The Legend of Qin: Review

image credit: as marked

I watched this several years ago but got lazy and didn’t review it right away. I was thinking of dropping the review altogether. However, I felt it would be a waste if I didn’t. After all, I did do the info translations for the drama. That helped with remembering the majority of the plot. At least, the relevant parts. Don’t ask me about really small details, lol. I forgot those already.

Main Cast:

  • Lu Yi (陆毅) as Ge Nie (盖聂). Lu Yi hadn’t his lost touch and his screen presence as he carried through with his character. It was very intriguing to watch his character unfold. There was already the nerve-racking intro scenes and what was to come of the results. Yet that was just a layer of his character. Watching him going through his journey and carrying such a burden made you feel for him. There were many secrets he had to keep and things he couldn’t really clarify at times. The amount of endurance he had to go through in order to finish that mission was unthinkable. Yet somehow, he bore it all.
  • Michelle Chen (陳妍希) as Duan Mu Rong (端木蓉). Michelle finally found the right role for her and restored her image among the mainland presence. I didn’t blame her at all for taking the other opportunity and wanted to make a name for herself. She just had to find out the hard way that someone sucked big time in trying to create such an image for her in the other production that I won’t mention (because I don’t need to give that person more space than he already did). Not only was her image in this series way better, but her acting carried through as well. (I have a weak spot for Taiwanese stars trying to break out and do more serious production beyond the idol dramas and am also quite protective of them when they get heat SO yes, I was more glad to see her finally shining in here. Ironically, the mainland is now flooded with idol dramas–whether ancient or modern, but that’s a totally different topic which I won’t discuss anymore here.) Her character in here could be so responsible and protective of her tribe at times thus becoming a good role model for someone like Gao Yue. She could also become so childish and stubborn at times when engaged in some disagreements with Ge Nie. It was somewhat amusing to watch at times as she tried to take control of the situation again. I liked it that she was a mixture of cuteness at times whereas she was reliable and mature in others. It gave her character much more meaning in that sense.
  • Jiang Jin Fu (蒋劲夫) as Jing Tian Ming (荆天明). What to say about him except he was a major let down for being part of the main lead? Seriously, I also had high expectations of him, considering he was praised to high heavens by viewers during the time this aired or for his other works when he was practically everywhere. I don’t know if it was his character or his acting style, but it was frustrating–to say the least–to side with him at times. So I ended up with the conclusion that it was probably plot hole. Because sometimes, he was likable or relatable as a character. Others, you just wanted to smack him. (Yeah, that bad.) Perhaps, he was better at the comedic scenes than the serious ones. I don’t know.
  • Hu Bing Qing (胡冰卿) as Gao Yue (高月). She gave off the fairy-like vibe when she first appeared for me and seemed to be portraying a role of a perfect girl. The way she was protected by the majority of the people in her tribe, I didn’t blame her for becoming a weakling figure. However, she surprised me with her knowledge and later helped with some of the trials they had to go through. Her awesomeness went down to about 50% after that scene where she helped Tian Ming and Shao Yu navigate through that one maze/traps thing. Then the plot just dragged on that wasn’t helping her case. I, obviously, did not blame her for being inactive because she was plagued by the curse. However, the writers failed her when they dragged it out for too long. It was a complex situation and they got a lot of historical figures and details to incorporate into the plot itself, but some things could be rid of completely to still provide relevancy to the overall picture. Somehow, it was unfortunate she got the short end of the stick–as far as interesting characters were concerned.

Supporting:

  • Sun Yi Zhou (孙艺洲) as Wei Zhuang (卫庄). He took the wrong gamble when he let his jealousy get the better of him. He was indeed talented, but failed when it came to picking the right person to follow. That also caused his downfall. Despite all the misdeeds that he got himself into, he was actually another interesting character I looked forward to seeing more as the story unfolded between several characters in here.
  • Gina Jin Chen (金晨) as Chi Lian (赤练) aka Yu Ji (虞姬). It was really strange to see Yu Ji in such a situation and the context of the story. Yet I felt that Gina’s acting and the way it was written for her, she delivered really well. She seemed so fierce and intense during the initial parts of the plot that it felt weird–or hard to imagine how she would fit into the other parts of the plot. Then we got to learn more about her history and background. Having such a harsh past, it made sense she put up layers and layers of wall to protect herself. After some more details for her revealed, I felt more intrigued than ever and ended up being addicted to watching her more than some other characters who had bigger parts or more scenes.
  • Qin Jun Jie (秦俊杰) as Xiang Shao Yu (项少羽) aka Xiang Yu (项羽). He was fated to be an ambitious, powerful force in here. So, I didn’t have much of an expectation for him. However, he surpassed the interest factor for me. Especially after he broke off from the other faction and went on his own journey.
  • Gong Bei Bi (龚蓓苾) as Xue Nv (雪女). She was fierce and a forced to be reckoned with. I was glad to see another strong female character among all these chaos. It was refreshing to see the difference in her character as well. Coming from watching The Flame’s Daughter, she amazed me. (Um, yeah, I watched The Flame’s Daughter first and then backtrack to watch some past series. If you follow me long enough, you know my crazy pattern, lol.) Anyway, she was so convincing and projected a different feeling toward this role versus the other one.
  • Sui Yong Liang (隋咏良) as Gao Jian Li (高渐离). He was one of my favorite characters in here. I was more interested to learn more about him and his journey than some of the other major characters as well.
  • Qu Zhe Ming (曲哲明) as Bai Feng (白凤). At first, I hated his selfishness and his arrogance, but found his background story tragic. It made sense and how he had learned to defend himself and his fellow companions only.
  • Zhang Lei (张雷) as Zhao Gao (赵高) aka Dong Huang Tai Yi (东皇太一). The master manipulator all right.
  • Song Ning (宋宁) as Da Si Ming (大司命). I actually liked him a lot for his intelligence–despite him being under control and forced to go along with some of the schemes initially. I thought it was a matter of perspective and the winners always wrote the history in their favors, right? So, who was to say which side was supposed to be the right side to be on? Well, we knew the one who wanted to get rid of everyone to snatch all power was the bad dude in here, but that was for the series’ purpose really.
  • You Jing Ru (尤靖茹) as Shao Si Ming (少司命). I didn’t hate her–although she was seen carrying out a lot of the tasks. She was a victim of her time–as most characters were. She grew up in such a place and when she finally traveled outside of the bubble, there was much more to see and question what she learned all along growing up. She was another intriguing character to follow and allow us to see how she could break past he barriers and do more.

Others:

  • Wang Yan Lin (王彦霖) as Dong Guo Zhi (东郭植).
  • Canti Lau as (鞠玄) aka Jin Wan Liang (金万两). This role of his restored my faith in his acting skills. He was much more natural and exuded the leader role so convincingly. To be fair, it was a bit hard to swallow with his role in DGSD. I wouldn’t blame him too much. (I hated the character regardless of the person who portrayed it. And was glad that character was knocked down a few pegs in there instead of celebrating him like no tomorrow and condemned the others like they always did.) Anyway, possibly because of how awesome he was, it was really hard to swallow when watching his downfall. Well, it was a complex time and it made sense, NOT too ridiculous with the setup. But it was a shame. It was one of the reasons why it as harder to hang on for the remainder of the series for me–if it wasn’t for some characters in here. I don’t remember exactly anymore, but he was possibly one of the first major characters who fell. So, yeah. It hurt more than the later events. (I was switching my mood to mad by the time they made their way down to killing different characters, lol, so yeah. I was no longer sad but way past mad at that point.)
  • Yu Bo as Liu Bang (刘邦) aka Liu Ji (刘季). I almost forgot about him. Yeah, it has been years. So yeah, but interesting to see him portray that character.
  • Zhang Meng as Li Ji (丽姬). Also forgot the majority about her. Yet I didn’t think she appeared much anyway.
  • Ji Xiao Fei (姬晓飞) as Han Xin (韩信). He was one of the ones I actually paid attention to during the initial parts yet somehow just lost track of as well because there were so many characters involved.

Relationships – family, friends, romances:

  • Lu Yi/ Ge Nie and Michelle Chen/ Duan Mu Rong. They surprised me. Yes, I saw a lot of stills released before watching, but wasn’t sure. Because sometimes, pictures were misleading and you wouldn’t know how it turn out until you actually watch. But I really liked them throughout and they were the sole reason I ended up sticking around until the end. Because it was omg, sooooo long. Even with its extended cast, the series dragged and dragged for who knew until when. Anyway, they had their misunderstandings at first, but learned to work together and grew closer over time. Their relationship was a mixture of maturity and immaturity. There were cute moments and also touching moments as well. She was the stubborn person in this relationship but it actually made sense with their conflicts and differing views. At least, it didn’t drag out forever.
  • Jiang Jing Fu/ Jing Tian Ming and Hu Bing Qing/ Gao Yue. They were the definition of boring for me as far as this series went. Mostly because of their characters, obviously. It was such a shame though. Because I was intrigued by how their story unfolded at first. I even welcomed some of the journey they went on together, etc. Then I was wondering how they could end up together–with a lot of things they had to deal with throughout. But the longer the series dragged on, the more I got bored with them. Perhaps, it had to do with a lot of repetitive scenes or formula that surrounded them as well. Not to mention how I didn’t think he deserved her. Seriously, I usually DO NOT want characters to be forced together–just because I preferred one pairing over the other and thought they had more chemistry or whatever. But his hot-headedness and his uncompromising ways made me tenfold more annoyed and felt like he was throwing way too many tantrums. Sure, he cared about her and wanted to focus on her only, wanting to protect her, not wanting her to receive harm in any way. But his inability to help the situation made it so frustrating. It wasn’t just one or two times either, but it was like a rinse and repeat kind of thing, like a never-ending cycle.
  • Qin Jun Jie/ Xiang Yu and Gina Jin Chen/ Yu Ji. I was really, really, really surprised to like them WAY more than I should be. I didn’t know how they were going to end up together with all the intensity and how different they were, considering the plot laid out. However, as historical figures, you know they were meant to be together. (Unless you tweak the plot to the point of a certain someone that I won’t name.) But I actually enjoyed seeing their development than the dragging details of what happened to Tian Ming and Gao Yue. Sorry for the dunk once again, BUT it was that boring. In the context of this plot, I had my doubts about him really caring for her–or was just moving on because he couldn’t get together with Gao Yue. But when their story unfolded and how they ended up together was convincing enough and actually felt natural.
  • Sui Yong Liang/ Gao Jian Li and Gong Bei Bi/ Xue Nv. Their story was interesting through and through. Their ending was a tragedy but was more meaningful and heart-wrenching that a certain plot that dragged out unnecessarily. They were my second favorite couple in here, so of course, I felt it when their final scene rolled around.
  • Song Ning/ Da Si Ming and You Jing Ru/ Shao Si Ming. Their story was unexpected thrown in at the last minute or something. It had that feeling, because of all the chaos that was going on. Then the wrap up was on its way. However, it added to the many layers of the relationships in here. It was also a such a tragedy with them. Indeed, just a little bit more and they were in the clear. It made sense because of the time and the chaos involved. Yet it was choking–after having witnessed some of the major couples in here passed away already.

Recommended? I would say half and half. I wouldn’t want to watch it again. But it was somewhat intriguing to see how they spun the plot with some of the historical figures involved.

The Legend of Qin: Live Adaptation

Title / Tên: The Legend of Qin (秦时明月) / Tần Thời Minh Nguyệt

Episode Count / Tổng Số Tập: 65 Episodes / Tập

Episode Length / Tổng Số Phút Trong Một Tập:  Minutes / Phút

Genre / Thể Loại: Historical, Drama, Adventure, Wuxia / Lịch Sử, Tính Kịch, Mạo Hiểm, Võ Hiệp

Airing / Thời Gian Phát Sóng: 2015

Director / Đạo Diễn: Li Guo Li (李立國) / Lý Quốc Lập

Screenwriter / Biên Kịch: Xu Yuan (徐远) / Từ Viễn

Producer / Giám Chế: Tangren / Công Ty Đường Nhân

Broadcasting Channel / Đài Truyền Hình Phát Sóng: Hunan TV

Plot Summary / Tình Tiết: At the end of the Warring States period, Jing Ke’s assassination on the Qin Emperor was unsuccessful, sacrificing himself. The World’s Finest Swordsman Ge Nie was entrusted by Jing Ke to escort his son, Jing Tian Ming, to safety and to hide him from the Qin Emperor’s wraths. At the border of the Kingdom of Qin, at Can Yue Valley, Ge Nie–relying on himself– was able to fend off three hundred Qin soldiers. Qin Emperor, furious, ordered Prime Minister Li Si that he must get rid of the two. Li Si, through Dong Huang Tai Yi of the School of Ying and Yang’s advice, sought out Wei Zhuang, a member from Ge Nie’s sect. Wei Zhuang’s swords skill is at an impressive level, however, from the start, he had always ranked at a lower level than Ge Nie. In order to acquire the title of the World’s Finest Swordsman, Wei Zhuang had agreed to Li Si’s terms. Unbeknownst, he had fallen into Dong Huang Tai Yi’s trap. So when Tian Ming was born, the School of Yin and Yang had secretly planted “Gan Yuan Yu Sha” on his body. “Gan Yuan Yu Sha” involved a huge conspiracy.

While on the run, Ge Nie and Tian Ming made friends with a group of martial arts experts from Mojia and a descendant of a general from the King of Chu, Xiang Shao Yu, and a young lady from Mojia, Gao Yue–a person fate had driven to being the last known member of Mojia’s Ji Guan Town. Ji Guan Town was hidden at the cliff of Xiongfeng Mountain, gathering all of Mojia’s profound, brilliant minds. The place contained the last of the remaining parties to forge against the Kingdom of Qin. That place was also a hiding place for Mojia’s disciples.

Facing Mojia’s well-fortified Ji Guan Town, Zhao Gao first used the strategy of provoking to once again stir up Wei Zhuang’s hatred. Then he would use power to lure Wei Zhuang in, letting him believe that he only want Hu Hai to ascend the throne. Wei Zhuang could only continuously yearn for power and status. In order to knock down Ji Guan Town, Qin Emperor had sent out the most powerful soldiers. Wei Zhuang found Gongshu Chou, the leader of the Gongshu clan. Gongshu Chou and Mojia had some grudges against one another since several generations. Ji Guan Town’s strict, protective fortifications had to face an unprecedented challenge.

Wei Zhuang assassinated a group of experts within the regiment, plus the troops that were dispatched in succession. For a moment, Ji Guan Town ended up in a constant internal battle, silently surging forward.

*-*-*-*-*-*

Cuối thời Chiến Quốc, Kinh Kha thích khách Tần Vương bị thất bại nên đã hy sinh. Thiên Hạ Đệ Nhứt Kiếm Cái Nhiếp được sự phó thác của Kinh Kha phải hộ tống con ông là Kinh Thiên Ming bỏ trốn sự truy sát của Tần Vương. Tại biên giớ của Tần Quốc, ở Tàn Nguyệt Cốc, Cái Nhiếp một mình đã đánh lui ba trăm kỵ binh của Tần. Tần Vương phẫn nộ, ra lệnh cho Thừa Tướng Lý Tư nhứt định phải diệt trừ hai người. Lý Tư, từ chỗ của Âm Dương Gia Đông Hoàng Thái Nhứt, đã được chỉ dẫn để tìm kiếm tới sư huynh đệ đồng môn của Cái Nhiếp là Vệ Trang. Vệ Trang kiếm thuật siêu quần nhưng từ đầu tới cuối vẫn phải đứng dưới Cái Nhiệp một bật. Để đoạt được danh hiệu Thiên Hạ Đệ Nhứt Kiếm, Vệ Trang đã đồng ý với sự yêu cầu của Lý Tư. Không ngờ rằng đã tự mình rơi vào cái bẫy của Đông Hoàng Thái Nhứt. Thì ra lúc Thiên Minh chào đời, Âm Dương Gia đã lén lút bỏ “Càn Nguyên Ngọc Sát” trên người. “Càn Nguyên Ngọc Sát” có liên quan tới một âm mưu lớn.

Trên đường lưu vong, Cái Nhiếp và Thiên Minh kết giao với một số cao thủ của Mặc gia cùng với hậu nhân của đại tướng Sở Quốc là Hạng Thiếu Vũ và thiếu nữ của Mặc gia là Cao Nguyệt–một người số mệnh đưa đẩy đã trở thành người duy nhứt biết về tịnh thổ của Cơ Quan Thành của Mặc gia. Cơ Quan Thành ẩn nấp tại khu vực của Tuyệt Lãnh Hùng Phong, tụ tập lại những người trí tuệ uyên thâm nhứt của Mặc gia. Chỗ đó đã quy tụ lại những thế lực sau cùng để phản Tần. Chỗ đó còn là chỗ lánh nạn của đệ tử Mặc gia.

Đối diện với sự phòng thủ kiên cố của Cơ Quan Thành của Mặc gia, Triệu Cao trước tiên dùng kế khích tướng để một lần nữa khơi dậy sự oán hận của Vệ Trang. Tiếp theo sẽ dùng quyền lực để cám dỗ Vệ Trang, để cho hắn tin tưởng rằng chỉ muốn cho Hồ Hợi đăng cơ. Vệ Trang có thể tự ước mơ mãi về quyền lực và địa vị. Vì để công phá Cơ Quan Thành, Tần Vương đã phái đi những tinh nhuệ to lớn. Vệ Trang đã kiếm được chưởng môn của Công Thâu gia tộc là Công Thâu Cừu. Công Thâu Cừu và Mặc gia mấy đời có thù. Sự phòng thủ củng cố, nghiêm mật của Cơ Quan Thành phải đối diện với một sự khiêu chiến trước giờ chưa từng có.

Vệ Trang thích khách một số cao thủ trong quân đội cùng với một số binh được đều động. Một thời gian, Cơ Quan Thành nhiều lần xảy ra nội sát, ám lưu dũng công.

Lu Yi (陆毅) as Ge Nie (盖聂) / Lục Nghị vai Cái Nhiếp. The World’s Finest Swordsman. Exuding an indifference attitude yet has a gentle, righteous heart. Because Jing Ke’s unsuccessful assassination attempt on the Qin Emperor and died in front of him that Ge Nie swore that as long as he was alive, he would take Jing Ke’s place to fulfill Jing Ke’s dying will. The sword “Yuan Hong” was created from the small knife that Jing Ke used to assassinate the Qin Emperor, which the Qin Emperor ordered his men to reforge and was given to Ge Nie. Because of a misunderstanding, Duan Mu Rong developed hostility toward Ge Nie. When the misunderstanding was resolved, they fell in love. / Đệ Nhứt Kiếm Thánh. Bề ngoài lạnh nhạt, nội tâm hiệp cốt nhu trường. Bởi vì Kinh Kha thích khách Tần Vương không thành và chết trước mặt y nên Cái Nhiếp phát thệ rằng chỉ cần y còn sống, y sẽ thai thế Kinh Kha hoàn thành di chí. Bội Kiếm “Uyên Hồng” là Tần Thủy Hoàng cho người rèn lợi từ chủy thủ mà Kinh Kha dùng để thích khách và đem tặng cho Cái Nhiếp. Bởi vì sự hiểu lầm nên Đoan Mộc Dung mới nảy sinh lòng căm thù đối với Cái Nhiếp. Lúc hiểu lầm đã được giải trừ, hai người nảy sinh tình cảm.

Michelle Chen (陳妍希) as Duan Mu Rong (端木蓉) / Trần Nghiên Hy vai Đoan Mộc Dung. One of the leaders of Mojia, following the path of medicine, suitable with the title of “Medic Fairy”, young yet very skillful with medicine, possess an upbeat, aggressive personality. Because of Jing Ke’s death, originally exuded a strong hostility toward Ge Nie. However, after interacting with him, she slowly changed her views. After resolving the misunderstanding and helping each other, she developed feelings for him. / Một trong những người lãnh đầu của Mặc gia, thừa kế y thuật, xứng đáng với danh hiệu “Y Tiên”, niên kỷ nhỏ nhưng y thuật cao minh, tánh cách hoạt bát và điêu ngoa. Bởi vì cái chết của Kinh Kha nên mới đầu đối với Cái Nhiếp một lòng căm thù cuồng liệt, nhưng sau khi tiếp xúc cận kề với nhau mới dần dần thay đổi quan điểm. Sau khi giải trừ hiểu lầm và tương trợ lẫn nhau, cô đã nảy sinh ái mộ.

Jiang Jin Fu (蒋劲夫) as Jing Tian Ming (荆天明) / Tưởng Kình Phu vai Kinh Thiên Minh. The son of Highly Skilled Swordsman Jing Ke and Li Ji. Because of his background, he was hunted down by Qin Shi Huang. Afterward, Ge Nie found him and protected him from then on. Devious, loyal. When Tian Ming was attacked by Yu Sha’s power, Gao Yue appeared and was able to help Tian Ming return to normal. / Con trai của Tuyệt Đỉnh Kiếm Khách Kinh Kha và Lệ Cơ. Bởi vì thân thế nên bị Tần Thủy Hoàng truy sát. Sau đó Cái Nhiếp tìm tới và từ đó được bảo vệ. Cổ linh tinh quái, trọng tình trọng nghĩa. Trong lúc Thiên Minh bị sức lực của Ngọc Sát tấn công, Cao Nguyệt đã xuất hiện và giúp cho Thiên Minh trở lại bình thường.

Hu Bing Qing (胡冰卿) as  Gao Yue (高月) / Hồ Băng Khanh vai Cao Nguyệt. The daughter of the leader of Mojia. Duan Mu Rong’s disciple. Innocent, gentle, has an intensive knowledge of medicine, is Duan Mu Rong’s helpful assistant. When Tian Ming was attacked by Yu Sha’s power, it was Gao Yue who helped restore his mind. Afterward, the two fell in love. / Con gái của cự tử của Mặc gia. Đồ đệ của Đoan Mộc Dung. Thiên chân vô tà, ôn nhu uyển chuyển, tinh thông dược lý, là trợ thủ đắc lực của Đoan Mộc Dung. Lúc Thiên Minh bị sức lực của Ngọc Sát tấn công, là Cao Nguyệt đã giúp hồi phục thần trí. Sau đó hai người tương ái.

Sun Yi Zhou (孙艺洲) as Wei Zhuang (卫庄) / Tôn Nghệ Châu vai Vệ Trang.

Gina Jin Chen (金晨) as Chi Lian (赤练) aka Yu Ji (虞姬) / Kim Thần vai Xích Luyện aka Ngu Cơ.

Qin Jun Jie (秦俊杰) as Xiang Shao Yu (项少羽) aka Xiang Yu (项羽) / Tần Tuấn Kiệt vai Hạng Thiếu Vũ aka Hạng Vũ.

Gong Bei Bi (龚蓓苾) as Xue Nu (雪女) / Cung Bội Bì vai Tuyết Nữ.

Sui Yong Liang (隋咏良) as Gao Jian Li (高渐离) / Tùy Vịnh Lương vai Cao Tiệm Ly.

Qu Zhe Ming (曲哲明) as Bai Feng (白凤) / Khúc Triết Minh vai Bạch Phụng.

Zhang Lei (张雷) as Zhao Gao (赵高) aka Dong Huang Tai Yi (东皇太一) / Trương Lôi vai Triệu Cao aka Đông Hoàng Thái Nhất.

Song Ning (宋宁) as Da Si Ming (大司命) / Tống Ninh vai Đại Tư Mệnh.

You Jing Ru (尤靖茹) as Shao Si Ming (少司命) / Vưu Tịnh Như vai Thiếu Tư Mệnh.

Sources: Baidu and Viet Wiki (Mostly references for characters’ names)

*All translations were done by DTLCT, so if you decided to share elsewhere, please credit (or link back to the blog). (You can take out one language or the other to your likings.)

**All image credits are as marked.

P.S. I got lazy and stopped translating, lol. I’ll go back one fine day and finish.