[First Impression] An Oriental Odyssey (盛唐幻夜)

I have been anticipating this drama for a very long time, and so when it first came out, I went ahead and watched it to my heart’s content. I admit that I did have a few reservations about it, but I was left with nothing but amazement. My initial skepticism was flushed down the drain and I am totally captivated by Janice Wu’s character, Ye Yuan An. She totally drew me in with her badass attitude! Janice Wu has definitely stepped up from her usual portrayal of the cute and adorable girl into a more mature and grownup heroine.

BEWARE OF SPOILERS!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Title: An Oriental Odyssey (盛唐幻夜)
# of Episodes: 50
Release Date: October 18th, 2018
Where to Watch: YouTube / Viki

Why did I start watching this?
I am a big fan of both Zheng Ye Cheng and Janice Wu. So when I heard that they’d be paired up in a drama together, I was super psyched! Zheng Ye Cheng is probably most well-known for being a supporting character in the tv drama Love 020 and as the male lead in the web dram Let’s Shake it!. On the other hand, Janice Wu is the more experienced one having starred in many dramas as either a supporting lead or the actual female lead. Both of them together in this drama mixed with the fantasy wuxia genre was something that I knew I couldn’t afford to miss.

Plot
The backstory of the drama starts off with a brief overview of an ancient artifact called the Nine Divine Beads. The beads were created by the Goddess Nuwa to stop a war between the nine tribes. In doing so, the beads were supposed to be kept safely locked away. But after a few years, it was uncovered and chaos slowly began again. However, the beads eventually come to the hands of a powerful monk (who’s supposed to be Sanzang). But, after he passes away, his two students fight over the beads. The fight between them ends up with some of the beads being scattered all over the world. One of the students becomes a renowned monk for the kingdom (aka State Preceptor), while the other hides in secrecy to search for the missing beads.

A few years later (which is where the actual story starts)…

An unknown man is discovered by some drug lords. As he is taken captive by the group of people, they discover that he has no memory of himself nor can he speak. But when he proves to have superhuman strength abilities, they immediately take him in as a slave and force him to do hard labor.

In the town of Luo Yang, the capital city of the Tang Dynasty, Zhao Lan Zhi is a high-ranking constable that is currently working on a drug smuggling case. Although he is able to arrest some smugglers, he quickly realizes that there are more powerful forces that are involved in the case.

Ye Yuan An, our main female lead, often cross dresses as a male and even introduces herself as a man when in front of others. Although not liked by her family members, her servants all love her because of her righteous heart. When her servant vents to her about his childhood lover being wrongly accused of murdering a dancer from a brothel, Yuan An immediately sets out to break the girl from jail. And, she does so without failing. However, her doing so, catches the attention of Zhao Lan Zhi. Eventually, Lan Zhi is able to figure out that Yuan An was the one who broke into the jail. However, instead of immediately capturing her and the accused girl, he and Yuan An strike a deal and work together to prove the girl’s innocence when they realize that the murder is related to the drug smuggling case that Lan Zhi is working on.

Through a series of investigating, Lan Zhi and Yuan An find themselves deeply involved in a conflict that is much more complicated than they expected. The case ends up involve two of Lan Zhi’s close friends whom he met in his early days. Along the way, Yuan An meets with the superhuman slave and buys him at the Black Market. He is initially reluctant to become her slave after being treated horribly by the drug dealers, but her kindness eventually softens him and he helps her and Lan Zhi with investigating the case. As he and Yuan An become closer, Yuan An gives him the name Mu Le because he likes to sleep on wood.

And that’s a wrap! Eventually the case gets solved and the second female lead reveals herself. But if you want to know more, then you’re going to have to check it out for yourself. But you can see that with a beginning like this, Yuan An, Lan Zhi, and Mu Le are going to continue to solve more crimes in the capital city.

Cast/Characters

Ye Yuan An (叶远安) / Janice Wu
The oldest child to the Assistant Minister of Revenue. Growing up, her only interest was learning martial arts, much to the dismay of her father. Often crossdressing as a man because of her tomboyish nature, she is often helping people. She is never one to turn away from those who need help. In her eyes, if someone needs her to help them, she will lend a hand to help.

Mu Le (穆乐) / Zheng Ye Cheng
A man with no memories of his past and little language ability, but has superhuman strength. He was bought by Yuan An at the Black Market and becomes her slave unwillingly. However, he eventually becomes loyal to her when she treats him with kindness and sincerity. But his true identity remains a mystery to everyone.

Zhao Lan Zhi (赵澜之) / Zhang Yu Jian
A high-ranking constable. He works hard in the name of justice to protect the innocent and has no mercy for those who break the law.

Princess Ming Hui (明慧) / Dong Qi
The younger sister of a prince. She appears innocent and naïve on the outside, but she is hiding her true intentions. In truth, she is a disciple of the State Preceptor (one of the students of Sanzang) and is searching for the Nine Divine Beads for her master.

Overall Impression
I just have to say WOW! Definitely give this drama a try if you can, because it’s good so far. My favorite part has definitely been Janice Wu’s character. She was totally different from what I had assumed, but what I truly wished for. Initially, when I first heard about this drama, I assumed that she would play a spoiled and carefree girl who somehow gets embroiled in everything and just tags along because she’s naturally curious. HOWEVER, she is the complete opposite. She can fight, kick ass, and hold her ground. She doesn’t need anyone to save her and she is sooooooooooo smart. I love her character! I’m totally satisfied with the writers for letting the female lead this time be someone who is mature, intelligent, heroic, and can fight.

Other than that, I have been pleased with mostly everything else in the drama. The characters all seem very well written. The story so far has been very good. It definitely is similar to many of the wuxia dramas that have a mystery element in them, but I like how it is paced so far. There’s plenty of action scenes and plenty of suspense to keep you interested in what is going on. I’m definitely looking forward to watching how the drama enfolds. I hope to see more scenes between the two leads (and see them slowly fall in love!!) and get to know more about Princess Ming Hui’s character.

For those of you who’ve watched the first few episodes already, please share your thoughts on this drama below!

23 thoughts on “[First Impression] An Oriental Odyssey (盛唐幻夜)

  1. Not all that enjoyable… really frustrating in parts, I also found Zheng Ye Cheng to be such a ‘wooden’ actor. Really didn’t care who would live or die at the end

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    1. Wow….this is the first series that took my breath away, it left my heart weeping and yearning for more. Please say there’s season two? Please say there is. Mu Le came back at the end in episode 50! I would recommend everything to experience the feelings and joyful moments I had watching An Oriental Odyssey. Thank you! Please! Patiently waiting for season 2.

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      1. I’m not sure if there will be a season 2. There was a lot of controversy between Zheng Ye Cheng and the production team regarding his screen time.

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  2. Please people! Can there be season two? I can wait to see it! I watched the entire season up to 50 . Please don’t let it stop because I can’t stand the thought of Me Le being separated from his wife. 😭😭😭

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  3. I just finished watching all the 50 episodes today and I definitely say IT IS WORTH WATCHING! I hope there’s a season 2! I will surely miss Mu Le and Ye yuan’s character. They truly have chemistry.

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  4. I think i know what the problem is = there is really no inkling by Yuan An that she feels anything more for Mu Le rather than responsibility. I mean, she also broke her previous horse servant’s girlfriend out of jail and was willing to be caught together with them when Zhao Lan Zhi found them. Aside from the fact that Mu Le is the lead actor, it does not appear at all that she is torn between 2 men despite the very obvious hints that show try to drop e.g. standing underneath the sakura tree – such a romantic event but the chemistry between her and Zhao Lan Zhi sitting at a table and not even touching is more sizzling. Poor Zheng Ye Cheng – maybe because Wu Qian and Zhang Yu Jian is the OTP in another drama, they are more familiar with each other so their interactions just have more pizzazz.

    I love that when Zhao Lan Zhi saved the Princess, he was looking at her with suspicion rather than “oh-romantic-moment…”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have watched it up to episode 12… it looks promising and the twists don’t seem cliche… I am loving Constable Zhao already, but I also think Mu Ye is cute 😘

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  6. Don’t be. Actually I regretted it because then I have to the whole one week before I can continue with 13. So I now slow down and wait to watch it on Viki.com.

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  7. I am up to ep12 and I fear I can’t continue watching when Yuan An and Mu Le go to the other kingdom – I thought it was a crime busting show ; that I would watch. Sorry but I just can’t see the chemistry between Yuan An and Mu Le while it’s so much more charged up between her and Constable Zhao! It’s actually kinda creepy that Mu Le is so into her while she treats him like an overgrown child / pet requiring looking after

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      1. Yes – I do think it’s a bit far fetched how much she would do for her servants ; even for the previous one where she broke his beloved out of jail but I am willing to take it with a pinch of salt because she is a heroine in her own right. She is brave definitely but I wouldn’t say the cleverest – her ploys would not work on its own without help from constable zhao.

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  8. I started watching because of Wu Qian too while waiting for new episodes of All Out Of Love – and I maybe in the minority, but I totally ship her with Constable Zhao. I know he is the second lead AND it is pre-ordained that she will be with Mu Le (they clearly have some backstory) but I want them to be in love BUT can’t be together.

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  9. what’s with those scenes at episode 4 when Mu Le got mesmerized when Yuan’an appeared as a lady for the first time?? They’re wearing different clothes—are those flasbacks(past memories) or visions(of the future)??? can someone please tell me…

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  10. I’m on episode 6 and I just noticed it stops at episode 6 in you tube. I love Janice Wu and her character. Where can I watch more of this drama?? Please let me know .. thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I watched 12 episodes already and can not wait for more. I watched because of Janice Wu. Discovered her first in My Sunshine the my Amazing Boyfriend. Totally captivated by her. I am happy with the pace and story so far.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I watched it with Vietsub. However I now have to wait until next week to continue with ep 13. Such a long wait. It is even better from Ep.7 onwards. Janice Wu did not disappoint me. Hooray.

        Liked by 1 person

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