Ah, first love. It is something that always sparks nostalgia. It is often unforgettable, full of innocence, and devoid of complex obstacles. First loves are often the most emotional, honest, and vibrant experiences during our youth, whether they are unrequited or returned. One of the main reasons why first loves are so special is because we fall in love for the first time without any expectations; it is a pure attraction, lead by our hearts.
As a fun feature, I wanted to share with you dramas that showcase the main OTPs as each other’s first love. Be warned, watching these dramas may spark sentimental memories of your own first love! Enjoy!
Warning: minor spoilers for the dramas below.
In a Good Way
“I feel this is so unreal. We’re actually together.” – Jia En
“Do you? It’s the most real thing of my life.” – Liu Chuan
“In a Good Way” is set in Taiwan during the time period of 1995-1999. Lin Jia En (Lorene Ren) is a small-town girl from Pingtung who originally had no intentions of leaving her beloved hometown. However, one day feeling bored, she sneaks off to the capital city, Taipei to find her friend Zheng Ren Wei (Jay Shih), who is studying at Cheng Dong University. While searching for her friend, she gets robbed. She coincidentally meets the popular campus heartthrob Liu Shan Feng aka Liu Chuann (Lego Li) who ends up helping her. They quickly become great friends and eventually fall in love.
Lin Jia En and Liu Chuan have such a beautifully genuine and sincere relationship built upon a strong foundation of friendship, naturally blossoming into love. It was a delight to watch Lin Jia En grow from a simple and pure girl to become a strong, confident, and independent woman. Liu Chuan is the one who teaches her not to limit herself and build a world that truly belongs to her. Similarly, Liu Chuan aspires to have the never-give-up attitude that Jia En possesses and it’s the reason why he first falls in love with her from the moment she first enters into his life. Jia En helps him to open up and face his insecurities in order to become a better version of himself. I love their journey of self-discovery and transformation because of the positive influences they have on each other.
Their slow-burn romance is such a pleasure to watch; it’s their small, quiet moments that have the highest impact. Their longing looks across the room, stealing glances, and their expressions of excitement when they stand close to each other will make your heart flutter. “In a Good Way” is one of those underrated gems that you definitely need to check out!
Start watching “In a Good Way”:
“What does it feel like to like someone?” – Jing Xiao
“When he appears, everything fades into the background and he’s in the middle of everyone, glowing.” – Xiao Xi
In the Chinese drama “A Love So Beautiful,” Chen Xiao Xi (Shen Yue) and Jiang Chen (Hu Yi Tian) are long-time neighbors, and they both attend Chenxi Secondary School. Xiao Xi and Jiang Chen are complete opposites of each other. Xiao Xi is a happy-go-lucky type of girl who does not like to study, while Jiang Chen is the studious one with high grades and popular for his handsome looks. The drama depicts their love story spanning 19 years, through high school, university, and finally into their adult lives.
“A Love So Beautiful” is a charmingly beautiful portrayal of youthful first love. Chen Xiao Xi is very open when it comes to her crush on Jiang Chen, and at first glance, it seems like it’s one-sided only. However, we discover that Jiang Chen also harbors a secret has a crush on Xiao Xi as well, and he shows it in subtle ways: giving his scarf to her during the winter or worrying about her safety and always teasing her. Their relationship is full of innocence and sweetness as you watch their love grow through each passing year. There are plenty of sweet moments between our OTP in the drama to look out for that will surely give you many cavities. It’s a huge fan favorite drama for a reason!
Start watching “A Love So Beautiful”:
“To you who’s meeting with many obstacles in this race track of youth and is still persistent. There is surely someone who belongs to you, who is waiting for you at the finishing line.” – Zhong Shao Xi
Taiwanese drama “Attention Love” features the story of a boy and girl who were destined to be together since birth. A pair of best friends each had a child, one named their son Li Zheng (Wang Zi), which means “attention,” and the other named their daughter Shao Xi (Joanne Tseng), meaning “at ease” based on military vocabulary. The two grow up to embody their names: Li Zheng is diligent and always pays extra attention to everything around him, while Shao Xi has a more carefree and easy-going approach to life. The two meet for the first time in high school when Li Zheng returns to Taiwan after growing up in Japan and stays with Shao Xi’s family.
Shao Xi and Li Zheng’s love story can be described as heartfelt and realistic. The story starts off with Shao Xi developing a crush on Li Zheng and them eventually becoming best friends. As time passes, their feelings and understanding of each other grow deeper and their relationship is strengthened through the various obstacles they face.
One of the great aspects of our OTP is how they help each other grow and mature. Although it takes a long time for Li Zheng to finally realize his true feelings for Shao Xi, I always appreciate how Shao Xi always pushes him to be more honest with his emotions by asking him about his feelings and where their relationship stands. Meanwhile, Li Zheng is super protective of Shao Xi and makes sure people do not hurt her in any way. It’s also really sweet how he’s always cheering her on during her track and field competitions and offers to tutor her to help improve her grades in school. You surely don’t want to miss out on their simple and sweet romance!
Start watching “Attention Love”:
“Yu Huai, no matter what happens I will always be by your side! The meaning of love is two people being together. If we can be together then we can be our best selves.” – Geng Geng
Chinese drama “With You” is based on the novel “The Best of Us” by author Bayue Changan and has been hailed as one of the best youth dramas in recent years. The drama has reached over 2 billion views on the online platform iQiyi and is praised for its complex characters and realistic portrayal of youth.
The drama follows the story of Geng Geng (Tan Song Yun) an awkward but adorable high schooler who feels she is not smart enough to be attending the prestigious Zhen Hua High School. On her first day of school, she meets her deskmate, the cute and bright Yu Huai (Liu Hao Ran). They initially start off on the wrong foot with each other, but they soon develop a strong bond and become the best of friends.
Yu Huai and Geng Geng’s love story portrays beautifully how blissful it is to be together with the person you love. Whether it is helping each other with homework or playing video games, as long as they are able to do it together, it makes it completely worthwhile. As a viewer, you can’t help but root for our OTP from the moment they first meet and anticipate their budding romance. They really bring out those genuine feelings of first love from their comfortable and homey vibes. Yu Hai and Geng Geng both have their own strengths and weaknesses that complement each other well and it’s so touching to see them as each other’s pillar of support whenever they need it. Their romance is a slow burn as their feelings are built upon a solid foundation of friendship. Their relationship isn’t about grand romantic gestures, but the small moments that really make the heart flutter.
Start watching “With You”:
Hey Soompiers, which drama about first love is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!
blacksesame88 is a long-time Asian drama and entertainment addict. She enjoys discussing her favorite dramas and sharing her knowledge of Asian entertainment. When she’s not watching dramas, she’s busy snapping aesthetic photos of delicious food on Instagram. Follow her on Twitter and join her for recaps of the current dramas she’s watching, also feel free to say Hi and have a chat!
Currently watching: “My Mowgli Boy,” “Arsenal Military Academy,” and “The King’s Avatar”
All-time favorite dramas: “Nirvana In Fire,” “Queen In Hyun’s Man,” “A Witch’s Romance,” “Love O2O,” and “My Mr. Mermaid”
Looking forward to: “Sword Dynasty” and “My Girlfriend“
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