Eddie Cheung, Mainland China Entertainment

Fighter of the Destiny


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

Main Cast:

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

Supporting:

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

Others:

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

Likes:

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

Dislikes:

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

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

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Charmaine Sheh, Hong Kong Entertainment, Janine Chang, Mainland China Entertainment, Ruby Lin, Taiwanese Entertainment, Yang Mi

Top 50 Actresses of 2018

(image credit: as marked)

Translation:

  1. Zanilia Zhao Li Ying / Triệu Lệ Dĩnh

  2. Yang Mi / Dương Mịch

  3. Di Li Re Ba / Địch Lệ Nhiệt Ba

  4. Yang Zi / Dương Tử

  5. Tiffany Tang Yan / Đường Yên

  6. Guan Xiao Tong / Quan Hiểu Đồng

  7. Victoria Song / Tống Tây

  8. Zheng Shuang / Trịnh Sảng

  9. Tamia Liu Tao / Lưu Đào

  10. Ju Jing Yi / Cúc Tịnh Y

  11. Lareina Song / Tống Tổ Nhi

  12. Janine Chang / Trương Quân Ninh

  13. Tong Li Ya / Đồng Lệ Á

  14. Lin Qin / Lý Thấm

  15. Jiang Shu Ying / Giang Sơ Ảnh

  16. Crystal Liu Yi Fei / Lưu Diệc Phi

  17. Angelababy / Yang Ying / Dương Dĩnh

  18. Crystal Zhang Tian Ai / Trương Thiên Ái

  19. Cecilia Han Xue / Hàn Tuyết

  20. Regina Wan / Vạn Tây

  21. Zhou Dong Yu / Châu Đông Vũ

  22. Li Yi Tong / Lý Nhứt Đồng

  23. Hu Bing Qing / Hồ Băng Khanh

  24. Shen Yue / Thẩm Nguyệt

  25. Fan Bing Bing / Phạm Băng Băng

  26. Cecilia Liu Shi Shi / Lưu Thi Thi

  27. Yoona

  28. Li Xiao Ran / Lý Tiểu Nhiễm

  29. Yang Rong / Dương Dung

  30. Sebrina Chen Yao / Trần Dao

  31. Sandra Ma / Mã Tư Thuần

  32. Jiang Xin / Tưởng Hân

  33. Qin Lam / Tần Lam

  34. Sun Yi / Tôn Di

  35. Stephy Qi Wei / Thích Vy

  36. Betty Sun Li / Tôn Lệ

  37. Lolita Wang / Vương Hiểu Thần

  38. Vicki Zhao / Triệu Vy

  39. @@@@

  40. Guli Nazha / Cổ Lực Na Trát

  41. Wendy Zhang / Trương Tử Phong

  42. Sally Jing Tian / Cảnh Điềm

  43. Dong Jie / Đổng Khiết

  44. Ruby Lin / Lâm Tâm Như

  45. Charmaine Sheh / Xa Thi Mạn

  46. Wang Li Kun / Vương Lệ Khôn

  47. Zhang Xue Ying / Trương Tuyết Nghênh

  48. Zhou Xun / Châu Tấn

  49. Xin Zhi Lei / Tân Chỉ Lôi

  50. Xie Na / Tạ Na

Hong Kong Entertainment, Janine Chang, Mabel Yuan Shan Shan, Mainland China Entertainment, Ruby Lin, Taiwanese Entertainment, Yang Mi

Top 50 Actresses of 2017

(image credit: as marked)

Translation:
1. Zanilia Zhao Li Ying / Triệu Lệ Dĩnh
2. Yang Mi / Dương Mịch
3. Di Li Re Ba / Địch Lệ Nhiệt Ba
4. Zheng Shuang / Trịnh Sảng
5. Cecilia Liu Shi Shi / Lưu Thi Thi
6. Tiffany Tang Yan / Đường Yên
7. Yang Zi / Dương Tử
8. Tamia Liu Tao / Lưu Đào
9. Jiang Xin / Tưởng Hân
10. Guli Nazha / Cổ Lực Na Trát
11. Lin Qin / Lý Thấm
13. Zhou Dong Yu / Châu Đông Vũ
14. Angelababy / Yang Ying / Dương Dĩnh
15. Victoria Song / Tống Tây
16. Guan Xiao Tong / Quan Hiểu Đồng
17. Crystal Zhang Tian Ai / Trương Thiên Ái
18. Ju Jing Yi / Cúc Tịnh Y
19. Sally Jing Tian / Cảnh Điềm
20. Fan Bing Bing / Phạm Băng Băng
21. Betty Sun Li / Tôn Lệ
22. Crystal Liu Yi Fei / Lưu Diệc Phi
23. Olivia Wang Zi Wen / Vương Tử Văn
24. Jennifer Shu Chang / Thư Sướng

25. Shen Yue / Thẩm Nguyệt

26. Wang Li Kun / Vương Lệ Khôn

27. Tan Song Yun / Đàm Tùng Vận

28. Tang Yi Xin / Đường Nghệ Hân

29. Janine Chang / Trương Quân Ninh

30. Regina Wan / Vạn Tây

31. Cecilia Han Xue / Hàn Tuyết

32. Yang Rong / Dương Dung

33. Ruby Lin / Lâm Tâm Như

34. Jacqueline Li / Lý Tiểu Lộ
35. Mao Xiao Tong / Mao Hiểu Đồng
36. Li Yi Tong / Lý Nhứt Đồng
37. Zheng He Hui Zi / Trịnh Hợp Huệ Tử
38. Sun Yi / Tôn Di
39. Vicki Zhao / Triệu Vy
40. Lolita Wang / Vương Hiểu Thần
41. Adi Kan / Khám Thanh Tử
42. Gina Jin Chen / Kim Thần
43. Gao Yuan Yuan / Cao Viên Viên
44. Mabel Yuan Shan Shan / Viên San San
45. Bridgette Qiao Xin / Kiều Hân
46. Maggie Huang / Huỳnh Mộng Doanh
47. Viann Zhang / Trương Hinh Dư

48. Stephy Qi Wei / Thích Vy

49. Jiang Shu Ying / Giang Sơ Ảnh
50. Janice Wu Qian / Ngô Thiến

General

Year 2017 in Recap

year_review
When I thought that 2016 was a terrible year for me, I was wrong. 2017 continued to tank to a new level of crappiness. There were many frustrating things–one after another. It was like when I asked, “How much worse could 2017 be?”, it was like a challenge to the universe. So stuff happening in real life obviously affected how much time I have for this blog or attempted to keep some sort of activity. I did better than last year regarding updates, but that was a lot of effort, because I’m still way behind on some news that I wanted to talk about. Yet no time or more like didn’t feel like it at the moment. I continued to get drained to another level that I thought might not be possible–like several days before. Then the pattern just repeat itself at different intervals. I think somewhere along the way, I ended up revamping my blog by getting rid of the too random posts. Like those general update ones. Although my blog already is random on many levels, but I didn’t want to just post for the sake of placeholders too much. Anyway, here are some stats for this year.
Total Posts in 2017: 155 (11.7% of all time).
January: 18 (% of the year)
February: 10 (%)
March: 21 (%)
April: 20 (%)
May: 11 (%)
June: 18 (%)
July: 6 (%)
August: 4 (%)
September: 20 (%)
October: 14 (%)
November: 9 (%)
December: 4 (%)
Books Reviews: Sad, because I actually read a bit this year but didn’t feel like doing reviews for some of them. Maybe I’ll go back to do them later.

Movies + TV Series Reviews/Episode Summaries:

Fan Fiction: Complete failure–unlike what I promised last year about getting  things done. I started looking over some of the fan fics again and managed to get going on some, but I can’t promise on how fast it would be rolled out. I’ll get it out when I’m happy with what I wrote.
Songs Translations: I used “You’re Always Beautiful” to start the year, thinking that if I continue to retain some sense of positiveness, somehow things will get better. But it didn’t. Anyway, how was this year regarding translations? I didn’t realize I was that productive. Mostly, I tried to push the majority of 183 Club’s songs out.
Chinese:

Vietnamese:

I didn’t want to do this update like I said last year. However, I felt like I needed to persuade myself to continue on. Not to mention, I want to keep some sort of teeny, tiny bit of hope that 2018 will actually be better. So we’ll see, right?

Mainland China Entertainment, Zhang Han

The Classic of Mountains and Seas

I started this awhile back but had to put it aside. Finally went ahead and watched it fully. I think it took me several days since I was in a binge mood. How was it? I had to step back for a while and think about it before I put this review together. What didn’t change my mind was the feeling of the series as an overall. It was average and that was being lenient. I think what helped for me was the plot was moving forward, at least it wasn’t too character focused that they would eventually had to sacrifice the pace. Sure, it was about 40 episodes, but they did have a lot of characters involved and the journey to find all the key characters took more than half of that and then the conflicts and some of the cases they encountered added to the main story. What made it an average series for me was the weakness of some characters in here. I’ll go into details in a bit.
Main Cast/Characters:

  • Zhang Han (张翰) as Chi Yu (赤羽) and Xin Yue Hu (心月狐). I became his fan after watching him in The Four. I was actually impressed with his performance in here as both Chi Yu and Xin Yue Hu. I thought it wouldn’t make a difference since both were quite mysterious and had a dark side. However, there were many differences–aside from the obvious dressing style, lol. In a way, one couldn’t completely hate Xin Yue Hu, because he was trying to regain a life that he never had in the first place. It was indeed sad. He was cunning and in many ways untrustworthy, but I think he was able to learn many things when he was trying to experience. In the end, he chose to sacrifice himself so Chi Yu could escape to help Su Mo with the battle. Zhang Han’s acting really captured both characters nicely. Chi Yu, seemed fierce on the outside, yet he was really caring and playful when time allowed for it. Although I must say Xin Yue Hu could be so hilarious too, considering his dressing style. It cracked me up so hard with how colorful it was with his wardrobe. Not to mention how he pretended to be lost so he could follow Su Mo and Su Shui. He had alternative motives but that was hilarious how he was like trying to act innocent.
  • Guli Nazha (古力娜扎) as Su Mo (苏茉) aka Shun Hua (舜華). First time watching her in a drama, because I watched her previously in the Up Idol reality show and liked her. I think she was really raw in here. She seemed all right in the normal scenes, but some cases where there were more complicated words/phrases, I noticed she wasn’t looking at her co-stars while she was saying those lines, like she was trying to remember. But she wasn’t completely terrible so I have confidence for her future series. About Su Mo, I think there was mixed feelings throughout. I admired her bravery at times and how she tried to gain strength and not be a complete weakling with the guys needing to protect her all the time. I thought her character started out as smart, at least smarter than Fu Er in some sense and not trust Baili Han–with her suspicions at times (way before she knew the bigger picture and what the motives of all the sides were). However, I think her character became inconsistent that they (the script-writers) made her dumber or something. Not sure what happened there. But I think that was what made her character go downhill later. She could be so stubborn at times or silly, but I didn’t think her character deserved to be dumb down to move the story forward. Like how they (the script-writers) made her too forgiving at times or her indecisiveness. I wished they would make her more involved with her powers. I meant they did put in the part where she was training and gaining strength and was better in some sense with the fighting techniques, but it ended up turning into some comedy scenes instead of taking it seriously. Sure, the comedy was funny and I thought it was needed to ease the situation, but I felt in the sense of needing those skills for the battle, it failed. I know she wasn’t the type to love fighting, but she was already determined to contribute and help others so I didn’t like that the plot didn’t allow for her to be able to fight back with her skills and how she ended up being a sort of “Snow White” character. What I mean by Snow White is how she was wishing at the ending for all of the conflicts and hate to disappear, etc so she ended up like a silly wishing princess. I know because she didn’t lust power so she was different from others and wasn’t pulled into being used by Baili Han in that sense, but it was frustrating to watch her turned into a complete weakling along the way. I guess what I’m saying is I want her to be able to defend herself. I don’t need her to be so good that it would be unrealistic but at least more capable.
  • Kenny Kwan (關智斌) as Shangguan Jin (上官锦). I swear he looked familiar, but I didn’t really know who he was at first, lol. Mostly because I don’t watch him that actively and didn’t realize that was Kenny Kwan I used to watch ages ago–until I looked up the cast list. At first, I was really suspicious of his character and thought he would be the false nice guy. In a way, he was too good to be true. But in the end, he didn’t disappoint. Throughout, I didn’t know if he was going to turn, etc, because the characters in here were indeed unpredictable at times and where the plot was going. However, I think my favorite scene of him was near the ending where he was upset with Su Mo because she didn’t trust him yet had went with Xin Yue Hu thus getting tricked. He wasn’t just jealous of Xin Yue Hu, but was seriously upset because his reputation wasn’t trusted over Xin Yue Hu-regardless of how much she thought she was trying to protect them by not wanting them to enter that dangerous palace. That part made his character so real, because he wasn’t holding back anymore. He was seriously disappointed and upset.
  • Lan Ying Ying (蓝盈莹) as Fu Er (芙儿). I hated her right from the start. I don’t know. Bias or whatever, but I just can’t stand her. She was really unreasonable and two-faced. She expected and expected yet didn’t think or care for Su Mo at all. If things went her way, sure. But other than that, she was determined to pave Su Mo out to be the bad person. She was willing to risk her siblings connection with Su Mo just so she could chase after some guy. They were family after all–or at least that was portrayed from the start. She was already so jealous of Su Mo that it was so easy to manipulate her and trick her into believing Su Mo would want to kill her. Sure, Shangguan Jin didn’t help matters that one time when he attempted to assassinate her, but she didn’t believe Su Mo enough to understand that Su Mo wasn’t that kind of person. According to the story, she was the gorgeous one yet she felt inferior to Su Mo for some reason hence fueling her hatred. Despite all of that, I swear the plot ended up making her more active to move the plot forward than Su Mo (ironically). In the end, it was also her that fought back to Baili Han (after he revealed the truth).
  • Li Chao (李超) as Baili Han (百里寒). I knew he was up to no good from the start. The early details of his schemes helped, but when he appeared at that one town, it was obvious there was an agenda with him. When it was revealed why he’d become that way, I do sympathize with him on some levels with having a spoiled brat brother and how he was betrayed. Yet there were many things in this world that wasn’t like that. What had the others done to him? I understand if he don’t trust others and would want money and power to secure his place and never to be left in such a position again. However, I can’t sympathize with him for wanting to take over the world. Not to mention he used all those people who trusted him.

Supporting:

  • Wu Lei (吴磊) as Shi Pei Pei (石佩佩). I thought he was one of those obnoxious, annoying bad guys at the initial meeting. But later, his character grew on me. He was just spoiled rotten by his parents, because he was so prone to the curse or whatever that was predicted ages ago. It was hard to blame him with how he didn’t have any friends growing up or know how to interact with others. He was still obnoxious at times later, but he was indeed more caring toward others around him. He liked to have fun and all, but he wasn’t unreasonable or wanting to harm others. His sacrifice was really heroic and so unexpected. I thought he would make it to the end.
  • Yin Zheng (尹正) as Su Shui (素水). I thought he was creepy at first (which was on purpose since the characters in here were afraid of him too). But then his character revealed to be quite sweet. It was just that he carried a burden of his ancestors. He became my favorite character later. Yes, I liked the others in the group yet I felt Su Shui brought forth a sense of loyalty and silent support that was touching. There were many lovable things about him. Although he seemed cold at times, but he had their backs if the others were in trouble. Since Su Mo was the one he needed to protect, he followed her more. However, he showed that he cared about the others too. Despite the fact that he kept popping up out of nowhere to scare them (on purpose or not is questionable) at times.
  • Tang Wan (唐菀) as Liu Ruo Shuang (柳若霜). Mixed feelings throughout. I pitied her for having such a tragic past yet the people she helped Baili Han harm were innocent. I wished she would somehow see the real side of him before her death. Sure, she helped him with a lot of cruel things, but she thought she was doing good for the big picture. She didn’t question him or judge him, because he saved her from hopelessness after what happened to her family. But I felt she at least deserved to know the truth that she was just a pawn. Or would that be too cruel?
  • Vengo Ko (高伟光) as Bin Yi (宾翊). I felt like I couldn’t pity him at all. Sure, I was torn at the beginning. Then he made up my mind for me, because instead of stopping Fu Er, he helped her by teaching her to control others with his technique. Yet in the end, that worked out for him? Because Fu Er finally realized he was the only one willing to protect her and care for her from the start? Even if that was obvious before. But she finally understood that when he was trying to stop her, he was really trying to help her, not just because he wanted her because she looked like his wife.
  • Nicole Wan (万妮恩) as Hong Ling (红菱) aka Tian Xiao Ju (田小菊). I didn’t really like her at the beginning. Then it changed. Well, it was normal to be suspicious of her motives. I knew there was something wrong when she tricked Su Mo to go alone in the woods. But then she appeared and attempted to save Su Mo, because she claimed she was in it for the money and not wanting anyone dead. Her background was revealed and I felt bad for her and that had affected her reliance on money more than anything. But somehow she didn’t click with me until a little later because I was paranoid, thinking she might change her mind again. Yet when the story progressed, she became one of my favorites as well. Her honesty and feisty natures made me loved her ever more later on. I especially liked it when she went against Fu Er when Fu Er tried to attack Su Mo and the rest of their group. It was actually quite hilarious to watch since Hong Ling was so awesome and fearless.
  • Caesar Li (李茂) as Baili Bing (百里冰). Baili Han’s younger brother. Can you blame him? He was scared. He was only a kid. I didn’t like his spoiled nature either when he was being petty over food. But the robbers incident was really scary. He witnessed his parents being murdered and many other villagers being killed as well. He chose to sacrifice himself for his brother in the end (which caused a reaction from Baili Han but just slightly). The actor was really good actually, because he was seemed as timid, not having enough confidence and quite guilt driven after learning of his past, but when Sun Ju was disguising him, he looked more cunning and full of confidence. Also, before he regained his memory, he was quite obnoxious and playful.
  • Matthew Ko (高鈞賢) as Sun Ju (孫巨). Another person whom I haven’t watched for ages now so I forgot. But I knew he looked familiar. This role was interesting for Matthew. I meant it wasn’t like he haven’t portrayed villainous roles before. But this one left room for more development. Too bad that the ending rushed it that his character became deranged on purpose. I could understand that the lack of his father’s approval caused him to go insane. But it just didn’t quite click with me because of the pace. Not to mention out of character. The argument could be it was his father after all and it would cause him to lose control. Yet he had plotted and have been patience for so long. Why snap when his scheme (supposedly) was about to come to fruition? Not to mention killing his father at that point. It was like it was getting toward the end and the script-writers didn’t want to try anymore so they just unleashed a bunch of killings to show Sun Ju’s ruthlessness and then end him to show Baili Han’s cleverness. I don’t doubt Baili Han’s cunning level, but the flow for Sun Ju’s story was sloppy to say the least. I would think he could at least imprison his father or somehow make the old man see his accomplishments (or so he thought) before he take any type of action. He was the other brain in this series that could come face-to-face with Baili Han. Yes, he was arrogant and he seemed taunting toward Baili Han at times, but I didn’t think he was that careless. His somewhat silliness or playful side at times concealed his deceptiveness.
  • Liu Chang De (刘长德) as A Su (阿肃). He was seriously scary at first or somewhat creepy because of his background. I thought the reason why he needed someone to talk for him at the beginning when he met them was because he was being arrogant, acting secretive and trying to conceal his identity. Yet it was revealed later that he couldn’t talk in front of the female population. It was indeed quite funny. It reminded me of Raj in The Big Bang Theory, especially with how he couldn’t really talk to any female unless he had some alcoholic drink. But even that would make him obnoxious–or unreliable. His character really grew on me later, especially with how he got along with the group and all.
  • Ethan Liu (刘骐) as Xiao Yang (枭阳). Dummy. Mean, but I don’t know what else to describe him. He was seriously easily manipulated. However, the honorable thing about him was not taking advantage of the situation to win over someone. Sadly, that was the reason why Sun Ju couldn’t get him to harm Baili Han when Baili Han was injured.
  • Piao Shuo (朴铄) as Yu Yang (玉羊). I don’t know whether to hate him or pity him. Because he was also used by Baili Han to pursue power and all. He did learn to become more human (or so that was defined versus how he was before). He ended up liking Liu Ruo Shuang and would do anything to protect her.

Others:

  • Tian Yu Peng (田宇鹏) as Hong Tai (宏泰). A loyal person by Chi Yu’s side. He was the reason that pushed Chi Yu to the max thus causing the inevitable with Xin Yue Hu rising to the surface. He wasn’t just a loyal servant to Chi Yu, but also an older brother. I wonder if he liked A Zhi and was just making up the other story to trick the others that one time.
  • Liu Hong Li (刘鸿利) as A Zhi (阿芝). I thought she would survive until the end. Well, even if not that long, but at least longer than expected but she died halfway through. At first, I didn’t like her because of how she abandoned Chi Yu and made him feel worse than ever. Yet after Xiao Bing’s incident, I realized in a way, she couldn’t be blamed. She was scared (like she said) of being attacked by others. Yet I felt the whole chasing him down was taking it to the extreme. Perhaps, she thought that if she was face-to-face with him, at least she could control the situation better, but that was very hurtful for him to see such betrayal.
  • Ren Xue Hai (任学海) as Fu Er’s father and Su Mo’s adopted father. Mixed feelings. I guess he was those traditional fathers so I wasn’t too into him. However, in the end, I think he said what was really in his heart, actually treating Su Mo like his daughter. I think he was one of those who remembered what happened the first time around? Because he looked at her and shook his head in a way that was like, “Poor girl with such a burden”?
  • Qian You You (钱宥佑) as Fu Er’s mother and Su Mo’s adopted mother. She was a kind and caring mother and also quite brave to stay behind with her husband like that.
  • Su Mao (苏茂) as Shangguan Bo Yu (上官博余). Shangguan Jin’s father. Mixed feelings since he was the reason Shangguan Jin was so stressed out and tried to take out Fu Er at one point so I wasn’t really a fan of his.
  • Guo Zi Qian (郭子千 ) as An An (安安). A very tragic ending for her.
  • Xiong Zi Ling (熊梓菱) as Jia Jia (嘉嘉). An An’s sister. She trusted Su Mo and ended up becoming friends after the events of the earlier episodes.
  • Zhang Ke Yuan (张珂源) as The head of the immortal disciples. He was sooo funny, kept being underestimated by the others.
  • Tong Xiao Mei (童晓梅) as Su Mo’s grandmother. At first, I disliked her of how she made Su Mo choose. But then I realized she couldn’t be blamed. The hate and the feuds between the tribes were too much. It was hard to let it all go. She wasn’t totally unreasonable either since she finally understood and told Su Mo not to hold grudge, because of what she learned from Su Shui.

Friendships / Relationships / Whatever:

  • Zhang Han/Chi Yu and Nazha/Su Mo. Just rating based on this series and ignoring their outside relationship (lol), I think they did match. Their chemistry wasn’t bad. But I think Nazha was still a bit raw to convince me here. Perhaps, because she was kind of new at that time (at least from what I read in her filmography). Maybe in the future, they would collaborate again on-screen and I would like it even more.
  • Zhang Han/Chi Yu and Kenny Kwan/Shangguan Jin. At first, they had a guarded attitude toward one another, which was understandable, considering how most people around them have motives of some sort. However, they became almost like brothers later on with drinking together, chatting or competing. Although Shangguan Jin had a better life growing up regarding how he did not have to run for his life most of the time, but his father putting pressure on him was enough to break him. In a way, he could relate to Chi Yu and vice versa.
  • Zhang Han/Chi Yu and Tian Yu Peng/Hong Tai. It was obvious that they weren’t just a pair of master and servant like said before. They were like brothers. It was really tragic and frustrating to see Hong Tai’s ending. That had fused Chi Yu’s rage.
  • Wu Lei/Shi Pei Pei and Liu Chang De/A Su. They had a funny friendship. At first, Pei Pei was teasing A Su, but later they became like brothers. Pei Pei had to represent A Su to talk to the female population at first, but later ended up being someone A Su could confide with.
  • Wu Lei/Shi Pei Pei and Caesar Li/Baili Bing. They didn’t get along at first. It made sense since Xiao Bing caused a lot of troubles for Pei Pei and A Su. Yet they got along all right later. Because of their constant bickering and wanting to upstate each other, it allowed for Pei Pei to understand Xiao Bing even more. It had also aided in discovering the truth when Sun Ju tried to disguise himself as Xiao Bing.
  • Nazha/Su Mo and Yin Zheng/Su Shui. I think Nazha’s best scenes were with Yin Zheng since Su Mo and Su Shui had a special connection. He was really loyal to her and helped her regardless of situation. Moreover, because of how Su Mo’s bridge of emotion was broken when she realized what had happened to Su Shui. He had sacrificed himself to save her grandma. It was the first time ever that she thought of revenge and hatred toward someone. Shui Sui’s death also allowed Su Mo’s grandma to realize she should let go, especially how he had used his own life to save hers. At the part where Su Mo called Su Shui and he “appeared” there again, it was so touching and so real that I actually cried a bit–with how Su Mo realized what was going on, etc. It was indeed a memorable scene. Nazha did quite well here.
  • Nazha/Su Mo and Nicole Wan/Hong Ling. I felt like they were more like sisters than Su Mo and Fu Er. Mostly, because despite Hong Ling’s obsessed with money (with reason) and all, she actually cared for Su Mo and understand Su Mo, even if she did chide Su Mo at one time for being silly or too naive, etc. She even defended Su Mo against others. I enjoyed their friendship so much, which made Su Mo’s reaction so genuine when she realized Hong Ling had sacrificed herself.
  • Nicole Wan/Hong Ling and Liu Chang De/A Su. They were a bickering couple. Well, if you can bicker with one being quiet all the time, lol. But as far as it went, it was hilarious trying to see how they would eventually end up together. It was funny how Hong Ling gave him misinformation so he went and dressed like Shangguan Jin, lol.

Favorites/Likes:

  • The main theme. The song “Don’t Ask” by Zhang Han definitely helped me with moving forward with the series in general. Although short, but it was a good song and addicting too.
  • The concept of the story. Although another fantasy related series, but I thought it was more refreshing to be focusing on the legend of these four constellations instead of same old, same old.
  • The cast in general. I must admit, I actually liked all the cast involved, more or less.

Annoying:

  • The whole pushing Su Mo to one another with the guys. Whether it was between Chi Yu or Shangguang Jin or Chi Yu with Xin Yue Hu. It was so frustrating. Like she didn’t get to decide or something. Sure, if something happened to Chi Yu, he would want her to end up with a good guy or someone he could trust to look after her. But I felt it was sooo not respecting her with deciding that for her. Sure, she liked Shangguan Jin at first or seemed like it, but that didn’t give Chi Yu the right to decide for her if something happened to him. Or when Chi Yu was ready to let Xin Yue Hu be with her. I’m not talking about the ending where he wanted to sacrifice himself so at least one of them survive to help Su Mo with the final battle. I was talking about the part where their souls were struggling to gain control of the body. It seemed hopeless for him, but did he have to turn her over to Xin Yue Hu? Seriously?
  • The inactive vibe of the main character aka Su Mo. I already covered in the above section about characters but I just want to put it here again for emphasis. To the point that it took Baili Han’s arrogant rant to allow Fu Er to see that she was wrong. Although Su Mo couldn’t really prove she didn’t mean to kill Fu Er and didn’t really know what Fu Er was saying about the cave incident, but Su Mo didn’t really actively thought about it or ask if others know about it. Or more like the script-writers didn’t care to let other characters explore the possibilities further and undo the misunderstanding. Eventually, they just moved along. Then it wasn’t until Baili Han revealed of his trick that it was clear. I understand the misunderstanding needed to last for Baili Han’s plan to go through, but some aspects, it was kind of scattered.

Recommended? I would say you have to be a major fan of the cast to go through with it. The story is indeed interesting, but eventually I just couldn’t overlook some of the factors I mentioned above. In a sense of an ancient/fantasy series, I think it contains a certain formula that lived up to it. But there were some weakness that made it frustrating. To be fair though, I think it was one of the better series of nowadays, plot-wise and length-wise.