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  • Data de Admissão: julho 25, 2023
  • Awards Received: Finger Heart Award1 Flower Award2
Completados
Judge Dee's Mystery
19 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Fev 23, 2024
32 of 32 episódios vistos
Completados 9
No geral 9.0
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 8.0
Voltar a ver 8.0

Everyone is responsible for the Result of their own actions and decisions.

The main question presented in the series is, Should one support lesser evil to achieve greater good?

This series is adapted from the Dutch author Robert van Gulik’s novel of the same name. However in my opinion it is loosely based rather than adapted as the original stories are changed quite a lot. Youku gives a disclaimer in the beginning of each episode, "It is a work of fiction. Any resemblance (to real historical figures) is purely coincidental". Judge Dee (also known as Ti Jen-chieh or Di Renjie), the hero of Robert van Gulik’s 'Judge Dee' mystery series, is purportedly based on the historical Di Renjie (630–700), chancellor of Empress Wu Zetian during the Tang Dynasty, who earlier in his career served as a district magistrate.

This series includes a total of 9 cases solved by Judge Di Renjie. Each case is resolved within the span of around 3 to 4 episodes. In the beginning of the series, Di Renjie( Zhou Yi Wei) is portrayed as a disillusioned person, uninterested in joining the court. Without a doubt, he is a brilliant person having forward thoughts, suitable to help shape a dynasty. On the other hand Empress Wu Zetian (Zhong Chu Xi) is Introducing many 'new' reforms in the country benefitting the common people. However she is facing massive opposition from the majority of courtiers who believe a woman should not be given too much authority.

Empress Wu Zetian is impressed by Di Renjie but she thinks he needs more experience before he can be of any help to her. So after passing the imperial examination, Di Renjie is appointed as a magistrate of Penglai county, a remote frontier. At the end of the 4th episode Di Renjie appoints Hong Liang (You Yong) as his inspector, Ma Rong (Zi Ling) and Qiao Tai(Ji Ta) as his attendants. This ragtag group goes to the Penglai county to start their journey. In Penglai county Di Renjie meets Cao An (Wang Li Kun) who becomes Do Renjie's confidant and lover, becoming a soundboard for Di Renjie's inner thoughts and conflicts. Throughout the series the Empress Wu transfers Di Renjie to different places where he encounters different problems, faces varied situations and resolves the plight of local people. Empress Wu wants Di Renjie to gain experience so that later he could serve as her advisor in the court.

Di Renjie is warned by Grand Secretariat Wei Wuji - "you think all the new is good and right. But the 'new' means changes, chaos, severed heads and bloodshed and saber rattling and fight. "

Di Renjie is of the opinion, "A reform means replacing the old with the new. We should examine it's purpose and means. Now, new policies have been enacted. The new laws benefited the people, allowing them to live in peace."

In ancient China, a judge's role was that of a father figure in the society. He was a link between the rulers and the common people. Di Renjie proves to be an exemplary judge because besides his great observational skill, deduction ability, attention to detail and lightning fast reflexes, he also has compassion for people and a strong drive to uncover the truth while serving justice. Even when presented with bizarre cases, he finds a rational explanation. He disbelieves in coincidence and fate and is convinced that everything is planned, dictated by logic.

There are three story arcs to the series, the major arc is the change in the system due to Empress Wu's reforms and its implications faced by officials as well as Di Renjie gaining experience in order to later aid Empress Wu in court politics. The second arc is to discover Di Renjie's father's past, to understand what circumstances led him to commit suicide. Somehow Cao An and Heiyan are connected to his father's past. The third arc consists of all the short cases that Di Renjie solves.

I feel that somehow the method of solving the cases in the beginning didn't allow room for the audiences' deductions because only after Judge Di reaches a conclusion, the audience become aware of the importance of the clue. Hence the audience becomes mere spectators to the brilliance of Di Renjie and not active participants in the case solving. The later cases were quite simple as they were mere means to drive the story of Emotions VERSUS Law forward (greed, anger, ignorance, dislike, love, desire, hatred). To be a good judge, it is a prerequisite to be sagacious and impartial in upholding law, irrespective of the people involved. This becomes the underlying theme in later part of the cases.

Special attention is paid to details in the Script in order to recreate the culture, customs and traditions of ancient China. The lavish sets gives a feeling of grandiose. Detailed ornate costumes provides authenticity to the characters. The colour grading gives more cinematic aesthetics, the series is suited to be watched on the big screen to truly appreciate the picturisation. Cinematography is fantastic, comparable to any high budget cinema work. Breathtaking visuals of locations accompanied by strategic upbeat background music during key moments transports the viewers to the era of splendour. I feel a resemblance of the opening score and background score to the sound track of the movie 'Dune'. The intensity and tempo are a little different but the same kind of instrumental score accompanied by similar vocal is included in this series. Especially when the background music is played during strategic points of the case, it gives a hair raising subliminal effect.

The icing on the cake is the stellar Main Cast at the helm of the project. The series has also managed to rope in some popular as well as veteran actors for the Support Cast. All the actors perform their roles zealously making it possible for the viewers to experience the splendor of the era.


Overall: It is a good series, it is like a gourmet meal to be savoured slowly because there are lots of subtle dialogues, the whodunit is not as important as experiencing the culture of the period. Those looking for quick gratification and thrill of case solving may find it a little slow paced.





I have compiled notes on Detective Dee, Dutch author Robert Van Gulik, Empress Wu Zetian. I have also written summary of each cases in the discussion section of the drama page. Don't forget to read it for more information and details of this series.

Leaving links below for the notes.

1. Basic information
https://mydramalist.com/discussions/judge-dees-mystery/122837-basic-information-about-the-cases-and-judge-dee?pid=2949011&page=1#p2949011

2. All Nine case summaries, starting from case 1.
https://mydramalist.com/discussions/judge-dees-mystery/122837-basic-information-about-the-cases-and-judge-dee?pid=2957009&page=1#p2957009

I will also leave Clickable links of the above mentioned discussion section as a comment to this review.

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A Princesa e o Lobisomem
21 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Ago 16, 2023
30 of 30 episódios vistos
Completados 1
No geral 10
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 10
Voltar a ver 10
Esta resenha pode conter spoilers

For those who prefer "the road less travelled"

If you are looking for a drama with intricate plot, complex villans and ample use of CGI then this is not for you. This drama is exactly as it is advertised. It is a Rom-Com with an underlying theme of true love, devotion and a profound love story. It is pure fantasy, providing escapism from real life.

For me, if the drama has one or more below mentioned trope, I will assuredly give it a chance. This drama ☑ most of the things that attract me.

1. Soulmates/ true love ☑
2. Hidden identity ☑
3. Triangle for two ☑ ( reminds me of another classic triangle for two, clark- lois- superman)
4. Beauty and the beast ?❤ ? ☑
5. Werewolves/ shapeshifters ☑


Even though it is not necessary to watch go princess go season 1 to enjoy this, viewers should keep in mind that this is a sequel story of the daughter of the main protagonists of season 1 and 'loosely' adapted from a novel by the same author.

Hence the FL, qi pa's actions are a direct result of her mother's quirky modern outlook and rallying for women's individuality and independence. These thoughts become a major roadblock for her falling in love with ML, kui mulang. If you are interested in watching a spunky FL who is a beauty with brains then you will admire her traits as does kui mulang. Though her deviousness at times exasperate him as she is always scheming and plotting to get away from him, he adores her to bits.

This drama tries to bring a fusion of modern and traditional ideologies and attempts to combine western and chinese culture as mentioned below:

* qi pa's father using english words " Follow your heart"
* qi pa using english word 'feelings' when talking with Li xiong about how it feels to be in love.
* qi pa dancing tango with Li xiong, kui mulang and hai tang.
*use of statue of david by Michelangelo.
*qi pa arranging volleyball game.
* qi pa dressed in baby doll nighty, exposing her legs ?
* high heels presented to Hong xiu by qi pa
* qi pa mentioning cosplay.

The above was what the production team tried to achieve. (In the comment section of this review is a clickable youtube link to production featurette in which they explain their intention.)



On the surface, this drama illustrates comic element presented through qi pa's runaway antics but underneath that it portrays one of the most sincere love story that I have ever had the pleasure to watch on screen. My attraction to costume c-dramas is that they often present devoted MLs. However some dramas outdo themselves to exhibit a ML that is willing to go the extra mile to prove his love and affection for FL.

King kui Mulang has been selflessly depleting his internal force to keep his people safe, now needs qi pa who has accidentally swallowed his holy pearl. He abducts qi pa from her home.... And so starts his journey of guilt and most heartfelt love story. The opening theme song's lyrics rightly depict his internal struggle and emotions "it was me who lied". Inspite of the underhanded manner in which he brought qi pa to his kingdom, he is one of the most trust worthy, honorable and dedicated ML. He is a judicious king and an exemplary husband. His devotion and loyalty for qi pa often astounds other women. Hai tang with all her seduction skill was not able to allure kui Mulang, SuHe presumed that if she took holy pearl from qi pa, she could win kui mulang's affection. All futile, kui mulang is "One woman Man" and nothing can sway him from his love. Whenever qi pa needs him, he is always there for her. When he says to qi pa "I am here", I believe his commitment to her. He went to hell and back to safeguard her.

Few things regarding the script that I disliked:

1. Qi pa's aloofness towards ML li xiong/ kui mulang was stretched to the limit. While it was endearing in the beginning, it appeared callous on her part later.

2. Screen writer's decision to make qi pa fall in love with Li xiong persona after her marriage to kui mulang persona. I would have preferred if they would have made her fall in love with Li xiong before her marriage and after her marriage to kui mulang, felt affection for him and slowly fall in love with him while solving beast clan cases along the way ( one saving grace in this whole farce as I have already mentioned in the comment section is that, the writers took care not to make qi pa a cheater. She discloses her affection for Li xiong persona to kui mulang and does not sneak behind his back trying to hoodwink him, kudos to the writers for that)

3. Qi pa's physical revulsion for kui mulang's appearance was also taken too far. It was understandable for her to react with aversion in the beginning when she did not know his temperament but later the writers should have shown gradual acceptance for his casual touch before she fell in love with him, the writers left this acceptance till much later in the drama.


Nevertheless this is one of the most poignant love story. Qi pa and kui mulang work better as a team than plotting against each other. To see their connection, must watch episodes are 23, 28,29 and 30. These episodes highlight the very essence of their relationship and reveal why they are soulmates.

This drama has many hidden easter eggs waiting for attentive viewer to unearth. It has many parallels between episodes and has added references and tribute to other famous western and chinese works. I recently noticed a parallel scene from episode 5 and 30, episode 5- qi pa and li xiong cross dressed. Qi pa playing the husband and him the 'wife'. Qi pa waist grabs and pulls him forward, away from the prying lustful eyes of the soldiers... Episode 30- qi pa and kui mulang dressed in western clothes, kui mulang waist grabs qi pa and pulls her forward away from the soldiers, expressing his reservation about her revealing outfit.

A special shout out to OSTs, costumes, makeup and cinematography.

The supporting casts are equally engaging in their roles. Their interactions with the leads and each other help with the forward momentum of the story. Lui jun, kui mulang's subordinate is used as a sounding board to air out kui mulang's feelings and he often ends up giving valuable advice to the king.

Czy and xuanyi have a good chemistry on-screen. Their onscreen compatibility can be seen when qi pa and kui mulang go through a gamut of emotional ups and downs. Such roles where an actor can explore variations in character are not easy to come by. Playing similar type of characters must get boring as an artist. They would prefer and are lucky to get such roles which are different from the norm to show their creativity and flex their acting skills.

Overall an entertaining fantasy. For me, one of the indelible love story that lingers in mind long after its conclusion


PS: If you are interested in reading my extensive reviews/ summary on ALL episodes together, I am leaving a clickable link to the discussion section of this page below as a COMMENT to this review.

2.also in the comment section to this review, I am leaving a clickable YouTube link for special feature for this drama, to understand what the production team was trying to accomplish.

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Completados
Fiel
28 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Set 20, 2023
25 of 25 episódios vistos
Completados 8
No geral 9.0
História 10
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 8.0
Voltar a ver 8.0
Esta resenha pode conter spoilers

Burden of Proof


Drama has been presented in a unique 'two' connected episodes format, alternating between past timeline(odd number episodes) and present timeline (even number episodes)..... As the episodes progress, viewers get a clear picture of the events in past that catapulted events in the present.... Each character is seamlessly woven in the tapestry of story, making it cohesive and interesting.... All characters' motivation is presented through their background stories leading to their present involvement.... In episode 19, even Wu Lian's past is dwelled into...Why he developed an interest in embroidery, although it is an unpopular choice of profession for a male........... However his past did not give even a remotely plausible explanation for his proclivity.


(Seven years ago - past timeline)

Meng Wan(Janice Wu) and Lin RuLan( Hu Yi Xuan) two young girls with dreams of bright future enroll in Yanyu Tower to learn embroidery from the prestigious Wu Lian(Qiao Zhen Yu)


Wu Lian turns out to be a predator, preying on young girls of his academy. He is a sadist and a narcissistic, his modus operandi remains the same for all girls, he first humiliates them by criticising their embroidery, making them feel inadequate and then under the pretext of guiding and teaching them, he touches them inappropriately and ultimately forcibly sleeps with them. These young impressionable girls who are probably underage are meek and gullible so none dare confront him publicly. He continues to take advantage and abuses numerous young girls. Wu Lian is a powerful individual who happens to have solid backing of rich and influential Mrs. Ning. Wu Lian's embroidered pieces are sought after and even the royal family commissions him. Hence nobody dares to offend him.

After sudden and mysterious death of Ding Ru, a young girl from Yanyu Tower. Wu Lian's truth is exposed in front of Ru Lan. She herself had been a victim but believed that Wu Lian loved her, now she realises that not just her but he has bespoiled countless other young women. Ru Lan decides to fight against him and lodges a formal complain in Yamen office. Meng Wan her close confidant and fellow victim advices Ru Lan not to file such a case.

Ru Lan who strongly believes that justice prevails, goes ahead with her formal allegations, to her disappointment she realises Wu Lian manages to distort her truth in the court and she lacks sufficient evidence to incriminate him.........As a recourse to sleeping with her, Wu Lian offers to take her as his concubine......After all doors are closed to RuLan, she decides to make a final move and agrees to marry Wu Lian as a part of her plan to fabricate evidence against Wu Lian.

On her wedding day she forcibly holds Wu Lian's hand and stabs herself with a golden pin leaving the bloody pin in Wu Lian's hand as proof of her murder, she also leaves a note to be delivered to Shen Mu after her wedding saying that she is in danger enabling two constables including Shen Mu to arrive at the exact moment she falls down from the tower to her death...... However her ultimate gamble also doesn't pay off, Wu Lian goes scott free inspite of such incriminating evidence and witnesses.



(Seven years later - present timeline)

Meng Wan who is very close to RuLan plots and plans for seven years to take vengeance and expose Wu Lian's deeds. She meticulously plans everything and patiently waits for Wu Lain to fall into her trap like a spider ? weaving a web ? to catch insects.

Including herself, Meng Wan gathers seven other people who were somehow affected by Ru Lan's case. She forms a team that is instrumental in bringing Wu Lian's downfall....

Meng Wan prepares handwoven lanterns and hangs them in a circle, metaphorically these lanterns hung in a circle are compared to a trap closing around Wu Lian... Each Lantern has a unique line written for all NINE people involved in this crusade, Ru Lan the torch bearer followed by Meng Wan and other seven allies....Meng Wan says that each lantern is wrapped in soft paper but tough and unyielding inside like 'the women'.


Name of all nine righteous 'justice seekers' and lines written on their lanterns mentioned below:

1.Lin Ru Lan's lantern....."An adult girl is fearless. "

2.Meng Wan's lantern....."wait in the boudoir for seven years, nothing is forgotten. " ........."Seven years in seclusion. Aspiration never forgotten. "

3.Li Jia Hang's lantern....."Give a treasure hairpin to the hero. Ignite a candle light. "

4. Liu Sanniang's lantern....."A leaf in the vast ocean, floating and sinking between heaven and earth. "

5. Shen Mu's lantern....."The young man goes with the wind and returns in time. "

6.Feng Da' lantern......"The wilderness also has emotions. "

7.Haung Jiao Jiao's lantern... "Pray to silk worm mother at the door, worship the God of wealth inside. "

8. Li Chun Feng's lantern... "The path to being an official is unpredictable as debts are hard to pay. "

9.Tian Xiao ling's lantern... "Troubled by wordly affairs, seeking tranquility in the mountains. "


Meng Wan's plan involves targeting Wu Lian's wealth. Symbolically breaking 'two legs' on which he is standing as he is accumulating wealth from two sources......First, by smuggling his work abroad, evading taxes with the help of Lou Yu Jian, a corrupt official in charge of Foreign office......Second, Mrs. Ning's backing who presents his work in royal court garnering him fame and building his reputation.... Meng Wan plans to expose him in front of the public to restore RuLan's good name.... She has brought to her district an upright and unbiased, Lou Ming Zhang to investigate the case of RuLan........Road to seek justice is difficult and full of pitfalls, Meng Wan faces many set backs along the way but she perseveres.....

After several failed attempts to corner Wu Lain, the group finally find some physical evidence...... In the beginning episodes Wu Lian told RuLan that ALL plum blossom flowers are different and unique(implying all girls are different)...... No wonder he had embroidered plum blossoms on a branch of a tree and written name of each of his victims under the flower embroidery...... It is rightly said that each crime leaves some evidence and a serial rapist would keep some kind of a trophy......This embroidered plum blossom tapestry was stolen by Li Cheng Feng without knowing its true significance, it proved to be a goldmine of evidence for the group.....Meng Wan and the team then had to find one person from all those victims who would testify against Wu Lian to reopen the case.

Liu Sanniang was captured by Wu Lian when she went to gather intel regarding his embroidery convention.. Wu Lian wanted an official position so that if he was implicated again, his case would be tried at a higher court of Dali where cases were piled up, delaying in his trial....Meng Wan and the group wanted to foil his ambition as well as save Liu Sanniang, decide to attend his embroidery convention at Yanyu Tower... However the group were tricked by Wu Lian and ended up stealing the wrong key to a lock that tied Liu Sanniang to a pole in a room... They were unsuccessful in rescuing her, Liu Sanniang decided to sacrifice her life and urged the group to continue with their campaign... The group burned down Yanyu Tower and Liu Sanniang perished in fire.

Wu Lian urged his wife Mrs. Wu(Rong'er) to ask her family's help for him to acquire the official position that he hankered after, in return he promised her a divorce and freedom from her unhappy married life.... Rong'er's family agreed.... Meng Wan approached Rong'er for help, guilt ridden due to being a reluctant but willing accomplice of Wu Lian, she informs Meng Wan that she kept a secret accounts ledger of Wu Lain's expenses for abortion pills, doctors, bribery to officials etc.... Li Chun feng decides to steal that account book, he is cornered and beaten to death. Before succumbing to death he gives Meng wan and Liu Xin a letter for Tian Xiaoling.... Tian Xiaoling, another victim of Wu Lian, had been living a guilt ridden life of self imposed exile finally decides to step up and testify against Wu Lian after her beloved Li Chun feng's death.

Meng Wan, Ru Lan's brother and Tian Xiaoling petition for a retrial of Ru Lan's case... Due to Meng Wan's clever manoeuvre, His Majesty also gives an order for severe punishment to be delivered to Wu Lian... Wu Lian is found guilt of sexual assault, bribery, tax evasion....As a result of everyone's combined efforts, Wu Lian gets his 'just deserts' he is flogged heavily as punishment and would be forever banished.... In jail Wu Lian swallows a needle and commits suicide.

At last justice is served but a hefty price is paid.... Ending is more bitter than sweet but it leaves a satisfactory aftertaste.... Justice may be delayed but not denied......salute to the people who make sacrifices and pave the way for a better future.




Special Episode 25 (alternate reality- what if, These characters could restart their lives )

What if life gave these characters a reset button and they could restart their lives anew......Life is full of choices that define us, our lives are the sum total of all our decisions... One wrong turn can plummet our life to hell and another right turn can elevate it..... This episode is in NO way "Redemption" of any character but a reflection of what ifs?...... I hope all these characters in some alternate universe made a befitting choice and enjoyed a lifetime of happiness.


All the actors performed wonderfully and were appropriately cast... However, a special shout out to Qiao Zhen Yu (who played the character of Wu Lian). He played the part of Wu Lian to such perfection that he became a character that the audience would love to hate. I saw a few BTS and the actor, Qiao Zhen Yu was rehearsing a very serious scene with his fellow actress, he seemed very cooperative and helpful... It is a great feat for an actor to play the character of a villan with such distinction.



This series deals with very sensitive issues like:

1.Abuse by a person in authoritative position. In this series Wu Lian was a teacher abusing underage girls, entrusted by their parents to learn embroidery at his place....

2.Exploitation of women(men) in the workplace.... 'Me too' movement..... Victims of such abuse remain silent as they are scared that either nobody will believe their allegation or mud will be slung on their character.

3.Humiliation and harrasment faced by a woman in the hands of corrupt official while proving she was 'Raped' .........The burden of proof is on the victim's shoulder.

4. Powerful and rich people bending, twisting and breaking laws and getting away with it... Justice system works differently for influential people, through intimidation or bribery they often escape unscathed.

5.Flickle public opinion 'mob mentality'..... People are often quick to judge another person bestowing 'guilty verdict' based on rumours without waiting for actual proof... public opinion spreads like wildfire and is quite changeable from time to time, even a person held in high regard once is dragged through mud by a single 'deemed' slip.


Overall, a thought provoking story presented beautifully.


PS: I wanted to include some more details but did not want to turn this review into a book? so I am writing them as comments to this review... If anyone is as deeply moved by this drama as me and wishes to read more, they can read the comments below.

*comments are about Liu San Niang and Li Chun Feng's deaths..... RIP to both unsung heroes.

*My opinion regarding the author's choice for characters of Li Chun Feng (episode 22) and Liu Sanniang (episode 20)

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A Journey to Love
21 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Dez 2, 2023
40 of 40 episódios vistos
Completados 6
No geral 9.0
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.5
Musical 8.5
Voltar a ver 9.0
Esta resenha pode conter spoilers

Spies and Assassins Amidst Perfidious Imperials.


This is not a simple love story but a dark complex world of court politics, power hungry Monarchs, treacherous relationship in imperial family amidst revenge, strategies and plots.

:::::::::::INTRODUCTION:::::::::::::

Since the fall of the previous dynasty there have been nearly a century of chaos, constant friction between Northern Province(Beipan) and Central Plains.

The nine kingdoms of Central Plains each hold their own territories but they have been in constant conflict for many years.

Among them, States of An and Wu are the most powerful. The Emperor of An - Li Zhun loves war and is greedy, he has annexed countless cities from neighbouring territories. The Sate of Wu is rich and people are strong. The Emperor of An covets States of Wu.

In the sixth year of Yongyou the Emperor of An launched a military campaign to seize the GOLD MINE in the West of Wu. The Emperor of Wu - Yang Xingyuan welcomed the battle South of (Tianmenguan) Tianmen Pass.

The army of Wu faced a major defeat at Tianmen Pass, they lost three cities(Xu, Cai and Jing). The Emperor of Wu believed in slander and underestimated the enemy. The Emperor of Wu has been captured and taken hostage by the State of An.

With the news of the Emperor's defeat, there is a major upheaval in the state of Wu and struggle for power has started. Prince Danyang the acting regent and brother of the emperor wants the throne, The Empress declares she is pregnant and may give birth to the future heir, The Prime Minister - Zhang Song doesn't care who sits on the throne as long as he can control them and retains his power.

Marquis Changqing of the State of An, Li Tongguang {Chang Hua Sen} sends a messenger on behalf of the State of An demanding a ransom of 100,000 teals of gold to be delivered by a person of The Imperial Prince Status in order to release the Emperor of Wu.

The ignored sheltered Princess Yang Ying {He Lan Dou} volunteers to go as The Imperial Prince Li, fourth son of the former Emperor Jin with the envoy in return of Money and Status conferred, that it would give her some independence upon returning back. She naively ignores the dangers of posing as a male prince, if discovered she is a fake, the consequences will be dire for her. Chief Clerk Du is the person responsible for negotiations, he is a loyal but inflexible person, later proves to be a knowledgeable and compassionate person.

The special team to join the delegation/envoy is formed of the few guards of The Heaven Path including Ding Hui and others as mentioned below:

1.Ning Yuanzhou(Hell path){Liu YuNing} : the former deputy chief of the Liudao Hall. His mind is full of brilliant strategies and unparalleled tactics. Now wants to lead a peaceful life away from court politics, agrees to join the convoy to protect princess Yang Ying and also to clear the good names of The Heaven Path men who were branded as traitors.

2.Qian Zhao(Heaven Path) {Wang Yi Zhe}used to be a former member of Heaven path was transferred to Yulin Army by special order due to his meritorious service. He is now the commandant of Yulin Army. Is very good at medicines and life saving skills. He is versatile. He appears stoic but is most invested in clearing the names of fallen soldiers of The Heaven path especially Chai Ming.

3.Yu Shisan (Asura Path) {Alen Fang}: former commandant of Asura path,who had been imprisoned for abduction of minister Liu's daughter, he seems frivolous and a person only interested in pursuit of pleasure and beauty but is the most emotional, caring member of the group.

4.Yuan Lu {Chen Youwei}, the greatest genius of hungry ghost path whose martial arts skill is average but is great in building mechanical devices useful is spying and warfare. Due to a congenital illness, it is predicted that he will have a short life. He believes in living his life in a carefree manner without worrying about his sickness.

5.Sun Lang {Li Huan} of Human Path is great at defense. A person with tough exterior but abundant love for furry creatures like rabbits, dogs and cats.

**6.Ren Ruyi/Ren Xin{Liu Shishi} - former top assassin of State of An, now a discarded piece on the chessboard, considered dead and believed to be a traitor of Scarlet Guards. She was directly promoted to Purple Emissary from a mere guard, later his Majesty personally named her Left Emissary of the headquarters. She is trying to find the killer of Empress Zhaojie of the State of An of whose assassination Ruyi was accused of 5 years ago. Ren Ruyi joins this delegation group to teach Princess Yang Ying all about the State of An in exchange for Ning Yuanzhou's help to find the real assassin of Empress Zhaojie and on a personal level to conceive a baby with him.



Along the way the group has to face many obstacles & treacheries. Their bonds are tested and new alliances are formed. The weak people have to become strong and The Strong people find others on whom they can lean on. New promises are made and some promises are broken.

**************************************************

::::::::::::::Review:::::::::::::::

Each person going on this journey is on a QUEST. This is a journey of finding love, getting exoneration for the fallen comrades of Heaven Path of Liudao Hall who are accused of betrayal, hope for a better future and most importantly discovering Self-worth and Self-love.

This series seems so much different than others because all flawed characters are learning to embrace the reality and their shortcomings, all the while striving to live their life to it's fullest potential.
As per my perception, the story can be divided into three major storylines, the main love story, growth & development of Ren Ruyi's disciples and Internal Political struggle within the Sate of An and state of Wu.

The main love story of Ning Yuanzhou(Liu Yu Ning) and Ren Ruyi (Liu Shi Shi) is handled in a very mature manner. Both the protagonists' age in the series is about 30 years and they have been in a prominent position in their respective Spy organization for a very long time and are now tired as well as disillusioned by power hungry Emperors' using their organizations' members as disposable pawns in their political ambition. They find solace and companionship in each other. In spite of their contradictory future plans they respect the other's choice, endeavouring to find a common ground acceptable to both. Their love story is a perfect standard of mutual love and respect in a healthy relationship. Other minor love stories are also quite engaging, there is brief connection between Yang Ying and Yuan Lu; Chu Yue and Yu Shisan.

The other major story arc is the growth and development of two disciples of Ren Ruyi, A shrinking violet, Princess Yang Ying who had initially agreed to be the head of this rescue envoy to free The Emperor of Wu for some wealth and recognition in the court, during the journey under the tutelage of Ruyi gains confidence in her ability, discovers her self-esteem and wants power and glory instead of being happy with her previous mundane existence. Even though she realises the path to acquire glory and fame is fraught with dangers, she chooses to go out with a bang not a whimper if and when her death comes. First disciple, of Ren Ruyi was Li Tongguang. The story also focuses on his rise to power, surrounded by ambitious, duplicitous royals. Li Tongguang is depicted as a peace loving person wanting stability for the country, also is more efficient and capable than the two royal princes.There is brief sub-plot of Li Tongguang transferring his gratitude and affection for Ren Ruyi into obsession to possess. However Ren Ruyi wishes both her disciples' success and happiness like a true mentor.

Final and the most interesting aspect of this story for me was the jostling for power and the depiction of ruthless power hungry Emperors. The Emperor of Wu whose reckless personal expedition ended in the loss of three cities of State of Wu. Due to Emperor's gullibility a hundred thousand people died in the war. The original journey was undertaken to pay the ransom for the Emperor of Wu, however none of the teams members are keen on The Emperor returning back to the power the only thing that is keeping them in the righteous path of saving their Emperor is their honour and hope for the Emperor to exonerate their fallen companions of Liudao Hall. The Emperor of Wu is a selfish, greedy, tantrum throwing grown adult without any sense of responsibility. If the Emperor of Wu would be out of the way; the current acting Regent, Prince Danyang Or the Grand Secretary, Zhang Song would be better ruler for the state. On the other hand there is The Emperor of An who is scheming, plotting, manipulate individual whose soul is as dark as Erebus. He colluded with the Beipan people that led to the heart break of Empress Zhoajie who chose death in face of betrayal from her loved ones. The Emperor of An is a devious ruler who knows his two sons are incompetent and continuously balances power in his court to maintain his position. The only capable person to take on the future leadership is Li Tongguan but the Emperor keeps his ambitions in check by limiting his authority. Both the State of An and Sate of Wu would benefit from change in leadership.

Will the Central Plains get a stable ruler? Will the whole team survive the journey and live to tell the tale?...... That is for the viewers to find out. (If anyone is interested in end spoilers, see my post for episode 35 to 40summary and key points written as comment to THIS review)


Overall: A solid series with a good cast of actors, a minor criticism that I have is for the series is the unexplored direction of both the spy organizations. They were outlined in such detail that I was looking forward to their operations. However the spy organizations faded in the background giving way to the political intrigue.


**************************************************
:::TWO spy organizations of States of An and Wu:::

FIRST SPY ORGANIZATION:
SCARLET (Vermilion) GUARDS of State of An

The recruited white sparrow members are controlled by the organization through poison, the members have to take an antidote every six months so escaping is not easy. The Scarlet Guards are called by their code names instead of their real names. Their structure seems more Hierarchical Organisational. Their tasks and roles are not quite clear.
_____________________
Hierarchical Structure

*Commander Deng Hui(ep 9)
*Left Emissary - (Ren Ruyi/Ren Xin), Chen Gui(ep4)
*Right Emissary- Jia Ling(ep9)
*Scarlet Emissary
*Red Emissary - Zhu Ji( Jia Ling's trusted) (ep9)
*Purple Emissary - Yue Sanniang (ep1 to 4)
* Flying Flower Formation - assassins (ep 20), According to Liu Li their south west position is the weakest.
*White sparrow(Baique) - adept at seduction and investigation. Ling Long (ep1) , Ren Ruyi/Ren Xin
*Shadow Scouts -
______________________
Organisational Structure(Branches/Departments)

*Head quarter
*Yuheng Branch to investigate police officers and Yue Sanniang's death (ep9)
*Kaiyang Branch (ep 4) sends messages through pigeons. (Has a secret chamber.)
*Tianji Branch (ep3) -
*Guideyuan Branch (ep 22) to carry out the order of murdering Ruyi and to inform Wu's delegation gas arrived in Guideyuan.
*Wu Capital Branch- (ep22) Guideyuan Branch received a message, Ruyi was a traitor from Wu Capital Branch.

1.Jumen and Lianzhen department - investigation of Wu delegation's background. (ep9)


XXXXXXXxxxxxxxxxxxxxXXXXXXXXX


SECOND SPY ORGANIZATION:
Six Daoists, LIUDAO HALL - Wudu Six Hall(Six Realms Hall) of State of Wu

It was created by Taizu, it specializes in investigation and espionage. A total of SIX factions are there, THREE considered Good/Virtue Paths, their members called calvaries and THREE Evil Paths, their members called Scouts (chazi) .

:::::Good/Virtue Paths:::::
* Heaven(God) Path ; in charge of protecting Royal family.
* Human Path; monitors officials at all levels.
*Asura (Demigod) Path; engages in bribery and seduction.

:::::::Evil Paths::::::
* (The Way of Aguis) The Hungry Ghost Path ; creates mechanisms
* Animal Path; specialises in espionage.
* Hell Path; is known for assassination. {Ning Yuanzhou has turned this into an intelligence gathering unit, Palace of Hell(Senluo Hall).}





PS: If interested in more details, check out below mentioned posts:
1.Adding general information about the State of An political Scenario as a comment to this review.

2.Also included in the comment section of this review are the Clickable links to SOME of my comments for this drama, if anyone is interested they can read those as well.

3.For End spoilers of episodes 35 to 40, see the comment to THIS review.

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Completados
Subindo com O Vento
9 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Nov 19, 2023
40 of 40 episódios vistos
Completados 7
No geral 9.0
História 8.0
Acting/Cast 10
Musical 9.0
Voltar a ver 8.0
Esta resenha pode conter spoilers

If the shoe fits & Never give up on your Dreams.


::::::FAMOUS SHOE QUOTES:::::::::

"Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” - Marilyn Monroe

" A woman can carry a bag, but it is the shoe that carries the woman.” - Christian Louboutin

"It doesn’t matter how great your shoes are if you don"t accomplish anything in them.” - Martina Boone

'Momma always says there's an awful lot you could tell about a person by their shoes. Where they're going. Where they've been.” - Forrest Gump



*****************************************************
::::::::STORY::::::::::

The feel of this series is quite like the novels of 'Danielle Steel' Probably because the novels were based on business, family heritage and struggle to keep the heritage.

Good collection of OST's, there are quite a few of them some are peppy and others soulful and melodious. Gong Jun, Zhong Chuxi and Wu Xuanyi, the actors playing prominent characters in this drama have each sung an(Wu Xuanyi sung two) OST in the series... My personal favorite is " Song of Faith" sung by Wu Xuanyi, very empowering lyrics for women.


::::::::::::::(Rising against the wind. Beginning with Jiang Hu (**)When rising with the wind, Zhaoyang(** )will be there for you. :::::::::::

**note? on meaning of Jiang Hu and zhaoyang at the end of review)

This is the story of Jiang Hu(Zhong Chuxi) who along with Zhaoyang(Wu Xuanyi) forges a new future for old brands.

The story starts with an ambitious investor Xu Si (Gong Jun) wishing to acquire, Industrial site of an old shoe brand 'Tengyue' for his land acquisition deal with Yuanfeng Logistics. Tengyue is a company under Free Unicorn group of companies managed by Jiang Qi Shen. Jiang Qi Shen's only daughter, Jiang Hu(zhong chuxi) the Apple of his eye whom he lovingly calls "little butterfly" wants to revive 'Tengyue' brand because the brand has deep connection with her family. 'Tengyue' company had been established by Jiang Hu's maternal grandfather and later her own father, Jiang Qi Shen became famous because of the Tengyue brand, however since the 1980's and 1990's, Jiang Qi Shen focused more on expanding the Free Unicorn Group of Companies which manufacturers clothing and shoes, Tengyue has just one product left and it is just a nostalgic reminder, rather than a profit making unit.

Xu Si tries to get a meeting with Jiang Qi Shen to discuss the sale of Tengyue's industrial site however is unsuccessful to get an appointment so Xu Si tries to approach Jiang Qi Shen through Jiang Hu. Jiang Hu has arranged a party at the factory of Tengyue inviting influencers to start her revival project. Xiang Zhaoyang (Wu Xuanyi) an award winning shoe designer at Aneda, moonlighting as a masked influencer who is also long time high school rival of Jiang Hu, is invited intentionally by Jiang Hu to be an influencer at this event. As per Jiang Hu's plan to boost her online sales of Tengyue shoes, another influencer present at the event exposes the real identity of Zhaoyang..... As a result Zhaoyang loses her job at Aneda due to non-compete agreement.
Soon after this event Jiang Hu's father dies due bad health compounded by sudden financial problems in his business, immediately leading to Free Unicorn being bankrupt. Jiang Hu falls to bad times and is now reviled and preyed upon by the same society vultures who at one time revered her... Jiang Hu decides to take charge of her life and in a desperate bid uses all her leftover inheritance money to buy the Shares of Tengyue and trademark for Tengyue shoes.

Jiang Hu decides to revive the 100 year old brand Tengyue, she shifts into factory premises.. She doesn't have funds to continue current manufacturing operations, She meets many challenges to revive the brand and she tackles those problems head on, she has to negotiate with Xu Si to allow her to continue operation at the industrial site of Tengyue that now belonged to his company purchased during the bankruptcy auction of free unicorn. She forms a new team of personnel:
*Yang Jian( Gao zhiting) and his merry band of boys operating online website help her with online sales at the starting of her company.
*Zhaoyang becomes the shoe designer for her company
* Ms.Yue from her father's old company joins in as Account manager
* Mr. Pei her maternal uncle becomes the production manger.
* Jiang Hu herself handles marketing and sales.
* Boss the old factory dog becomes her constant companion in this new journey

Jiang Hu with the help of her new team, overcomes various problems faced by an outdated brand... She successfully handles HR problems created by some old workers, redesigns the shoes, tackles the problem of distribution and sales by using innovative marketing strategies. Growing influence of e-commerce in current market scenario is highlighted in this drama. She continues to plod on by using the motivational quote "going against the wind".

Along the way she finds love, Xu Si... Makes new friends, Yang Jian and reconnects with her old rival turned BFF, Zhaoyang. This show has shown quite a realistic depiction(text book version) of business problems and their solution.

Besides Xu Si and Jiang Hu's love story there is also a secondary love story of Zhaoyang and Yang Jian, Zhaoyang's step brother who has been in love with Zhaoyang since last ten years.

As much as this is a story of the successful revival of an old brand in a new market, it is also a story of human connections and team building.

As per my understanding, this series is focusing on TWO business issues.

1. Growing impact of influencers and internet in generating sales of any product. It is necessary for old brands to use new methods to survive in current market.

2. Small old businesses shutting down due to lack of funds and lack of modern technologies that other big companies have at their disposal to manufacture more at cheaper rate due to having deep pockets and accessibility to mechanised impersonal technology......
Handmade, indigenous products and labourers are suffering.... Saving these business is another theme of this series. What a country needs not not few big brands but diversified national brands.


**************************************************
::::::::RELATIONSHIPS:::::::
First Leads
Gong Jun(XU Si) x Zhong Chuxi(Jiang Hu)
The headstrong CEO meets an arrogant daughter.. Their story is combustive with sparks flying everywhere, they have a spicy and confrontational love story. In the beginning there are lots of trust issues, Jiang Hu has been betrayed by people closest to her so it's quite difficult for her to trust an 'Investor' who might take away her company. Slowly their relationship transitions into reluctant partnership morphing into trust and finally love.

Second leads
Gao Zhi Ting(Yang Jian) x Wu Xuanyi(Xiang Zhaoyang)
Sweet designer with her step brother, they have known each other since childhood. Their story provides a breath of fresh air on a sunny day... Their love story is more tender. Yang Jian has always cared for zhaoyang. Standing like a rock beside her, ensuring she is safe, happy and silently removing all obstacles in her path. He showers his love by ensuring zhaoyang is always well fed, making delicious food, taking care of the household chores leaving her free to pursue her dreams, encouraging her creativity and progress.


BFFs; Zhong Chuxi (Jiang Hu) x Wu Xuanyi (Xiang zhaoyang)

Both these girls have known the other since high school. They are competitive to the extreme, they like the same food, music and both had a crush on Gao Yi. Due to zhaoyang's humble background and Jiang Hu's privileged upbringing there were lots of hostile situations causing friction between the girls in their earlier years.. After Jiang Hu lost her father and decided to revive 'Tengyue' shoes, she and zhaoyang a shoe designer who wanted to bring authentic chineses designs back in the market joined hands and became a formidable team, tackling all hardships and forging ahead in their own paths to success, achieving their personal goals while securing a glorious future for 'Tengyue'.

Both love stories provide a mix of sweet and spicy while all them together struggle to even the odds stacked against them...Also there is a plausible and realistic platonic relationship between Jiang Hu and Yang Jian who become confidants having trusting work relations because both have warm and outgoing personalities. Xu Si and Xiang Zhaoyang also share admiration for the other's ability, recognizing the other's capability but they always maintain a cool efficient business relationship due their reserved nature... All these relationships were in tandem till the 100 year anniversary of Tengyue (first 32 episodes) then suddenly lots of angst, non-communication made their relations seem strained and filled with lots of melodrama in the latter part of the series... But in episodes 39 and 40, concluding episodes the series tied everything in a pretty bow and gave a Happy Ending for both the couples.


**************************************************
::::::::ACTORS PLAYING THEIR CHARACTERS:::::::

Gong Jun playing Xu Si :
Gong Jun played the part of a dispassionate and shrewd investor quite well. He was able to display a wide range of emotions through his character. In the beginning his attitude was arrogant for the goal oriented Xu Si... Later in the series with the change in Xu Si's character, Gong Jun 's eyes reflected his turmoil, sadness and hurt. He also revealed during the promotional campaign for the drama and his own personality was quite introvert compared to Xu Si's extrovert nature, so as an actor he did a fabulous job.


Zhong Chuxi playing Jiang Hu:
Zhong Chuxi looks stunning as Jiang Hu the rich heiress who dresses in expensive designer shoes & dresses and drives a fast red car, she portrayed the haughty and imperious side of Jiang Hu 'To the T'. Her body language exuded her confidence, then she was equally believable as a 'fallen from grace' startup entrepreneur, who uses her wit and intelligence to forge ahead... .Zhong Chuxi's charming smile and genial attitude makes Jiang Hu's struggles to achieve success in business relatable.


Wu Xuanyi playing Xiang Zhaoyang:
Wu Xuanyi was remarkable in her depiction of Xiang Zhaoyang.. Zhaoyang with her tenacious nature, achieving success with her hardwork, appearing detached and indifferent but very warm hearted and loyal to the core. Wu Xuanyi successfully Portrayed the minimal expression of zhaoyang used to keeping her own counsel. Her demeanor was professional and reserved giving professional vibe. Body language was closed.. This is good acting because Wu Xuanyi in her real life is more of a vivacious, outgoing personality. As wu Xuanyi discussed in the promotional campaign she herself is an extrovert playing the role of an introvert zhaoyang. ( If you like wu Xuanyi, do read my highlights in the comment section of this review about, why I like Zhaoyang in spite of her imperfections. )

Gao Zhi Ting playing Yang Jian:
This is the first time, I am watching Gao Zhi Ting's work... His portrayal of Yang Jian is very candid.......When he smiles it is quite wholesome and genuine and his crestfallen face when Zhaoyang is not happy with him is full of emotions.... Gao Zhiting is a very natural actor, all emotions of his character are well conveyed through his face and body posture. He carries out "the boy next door" image quite well.

Honorable mentions
1. Wei zhe Ming who played the part of Gao Yi did not have much screen time but he managed to capture audience's attention with few scenes, his character was also a more distant personality, fre scenes that he had to showcase his emotions were with his wife... There his tearful anguish filled face evoked sympathy in viewer's heart.

2. Wen Zheng Rong who played the character of Yue Shan was brilliant in her ultra efficient, tolerate no nonsense manner suiting a woman who has spent majority of her life navigating the business world.

3. Morni Chang who played the character of Pei Zhi Yuan, a true veteran actor realistically brought to life the supportive maternal uncle of Jiang Hu who was equally miserly and opportunist while still retaining his love for his niece.

4. BOSS the dog was the showstopper, he was such a well trained animal, so many BTS of actors having a great time playing with him are uploaded on the net.. I don't know how the trainer manages to get the dog to display different postures and emotions at different time... For me BOSS was 'THE BOSS' of this series.



*********************************************
OVERALL: A unique drama depicting realistic business scenarios while superbly telling a story of revival of a brand and struggle of two ladies Jiang Hu and Zhaoyang, rising in their own spheres, defying the odds stacked against them., though after first 32 episodes things turn more melodramatic like a soap opera.... However the show got back on track in last two episodes 39 and 40 and managed to resolve the whole story in a satisfactory manner.....A must watch.

********************************************************
:::;:Note? on Jiang Hu and Zhaoyang meaning:::::

Zhaoyang means 'rising sun'(☀️).I did a little google Research on the name Jiang Hu, it is a bit more complicated to understand...... But simply speaking it translates to 'rivers and lakes' in terms of wuxia. The meaning of the name Jiang Hu, that I think is most suitable for this drama is a band of virtuous outcasts of society grouping to form their own parallel society with their own code of rules.... Isn't that what Jiang Hu is trying to achieve with Tengyue?? Bringing together a band of outcasts to form her own version of perfect society.


*********************************************
PS: If anyone is interested in reading more;
1. I am leaving clickable links to my episodes summary and musings in the comments section of this review(each episodic comment has two parts, general thoughts and another spoiler tag comments including details of those episodes)...... I have given a brief overview of the episodes along with my personal musing in them.

2. Also leaving in the comment to this review, my explanation of certain business situations pertaining to this drama.

3.My 'Minority Report' why I like the character of ZHAOYANG, inspite of her imperfections... Main highlights only.

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Lai Gui Xi Shi
9 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
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24 of 24 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 9.0
História 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musical 8.0
Voltar a ver 10

A family that stays together...

It is loud, chaotic, rowdy and uproarious ... Just for laughs... Keep your brain aside and enjoy the ride... Hilarious interactions between all characters is often laughter inducing but underneath their escapades the emotions are unfeigned and genuine.


This drama seems to be heavily inspired by classic women literature.... It reminds me of many Jane Austen's works and also 'Little Women' by Louisa May Alcott.

Another noteworthy feature of the series is not emphasizing on Pei Lan's(Jackie Li) little healthy physique.... Most similar series make a big deal of it.... Here Pei Lan is considered to be the most desirable match in the marriage market due to her good nature and hard working attitude. ?


The series starts with this family relocating to Jianglin in order to facilitate widowed Du Ru Yu (Lin Lin) to find suitable matches for her four unmarried daughters. Ru Yu may appear to be a strict matriarch of the family but it would have been difficult for her to take care of four little girls while being the breadwinner......We get a peek into her expert handling of the family. Aware of everyone's weaknesses and strengths, she keeps them in 'checks and balances'.

Guo Zhen Sheng(Yang Hao Yu) a benevolent doctor and an old acquaintance of this family follows them to Jianglin. He secretly loves Ru Yu and has taken these girls under his wing, providing nurturing care like a father.

Being brought up by a single mother all the daughters have strong independent personalities. Like all human beings these sisters are slaves of their genes, conditioned by their upbringing and shaped by circumstances. Although their personalities are very different from each other, instead of clashing all daughters complement each other. Like any other siblings they are not above petty blackmailing and manipulation. True test of relationship is during times of tribulation......Only people who stay by our side, protecting us during most difficult period are the people who truly love us.... This family may appear to have minor disagreements but they 'close ranks' and are fiercely protective of each other in face of external threats.

The rooftop of their house seems to be a place where most of the heart to heart conversation takes place, some sincere mother-daughter moments are set there. Other emotional tête-à-tête between the sisters and their suitors are also picturised on the rooftop. Chun residence's rooftop was a safe haven to hide, cry, pout and air out grievances, getting soothing response from other family members.


This family is considerate of peoples' misfortune, Mrs. Chun often ends up providing a helping hand to others even if her daughters sometimes think she is being gullible. All daughters have inherited from their mother tendency to be helpful, upright and bold in face of adversity. Truly, A Remarkable Family!!!!


Soon after their relocation each girl finds herself a suitable match...


Eldest daughter, Chun Jin Rong(Han Yun Yun) who has turned 30 years, is the best manipulator. We also get a glimpse at Jin Rong's childhood... At an early age she had become a caretaker of her younger siblings Ke Ling and Ban Xia as their mother went out to earn money... Her desire to marry a rich man stems from those difficulties, Jin Rong wishes to give her sisters a good life from her dowry after marrying a rich man. She falls in love with Young Lord Ling, Shi Zi. Lord Ling is not ready to accept Jing Rong as his daughter-in-law due to their class difference. However it doesn't deter Jing Rong from pursing her path, she will persist and maybe later would be successful in winning Lord Ling's approval.


Second daughter, Chun Pei Lan (Jackie Li) the quintessential frugal hardworking daughter, is the glue that keeps the family together. Tirelessly she completes her chores with a smile on her face. Often overlooked due to hubbub of daily life, her family truly appreciates her contribution. Being extremely loyal she hesitates to find a good match for herself as she worries her family will fall apart without her. She deserves to be loved by Lu Buping as she is the most selfless out of all sisters. Even though Lu Buping entered Chun residence due to a misunderstanding and spent major part of series as a servant, he had built a strong relationship with Pei Lan, understanding her reluctance to marry in the beginning. He was a pillar of support and strength for her. Lu Buping and Pei Lan get married at the end of the series and ride happily into the sunset.


Third daughter, Chun Ban Xia(Wu Jia Yi) tolerate no nonsense kinda person, wants everyone to be just and equitable, wouldn't hesitate to toe the line even for her beloved family. She is competitive to the extreme. The only family member who dares to challenge Ru Yu's authority by questioning her tactics in house management. She has high self-esteem. Ban Xia has a cat and mouse relationship with the enigmatic, unfathomable Shen Wang Yan. He manages to engage Ban Xia's interest by his continuous unpredictable and questionable behaviour. There is possibility that in future a romantic relationship may develop between them.


Fourth daughter, Chun Ke Ling(Li Jia Qi) the toughest fearless girl in the family, a good street fighter who would rather use swords and knife than cook and sew. She is often out on the streets along with her two friends. She is quite unrestrained and vivacious. Being the baby of this family her sisters and mother often indulge her, overlooking her faults. She is highly energetic. Gu Zi Cheng(A-Si) , the 4th prince falls in love with Ke Ling's carefree flamboyant attitude. However path to their ever-after would be most difficult to achieve because being a royal he has to fulfill his family obligations and Ke Ling has a lot of growing up to do before she can be good wife, companion or a princess.


At the end of this series only Pei Lan and Lu Buping tie the knot and move on with their life of marital bliss. Other relationships have miles to go before they achieve their own romantic happiness. However where there is life, there is hope and Hope is Eternal... With the support of Ru Yu and Guo Zhen Sheng other three sisters have nothing to worry. They are accepted and loved for who they are by their family.

Exasperated reaction of the painter sketching their family portrait in episode 24 says everything about this family they are lively, messy and boisterous.


Some other wonderful characters in the series are,
*The sarcastic female vegetable vendor, Wang Xi Shi who has funny encounters with Pei Lan.
*The swindler astrologer, Li Teng Yu who often gets caught in the cross fire of this family's dynamics.
*The Steward, Mr. Xin who is ever efficient but too expensive.
*The auctioneer at The product appraisal, Qi Jiali who convinces the patron to purchase ridiculously expensive items even though they aren't desirable.
* The perfect society butterfly and Chun Jin Rong's bestie, Dong Xiao Xiao. She tries very hard to fit in the high class society.
*The wanna be femme fatale, Hu Nana who visits Guo Zhen Sheng and tries all her womanly wiles to extort a marriage proposal from him.
These characters brought with them their own brand of giggles and guffaws.


Overall, a good show to watch for some stress relief and laughter.

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11 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
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24 of 24 episódios vistos
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No geral 8.5
História 8.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musical 8.0
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Esta resenha pode conter spoilers

Anthing can be achieved if one is persistent and determined.

Message from this drama is that being weak doesn't mean you are useless... Be resolute never give up and victory shall surely be yours.

Xing chen, FL says if it doesn't work once, I will try 10 times, if it doesn't work 10 times I will try 100 times and so on.. Attagirl!!!?

If a person doesn't give up, then with multiple attempts even weak eggs can break a stone.



The story started on a light hearted note, first 12 episodes focused on the character development and their relationships..... These episodes were humouros and had many noteworthy hilarous dialouges.


Quoting a few humourous situation from these episodes

Episode 2 - how NOT to select a good matrilocal husband. ?....jiang buting, ML drew an egg in the second round of selection hoping to get disqualified, but it was interpreted as ' bold and powerful' so he was advanced to the final stage of selection. ( presumably the FL's family was advancing a cripple to allow Mu Binghe their favoured future son-in-law to win)

Episode 4: Xing chen, FL taking a job of a janitor because she is the head of her family and needs to provide for 'two useless men in her family' ?( useless men referring to her would be husband BuTing and her would be brother in law BuYing

Episode 11: xing chen, FL to Bu ting, ML......."since I can't hold your hand, we both can just hold the branch"... Bu ting keeps walking on holding the branch while xing chen gets kidnapped. ?



Some enlightening issues brought forth in the latter half of the series. (Which slightly changed the tone of the series)

1. Women Empowerment:
It was difficult for Xing Chen, FL to be accepted as the head of wuyue sect in a patriarchal ancient martial world... However she had strong backing from her father and other loving members of her sect also BuTing, ML always supported her to achieve her true potential... Every woman should be self sufficient and is capable of achieving great heights was the dominant theme of this series in my opinion... Apart from the FL, other FL characters were also shown to be aspiring, SFL Mu YaoGuang secretly wrote manuscript and published articles... Other minor female characters were also depicted as endeavoring to stand out in the community.

2. Greed for Power:
Doctor Song a brilliant scientist was corrupted due his ambition, he poisoned the person who loved him the most throughout BuTing's life as the doctor was consumed with greed for knowledge.. He played with peoples' lives and made them nothing more than his puppets to be sacrificed to realise his dream of being a superpower... I am glad he did get some absolution in the end and saved BuTing's life who trusted him whole heartedly.

3.Obsession and Weakness:
SML, Mu BingHe became obsessed with the idea of saving the FL, xing chen due to his failure to protect her in their childhood... However this plauged him to such an extent that his desire to protect her changed to stifling and caging her... He too got some redemption when he was at last able to protect her by sacrificing his life.



There are two OSTs that standout in this series for me, one is the song 'Is this the end' and other is 'kilig love' the ending credit song.. Both have good lyrics and catchy tune.


Ceasar Wu was amazing, playing the character of Jiang BuTing a physically weak man who defied the odds and fought back against his limitations.. BuTing was a character who was supportive, compassionate and retained a sense of humour.


Xu Lu was equally good at portraying Xing chen's character and managed to depict the changes in her character from being frivolous to a dependable sect head.


Overall, can be watched when your mind is preoccupied with other matters and you need some light entertainment with simple plot.

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Rewrite the story...

Oftentimes I have read authors' interviews in which they stated that sometimes they have a different story in mind but once they start writing, some characters refuse to behave in the way the author intended and take on a life of their own.

In this series, the Female lead(Ireine Song) who is an author of the novel 'The Tale of Yun and Xi' is transmigrated inside her novel because the ending she wrote of the male protagonist(Ji Yun, the crown prince) and female protagonist(Lin Xi Yao) dying at the hands of the villain(Prince Lv-Ji Chu) was unacceptable. According to her story, Ji Chu the third prince of Liang was kept at the Southern border as a hostage since young. He was abandoned by the imperial family of Liang causing him to suffer. Thus he vowed to get revenge. He overthrew the Southern border at the age of 20, returning to the kingdom with a vengeance. Since then Liang wad plunged into a bloody storm. He advanced step by step, subverted the courtiers one by one, drove a wedge between the imperial family, initiated a revolt when his brother ascended the throne. He ignored the life of his beloved and slaughtered the imperial Court. Ji Chu got his revenge and usurped the throne. Changed the era's name to Xiande.

As soon as she enters her own novel as a minor character(Hua Qingge, niece of the current empress) who was married to the villain, Ji Chu and was going to be killed by him. The plot changes due to her action of running away preventing that character's immediate death. As per the phenomenon of 'Butterfly effect' (The 'butterfly effect' rests on the notion that the world is deeply interconnected, such that one small occurrence can influence a much larger complex system. The effect is named after an allegory for chaos theory. ) the story takes on unexpected turnings and twists leaving the author as well as the viewers guessing.

In order to change the outcome, Qing( Ireine Song) has to change Ji Chu(Ding Zeren) from a devil to a human. She tries to change his nature by being kind towards him, making him breakfast, grinding ink and rushing in his bedroom to tell him bedtime stories. Displaying care and concern to mitigate his revengeful thoughts. He is also changing, Qing's clumsy attempts to change his disposition are working.

Ji Chu is trying to find clues to his mother's death. His mother was killed as she displayed demon like symptoms. He is successful in reopening investigation of his mother's death after the brilliant physician and co-conspirator of Ji Chu, Gong Ye Qi(Chen Ze) simulates similar symptoms on other person. With the help of the crown prince, Ji Yun(Sun Zu Jun) and the female coroner Lin Xi Yao(Zhu Rong Jun), Ji Chu and Qing are successful in finding the real culprits but due to the identity of the perpetrators they are not able to get immediate justice because politics and popular support complicate things. Also thrown in this mix is the princess, Wan'er(Zhang Yue Nan). Wan'er is a kind person who has retained her goodness and is like a ray of sunshine even in the midst of schemes and plots.

Qing has to successfully complete her task of changing the story ending. Her presence brings out the best in Ji Chu also enabling her to experience true love. Ending of the story is mostly predictable, nonetheless the relationship development of all characters makes it an engaging watch.

This series is also meant to two fold satire, firstly it satirizes the current trend where the audience is more vocal about their preferences and expect the writers, actors and other public figures to be 'perfect versions of their vision', behave and present their work as per the majority voice, frowning on each imperfection of these people. Tolerance and acceptance for different thoughts and tastes is getting lesser day by day. Secondly, it satirizes the authors who write the characters superficially without giving much thought to their actions and motivation. Sometimes the audience rightly feels that they are cheated of a good story merely because the writer is sloppy, writing the story devoid of logic, giving one dimensional trait to the characters.

Fun fact: the author( Qingge) is as clueless as the viewers so we are together in this race till the end, uncovering hidden motives and discovering the truth.

Overall: This series is quite uncomplicated yet interesting to watch. This felt like a breath of fresh air to watch during short breaks from work.You don't need to continuously analyse the plot, sit back and enjoy the mystery unfolding.


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Master of your own destiny




Yun Tianhe: (as told to him by his father Yun Tian Qing what was believed by his mother Su Yu) Life and death are one's choices to make. This choice cannot be buried by the earth or altered by heaven. This is the meaning of "My life depends on me, not heaven."

*****Introduction: (Qionghua Sect 19 years ago, narrated by YunTianqing)******
The demons were rampant and the people were suffering. Qionghua Sect, the head of the Kunxu eight sects, that has been short of manpower and material resources for three generations, finally made the Wangshu and Xihe swords, the Yin Yang double swords.

19 years ago, the 24th Grandmaster Immortal Tai Qing wanted to use both swords to trap the Huanming Demon Realm. The war was protracted. At the critical moment, Su Yu, the host of Wangshu sword, was bewitched and suddenly withdrew the sword, causing the Wangshu sword's pillar to collapse instantly. Xihe sword couldn't withstand it alonealone, and it's host Xuan Xiao suffered the backfire of the sword's red aura. Grandmaster Tai Qing died in the battle and Qionghua sect was greatly undermined.

I, Yun Tianqing, a disciple, defected with Su Yu. Since then, Wangshu sword's wereabouts has been unknown.
____________________________________________
******Review******
The drama Sword and Fairy 4 is adapted from a Role Playing Game 'The legend of sword and fairy-4". Hence the storyline followed the game with few variation. Each series of the game is based on a theme. The theme of this one is 'Pilgrimage' which I feel is quite appropriate because the four main playable characters in the game and their counterparts in the series are on a QUEST.

Yun Tianhe (Chen Zhe Yuan) is searching for his Parents' background who died while Tianhe was quite young, leaving him an orphan at a tender age. He resided and grew up in Qingluan Peak that was a safe haven for demons and humans to cohabit peacefully. Han Lingsha (Ju Jingyi) is trying to find a miracle for 'longevity' as she comes from a family of Tomb raiders that are cursed to die young. Liu Mengli (Mao Xiao Hui) a beautiful adopted daughter of Liu family is looking for her 'origin'. Murong Ziying (Mao Zi Jun) is seeking absolution from his guilt of feeling responsible for his younger sister's untimely death due to his perceived negligence.

These four characters seemingly having different temperament and purpose come together and form a strong bond of friendship. It seems the series is geared towards young adults hence the romance between the characters of Tianhe and Lingsha though quite prominent takes the back seat to the friendship and bond between the four of them. Like many viewers, I too felt that the series could have been better if Ziying and Mengli were not shown to have unrequited love for Lingsha and Tianhe respectively. If the writers did not want to pair Mengli and Ziying, in my opinion they could have just shown their characters' growth and progress without making them pine for people who were deeply in love with each other.

At the beginning of the story, Tianhe who is oblivious to the world outside his home is living a carefree life when Lingsha intrudes and changes the course of his life. 19 years ago, Tianhe's parents had left the Qionghua Sect with Wangshu sword which is one of the Yin -Yang sword forged by Qionghua. Tianhe along with Lingsha accidentally touches the Wangshu sword and activates it power. With that action all the people who are looking to either possess or destroy the sword chase Tianhe as it is presumed that he is the new host of Wangshu sword. Tianhe who wants to know more about his deceased parents agrees to accompany Lingsha to Qionghua Sect. Lingsha has been promised a magical immortality elixir to save her and her family members' life by her employer if she manages to deliver the Wangshu sword to the Qionghua Sect safely.

Along their journey, Tianhe and Lingsha meet Liu Mengli who is the adopted daughter of Liu family but was entrusted to them when she was an infant by Yun TianQing, Tianhe's father so she too joins the duo, wanting to get answers about her background from Qionghua Sect. Ziying who is already a respected member and a rising star of Qionghua Sect, meets these trio on their journey and while solving bizarre occurrences together, develops a soft spot for them and later takes on all three as his disciples.

Upon reaching Qionghua Sect Tianhe faces contempt and disgust as it was believed that his parents were traitors who were responsible for thousands of death of Qionghua Sect members. Tianhe refuses to believe that his parents who were benevolent and virtuous would betray other people. Mengli to her dismay learns the truth about her origin, she momentarily feels as if her world has tilted and fears losing her friends' support. Ziying who firmly believed in black and white leaves behind his prejudice to embrace the reality that the race of a person doesn't matter, what matters is their choices and disposition. Lingsha learns to live her life to the fullest, irrespective of its span.

Another aspect that the series emphasizes on is trying to find answers for oneself, not to unquestioningly believe other peoples' version of past events. There is a stark contrast between the older generation in this series who are shown to be obsessed, filled with resentment and ambition, willing to sacrifice lives to achieve their goals AND the younger generation that gives more importance to compassion, bonds of friendship and living in harmony with people who are different.

My favorite character from this series is hands down elder QingYang (Zhang Fan). He pretends to be a little senile, only interested in making medical soups. However he always knows how to diffuse a volatile situation, providing solution and guidance to the younger generation without imposing on their free will. In my opinion that is true leadership and power. It's ironic that people who really deserve to lead are oftentimes otherworldly and detached.

Throughout the series there was another elemental theme of sacrificing one's self and own happiness for greater good. Most of the love stories in this series had a bitter end. To change the destiny of others, someone has to sacrifice. (I personally think that the writers can do better than send the message of sacrifice everything for greater good)

Overall: A good watch, the series has created it's own universe with interesting situations, references and creations. (If only the writers had avoided the cliché pining and one-sided love, it would have been much better)

_________________________________________________

If anyone is interested in reading more about this universe, information on the four characters and some of the fascinating objects/artifacts/ creations in the series, do check out the thread started by me in the discussion section. Other members of MDL have also generously contributed information and written interesting posts in the thread.

Use the link below to the discussion section of this drama to read "Introduction to the drama and some basic explanation" started by me.

https://mydramalist.com/discussions/chinese-paladin-4/122607-introduction-to-the-drama-and-some-basic-explanation-of-the-beginning-of-the-series

Also leaving a Clickable link to "Introduction to the drama and some basic explanation" started by me as a comment to this review.






 

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Delayed justice is 'injustice'.

The series is a murder mystery pertaining to serial killing. The story starts in AD 1609 of the Ming Dynasty, Du County in Jiangnan. Qu Sangeng(Bai YuFan) a Yamen runner/bailiff of Hunter squad and Gao Shicong(Liu YiTong) a Yamen auxiliary bailiff, find corpse of Captain Leng(Wang Ce) displayed as a Scarecrow in a field of Qijia Village. This is the first murder followed by a series of murders. Master Wang, a scholar running a school, Chen Wang a servant of Lu residence who supposedly drowned 20 years ago, Dr.Cheng a genius doctor, Mr.Zhang the butler of Mr.Xue, Mr.Zhao former business partner of Lu Yuanbao....Sangeng who has a personal interest in the case because his master and mentor Captain Leng was the first victim, finds a link to all these murders. The murderer is killing all survivors of the fire that engulfed Lu residence 20 years ago, taking the life of Lu Jinxin the owner of Lu residence and his family members along with many servants. The killer is leaving quotes from The Analects of Confucius near the victims' corpse, however the messages are left in a sarcastic manner opposite from its intended meanings.

During the course of his investigation aided by his friends a scholar 'Turkey' Feng Ke Zhui (Zhang Hao Wei) and Shicong, Sangeng discovers clues to dark conspiracy, changed identities, hidden motives and dark core of human psyche taking the viewers on a thrilling adventurous ride of never ending guessing game.

Two main themes that I perceived from the series are;
1. Injustice and how different people deal with it.
2. Principally all Humans are prone to corruption in spite of eons of teachings from great Sages.



[ 1. Injustice and how different people deal with it.]

I am referring to Judge Song Chen previously Song Zhongqiu a very talented poet and a Calligrapher(Nong Li) and County Magistrate Wei's conversation in Episode 12, Magistrate Wei alludes to the injustice Mr.Song suffered due to faulty justice system that throws and tortures suspects in the prison and then after conducts investigation. Many guilty people are roaming free and many innocent people are wrongly indicted having their lives ruined even if found not guilty later.

Magistrate Wei is eager to know what Judge Song has to say about the word 'INJUSTICE'. Mr.Song replies that there are countless victims in this world, but absolute justice never happened. Magistrate Wei wants to know what Mr. Song means by that. Mr.Song continues that Wei may not know that there is no single window in the prison. But a person in prison can't tell when it is day and night. But a person in prison can feel the day elapsing.

Magistrate Wei becomes serious and inquires how a person can perceive day and night.

Mr.Song grimly replies that a person can watch his tortured flesh slowly rot away. Mr.Song used to think there was a threshold between life and death, Life is on one side and death is on the other side. Just a momentary thing but then he found out death could be very slow, and people could die little by little. One day, the prison door opens and someone comes in and tells you that your case has been overturned. Mr.Song laughs sarcastically at this.
Magistrate Wei looks sympathetically at Mr.Song.. Mr.Song in a bleak continues that by that time a person is already half-dead. Half of a person becomes ghost, and you can never turn back into a human. You are half human, half monster. Mr.Song is of the opinion that "JUSTICE THAT COMES TOO LATE IS NOT JUSTICE".

Magistrate Wei responds that Mr.Song's grievances are not from prison. He doggedly continues that Mr.Song was known as a top talent, famous for his painting and calligraphy.

But now he can't even pick up a pen with his right hand. He asks Mr. Song, " IS THAT THE GREATEST INJUSTICE FOR YOU? " Wei continues to speak when Mr.Song returned home, the court had reversed his case, but nobody believed that Mr.Song was wronged. All of the people talked about how much Mr.Song would have spent, whom he had bribed, and how he had used his connections to avoid lawsuit, " ISN'T THAT INJUSTICE CRUELER THAN THE PRISON SENTENCE? " Magistrate Wei says Mr. Song had a good friend, they were as close as brothers but Mr.Song couldn't withstand the punishment and betrayed him in prison by putting the blame on him. His friend used his death to prove his innocence. "COULD THIS BE THE GREATEST UNFAIRNESS IN MR. SONG'S HEART? " According to Magistrate wei's opinion Mr.Song can't live in peace even if the court cleared Mr.Song's name, Yet those who reported in the court, those who caused his disability, those who were busy with infighting and those who accused him of bribery, none of them EVER RECEIVED any punishment. Magistrate concludes "IT'S NOT ONLY ABOUT INJUSTICE. YOU JUST DON'T KNOW HOW TO TAKE REVENGE. "

The above conversation reflects two different ideologies. Magistrate chose personal revenge to honour his dead friend Lu Buyou's sacrifice. He gave more importance to personal grievances and spiraled down the dark path becoming as guilty as the original conspirators... Where as Judge Song leaving aside his own personal issues and grievances chose a righteous path and tried to uphold justice for other innocent people who were ensnared by the flaws in the justice system and decided to punish all guilty people lawfully, irrespective of their status. He became a role model and epitome of the most sagacious judge.



[2. Principally all Humans are prone to corruption in spite of eons of teachings from great Sages.]

Here I am referring to the conversation between Sangeng, Turkey and Shicong in episode 3.

All three Shicong, Sangeng and Turkey meet at night and get drunk after finding relevant facts. They sigh that a person can never know another person. ... They toast a drink to Confucius because he's been teaching people morality for centuries in vain. In the end, the world is still filled with animals who don't talk, think or behave like humans. But Confucius should not be mad, he should not see it as his failure. It's just so hard to be a decent man. [All three agree very hard, very hard]

Also ironically, In episode 12, Young Xiao Baozi "Turtle" accidentally discovers Lu Zhong's golden treasure. They were slabs of engraving of The Analects of Confucius. One engraving was "Some people hurt others for themselves (referring to Lu Zhi). While some hurt themselves for others (referring to Lu Buyou). Master Lu you hurt yourself for someone else. So I will repay you for your gold.... In a twisted manner Turtle decided to hurt someone else too in the name of justice.

CONCLUSION : The world is full of bad men ready to commit follies and their basic nature cannot be changed by nurture.


Overall: A wonderful series, all the dialogues are meaningful, focusing on true beings of Humans. In my opinion, it should be watched again at least once. Kudos to the scriptwriter and actors, it was a tightly written drama keeping the audience guessing right up till the end.



PS: I have written an in depth summaries of all 12 episodes, posted in the discussion thread of this drama page.... If anyone is interested in reading it use the link below, I will ALSO leave a clickable link as a comment to this review. (Summaries are in depth so they contain MAJOR SPOILERS)


https://mydramalist.com/discussions/fan-cheng-zhi-xia/120497-detailed-episodic-summary-and-musings-contains-spoilers

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Destiny versus Decisions


This series deals with a very interesting topic of destiny.. The ML, Rong Yu (Wang You Shou) is an astrologer able to predict peoples' future and hence valued by even The Emperor... Most of his predictions come true. Can divination be always accurate?

I personally believe that a person's 'future' is not set in stone. There are multiple probabilities, possibilities and paths available, change in a person's decision at any moment changes the future outcome... So decisions are very important in peoples' lives...... Sometimes being aware of the future is advantageous because it gives a person an opportunity to change their decision to change their destiny.... On the other hand some destinies cannot be changed, all paths lead to the same destination.... It reminds me of the story, "Appointment in Samarra/ Appointment with Death"

This subject of destiny versus decision is quite fascinating, numerous books, fiction and non-fiction have been penned on it. Also it has been the subject of many famous motion pictures.

One of the core themes of this series deals with the same dilemma. Do humans have the power to change their destiny? Making it an intriguing watch for me.

********************************

MY REVIEW

The first few episodes focus on emphasising basic personalities of ML and FL, they highlight how very different they are from each other as far as their temperament is concerned but both unite for the common goal of helping people... It is interesting to watch how both bridge the gap of their clashing disposition.

Rong Yu and Jiu Ling fall in love with each other, their life takes strange twists and turns, they weather storms like death of He family, Rong Yu losing his intellectual faculties and becoming childlike, plots against them and both cheat death again and again to be together......The title of the series is most appropriate as they always cross paths no matter how much they try to distance themselves from each other, their inextricable destiny always throws them together entwining their lives... Viewers laugh, cry, experience extreme heartache along with the characters. In the end their fate takes pity on them and allows them a modicum of happiness that both cherish after going through uncertainties and unpredictability of life. Two characters who loved the other to the extreme and both survived to tell the tale of their inextricable destiny to their daughter.

A minor dissatisfaction that I have is related to the latter part of the story, I would have preferred if Rong Yu would have had the courage to confess his knowledge of Lord Rong's part in Jiu Ling's family's death... Last six episodes would have gone on a much happier note, both Rong Yu and Jiu Ling as a team could have saved their kingdom, it pained my heart to see two people who loved each other to the extreme almost lose the other due to lack of communication. If only both remembered that Love and Forgiveness goes both ways. Rong Yu and Jiu Ling's story is soul stirring and touching.

This is the first time, I am watching any series of the FL- Ireine Song Yiren, the actress seems to be quite popular. The character she plays of He Jiu Ling suits her personality...I have seen some dramas of ML, Wang You Shuo... He is best at playing gentle and considerate protagonist. The character of Rong Yu is right up the actor's alley.

The OST that stood out for me was the duet sung by Wang You Shou and Song Yiren 'Ember Lovesickness'. I found this song to be quite soothing to the ears sung melodiously.


Overall: This was a good watch, in this series decisions triumphed over destiny.

******************************

Below is in depth summary of the whole drama... Read only if you don't mind the full disclosure of the story.


******************************
IN DEPTH SUMMARY OF THE WHOLE DRAMA

The series starts with He Jiu Ling(Ireine Song Yiren) returning to her home Jialin city after spending several years on Wuhua mountain under the medical care and tutelage of her master Xuantian Sanren. Jiu Ling who is almost 17 years old at the beginning of the series seems to be a much loved and pampered member of her family, indulged in all aspects by her father, General He Liang and three brothers(He Qing Yan, He Chen Zhou and He Qiu Ting). She is also quite fearless even though lacks proper combative skills in the beginning of the series. She has a childhood betrothal with Rong Yu of astrology pavilion.

Jiu Ling is not happy with this engagement as she feels her fiance in spite of being a genius astrologer has more brains than brawns. She longs for a companion who would keep up with her in physical combat, an outgoing, fearless person. Someone like her senior brother from Wuhua mountain, Ren Yin Xiao-Lord Yong, prince of Xun nan of Xili. Rong Yu has a very handsome appearance, admired by many but is quite a recluse. He cannot physically defend himself so his uncle Lord Rong has appointed two guards, He Shan and Zhan Ping to protect him.

Jiu Ling tries every trick in the books to break off her engagement but it is not an easy task to break the marriage contract bestowed on He and Rong family by imperial decree. Rong Yu feels that even with their different natures, they would complement each other and have a harmonious married life. He tries to woo Jiu Ling in his own considerate way. Even though physically Jiu Ling is stronger than him due to her combat abilities, he tries to shield and protect her from troubles to the best of his ability. Here the series tries to play at gender roles reversal, strong FL and weak ML.

Rong Yu is good at divination, he has foreseen Jiu Ling's death in the next four years. He had also prophesied 'He' family's decline and demise of the whole family if they accepted the decree to protect the border. Rong Yu in order to change her destiny decides to release Jiu Ling from their engagement, letting go of her so that she may live a long life. Unaware of Rong Yu's intention to break the engagement, in a desperate bid Jiu Ling asks her senior brother, Lord Yong for help. After failing to get a diplomatic marriage with Jiu Ling, Lord Yong who also loves Jiu Ling, gives her medicine for Rong Yu that would make him forget his affections for JiuLing.

Jiu Ling ends up actually dosing Rong Yu, the medicine has an adverse effect, Rong Yu first becomes comatose and later upon waking up from the unconscious state, loses his mental faculties. He becomes child-like forgetting even basic life skills. Guilt stricken Jiu Ling tries to acquire an antidote for the original drug. As the series progresses she matures and become more solemn in her demeanor. She realises the need to be serious in getting combative training, so that she can protect Rong Yu in future. Her relationship with Rong Yu changes as she becomes more caring and protective towards him after the poison affects him mentally.

General He, accepts the border assignment in a bid to delay Jiu Ling's marriage with Rong Yu because, Rong Yu's uncle is behaving in a hostile manner, rightly blaming Jiu ling for Rong Yu's present condition. Jiu Ling along with her family leave the capital and march towards the border, despite the dire forecast of Rong Yu, General He decides to fight fate and if required to surrender his and his family's lives in service of the country. Jiu Ling continuously tries to find an antidote for Rong Yu. Four years pass, Jiu Ling becomes more adept at fighting, she wins many awards and tries to find rare medicinal herbs to cure Rong Yu.

Suddenly, He family receives an imperial decree to return back to the capital. All the family members are happy, however upon reaching the capital, General He realises it is a trap, all his family members are declared traitors and sentenced to be executed. The honest, upright General He along with his three sons and two daughter-in-law end up dead. Jiu Ling's father, two brothers and two sister in laws are beheaded... Her twin brother dies at the hands of soldiers when he is fighting with them to give Rong Yu and Jiuling time to get married, he is pierced with three swords and dies outside Rong Yu's residence. Jiu Ling's twin brother saves Jiu Ling by marrying her to Rong Yu to seperate her from He family so her life would be spared. Jiu Ling is helpless and unable to save her family.

Jiu Ling continues her life as the mistress of Rong family, however her heart is still filled with grief. She mourns her family. Rong Yu tries to cheer her up in his innocent childlike manner. Jiu Ling continues her experiments in a hope for finding a cure for Rong Yu's mental condition.

During a banquet given by the Emperor, Jiu Ling has a secret meeting with the current Emperor, the former crown prince. However, The Emperor is a mere figurehead, true power is in the hands of the Regent, Marquis Zhong Yong. The current Emperor wants Jiu Ling to help cleanse the court. The Emperor informs JiuLing that he has confirmed the letter condemning He family was forged by Marquis Zhong Yong. General He did not betray his country, Jialin. Upon hearing this a huge boulder is lifted from Jiu Ling's heart because the Emperor knows the truth and doesn't condemn her family.

The Emperor promises that one day he will announce to the world the truth. Jiu Ling being a member of the He family urges the Emperor to allow her to serve him and help cleanse the court of the traitors. She wants to overthrow the incompetent Regent and restore The Emperor's power. The Emperor acknowledges her as his female general and Jiu Ling carrying out The Emperor's order starts investigation. She covertly assassinates accomplices of the Regent, Lord Song and other two guilty members of the court.

Jiu Ling is finally able to formulate a medicine that cures Rong Yu of the poisoning. He recovers his senses but pretends to be still mentally affected as he overheard Jiu ling's conversation with her friend, Wu Ritan that she would leave him after he recovers. Jiu Ling is disappointed that her medicines were ineffective in curing him but she decides to get intimate with Rong Yu because he would have someone to look after him in case Rong Yu's uncle and jiu ling die.

Jiu Ling decides to assassinate Marquis Zhong Yong during the hunting trip set by the emperor but is unsuccessful, later to her dismay she discovers that Lord Rong who is also a seer of Rong Family has been aiding Marquis Zhong Yong by divining dangers and Lord Rong is also responsible for her family's downfall and execution as he is taking revenge on Jiu Ling for poisoning Rong Yu. Jiu is heart broken upon knowing the truth but resolves to free her country, Jialin from tyrants and restore peace.

She makes a plan to destroy the star chart that gives Rong family the power to foretell. She takes the aid of her senior brother who is like an extended family to her but Rong Yu misunderstands the situation and decides to divorce her so she can lead a happy life with her senior brother. In order to relieve Jiu Ling of her guilt he discloses his cured state in front of his uncle and Jiu Ling. A rich princess takes interest in Rong Yu and decides to marry him.

Jiu Ling chooses the birthday of the dowager empress to execute her plan. She decides to accompany Rong Yu in that function, he will play zither and she will exhibit sword dance. Just before the banquet Rong Yu hands her the divorce papers. After their performance, she slips out of the banquet and goes back to burn the astrology pavilion, Rong Yu also follows her to Rong residence. Jiu Ling burns down the astrology tower but gets trapped inside. Rong Yu after confirming she is inside rushes in and carries her out in unconscious state, he himself sustains burn injuries and lies unconscious.

Rong Yu's uncle spits blood at double devastation of losing their chart plus severely hurt Rong Yu. While Rong Yu is unconscious, his uncle and the Regent converse in his presence. Lord Rong reveals his part in annihilation of 'He' family. Now conscious Rong Yu overhears this conversation and is very upset, he also overhears his uncle's plan to kill Jiu Ling. After his uncle leaves his room he somehow manages to rescue Jiu Ling from imminent death. He also confronts his uncle and express his displeasure at his actions. However his uncle had raised him so he cannot hurt his uncle, Rong Yu strips his uncle of his 'Lord' title and banishes him to a far off place. He determines to commit suicide himself to atone for his uncle's sins.

Rong Yu distances himself from Jiu Ling. Before leaving Rong residence Jiu Ling discovers she is pregnant. Meantime the Regent makes a move to overtake the kingdom from the current emperor, which fails due to Jiu Ling and Rong Yu's timely intervention. The Regent is captured and put in a jail. On the other side Jiu Ling's senior brother launches a war on Jialin empire. Jiu Ling is appointed official general and she along with the emperor and Rong Yu go to the border to retake the territories captured by her senior brother's armies. Along the way the viewers are introduced to Jiu Ling's master, who reveals the prophecy by Rong Yu's father that separated her from the past emperor as a reason for hating Astrology pavilion. She also reveals that Jiu Ling's childhood sickness that was life threatening has not been cured completely but a precious medicinal insect 'pipa zui' she gave Jiu Ling which is still active inside her body is controlling her aging sickness.

In the battle with Rong Yu's guidance Jiu Ling and The Emperor manage to recapture their lost territory. However Jiu Ling's senior brothers takes Rong Yu as a hostage but knowing beforehand the situation Rong Yu ingests poison. Jiu ling rescues injured and poisoned Rong Yu from her senior brother. She takes Rong Yu back to Rong residence and decides to give the medicinal insect 'pipa zui' that is in her body to Rong Yu. She also calls back Rong Yu's uncle to stay by his side, even though she will never forgive him, Rong Yu requires his care. Rong Yu's uncle has aged a lot in a short time, he constantly coughs out blood, he is suffering to the extreme and ultimately dies one night taking care of Rong Yu.

Jiu Ling hands over the medicinal insect 'pipa zui' to princess chuchu to hand over to Rong Yu. As the insect is no longer in her body, her body starts aging, she becomes an old woman due to her childhood aging sickness which the insect was controlling. After taking the medicine that princess chuchu delivers Rong Yu recovers. Rong Yu continues to search for He Jiu Ling, he also visits He family's tomb and sees fresh offering on their grave realising Jiu ling had been there, however both Rong Yu and Jiu Ling keep missing each other. Rong Yu finally gives up searching for her as he assumes she doesn't want to be found. The Emperor woes the fact that Jiu Ling is not with them to enjoy the peace and prosperity of their empire that she helped establish, he gives his blessings to Rong Yu and Chuchu if they could be together now that Jiu Ling had no intention of returning back. The Emperor suggests that Rong Yu take Chuchu to see the lantern festival as per dowager Empress's order.

Rong Yu and princess chuchu roam around in the market place. People are celebrating and enjoying. Here a very strong similarity between Chuchu and Jiu Ling is shown, chuchu wearing red clothes offers the same pig ? mask that Jiu Ling had offered Rong Yu when they had spent time exploring the town during the lantern festival many years ago.. But even though chuchu and Jiu Ling are similar in appearance but they have opposite natures. Rong Yu rejects the princess reminding her that she had fallen in love with his outer appearance and position, when she came to know Rong Yu had intellectual disability she had insulted him, plus he does not love chuchu. Rong Yu states to chuchu that only Jiu Ling loved him when he was 'useless' and always told him that he was the best Rong Yu no matter what. He continues to reminisce about their past outing and the viewers are shown that when Jiu Ling added the forgetfulness medicine to his wine years ago, Rong Yu had noticed it and still chose to drink it, if that was what Jiu Ling wanted. Aged Jiu Ling also visits the noodles stall that they ate at few years ago, she manages to save the orange yellow cat that Rong Yu had saved few years ago when he was childlike. Rong Yu meets that adorable cat on the streets while returning back and rescues it, he carries it and walks on the way he encounters aged JiuLing selling rabbit lanterns, she hides her face from Rong Yu and offers him a lantern, Rong Yu leaves a gold rabbit shaped ingot for the lady selling rabbit lantern taking the cat and the lantern in other hand he walks on. On the way he encounters the painter who used to paint pictures of Rong Yu previously. They have a heart to heart chat and Rong Yu decides to write a story for the painter, which would keep the characters alive forever in the readers' mind. The story is about himself and Jiu ling and what if Jiu ling had accepted him when they met for the first time...

This is the end of the regular series...




The special episode 26.5/ 27 which the mgtv is calling a sequel is added as a comment to this review, believe it or not I exceeded the word limit for the review.

Leaving the link of the comment for extra episode summary below/alternatively you can just look at the comments for this review to see the summary.


https://mydramalist.com/profile/MsDarkqueen/review/310863#comment-15125615







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The Lotus Casebook
3 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Dez 31, 2023
40 of 40 episódios vistos
Completados 0
No geral 9.0
História 9.5
Acting/Cast 9.0
Musical 8.0
Voltar a ver 8.5
Esta resenha pode conter spoilers

End is the Beginning.....


Li Xiangyi (Cheng Yi) head of Sigu Sect, the greatest sword master at a young age of 20, made a peace agreement with another sect Jinyuan Alliance of the cult of the Devil whose leader was Di FeiSheng(Xiao Shunyao). Li Xiangyi's senior Shan GuDao's (He Gang) was unhappy with this treaty. Shan GuDao had a disagreement with Li Xiangyi over this issue where Li Xiangyi ended up saying some bitter words. Shan GuDao decided to leave Sigu Sect and continue opposing Jinyuan Alliance independently. Some time later Li Xiangyi received news of his senior's murder, all the clues pointed at Jinyuan Alliance members.

Li Xiangyi got information that his senior's dead body had been taken away by Di FeiSheng. Therefore he engaged in a fierce battle on a ship with Di FeiSheng to retrieve his Senior's remains. Unbeknownst to both, Li Xiangyi was already poisoned by deadly incurable 'Bicha poison' before their confrontation. Both Di FeiSheng and Li Xiangyi were severely injured, there were rumours abound that both opponents perished in the battle, as a result Li Xiangyi's associates decided to dismantle Sigu Sect. Only Bichuan Academy, the hall of punishment remained from the Sigu Sect. Li Xiangyi was guilt stricken over the death of his sect members by Jinyuan Alliance so he chose to hide the fact in the martial world that he had survived.

Ten Years later, Li Xiangyi had changed his identity and was living as a traveling doctor, Li Lianhua in a mobile, caravan like Lotus Medicinal Tower. He has cut all association with the Martial world but somehow contrary to his wishes he gets embroiled back in the Pugilistic world. Li Lianhua meets Fang Duobing (Joseph Zheng) the young master of Tianji Manor on one mysterious case. Tianji Manor was renowned for making intricate devices. Fang Duobing was quite sickly when he was a child and was wheelchair bound, his uncle was Li Xiangyi's Senior, Shan GuDao. Many years ago Li Xiangyi had told the invalid child Fang Duobing that if he could lift the sword, Li Xiangyi would take him as his direct disciple. Fang Duobing tried his best to recover his health and had now become a temporary detective of Bichuan Academy to await his master's return and revive Sigu Sect. Fang Duobing told everyone that he was a direct disciple of Li Xiangyi because of Li Xiangyi's earlier promise.

In the beginning Fang Duobing doesn't know that Li Lianhua is Li Xiangyi. Fate keeps throwing them in each other's path, at first reluctantly they join hands to solve bizzare cases. Fang Duobing is a greenhorn, eager to uphold justice whereas Li Lianhua is a world-weary embittered person grappling with the effects of the Bicha poison. Li Lianhua is slowly losing his senses, it's a mystery as to how he survived 10 years after being poisoned because the deadly poison would result in death of the person within a month.

Slowly Li Lianhua and Fang Duobing establish trust, friendship and affection. As they solve mysterious cases one after the other, many hidden details regarding their 'Past' comes to light. The viewers get answers to many questions as the series progresses. What is the Real Identity of Fang Duobing and Li Xiangyi? Who benefited from Li Xiangyi and Di FeiSheng's battle? Who is the mastermind and what is his end goal?

There are two Narrative Arcs to the story, The Major Arc explores the Hidden Identities of the protagonists, revealing piece by piece their past relationship with friends, associates and families. Second Arc encompasses various mysteries that these two solve to get closer to the final showdown.

Apart from the case solving, the portion of the story delving into Fang Duobing's family and Tianji Manor was quite interesting. Fang Duobing was blessed with the most loving supportive even though a little strict mother. Although his family would have chosen a different life path for him, Fang Duobing's family loved him unconditionally, were always proud of his progress and achievements.

Overall: A fast paced drama managing to keep me glued throughout with solid cast and good storyline. I did not have a problem with the open ending however I would have favoured for Li Xiangyi to stay at Lotus Tower after the final resolution, him leaving everyone at the end to live the rest of his short life alone was somehow feeble excuse and dissatisfying. I would have preferred the ending to not just allude at but show Li Lianhua, Fang Duobing and Di FeiSheng continue to roam the Jianghu world, celebrating life with good companions.

MAJOR THEMES

**********Changeable Public Opinion*********
What people love more than worshipping a person is to watch his fall from grace. Li Xiangyi had reached the pinnacle of success at a very young age, he had established the Sigu Sect to uphold justice and peace in the pugilistic world. However his one perceived misstep turned the public opinion against him, even his closest friends turned their backs. This opened Li Xiangyi's eyes to the truth. He had boasted in front of his senior, Shan GuDao's at one time that the Sigu Sect could operate without anyone but Li Xiangyi now realised that all the people around him actually hated him for his brilliance and prosperity. They were eager to replace him all the while criticising his leadership.

*********All Heroes have feet of clay********
PERCEPTIONS versus REALITY plays a major role. Li Lianhua/ Li Xiangyi spent ten years of his life in search of his senior, Shan GuDao's dead body because of his guilt stricken conscience. As per his perception, his senior was a saint who died prematurely due to Li Xiangyi's arrogant behavior. The reality was quite opposite, his senior was an envious, jealous man who hated Lu Xiangyi's success and achievements. Then there is Fang DuoBing whose perception of Li Xiangyi was of a hero, infallible and perfect. In reality Li Xiangyi was an arrogant ambitious man who disregarded others' opinions when he was young.

******How do you choose to live your life?*****
After Li Xiangyi became disillusioned, he chose to live his life in relative anonymity as Li Lianhua. Some people chase fame and for others Fame chases them. Li Xiangyi was a person who always attracted attention in spite of his efforts to remain shrouded in obscurity. A person is always lonely at the top, constantly looking over his shoulder. There is always a new legend awaiting to replace the old. Whereas a mediocre person lives a peaceful and happy life with trustworthy confidants. After working hard for half of his life, a person achieves his goal and fulfills his ambition only to realise he is isolated and companionless. The beauty of simple life is highlighted in one of the conversations of Fang Duobing and Li Lianhua. Fang Duobing proposes a partnership to Li Lianhua enkindling him with the thrill of solving cases, leading an adventurous life, Li Lianhua ironically asks Fang Duobing then what after that, Fang Duobing replies that after such life they can retire to a calm place and lead their life enjoying wine with good friends. Sarcastically Li Lianhua replies, Isn't that what he is doing currently... Another instance of life choices is while Li Lianhua is reminiscing about his past, he says that after his battle with Di FeiSheng, when he was wandering penniless, he had only one valuable item in his possession, the badge of the leader of Sigu Sect when hunger pangs bothered him he decided to pawn that badge, bafflingly he realised the value of most coveted badge in the martial world was just 50 teals of silver. At the end fame is insubstantial what matters is living a tranquil and harmonious life.

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The Relationships in this world are predestined.


The Dynamic Duo and their Friends.

The story is set in Jingyun Reign in the Tang Dynasty. The gorgeous Tang Dynasty is like a mirror: one side is false, shows peace and prosperity while on the other side ghosts are everywhere.

One of the MOST INTERESTING aspects of this show was the working relationship between Su Wu Ming and Lu Ling Feng(reminiscent of Sherlock and Watson). Su Wu Ming is the brains of the operation and Lu Ling Feng the brawns. Though later Lu Ling Feng becomes more attuned to all aspects of cases.

* Su Wu Ming is often sarcastic and resorts to manipulating people to get results, he has great deduction ability and uses his foresight to solve the problems. Chicken Fed(Mr.Fei)in his first meeting rightly pegged Su Wu Ming, he looked mean and cunning, quite untrustworthy.

*With Lu Ling Feng, what you see is what you get. He is the most honest, upright, rules following General of the Imperial guards. In their first meeting, Chicken Fed(Mr.Fei) pegged Lu Ling Feng as good-looking and righteous, who would keep his promise.

We see these two officials caught in a power struggle between The Crown Prince and the Eldest princess of Tang(Crown Prince's aunt) . Su Wuming and Lu Ling Feng have to soothe the ruffled feathers of the royals while trying to seek justice and solve bizarre cases.

*Another issue highlighted in this series is the struggle of common people. For Common people what matters the most is living their daily life peacefully, they do not care about the power struggle between the rulers. The ruler who gives importance to their welfare and ensures they are provided with basic necessities is the ruler they would choose.

************************************************
Episode 1 to 5 - Chang'an black tea and missing brides

Su Wu Ming(Yang Zhi Gang) Sheriff of Chang'an County, the discipline of great Detective Di Renjie, is of the opinion that there are no ghosts and no demons in this world Then who or what is responsible for the cases of missing brides of chang'an and what do all these disappearances have to do with Chang'an black tea that is in rage and so much in demand that there is a black market for it, even Her Highness drinks it. After drinking this tea the elderly will feel refreshed and their physique will stretch after drinking it. After young people drink it, their yangqi will overflow and they will have infinite energy. It is said if someone drinks it often, he can even reach the fairyland and dance with the deity.

Sheriff Su Wu Ming a replacement for the recently deceased Sheriff Wu Daqi, has stumbled upon a strange case. Since last one year, every month one bride goes missing and corresponding the missing brides' cases the price of the infamous expensive hard to find Chang'an black tea's price is increasing every month. Strange deaths are associated with the drinkers of the tea. Sheriff Su suspects that there is a prohibited ingredient mixed in the tea causing people to hallucinate and then become mad due to excessive addiction, leading to their premature death.

Sherif Su Wu Ming teamed up with General Lu Ling Feng(Yang Xu Wen) of Jinwu guards who also wanted to be the disciple of Detective Di but was rejected whereas sheriff Su Wu Ming was a disciple of Detective Di. Lu Ling Feng holds a mild grudge against Sheriff Su at the beginning. Slowly both people with opposing temperament and different working methods merge their efforts to solve the cases. Sheriff Su has been assigned the case of missing brides, in the first few episodes only four dead bodies have been discovered the brides dead bodies had been kept in four directions like a ritual, Sheriff Su from the private notes kept by Lu Ling Feng of the missing brides deducts that rest of the eight bodies of other missing brides are hidden in strategic places. Lu Ling Feng is assigned the case of the mysterious Chang'an black tea by the crown prince himself who instructs Lu Ling Feng to assist the Capital Tea Alliance to investigate the case however as the prince doesn't issue a written order, Lu Ling Feng has to investigate this alone without the support of imperial guards. Also there is a strange mystery surrounding the deceased General Xiao, fiance of Miss Xijun, the daughter of Pei Jian, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of personnel. General Xiao Bozhao died on a battlefield but Miss Xijun insist on marrying him and the picture she has drawn of a General Xiao is actually a portrait of General Lu Ling Feng.

The killer killed the bride Dou Cong and stuffed her body with spices so that the body would not decay for days, later the spice was identified as Soul Returning Incense by Chicken Fed. Answer to this could be obtained in The Ghost Market, two people seem to be behind these mysteries, one is a masked person addressed as Immortal Venerable, wearing the mask of Fang Xian God and the other person, face and form changing masked, omnipotent Yin Shilang/Lady Shiyi. Yin Shilang claims to be a dead man using Soul Returning Incense to prevent his body from decaying. It was believed that Yin Shilang became immortal a few days ago.

After the Lu Ling Feng is asked to handle the black tea cases without imperial guards, Su Wu Ming cleverly uses greed for more money to convince the 19 constables of Chang'an county to help General Lu. Chicken Fed, an eccentric, poor, chicken stealing brilliant doctor, reveals that the backyard of government office of the West market have some bizarre herbs growing. It was later discovered that flowers for making Soul Returning Incense are grown in that backyard. Su Wu Ming also deduces that the prohibited ingredient in Chang'an black tea was Western Magic Grass.The toxic Western Magic Grass/Hades Grass has been listed Prohibited since Sui dynasty. Lu Ling Feng breaks into three isolated suspicious yards in Chang'an and discovers Western Magic Grass growing there.

The link to the missing brides and Chang'an black tea was, All the brides disappeared at the beginning Or end of the month, while every new batch of the tea was released during the third and fifth day of the month. It suggests the two cases are related.

::::::::::The riddles presented to the viewers are:::::::
1.why are the brides being murdered?
2.who is behind the distribution of Chang'an black tea?
3.what is the real identity of Immortal Venerable and Yin Shilang/Lady Shiyi?


**********************************************
Episode 6 to 8- Deserted Gantang post mystery

No good deed goes unpunished. Caught in a power struggle between the eldest princess and the crown prince both Su Wuming and Lu Ling Feng suffer . Lu Ling Feng is ordered to be flogged 30 times by the crown prince, his house and lands are confiscated, he is expelled from chang'an. Su Wuming is appointed as the military commander of Nanzhou by her highness and ordered to walk all the way to his post and think carefully. Lu Ling Feng becomes personal staff of Su Wuming and they continue their journey to Nanzhou on foot. They come across a deserted government Gantang post, only a corvee is staying there, Liu Shiba. He seems to be hiding many things and warns these two not to wander around at night as there are ghosts in other rooms. (It was supposed to be scary and mysterious but I couldn't stop laughing at the sheer number of people who wandered into that deserted government post in one single night???)

* who is Liu Shiba? Why is he alone at this deserted post?
**********************************************
Episode 9 to 13 Four scholars of Nanzhou

The day Su Wuming arrived with Lu Lung Feng, Pei xijun and Xue huan to Nanzhou, Su Wuming's friend died and his funeral procession was underway. Su Wuming's friend Yuanfu was one of the four renowned scholars of Nanzhou, soon after that, another scholar, Lu Gongfu succumbs to death.. Is it coincidence or conspiracy.. What does it have to do with the famous painting of the stone bridge and stolen Guqin?
*************************************************
Episode 13 &14 - Back to Gantang post.

Who is Liu Shiba? The question was unanswered the previous time, all the events precipitated. Circumstances made Su Wuming ans Lu Ling Feng leave the post immediately after they had apprehended Liu Shiba. Suddenly Lu Ling Feng realises in his dreams that he had missed some important clue, so he along with Su Wuming after disguising themselves go back to the deserted Gantang post. Upon knocking the door of the Gantang post,the person who opens it is Liu Shiba.. Why is Liu Shiba back at the post? What clues did these two miss the first time around?
*************************************************
Episode 14 to 18- scholar Dugu Xiashu hallucinates

Dugu, the scholar preparing for the exam on one rainy day, through a hole in the window sees his wife having an affair with his friend, he throws his books on their heads and runs away. He plans to commit suicide by jumping in a well, suddenly he blackouts and a farmer passing by the well asks him why he isn't using his umbrella to cover himself, at least he should cover the books. Hadn't Dugu thrown the books at his wife and his friend? Dugu's friend, Liu Youqiu is killed.. Where is his wife, Qinghong? What is happening to Dugu?

***********************************************
Episode 18 to 21 - Ju County's new sheriff is Lu Ling Feng

Lu Ling Feng is appointed as the new sheriff of Ju County. There is a corpse chopping case from 40 years ago that is still unsolved. A woman named Guan Zijun's body was dismembered 40 years ago. Twelve women have been raped and killed recently, then they were decapitated. Lu Ling Feng accepts the challenge to solve the case in seven days. Who is the white haired ghost? Is the house rented by Lu Ling Feng, Hall of Life really haunted? What is the secret of the backyard of the Hall of Life? Who or what is causing the mysterious headache that most of the people in Ju County are suffering from?

****************************************************
Episode 22 to 26 - Tuo God's wine.

Lu Ling Feng after being dismissed again by imperial decree, leaves the post of sheriff of Ju County. Lu Ling Feng gets impeached and dismissed while Su WuMing gets a promotion. (someone powerful is using these two people to accomplish their personal agenda). Su Wuming, is promoted to be the military commander of Ninghu, it is a prosperous place located South of Chang Jiang River . Su Wuming tells the legend of Tuo, ancient people say that when crossing the rivers and lakes one must not leave his or her blood on bushes.Otherwise once it is licked by Tuo living in the water one will be possessed by the soul of Tuo and they will be doomed. Tul means alligator. There are two groups in Ninghu, one who wants to burn down the temple of evil God, Lu Yong with his accomplices. Another group led by chief Shen, who wants to generate fear in hearts of people in the name of Tuo God. Everything in Ninghu is controlled by the worshippers of Tuo God. There are many superstitions stories as to how Tuo God would punish non believers. Everyone is forced to worship Tuo God. People believe, Tuo God who is alive meets his worshippers from behind the curtain every year on the 3rd of March (double third festival) , the day of God's birthday he shows his body which is several feet high. Is administrator of Ninghu, Gu Wenbin corrupt or just a coward? Is Prefectural Governor Li Yu really dead? What is the Governor's daughter, Yingtao's role in the events? What is the list of Tuo's worshippers that is Circulating? Do people actually see Tuo God on 3rd March every year?
*************************************************
Episode 27 to 31- Deadly Face Flower

Su Wuming has received an order from imperial Court to go to Luoyang immediately. A letter had been received from prefectural governor of Luozhou, who sent someone from Dongdu. Su Wuming thinks it is weird to receive a letter from the Governor in the name of imperial Court so he decides to go to Dongdu immediately. Su Wuming and Lu Ling Feng are getting more involved in the political struggle between the eldest princess and crown prince. The eldest princess keeps on promoting Su Wuming but Su Wuming thinks for the stability of their dynasty, they should support the crown prince. Su Wuming is informally appointed as the administrator of Luozhou, he refuses to accept the position because he is not given a formal appointment. However he decides to accept the case for which he had been summoned by the princess there. All women are applying a new rouge, face flower for beautifying. It is said once the flower is soaked and applied on the face, it melts into skin. However after 81 days instead of transforming the women into beauties, it is burning their cheek flesh. Even the princess has used it and if the culprit is not found in time to get an antidote, the princess also may suffer the same consequence as other women. The Benevolent side of the princess is revealed. What is the connection between paradise inn and the face flower? What is the mystery of Lu Ling Feng's childhood?

************************************************
Episode 32 to 36 - Magicians and The Sky Scraping Tower of chang'an

The Emperor is going hold the completion ceremony of the new sky-scraping tower of Chang'an that has taken 40 years to be completed during the mid-autumn festival. It has a total of 36 floors, allusion to Chinese myth of heaven. 3 floors in the underground and 33 floors above the ground. A magic show will be presented. The emperor will invite all officials, envoy of different countries and the people of Chang'an will enjoy the magic show together. An arrow shooting wooden bird that seems to be the creation of magican Sass seems to threaten the peace. Sass wants to settle score with the court, he is a magician as well as a killer. Where is Sass hidden? What is the real identity of the author of The Tales of Sass, a banned book? Will Sass come to take away Helan Xue? Who is the real mastermind?

**************************************************
Overall: A good mystery series with interesting protagonists and short arcs of mysterious events having elements of the supernatural but at the end there is a logical explanation for all events. Even better is the revelation of mastermind at the end... I would never have thought that person was responsible. Must Watch.

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Fox Demon Emperor
3 pessoas acharam esta resenha útil
Out 22, 2023
24 of 24 episódios vistos
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No geral 8.0
História 7.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
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Blind hatred towards a race is never justified.....

This was a very short series, however the airing schedule made it stretch too long... I had started watching it earlier but had to pause it for a time till all episodes aired...But it would not be a problem for future viewers so no need to discuss that.

Actors Zou ye as Bo Qiu and Li JiaQi as Su Xiao Huan did a wonderful job in portraying their emotions within the framework of the story. Even the supporting cast of Xiang Xin as Yu Li and Wang Ting Xu as Xuan Yuan Qingchuan did justice to the role written for them.


The story itself was very simple and motivation of the antagonist was almost non existent, pitting human versus demons would not be beneficial to a halfling, the whole series is focused on killing the demon king, Bo Qiu but nobody stops to question that killing him wouldn't resolve their problems as he wasn't responsible for any of their woes in the first place...the production team with the limited budget tried their best to showcase the tale however if the script had been better the actors could have something more to work on.

What impressed me was the difference between Yu Li and XiaoHuan thought process.... Yu Li reveals that her motivation for creating chaos and slaughtering humans and demons alike was because she had been mistreated by both races in childhood... So she is responsible for the war which is leaving thousands of people hungry, homeless and destitute..... Where as Xiao Huan also states in her conversation with Bo Qiu that she was orphaned at an early age and left to fend for herself, she too had a difficult childhood but she chooses to remember small kindness shown to her by people of offering her warm bowl of food, helping with small things which makes her believe that all people are not bad.... Also Xian Huan's love for animals is heartwarming to see.

Cinematography was the saving grace, picturisation and scenes were shot beautifully.

The instrumental music inserted during ML and FL's emotional scenes was very mesmerizing and soulful. Lot was said in the tune without any words.

Overall : Could be watched once, but not the best mini series out there. Hopefully the actors would get better opportunity in future.

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As long as you are by my side.....

The series has been adapted from the novel 'Dage' by the chinese author Priest. I don't know what made me check out this series, but I am glad I stumbled onto it. This is the first BL series that I have watched and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it turned out to be.

The Unique Selling Point (USP) of this series for me was the strong bond between the Wei Family members. What makes a family? Biological family is the traditional form of family wherein we care for the members because we are born into it, however some families are formed due to the choices that we make and strengthened by sheer determination, sacrifice, trust and above all LOVE. It is the journey of two people, Wei Qian and Zhiyuan From 'UNKNOWN' to Dage to 'UNKNOWN' to Lovers.

When a young orphaned Wei Qian (Chris Chiu), shouldering an immense responsibility of being the sole breadwinner and a guardian of a young girl, his sister Wei Lili(Tammy Lin) takes on the added burden of providing shelter for a homeless street urchin Wei Zhiyuan (Kurt Huang) a different kind of a family comes into existence. The first few episodes show us how a deep bond is formed between Wei Qian and Wei Zhiyuan. Starting from the feeling of gratitude and dependency of Zhiyuan and commitment and devotion of Wei Qian, morphing into an unbreakable soulbond and a deep desire to be an equal partner, sharing all weal and woe together.

Obviously, it wouldn't be a worthy love story if the protagonists did not have to overcome a few hurdles in their path to everlasting bliss and happiness. From Wei Zhiyuan's side it was very clear from the opening that Wei Qian was not his 'dage' but was the very air that he breathed. Throughout the series, Wei Zhiyuan showed and expressed his feelings very clearly, be it helping to pay bills by working part-time while he was a school student to taking care of Wei Qian's health by ensuring he took proper meals and rest. The hurdle in this relationship was Wei Qian. From the beginning Wei Qian as well as others around him had put him in a position of a guardian and caretaker so it was difficult for him to transition into a life partner. Even though it was evident how much he cared for Wei Zheiyuan, he was reluctant to change their status quo. Wei Qian had closed himself to romantic emotions, dedicating his life to the wellbeing of his sister and Zhiyuan. It took a major jolt for him to realise that he should grab onto the person who matters the most to him before it's too late.

Wei Qian had to realise that it was alright to reciprocate Zhiyuan's feelings. It was ok to leave the shroud of 'dage' and step into a new role of a lover and a partner. Wei Qian and Zhiyuan had to make their own family by finding the answer to the question WHO AND WHAT MAKES A FAMILY?

With each progressing episode, the viewers get more attached with this new family that was in the making..at the end of each episode, there was a quote attached to highlight the changing family dynamics. (The quotes always caught my attention so I am compiling them here)

Episode 1 to 12
Episode 1 -The first- ever family that will never abandon you.
Episode 2 - The second kind of a family always leaves the light on for you.
Episode 3 -The third kind of a family is the one that makes you stay.
Episode 4 -The fourth type of a family member is someone who is always there for you.
Episode 5 -The fifth kind of a family is too good to let go.
Episode 6 -The Sixth kind of a family pretends to be strong and doesn't say goodbye.
Episode 7 -The seventh kind of family is always waiting in the distance, never leaving.
Episode 8 -The eight kind of a family shows care in his(their) own way.
Episode 9 - The ninth kind of a family is always there to protect you when the end comes.
Episode 10 - The tenth kind of a family loves you so much that they want to leave you.
Episode 11 -The eleventh kind of a family indulges you unconditionally because they love you so much.
Episode 12 -The twelfth kind of a family stays together for life.

What kept me invested in this series and the relationship between Wei Qian and Wei Zhiyuan was the fabulous performance by Chris Chiu and Kurt Huang. From the start till the end, there was never a moment when I doubted the deep love between Wei Qian and Zhiyuan due to their performance. Eyes cannot hide, what the lips cannot speak was proven correct in their case.

An honorable mention to the actor Kim Jae Hoon who plays the character of San Pang and actress, Tammy Lin who plays the character of Wei Lili. San Pang was a kind of friend who stands by your side metting out bitter truths but also holding your hands when you are down. Wei Lili was the sweetest sister who grew up under the nurturing care of two young boys.

A special mention to the OSTs, the lyrics were so suitable, they conveyed the feelings of the characters to the audience when the characters were unwilling to acknowledge them verbally.

It is clearly evident that a lot of attention and care was given by everyone to small details while making it. The production team, the screen writer, the director and actors worked in tandem to create a series that would set a high bar for other BL series in future.

Overall: Not to be missed, makes you believe in the adage, "Love Conquers All".
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Additionally, I have also written the episodes' reflection along with some special comments as and when they aired. If anyone is interested to read more they can read episodic musings written in the general comment section, I will leave the links to all episodes below as well as all clickable links as a comment to this review.

Episode 1 and 2
https://mydramalist.com/762497-unknown#comment-16426687

Episode 3
https://mydramalist.com/762497-unknown#comment-16480939

Episode 4
https://mydramalist.com/762497-unknown#comment-16548613

Episode 5
https://mydramalist.com/762497-unknown#comment-16617895

Episode 6
https://mydramalist.com/762497-unknown#comment-16694139

Episode 7
https://mydramalist.com/762497-unknown#comment-16769473

Episode 8
https://mydramalist.com/762497-unknown#comment-16853383

Episode 9
https://mydramalist.com/762497-unknown#comment-16933581

Episode 10-12
https://mydramalist.com/762497-unknown#comment-17032049

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