Chinese Paladin I (仙劍奇俠傳)

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WARNING: NOT my usual positively cheerful post SO READ at your own risk. IF you disagree, it’s okay. But I DO NOT hope to strike any arguments with anyone. Take it as differences in opinions and that was just my take on it. I DID NOT aim to be right OR had a purpose in pulling anyone down. It was just my own opinion and my interpretation of the characters and/or plot.

What I enjoyed about it were:

  • The brilliant characters created in here, like Xiao Yao, Yue Ru, Tang Yu, Ah Nu, and other minor characters.
  • The fantasy concept. Although some parts were quite twisted, it was all right since they could call it in the name of creativity or whatever.
  • The chemistry between Xiao Yao and Yue Ru–from friends to lovers. They matched for wit and humor. Both of their actings were so awesome that they made it more real, more convincing. I loved their interactions throughout and their tacit understanding of each other. Although they weren’t from the same background (only the same that they both lost their mothers when young), they became good friends/ companions throughout, fighting many evils as well as learning the many things of life together. A great duo as a team and as lovers. Hu Ge proved his acting as the portrayal of a very carefree and mischievous Xiao Yao to a very considerate and honest Xiao Yao later on. Same with Ady An. She was so brilliant and convincing as the spoiled girl to a very considerate and sacrificing Yue Ru.
  • Tang Yu and Ah Nu. Yes, I ran across quite a few people that hated Ah Nu, etc. But I loved the fact that she was so innocent at the beginning and then turned out to be more mature and considerate toward the end (although through such tragic incidents). At her age, what would she think of but pure fun and food? (Yes, others would be more, but not her.) She had a pure and innocent heart, not wanting to hurt others, only wanting to be friends, etc. But I also liked the fact that Tang Yu was very understanding of her and always forgave her each time she hurt him. That was what real understanding was and not blaming her versus what happened in other stories. Because he chose to love her on his own, so he never blamed her. Their chemistry was quite cute at the beginning and quite touching toward the ending scenes. People often praised Xiao Yao and Ling Er as the ultimate couple and all those sacrifice stuff, but I honestly thought that Tang Yu and Ah Nu was actually the couple who was truthful throughout. Despite Ah Nu’s innocent nature and Tang Yu’s sense of responsibility toward his country and his godfather, they both stayed true to each other throughout. (It was thought somewhere here and there that she liked Xiao Yao, but it was just an innocent crush.) Nothing could separate them and they did overcome all obstacles, not doubting each other at all. Tang Yu was disappointed with Ah Nu at times, but he then regained his faith and would think to himself of only bringing happiness toward Ah Nu instead of sulking over the fact that he might not get anything in return. Ah Nu–although innocent and might not grasp the concept of love as strong as others–would always trust Tang Yu to be there for her and to protect her against all harm. Their trust and care toward each other were what drove the relationship throughout. After watching this, I realized that Eddie was a great actor of his time and was glad he was becoming more and more popular nowadays. Because he was quite convincing as the honest Tang Yu and also his sly role as Ren Sen Tian in Honey & Clover. As for Esther Liu, I was impressed since she pulled through despite her terrible performance in Westside Story. However, it was her very first role in the other one so could not really blame her. She was really cute and charming in this one, making her character convincing. This had made me change my opinions toward her and her capability in portraying cute roles also. (Click here for Tang Yu and Ah Nu’s own post and a little more breakdown of their characters.)
  • The many friends who would never betray each other no matter what, especially Yue Ru’s cousin portrayed by Bryan Wang. Jin Yuan was always so nice and kind. Although it was because he wanted to protect his friends that his parents died, in the end, he was never astray, even putting himself in the lion’s lair to help his friends gain access to other info and/or try to defeat the evil cult leader himself–if possible. Also, his touching story with the butterfly girl. She was so selfless and sacrificed herself for him since he had saved her, but she also went to the extent of giving up immortality. Great character also.
  • Tse Kwan Ho as Ah Nu’s father and Xiao Yao’s master. Although he might not have reached the enlightening point like his senior, his sense of righteousness and his care for humanity, in general, were very powerful and the drive to change things. He was very stubborn at times, but I liked the fact that he knew he couldn’t change things but would go and try instead of like his senior who would just sit around and wait. His death was quite brief and tragic, but he was known to try once. I loved his relationship with his daughter. They were quite a pair of father and daughter. They were very alike and I especially loved the parts where they went and got drunk together, then slept on the street-side after they got kicked out of the inn. His relationship with Xiao Yao as master and student was quite memorable as well. The part where Xiao Yao remembered back to what he was taught was quite touching too. A great man overall. Tse Kwan Ho’s performance was quite impressive and was one of the main highlights of the show.
  • The cameo or guest appearances of Achel Chang and Joanne Tseng were kind of cute and funny at the same time.
  • Last, but not least, the soundtrack. The songs were quite suitable and good for the whole theme of the series. Although I loved some songs over the others, it was pretty good overall. Hu Ge was not only good at acting but also at singing since he managed to bring his emotion to the songs also, making them more lively.

How come I never mentioned Ling Er/ Liu Yu Fei throughout? Honestly, if it wasn’t for other people’s excellent acting and the story’s many touching events, it wouldn’t work at all with her alone. There were many subplots trying to tie back to Ling Er and get people to accept her, etc. But I felt like if it wasn’t for other contributions, I wouldn’t have finished watching it IF it was only for her. Because the majority of the story was about:

  • Saving Ling Er
  • Finding Ling Er
  • Rescuing Ling Er
  • Protecting Ling Er
  • Helping Ling Er

and so on…

Yes, they tried to make her character a significant part of the story, but I found it quite annoying since the more they tried to make it big and shove it in your face, you will become annoyed. I meant–yes–I understand why she must do this or that or sacrifice for her country. It was almost as going to take her mom’s place and fulfill her duty, but I loved her mom’s character more although the majority was the same. She was always so petty and NOT to mention childish at times although she did mature later. But honestly, she always decided everything for Xiao Yao and others. It was always her who was right and it was supposed to be for the better, but so what? She never respected them enough to tell them. Yes, she cared for them and didn’t want to burden them, but didn’t they get the right to decide? After all, she said that they were friends, so why NOT at least tell them? It was her country’s business, but they were her friends and they were willing. Turning them down was being polite and considerate but doing it once too many times was just fake. There were also many layers of her character that I might like better, because I started out really liking her for her innocence and cuteness (almost like Ah Nu but I was preparing myself to dislike Ah Nu because of Esther and how she couldn’t act cute in Westside Story) BUT I was so annoyed with the character of Ling Er later that I couldn’t stand it anymore. The opposite and surprising thing was I ended up liking Ah Nu/ Esther more than Ling Er/ LYF. Near the ending, after Yue Ru’s death, if it wasn’t for Hu Ge’s excellent portrayal as Xiao Yao, I wouldn’t have made it to the end. Not to mention Tang Yu and Ah Nu’s story, plus her parents, etc.

Some might think I’m favoring Yue Ru/ Ady An right now. But at the beginning, I kind of disliked Yue Ru and usually don’t like loud characters so I was favoring Ling Er/ LYF more since coming into this series, I only know LYF and Esther and was mostly watching because I thought it was kind of funny and LYF was cute. I DID NOT know Ady An at all at that time. But her acting and portrayal and Yue Ru’s character transitions made me like Ady An better. In the future, I don’t know if LYF can pull it off, but Ady An had really built my confidence toward her with her convincing acting and not to mention, the ability to portray different characters because I hunted down The Outsiders, White Robe of Love, and Love Multiplication afterward (not consecutively of course) to watch. I do not want to judge LYF later since I will wait to see her in different types of roles to say something else and if she can portray different types of roles besides the somewhat similar ones being given right now.

And maybe a bad idea, but since it’s like a habit to be comparing Ling Er and Yue Ru, I’ll take a stab too. I’m siding with Yue Ru, mostly blindly throughout but after analyzing it more and as I’m getting toward the ending with the parents’ generation and its many past unfolding, I realized something. If it wasn’t for the scriptwriters making it that way and tying down Xiao Yao to Ling Er, her character would amount to nothing. Examples?

  • Xiao Yao and Ling Er were married like at the beginning of the story–which I thought was kind of fake because I honestly don’t believe in love at first sight and the fact that she had a childish crush on him since young was somewhat irrelevant for getting married.
  • Most of the tragic stories between humans and a non-human/demon usually involved a third party or his inability to accept her as a demon, etc. It somewhat tied it back and pointed out so strongly that Xiao Yao was at fault and how Yue Rue was a third party to make Ling Er a better person. I swear Xiao Yao lost his memory and can’t be at fault for abandoning her, BUT the irony of it was he was always searching for her and she was the one running away (one minute deciding they have to be together and the next taking off). Making Yue Ru feel guilty was lame since she didn’t know they were married either AND after she knew, she did give up although Xiao Yao finally accepted her.
  • Ling Er was essential and can be used to destroy the world. Okay, come on, talking about trying to make her character bigger than other characters so she could shine.
  • Her death scene was ten minutes or more. Okay, I exaggerated but I realized that many other death scenes throughout–there were lots near the end, but none were as long as hers. They made it tragic and dramatic to make an impression on us but it was even more draggy than all the death scenes combined. If it wasn’t for Hu Ge’s awesome acting, I would have given up or tried to fast forward to see what would happen after that.

Those are just my take of it after watching, so it’s all right IF others disagree but I find the pattern too repetitive so gotta share.

Posted: September 14, 2008

Re-posted: Sunday, May 9th, 2010

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