[First Impression] Novoland: Eagle Flag (九州缥缈录)

If you haven’t started watching this drama, you should! I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do, but I really like this drama. It has a good plotline, tons of fascinating characters, and good action scenes! It’s definitely not a disappointment at all!

BEWARE OF SPOILERS!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! 

Title: Novoland: Eagle Flag (九州缥缈录)
# of Episodes
: 56
Release Date: July 16th, 2019
Where to WatchYouTube

Why did I start watching this?

For Liu Hao Ran! Despite being a young actor still attending university, he’s got good acting skills. Don’t let his young and innocent face fool you! The boy is good at what he does, and he never fails to amaze me with his acting skills. Plus, he’s good at choosing his projects. Most of the dramas that he’s headlined have all been popular (With You & Nirvana in Fire 2). And, so far, he’s doing great in this drama!

Plot/Synopsis Recap

A battle erupts when Longge Zhenhuang of the Zhenyang Tribe is accused of rebelling against the Qingyang Tribe. Caught in the midst of this is the young Asule and his two childhood friends. However, the battle is quickly over with the Qingyang army being victorious. With this, Asule and his remaining friend, Su Man, are brought to the Qingyang Tribe.

When they arrive, Asule is then revealed to be the youngest son of the king of the Qingyang Tribe, Lu Song. He was born without a heartbeat and was believed to be cursed, which is why he is sickly and has a weak body. Therefore, his father sent him to be raised by Longge Zhenhuang. Asule does not believe this and constantly repeats that he is Longge Zhenhuang’s son. He is still shocked by the Zhenyang Tribe being eradicated and wants to get revenge for his people. He tries to pick a fight with Lu Song, but he is quickly overpowered. Lu Song then agrees to give the remaining people of the Zhenyang Tribe to him as slaves.

Soon after, Lu Song announces Asule as the Crown Prince, as tradition in the Qingyang Tribe states that the youngest son inherits the throne. Many are opposed to this, especially Lu Song’s four older sons who all covet the throne. Lu Song’s good friend Shahan worries that Asule has a weak body which will make him incapable of competing against his older brothers. He suggests that Lu Song find him a good teacher and companions who can fight alongside him, to which Lu Song does.

However, the Qingyang Tribe lacks resources, as food is scarce due to the harsh winters. Shahan is sent to Xia Tang to request a peace treaty. He returns with good news that Xia Tang has agreed, but requires the Qingyang Tribe to send one of their princes to marry their princess. Asule is chosen to go, despite Lu Song’s reluctance, but he agrees to go as he believes it is the best for the Qingyang Tribe. As Asule departs, his father gives him a new name, Lu Gui Chen.

And that’s a wrap!

Cast/Characters
*There are LOTS of characters. So, I’m just going to list the THREE main characters.

Lu Gui Chen / Asule (吕归尘), Turbo Liu Hao Ran
Crown Prince of the Qingyang Tribe. He was raised by Longge Zhenhuang of the Zhenyang Tribe. He is sent to Xia Tang to marry their princess for a marriage alliance. He was born without a heartbeat and is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Despite his poor health, he wants to be able to protect his people.

Ji Ye (姬野), Chen Ruo Xuan
Eldest son of the Ji family. However, his status as a concubine’s son makes him unable to get a military rank. He is often ridiculed by his younger brother, who is the legitimate son, and looked down upon by his father, who sees him as a steppingstone for his younger brother. Despite this, Ji Ye is extremely talented in using the spear and works hard to one day become a military general so that his name will be known.

Yu Ran (羽然), Lareina Song Zu Er
The niece of the State Preceptor. She is from the winged tribe and grew up in the palace. She is young and loves freedom, often escaping the palace to roam around the city dressed as a man. She has an outspoken personality and wants to live a carefree life.

Overall Impression

I’m loving this drama! I was able to watch 6 episodes straight without break. I think that just shows how much I’m enjoying it and how great it is. At first, it was a bit confusing, given that there’s so many things going on at the same time. If you’re not familiar with the setting, timeline, and tribes of the drama, it can get confusing. It took a while to figure things out, as I kept getting confused about the different kingdom and the people that kept appearing. But it’s okay, it makes the story more interesting.

Anyway, I think one of the best things about this drama is its well-written plot. It’s so detailed and everything about the story is good. Even the characters are all great. For example, Lu Gui Chen and Ji Ye. Both are two young men who are born with complicated statuses and are forced to live through tough times. Lu Gui Chen was born weak, survives a massacre, and forced to come to a new kingdom for the sake of his people. Ji Ye is looked down on and ignored, and often abused by his family due to his low status. Despite the heavy obstacles that stand before them, both are surprisingly resilient and never back down. Lu Gui Chen doesn’t let his weak body deter him from doing his best to protect his people. And Ji Ye doesn’t just sit quietly and accept his low-born status. They both do not let their struggles weigh them down. Of course, it’s still the beginning and there’s so much more they have to experience before they’re strong enough. But their determination to win is great and you can’t help but root for them all the way.

The only one who’s not doing it for me is Song Zu Er’s Yu Ran. Compared to the complexity of Lu Gui Chen and Ji Ye, her character falls short. I kind of expected this when I was reading her profile before the drama aired, but I just can’t get over why she’s the main female lead. I know she’s not supposed to be the center of the spotlight, but I feel like they could’ve tried to make her character more appealing, since she is speculated to be loved by the two main male leads. However, I feel like her character isn’t all that, and she’s kind of annoying. Instead of being an outspoken girl who fights against her fate or for justice, she pretty much seems like a little spoiled brat. And that’s super disappointed. I’m definitely not rooting for at all, and I personally wish she wasn’t the main female lead.

Thankfully the drama doesn’t really focus on Yu Ran, but rather on Lu Gui Chen and Ji Ye. The funny part is I find myself more drawn to Ji Ye than Lu Gui Chen. Maybe it’s because we get to see more of Ji Ye’s suffering than Lu Gui Chen. Like, when his father was beating him for being the bodyguard of a playboy rather than being obedient at home. Or when he was praying to the gods to bless him only to be left with disappointment. Everything just always seems to be against him, which always broke my heart when it happened. However, I do hope that Ji Ye does one day become the strong warrior that he seeks to be and fights alongside Lu Gui Chen.

Overall, I’m definitely looking forward to how the story progresses. I’ve given up on Yu Ran already, as she’s a disappointment. But Lu Gui Chen and Ji Ye are good enough for me to continue watching because I’m interested to see how they both grow and become stronger. I’m also interested in knowing more about the Eagle Flag organization, as it’s supposed to be this secret group with tons of amazing warriors. It’s obviously going to be a big role in the drama (hence the title), and I’m interested to see which of the two male leads join the organization (most likely Ji Ye, as his family was part of it before).

If you’re wanting to know more about the drama, you should follow this Twitter group. They’re writing recaps for the episodes and are actively following it!

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5 thoughts on “[First Impression] Novoland: Eagle Flag (九州缥缈录)

  1. Up to ep6 and loving it. I am team Asula all the way!! I love how he hasn’t let the misery and tragedy around him overly embitter and disenchant him. He wields the sword to protect the people he love. Ji Ye on the other hand has issues – not my fav type of character; unlike Lv Guichen, he is mentally weak and craves acceptance. I’d much rather him react like how Ming Lan did instead,

    Like

  2. Even though Yu Ran is the main female character, she doesn’t appear that much in the book. She’s part of the trio but she’s absent in most of the major events. I’d say she kinda a supporting character – she’s not like an actual female lead like in other historical dramas *!! SPOILER AHEADS !!* because apparently she doesn’t end up with any of the male leads in the book. *END OF SPOILER*

    The story revolves more around Lv Guichen and Ji Ye with other key side characters like Lei Bicheng, Ying Wuyi, Xi Yan etc. I don’t know how the drama would differ from the original novels. Maybe it will add more Yu Ran scenes, maybe not. I think her character is created to bring the light to both Lv Guichen and Ji Ye’s life – which make it reasonable how both of them developed crush on her – because they find joy being around her – especially since both of them have depressing life/ past.

    Like you, I also find Yu Ran pretty annoying at first because of how quite rude the way she speaks of Lv Guichen and how she treats him – how she seemingly look down at his barbarian background when she was not even an official princess until she was conferred to. Lol at least Lv Guichen is a crown prince and has royal blood.

    She’s actually nice but just a bit ignorant and spoiled. She comes off like an arrogant city girl that looks down at those from rural areas – how she keeps mentioning him looking weak like a girl – how she rudely talked she didn’t want to marry him which I find it lol because it’s not like Lv Guichen wanted to actually marry her either. So yeah I was quite mad with the way she treated him lol. I mean, Lv Guichen is such an innocent and gentle character, so I was like, what did he do for her to treat him in such way?! Even though she didn’t meant bad and was joking most of the time.

    Luckily Lv Guichen is a really, really kind and selfless character. When he said to Su Shunqing how he originally thought he won’t disturb anyone when he came to Xiatang but didn’t expect he’d cause trouble (to Yu Ran), I wanted to tell him “Lv Guichen, you’re not to be blamed! Also, you’re too nice and too good for her anyway” Lol, I was that annoyed because Lv Guichen is like my precious pup who needs someone like Su Shunqing in his life (I LOVE HER SO MUCH)

    I read that Yu Ran’s street smarts and lively personality was inspired by Legend of Condor Heroes’ Huang Rong which was one of my favourite female characters. While Song Zuer did well with the acting, I personally think if Li Yitong played Yu Ran, she would be able to make the character appear more charming and lovable like how she plays Huang Rong in LOCH (2017). Yu Ran in NEF came off too tomboyish and loud and little rude to me. The character of Yu Ran also is pretty similar with Xiao Feng in Goodbye My Princess – mischievous, carefree, always sneaks out of palace, outspoken – but Peng Xiaoran also manage to make the character charming and lovable. I didn’t really find them as annoying as Yu Ran.

    BUT as I watched ep 6, I start to find her likable especially after she tried to cheer Ji Ye up when the coins did not flip to heads and when she held Ji Ye hands which he thought dirty. I’m starting to love the trio after they took down Redteeth together. So, I’m looking forward to seeing their journey of becoming heroes together!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. I’d be happy if neither guys ended up with her. I think they’re totally fine without her, and no romance in this drama is fine with me.

      I agree with you about Ep 6. I thought it was very sweet how she tried to cheery up Ji Ye. I’m glad at least she was considerate and nice to him, given how his family treats him. I think she really was the first person to really show concern towards him and listen to him.

      Like

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