. Some of you will even think, “Gosh, on which year does this blogger live?” or… “Ehm, that’s so old!” But hey, nothing beats a good Chinese/Taiwanese series!
I have fallen in love with Leo Ku (playing Shuhuan in the series) and Vicki Zhao Wei (playing Yiping) at the age of 9. Romance in the Rain (or “Kabut Cinta” in Indonesian), has accompanied me throughout my childhood, and come to think of it, it is definitely one of the best series that I’ve ever watched.
If you have forgotten about this series, let me refresh your memories once again. For non-Asians who never watch this, you may want to read the Wikipedia definition or if you are keen enough, watch the entire series with English subtitles. They are available on YouTube!
The song (Li Bie De Zhen Zhan), which is “Kereta Perpisahan” in Indonesian (shown in the last part of the video above) is my personal favourite. It just shows how Yiping loves Shuhuan so much, even though at that time war is happening and he is called to fight for his country.
Romance in the Rain has a very complex story. To give you a sense of what’s happening in the story, let me introduce you to the main characters one by one (taken from Wikipedia).
Lu Yiping, played by Vicki Zhao Wei
The protagonist of Romance in the Rain, Yiping is one of the many children of Lu Zhenhua, a retired general with nine wives. Her mother, Fu Wenpei, is the general’s eighth wife. Both she and her mother are banished from the Lu household through the actions of her father’s ninth wife, Xue Qin. She has two half-sister Ruping and Mengping, one half-brother Erhao and one stepbrother Erjie. The only family member she bore no strong hatred from the ‘other side’ was Ruping. At first she was at odds with her half-brother Erhao and half-sister Mengping but was able to learn to love them and accept them as her sibling. She had one sister who was also the daughter of her mother called Xinping who died 7 years before the scene. Xinping was the favorite daughter of her father and she always thinks that she could not replace and be better than Xinping. After an earlier encounter, she meets a reporter named He Shuhuan at a Shanghai nightclub. Shuhuan is soon captivated by Yiping’s singing talent, emotion, and mystery. After discovering her half-sister Ruping’s love for Shuhuan, she sought Shuhuan’s love as revenge. However, Yiping soon falls in love with Shuhuan and softens as a result. After the death of her father, Yiping became the sole financial support of the Lu family as Erhao also enlist in the army.
Lu Ruping, played by Ruby Lin
Ruping is one of the daughters of Lu Zhenhua, as well as Yiping’s half-sister from her father, sister to Erhao and Mengping and half-sister to Erjie from her mother. Her mother, Xue Qin, was father’s ninth and final wife. Pretty and sympathetic, Ruping grew up in a wealthy environment but is not prejudiced against Yiping like the rest of her family. Ruping’s first love interest is Shuhuan, who she met after Shuhuan asked her to guard some negatives for him. At the same time, she also meets Du Fei, Shuhuan’s colleague, who develops a strong feelings for Ruping. After the failure of her engagement with Shuhuan and helping her mother and Erjie to escape by contacting Wei Guangxiong which leads to the poverty of the Lu family she ran away trying to commit suicide; however, later she did not commit suicide but joined the red cross and became a nurse helping the wounded soldiers in the battlefield. For a long time, Ruping only loves Shuhuan but when she meets Du Fei in the battlefield during the war, she told Du Fei that unbeknownst to her she has fallen for him for such a long time. She told Du Fei that she missed Du Fei everyday. They end up getting married.
He Shuhuan, played by Leo Ku
A reporter from Nanjing, He Shuhuan is the love interest of sisters Lu Yiping and Lu Ruping. His feelings towards Yiping are romantic, while he only treats Ruping as his friend. At the beginning of the series he was thought to be having a relationship even though he was only treating Ruping as a special friend. Despite several arguments, and going back and forth between Yiping and Ruping, he remains passionate towards Yiping. After reading Yiping’s diary and discovering that Yiping was only dating to get revenge with ‘that side’ of the family he was led to anger and broke up with her. He later engaged with Ruping but left her during the engagement party for Yiping. Towards the end of the story, Shuhuan goes off to fight in the war between Japan and China, leaving Yiping waiting for him.
Du Fei, played by Alec Su
Like Shuhuan, Du Fei is a reporter. He is extremely passionate about his love for Ruping, but Ruping attempts to reject his love. A caring man, Du Fei always helps others in need but is also careless and clumsy. During the war between Japan and China, Du Fei, upset by Ruping’s disappearance, goes to the battlefield as a reporter, and after several years discovers Ruping’s love for him and marries her.
Lu Erhao, played by Gao Xin
Erhao is the son of Lu Zhenhua and Xue Qin, brother to Ruping and Mengping, and half-brother to Yiping from his father and Erjie from his mother. He is the love interest of Yiping’s best friend Fang Yu. However, his relationship with Fang Yu becomes complex after Erhao discovers that his past childhood love, Keyun, once had his child and is now mentally disabled. At the beginning of the series Erhao hated Yiping but for the sake of Fang Yu he tried hard to make peace with Yiping. He was able to put aside his hatred towards Yiping and grew to love and accept her as his sister and part of the family. Erhao later enlists in the army as well leaving Fang Yu waiting for him.
Fang Yu, played by Li Yu
The best friend of Yiping who falls in love with Yiping’s half-brother, Erhao. Yiping is at first against Fang Yu’s relationship with Erhao, especially after finding out about Keyun, but Fang Yu continued to love Erhao despite complications in their relationship.
Li Keyun, played by Xu Lu
The daughter of Li Fuguan and Li Shao, Keyun had a childhood romance with Erhao which resulted in a pregnancy. She did not inform Erhao about this. After their baby’s death, Keyun developed a mental illness. Throughout Romance in the Rain, Yiping, Shuhuan, Erhao, Ruping, Du Fei, and Fang Yu attempt to help Keyun recover her memory. In the end, Keyun gets better when she saw a motherless baby during war. She decided to raise him as her own.
Lu Zhenhua, played by Kou Zhenhai
The father of Yiping, Lu Zhenhua is a retired, respected general. He was married to nine women, all of which he eventually lost interest in. As a result of his tragic romance with Pingping, Lu Zhenhua is inclined to marry any woman who bore a resemblance to Pingping. It is revealed later after he died that the person who bore the closest resemblance towards his long-lost love Pingping was not his wives but his daughter the deceased Xinping, the sister of Yiping and daughter of Wenpei who became his favorite daughter. Although his relationship with Yiping is tumultuous at the beginning, the two eventually build a strong bond through their similarities. At first he was hated by Yiping especially after he whipped Yiping, but as the series goes on Yiping grew to love him. He died after getting shot while fighting off Japanese soldiers trying to protect Yiping and Shuhuan.
Pingping, played by Wang Yan
Pingping was the daughter of a statesman whom the young Lu Zhenhua fell in love with. She also returned his love and they promise to marry each other someday. However, furious about this, her father tried to kill Zhenhua but stopped by his daughter. Lu Zhenhua later pursued his hopes to become a victorious general in order to marry Pingping. And she promised him she will wait for him until he kept promise. However, before he achieved this, Pingping committed suicide in order to avoid an arranged marriage, which had a powerful effect on Zhenhua. Because of his love for Pingping, Lu Zhenhua gives all of his daughters a name that includes the character Ping: Xinping, Yiping, Ruping, and Mengping.
If you have reached this stage in reading this: it’s either you are really interested, or you used to be a fan of this series. Yet if you skipped it, that doesn’t matter as well. But I have fun reliving my memories and try to remember the story once again.
Compared to Korean series or the new Chinese series (such as At the dolphin Bay, Twins, Westside Story, or Endless Love), I still think Romance in the rain surpasses them all. It doesn’t only have love story; it has politics, family conflicts, friendship, long distance relationships, betrayal, trust, true love, loyalty, perseverance, and many more.
The love between Shuhuan and Yiping, as well between Dufei and Ruping is the one worth fighting for. I remember crying hard when the boys are called to war and the girls are forced to wait uncertainly for their partners to come back. I remember the times when Dufei gets rejected by Ruping, but he never gives up. I remember, and I smile.
And even though Lu Zhenhua may not be the perfect father, in the end his children respect him and love him, for he is, without a doubt, an honourable man. The bond between family is hard to break, and even though you start wrongly, there is still time to fix that now.
10 years from now, I think I will still nominate this series as one of my favourites.