Evil Stepsisters PK: Chinese Dramas “Symphony of Fate” and “Snow is Burning”

And you thought your sibling was a troublemaker?

Luo Rou and Anna are two of the craziest, scheming stepsisters in latest C-dramas I have seen. Here’s side-by-side dramas comparison, with an emphasis on how evil these girls rank. I strongly suggest you check out the links below for a quick summary of the two dramas before proceeding, or you’ll be confused.

Yang Mi rode on her fame after the popular TV drama “Palace” in 2011, which landed her in what was packaged to be a Chinese idol drama called “Symphony of Fate” with Feng Shao Feng as her co-star. I watched it, despite knowing from the get-go that it was a melodrama like the korean drama “Cinderella Sister” that starred Moon Geun Young. I never liked sad dramas, but I would soon find out, I hated sad dramas with a bitchy stepsister twist. Needless to say, Symphony of Fate was a failure in my eyes. Then a few weeks ago, I ran into a trailer of “Snow is Burning” starring Coco Lv and Chen Zi Han. Don’t mind the strange title. To my utter astonishment, the “Snow is Burning” had a striking resemblance to “Symphony of Fate”, except 1000x more addicting to watch. What’s funnier is when I realized that SB was made nearly 5 years before SF, and the similarities might be unintentional. But the evil stepsisters are pretty fun to compare, so LEGOOO!

(Snow is Burning) Evil sister Luo Rou on left (Symphony of Fate) Evil sister Anna on left

Upon finding out they are stepsisters, DUN DUN DUN. Turning point in these 2 sister relationships. Not so friendly are we now. Now in SB, the Luo sisters had a childhood segment wherein both already know they are unrelated, and Luo Rou is jealous that her ‘orphan little sister’ gets to be treated like a real daughter in the family. In SF, Anna only reaches her full evil potential when she realizes that she, herself, is the ‘outcast’ of the family. So here we have it.

Evil Sister: Driven by Jealousy, Hypocrisy, (Attempted) Man Stealer

Luo Rou (left picture)- She treats her little sister Luo Yi like a maid. She tries to drown Luo Yi but ends up causing the poor girl to go partly deaf. She blames her sister for not caring about the step-father when he is on his deathbed, causing her to give up her schooling and her boyfriend (marrying to an evil man to save her father from a wronged accusement). Luo Rou indirectly causes Yiyi’s first boyfriend to die in a car accident. When both girls become orphaned, their aunt takes them under her wing. Luo Rou convinces the aunt to let her become CEO of the aunt’s business while letting Yiyi become the status of a house servant. When Yiyi finally lets go of her past and falls for another man, Luo Rou attempts to steal him for herself. Then with Yiy’s birth secret is found out, Luo Rou tries to keep Yiyi from ever knowing the truth.

Evil Level? 4.5/5 = Treats sister like maid + man stealer + attempted murder of aunt + sacrifices sister’s happiness + creates misunderstandings + plots against own sister and aunt + orders rape of sister. Luo Rou didn’t get 5/5 for at least having a conscience at the very end to save her sister’s life.

Anna (right picture)- She is the younger sister, so older sister Anqi lets her have everything her way. This created a spoiled brat who becomes easily jealous of Anqi. Anna wants to become a model, but she is unsuccessful and blames it on Anqi. Both sisters fall for the same man and Anna tries to steal the man from An Qi. Anna feels as if her world has fallen apart when she learns her family wasn’t hers to began with. She feels betrayed by her family and car crashes into Anqi’s boyfriend, killing him. Anna convinces Anqi to go to prison for her. When Anqi is out of jail a couple years later, Anna finds that she is losing the second guy she’s had her eyes on, all because he was falling for Anqi. Jealous Anna lures him to a bar and sets him up to think he slept with her.

Evil Level? 3/5 = Attempted man stealer + creates misunderstandings (i.e. pretends to have slept with Anqi’s man) + acts like the victim + forces sister to take her place in jail + runs over sister’s 1st boyfriend. Anna doesn’t get a too high score because her evilness only sprung from her percieved betrayal from family, and she doesn’t hate for long… but gollly everytime I see Anna on-screen, I get goosebumps. She is jealous of anything good that happens to Anqi!

Nice Sister (Protagonist): naive, helpful, evil stepsister’s target

Yiyi is little sister of Evil #1 (left) An Qi is older sister of Evil #2(right)

Since the Evil sisters battled for who was more evil, how should these Kind sisters compete? Well, of course, based on who was more likeable! After all, there are different degrees of niceness. If one is too nice and forgiving, then viewers might be easily frustrated.

Yiyi (left picture)- Right off the bat, this girl is will rank HIGH on the obedient-and-naive-o-meter. (that is, if her face don’t give it away already, she looks like a bunny!) Yiyi, at the beginning of the story, is so oblivious that her sister is out to hurt her. She was willing to give Luo Rou everything – until she met her first boyfriend. She was NOT okay with giving him up. That’s when I began liking her character. At least she has a backbone and will stand up for herself. Later, her family broke apart because her father passed away (his business assistant betrayed him and his company). Then she gave up schooling and her boyfriend (thanks Evil sis!) to marry her father’s assistant. You know the rest, I don’t want to repeat myself. But I love her perseverence and optimism. She’s truly strong on the inside, and Yiyi’s strength is revealed as her character develops throughout the series.

Yiyi’s Likeability? 5/5 Attentive and positivity are good! In the real world, people kill for these lovely personality traits. Even in dramaland, we can see that the good people will get the last laugh. Plus, I like that Yiyi knew to move on from her tragedic past and find new love. Thank goodness.

Anqi (right picture)- This older sister wants to become a fashion designer. Good goals, but how are you going to reach this if all you do is spoil your little sister? I’m not saying it is entirely your fault, but you feel guilty for something you haven’t done and waste your years in prison for a crime your sister did? Where is the logic? Moreover, I hate that Anqi kept going back on the past, afraid to love again after her first boyfriend died…that really gets exhaustive to watch after ten episodes.

Anqi’s Likeability? 2/5 I’m not sorry. Why do you have to be so damn noble? I mean, your little sister just killed your boyfriend and you take the blame for the crime because you pitied her for not having a family?! Years later, you get out of jail, and your sister tricks your new budding lover into thinking you are the murderous homewrecker who stole her boyfriend. You don’t explain yourself. Okay, mind fucked.

Fun Facts Time! Lighten up, guys. Teehee

The NOT-meant-to-be 1st boyfriend

  • both stories follow this EXACT format: younger-older stepsister dynamic, birth secrets, Kind Sister falls in love with 1st boy, 1st boyfriend dies in a car accident (directly or indirectly caused by Evil Sister, although unintentional!), both sisters fall for the 2nd boy, Kind Sister wins 2nd boy
  • 1st boy excels in whatever he does. In SB, Wen Jie is a literature prodigy and is a well-read person with big goals in life. In SF, Chen Xi is a tennis champion at his school.
  • 2nd boy has a similar vibe to the 1st boy, but more rash and imperfect, although equally adorable. And he doesn’t die! Bonus points right there. And he doesn’t buy into Evil Sister’s lies! In SB, Si Qing is a freelance writer, supposedly a famous writer. He is sporadic and reckless and is adorable with Yiyi. In SF, Cheng Hao is a rich playboy who doesn’t care for much, very easygoing. His lighthearted romance with Anqi is also pretty cute.
  • Kind Sister has an ambition and achieves it through many hardships. SB’s Yiyi loved to play the cello. She wanted to perform but almost gives it up when both her ears become deaf. But she ends up perfoming after all, with the encouragement of Si Qing. SF’s Anqi aspired to become a world renowned fashion designer. But if you remember, her hopes were destroyed when she had to go to prison for her Evil Sister Anna. A few years later, Anqi again rises up to the fashion field.

families with unrevealed birth secrets

Snow is Burning

  • I hate that too many plot devices (coincidences, overhearing vital convos, missed opportunities) litter this show, Luo Rou puts the blame on Yiyi for everything and turns yiyi’s good intentions around against her, Luo Rou just as she seems she’s getting better she’s not, misunderstandings between Yiyi and Si Qing (2nd boy)
  • But I can’t stop watching this show until the very last episode!! That’s how addictive it was. The actress who played the Evil Sister, Chen Zi Han, did a superb job of creating a character I would love to hate! She’s the one photographed above on the very left and on the first photo of this post (left).

Symphony of Fate

  • Yang Mi and Guo Zhen Ni have adequate performances this time around, but truthfully, I expected better. Both are established actresses so I was baffled to feel disconnected with the story. I didn’t really feel for the characters.
  • The theme song OST is commendable! I loved how the song perfectly fits in with the scenes.

Lastly, I want to leave you with what a pivotal side character said to Luo Rou:


Translated: I don’t believe that you didn’t recieve love, I think that your expectations are too high. Love that isn’t pure, that is not love. If a person’s heart is full of hate, then she’ll never have any space in her heart to allow love.

So moral of this story? Self-pity and jealous lead to hate (and evil siblings).


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About Bumbleberri

Founder and editor of Asian Entertainment Blog, UnderratedGems. What I do in my free time: trying to get more sleep and satisfying my TV addiction. Currently in the process of a grueling job hunt.

3 responses to “Evil Stepsisters PK: Chinese Dramas “Symphony of Fate” and “Snow is Burning””

  1. haywires says :

    Ah! Good memories. Love Yiyi! Actually I did watch Symphony of Fate as well but somehow I just remember it was really annoying somehow.

    I’m actually not impressed with a lot of Yang Mi’s new dramas, do you have one in particular you liked where she starred? I remember seeing her for the first time way back as Guo Fu in Return of the Condor Heroes, did not see that she would become this popular 😀

    • Bumbleberri says :

      I still can’t believe I got through almost all of SoF… it was just a waste of time, I’d say. The amount of angst and jealousy was insane. Yang Mi’s character, An Qi, was in all honestly, pretty pathetic, giving away her boyfriend, taking the blame for everything, etc.
      Personally, I found the story of Gong/Jade Heartlock Palace really interesting, I remember being addicted with that series when it came out! Though the series could’ve done without some of the cheesy romance and the sudden serious turn 😛

  2. haywires says :

    Mmm sorry I meant to say Guo Xiang 🙂

    Chen Zi Han plays the evil older sister Guo Fu!

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