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!
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.
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.
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.
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!