#AJourneyToLove is one of those rare #CDramas with gorgeous cinematography. Saw the first episode and was immediately hooked. Assassins, embroidered guards, spies, oh my! Trying to control myself and stockpile the episodes so that I don't have to wait too long for new episodes 😁
Wrote a new #Cdrama review this weekend for "Dance of the Phoenix", a 2020 show that received an avalanche of mixed reviews mostly along the lines of "I loved the first 20 episodes and WTF was that ending?"
Well, fortunately I read many of the reviews before watching the show (which magically showed up in my Amazon Prime account). So I was prepared to watch with an open mind.
I think this show was a bit misunderstood by people who were expecting/hoping for a traditional "happy ending".
It's an interesting ending to be sure. And, yes, I agree with some of the other complaints about certain things being glossed over with little explanation (or none).
Read "Michael's Thoughts: Dance of the Phoenix" in the SF-Fandom Forums.
It's time once more for Samurai Saturday!
This week kicks off a new serial- Dick Tracy! The comic strip crime fighter appeared on the silver screen in 1937 to battle... The Spider! It's Chapter 1, The Spider Strikes!
And then, John Woo's Last Hurrah for Chivalry!
NetEase secures new trademark for Sword of Justice, aka the wuxia MMORPG Justice Online
#NetEase #JusticeOnline #SwordofJustice #Wuxia
I just finished Long Chengfeng's *Silver Sword Grudge*. It had so plot twists it made my head spin! I wonder if it would be possible to re-create that experience in a game? Would the players keep it all in their heads?
I think most GM have the experience that players rarely remember all clues or plot points encountered.
Apart from that, would the players not revolt when there's *another* plot twist that reveal the plotter is not whom they had suspected?
Hey, great news! A Past Unearthed, volume one of the English translation of #JinYong’s Return of the Condor Heroes, is now out! https://uk.bookshop.org/p/books/a-past-unearthed-return-of-the-condor-heroes-volume-1-jin-yong/7422747 #wuxia
Less great news: I really rate Gigi Chang’s translation, but the awful (and inconsistent) translation of characters’ names that Anna Holmwood started in Legend of the Condor Heroes is still with us. Argh.
Oh what the heck, I'm watching this live. Director, you better not slap me with a tragic ending.
Watching ep 1 & whooboy the CGI is rough. However, I like the costumes & sets which has a more realistic vibe and not the too-bright sheen of a lot of #xianxia dramas.
Very #wuxia ideas for an underused aspect of the game. I want to focus much more on the role of monks and mystics in my campaign world, so this will be useful
Elfmaids & Octopi: d100 Misions for monks, mystics and martial artists
Found this short drama through a random search and am enjoying it immensely. The fact that I binged through this on a weekday is testament to how well written it is, and the quality of the production isn't bad at all. Sure there are some contrived, convenient moments but on the whole it is a satisfying revenge drama 😁
Found the full series on Youtube condensed into a 3-hour movie 😍
Surprising even to me. Some people are theorising that it is due to its ending.
And in truth, when I heard about #MyJourneyToYou's ending, eventho I don't understand the details, it felt very... manipulative? Cliffhanger-ish? Imagine investing all that time watching something only to get a cliffhanger in return. I would be so pissed off.
With so many shows waiting for my attention this is not a priority.
Those who have watched it - what do you think of the rating?
I am a #ttrpg nerd, and I'm planning on running a #HunterTheReckoning campaign with both of my friends. My fiancée runs a #dnd campaign with #wuxia elements in which I play a warlock/artificer/retired serial killer. I have two #guineapig and a #hamster who have massive enclosures. I am a #daycare #teacher and I'm going back to #college for #elementary #edu
Reading another Long Chengfeng novel, The Tang Sect Crisis: https://wuxiawanderings.com/wuxia/long-chengfeng/tang-sect-crisis/ His writing style is such fun! #wuxia
Welcome to this week's delightfully fall-like Samurai Saturday! Up first, gadgets and goons in The Vanishing Shadow Chapter 6, Chain Lightning!
Then the feature, Death Valley!
after years I decided to have a look at Dragonfist again, a late #adnd 2e variation that was offered as a free download just before 3e came around.
unfortunately I didn't have the theoretical underpinnings to properly run a game in it back then. in other words: I hadn't watched enough #wuxia movies yet.
but now I have, and some elements of it make me want to see how it would play out.
Still haven't gotten past this drama. Honestly, I think I'm just hungry for classic #wuxia and there's so little of them these days.
Also, I'm reposting this because I'm testing Brid.gy. Somehow I've set it up incorrectly and I can't for the life of me figure out how. However, apparently if I publish a post via Brid.gy, the comments will appear beneath the blog post. Mysterious.
watching Clans of Intrigue today, a 1977 #wuxia movie.
the hero sees some shadowy person approach.
"who are you?"
"I came to kill you. But not here. Follow me!"
hero follows the assassin to a secluded spot and they commence a sword duel.
I like this movie.
Seriously, what is up with the deluge of My Journey To You posts on the Cdrama subreddit? I don't get it 😅 so many new shows and this one gets so much buzz.
It makes me wary to watch the show or engage in discussions about it because it's a signal that the show is probably full of stans and rabid fans and there will probably be anti-fan wars on the horizon 🤣
Ah the weird toxic world of #CDrama fandom. 😅
You can also watch my video review of Mysterious Lotus Casebook below:
Or, you can listen to the podcast episode.
Mysterious Lotus Casebook is basically about three men who gets together to solve cases, but it doesn’t start out that way, of course.
The story starts 10 years ago with a hero called Li Xiang Yi, the leader leader of the Sigu set. After a great battle in the middle of the ocean, he disappeared along with his arch nemesis Di Fei Sheng.
Ten years later, we meet a travelling physician called Li Lian Hua who bumps into a rich, young man called Fang Duo Bing. Funnily enough, his name means “often sick”. So, his name literally means I’m always sick, which is really hilarious.
Duo Bing believes that Li Lianhua is a charlatan who is out out to trick people. Since he has these dreams of becoming a detective of the Baichan Court, a splinter group of the original Sigu sect, so he follows Li Lianhua around just to proof that he’s a con artist to earn cred.
He ends up being friends with Li Lianhua and they go mystery-solving adventures together. Eventually, Di Fei Sheng joins them.
These cases are actually Li Lianhua’s way of solving a major problem that he’s been trying to solve for over 10 years which is the death of his senior.
Eventually, these cases all tie up together and leads to lots of secrets being revealed, a lot of hearts broken.
CharactersFrom left: Li Lian Hua, Fang Duo Bing and Di Fei Sheng
Li Lian Hua / Li Xiang Yi
If you’ve not guessed it already, Li Lianhua is the long-lost great hero, Li Xiang Yi. He was a really gifted swordsman; undefeatable and was at the top of the martial arts world since he was 17.
Di Fei Sheng
Di Fei Sheng is leader of an evil sect, but you know that with wuxias, nothing is that simple. Unlike a lot of people, Fei recognises Li Lianhua almost immediately. And he wants to battle Li Lianhua. So he tags along on their journey as well, making them a most peculiar crime-solving trio.
Fan Duo Bing
Young, impetuous and inexperienced in the ways of the jiang hu, Duo Bing is the self-proclaimed student of Li Xiang Yi and an aspiring detective of the Baichang Court.
What I liked
In far too many Chinese dramas, you have to put up with fillers, uneven pacing with episodes where unnecessary characters are unnecessary things
There’s no such thing with this show. This is not a drama that you can put on in the background while you do housework. You really need to pay attention because every word spoken, every clue onscreen, gesture or flicker of emotion means something.
Cheng Yi, who plays Li Lianhua, is just simply superb in Mysterious Lotus Casebook. If you have watched shows like Immortal Samsara and Love and Redemption, Cheng Yi is probably not a stranger to you. Well, he is a stranger to me! So, I was just blown away by his acting. This is not a typical role for him. In fact, it’s not a very typical role for a lot of Chinese actors. Li Lianhua is someone who, at the first glance, is very carefree, very irreverent, but he has very deep layers. With each episode you will discover each deep layer, and it’s such a delight when you have an actor like Cheng Yi portraying a character this complex.
The actors who portray Duo Bing and Fei is also really great and perfectly casted.
There were many laugh-out-loud moments with the trio, and I wish we had more moments between them.
The production, sets and costumes
The sets are amazing. I dislike sets that are fake and over-the-top like in Xianxia dramas (which is about gods and spirits). I’m very much a wuxia lover, so I’m happy that everything looked largely authentic, and the costumes not too crazy and colourful.
Also, the whole production took four years. Wow, a drama that didn’t take just three months to shoot. Imagine what you can do when you focus on quality for a drama!
It is classic wuxia
I really, really missed stories by Jin Yong and Gu Long, stories like Legends of the Condo Heroes or The Smiling Proud Wanderer, so Mysterious Lotus Casebook really fulfilled my thirst. It’s been such a long time since I saw classic wuxia!
I’ve long resigned myself to the fact that all I could ever see from Chinese dramas is “finger fu”, where the fighting scenes consists of characters waving their hands about and sparkly things come out. The kind of action scenes you see in Blood of Youth.
But in Mysterious Lotus Casebook, the action scenes are not just well-choreographed, they are actually beautiful. Cheng Yi does it really well; he’s truly gifted with wirework and embodies the beauty and grace of Li Xiang Yi. When you see him in these fight scenes, you know that he truly deserves the title of “greatest swordsman who ever lived”. Apparently they got a team from Hong Kong to choreograph the fight scene.
The original soundtrack was something that grew on me. Rhese songs really embody the spirit of wuxia. It’s all about heroism, bravery ,courage and the singers did a good job. Each time I listened to these the songs, I think about the fight scenes and Li Xiang Yi’s spirit and courage.
Will you like Mysterious Lotus Casebook?
When it comes to reviews, I try not to impose my point of view on viewers. Instead, I try to help you make up your own mind.
I have a very specific taste and I often do not like a lot of popular dramas. Like Love Between Fairy and Devil or Ashes of Love? Almost everyone loved them, but I’m like, why?
I recognize that everybody has different tastes, so while I like Mysterious Lotus Casebook, you may hate it.
You may like MLC if you:
- Love classical wuxia like Legends of the Condor Heroes, The Smiling Proud Wanderer or the more recent The Ingenious One.
- if you like detective dramas like Strange Tales of Tang Dynasty and Ancient Detective, but this show goes far deeper than solving the mystery of the week.
- Like you great acting. I know you’re probably thinking: Oh, who doesn’t like great acting? If you’re the sort of person that really treasures good acting, you will love this to death because it’s been a while since I since I saw such good acting on Cdrama screens basically.
You probably won’t like MLC if you:
- Want romance as a central plotline in your stories. I will straight out tell you that romance is not the central theme or plot line at all. While Li Xiang Yi does have a paramour (or several!), the story is not about him trying to find a way to be with his loved one like in Love and Redemption, for example.
Final rating: 9
This is one rare Chinese drama where I wish there were like 80 episodes. 40 episodes flew by like that, and was just so well done.
Mysterious Lotus Casebook is about honor, courage and doing your best to live and rise above bitterness and hatred.
It’s a classic wuxia story of chivalry and if you love stories about heroes going on adventures in the jiang hu, you will like Mysterious Lotus Casebook.
I am now at ep 22 of Meteor, Butterfly, Sword (2011) - every episode is a banger, no fillers or let up in the pace of the storytelling. I miss complex, dark stories like these, where things are not sugar coated & people are in shades of grey.
This was a 2011 production- I find it interesting how rough & real people looked. No perfect hair, pretty men. They were manly, ya know? I loved the actor who played Sun Yubo, the ruthless sect leader. What a presence!
You know it is a sign of a good #CDrama if you have binged up to 11 episodes in an afternoon. Meteor, Butterfly, Sword is as good as I remember it. Even better now that I can watch it with English subs (watched it originally without).
Ngl it is super weird watching the villain of #MysteriousLotusCasebook as a righteous hero (he's not the male lead). 😆
Show is on Youtube btw: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLU39TFGUKRrNx5L35JKUaZENK_7O_ELtA&si=hBoXUWeJo6PyMk8I
I have watched a bazillion versions of the Laughing Proud Wanderer by Jin Yong, but this 2001 adaptation starring Li Ya Peng remains THE BEST IMHO.
I mean just listen to this song. Isn't this the most #Wuxia theme song ever.
Also makes me infinitely sad that very few #CDramas even approach this quality anymore. And these days so many subpar shows are ❤️ by international fans, it makes my 💔 a little because THEY DON'T KNOW ANY BETTER 😭
This was in response to someone sharing this post about plot tropes created/popularised by Jin Yong: https://flamingwell.tumblr.com/post/727218062233927681
#wuxia thought of the day no.1, re: Snowblade Vagabond and its absolute best character. (https://wuxiawanderings.com/wuxia/long-chengfeng/snowblade-vagabond/)
Instead of watching the rest of #BackFromTheBrink I decided to read this for closure. Lawd I am glad I didn't waste my time 😂
I've long resigned to "finger fu" in #CDramas where they twirl & wave their fingers about and things sparkle in the air (ie #BloodOfYouth). But #MysteriousLotusCaseBook has set a new bar for action scenes: Acrobatic, dance-like moves of old #wuxia shows, which I thought had long disappeared. I'm also quite impressed #ChengYi did most of the movements himself.
This is a 4.5/5 star show. Totally the best I've seen in a long time.
Yesterday I started reading Snowblade Vagabond by Long Chengfeng, a #wuxia novella from 1977 that’s just been translated in full: https://wuxiawanderings.com/wuxia/long-chengfeng/snowblade-vagabond/ There’s an ebook version too!
Long’s style was heavily influenced by Gu Long, and the translator Lone Crane has an essay about that here: https://wuxiawanderings.com/how-to-write-like-gu-long/
I'm closing out tabs and awnted to rec this (again) before I clicked out of this. Jeanette Ng's 2021 article for Tor.com, The History and Politics of #Wuxia. Situates wuxia as a genre in its diaspora roots and historical context, I really recommend it. https://www.tor.com/2021/06/29/the-history-and-politics-of-wuxia/
#LoveYouSevenTimes sounds like a show that will drive me insane. And not in a good way 🤣
It is the classic #XianXia love plot of "you are doomed to reincarnate and live 7 tragic love affairs" and these things drive me crazy.
The visuals though.
Still, after the writing, production and acting excellence of #MysteriousLotusCasebook, it is going to be hard to transition to this idol drama. MLC made me realise how much I miss brotherhood #Wuxia. They are too rare.
What impressed me most about #MysteriousLotusCasebook, besides the excellent acting of the cast, especially Cheng Yi, are the fighting scenes. The best I have seen in a long, long while in #CDramas.
The cool thing is Cheng Yi did most of his stunts himself.
So. Many. Subgenres! 👀
Got a little time? #BrowseThe Shelf
#SFF #BookToot #Books #HighFantasy #Dragon #UrbanFantasy #SciFiSeries #SpaceOpera #Villains #Superheroes #Tentacles #DarkElf #Wuxia #Aliens #Vampires #Paranormal #AlternateHistory #Steampunk #DnD #TTRPG #HorrorBooks #YAFantasy #EroticFantasy
I hope it ends well, not in one of those ambiguous, tragic endings.
I'm not so into #BackFromTheBrink though I think it's good. I'm just not into romantic dramas in general, and the terrible CGI spoils some of my enjoyment.
Also folks I have written a lot about #wuxia/#xianxia as a writer so I love new takes on that and I like complex historical intrigue stuff and I am always here for strong female leads
One thing the show made me realise was how much I missed classic #Wuxia dramas. So many CDramas revolve around romance - I miss heroic, adventuring around the jiang hu stories. There are precious few of them these days. So if you know of any do recommend me some!
Some shows that come to mind:
Joy of Life
Sword Snow Stride
Most #CDramas lose my interest after the 20th episode, but not this one! #BloodOfYouth was tightly plotted, the characters so interesting. Although the "magic" martial arts took some getting used to, this was a classic #Wuxia tale. So you have the themes of brotherhood, loyalty, chivalry and honor that the genre is known for. Now I have a hangover because it ended "too soon" and I don't think I can watch anything this good in a long while. 😭
One thing I like about #BloodOfYouth is that no matter how powerful Xiao Se, Wuxin and Wujie are, it takes pains to show that they are still young men who are impetuous and yes, childish! This makes for really funny moments between the trio, especially Xiao Se and Wujie.
I thought this poster illustrates their dynamics perfectly 🤣
The Blood of Youth is the goofiest wuxia I've run across so far. We're talking ridiculous sized swords and power moves that only work if you call out their names. (The _sole_ reason none of them is called "Rubber Duck Smash!!!" is that it falls outside the scope of the genre.) And I really relate to the dude who uses his high powered cultivation skills to grow peaches whenever he wants them.
Kissing scenes in #Wuxia dramas always make me cackle a bit.
NGL, it's weird seeing #CDrama characters kissing cos it's not in our (Chinese) culture to be so physically affectionate, at least publicly.
The most natural kissing scene I've seen so far is in Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms.
Everyone else does the "kiss in slow motion". Also, falling flower blossoms will also be around somehow.
Dudes, I know it's a special event but hurry up can or not.
I love the couple in this. In terms of power dynamics, they're both equally matched, and it's a very mature relationship with nary the usual "noble idiot" tropes.
I've started watching the #TBRCon2023 panel on #wuxia and #xianxia and already learned something: These genres are about heroes, often vigilantes, who operate outside of established laws and follow their intrinsic sense of justice and morality. I had no idea that a principle I identify with a lot, and a major reason I love Wei Wuxian and #TheUntamed so much, is foundational for the genre!
Here's the video in a list that includes the other panels, as well.