Memory Lost drama review and tips for subbers

Memory Lost is based on the well-known novel Memory Lost written by Ding Mo who also wrote the books When a Snail Loves and Love me if you dare which have also been made into dramas. It is a detective, romance, suspense, action drama about two detectives, Bai Jin Xi and Han Chen whose paths are forced to cross with each other when a mysterious serial rapist is on the loose. And later on when Bai Jin Xi is selected as a team member of the Black Shield Team which Han Chen is the deputy leader of. A series of crimes brings the two closer together, uncovers their forgotten pasts and a number of criminals connected to their amnesia.


I found the plot quite interesting and novel as most dramas with amnesia, only one of the leads would suffer from it but in this case both of them did. The 1st season was basically revolving around the leads getting to know each other and setting the scene to what is to come. There is less romance involved but I guess it sort of builds up the relationship of the leads and watch them kind of grow and develop and slowly get to understand each other. I think my favorite season has to be season 2 though as things really picked up from here, especially during case no 2 which was very carefully planned and executed. There were lots of unexpected plot twists and the perpetrator when they finally find out who he was was also very interesting too. Season 3 did drag a little but I guess it was nice to learn a bit about the past and what happened. (Also the 2nd male leads hairstyle improved. He stopped looking as if he was wearing a poorly made and oil drenched wig) There were a few places where I felt that the plot didn’t really add up and the fact that the reason for all the drama was because of the obsessive love of S was a bit unrealistic but overall I think it was a quite nice written plot with a novel concept. So I would give it: 3/5


I think what was a little off putting was the production. Let’s not mention the smog covered city that this drama was set in. The color scheme was quite horrific, most of the time, it was this horrible combination of cyan green, white and black color.  Also, the police stations, bureaus, investigation rooms did not look authentic at all. They looked as if they would fit into a time perhaps 100+ years in the future. Also some of the effects such as the hacking, the computer graphics and the countless bloopers in the drama (the actress wearing sneakers one second and heels in the next) seriously undermined what could have been a really good drama.  I would give it a 2.5/5 for production quality.


I really like the characters in this drama. The female lead was strong, intelligent and could hold her own against her male colleagues. I also liked the male lead too and I felt that he was a good balance with the female lead. Although the 2nd male lead did annoy me a little throughout the drama, but after watching the 3rd season I kind of felt a little sorry for him. I think for me what stood out was the killer syndicate/ ring of murderers because even though they enjoyed killing, this drama really stressed on the fact that even crazy killers can have a humane side and have suffered in their own way to become what they are and of course isn’t a cool idea to have a whole bunch of murderers working as a team to make up for each other’s weaknesses? Although there were some bits that were a little too much i.e  some of the murderers had an undying amount of loyalty towards their leader S. I would give it a 4/5 in terms of character likability.


For me subbing this drama was quite a lot of work. Perhaps it’s because it’s the 1st drama where I was working alone on it, but I felt there was an extraordinary amount of speech in it. Also, some of the characters spoke very quickly (Han Chen) so I constantly had to balance what had to be left out and what should be kept in whilst keeping the translations as close to the original meaning as possible. There was also long monologues by Bai Jin Xi which are interesting to watch but is not always the case for the subber.

As a subbing project, I would say that there are more lines to be translated than expected and a surprising amount of technical terms that require translation. But overall, it’s not an extremely difficult drama to translate, so I would give it a 3/5 in terms of difficulty. (5 being very hard)

1 Comment

  1. Nice review, it is interesting to read about the actual subbing process.
    I differ in opinion on the production. I liked the stylist look and feel and the greyish color scheme. I find the bloopers hilarisch and part of the enjoyment of Asian dramas.

    Liked by 1 person

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