Year 2015 in Recap

year_review

Oh joy, I’m bringing this back since it’s another year of madness. How did it go? Let’s check the number first, lol. Yes, before I start bragging and realized it wasn’t worth bragging over, lol. But before I actually go into the stats, I would like to thank The New World and iHero for making some of the impossibles happen. Because if it wasn’t for the dramas, I wouldn’t have updated so much or kept it so consistent for the better half of the year. Also, anyone wanting to check out the stat report from WordPress, click here.

Total Posts in 2015: 365 (35% of all time). Yes, I took a challenge of trying to keep up posts for 365 days SO had to brag here. It wasn’t easy and some posts were less impressing than others. However, I think it was already tough that I managed it all year long. For this year, will I be continuing on this pattern? I want to but I would say no. Since quality trumps quantity so I’ll still be updating, still be my random self at times, but I won’t force it as an everyday thing. If it happens, it happens. Now, moving on to the breakdown of different categories.

poll_collage2
Times Updated on People on the Poll
: 284 (78% of overall). I took out Ady and Hu Ge early on so I didn’t feel like I needed to include them in this section. Anyway, because I did the 365-day challenge, everyone benefited–one way or another. However, Achel had a surge, leaving Jun Ya behind with only 22 posts, because Wallace, Joanne, Bianca, and Jacky ended up having more posts than him for the year. That knocked him off top 5 for the year yet didn’t damage his overall record too much. Talking about that, he was the reason why I held off so long of not publishing this post since I needed to calculate some of the posts again. Yet I decided to gamble and take out some and possibly double back next year to correct it all. Oh yeah, I didn’t count general updates for some people, especially those with higher numbers already.
Wallace Huo: 26 (9% of the year)
Janine Chang: 16 (6%)
Vic Chou: 12 (4%)
Joanne Zeng: 25 (9%)
Nicholas Teo: 18 (6%)
Xiu Jie Kai: 12 (4%)
Angela Chang: 12 (4%)
Zhao Jun Ya: 22 (8%)
Yvonne Yao: 7 (2%)
Penny Lin: 16 (6%)
Achel Chang/ Zhang Xin Yu: 34 (12%)
Sophia Chou: 6 (2%)
Ruby Lin: 16 (6%)
Van Fan: 9 (3%)
Eric Suen: 5 (2%)
Bianca Bai: 25 (9%)
Jacky Chu: 23 (8%)

Books Reviews:

Music Reviews:

Movies + TV Series Reviews/Episode Summaries: I will say that I was both proud and also a bit ashamed, because I was cheating for several dramas by inserting placeholders. I was trying to motivate myself to watch faster and/or fill the spaces yet things got in the way and I fell behind once again.

Fan Fiction:

Songs Translations: I think that it was too obvious that it was a Phil Chang year for me. Yes, I love that guy. Okay, mostly his songs, lol. But he is funny. Getting back to this, totally outdone myself on some levels. Overall, I translated 51 songs. OMG, that’s like major achievement for me in this area. The previous year, I only did 12, but that was because I didn’t really take it as a challenge. I think this number will drop the upcoming year since I won’t be forcing myself to update every day.

Chinese: 46

Vietnamese: 5

Side Updates: 130 posts – My randomness seriously has gone way past normal. I didn’t count some of the side stuffs. But The New World and iHero obviously dominated the scene for the beginning of the year.

For this year, I hope to bring out more quality posts, like I said earlier. I also hope to finish up the placeholder posts that I haven’t previously. Wish me luck and see you all next year!

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Can’t Cry by Yao Ting

(Uploaded by: YL 奇奇)

Song Title: Can’t Cry (哭不出来)

Music & Lyrics by: Tang Jian (唐健)

Key:
Bold = Chinese
Dark Green = Pin Yin
Burnt Orange = English
Green = Vietnamese

那幾年幸福是
na ji nian xing fu shi
Those few years of happiness were
Những năm hạnh phúc đó là
你递在我碗里的甘藍菜
ni di zai wo wan li de gan lan cai
The cabbage that you placed in my bowl
Bắp cải mà anh đã đặt vào tô em
還有愛
hai you ai
And love
Còn tình yêu
是半夜里為女兒添的一床被蓋
shi ban ye li wei nu er tian de yi chuang bei gai
Was being a girl with only a bedspread in the middle of the night
Là thân gái một mình nửa đêm với một chiếc khăn trải giường
一心只為你安排
yi xin zhi wei ni an pai
Planned everything with all my heart just because of you
Một lòng an bài tất cả chỉ vì anh
不可能有什麼會拆開
bu ke neng you shen me hui che kai
Cannot just let it all break apart
Không thể nào để cho bất cứ cái gì phá hoại được
躺在你的懷中想著你在故我在
tang zai ni de huai zhong xiang zhe ni zai gu wo zai
Lying in your arms, thinking that you wanted me present
Nằm trong lòng anh, tưởng rằng anh muốn có em bên cạnh

我不明白
wo bu ming bai
I don’t understand
Em không hiểu được
我竟會被你轟下了我們的舞台
wo jing hui bei ni hong xia le wo men de wu tai
How I unexpectedly got strike down by you off of our stage
Sao em có thể bất ngờ bị anh đánh rơi xuống vũ đài của chúng ta
看你盡顯你的可愛和別人奇奇怪怪
kan ni jin xian ni de ke ai he bie ren qi qi guai guai
Watching you showing off your cuteness with others, it seemed so strange
Nhìn thấy anh đang biểu lộ sự dễ thương đối với người khác, thiệt kỳ lạ quá
我怎麼能夠明白
wo zen me neng gou ming bai
How could I possibly understand that
Em làm sao có thể hiểu được rằng
天可以一夜之間塌下來
tian ke yi yi ye zhi jian ta xia lai
The sky could fall overnight?
Trời có thể sụp đổ chỉ trong một đêm thôi?
你終於站在我面前
ni zhong yu zhan zai wo mian qian
You’re finally standing in front of me
Anh rốt cuộc cũng đứng trước mặt em
說想要暫時分開
shuo xiang yao zan shi fen kai
Saying that you want to temporarily separate
Nói rằng muốn tạm thời chia tay

哭不出來
ku bu chu lai
Unable to cry
Khóc không ra được
你怎麼可以亲手將我掩埋
ni zen me ke yi qin shou jiang wo yan mai
How could you bury me with your own hands like that?
Sao anh có thể tự tay chôn em như vậy được?
哭不出來
ku bu chu lai
Unable to cry
Khóc không ra được
一生的最愛變成隔夜的菜
yi sheng de zui ai bian cheng ge ye de cai
The most beloved in a lifetime had turned into an overnight course
Cuộc tình của cả một đời đã biến thành món ăn cách đêm
哭不出來
ku bu chu lai
Unable to cry
Khóc không ra được
你怎麼可能也被世界篡改
ni zen me ke neng ye bei shi jie cuan gai
How could you also be tampered with by the world like that?
Sao anh có thể cũng bị thế giới ảnh hưởng như vậy được?
哭不出來
ku bu chu lai
Unable to cry
Khóc không ra được
我只能一點哦一點
wo zhi neng yi dian e yi dian
I could only chant a little
Em chỉ có thể hát hò chút đỉnh thôi
沉入身後的苦海
chen ru shen hou de ku hai
Submerging into a sea of suffering
Tự mình thâm nhập vào biển khổ thôi

*All translations were done by DTLCT.

Dong Jiang Heroes: Review

I finally finished this! Like two weeks ago. The delay was due to inaccessibility. How was it? Wow. Just wow. (And thanks to this site – a mega thanks indeed, because it helped majorly with cast list and all.)

Main Cast:

  • Wang Lei (王雷) as Liu Hei Zai (劉黑仔). After watching this, I realized Wang Lei is just amazing. He took my breath away with his acting. He brought the character out so vividly and convincingly. I will confess I haven’t read enough about the real person in history yet. But I must say he was really convincing with how he fought for his country and was a very loyal person to his brothers. He was also quite righteous. Although he was quite hot-headed too, but it was often justified or it was just how he was. He learned to curve it somewhat later, but that was a part of him, can’t change it all. Not to mention, his humor made up for other moments as well.
  • Jia Qing (贾青) as An Na (安娜) / Anna. At first, I thought she was the typical female with how she wanted to fight for her country yet was repressed because her father chose the cowardly path and didn’t allow her to participate. I thought she would be a bigger part of the picture by proving herself and rebel. She indeed did try to do her part, but she became the love interest of the two main leads and that was it. She did try hard to be a bigger part of the picture, but it seemed cut short. I still enjoyed Jia Qing’s acting yet I didn’t enjoy her story as much anymore.
  • Ye Xiang Ming (叶项明) as Mai Jian Feng (麦剑锋). He wasn’t my favorite at the beginning yet wasn’t completely hateful either. However, he totally pushed his way into one of my most hated characters list, even more hateful than the villains and traitors in here. What made me really upset with his character wasn’t his bail out on them from the troops or trying to live his luxurious life. No one liked the war, but they were driven into such chaos so he couldn’t be blamed for it. What I hated him for was how he kept saying, “Who do you think Mai Jian Feng is? I wouldn’t betray my brothers.” Wrong, he won the “Hypocrite of the Year” award. When he wanted to go with them to sabotage that one base and eventually wanting to sacrifice himself so the other two could run, I thought Lao Dai was wrong and in the end, he had thought it through and had chosen them. Yet I was wrong and Lao Dai was right. In the end, he chose his own future, not them.
  • Xiao Cong (肖聪) as Dai Zai Chu (戴在初) aka Lao Dai (老戴). The storyteller. Mixed feelings throughout. Yet in the end, I think I would have to accept who he was. He was very level-headed the majority of the time and became the glue to keeping everyone together. He was a good leader and quite wise with his words. At first, he seemed a bit hostile, because he kept lecturing the other guys, but I understood his point–with taming them and wanting them not to break many rules while they were all in it together.
  • Eddie Teng (滕文昊) as Huo Sheng (火胜). He was part of the comedic scenes for me with the other guys yet I didn’t expect him to have such a tragic ending. I thought he would live ’til the end. At least became one of the ones surviving to tell the story. Yet it wasn’t so. He died tragically and was the first to die among the five guys. But he was also quite brave, fighting ’til the end, not surrendering. His death must be the most heartbreaking because of the way he died and also breaking the link between the guys–or a start to the ripple effect.
  • Jenson Tian (田家達) as Gong Li Qiang (龚立强) aka Ah Qiang (阿強). Part of the comedic act. I saw through different pictures and later the trailers that he would die, so I wasn’t surprised. But I didn’t realize he could be so brave. Well, it was already obvious that most of them were, but he was only a comedian to me. Yet his death was as tragic.
  • Jacky Chu (祝釩剛) / Zhang You Tian (張又天) as Ruan Yong Biao (阮永彪) aka Ah Biao (阿彪). Loved food, not too bright, but was loyal to his brothers–and sisters. He was also quite hot-headed, but would listen to others when needed to. At least the later parts since he, along with the others, became more tamed and trusted Lao Dai more. He was the other part of the comedy act between the characters. It was really tragic with the flashbacks when he and Ah Qiang promised to be brothers in their next lives as well.
  • Ryu Kohata (木幡龙) as Dong Tiao Zheng Zhi (东条正之). He was sure cunning. There was something that he said that rang true on many levels yet couldn’t just let others off too easily, especially some parties that had participated so willingly to cause so much pain toward others. The phrase was: It was a war. It was before his death and how Hei Zai reminded him that he (Hei Zai) would come back for him.
  • Liu Yan Yu (刘言语) as Song Ben (松本). A Japanese general under Dong Tiao.

Supporting:

  • Chang Rong (常戎) as Huang Ying Quan (黄英权) aka Quan Ge (权哥). He met Hei Zai and the other guys since they were younger. He had a lot of effect on Hei Zai’s decisions later on and how Hei Zai decided to join the troops. His death was also a major turn around for Hei Zai and how he was determined to go on with leading the others, along with Lao Dai.
  • Chen Dong (程东) as Mao Ge (猫哥). Despicable. But I must say, before his death, he said something that made sense, not make anymore excuses like before. He said that regardless of whichever country was in power, he was still a thug. At least he admitted it, unlike someone.
  • Daisy Sun (孙丹梓) as Ah Jiao (阿娇). Hei Zai’s childhood sweetheart. Ended up marrying Mao Ge because he helped her family and she wanted to repay him. But she never forgot Hei Zai. (It was revealed near the ending.) She still tried to help the others throughout and didn’t just ignore them. Her life was really tragic from the start, especially having been with Mao Ge and his schemes. Yet she was one of the lucky ones that survived in the end. Not that I wasn’t glad that she survived, I was just surprised, because of the pictures released and some scenes where Ah Biao wouldn’t shoot through her (like she told him to) and ended up getting shot himself. I thought she would die right there with trying to help the guys. Then I thought that she did after the failed assassination attempt on Mao Ge. But luckily, she survived.
  • Hong Yan (洪艳) as Qian Pei Zhen (錢佩珍). Teacher Qian’s daughter, resided in Hong Kong and worked at a club. Also Huo Sheng’s childhood sweetheart. Very courageous and very powerful. She was one of the few strong female characters in here, and even fought alongside the men for their country. Well, both physically and emotionally strong.
  • Yang Xuan Zi (杨璇姿) as He Min Yi (何敏仪). Used to work against their side yet was misled by her leader so she ended up helping them for real later on. Very brave and capable. It was revealed during her death scene that she liked Hei Zai. It wasn’t too farfetched with their interactions in the past, but it was interesting and how she was never jealous of Anna or anything. Because she had to focus on the bigger picture like the rest of them. She was really cute in her own way–when time allowed for it.
  • Wen Yang (闻 洋) as Ran Pei (冉沛). Despicable although supposed to be on the same side as them, but of a different branch. He was Hei Zai’s downfall. He hated Hei Zai from the start and wanted him dead but too bad. It didn’t matter if he got the command to get rid of Hei Zai near the end. He would do it eventually. He was just waiting for an opportunity.
  • Tong Yao Zhong (彤耀忠) as Bao Yu Qiang (鲍鱼强). The traitor that killed Huo Sheng. Despicable and no excuse for what he did.

Others:

  • Jiang Kai (蒋恺) as An Jing Hui (安景惠). Anna’s father. Known as a traitor to his country. At first, I sympathized with him for being stuck in a hard place. It was only right that he did everything to protect his family, and that I think the guys might be too impulsive at the beginning to get the realness of it all–even if they’d had witnessed some stuffs. However, it was harder to make excuses for him as the plot progressed, especially how he became so actively involved with pointing out certain parties and getting them executed.
  • Sun Ao (孙傲) as An Jie (安杰). Anna’s younger brother. The poor kid ended up losing his life because of what the other grown ups were fighting over, thinking they were right–whatever it was. He only wanted to save Hei Zai by helping with bringing them information, but had lost his life over it. Yet his father was only half blamed for it. As cruel as it was, Anna was really blamed for it. Yes, I said it. Anna did blame herself when she was in her depressive mood. Yet she was also right. If she hadn’t told her father, her father wouldn’t pass it onto the other guys. Even if it was a last goodbye and she wanted to tell him what was going on to reassure him, but she knew too well he couldn’t help himself. Even if he was forced to give up that piece of information, but still, it was there to provide.
  • Cai Wen Jing (蔡文静) as Liu Jia Mei (劉嘉妹). Hei Zai’s younger sister. A gentle and cute young lady. Yet could be so strong and brave. She was one of those could be considered naive and pure in here. Not saying the others weren’t, but like she seemed to be untouched by the outside–despite losing her parents and witnessing so many chaotic moments around them. She still had great hope for the future and also trusted Jie Chuan Long. She didn’t want to be clouded by the war and lump him into the same category as the rest of the ‘enemy’.
  • Jin Ze Hao (金泽灏) as Jie Chuan Long (芥川龍). A Japanese doctor. Became their ally–by forced at first but turned into a willing participant as time went by. A kind doctor whom didn’t see the point of the fights and all. Later, he was dubbed to be a traitor of his country. Yet what was the difference between him and all the traitors in here? Perhaps it was because he never truly wanted to harm any innocent citizens like some actively did. His turning point was because he had begged Song Ben not to kill Jia Mei but it was all in vain. I swear I thought he would survive. But the little bit of early celebration had cost them.
  • Sabrina Qiu (邱璐璠) as Ju Mei (菊妹). Anna’s ally at the factory. She was very brave and hardworking. Not to mention having a kind heart to warn Anna about different parties within the factory. She was no longer mentioned after Anna left the factory.
  • Zhu Rong Rong (朱荣荣) as Ye Ming (叶明). Anna’s classmate. Sold her out to the others. No surprise. He wanted to live.
  • Yuan Xin Ran (袁心冉) as Bai Lu (白露). One of the girls always on watch, but really want to participate in the bigger picture.
  • Liu Gen Sheng (刘根生) as (錢老师). Pei Zhen’s father. A brave person and died as tragically as some characters in here. He died early on into the story, like around the time Ah Biao’s mother died. It had opened a flood gate for the others, wanting to avenge his death and the others and rebel.

Friendships/ Brotherhoods/ Romances, etc.

  • The five guys. Their bond was emphasized a lot throughout the story–since it made sense, it was about them. The beginning seriously showed it with their unity and how they would stick together regardless. The ripple started when MJF left them. However, that didn’t stop them from wanting to maintain a bond throughout. Regardless if they were on different sides. Whether MJF deserved their loyalty or not, it was debatable. Probably near the end, it was less and less important on getting MJF to maintain that link, but as for the others, they were never changing all right. It didn’t matter if he showed up at the guys’ funerals. The only time I credited him for was going with them to that one base. It seemed like he changed but it wasn’t so. As for the other guys, they really looked up to Hei Zai as their leader and would take whatever Hei Zai said really seriously. Well, sometimes Ah Biao and Ah Qiang would go out to steal stuffs or do stuffs that would jeopardize their safety, but they didn’t do it on purpose and it was forgivable.
  • Hei Zai and Lao Dai. At first, they didn’t really get along, mostly because Lao Dai couldn’t really stand Hei Zai’s jumpy nature. Yet later, they learned to get along. As time progressed, they became more understanding of one another and became like brothers like some others. It was hilarious to watch some of their exchanges. By the end, it was obvious their bond was undeniable, because of what Lao Dai said regarding how he would carry Hei Zai on his back to fight but wouldn’t leave Hei Zai behind, etc. Their last conversation was definitely touching. In his narration, Lao Dai had said that he had rather that he died and Hei Zai lived. It was one of those tragic moments where nothing could be change, but it magnified their bond so strongly. In his narration, Lao Dai also said that Hei Zai mentioned about still wanting to fight in the next life, not wanting it to be any different–and that he would fight alongside Hei Zai if he could choose.
  • Hei Zai and Quan Ge. They knew each other since the beginning, even way before the current scenes took place so Hei Zai really respected him. So throughout, Quan Ge had a lot to do with how Hei Zai wanted to join the cause and fought for his country. So, of course, when Quan Ge died, that had become the sole reason for Hei Zai to continue on. The more so because he felt guilty that it was his fault that Quan Ge died–at least according to him.
  • Hei Zai and Anna. Their story started out with them being the bickering couple. However, they soon learned to get along and fell in love. It was light and all at first, like most stories. But it was obvious early on that it didn’t work or might not work (even if there were no spoilers with the trailers and articles, etc). Because her father being on the wrong side had caused a lot of headaches throughout. At first, it was obvious that most people just wanted to follow along because of their families and because they had a lot of to fear for, especially that sensitive time of war and chaos. Yet some of them were willing participants and wanting to cause harm to their fellow citizens. Anna’s father became one of those in the second category so it killed their relationship, even before the inevitable. Quan Ge and Lao Dai had seen it ahead of time, way before it had rolled around to that moment. It didn’t matter if it was that incident with Quan Ge’s death that had caused Hei Zai to drive the final wedge in their relationship. It would eventually come to that in the end. It was how An Jing Hui was. But back to their relationship only, Hei Zai sure changed his view from impulsive, just doing what he wanted and acting plain possessive to learning to let go and think for Anna’s sake. His sensitivity toward her and how he secretly cried, missing her at various points later on showed signs of how he had understood what she meant earlier in the story. All those stuffs about showing off didn’t matter anymore. If they didn’t live in that time, perhaps their story would end different. (Duh, right?)
  • Mai Jian Feng and Anna. No comment. Okay, that would be lying since I have a lot to say about them, but don’t know how to start. Not at first. I knew I was against it, but I try to think harder about it. It was more like I didn’t like how she’d accepted him after all these times. Sure, he took care of her when she was in the worst part of her life, but Mai Jian Feng? Really? Well, she probably didn’t know half of the stuffs he was doing. But he and Hei Zai were supposedly good brothers after all. Even if she could never be with Hei Zai again, why was she settling with Jian Feng? Or maybe it was just me trying to apply some logic into the situation, which is a dumb move on my part, very dumb. And I had a feeling like he wasn’t working so hard to win her over just because he loved her, he needed to win over Hei Zai and that he wanted to feel the thrive of finally ‘conquering’ her.
  • Hei Zai and Ah Jiao. Their relationship was kept subtle from the start. It was obvious that Hei Zai was deeply wounded when he found out about Ah Jiao marrying Mao Ge already. Yet they had to move on. Other things, like the war going on, surrounding them made it harder to just focus on them. Yet there was nothing Hei Zai could do about it, except to accept her as his sister and part of the family. He had promised to protect her–if Mao Ge were to bully her or anything. It seemed like Ah Jiao helped them throughout because of that promise, because they were family. However, it was revealed near the end that she still had feelings for him after all these years and even after all the tragedies of the drama unfolded after Hei Zai got out of prison. She was just trying to keep strong and move on, knowing that they couldn’t be together. Then Anna came along so of course it was harder to say anything. Yet even if she had been jealous of Anna, she wasn’t petty, knowing why it didn’t work between her and Hei Zai. At least until she couldn’t take it anymore at last and wanted to tell him. But at least that conversation had allowed them both closure, because Hei Zai had said that they weren’t the same persons that they were in the past. She had also understood why it never worked but she needed to say it out.
  • Hei Zai and Min Yi. I used to think they would make an interesting couple when I saw some scenes with them kind of messing around at times, especially during breaks and things weren’t that hectic yet. Well, it was always hectic, but the dying number wasn’t at a chilling rate and things got really complicated later on. I thought it was just my wishful thinking. Yet it was revealed later during her death that she had liked him all along. Too bad. They would’ve made a really cute couple. They could be the couple matching wit per wit and all.
  • Huo Sheng and Pei Zhen. I didn’t cry throughout, even though there were sad parts between Hei Zai and Anna–or other tragic deaths before that. (But more like frustration through their deaths, etc.–even though it was inevitable with that moment in history.) Yet when Huo Sheng’s death scene rolled around and then the scene at the grave where Pei Zhen finally avenged his death that I broke. It was super sad. I thought somehow they were the funny couple–despite all the intensity going on–and they would make it through yet no.
  • Jie Chuan Long and Jia Mei. OMG, they were the cutest from the start. What with all those chaos going on around them, I still thought they were so cute. I thought they were one of the couples that made it through, at least since she was out of harm’s way after how he made the fake marriage certificates and all. Then there was the whole she rarely appeared and all. She was well hidden. Then they finally had her brother’s approval and all. Yet that was seriously so tragic.

The Goods, the Bad, and the Complaints.

  • Choreography. It was awesome on many levels. Yes, there were exaggerations but the gracefulness of some scenes made it quite amazing. Two notable scenes were where Huo Sheng fought off the others and tried to escape. Then there was also Ah Biao and Ah Qiang’s final moments. The inevitable was tragic, but those scenes were quite nicely done. Hei Zai’s shooting ability was already implied throughout so that was known without being said.
  • Storyline. Quite fast pace and addicting to watch. Despite some really tragic scenes and frustrating moments, the overall plot worked quite well. Of course there were many details that they had to keep consistent with that time in history and its tragedies. That was why it seemed more genuine than some dramas that focused on this sensitive time period but had failed to capture the essence of it.
  • Songs. The ending song by Jacky, Ten Fingers Connecting The Heart (十指连心), was hauntingly good. Then there was also the song Can’t Cry (哭不出來) sang by Yao Ting (姚婷) was also quite touching.

Worth Mentioning Scenes:

  • Huo Sheng’s death. Like I said before, the first to die among the guys and causing a deep wound in their hearts and the beginning of the ripple effect. His brave fight and then his deterioration yet he didn’t want to give in to the other side. The final moment to capture the tragedy was how he still held Pei Zhen’s gift so gingerly in his hand.
  • Jia Mei’s death. So tragic and so heart-wrenching. Jie Chuan Long told her to hold on since her brother was coming. Yet she told him she didn’t think she could wait. She also told him that her brother finally accepted them and would give them his blessings one day when they were no longer at war.
  • Ah Qiang and Ah Biao’s death. They fought a fearless battle. Ah Biao was saying how they grew up together and had fought for their lives together yet he didn’t want to die with Ah Qiang as well. Ah Qiang returned the remark by saying, “Do you think that I want to die with you?” Yet they promised to be brothers in the next life as well–if there was such. Then they helped each other up after having that heartfelt conversation to fight one last time, even if it was a suicide mission. They didn’t want to waste even the least bit of their limited time.
  • Min Yi’s death. The silent moment when she turned to look at Hei Zai and scenes of them flashing back so genuinely. It wasn’t too dramatic, but it had said it all. It was through her eyes. Her last memories of them. It was worth a few tears.
  • Lao Dai’s conversation with Hei Zai and how Hei Zai told him to take the others and go. Lao Dai, of course, disagreed. But that was one touching conversation. Hei Zai thanked Lao Dai for turning his life around, allowing him to join such a moment and made something out of his life, etc. Lao Dai said that fighting along Hei Zai’s side was his pleasure. And being brothers.
  • Anna’s last conversation with Hei Zai before he went to sacrifice himself. They finally had closure. I thought I was done with them after the damage was done (with him killing her father thus leading to a path of no return), but that scene really brought back some emotions and some tears. They promised to get along better in the next lifetime, if there was one. Well, more like he asked her what if in the next lifetime he was still doing what he was doing, she said she would still love him.

Debates:

  • Jia Mei vs. An Jing Hui. Interesting how they were given choices and their decision was totally different. Like I said, An Jing Hui had a lot riding on it all, not just his safety but for the sake of his family. Then Jia Mei only had herself to gamble for. Yet she had chosen differently. Why? Well, to look at it more carefully, Jia Mei had her brother and Jie Chuan Long. She can’t just leave them like that. Yet she did. She chose it. Their safety wasn’t threatened (not at that crucial moment), but hers was. She still chose to let go and sacrificed herself. Although, she did tell the others to calm down and they would find a way out of it initially, she finally understood what she had to do when the time actually came around. It wasn’t like she looked for every chance to lung into death. She valued her life very much, especially after her brother had promised to give his blessings to her and Jie Chuan Long. She had even more reasons to live. Yet she didn’t want to become a pawn for others to use against her brother. An Jing Hui feared for the life of his family–and himself. Anyone would want to consider that, especially how he was threatened many times throughout. Yet was the whole ‘protecting his family’ an excuse or an easy way out not to do anything more?
  • Jie Chuan Long vs. An Jing Hui. Both were known as traitors to their country. Yet one decision outweighed the other. Jie Chuan Long’s final push was because of Jia Mei. An Jing Hui’s was An Jie’s death. They were both forced to help the opposing side unwillingly at first and then later more willingly. They were also killed by their own countrymen, because it was obvious they were traitors. What was different about them though? Was it because Jie Chuan Long was a kind doctor that his involvement was more justified? He didn’t agree with the war or how some of the tactics were pulled so he finally made his decision to be more obvious on which side he stood? Jia Mei’s death drove his final move, like said before, but he had never really wanted to hurt anyone from the start. Although aiding in Hei Zai’s movement also caused the many lives of his countrymen (the solders, etc, not just the leaders), but was being on the right side of the story made it acceptable? (I’m not trying to stir up anything but just tossing it out there for debate’s sake.) An Jing Hui, as said many times before, was more actively involved but had a lot riding on his side versus how Ji Chuan Long was shown having only himself (and then later Jia Mei). An Jing Hui had blamed Hei Zai and others for his son’s death, but it was because of him that it had ended up in that route. Yet was that his coping mechanism just to blame others, because he didn’t want to acknowledge the truth? Probably. Yet was it right to cause so many deaths in his path afterward? What made their decisions different? What made their decisions more acceptable?
  • An Jie vs. An Jing Hui. Yes, it seems like I’m throwing An Jing Hui under the bus now by comparing him to different characters in here. Yet An Jie was his kid after all, why wasn’t he so obedient and think like his father? Anna was the same, her rebellious, righteousness made it puzzling and made us wanting to visit the whole ‘nature vs. nurture’ debate once again. (Or at least I did.) An Jie probably was too young to understand a lot of things of the world. He knew Hei Zai was a good person–or at least was a good friend of his sister, so he had to warn Hei Zai. But had paid for it tragically. An Jing Hui, being threatened directly like that, he had to do something to save his life, it was human nature. He couldn’t be blamed too much for that. But was it because of the complications of adult mind that had led him to the decisions that he made throughout? Not just at the point of his son’s death.
  • The confrontation and intensity between Hei Zai and Mai Jian Feng. This was the part where Hei Zai walked in on Mai Jian Feng trying to grab Anna and steered her away from danger when their base was already discovered and they had to go fight. Anna tried to get away but really can’t. Hei Zai had jumped in and confronted MJF, saying that he knew how to take care of Anna and told MJF to ‘stay away from his woman’. Although it sounded really possessive, but that was who Hei Zai was. He wasn’t good with words–or more like didn’t know how to sweet talk, so his straightforward attitude at times would cause trouble for him. Yet he made it clear, not wanting MJF to carry on any longer. He still treated MJF like a brother and would always try to come to the rescue when MJF needed it. But he had to draw the line and get his point across.

Funny Moments: I thought I wrap this up with some positivity so here goes.

  • Anything involving the five guys initially–not the robbing scenes, but like the parts where they argue about food, where to go, etc. They were a hilarious bunch together so it was hard not to laugh. Well, at least until things got super hectic later on.
  • When they saved Anna. It wasn’t that funny that she lost control and ended up crashing into the guys. But what was funny was how she tried to thank them by saying ‘thank you’ and Ah Biao had interpreted as her trying to curse Hei Zai, lol.
  • The part where they learned that Ah Biao didn’t know the difference between ‘left’ and ‘right’–literally. It was the part where Quan Ge told them to go practice and stuffs. So Hei Zai took the guys to a part of the woods to start. That was the part when they learned that Ah Biao didn’t know. LOL! What was even more worth a few laugh was when he suggested to Hei Zai to switch the commands to ‘North, South, East, West’ instead of using ‘left, right’. That was when the other guys messed up. LOL! So Hei Zai had to clutch his head and think of another way to teach them all.
  • The part where they had an emergency gathering in the middle of the night. It was a drill but still, the guys were so unprepared and all ended up wearing one another’s clothes. What was even more face-palming was how Hei Zai had wore Ah Biao’s clothes so Ah Biao had to wrap himself in a mat and rushed out. The others were laughing so hard yet they were, of course, yelled at also. They were punished for the rest of the night and had to run in the cold. Ah Biao was holding onto the mat so it wouldn’t fall. LOL!
  • The part where Hei Zai and Jia Mei were arguing because Hei Zai found the fake marriage certificate and confronted Jia Mei. They were so loud that they woke Ah Biao up. When Ah Biao asked them what happened as he came in and tried to rearrange his shirt at the same time, Hei Zai answered him by saying that Jia Mei wanted to marry a Japanese man. Ah Biao was equally shocked like how Hei Zai was when he discovered the marriage certificate. Yet after he got over the initial shock, Ah Biao said it wasn’t a bad idea, lol. He came to like Jie Chuan Long after all these times, lol.
  • The part where Hei Zai and Ah Biao bid Jia Mei farewell for the last time. They didn’t know that was going to be the last time. But it was when Hei Zai had thought it through seriously the previous night so he had hinted that he would accept Jia Mei and Jie Chuan Long. Jia Mei was so happy. So when she hugged her brother goodbye, Ah Biao wanted in as well. Hei Zai told him he wasn’t allowed to since they were all grown up now, not like when they were little kids, lol. He didn’t want Ah Biao to take advantage of his sister, lol. But then Ah Biao said he was family. Hei Zai didn’t believe him yet let him off and let him hug Jia Mei anyway. That was cute and funny at the same time.

Final thoughts? Totally worth it for me. I felt it was a gem among all of those dramas popping up nowadays. I’m not really a fan of war dramas, because mostly of not wanting to see all the tragedies and all. But I thought this was done well on many levels. I felt the team – whether on or off screen–had put in their best and beyond for this production.

Dong Jiang Heroes: DVD Release

(Image credit: as marked)

For fans of the drama, they finally released the boxset. Check it out here.

Year 2014 in Recap

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You know what? I’m beginning to feel like the year in review from WordPress doesn’t even justify my accomplishments, especially this past year. So I decided to go all out on the rebellion and make my own post. It might not look as glamorous as WordPress’s version but at least it doesn’t make me look that lazy, lol.

Starting off with some general stats.

Total Posts in 2014: 139 – Yes, posts ONLY. But the number would have gone up if I counted the pages since I usually use ‘pages’ for fan fic updates, except if it’s a one-shot.
January: 19
February: 16
March: 13
April: 14
May: 6
June: 12
July: 8
August: 10
September: 7
October: 9
November: 8
December: 17

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Times Updated on People on the Poll: 63 – Looking at the breakdown, it goes to show that I update on whoever I feel like, not having to do with the who is leading the polls, etc. It’s nothing new, it’s like what I said before. It’s not that I placed in the poll just for kicks or just messing with people. But it’s more like I was curious (like I mentioned in the past already) and try not to put myself on pressure as to update according to votes. What I do feel bad about is not updating on Vic and Janine or Nic more like I should have.
Wallace Huo: 8
Ady An: 1
Hu Ge: 1
Vic Chou: 4
Joanne Zeng: 4
Janine Chang: 2
Angela Chang: 1
Xiu Jie Kai: 1
Nicholas Teo: 1
Yvonne Yao: 3
Zhao Jun Ya: 16
Achel Chang/ Zhang Xin Yu: 5
Sophia Chou: 3
Van Fan: 1
Eric Suen: 3
Penny Lin: 3
Jacky Chu: 10
Bianca Bai: 1

Music Reviews: 13 – Not bad, right? I managed to empty the majority of the list I had up. So it’s something to celebrate about here.

Movies + TV Series Reviews/Episode Summaries: 22 episodes and 6 reviews – I could have done better here but still not too bad.

Fan Fiction: It has been a sad case here since I don’t know when. But I really do apologize for all those waiting for certain stories that have been lagging for the past few years now. It’s just that I didn’t find inspiration to do work with it and didn’t want to end up ruining it more than I already did.

  • Slanted Thoughts 2
  • The Dating Game 45 – Mad progress on this saga, right? Sadly, it could only be said for this one, lol.

Songs Translations: 12 – Hey, it’s record here! I’m serious! Translations are hard! It’s harder for my case since I’m still learning in some areas.

Chinese: 9

Vietnamese: 3

Side Updates: 41 posts – YUP, these have been occupying my time as well. At times, I cheated and posted pictures only, but I swear, some of them were kind of too secretive to talk about. Or some were adaptations that I hadn’t read about yet.

  • Fu Rong Jin: 5 – It’s going to show like next year, right?
  • Favorite Scenes Saga: 1 post, but I did have a lot to work on so it wasn’t like I was slacking on purpose
  • Worth Watching Saga: Managed to publish all 3 I have in the background for the recommendation posts. Plan to launch another one this upcoming year.
  • Seasons in the Sun: 5
  • Love Knows No Distance: 2
  • Gold Pretty Girl/Dan Shen You Yue: 3 – Seriously, been waiting for this to air.
  • Dong Jiang Heroes: 6
  • Never Ending Love: 2
  • Royal Tramp/ The Deer and the Cauldron 2014: 4
  • Yuan Yue Wan Dao: 1 – Seriously, when is this airing?
  • Shen Yi Da Dao Gong 2013: 4
  • Throwback Thursday Saga: 3
  • Reasons to Stay Positive Saga: 2

What do I want to focus on for this next coming year? More on Couples posts and pages. Not to mention the “Special Profiles” pages that I had suddenly abandoned. There’s also the “All About” saga that I halted all of a sudden as well. So are these my New Year resolutions? No. I seriously don’t want to force myself into that, considering how this is just a blog to share all the randomness that I like. So putting pressure on that would lose the purpose of the blog itself even more. I’m just bringing it up because I want to say I’m not abandoning those completely yet. Although what I would want more is to finally finish some fan fics that I have been lagging since whenever. Wouldn’t that be something?

All right, have a great year next year, everyone! Happy blogging or stalking if you don’t blog! (LOL) See you next year for another random update of the wrap-up from me!