de sunday, março 16, 2021

Are you looking for a bromance C-drama that is similar to The Untamed? A drama about anti-heroes? Word of Honor might just be the perfect drama for you!


Title: Word of Honor 

Where to Watch: YOUKUDuboku

Genres: Adventure, Friendship, Historical, Wuxia

Airing Schedule: 1 Episode Every Day

Airing Dates: February 22 - March 23 (2021)

Novel: Faraway Wanderers (天涯客) by Priest

~ Synopsis ~

A story of two anti-hero martial artists as their paths intertwine together. One a former assassin. One an unforgiving villain.

Twenty years ago, infamous martial artist Rong Xuan collected and stored a variety of martial arts tools in a vault called World's Armory that is known to only be able to be opened with the five pieces of Glazed Armor. It is said that whoever gains the martial arts techniques can become invincible overnight. As chaos stirs and the conflict between the Ghost Valley and 'righteous' martial arts groups grow, it is everyone for themselves, where murders and thieves emerge on the streets to steal the Glazed Armor. Yet, behind the conflict is a huge conspiracy that involves revenge and even a touch of the royal family.

As the world fights, Zhou Zi Shu and Wen Ke Xing are two of the few  that are not interested in the martial arts techniques, and each has their own painful past of guilt and loss as they are learning to recover and move on.

However, as Wen Ke Xing sets out on a path for revenge and becomes a center piece in the plot, the two characters go through a journey that tests their true values and trust in each other.

~ Characters ~

Zhou Zi Shu / Zhou Xu  (Actor: Zhang Zhe Han)

Zhou Zi Shu is the head of the Four Season Manor and the previous head of the Window of Heaven, a group of assassins that serve Prince Jin. In order to leave the Window of Heaven, Zi Shu underwent a procedure called the Nails of Seven Torments, meaning he has at most 50 % of his martial arts and only 3 years left to live. After leaving, Zi Shu lived with a disguise and went by the name 'Zhou Xu.' Wen Ke Xing often calls him 'Ah Xu.' Zi Shu also later on accepts Zhang Chengling as his discipline. Zi Shu's master is Qin Huaizhang, Zi Shu still holds his master's sword.

Zi Shu is often described by a Chinese idiom for "a mouth as sharp as a knife and heart as soft as tofu" and appears to be cold in the beginning. Throughout the drama, he recalls and holds a lot of guilt over the death of the members of the Four Season Manor.

Wen Ke Xing (Actor: Simon Gong)

Wen Ke Xing is the master of the Ghost Valley and is feared by the ghosts for his 'craziness' and exceptional martial arts abilities. While seeking revenge for his parents from the Five Lake Alliance and Ghost Valley itself, he meets Zhou Zi Shu and becomes close confidants with him. Ke Xing also has a close bond  with Gu Xiang, his maidservant whom he treats like his little sister. 

Wen Ke Xing could be said to have two different personalities. Towards the ghosts and his enemies, he is assumed to act irrationally and mad. Towards Zhou Zishu and some others, he is a very protective person, childish, and flirty! Due to his painful past, he also fears loss and holds a lot of hatred within him.

Gu Xiang (Actress: Zhou Ye)

Gu Xiang is Wen Ke Xing's maidservant, although Wen Kexing treats her like his younger sister; an orphan raised by Wen Ke Xing. She has high martial arts abilities and mainly wields short blades and carries around a whip. Later on, she enters a romantic relationship with Cao Weining. 

In terms of her personality, she can be rash and brutal, yet she cares a lot for others and is extremely loyal, especially towards Wen Ke Xing. She is also a very direct and straightforward person and has a good relationship with other people. 

It is expected that she will grow and mature, too. :)

~ Themes ~

Family and Master-Disciple Relationships

Throughout the drama, there is a strong familial relationship between Zhou Zi Shu, Wen Ke Xing, and Zhang Chengling. In the beginning, Zhou Zi Shu under his 'word of honor' promised to safely take Zhang Chengling to the Five Lake Alliance after Zhang Chengling's whole sect was murdered. As the story progresses, the relationship between the three of them strengthens as Zhang Chengling becomes Zi Shu's disciple while Ke Xing seems like another protector and fatherly figure. Whenever Zhang Chengling is involved in trouble, Zi Shu and Ke Xing are often overprotective of him.

The relationship between Gu Xiang and Wen Ke Xing is no different, where Wen Ke Xing shows protectiveness over Gu Xiang, especially when Cao Weining first started meeting Gu Xiang. As one of the most loyal people, Gu Xiang is completely faithful to Wen Ke Xing and worries about him as well.  

Together, all four of them have an amazing relationship, and they bring the best out of each other.

The Bromance

Since the first day the drama aired, there has been a debate on whether this drama would count as a "boys love" drama or not, especially due to the Chinese censorship. Whether it counts or not, there is no doubt that this drama brings a lot of laughs and smiles as we watch the two main characters interact. 

Around Zhou Zishu, Wen Ke Xing becomes a whole new person, as Zishu brings out the childish side of Ke Xing. Although Ke Xing is known to be the one who flirts more throughout the drama, Zhou Zishu has his fair share of scenes once they start bonding and confiding in each other. 

Definitely look forward to how their story and relationship will progress!

Good vs. Evil and Greed

Like many typical Chinese dramas, Word of Honor emphasizes a lot on the fight between the good and the evil, and how the righteous aren't always really right and good. Along the same lines, the perceived evil is not necessarily as evil as it seems. Even the characters themselves, such as Wen Ke Xing and Zhou Zishu, aren't necessarily all good or bad. 

On the other hand, something that sets Word of Honor apart is its emphasis on the green aspect of human nature. In fact, the whole drama centers around how almost everyone is greedy for the treasure, whether it is the righteous wulin sects or the ghastly Ghost Valley. In the greed aspect, our main leads, Zhou Zishu and Wen Ke Xing are completely separated from them, and as Gu Xiang summarized in their conversations: 

"People nowadays can't distinguish between good and evil." (episode 2)

"The people fighting over it know that their skill of martial arts is poor, so they try to reap without sowing. They already know they are weak, but they still fight others over it, do they have a death wish?" (episode 3)

What are your thoughts? Will you be watching this drama?

Quick Links:

Trailer <link> | Episodes Summary <link> | Character Chart <link>
Chinese Novel <link> | English Translation of Novel <link>
Official Sound Track <full track list> <Spotify> <Soundcloud>

bromance word of honor zhang zhe han simon gong