Review: Love and Destiny questions the trope of reincarnated love

If the same soul grows up with different experiences and memories, are they still the same person?

Fated romances are one of the most common tropes in Chinese drama, so much so that many series take for granted that one will always love the same person in every lifetime. Xianxia drama Love and Destiny 宸汐缘 is a rare rejection of the assumption, instead questioning the ideas that the soul is the sole entity of human identity and that one’s life is necessarily bound to that of one’s past lives. In one of the most morally ambiguous battles in a recent drama, a chapter climax of the series has the male leads fighting for different reincarnations of the female lead. One male lead is determined that the human reincarnation of the female lead dies on time so her soul will return to heaven; another wants to try and save her current mortal self. The former believes that it’s important to save her soul so that she lives on, but the later believe that each life is a new person and they can’t sacrifice one of her lifetimes for that of another.

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Ju Xiaowen by Chen Man

Chen Man may have become too streamlined in many of her recent photoshoots, but she proves that she is still China’s top fashion photographer in what is easily one of Vogue China’s best covers in the past decade. Featuring model Ju Xiaowen, the photoshoot flawlessly combines modernity and traditional Chinese elements, with a hint of tribute to the old illustrated fashion magazines of the last century.

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