Who knew that comedy could be present in a Xianxia drama…? But this drama pulled it off so well! The humor in here is ridiculously funny. However, that’s not the only thing that’s going for the drama. It’s also got a good storyline and characters to help make it worthwhile.
BEWARE OF SPOILERS!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Title: Once Upon a Time in Ling Jian Mountain (从前有座灵剑山)
# of Episodes: 37
Release Date: November 12th, 2019
Where to Watch: iQiyi App
Why did I start watching this?
For it’s Xianxia genre!!!
Wang Wu and Feng Yin are star-watching when Feng Yin predicts the world is going to end soon. He tells Wang Wu that they should prepare for the worst. Wang Wu doesn’t believe him and makes fun of him for his prediction. As Feng Yin prepares for the worst, the two witness a meteor shower. As the meteor shower passes them, Feng Yin concludes that it is because of the meteor shower that the calamity that he predicted has passed and the world is safe for the time being.
18 years later…
Wang Lu is an avid adventurer who is on his way to become a disciple of the Ling Jian Sect. On his way, he rests at an inn run by Feng Ling, a member of the Ling Jian Sect, and he meets Hai Yun Fang. The two become friends, but also become rivals with the obnoxious Zhu Qin.
As they all make their way to Ling Jian mountain, Wang Lu and Hai Yun Fang decide to work together during the entrance test to become disciples of the sect.
And that’s a wrap!
Wang Lu (王陆), Xu Kai
A genius boy from a small village. He loves adventures and has traveled to various places prior to coming to Ling Jian Sect. He becomes the disciple of Wang Wu, much to his displeasure, and is given the title as her successor disciple.
Wang Wu (王舞), Zhang Rong Rong
The 5th Elder of the Ling Jian Sect. She is mischievous, money hungry, and an alcoholic. She is forced to become Wang Lu’s Shifu from the other elders because she is the least busy. Despite initially not wanting to help Wang Lu, she decides to keep him around and works hard to help him develop his skills.
Hai Yun Fang (海云帆), Zhu Yuan Bing
The 2nd prince from Junhuang Mountain. His parents were killed by his older brother and he ran away hoping to learn skills from Ling Jian Sect to get revenge. Even though he seeks revenge, he is a timid and shy man who is always protected by Wang Lu. But, beneath his shy nature, he is a righteous man who is loyal and hardworking. He becomes an outside disciple of Ling Jian Sect.
Liu Li Xian (琉璃仙), Guo Xiao Ting
Wang Lu and Hai Yun Fang’s Shijie. She is the successor disciple to the 7th Elder, Ao Guan Hai. She is extremely strong and wields two swords. However, she isn’t the most intelligent and is very clumsy.
Feng Ling (风铃), Gao Yu Er
She is the daughter of Feng Yin, Ling Jian Sect’s Sect Leader. She runs an inn outside of the Ling Jian mountains. Although she has a tough exterior, she is actually very kindhearted and nice. She is the one who often mentors Wang Lu with instructions from Wang Wu. She also mediates between the two when they fight and she helps Wang Lu understand Wang Wu’s ways of teaching.
There are actually more characters, but I’m just going to list these characters since they’ve had more screen time than the others…
Honestly, I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I do now. It’s actually something that I look forward to watching every day, and I’m so glad I got iQiyi VIP because I’m already up to episode 16! So far, lots of things have happened. The drama actually moves really fast. The first few episodes where a bit slow and there lots of explaining and stuff, but as you continue to watch, the story really goes by fast. But I’m not complaining because it’s been fun watching it
The premise of the drama is actually pretty typical. You have a young boy who is on his way to cultivation. And on his way to learn martial arts and cultivate to immortality, he meets new friends and learns high level skills. Not to mention, he also turns out to have this mysterious special power that helps his cultivation improve much faster and better than everyone else… Yeah, yeah, it’s very typical, right? But don’t let that get to you. The drama is still quite enjoyable because how it’s written and all of the other characters. Honestly, I don’t mind Wang Lu at all. I quite like his character. I find him pretty interesting. I like that even though he’s a bit full of himself, he’s actually kindhearted and a genuinely nice person. And you see this through his interactions with Hai Yun Fang. While the two become quick friends, Wang Lu treats him well and really looks out for him. It really shows that Wang Lu really values his friendship with Hai Yun Fang.
And then there’s Wang Wu, who is probably the most interesting character out of all the characters in the drama so far. She’s honestly not your ideal image of an immortal. She’s lazy, loves drinking, and is very childish. And she doesn’t shy away from being shameless and letting other people know of her mischievousness. But, honestly, I like that Wang Wu is different. I like that she’s not the “mysterious and cold beauty” type. And even though she’s supposed to be selfish and uncaring towards Wang Lu, she’s actually quite attentive towards him. Of course, this is in her own way that is oblivious to Wang Lu, who is sees her as a careless and inattentive master. And while her personality isn’t ideal for a female lead, I’m honestly very interested to see how her relationship with Wang Lu will develop.
As I said earlier, the drama moves pretty fast. The first few episodes prepares us for Wang Lu’s entrance to the Ling Jian Sect and shows us how he becomes Wang Wu’s disciple. Afterwards, it’s all about his journey as a disciple in the sect. And this is when the fun part really starts because his interactions (aka misunderstandings) between him and Wang Wu, but also his growing friendship with the other disciples. Of course, Wang Lu and Wang Wu aren’t the only two who get center stage. Hai Yun Fang, Liu Li Xian, and Feng Ling all get their share of drama, and we also get to know them and their character backgrounds. Out of the three, Feng Ling probably has the most intriguing past. She is the daughter of Feng Yin, Ling Jian Sect’s Sect Master, and she also has a nine-tailed fox sealed inside her, making her part demon. Of course, we don’t know why it happened, we just know that Feng Yin was the one who did it and has regretted doing it to his daughter. Later on, I hope we get to see more of Feng Ling’s fox demon and get to know more about why it was sealed inside her.
Overall, I’m really enjoying this drama. It’s very lighthearted. And, coming from watching The Untamed this summer, it’s nice to watch something that’s lighter. This drama is full of comedy, and the writers really did a good job incorporating hidden jokes throughout it. For example, Wang Lu makes a small reference to Naruto (Japanese anime). There’s also a slight mention about Story of Yan Xi during a conversation between Wang Lu and Feng Ling (as both Xu Kai and Gao Yu Er starred in the drama). Of course, it doesn’t make sense to have these details in a drama, but it makes it funnier and more comedic. And it’s hilarious when you start to catch on to what the characters are really referring to. So, honestly, if you’re looking to watch a light-hearted Xianxia drama, I totally recommend this drama! It doesn’t disappoint in its sense of action and adventure, and it really does deliver a well-written storyline.