Stand by Me Chinese Drama Review and Ending Explained

Stand by Me is a Chinese drama that had a big impact on me and opened my eyes to many insights. Why do I say that? see the review below for the answer!


Drama Details

Title: Stand by Me (那些回不去的年少时光)
Episodes: 30
Release Date: September 16, 2023
Genres: Romance, Life, Youth
Country: China
Original Network: Mango TV
Available On: Viki

Stand by Me Chinese Drama Review and Ending Explained

Synopsis and Plot Summary

Growing up in the vibrant 1990s, Luo Qi Qi’s school experience was anything but ordinary. From navigating through her solitary elementary years to braving the whirlwind of chaos in middle school, she’s now a high school senior, facing the inevitable hurdles of stepping into adulthood.

While Qi Qi may not have been a standout student, the weight of acing college entrance exams and securing a spot in a reputable university often feels overwhelming. But Qi Qi’s tenacity refuses to let defeat take hold, except maybe in matters of the heart. In her longtime friendship with Zhang Jun, things have started to feel a bit more complicated. Sometimes, it’s as if there’s something deeper brewing between them, but other times, they seem like nothing more than distant acquaintances.

As Qi Qi embarks on this journey of self-discovery, love, and friendship, she wonders where these lessons of youth will lead her. Will they illuminate a path to a brighter future?


Stand by Me Chinese Drama Ending Explained

Stand by Me Chinese drama has a happy ending. At the end of the episode, after Luo Qiqi arrived in Beijing, she arranged to meet Ge Xiaofei at the zoo. Ge Xiaofei had bought candied haws and eagerly waited for her at the zoo entrance. When they finally reunited, they embraced tightly.

Luo Qiqi noticed that Ge Xiaofei had lost weight, but he seemed content with his life now. He shared about his initial struggles in Beijing, living in a basement for a week, and working hard to find stability. Ge Xiaofei found solace in visiting the zoo during tough times, appreciating its affordability and joy.

Although Luo Qiqi felt sorry for Ge Xiaofei, he reassured her that he was doing fine. His job at the hotel was secure, and he even taught himself English for future opportunities. He also mentioned reconciling with his mother, though his father still held resentment. Despite these challenges, Ge Xiaofei remained optimistic about his future.

Meanwhile, Zhang Jun, usually surrounded by friends, found himself alone and unexpectedly ran into Guan He skating in the park. Learning about Guan He’s decision to attend a regular school, Zhang Jun reflected on Luo Qiqi’s determination compared to Guan He’s acceptance of his mother’s wishes.

Seeking clarity, Luo Qiqi visited Chen Jin at Tsinghua University. Though unable to provide definitive answers, Chen Jin encouraged Luo Qiqi to explore the library for insights. Lost in the vastness of the library, Luo Qiqi found solace in books, hoping to find direction amidst uncertainty.

Guan He, pressured by his mother’s expectations, struggled with his academic path. Encouraged by Luo Qiqi’s call, he regained confidence and resolved to take the college entrance exam. Similarly, Zhang Jun recommitted to his studies, inspired by Luo Qiqi’s dedication.

As the day of the college entrance exam arrived, Guan He and Luo Qiqi found themselves in the same exam room. Despite Luo Qiqi’s brief delay, both approached the exam with determination. Ultimately, Luo Qiqi secured her place at Tsinghua University, while Guan He celebrated his acceptance into his dream university.

Although Zhang Jun faced setbacks, he chose to retake the exam with support from his father. Meanwhile, Xu Xiaobo, Li Jiajie, and Wang Yan embarked on a successful business venture, realizing their dreams.

Years later, Luo Qiqi returned to Hannan and reflected on the memories made with her friends. Though they couldn’t revisit the past, the bonds they shared would always remain cherished.

Stand by Me Chinese Drama Review and Ending Explained

Stand by Me Chinese Drama Review

I’m not sure where to begin, as this show had a profound impact on me and opened my eyes to many insights. It’s undoubtedly my favorite drama of 2023, even though I have other favorites like Moving and I Am Nobody. However, this one holds a special place in my heart.

Set in 1990s China, this slow-burning melodrama follows the journey of Luo Qiqi alongside several significant characters who enter her life. From a very young age, Luo Qiqi exudes optimism and possesses a unique ability to think outside the box, always questioning the world around her. This quality deeply resonated with me.

The portrayal of Luo Qiqi’s journey, along with the four other main characters, is incredibly authentic, immersing the viewer in their lives. As I watched, it felt as if I were right there with them, experiencing their trials and tribulations.

Luo Qiqi encounters many individuals who leave a lasting mark on her life, shaping her into the person she is today. Simultaneously, these encounters influence the lives of those she meets, raising intriguing questions.

Among the numerous characters, four stand out as instrumental in shaping Luo Qiqi’s journey: Xiao Bo, Zhang Jun, Xiao Fe, and Guan He. Their impact on her life is substantial, and they, in turn, undergo significant transformations, whether for better or worse, leaving questions in their wake.

Luo Qiqi stands out as the most remarkable character in the entire show. Her strength, determination, intelligence, and unwavering loyalty to her friends are truly inspiring. She also demonstrates remarkable empathy towards others, and in the face of numerous challenges, she repeatedly overcomes her doubts and fulfills her dreams.

My next favorite character is Xiao Fe, Luo Qiqi’s best friend, whose imperfections make her character growth one of the most compelling aspects of the drama. Her experiences, from unrequited love to personal hardships, are portrayed with remarkable realism.

After her traumatic experience, Luo Qiqi comes into Xiao Fe’s life as a ray of sunshine, slowly helping her piece her life back together. Her whole arc was my favorite part of the drama, from the trauma she endured to her recovery, all portrayed very realistically, especially considering the 90s China setting.

I loved how Luo Qiqi stood by her, supporting her until she could stand on her own feet. Kudos to both actors who portrayed Xiao Fe and Luo Qiqi, who gave their all to this storyline.

Then there is Xiao Bo, who plays a sibling-like role in Luo Qiqi’s life. Their dynamic is endearing, with moments that sometimes hint at a romantic connection and at other times emphasize their deep sibling-like care for one another. Xiao Bo maintains a positive outlook throughout the drama and remains one of the most hardworking characters despite challenging family circumstances.

He significantly influences Luo Qiqi’s dream of attending a prestigious university, although his later decision to give up on his studies is emotionally difficult to watch.

Guan He enters Luo Qiqi’s life at a pivotal moment, precisely when she needs support the most. Guan He is the school’s top student, faces unrelenting pressure from her parents to excel, all the while harboring envy towards Luo Qiqi, who lives life on her own terms as Luo Qiqi was living life which she always desired.

Guan He’s presence becomes instrumental in Luo Qiqi’s academic journey during challenging times, and their friendship deepens. They become close friends studying together and sharing their lives.

However, as Luo Qiqi outshines her, Guan He’s insecurity and jealousy surface, leading to the regrettable end of their once strong bond.

In the drama, Zhang Jun emerges as its most enigmatic and morally complex character. His relationship with Luo Qiqi is a rollercoaster ride through their shared childhood marked by a mix of betrayal and undeniable attraction. They share a chemistry that is undeniably captivating, but Zhang Jun’s internal struggles and involvement with a gang make him a quite unreliable character.

Initially, Zhang Jun and Luo Qiqi were inseparable childhood friends, but their bond was marred by moments of betrayal, leaving a bittersweet aftertaste that lingered for years.

As the story unfolds, their paths cross again, and a magnetic attraction begins to pull them closer. While they never explicitly cross certain boundaries, it’s clear that their connection is charged with unspoken emotions.

Their chemistry is undeniable, yet Zhang Jun’s character is a mix of both red and green flags, underscoring the unhealthy nature of their relationship. Like Luo Qiqi, he was once a top student, but he loses his way and becomes entangled with a troublesome gang, leading to complications in his relationship with Luo Qiqi.

The most heart-wrenching moment in the narrative arrives when Zhang Jun makes the painful decision to relinquish their shared dream of attending university together. He realizes that staying close to her will only hold her back, and this decision again solidifies the point of him being the most complex character of this drama.

Despite these characters drifting away from Luo Qiqi, almost leading to her giving up on her lifelong dream of attending a top university, they also serve as her catalyst for self-realization and personal growth. This beautiful show feels like a work of poetic art, delivering a profound exploration of self-discovery and development.

Stand by Me Chinese Drama Cast

Main Role

Zhao Jin Mai as Luo Qi Qi

Bai Yu Fan as Xu Xiao Bo

Wu Jia Kai as Zhang Jun

Support Role

Yu Cheng En as Chen Jin

Zhao Zhao Yi as Guan He

Zhang Xin Yi as Ge Xiao Fei

He Ao as Wu Zei

Shi Yun Peng as Ma Li

Zhai Xiao Xing as Luo Hong Jun

Hao Wen Ting as Xu Hui Zhong

Yao An Lian as Xu Qin Min

Gao Hai Peng as Zhang Tong Wu

Liu Hai Lan as Ceng Hong

Wu Yi Tong as Teacher Yuan

Huangyang Tian Tian as Luo Yuan Yuan

Qiu Hong Kai as Shen Yuan Zhe

Xu Fang Zhou as Wang Zheng

Zhai Guan Hua as Lin Yue

Shi Guang as Jia Xu

Liu Yang Zi as Zheng Yu Xia

And More


My Verdict

Overall, Stand by Me is a beautiful Chinese drama that feels like a poetic work of art, presenting a deep exploration of self-discovery and development.

I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone, although it’s important to note that this is a slow-paced melodrama, so if this genre isn’t your thing, you may want to consider other options. My rating for Stand by Me Chinese drama review is 8,7/10.

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