Lost Beauty by Angela Chang

(Credit: 福茂唱片)

Song Title: Lost Beauty (遺失的美好)

Music by: Huang Han Qing (黃漢青)

Lyrics by: Yao Ruo Long (姚若龍)

Key:
Bold = Chinese
Teal = Pin Yin
Royal Blue = English
Indigo = Vietnamese

海的思念綿延不絕
hai de si nian mian yan bu jue
The ocean’s longing is continuous and endless
Nỗi khát khao của biển triền miên vô tận
終於和天 在地平線交會
zhong yu he tian   zai di ping xian jiao hui
Eventually, it will will join with the sky at the horizon
Cuối cùng, nó cũng sẽ chắp nối với bầu trời ở nơi chân trời
愛如果走得夠遠
ai ru guo zou de gou yuan
If love could travel that far
Nếu tình yêu có thể đi tới bao xa
應該也會跟幸福相見
ying gai ye hui gen xing fu xiang jian
It will definitely meet up with happiness
Thì nó sẽ nhứt định tương hội với hạnh phúc

承諾常常很像蝴蝶
cheng nuo chang chang hen xiang hu die
Promises are usually like butterflies
Những lời hẹn ước giống như là những con bướm vậy
美麗的飛 盤旋然後不見
mei li de fei   pan xuan ran hou bu jian
They will fly beautifully, hovering and then disappearing
Nó sẽ bay lượn thiệt đẹp, rồi sau đó biến mất đi
但我相信你給我的誓言
dan wo xiang xin ni gei wo de shi yan
But I believe in the promises you’ve given me
Nhưng tôi tin tưởng những lời hứa hẹn mà anh đã trao ra
就像一定會來的春天
jiu xiang yi ding hui lai de chun tian
Just like the spring that will definitely arrive
Giống như là mùa xuân rồi cũng sẽ tới

我終於帶著你愛的微笑
wo zhong yu dai zhe ni ai de wei xiao
I’ve finally carry along your love with a smile
Tôi rốt cuộc cũng mang theo tình yêu của anh mà mỉm cười
一路上尋找我遺失的美好
yi lu shang xun zhao wo yi shi de mei hao
On the road, I will seek out my lost beauty
Trên đường đi, tôi sẽ tìm kiếm những nét đẹp mà tôi đã mất đi
不小心當淚滑過嘴角
bu xiao xin dang lei hua zui jiao
Carelessly, I let my tears slipped past my lips
Không cẩn thận, tôi đã để nước mắt tuông trào khỏi bờ môi
就用你握過的手抹掉
jiu yong ni wo guo de shui mo diao
I just used the hands that you once held to wipe it away
Tôi chỉ dùng bàn tay mà anh đã từng nắm để lau nó đi

再多的風景也從不停靠
zai duo de feng jing ye cong bu ting kao
Regardless of the landscapes, it couldn’t persuade me to stop
Cho dù có thêm bao nhiêu phong cảnh đi nữa cũng không thể giữ tôi lại được
只一心尋找我遺失的美好
zhi yi xin xun zhao wo yi de mei hao
I only have my heart in seeking out my lost beauty
Tôi chỉ chú tâm vào sự tìm kiếm những nét đẹp mà tôi đã mất đi
有的人說不清那裡好
you de ren shuo bu qing na li hao
No one could say clearly how good it is
Không một ai nói rõ được rằng tốt ở chỗ nào
但就是誰都代替不了
dan jiu shi shui dou dai ti bu liao
Yet no one could replace it
Nhưng cũng không có ai có thể thay thế được vị trí của nó

(music)

承諾常常很像蝴蝶
cheng nuo chang chang hen xiang hu die
Promises are usually like butterflies
Những lời hẹn ước giống như là những con bướm vậy
美麗的飛 盤旋然後不見
mei li de fei   pan xuan ran hou bu jian
They will fly beautifully, hovering and then disappearing
Nó sẽ bay lượn thiệt đẹp, rồi sau đó biến mất đi
但我相信你給我的誓言
dan wo xiang xin ni gei wo de shi yan
But I believe in the promises you’ve given me
Nhưng tôi tin tưởng những lời hứa hẹn mà anh đã trao ra
就像一定會來的春天
jiu xiang yi ding hui lai de chun tian
Just like the spring that will definitely arrive
Giống như là mùa xuân rồi cũng sẽ tới

我終於帶著你愛的微笑
wo zhong yu dai zhe ni ai de wei xiao
I’ve finally carry along your love with a smile
Tôi rốt cuộc cũng mang theo tình yêu của anh mà mỉm cười
一路上尋找我遺失的美好
yi lu shang xun zhao wo yi shi de mei hao
On the road, I will seek out my lost beauty
Trên đường đi, tôi sẽ tìm kiếm những nét đẹp mà tôi đã mất đi
不小心當淚滑過嘴角
bu xiao xin dang lei hua zui jiao
Carelessly, I let my tears slipped past my lips
Không cẩn thận, tôi đã để nước mắt tuông trào khỏi bờ môi
就用你握過的手抹掉
jiu yong ni wo guo de shui mo diao
I just used the hands that you once held to wipe it away
Tôi chỉ dùng bàn tay mà anh đã từng nắm để lau nó đi

再多的風景也從不停靠
zai duo de feng jing ye cong bu ting kao
Regardless of the landscapes, it couldn’t persuade me to stop
Cho dù có thêm bao nhiêu phong cảnh đi nữa cũng không thể giữ tôi lại được
只一心尋找我遺失的美好
zhi yi xin xun zhao wo yi de mei hao
I only have my heart in seeking out my lost beauty
Tôi chỉ chú tâm vào sự tìm kiếm những nét đẹp mà tôi đã mất đi
有的人說不清那裡好
you de ren shuo bu qing na li hao
No one could say clearly how good it is
Không một ai nói rõ được rằng tốt ở chỗ nào
但就是誰都代替不了
dan jiu shi shui dou dai ti bu liao
Yet no one could replace it
Nhưng cũng không có ai có thể thay thế được vị trí của nó

(music)

在最開始的那一秒
zai zui kai shi de na yi miao
At the very first second of the beginning
Kể từ giây phút ban đầu
有些事早己經注定要到老
you xie shi zao ji jing zhu ding yao dao lao
There are some things that are already predestined until the end
Có một số chuyện vận mệnh đã định trước rồi
雖然命連愛開玩笑
sui ran ming lian ai kai wan xiao
Even if fate likes to play jokes
Cho dù số mệnh có trớ trêu cỡ nào đi nữa
真心會和真心遇到
zhen xin hui he zhen xin yu dao
Truthful hearts will eventually meet
Những kẻ thật lòng cũng sẽ được gặp nhau

我終於帶著你愛的微笑
wo zhong yu dai zhe ni ai de wei xiao
I’ve finally carry along your love with a smile
Tôi rốt cuộc cũng mang theo tình yêu của anh mà mỉm cười
一路上尋找我遺失的美好
yi lu shang xun zhao wo yi shi de mei hao
On the road, I will seek out my lost beauty
Trên đường đi, tôi sẽ tìm kiếm những nét đẹp mà tôi đã mất đi
不小心當淚滑過嘴角
bu xiao xin dang lei hua zui jiao
Carelessly, I let my tears slipped past my lips
Không cẩn thận, tôi đã để nước mắt tuông trào khỏi bờ môi
就用你握過的手抹掉
jiu yong ni wo guo de shui mo diao
I just used the hands that you once held to wipe it away
Tôi chỉ dùng bàn tay mà anh đã từng nắm để lau nó đi

再多的風景也從不停靠
zai duo de feng jing ye cong bu ting kao
Regardless of the landscapes, it couldn’t persuade me to stop
Cho dù có thêm bao nhiêu phong cảnh đi nữa cũng không thể giữ tôi lại được
只一心尋找我遺失的美好
zhi yi xin xun zhao wo yi de mei hao
I only have my heart in seeking out my lost beauty
Tôi chỉ chú tâm vào sự tìm kiếm những nét đẹp mà tôi đã mất đi
有的人說不清那裡好
you de ren shuo bu qing na li hao
No one could say clearly how good it is
Không một ai nói rõ được rằng tốt ở chỗ nào
但就是誰都代替不了
dan jiu shi shui dou dai ti bu liao
Yet no one could replace it
Nhưng cũng không có ai có thể thay thế được vị trí của nó

*All translations were done by DTLCT.

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Fighter of the Destiny


I finally got around to watching this awhile back, but haven’t posted the review yet. I also need to clarify that I didn’t read the novel so I will just base my review on what’s in the series. I actually tried to read the novel but got impatient and then flipped to the end a bit. I ended up hunting down for the summary of some characters instead and understand a bit about the situation of the adaptation. But back to the series. How was it? I’ll save the rants for below.

Main Cast:

  • Lu Han (鹿晗) as Chen Chang Sheng (陳長生). He was really likable and relatable as a protagonist. I felt there were many sides to him that it was enough to be an interesting main lead. He had serious moments (plenty, considering his death always looming) and funny scenes–where he interacted comfortably with the others. I liked his intelligence and his kindness toward others. Sure, he had moments where he was super stubborn, but that was what sold me on him, considering most main leads nowadays were just too good to be true. I felt his rouge sides added to the character, but how there was a balance to his character so it wasn’t too over either–like trying too hard and then failed. What I also liked was his sword, lol. Super cool and convenient for road travel. He could store everything in there. This was my first time watching him and I must say I was surprised. Not that I doubt his capabilities of being the main lead. It was more like I only heard of his name but never watched him before. I was glad to finally watch him in this series.
    • Yang Ceng Xi (杨曾曦) as Childhood Chen Chang Sheng (幼年陳長生).
  • Guli Nazha (古力娜扎) as Xu You Rong (徐有容) aka Holy Girl (聖女). I don’t know what to say about this character except extreme frustration throughout. Okay, I have a lot to say yet I had to calm down for a bit to be able to write this review. First off, as the main lead, I felt she was really robbed–regarding the script. Sure, she appeared a lot. But I felt the writers played her major time. She was so bland that I felt I couldn’t justify half of her actions. Sure, she was after all their Holy Girl and had to act appropriately according to the rules, whatever. But I felt, later on, her contribution to the plot was so weak. I wished she had a solid story so it convinced me why she was the main lead. I didn’t need her to jump in and save the day all the time. That would be unrealistic. Yet I felt aside from the scene where they conspired to save Chang Sheng out of that maximum security prison, she didn’t have other scenes where she stood out. Sure, she fought along their side and contributed to help think of plans, but I felt it was still weak. It was still a part of her duty sort of thing. I liked her stubbornness and how she wouldn’t marry QSJ just because the others wanted her to. I liked her rebellious schemes later on–when she finally agreed to join in with the others to break Chang Sheng out (like said before). But why wasn’t she given anymore subplot to convince of her importance? It was 50+ episodes and she only stood around the majority of the time and discussed stuff and be lovey-dovey with Chang Sheng at other times? I got that she was smart in her own way and I liked that she had her reasons for not wanting Chang Sheng to become too obsessed with the constellations. But what else was there for her? Even her scene where she sabotaged Nan Ke’s wedding became a plot for QSJ to turn around. Really? I felt she just became a plot device so QSJ could shine somehow or just a reason for CS and QSJ to disagree–although I do like Chang Sheng a lot. But it didn’t make it any less of frustration to see the main girl so inactive. Aside from that, I felt that Nazha had improved so much with her acting since The Classic of Mountains and Seas. I’m proud of her. It sounds confusing, considering how I criticized the character so much yet I felt Nazha did a good job with portraying such a role, showing the depth of her character with whatever was given. She exuded the Holy Girl vibe very well and was quite articulated. Her ability to express with her eyes also improved immensely as well.
    • Lu Chen Yue (吕晨悦) as Childhood Xu You Rong (幼年徐有容).
  • Janice Wu (吴倩) as Bai Luo Heng (白落衡) aka Luo Luo (落落). She was my favorite female character in here. I was surprised. I thought I would dislike her because of a possible role in the triangle. But I felt she had exceeded all expectations. She was lively and fun. Not to mention so loyal and caring and lovable. There were so many sides to her. She was sort of spoiled too–somewhat–but she was still likable in many ways. I cried many times for her and felt that Janice did a very good job. I liked her since watching DOMD and felt she acted quite well in there. She took her acting to another level. I think her performance was what made her character so likable and enjoyable to watch. It was really sad to see her acting so passive toward the others later. I thought it would be for the best later since she had to move on anyway. But it was really tragic. The transition of her character also proved Janice’s acting was quite convincing.
  • Joseph Zeng (曾舜晞) as Tang Tang (唐棠) aka Tang San Shi Liu (唐三十六). He was hilarious. I loved how he was Chang Sheng’s first friend since arriving at that place. I thought he would be arrogant and look down on Chang Sheng, but he wasn’t so. He was quite grounded for a somewhat spoiled young master. He loved to show off and was very proud of his inventions. Yet he was surprisingly likable. Sure, he did have his crazy moments and was mad at Chang Sheng over some misunderstanding too. But I thought I forgave him since he did leave that one group to join Chang Sheng’s school to show his support. When things mattered, he did back Chang Sheng up. Not to mention, all of those inventions. It was too cool. Anyway, he was my second favorite male character in here.
  • Amelie Xu (许龄月) as Mo Yu (莫雨). I didn’t like her at all–if that was too cruel to say. Yet it was too hard to like her. It wasn’t because she sided with QSJ regarding the triangle either. Partly, but like how the rest of that place totally looked down on others–it was like a rule or something, you have to look down on outsiders to be called one of them. I could respect it that she finally admitted it that Chang Sheng had a good side but she was still siding with QSJ regarding the triangle. Yet what I found ironic for the majority of the series was how she didn’t see it that she was forcing You Rong YET she didn’t like the empress’ nephew either (who hit on her multiple times during the earlier parts of the series). I felt bad for her that she had become that way near the end. It was sad for her and Tang Tang yet that didn’t make her a top character for me either. Hey, I found it super hard to like You Rong too so it wasn’t like I was just picking on her.
  • Gao Han Yu (高瀚宇) as Xuan Yuan Po (轩辕破). He was probably my favorite male character in here. After having watched him in SCI Mystery, I was ready to see another role of his. In fact, that was the reason why I moved on to watching this series earlier than expected. (Yes, my list’s still super long and I don’t know if I could finish it in this lifetime, really.) I had followed it while it was airing but didn’t think to watch it so soon. Anyway, back to GHY, definitely a different role from SCI since his IQ was brought down even more, lol. But he was a really lovable character. He was funny–without knowing possibly. He was seriously loyal and caring toward his friends. It was hilarious. I also liked his crush on Luo Luo and felt it was too bad they couldn’t be together either. Well, he was going to guard her temple later so it wasn’t for nothing. But still sad. The saddest part was how he was crying–or on the verge of crying–knowing that she would forget him too eventually and seeing how it was already happening to Chang Sheng. What was even funnier with him was how he loved to eat but also could cook up a storm. It was a nice touch since in other series, we only get to see those loving to eat and pig out from others’ cooking. Yet he was able to do both. Anyway, GHY’s acting was quite good in here. I think I like him even more in here.
  • Chen Shu (陈数) as Tian Hai You Xue (天海幽雪) aka Holy Empress (圣后). Mixed feelings throughout. Sometimes, I got it from her speeches or her intentions that she was looking at the bigger picture and caring for her citizens. Other times, I just thought she was crazy.
  • Eddie Cheung (張兆輝) as Yin Xing Dao (寅行道) aka Royal Scholar (教宗大人) aka Red Robe (紅袍). Um, I have flashbacks of the ’90s when Eddie was portraying villainous roles all over again, lol. His schemes were elaborate and he was smart enough to stay in the background. However, I felt his intelligence could only be so much. Why? Seriously, he wanted to become king and all but ended up having to control the constellations as well? Um, not too smart there. Aside from that, I didn’t doubt Eddie’s acting.

Supporting:

  • Yao Di (姚笛) as Nan Ke (南客). I didn’t like her but had to admit her character got some mystery and depth to it. Even if she was from the opposing side, I actually admired her stubbornness at times. I hated her stupid jealousy rants but felt she had a better story than oh-say the main girl. Yes, I kept going back to that, but I seriously don’t get why You Rong got the short end of the stick like that. Anyway, I thought the actress did quite well–like some others did in here. She showed her emotions nicely.
  • Johnny Zhang (张峻宁) as Qiu Shan Jun (秋山君). Seriously, right from the start, I didn’t like him. It wasn’t because of his involvement in the triangle. But I’m known to not root for the too-good to be true guy. He was so bland and flaky that I found hard to relate to. People who are way above others/on top of the world would fall the hardest when meeting with obstacles and he indeed fell hard. The fact that he only got more interesting once he turned was really sad. I felt his saving point was the actor’s acting. Because he was so convincing in those scenes, the struggles and the unwillingness to let go of many things in his life. And then there went the reason why I was so mad at the writers. They managed to conjure up such a story for GSJ and couldn’t come up with an ounce of a decent plot for You Rong? Seriously? Even Nan Ke got some depth to her character–aside from the senseless jealousy.
  • Archie Kao (高聖遠) as Jin Yu Lu (金玉律). It was really interesting to see Archie in an ancient setting, lol. I wasn’t used to it but found his character likable. Archie didn’t disappoint in the acting department–obviously. I sometimes felt really bad for him for having to chase down Luo Luo time after time. Later, it was revealed their relationship wasn’t just that of master and servant but there was something deeper. He treated her like family and even promised to stay by her side in the future. Too bad he wasn’t able to fulfill that promise. It was really tragic with his death. I shed a few tears. One of the most tragic deaths of the series.
  • Lin Si Yi (林思意) as Little Black Dragon (小黑龙) aka Zhu Sha (朱砂). I loved her. She was hilarious. At times, she was so stubborn but she was quite likable. One of my favorite scenes was when she used one hand to hold her food and the other hand to lift the door for them to flee. It was awesome. She was after all a powerful dragon. The other character in here who was obsessed with food, lol. I don’t think I could blame her since she was trapped in that place for so long.
  • You Jing Ru (尤靖茹) as Qi Jian (七間). I didn’t care for her sect nor the rest of the members, but she was an exception. Not just because they were isolating Chang Sheng because they were taking their senior’s side, but how they were looking down on Chang Sheng and others in general. Anyway, she was different for me because–although she liked Qiu Shan Jun–but she had a likable persona to her since she appeared. It was like something I was looking forward to finding out more–or if she would appear more than some of the cast in here. It was a different character, so I was curious. She turned out to be quite righteous and reliable later. I didn’t just like her because she later followed them and aided them greatly–that was a bonus, but I liked how she was different from Nan Ke (aka someone else who liked QSJ but reacted differently). She wasn’t jealous of others who liked QSJ or the one QSJ liked. She was grounded in that way and was smart and determined in many areas. Although the others treated her with caution, wanting to protect her at times, but she proved herself to be quite capable.
  • Fu Li Jun (冯荔军) as Gou Han Shi (苟寒食). I had to make an exception from that one sect for him too. Sure, I got that he was worshiping QSJ too–it was hard not to, but I liked that he knew how to think for himself, not acting as a crowd to bully Chang Sheng. Initially, he wanted to show loyalty for his senior, but later interacting with Chang Sheng, he learned to respect Chang Sheng. I felt he was actually a true hero among the members of his sect, NOT QSJ. I’m not saying that because I sided with Chang Sheng regarding the other triangle, but I felt Gou Han Shi was a hidden hero, not showy but genuine.
  • Liu Kai Fei (刘凯菲) as Zhou Yu Ren (周玉人) aka Black Robe (黑袍). Zhou Du Fu’s younger sister. That was as major surprise. I meant with her relation to Zhou Du Fu. It was interesting how she collaborated with the Red Robe dude and then later wanted to switch sides. It made sense since they wanted to survive or at least take down whichever side they felt was more of a threat. But just found that really interesting. I had some suspicions during the scenes where they were in the tomb like she had a special relation to Zhou Du Fu, but didn’t realize it was that close.

Others:

  • Eric Tsang (曾志偉) as Taoist Ji (計道人) aka Shang Xing Zhou (商行舟). Chang Sheng’s master. I thought he was a funny master, considering how it was Eric and all. But I felt he totally played Chang Sheng major time. Yes, he seemed to have his reasons back then, but it was sooo messed up to inflict such tragedies into Chang Sheng’s life. But I guessed since he had no one, it was so easy to influence and change his life however. I felt Chang Sheng was already so forgiving with the situation. I wasn’t grateful that he sided with them later and not with his junior. I felt it was overdue that he did something.
  • Fu Jia (付嘉) as Yu Ren (余人). Chang Sheng’s senior, the real son of the Holy Empress. I seriously didn’t think much of him so it was a surprise that he turned out to be the real son. I didn’t mean I looked down on him or anything. I liked that he was Chang Sheng’s good senior and always supported and encouraged Chang Sheng on throughout. However, I thought he was just another character. Well played.
    • Liu Ruo Gu (刘若谷) as Childhood Yu Ren (幼年余人).
  • Wang Ce (王策) as White Emperor (白帝). Luo Luo’s father, also the king of the demon clan.
  • Gong Bei Bi (龚蓓苾) as White Queen (白后). Luo Luo’s mother, also the queen of the demon clan.
  • Xue Jia Ning (薛佳凝) as Mo Yu’s mother (莫雨母亲).
  • Zhai Tian Lin (翟天临) as Zhou Du Fu (周独夫). Interesting character yet there were many things I still wanted to know about him.
  • Ren Shan (任山) as Tian Hai Cheng Wu (天海承武). Tian Hai You Xue’s older brother. Didn’t think much of him except he was there to cause conflicts.
  • Que Zhe Ming (曲哲明) as Tian Hai Ya Er (天海牙儿). Tian Hai Cheng Wu’s son, Tian Hai You Xue’s nephew. I felt his character was as useless as his father. It didn’t really contribute anything except side dramas.
  • Quan Pei Lun (权沛伦) as Guan Fei Bai (關飛白). It was indeed a shocker for him when his senior turned and killed him, which he realized wasn’t intentional but it was too late.
  • Xiao Yu Liang (肖宇梁) as Zhuang Huan Yu (莊換羽). I didn’t care for him throughout, considering how he was super jealous of Chang Sheng and still dared to act all righteous. He was a coward and despicable. So it was strange to see him trying to help Tang Tang that one time and then died in the conflict. It was strange. Did he repent when I blinked? Because by that time, I was getting really impatient to see the series wrap up.
  • Maggie Siu (邵美琪) as Xun Mei (荀梅). Short appearance, but sort of interesting to see.
  • Wang Gang (王岗) as Tang Qiu  (唐秋). Tang Tang’s father. Mixed feelings.
  • Zhang Jia Ding (张嘉鼎) as Tang Hai (唐海). Tang Tang’s adopted brother. I didn’t like him at all. It didn’t matter what his excuses were and his actions throughout. He didn’t gain any sympathy from me. It was sort of funny seeing how Tang Tang kicked him to Kingdom Come, lol.
  • Hao Shuai (郝帅) as Xiao De (小德). A general of the demon clan, wanted to marry Luo Luo. I was suspicious of him at times. Or because of his mysterious nature. But anyway, I guessed it was all right. At least he didn’t cause trouble or linger too long.
  • Yu Yang (于洋) as Shuang Er (霜兒). You Rong’s servant girl. Couldn’t really like her either although I know she couldn’t really be blamed since she can’t really control her own life.
  • He Zhong Hua (何中华) as Emperor of Zhou Dynasty (太宗). Only seen briefly at the beginning of the series and soon passed away.
  • Gao Yang (高洋) as Goddess of the demon clan (神女). A somewhat important role that influenced both Chang Sheng and Luo Luo’s destinies later.
  • Wu Ze Jin Xi (武泽锦熙) as Medicine Furnace Boy (药炉童子). Hilarious. I enjoyed his scenes. He was what made some of the scenes light up even more.

Likes:

  • Cast. The majority of the cast did quite well.
  • The music. Always loved listening to Zhang Jie for theme songs so it was enjoyable for me. The rest of the soundtrack wasn’t bad either. It fitted with the series in general.
  • The majority of the friendships/bonds in here. Although some characters I cared for more than others, I had to admire them for their loyalty and support when things mattered.

Dislikes:

  • Flashbacks. Seriously, this is the problem with the majority of series nowadays. Once again, I loved the music and liked hearing the songs. But I found at times, the flashbacks were unnecessary–except to promote the songs and possibly extend the length.
  • Length/Pace. Seriously, flashbacks contributed to the problem. On top of that, they didn’t know how to focus on the right story.
  • Organization. It was a mess. The jump back and forth between scenes wasn’t well planned. I meant there were some subplots that dragged on and on, then later it jumped to the another subplot. It made us forgot what in the world happened with the other one. I wouldn’t want them to jump so dizzily from one scene to the next but at times when they show what was happening here vs another, it was really slow. Then at another time, they just glossed over essential details.

Recommended? I think it’s considered average. It could be a good series, but the length killed it. It should have been 35 episodes. Because of the reasons I listed above, the length was unbearable in many ways.

Legend of the Ancient Sword 2: Review

(image capped by DTLCT)

I actually watched it straight from Youku while it was airing/streaming yet I was so caught up with so much real life stuffs that I didn’t have a chance to review it. I actually worked on it a little at a time though. How was it? It didn’t disappoint at all. In fact, it exceeded my expectations.

Main Cast:

  • Aarif Rahman (李治廷) as Xia Yi Ze (夏夷则) aka Li Yan (李炎). 3rd Prince. I found him so boring initially, mostly because he was tied to the palace schemes and at times seemed too good to be true. However, his character grew on me. I also felt quite frustrated with the tragedies he had to go through. I was so pissed when that one flaky Taoist dude cursed him, thus the inevitable in the end. At times, he could be so scary yet who could blame him? After all that he’d been through. I liked it that he was being firm with his father and not returning. He couldn’t just forget what happened like that. He was already letting go of the past–sorta. Other times, especially when he was with Ah Ruan, he was quite sweet.
  • Ying Er (穎兒) as Wen Ren Yu (闻人羽). I really liked her character and it was really relatable to me. I felt she was very righteous and responsible. She was at times a perfectionist and was being too hard on herself, but I understood why. She was trained so strict and was put in an important position. I understood why she wasn’t as cheery as the rest of them at times yet at others, she couldn’t help but want to do some carefree activities too. She learned to open up to the others along the way. In fact, she was seen quite innocent at times (like how she didn’t really experience a normal life like some of them had since little) and her little smiles at times. I felt those moments, Ying Er was really cute.
  • Fu Xin Bo (付辛博) as Yue Wu Yi (乐无异). I liked him immediately upon his appearance. I don’t know, he was a really fun character. I can’t believe this was my first time watching him–although I heard of him for a long time now, he was really good. I liked watching how Wu Yi grew throughout. He was really spoiled and naive at first. Yet he learned a lot later. It wasn’t like he was looking down on others, but he was spending recklessly. He lived in a bubble with his parents spoiling him with many luxuries. His saving point was indeed his kindness and sincerity toward others. His passion for inventions was kind of lovable in a way, because of his perseverance.
    • Huang Tian Qi (黄天崎) as Young Yue Wu Yi (少年乐无异). Fascinating to see the child star grew over the years and now portraying another role in part 2.
  • Coco Jiang (姜雯) as Ah Ruan (阿阮). She was so cute. From the posters, I saw her in several serious poses, I thought she was going to be a serious character. I was wrong, but I was glad. That meant she was different from Ren Yu. She was adorable, because of her lack of experience in a lot of matters. She was learning a lot. I found it really funny how she associated food with the festivals that people celebrated. Sometimes, she could be so stubborn yet that was admirable too. Once she made up her mind, others weren’t able to change it. Even if they meant it out of goodness or was worried for her. Sure, she overused her powers and ended up exerting and hurting herself along the way, but her braveness wasn’t lacking. What I also really liked about her was how they didn’t make her a weakling that needed rescuing. Sure, the others all loved her and wanted to protect her as part of their family or much more, but she wasn’t incapable. She was powerful in her abilities.
  • Shao Bing (邵兵) as Shen Ye (沈夜). Mixed feelings. At times, I could understand why he wanted to take care of his own people. Yet I couldn’t really relate to him because of the harm he caused to others. I also felt sad for how much he’d been through, but also couldn’t forgive him for all the killings and sacrifices.
  • Ken Chang (張智堯) as Xie Yi (谢衣) and Chu Qi (初七). Ken actually got to act in three different roles in this one. One as an immortal (or supposedly) and two other as AI/robots. I thought he did quite well. It did show a difference between those roles. Because he was a bigger part of the cast this time around, I felt he had more ground for his acting skills–even although a lot of people preferred his immortal image more from the first part.

Chang An (長安):

  • Zeng Li (曾黎) as Fu Qing Jiao (傅清姣). Wu Yi’s adopted mother. I really liked her from the beginning–with her overly protective behaviors and also her stubbornness and what could be fierce at times as well. It was hilarious to watch. Yet I was a tad ticked that she let Ren Wu go alone that one time. Sure, I got it that she was thinking of Wu Yi and their family but it was too frustrating. I liked it that she addressed it later and apologized, not just brushing it off like it never happened.
  • Hu Bing (胡兵) as Yue Shao Cheng (乐绍成). Wu Yi’s adopted father. He seemed like a weakling and pushover at the beginning when his wife was upset and he was just going along with her words. However, when the time called for it, he was very capable. I felt he truly showed that he cared for his family and didn’t need to exude some fierce attitude toward them to prove anything. He spoke up or took actions when it mattered.
  • Jin Qiao Qiao (金巧巧) as Hong Shan (红珊) aka Consort Shu (淑妃). Yi Ze’s mother. I felt really sad for her. She seriously chose to follow the wrong person. She ended up being a sacrifice for all those power lust battles among the royals. Yes, she knew what she gave up and what she was getting into when she followed the king, but I seriously feel so sad for her. She just became a footnote in the end during his conversation with Yi Ze later. That was why I felt glad Yi Ze didn’t forgive the king.
  • He Zhong Hua (何中华) as Emperor Sheng Yuan (圣元帝). Yi Ze’s father. Weak and irresponsible. Yes, he could conjure up all the excuses and the talk about the big picture of whatever. I don’t care. He just wanted to protect himself and what was beneficial to him.
  • Wu Chun Yan (吴春燕) as Princess Zhao Ning (昭宁公主). Yi Ze’s half-sister. Mixed feelings throughout. I felt like she was funny when she first appeared and didn’t mind her spoiled nature too much. She was a princess after all. I tolerated her attitude toward Ren Yu because I knew she was jealous and again, she couldn’t help it, she was a princess. Yet what I couldn’t really forgive of her was the part where she went through with the forced marriage and then had to be talked into reason again by Yi Ze. I didn’t think that she did the right thing in the end hence releasing Wu Yi. Hello, she caused the problem in the first place. She was delaying the course of their journey and more crucial matters they needed to take care of. I forgave her previously for her princess attitude because she didn’t know but after having been outside with them traveling for a while, I felt I was done with it. Sure, it was hard for her to let go of her childhood friend and someone she came to love, but I didn’t want to pity her anymore. It was enough. However, I didn’t expect her to die so tragically. She was annoying at times, sure. But I didn’t realize she would die, even if I saw it (like other viewers) that she fell to her death. I thought there was some sort of miracle or possible way to resurrect her later.
  • Guo Xiao Feng (郭晓峰) as Reverend Qing He (清和真人). Yi Ze’s master. Mixed feelings. I didn’t know what to make of him at first. Although he was protecting Zi Ye and helping him, I agreed with the other reverend about letting Yi Ze choosing his own path. His over-protectiveness was touching on some levels but wasn’t doing Yi Ze any good.
    • Wu Bo Lun (吳博倫) Young Reverend Qing He.
  • Guo Zi Yu (郭子渝) as Li Miao (李淼). 2nd Prince. Yi Ze’s half-brother, Zhao Ning’s older brother. Hated him throughout. The only part I didn’t get was how he had a weak spot for his sister. I got it that it was his sister after all yet I wasn’t so convinced on that, considering how he sacrificed the others too. He even threatened their father and imprisoned him. It wasn’t just about him being possessed for the later part of the story either. He was seriously evil and scheming at the beginning already. It didn’t make a difference. I felt it was sort of letting him off too easily by saying he was possessed later. Well, Yi Ze and the others did feel a difference before and after he was possessed. But that was really letting him off easily. He suddenly grew a heart afterward? Yes, he went crazy because of Zhao Ning’s death, but was that enough? Perhaps, because he was always bragging about his intelligence and capabilities versus the others?
  • Li Yi Xiang (李易祥) as Ming Chuan (明川). Shen Ye’s minion, was sent to the palace as a spy.
  • Ren Peng (任鹏) as The Oldest Prince (大皇子). Yi Ze’s half-brother. He only appeared a bit at the beginning when Li Miao was scheming against Yi Ze and was said to be in a coma.
  • Ji Dong Ran (季東燃) as Jin Sheng (金生). Li Miao’s lackey. I hated him so much it wasn’t even funny. Did he meet with his punishment later?

Tian Gang (天罡):

  • Hou Xiang Ling (侯祥玲) as Cheng Ting Jun (程廷鈞). Ren Yu’s master. Typical strict master, but was indeed very caring toward his disciples and had a great sense of loyalty toward his people.
  • Ryan Yao (姚远) as Qin Yang (秦煬). Ren Yu’s senior.
  • Zhang Wen (张雯) as Yi Qing (逸清). Ren Yu’s senior.

Drifting Moon City (流月城):

  • Dylan Kuo (郭品超) as Tong (瞳). A medic/inventor yet wasn’t the typical kind ones. He was intelligent and scheming. He also had the ability to extract other people’s memory from their mind to track information. In a way, he was quite scary and Shen Ye even admitted it near the end, stating that if it wasn’t for his illness, he could have led their clan. Yet Tong, himself, said that Shen Ye also had his illness yet was able to lead them. Tong didn’t mind being under Shen Ye’s commands. He probably preferred it that way, hiding and keeping his identity a mystery from others. He actually understood and recognized some of the ongoing issues and the consequences yet had allowed for Shen Ye to proceed forward with it anyway. It was based on what he said at times, especially that one conversion with Xie Yi once upon a time and also with Shen Ye before the final battle.
  • Oliva Yan (闫笑) as Hua Yue (華月). The first created “puppet” created by Shen Ye’s father to accompany him and only listened to him regardless. In a way, she was really pitiful. Yet in other ways, she was responsible for a lot of problems, like most of the characters within the Drifting Moon City.
  • Wu De Xin (吴得心) as Feng Ya (風琊). Was killed by Chu Qi later.
  • Zhang Ru Yi (张如意) as Cang Ming (沧冥). The leader of Drifting Moon City, also Shen Ye’s beloved. I was intrigued by her since the beginning and was eager to learn of her past. It was as tragic as some people within the Drifting Moon City and how she sacrificed herself once again at the end.
  • Zhao Yi Xin (赵宜鑫) as Shen Xi (沈曦). Shen Ye’s sister. The child star was really good with her acting. She made me feel for her sickness and also felt the difference in the change when she was possessed. It was very sad and touching with the story and interactions between her and her brother.
  • Xu Ge (许歌) as Li Zhu (离珠).

Juan Du (損毒):

  • Yang Hao Yu (杨浩煜) as Tu Xiu (屠休).
  • Jiang Hao Yan (姜浩严) as An Ni Wa Er (安尼瓦爾) aka Wolf King (狼王). Wu Yi’s half-brother. I actually quite liked him, regardless of his rouge nature. He was very protective of his people and bore most of the responsibilities in making sure they were having a good life. He also wanted to restore their dynasty and return to its glorious past. Although not obtainable, I respected his dedication. He was also a tough and caring older brother at the same time.
  • Wang Xi Wei (王希維) as Mu Sha (穆剎). Mixed feelings. I knew she cared for the Wolf King and did it out of concern, but sometimes I felt annoyed with her for almost killing Wu Yi.
  • Wes Zhao (赵威霖) as Jia Pa Er (加帕爾).
  • Liu Zhuo Ting (刘倬廷) as Zha Mu Na (扎木那).

Others:

  • Fan Jun Liang (范俊良) as Yu Qi (禺期). Han Guang Sword (晗光剑)’s spirit, also the creator of the Zhao Ming Sword (昭明剑). I liked him since the beginning and really liked his witty responses to Wu Yi’s questions at times. I looked forward to moments where he appeared to troll Wu Yi. It was hilarious to watch. In fact, I liked their interaction and weird friendship over Wu Yi and Yi Ze–among the guys. At times, I wished he appeared more but I also wondered if that would take away from his character (if it dragged out too much).
  • Xue Cun (雪村) as Yuan Er (元二).
  • Zhang Ye (張野) as Tuan Zi (團子). A panda demon. He was soooo cute. I cried buckets when he died. I couldn’t believe it. I thought he would make it, considering how they were almost done with the series–more or less.
  • Wang De Feng (王德枫) as Twelfth (十二).
  • Chi Zhi Qiang (遲志強) as Shi Bai Zi (石白子). A tree demon. I thought he was evil at first. I don’t know. He was acting strange, considering how he was exchanging looks with his companions. Yet it turned out they were just trying to hide their identities from others for their own safety.
  • Xie Wen Xuan (謝聞軒) as Pi Chen (僻塵). A fox demon. She was suspicious at first–to me. Yet later, I understood why she and Shi Bai Zi were rightly concerned about revealing their identities. Considering the situation and how humans view demons, they had to protect themselves.
  • Wen Wen (溫雯) as Zhen Ji (楨姬). A cat demon. Creepy. I knew something was up from the start. Well, the setting was a dead giveaway.

Discussions:

  • The comparison between parts 1 and 2. I seriously do not want to go there. But I’m so jumping in this time, considering how I watched both throughout and still remember the majority of the plots. Usually, the first part would be much better, but sometimes there would be exceptions. I think this was one of them. I’m so serious here. I loved the cast of part 1 too and if it wasn’t for part 1’s success, there wouldn’t be part 2. However, when part 1 first came out, people were criticizing it too and didn’t think much of the cast. So? Are we continuing that tradition by bashing what comes after? I can’t stop that, but just putting it out there. Anyway, as much as I loved part 1 for its extensive cast, costumes, and the majority of the story, I also felt a lot of frustrations toward it. The ending of part 1 totally got me choking. Not just because of the deaths involved, but also because of the forced marriage situation that previously dragged the series down for like 10+ episodes. Yes, they were in Qin Chuan for so long that I was only half watching at that point. The pace for the 2nd part was much faster and much more bearable. In fact, I thought the pace was about right for part 2. Although sometimes, I felt it was a bit empty with the lack of the major characters but I thought the events happening drove it forward. There were a lot of side characters and there were many touching scenes along the way. I’m not talking about the number of episodes for each part here, because I know both parts were only 2 episodes apart, but I’m talking about the feeling of the pace and way the stories were crafted. The cast for part 1, although I loved the majority of them, I felt that Qiao Zhen Yu and William Chan were the best in there (acting-wise) for the male leads–followed by Ma Tian Yu. As for the female side, Zheng Shuang and Jia Qing (who was not even the main cast), followed by Gillian (who won out for me because of her double role–even if just one character but there was the person posing as her). Yang Mi, although I loved her since watching Liao Zhai, it was a safe role, nothing too special–or breakthrough. So I felt the main cast of part 2 was better in that sense, they were consistent throughout. I felt just because they weren’t as popular did not mean they sucked at acting or whatever. Ken Chang actually did better in part 2 than part 1–although many felt his character for part 1 was better. That was just outer appearance (though I felt he was dashingly handsome for part 2 as well).
  • People criticizing Ying Er for not being as cute as Yang Mi. I just said above that I loved Yang Mi since Liao Zhai. So, not bashing her. But wrong comparison. Coco Jiang’s character, Ah Ruan, could be compared with Yang Mi’s Qing Xue, not Ying Er’s Ren Yu. So if people wanted to pick on that, please choose the right one. Or if you want to compare Ah Ruan to Xiang Ling, suitable–but I have to say both were equally cute in their own way. Ren Yu was different from Qing Xue, that was what made her unique. If they were to make Ren Yu like Qing Xue, would others pick on it by saying Ying Er was trying to copy Yang Mi? Can’t win.
  • People saying how Reverend Zi Yin and Tusu were a better/deeper pair of master and disciple than Xie Yi and Wu Yi. I think it had a lot to do with watching the first part already and loving it, which I know it’s typical. However, I don’t think one should dismiss Xie Yi and Wu Yi so quickly. Both Tusu and Wu Yi were saved by their masters at the beginning. Their master’s lack of presence in their lives was similar in a sense as well. What was even worse for Wu Yi was how he realized the Xie Yi he reunited with later wasn’t really Xie Yi. Yet what I liked about their relationship was how it gave me a feeling of old wuxia stories–how the main character had to seek out the skilled martial arts master and pass the tests before being accepted. It gave me that old feeling so I liked it. Also, the care wasn’t lacking either. It was touching in many ways–whether how the real Xie Yi treated Wu Yi or the later Xie Yie did. They both tried to protect him and taught him things. It might start out with an obsession for the inventions that he wanted desperately to become Xie Yi’s disciple, but their bond became stronger later.
  • The Ending. It was bittersweet. Ah Ruan’s death was definitely a big hit for the ending. However, it was somewhat expected, considering what the majority of the ones who helped them said about Ah Ruan’s condition and warned her not to use her magic anymore. It was hard for her not to interfere with what was going on, especially the final battle. It was too important not to get involved. Not to mention Ah Ruan’s caring nature–regardless of who was in trouble, not just those who were close to her.

So after all that, recommended? Definitely for me. For me, the plot is the most important and then characters, etc. If you don’t feel like you could enjoy it for whatever reason, I wouldn’t recommend it. You can always watch cuts of your favorites and be done with or MVs, lol. Those are fun.

Top 50 Actresses of 2018

(image credit: as marked)

Translation:

  1. Zanilia Zhao Li Ying / Triệu Lệ Dĩnh

  2. Yang Mi / Dương Mịch

  3. Di Li Re Ba / Địch Lệ Nhiệt Ba

  4. Yang Zi / Dương Tử

  5. Tiffany Tang Yan / Đường Yên

  6. Guan Xiao Tong / Quan Hiểu Đồng

  7. Victoria Song / Tống Tây

  8. Zheng Shuang / Trịnh Sảng

  9. Tamia Liu Tao / Lưu Đào

  10. Ju Jing Yi / Cúc Tịnh Y

  11. Lareina Song / Tống Tổ Nhi

  12. Janine Chang / Trương Quân Ninh

  13. Tong Li Ya / Đồng Lệ Á

  14. Lin Qin / Lý Thấm

  15. Jiang Shu Ying / Giang Sơ Ảnh

  16. Crystal Liu Yi Fei / Lưu Diệc Phi

  17. Angelababy / Yang Ying / Dương Dĩnh

  18. Crystal Zhang Tian Ai / Trương Thiên Ái

  19. Cecilia Han Xue / Hàn Tuyết

  20. Regina Wan / Vạn Tây

  21. Zhou Dong Yu / Châu Đông Vũ

  22. Li Yi Tong / Lý Nhứt Đồng

  23. Hu Bing Qing / Hồ Băng Khanh

  24. Shen Yue / Thẩm Nguyệt

  25. Fan Bing Bing / Phạm Băng Băng

  26. Cecilia Liu Shi Shi / Lưu Thi Thi

  27. Yoona

  28. Li Xiao Ran / Lý Tiểu Nhiễm

  29. Yang Rong / Dương Dung

  30. Sebrina Chen Yao / Trần Dao

  31. Sandra Ma / Mã Tư Thuần

  32. Jiang Xin / Tưởng Hân

  33. Qin Lam / Tần Lam

  34. Sun Yi / Tôn Di

  35. Stephy Qi Wei / Thích Vy

  36. Betty Sun Li / Tôn Lệ

  37. Lolita Wang / Vương Hiểu Thần

  38. Vicki Zhao / Triệu Vy

  39. @@@@

  40. Guli Nazha / Cổ Lực Na Trát

  41. Wendy Zhang / Trương Tử Phong

  42. Sally Jing Tian / Cảnh Điềm

  43. Dong Jie / Đổng Khiết

  44. Ruby Lin / Lâm Tâm Như

  45. Charmaine Sheh / Xa Thi Mạn

  46. Wang Li Kun / Vương Lệ Khôn

  47. Zhang Xue Ying / Trương Tuyết Nghênh

  48. Zhou Xun / Châu Tấn

  49. Xin Zhi Lei / Tân Chỉ Lôi

  50. Xie Na / Tạ Na

Top 50 Actors of 2018

(image credit: as marked)

Once again, here’s the list of the most popular people based on searches on Weibo.

Translations:

1. Yang Yang / Dương Dương

2. Hu Ge / Hồ Ca

3. Zhu Yi Long / Chu Nhứt Long

4. Wang Jun Kai / Vương Tuấn Khải

5. Lu Han / Lộc Hàm

6. Jackson Yee / Dịch Dương Thiên Tỉ

7. Wu Lei / Ngô Lỗi

8. Deng Lun / Đặng Luân

9. William Chan / Trần Vỹ Đình

10. Li Yi Feng / Lý Dịch Phong

11. Jin Dong / Cận Đông

12. Lay Zhang Yi Xing / Trương Nghệ Hưng

13. Zhu Ya Wen / Chu Á Văn

14. Huang Zi Tao / Hoàng Tử Thao

15. Wang Kai / Vương Khải

16. Wallace Chung / Chung Hán Lương

17. Luo Jin / La Tấn

18. Cai Xu Kun / Thái Từ Khôn

19. Zhang Jia Yi / Trương Gia Trạch

20. Ray Ma Tian Yu / Mã Thiên Vũ

21. Liu Hao Ran / Lưu Hạo Nhiên

22. Zhang Yi Shan / Trương Nhứt Sơn

23. Roy Wang / Vương Nguyên

24. Elvis Han / Hàn Đông Quân

25. Huang Xiao Ming / Huỳnh Hiểu Minh

26. Zhang Han / Trương Hàn

27. Allen Ren / Nhậm Gia Luân

28. Yu He Wei / Vu Hoà Vỹ

29. Shawn Dou / Đậu Kiêu

30. Kenny Lin Geng Xin / Lâm Canh Tân

31. Michael Chen He / Trần Hách

32. Louis Koo / Cổ Thiên Lạc

33. Lei Jia Yin / Lôi Giai Âm

34. Johnny Bai / Bạch Vũ

35. Bai Jing Ting / Bạch Kính Đình

36. Deng Chao / Đặng Siêu

37. Wallace Huo / Hoắc Kiến Hoa

38. Alan Yu / Vu Mông Lung

39. Dylan Wang / Vuong Hạc Đệ

40. Mark Chao / Triệu Hựu Đình

41. Huang Xuan / Huỳnh Hiên

42. Wu Xiu Bo / Ngô Tú Ba

43. Bosco Wong / Huỳnh Tông Trạch

44. Zhang Dan Feng / Trương Đan Phong

45. Nicholas Tse / Tạ Đình Phong

46. Ma Ke / Mã Khả

47. Chen Kun / Trần Khôn

48. Guo De Gang / Quách Đức Cương

49. Song Wei Long / Tống Uy Long

50. Zhou Yi Wei / Châu Nhứt Vi