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.

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Shen Yi Da Dao Gong 2013: Review

So I finally dive into to this. I must admit I was a bit scared after some initial feedback from some people and somewhat of the trailer as to how it would turn out. Yet curiosity got the better of me and I jumped in anyway. Honestly? I was surprised to hear people complaining. Okay, some parts were exaggerating, but it wasn’t like totally unbearable or cringe-worthy or anything. In a sense of a traditional ancient drama, it somewhat veered off course because of some incorporation of modern jokes. However, the costumes, the mystery, and most of the cast’s acting was worth it.

Main Cast:

  • Han Dong as Wu Tao (吴夲) or Bao Sheng Da Di (保生大帝). This role was just awesome. I think it was even more awesome than the time he was Er Lang Shen in The Legend and the Hero. Since he seriously got robbed in the other one with the story going downhill in part 2. (Like it wasn’t at first BUT it was bearable at least, but in part 2 it just plain deteriorated at a rapid pace.) Anyway, back to this role, as the god of medicine, he was righteous and brilliant. As Wu Tao, he was still brilliant but also cunning and witty in many ways. It was indeed more refreshing than seeing how the main leads kept being pushed around by others like in recent dramas. Sure, he got imprisoned numerous times in here. Yet it wasn’t like he was pitiful. He made the best of it by using any types of technique to escape and get back on track again. Not to mention how he wasn’t just some typical hero who just plain played by the rules and acted righteous all the time (i.e. the must stay in prison and wait for his name to be cleared). But he took an active role throughout, planning his own escape. Or if he had to be on the run or while investigating, he used his extensive networks to achieve his goals. He was flexible in his techniques, not sitting around to act pitiful so viewers could sympathize with him. I love these types of active heroes more. Then there was also his philosophy as a medic, willing to cure anyone, not just good people. He didn’t force anyone into believing what he believed or using them to his benefit. That was also the reason why Chu Lian finally followed him. As one of the gods, he showed a different side. Yes, he was still a medic, but he showed his fierceness whenever needed to, like how he was when facing that demonic king or that of Ge Zhong Jing.
  • Yoki Sun as Princess Wu Xuan (无玄公主) and Bao Da Yin (鲍大银). At first, I wasn’t used to her exaggeration or overly crazy gestures when she was Bao Da Yin. However, I realized that the actress was really good at it. She managed to differentiate both roles. It was like she could be gentle and serious as the princess, and also could exaggerate as see fit at times as Bao Da Yin. At first, I found Da Yin to be quite annoying. Well, okay, she had her moments, but I found it overboard with her ways at times. Yet later, I realized her loudmouth did help with certain situations. Like she conned one of the constables into disclosing information to them. What I can’t stand about her though was how she kept disclosing secrets to others whenever Wu Tao told her. Well, that was her, all very straightforward and not scheming like some people, but that had become an disadvantage, which feed more info for the enemy. What I really clap her on was the part where the princess had returned to her original identity already and she had to pose as Da Yin to scare Da Yin’s relatives away. It was like she was another person, trying hard to be Da Yin. Yoki was really convincing. I was amazed. Because it seemed like she was always so loud as Da Yin and did the crazy role as so easy yet what was harder was seeing how she portrayed the princess role but wanted to be more fierce. Indeed convincing with how letting us see that the two characters were totally different from one another and how it seemed like they were two different persons according to the plot.
  • Du Hai Tao (杜海涛) as Qin Da Bei (秦大悲). Funny and somewhat pitiful at times. He kept running around to sort things out but made it worst the first time and then later on had to rely himself with running back and forth to find information. He was later manipulated into using the evil flag and thus caused a lot of mishaps.
  • Xiao Zhang Duo (小张铎) as Ge Zhong Jing (盖仲景) and the demonic king. Manipulative and scheming as Ge Zhong Jing, but hilarious and crazy as the demonic king. Well, he was as scheming yet at times, he was so easily tricked. I didn’t realize it was the same person portraying two roles but got it from the credits of the main theme song. Then later, I realized there were similarities in features with those two, considering how the makeup was for the demonic king, it was hard to distinguish at first. And the fact that the different dubbing thrown me off. Good one! (The plot later disclosed why the two looked similar and how their fate had intervene with one another so it wasn’t too over with having one person portraying two roles for his case as well.)
  • Liu Di Ni (刘迪妮) as Qing Zhu (青竹). One of the demons by the demon king’s side yet later joined the other side to help Wu Tao and the others. She was a very interesting character. Very fierce at times yet could also be gentle at others. What I loved about her was how she didn’t easily fall into others’ traps. Although she still cared for the demon king during his downfall that one time, but wouldn’t let him harm others, only tried to help him stay alive. On the hand, when Da Bei was possessed by the evil flag, she didn’t back down as easily. She used her reasoning and cunning side to strip the evil flag from him so he couldn’t use it to harm others anymore.
  • Ming Jun Chen (明俊臣) as Qin Yue (秦越). A constable who had a special technique to perform autopsy and solve crimes. However, he had this stuttering habit that could crack one up at times. At first, I thought he was very cool, but later on, I found him sort of disappointing. Not picking on him because he stuttered. But more like I thought he would be another smart character yet he was also being used as a pawn for Ge Zhong Jing’s games. What was even more of a joke was how he couldn’t ride horses (or was he scared of speed?). Yet he wasn’t all dumb. At least not totally. He was also very righteous and wanted to enforce the laws. So it wasn’t too lost of a cause for his case. Not to mention how it was very tragic seeing how he lost his sight and lost his hope to be a constable. There were many obstacles that he went through but was cured in the end. He was also able to restore his constable status as well. What was a surprise though was his background that allowed Ge Zhong Jing to use as a chip to tear their side apart. Yet luckily Wu Tao knew the background of that past case hence was able to clarify things.
  • Li Qian (李茜) as Chu Lian (楚练). Ge Zhong Jing’s disciple. She was pulled into the schemes and posed as Xia Xuan (夏璇) to earn Wu Tao’s trust and thus reveal his secret techniques to her. Later, she realized how Wu Tao was a good person and was a true medic, always willing to help others. So she left her master and followed Wu Tao to help others, mastering both her skills with medicine and swords. She also accompanied Qin Yue in different investigations and tried to help him with overcoming his fear of riding horse or traveling by carriage.
  • Achel Chang as Xi Yue (袭月). She appeared in the third case. She was the local judge’s daughter-in-law, who was injured and entered a coma. She later awakened and recounted that she and her husband were attacked by a young monk–who killed her husband in a fight. However, it was later revealed that she was the one who killed her husband. Yet later on, it was disclosed that she might be some serial killer, not just suffering from some tragic events and killing her husband in defense. Then it got complicated again since it wasn’t established if Ge Zhong Jing was pulling strings behind the curtains regarding her suspicious behaviors or not. Then later on, it was revealed that she was just confused of the details hence wanting to lie regarding what happened.
  • Niu Piao (牛飘) as Tai Shang Lao Jun (太上老君). One of the gods. Hilarious!
  • Han Yin Long (韩银龙) as Manager of Heaven (天庭总管). At times, mixed feelings, but later on appreciated his character and realized he was just doing his job.
  • Ren Xue Hai (任学海) as the Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝) aka the Heavenly King. At first I thought it was going on the route of making him seemed unreasonable. Yet the plot soon revealed that he and Wu Tao were in a scheme together hence sending Wu Tao down to the human realm for the time being while finding a way to get rid of the demon king and Ge Zhong Jing. That made him seemed suitable as the Jade Emperor. (Because some of the recent fairy tales kept trying to make him or anyone within the authoritative rank in the Heavenly Realm the “monster” because they wanted to boost the main couple, etc.)

Couples:

  • Han Dong and Yoki Sun. Cute yet also bitter. When  I wrote those words, I just meant too bad Da Yan won’t get her wish and they can’t be together since I’d guessed she would return to her princess identity later so there was no point. YET I didn’t realize the “bitter” part meant what happened in the end.
  • Du Hai Tao and Liu Di Ni. Hilarious here and there, even when he was possessed by the evil flag. Then it got really tragic when she scarified herself so he would return to being the lovable Da Bei again. It was really sad. But then after he killed himself too, their forces were joined to break past the demon king’s barrier. Then they turned into humans so they could finally be together.
  • Ming Jun Chen and Li Qian. They also went through many trials in here yet ended up having a happy ending. It was more visible than the other couples in here, but it wasn’t too over or draggy. It made sense since they were tested time after time with Ge Zhong Jing manipulating the whole scene–until it was resolved.

Cases:

  • Case #1 – The death of the 13 Palace Guards. It was sooooo sad. I first felt like the medic was so despicable because of how he kept trying to sabotage Wu Tao and his investigation. Yet later when he revealed the truth, it was indeed tragic. He had seen such brutal sights since young and had lost everyone in his town, so of course he was traumatized and vengeful against those despicable guards.
  • Cast #2 – Mystery Man – Okay, it wasn’t exactly a case because it was composed by Ge Zhong Jing, but it showed some mystery at first, considering how it was strange that he wasn’t within the performing troupe yet was there. This part also introduced Qin Yue. That one extended into different stories thus causing Ge Zhong Jing and the demon king to join forces, etc.
  • Case #3 – The Death of 7 Girls + A Man. Um, the case got merged at first yet it was supposed to be two cases to be exact. This case also introduced Xi Yue. Like the other case, this case got split because the one responsible for killing the seven girls weren’t the same as the one who killed Xi Yue’s husband. That person remained a mystery after some side confusions were sort out. The ending was really unexpected. Or perhaps viewers were led into believing everything had to do with Ge Zhong Jing (even if he wasn’t around at that point), so he only used his chance to manipulate others. Not to mention the real killer never showed any traces of suspicion, except for the fact that he was afraid of Ge Zhong Jing hence going along with some of Ge’s wacky schemes.

Themes:

  • Cases. I felt it was really living up to those detective series, even more than some detective series nowadays (aside from the Detective Di Ren Jie series, NOT the new one, but the 4-seasons one). The cases really kept me intrigued throughout. Although some extended and ended up tying in with the main plot, but I enjoyed it all the same.
  • Fairies/Gods/Heavenly Realm/Demonic Forces. A good mixture of it. It weaved in with other side dramas so it wasn’t all about that or just focusing on one thing.
  • Jianghu. I swear the costumes and the course of the story reminded me of old jianghu series more than some of the current re-adaptations of it. Sure, they did use modern jokes, but aside from that, there were certain retention of the old times.
  • Comedy. The humor wasn’t too much. It could be so random and senseless but wasn’t to the point where you feel like screaming. Or it was that way for me.

Conclusion? For me, this was another lesson to not listen to some people. ‘Cause it seriously was one of the better series of recent. Even if it wasn’t all hype up like some of the recent ones but it surpassed those ones for me. And even if the ending wasn’t what was expected, I think it could have been worse. So there was a huge wedding near the end, but the tragic final piece seriously undo that happy atmosphere. What made it somewhat choking was how the evil force didn’t really disappear. Yet isn’t that what life is about? You wipe out one disease, the next comes around the corner after some peace. What I really want though is a sequel. I’m so serious! Maybe they could continue with the struggle, but this time twist it a bit so the princess could somehow be resurrected, like how she only reincarnated. Hey, just like those evil two that had. (Okay, so the demonic king didn’t since he used Ge Zhong Jing’s body to operate as an official all these years yet Ge Zhong Jing had reincarnated and was staring him down with much bitterness and vengeance.)

Recommended? If you don’t like sad endings, just don’t watch it. It will break your heart. And if you’re not into seeing how it seemed their effort was all for nothing, don’t watch either. Save the headache. For me, yes, my disappointment did come out as, “You gotta be kidding me, right?” Yet after I think it over for ten minutes later, I realize it’s a different ending.

Shen Yi Da Dao Gong 2013: Characters

So I managed to hunt down the character list and decided to update.

Han Dong as Wu Tao (吴夲) or Bao Sheng Da Di (保生大帝). He’s the god of medicine.

Yoki Sun might be playing two roles OR something. One as a fairy known as Princess Wu Xuan (无玄公主) and as Bao Da Yin (鲍大银).

Zhang Duo (the guy – obviously) as Ge Zhong Jing (盖仲景).

Du Hai Tao (杜海涛) (left) as Qin Da Bei (秦大悲).

Achel Chang as Xi Yue (袭月).

Liu Di Ni (刘迪妮) (right) as Qing Zhu (青竹).

And for the rest of the cast that I couldn’t find pictures of. (YET…will find it later.)

Ming Jun Chen (明俊臣) as Qin Yue (秦越).

Li Qian (李茜) as Chu Lian (楚练).

Niu Piao (牛飘) as Tai Shang Lao Jun (太上老君). One of the gods.

Han Yin Long (韩银龙) as Manager of Heaven (天庭总管). (Yeah, manager sounds weird in ancient settings. I shall correct that later, lol.)

Ren Xue Hai (任学海) as the Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝) aka the Heavenly King.

*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners

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