I got roped into this because of my sister. She was reading the novel so she followed the TV series as well. Anyway, how was it? I thought it was a decent drama, considering how I heard they were on a budget and all.
Gao Han Yu (高瀚宇) as Bai Yu Tong (白羽瞳). The leader of SCI. He was cool in his own way. I felt he could he so funny too. I meant he was exuding the fierce attitude, but at times it was funny with how he argued or tried to get the upper hand with others–whether his family members or his coworkers.
Ji Xiao Bing (季肖冰) as Zhan Yao (展耀). Psychologist. First off, I didn’t even realize he was Gao Fang from Here To Heart (温暖的弦). In my defense, I haven’t finished it yet. I barely started on episode 2 and then got spoiled by some people so I put it aside for now. Anyway, back to this one. I felt he was really good. His manners, his postures, his bizarre attitudes at times. It was hilarious to watch. It was addicting to see what else he was up to. He was supposed to represent Zhan Zhao (展昭). I wouldn’t mind seeing him as Zhan Zhao in an ancient version. But I do know they have lots of Bao Jing Tian adaptations already so I’ll just use my imagination when reading stories in the future.
Ma Xiao Jun (马晓军) as Wang Shao (王韶). He was hilarious and gossipy too. However, he did his work well and got his team’s back when they needed him.
Luo Yu Kun (罗昱焜) as Ma Han (馬韓). Sniper Expert. She impressed me, especially the scene where she pretended to have multiple personalities and was controlled by her dark side, etc. Other than that, she was really cool.
Meng A Sai (孟阿赛) as Zhao Fu (趙富). He looked rouge but was quite likable and at times funny.
Wang Ruo Xuan (王若瑄) as Jiang Ling (蔣翎). Computer Expert. She was a pro in her skills, no need to say more. Aside from that, I thought she was at times adorable and others a tad goofy. But I liked her.
Jiang Long (蒋龙) as Bai Chi (白馳). Bai Yu Tong’s cousin. He was a nerd from what his image projected. He was made fun of by others at first but later found his confidence somewhat through Zhan Yao’s help and even use his skills to help them.
Jerry Ku (古明華) as Bao Ju (包局). The chief of the police department. He was hilarious without even trying. He often threatened them with “toilet scrubbing” duties whenever he appeared–which I was told was pulled straight from the novel. That would totally ruined the guys’ image all right. On a serious note, he backed them up at times, even if he didn’t agree with all they do other times. At one point when they visited Zhao Zhen’s resident, the butler greeted them and called him “Bao da ren” (包大人). I thought that was hilarious.
William Fan (范玮) as Gongsun Zhe (公孫哲). SCI’s coroner. I initially placed him in the “Supporting” section, but felt it would be unfair to the others if I let him off too easily. I thought he seemed mysterious and cool at first. Yet he was a super snooze as the story progressed. I was told he was more interesting in the novel. I sure hope so. The one scene that I actually found him somewhat funny was when Jiang Ling was attempting to extract some information from him and he started a countdown, lol. Aside from that, that was pretty much it. I felt they could have done more with his character, maybe enhance his character a bit regarding his work and all. He appeared to be a tad weirder than the rest of the team. But that was it. His life seemed to be dominated by the women in it–even if he refused to acknowledge it. I was really frustrated with his cowardly way for not addressing Bai Qing Tang at times. I got it that they probably didn’t want to make him too crazy like in the novel described, but I think they dialed down too much.
Wang Mei Ren (王美人) as Bai Qing Tang (白磬堂). Bai Yu Tong’s older sister. I thought putting her in the main cast was a slap in the face for the other characters who contributed more to the plot, so I put her in here. Not to mention how her only tie to the main case was how she was a victim of that one incident. I felt sad for her yet that didn’t erase the fact that her character (along with Gongsun) dragged the drama down. Sure, she had some funny scenes too but the lack of development for her story totally ruined it. If they (the scriptwriters) thought her ongoing drama with Gongsun was helping the series, it wasn’t. If they only placed her in as part of the main cast to have a hot female lead or something, they got Ma Han who contributed more to the story. When I say “contribute”, I don’t mean screen time. She had plenty of that. I just meant its relevancy to the story as an overall. I’m not against having side stories or focusing on the main cast’s family members. I was just fed up by the repetitive story with her and Gongsun.
Zhang Fan (张帆) as Zhao Jue (趙爵). I think the production team was really out to get him or something. Well, some ways, I was told it was like the novel. But I think his suspicious behaviors didn’t help things. I didn’t like that he was manipulating people. Yet what sort of made me cut him some slacks was his strange relationship with Bai Chi. It was like his soft spot for the lad. Like he sometimes gave him tips and their conversations at times seemed genuine.
Hu Xiao Ling (胡潇灵) as Zhao Zhen (趙禎). To be honest, I found him annoying at first and hated that he kept teasing and picking on Bai Chi initially. However, he gained my respect later when he stepped forward to shield Bai Chi from the maniac trying to shoot them down. So when their relationship improved, I sorta liked him better too. I didn’t want him to be bland like Gongsun, but I didn’t like it that he was acting like a bully. So when the two made peace (somewhat) and got along better, I was all right with that.
Hu Jian Qiang (胡建強) as Da Ding (大丁). Hilarious, lol.
Hu Jian Wei (胡建偉) as Xiao Ding (小丁). Hilarious as well.
Coco Yuen (袁紫侨) as Qi Le (齊樂).
Donnie Zhang (张凯) as Lan Cheng Lin (藍城霖). He was unbearable. I was annoyed with him from the start so it wasn’t a surprised when he turned out crooked.
Zhang Yu Feng (张煜枫) as Feng Jie (馮傑). Um, how in the world did people think he was hot? Okay, more like I didn’t get why Ma Han was somewhat obsessed with him at first. But he was seriously a snooze fest too, even if they tried to make him interesting. I couldn’t really sympathize with him because of how he used people who trusted him and manipulated his way around.
Du Fei Long (杜飛龍) as Ou Yang Chun (歐陽春). Interpol agent. They used his real name in here? Possibly a common name so they thought it was safe to keep it? But he was cool enough.
Qu Hao Ming (屈浩明) as Luo Tian (洛天). A mysterious person involved in the last case, later joined SCI team. I thought he was a good addition to the team, considering his wide knowledge of things. His past was seriously tragic with how he and the others were used as experiments. I was glad he was able to get out, survive, and start over.
The cast. Despite that I complained up and down regarding one or two characters in here, I felt the cast was very likable and was doing their best with bringing out their characters. I felt the team of SCI worked well together. They worked very hard along with the production team to bring out this series.
The theme song. It was really powerful and suitable for the series.
Zhan Yao and Bai Yu Tong. Their relationship was hilarious to watch. Whether they were at odds or when they were trying to get along. It was really addicting. One of my favorite scenes was when they were arguing about something–totally forgot, but Yu Tong was saying how Zhan Yao was a cat, not him. Zhan Yao was uttering out some idiom! LOL! Yu Tong took it literally, lol. I loved watching them together as a team.
The merging of the cases. I didn’t read the novel (or haven’t yet), but I was told several cases got merged into one–or somehow it was going all at once. It made everything so overwhelming that it was hard to appreciate the cases. Yes, I got the story but I think it could feel overwhelmed and didn’t do justice to some of them. Like it was a fusion of some sort.
Gonsun and Qing Tang. Seriously, I complained about them in the other section already but I had to put it here once again. I’m not against romances, in fact, I watched soaps that were even draggier than this. (LOL!) But this was after all a crime show so it was annoying to keep their ongoing loop of back and forth or on and off relationship-or lack of one. I don’t dislike their characters individually, just that their romance story was so frustrating. Just had to clarify that.
Recommended? I think the cast was totally worth it. In fact, I’m looking forward to season 2. I hope they cut back on Gongsun and Qing Tang snooze fest–or just decide to get those two together already. I also hope to see more of Ou Yang Chun. Serious. He could be collaborating with the group again.
Song Title: Love Journey (愛情旅程)
Lyrics: F.I.R.’s Ah Qin and Chen Shu Qiu (阿沁/陳淑秋)
Music by: Ah Qin (阿沁) Key: Bold = Chinese Teal = Pin Yin Royal Blue = English Indigo = Vietnamese 你給的體溫 幸福的氣氛 ni ge de ti wen xing fu de qi fen The warmness that you’ve given, the blissful atmosphere Cái ấm áp mà cơ thể anh đã trao ra, bầu không khí đầy hạnh phúc 他在你身邊 睡得好安穩 ta zai ni shen bian shui de hao an wen She’s by your side, sleeping peacefully Cô ta đang bên cạnh anh, ngủ một cách yên tĩnh 是你太殘忍 還是我太笨 shi ni tai can ren hai shi wo tai ben Was that you who was too cruel? Or was that me who was too stupid? Có phải anh đã quá tàn nhẫn? Hay là tôi đã quá ngu si? 這樣的容忍 有點太犧牲 zhe yang de rong ren you dian tai xi sheng That kind of tolerance is a little too sacrificial Sự khoan dung đó giống như đã hy sinh quá lớn 不習慣你的眼神 bu xi guan ni de yan shen Not used to your expression Không quen thuộc với ánh mắt của anh 在風中不安的變冷 zai feng zhong bu an de bian leng In the wind, it turned cold because of insecurity Trong gió, nó đang biến lạnh nhạt vì cảm giác bất an 離開的時候是過程 li kai de shi hou shi guo cheng Leaving at that moment is a type of process Ra đi trong lúc đó cũng là một quá trình 我為愛狂奔 wo wei ai kuang ben I rushed in wildly because of love Tôi đã vì tình yêu mà điên cuồng 每次愛當從心痛啟程 mei ci ai dang cong xin tong qi cheng Every time falling in love, there was always heartache accompanying the journey Mỗi lần yêu là lại gặp phải nỗi đau thương theo cùng 我明白等待背後是傷痕 wo ming bai deng dai bei hou shi shang hen I understand what’s waiting ahead is a scar Tôi hiểu được sau lưng sự chờ đợi là những vết thẹo 為了一個人 每夜不熄燈 wei le yi ge ren mei ye bu xi deng Not turning out the lights each night because of someone Vì một người mà mỗi đêm không tắt đèn 愛一個人愛的透徹 ai yi ge ren ai de tou che Loving someone is loving thoroughly Yêu một người là yêu đến cuối cùng 忘不了愛走過的旅程 wang bu liao ai zou guo de lu cheng Can’t forget the past steps of the journey of love Quên không được những con đường mà đã trải qua trong tình yêu 我依然相信幸福的可能 wo yi ran xiang xin xing fu de ke neng I still believe in the possibility of happiness Tôi vẫn tin tưởng rằng hạnh phục có thể đạt được 只有一個人 我願意去等 zhi you yi ge ren wo yuan yi qu deng I’m willing to wait for only that one person Chỉ vì một người đó, tôi tình nguyện đợi chờ 在離開了以後 還會心疼 zai li kai le yi hou hai hui xin teng After leaving, the heart still aches Sau khi rời khỏi, trái tim vẫn còn đau
(music) 她給的擁抱 幸福的氣氛 ta ge de yong bao xing fu de qi fen The embrace that she has given, the blissful atmosphere Cái ôm mà cô ta đã trao ra, bầu không khí đầy hạnh phúc 你在他身邊 笑得好天真 ni zai ta shen bian xiao de hao tian zhen You’re by her side, laughing so innocently Anh đang bên cạnh cô ta, cười một cách quá hồn nhiên 是我愛太深 還是太單純 shi wo ai tai shen hai shi tai dan chun Have I loved too deep? Or was I too naive? Có phải tôi đã yêu quá sâu? Hay là tôi đã quá ngây thơ? 這樣的轉身 有點太犧牲 zhe yang de zhuan shen you dian tai xi sheng To turn around like that is just too sacrificial Quay mình như vậy giống như đã hy sinh quá lớn 不習慣你的眼神 bu xi guan ni de yan shen Not used to your expression Không quen thuộc với ánh mắt của anh 在風中不安的變冷 zai feng zhong bu an de bian leng In the wind, it turned cold because of insecurity Trong gió, nó đang biến lạnh nhạt vì cảm giác bất an 離開的時候是過程 li kai de shi hou shi guo cheng Leaving at that moment is a type of process Ra đi trong lúc đó cũng là một quá trình 我為愛狂奔 wo wei ai kuang ben I rushed in wildly because of love Tôi đã vì tình yêu mà điên cuồng 每次愛當從心痛啟程 mei ci ai dang cong xin tong qi cheng Every time falling in love, there was always heartache accompanying the journey Mỗi lần yêu là lại gặp phải nỗi đau thương theo cùng 我明白等待背後是傷痕 wo ming bai deng dai bei hou shi shang hen I understand what’s waiting ahead is a scar Tôi hiểu được sau lưng sự chờ đợi là những vết thẹo 為了一個人 每夜不熄燈 wei le yi ge ren mei ye bu xi deng Not turning out the lights each night because of someone Vì một người mà mỗi đêm không tắt đèn 愛一個人愛的透徹 ai yi ge ren ai de tou che Loving someone is loving thoroughly Yêu một người là yêu đến cuối cùng 忘不了愛走過的旅程 wang bu liao ai zou guo de lu cheng Can’t forget the past steps of the journey of love Quên không được những con đường mà đã trải qua trong tình yêu 我依然相信幸福的可能 wo yi ran xiang xin xing fu de ke neng I still believe in the possibility of happiness Tôi vẫn tin tưởng rằng hạnh phục có thể đạt được 只有一個人 我願意去等 zhi you yi ge ren wo yuan yi qu deng I’m willing to wait for only that one person Chỉ vì một người đó, tôi tình nguyện đợi chờ 在離開了以後 還會心疼 zai li kai le yi hou hai hui xin teng After leaving, the heart still aches Sau khi rời khỏi, trái tim vẫn còn đau
*All translations were done by DTLCT.
This is the game version that they chose Amanda and Chris to be the main leads. (Go here and here for articles.)
I saw this on Amanda’s page like last week or so. But didn’t want to post about it before I post the review for the series.
Anyway, the MV was kind of fun to watch since they did their own twist. I meant it was a tragic story, but their creativity was fun to watch. (In case anyone was thinking that I thought the story was funny.)
It looked like they followed the series and not the novel, lol.
*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.
I finished this a while back but was waiting until I finished reading the novel as well before I actually review it. Yes, this was one of those rare adaptations of recent that I actually went to read the novel while watching. Then I just finished watching before reading so I had to wait. Anyway, I thought this was 70% accurate. Although there were some scenes being shuffled, some changes being made, and some additions that were needed to make the story more coherent, I felt the consistent dialogues and the majority of the characterizations were reserved. I actually preferred the series over the novel. Yes, this coming from someone who fought bitterly in the past regarding novel accuracy. I felt the production team did their best. Some of the stuff that was changed, I understood why and it made the flow a tad less confusing. I understood the way it was written, but I think when transferred to the screen, they had to refine the timeline more so it would be less confusing for viewers.
Dilraba Dilmurat (迪丽热巴) as Lie Ru Ge (烈如歌). She was amazing. I first watched her in Legend of the Ancient Sword and liked her–even though she only had a small part in there. Anyway, I thought she was perfect for this role. At first, I didn’t like how the red outfit was popping up again–yes, due to the overwhelming usage of red robes over the past few years. However, because I learned of her character and the reasons behind her liking red, it made sense. I tried to put that aside and enjoy the series. It wasn’t until I read the novel that I accepted it. This was because in the past years, even if the characters wore it, it was changed from the novel just for whatever reason they felt like it. Since the author chose it, I respect her choice on that. Character-wise, I liked her in the series better. I know she was still very young and inexperienced in a lot of matters and it was normal to react like so and so. However, I felt the organization of the series made her character stronger and smarter. Her stubbornness and determination and the elaborate schemes that she conjured up along with the others. It made her character so full of capabilities. Not to mention how they took her martial arts to another level, showing more and more how she was indeed suitable as the leader–if she wanted it. I think her character grew to another level with what had happened. I thank the author for creating such a story because the novel focused on romances more than wuxia/jianghu theme, I had to choose the series because it had more balance (although they did toss in a bunch of romances too, it was for the others, not just Ru Ge only).
Amy Zhang (张茗灿) as Childhood Ru Ge (小如歌). She was so cute. I could see the transition so nicely with the childhood version of Ru Ge and the older version.
Li Yi Xi (李羿希) as Baby Ru Ge (婴儿如歌). What can I say?
Vic Chou (周渝民) as Yin Xue (銀雪). At first, I felt kinda awkward because I didn’t understand his character. I thought it was supposed to be a serious role (mostly from the beginning scene and how he was chased down by a bunch of groups before meeting Ru Ge in present time). Then I thought Vic was uncomfortable with the role hence the character not being consistent–and sometimes broke out into being silly. But I loved watching him regardless so I ignored that part and his character eventually grew on me–more or less. It wasn’t until I read the novel that I realized they (the scriptwriters) already toned down on his crazy side. He was seriously too silly in the novel and possibly couldn’t become the main lead if they kept everything, lol. Instead, they chose to portray his humorous side differently and kept his mishaps on the lower end. I actually had mixed feelings toward Yin Xue in the novel. I didn’t like it that he forced Ru Ge to like him throughout and kept pestering her. My favorite part of him in the novel was when he was crying and pretending to be wounded (or was he seriously just dramatic?) that she looked down upon him because he used to be in a brothel. It was funny and cute in a way, lol. Yet the rest of his tantrums, I didn’t care for. The series brought out some of his jealousy by coming up with different scenes than showing his tantrums, which made sense. I didn’t like it but felt it was a tad better. As for screen time, I thought his presence was severely lacking and was somehow doubting that he would end up with Ru Ge at the end. I was prepared for it. Yet when I read the novel, his appearance was even more lacking than ever. In fact, the scene when they were at that one town selling cakes, the novel completely glossed over that part. I felt robbed. (Not just that particular scene either but a lot of scenes throughout the novels were like barely being highlighted.) What was interesting was how the author mentioned she actually quite liked Xue yet killed him off anyway. So yeah.
Vin Zhang (张彬彬) as Zhan Feng (戰楓). The author actually wanted to kill Zhan Feng in the novel, but it didn’t work out so she didn’t force it. Anyway, I felt Vin was so perfect for the role that I thought I saw the character walked out of the novel. (I thought that was the same for the majority of the cast in here.) The scriptwriters actually wanted to spare him of such a tragic ending so they eliminated some details and tossed it to Yi Lang. For one, he actually killed his own father (and Yi Lang was spying but didn’t interfere like in the series). Although at times I didn’t understand his action (while watching), but I felt Vin’s acting was very convincing. His eyes were full of emotions and they held a mystery that was to be revealed later. Yet it was frustrating (in a sense of the plot).
Wu Ze Jin Xi (武泽锦熙) as Childhood Zhan Feng.
Ji Zi Xuan (纪子轩) as Baby Zhan Feng (婴儿战枫).
Wayne Liu (刘芮麟) as Yu Zi Han (玉自寒). I think I liked watching Wayne portray the role more than the character itself. Not that I was bitter of how it turned out in the novel, but I often steered away from too good to be true characters. He indeed exuded all of the auras that the author mentioned, royalty and stern vibe even if he seemed so fragile on the surface. Wayne’s expression was on point. There was a gentleness and kindness within him whenever he was with Ru Ge. Then there was a fierce, stubborn side of him that was seen at various points. He was actually a complex character, but maybe more so in the series than the novel. Or maybe the novel focused too much on his love for Ru Ge that made it sort of one-dimensional for me.
Dong Li Wu You (董李无忧) as Childhood Yu Zi Han (小玉自寒). Consistent enough for the younger version and the context of the story.
Jang Hyuk (张赫) as Lei Jing Hong (雷惊鴻). He was seriously obnoxious. But there was this side of playfulness and kindness that was hard to hate. In fact, he was one of the fun characters in here. Yet it turned out quite tragic for him. That was only for the series though. Sure, he’d gone through some hardships with Yi Lang’s schemes and all, but it turned out quite well for him. He was my favorite supporting character in here–aside from You Qin Hong.
Dai Si (代斯) as Dao Lie Xiang (刀冽香). She was only mentioned briefly in the novel as it was relevant to the Dao family’s link to Zhan Feng. She was never mentioned again after the wedding with Zhan Feng. The series gave her a bigger role since they did extend quite a few characters in here. Anyway, regarding the series, I think she was all right for the most part, especially how she was secretly helping them at first–mostly because they helped Yin Xue. I didn’t like it that she tricked and captured Lei Jing Hong that one time. Yes, I got it that those other dudes were her brothers and she was really conflicted. However, it was really painful to watch with her forcing him like that. I also got it that she thought that was the best in trying to save his life but that part with him being humiliated by her brother was really frustrating to watch.
Long Zheng Xuan (龙政璇) as Feng Huang (凤凰). The scriptwriters extended her role to that of a major one since she was only a minor character in the novel. It was mentioned when Ru Ge returned to Wan Hua Lou later that she became a rich dude’s ninth wife and didn’t really get along with the others within the resident. I was fine with the extension since it created a more complex plot and added some more characters to the overall plotline. But I think it cut a little into another character’s territory. Yet it wasn’t like I could do anything about it anyway.
He Suo (何索) as You Qin Hong (有琴泓). I think I felt for him the most out of all the characters that suffered throughout, at least with the supporting or minor characters. He’d been through betrayal and then Yin Xue took him in and guided him, helping him start over. Yet later, he sacrificed himself and all. It wasn’t too bad. His sacrifice seemed all for nothing but it wasn’t so later. He was very kind and loyal to Yin Xue. Yet in the novel, he turned out to be a spy planted by An Ye Luo–although it was shown he didn’t care much for An Ye Luo either at the wedding scene near the ending. Luckily, the series edited that part out and made it less tragic in that sense.
Gong Bei Bi (龚蓓苾) as An Ye Jue (暗夜绝). She was crazier in the novel–if that was even possible. The series, although gave us a bit of a doubt or created a gray area for her character-with how she was hesitant to kill Lei Jing Hong at times and seemed to keep her words with her supposed husband. However, she seemed to treat Xun Yi about the same in the series and the novel. She manipulated to get her way or just plain ignored Xun Yi. The series sort of gave her a much better ending, even though she died in both versions. In the series, she died after being captured in a battle versus committing suicide because she was obsessed with her brother (the same way her brother was obsessed with his other sister). It was pretty pathetic, seriously. (And very gross too. Either way, not just her but An Ye Luo too.)
Lai Yi (赖艺) as An Ye Luo (暗夜罗). A lot of gross stuff going on, both because of his creepy appearance and because he was in love with his sister. I think it was mentioned in a flashback scene that they weren’t blood-related? That was the series, not the novel. Because in the novel, it said that she was really his sister. (Ewwww…) But he was really broken. Their parents were never mentioned? So I wasn’t sure how that worked into the whole thing. Or I just plain forgot since I was trying to block the images out of my head.
Ma De Ya (马德丫) as Xun Yi (薰衣). She played a bigger role in the novel regarding Zhan Feng than the series let on. The series let her off easier (like it did with Zhan Feng in some sense) because it said that she suspected or knew she was Lei Jing Hong’s sister early on but wasn’t involved with schemes of her mother until later. Also, it was emphasized that she had no choice but to comply because her mother had used Ji Jing Lei’s well-being against her. However, that didn’t seem to be so in the novel. She was actually the one who handed the manual to Zhan Feng when he was practicing An He Gong’s martial arts. She was pitiful either way because, in the novel, she didn’t even have her mother’s acknowledgment at all, considering how her mother didn’t think of her father as having any importance. He was just a tool to her and a sacrifice she needed to make to help her brother further his agenda.
Chen Ye Lin (陈烨林) as Ji Jing Lei (姬惊雷). They extended his role more in the series, which made sense because they needed to develop the stories more and give it better context regarding the big picture with the battles and all (not just mentioning it happening briefly like in the novel). I was really annoyed with him at first for attacking Ru Ge (or seemed to) and really supported Zhan Feng with being the leader until the point that he argued with the others. After he explained what Zhan Feng did for him that one time, I understood him more yet still was quite annoyed with him. Yet he gained my trust in him when he supported Ru Ge throughout the aftermaths after Lie Ming Jing’s death. Not just because he supported Ru Ge, but because he respected his master’s last wish. He argued and appealed to his master when the man was alive, but respected his words and even make sure it got carried out after the man was gone. It was tragic that he lost his sight. At least, in the end, he overcame his worst fears and had a new start.
James Li (李东恒) as Zhong Li Wu Lei (钟离无泪). He wasn’t supposed to have such a big of a role in the novel. In fact, he was the one who died the night Yi Lang set Lei Jing Hong up, not Die Yi. Yet I think they extended his character because Ru Ge needed another ally within Lie Ruo Shan Zhuang and needed more stories for the series to work. I sometimes suspected him, but he sure lived up to his reputation.
Zhang Ming Xuan (张铭轩) as Childhood Zhong Li Wu Lei (小钟离无泪).
Fan Yi Ning (樊驿宁) as Yi Lang (裔浪). He was already a power-driven maniac in the novel, I didn’t need the scriptwriters to pile it on anymore for me to hate him. However, they had to use him as a scapegoat for Zhan Feng and reduced his tragedies in the series. Even so, I felt I like his ending in the series more, even if it seemed cruel to some people. Because seriously, he got away with it in the novel. It was mentioned briefly after Zhan Feng returned to Lie Huo Shan Zhuang and took over again, Yi Lang disappeared and was never seen again. Seriously, the person responsible for the ruptures and what happened to Lei Jing Hong’s sect got away with it all?
Huang Yi Kai (黄溢凯) as Childhood Yi Lang.
Zhao Jun Ze (赵俊泽) as 4 years old Yi Lang (4岁裔浪).
Qi Hang (亓航) as Dao Wu Xia (刀无暇). Dao Lie Xiang’s oldest brother. I didn’t know what to make of him at first, but he sure made up my mind soon after. And so NOT how he was described in the novel. If anyone felt offended, I think most novels are unrealistic with people’s appearances anyway.
Gao Yang (高阳) as Dao Wu Hen (刀无痕). Dao Lie Xiang’s second brother. Not what was described in the novel either.
Yuan Yu Xuan (袁雨萱) as Die Yi (蝶衣). She was sure cute. At first, I felt she was too loud and felt she was pestering Ru Ge too much. I was afraid she would be causing trouble when she snuck out that one time. However, it turned out she was the stubborn yet really caring type, unlike some other fake person. She wasn’t supposed to die in the novel but she was never mentioned again after Ru Ge left Lie Huo Shan Zhuang after Lie Ming Jing’s death.
Jin Bo Han (金泊含) as Ying Yi (莹衣). The majority of her scenes were accurate, including the part where Ru Ge promised her that she could leave after she told the truth regarding what happened. However, what veered off was how she followed Zhan Feng that one time and even got captured along with him, and then died later. She was never mentioned again after Ru Ge let her go and that was that.
Wan Mei Xi (万美汐) as Madame Hua (花大娘). She died in the series and that was why Feng Huang later became the new manager of Wan Hua Lou, but in the novel, she didn’t die. In fact, she wasn’t mentioned after Ru Ge and the others left Wan Hua Lou the second time around.
Xiao Rong Sheng (肖荣生) as Lie Ming Jing (烈明镜). Lie Ru Ge’s adopted father, Zhan Feng’s real father. He looked fierce up front but was kind and gentle and a caring father behind it all. He was indeed patience and forgiving in the series. However, in the novel, he even mentioned to Ru Ge at one point that if Zhan Feng was a threat to her, just eliminate him (Zhan Feng), which was so cold to me. It was also quite cruel to Ru Ge hence her choosing to shield Zhan Feng from An Ye Luo’s final attack and not Yu Zi Han like she wanted to at first.
Zhang Hao Cheng (张皓承) as Young Lie Ming Jing.
Shao Feng (邵峰) as the king.
Wang Ren Jun (王仁君) as Prince Jing Xian (景献王).
Li Guang Xu (李广旭) as Prince Jing Yang (敬阳王).
Xu Min (徐敏) as Old Master of Piao Miao Sect (缥缈祖师).
Luo Si Wei (罗四维) as Xiang Er (香儿). Used to be at Wan Hua Lou, but was saved by Dao Wu Xia and stayed at the Dao resident as his servant.
Yan Jing Jie (颜敬杰) as Xuan Huang (玄璜). Loyal to Yu Zi Han and a reliable person. He was somewhat hot-headed at times but it just showed that he cared.
Sun Xiao Lun (孙晓伦) as Huang Cong (黄琮). She was so cool. I liked her regardless if I learned of how it was in the novel or not. Because she was very reliable and powerful.
Ge Shi Min (葛施敏) as Bi Er (碧儿).
Chen Kai (陈凯) as Mu Rong Tang Zhu (慕容堂主). He was indeed an important force of Lie Huo Shan Zhuang and one of the consistent characters throughout, unlike some in here that ganged up on Ru Ge and didn’t understand the situation. (They were deceived, but seriously.) I actually quite liked him–along with Zhong Li Tang Zhu–because he was smart and also an easygoing person–if time allowed.
Chen Yue (陈玥) as Ling Tang Zhu (凌堂主). Seriously, wishy-washy. I can’t blame him for falling for Yi Lang’s tricks but he didn’t help with the situations at times either.
Chen Ji Ming (陈继铭) as Lei Hen Tian (雷恨天). Lei Jing Hong’s father.
Wang Gang (王岗) as Xie Hou You (谢厚友). He was seriously unlucky.
Anson Shi (石悦安鑫) as Xie Xiao Feng (谢小风). At first, I was somewhat annoyed with the kid, but later enjoyed his arguments with Lei Jing Hong. They were indeed like a family at that part, just enjoying the simple life and all.
Fang Xiao Yue (方小月) as Huang Sao (黄嫂). Yi Lang’s mother. Perhaps, it was for the best that she didn’t know of Yi Lang’s fate? Because it would break her heart completely.
Wang Lu (王璐) as Zhan Fei Tian (战飞天). Believed to be Zhan Feng’s father, Lie Ru Ge’s real father.
Zhou Qi (周奇) as Eldest Student of Piao Miao Sect (飘渺大师兄).
Relationships / Pairings / Whatever:
Dilraba Dilmurat / Ru Ge and Vic Chou / Yin Xue. I didn’t feel their chemistry at first. I was intrigued as soon as I watched the opening scenes. However, I wasn’t feeling them until way later. Okay, possibly around the time they were at that one town, opening the shop and all. I didn’t like it that he kept placing his hands around her and trying to be as intimate as possible at times, taking advantage of the situation. Yet when their bond improved later, I decided to cut him some slacks, mostly because he had been waiting forever (almost) to be reunited with her after their fate was cut short in her previous life. There were actually quite a few fun and touching scenes between them.
Dilraba Dilmurat / Ru Ge and Vin Zhang / Zhan Feng. I thought they really had chemistry. It was that the way the plot was so they couldn’t be together. It was kind of cute watching their younger versions interacting. Too bad, huh? But I think fans of the pairing shouldn’t be too disappointed since they starred in The King’s Women (秦时丽人明月心) together. (Although I think it’s another tragic drama, lol.)
Dilraba Dilmurat / Ru Ge and Wayne Liu / Yu Zi Han. They totally exuded the brother and sister vibe throughout the series so I was not torn that they didn’t end up together. Sure, they could work (like how it was in the novel) and there were some cute moments together. But I think their boundaries were clearly established in here (except for a few scenes), unlike how it was in the novel. They were much more intimate in the novel and it showed that they would eventually end up together.
Jang Hyuk / Lei Jing Hong and Dai Si / Dao Lie Xiang. They had really good chemistry and their story aided majorly with the scenes. I thought she was going to die–based on the main theme. Yet it turned out all right, despite all the tragedies happening between their two families. The ending was kind of funny and I was surprised how things turned out, but I was glad in a sense that they could mend their relationship. It wasn’t too out of the ordinary since he explained during the battles with An He Gong, he admitted that he finally realized of Lie Xiang’s situation and how he was being harsh on her. He went on to elaborate that his situation with An Ye Jue was complex as well, at times hating her for the schemes yet couldn’t help but thought of the times she let him go and possibly about the times she actually raised him. So yeah, not too out of nowhere with trying to get them back together at the end. However, I think the scriptwriters turned them into Romeo and Juliet just for dramatic purposes. Because in the novel, he ended up with Huang Cong. Yup, he and Huang Cong bonded and fell in love after that one time she escorted him back to Jiangnan–after the happenings at Lie Huo Shan Zhuang and Ru Ge had to break him out. That was why he became an active force in the final battles on the outside. I also think the scriptwriters transferred some of Huang Cong’s personalities to Lie Xiang because there was one particular scene that stood out (in fact, the second rare scene mentioning them together) that showed and somewhat explained their relationship. That was when Huang Cong snapped at him for wanting to use explosives to blow up An He Gong since that could possibly harm Yu Zi Han as well since they weren’t sure of his location, which Jing Hong stayed quiet because he didn’t want to upset her further. It was explained that he wasn’t the doormat type nor would easily give in to others yet he couldn’t do anything in regard to Huang Cong–because of his love for her, lol.
James Li / Zhong Li Wu Lei and Yuan Yu Xuan / Die Yi. Their story was so cute yet tragic. I thought they would make it through yet it wasn’t so. Wishful thinking really.
Music. That was the first thing that popped up in my mind when I thought of this section. Most of the songs in here were unique and addicting in its own way, which tied back to the story in some shape or form.
Casting. I felt all the cast did quite good with the portrayals of their characters. I liked them even better after reading the novel, because like I said above, it looked like they walked out of the novel. Well, for the majority since I did make some comments above about it.
Costumes / Makeup. It was almost exactly how it was described in the novel, which was really surprising.
Flashbacks. Yes, this was unavoidable, especially for recent dramas. But I was getting really annoyed at times with the flashbacks. I felt it was overused. Because some scenes were shown over and over again. I got that flashbacks were necessary in a sense and seriously don’t mean the flashbacks to when they were little at times. But the ones that were in the present timeline or already happened but kept being shown throughout. Moreover, the over usage of flashbacks stuck out like a sore thumb because I knew it was a way to extend the episodes. Not to mention promote the songs, lol. I loved the songs, but seriously, they were pushing it.
Length. I think the previous point was responsible for the dragged out episodes. I thought the majority of the plot was all right. The pace was enough–although I didn’t like some of the stuff. It’s impossible to like everything in a series-regardless. Yet what made it a stretch for me was when it hit the 40-mark. Some parts could do without the repetition. If they need to make it to the 50th mark, I would say stop right there. The last two episodes were full of flashbacks and only dedicated a little toward explaining what happened to Yin Xue. Because in the novel, it actually ended at the part where Ru Ge made the cakes for Yu Zi Han so it seemed off with the last two episodes. (I felt the stretch even before finishing the novel.)
Zhan Feng lost either way. Yes, I saw some outrage when I was doing light searching for information about the drama. Many felt Ru Ge should have ended up with Zhan Feng since he never changed. How soon (52 episodes later more or less) they’d forgotten that he hurt her so badly–even if he had a good reason (or so he thought). It was even worse in the novel because he actually impregnated Ying Yi and caused her to miscarry. Even if it was her desperate attempt to stop the wedding that one time, but his actions showed where he stood on that. Anyway, either way, Zhan Feng wasn’t going to win. Like I mentioned above, the author disclosed in the afternote that she wanted to kill Zhan Feng at first, but because she felt that Ru Ge owed him (or more like that was how Ru Ge felt because of the switch), she didn’t want to kill him off just like that. Then the wedding scene near the ending was supposed to be set for Ru Ge and Zhan Feng, but again, the author wasn’t feeling that either so she scratched the idea. In the series, the scriptwriters (and the production team) favored Yin Xue and the novel favored Yu Zi Han. I side with the series because I felt the ending of the novel was unfair to both Yin Xue and Yu Zi Han. I liked it that Yu Zi Han was able to restore his sight and still reserved his abilities to walk and hear again. However, I didn’t like it that he was going to be stuck with essence of Yin Xue inside him. Was Yin Xue going to pop up from time to time to disturb them? Seriously? Actually, even if they decided to let her be with Yu Zi Han in the series, I would be fine with it, but I didn’t like the merge. Regarding Zhan Feng, I preferred him in series over Yu Zi Han, mostly because Yu Zi Han was just too perfect.
The author was influenced by Gu Long. I just noticed this and guessed. Not sure. Just want to discuss here. The reason was Gu Long was famous for writing short phrases and describing scenes. It made me think of him several times. Then there was also the whole theme behind using a brothel as a front for other activities or reasons. Not that only Gu Long used that direction in his plot, but he was known for a lot of daring plotlines.
Recommended? I think it was worth it. If you’re a Vic fan, it’s a must watch because he portrayed a completely different role–once again. There were some hints of mischief like some past roles, but this one took on another path. Even if it seemed he appeared so little but it was worth it for me. In fact, I think the majority of the cast did quite well. The story lived up to it. Sure, I complained about some stuff but overall, it was a decent series.