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01 June 2012 @ 07:21 pm

© raini 2012. All rights reserved. Distribution of any kind is prohibited by me.
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In the boundless lands of ancient Pangu, in a time where destiny and fate are adrift like dandelions in a breeze, Ying Ru is merely a simple-minded girl; daydreams when she wants to, fights jing when she's forced to, and focuses on her immortality when she's told to. Life becomes infinitely complicated after she encounters a certain cold-blooded xian .
Author's Rant
Hi! So... this fanfic (since every fandom deserves fanfics) is basically born of my uncontrollable new love of chinese xianxia novels and since I just love it so much, there was no way I could continue writing my usual kpop fanfics. Since I will ultimately fail at referencing anything factual, this will just be plain fantasy heavily inspired by the novels I've read. <3 for anyone willing to give this piece of fangirly writing a try!


The good thing about watching this anime 7 years after it's release is I get 5 seasons to consume all at once. It's been so long since I've watched any anime, the last one being Pokemon I think? Ever since I got into dramas, my tv-watching has been strictly off the anime territory. There was just never enough of the anime/manga fangirl in me to keep that alive but now I am back and I think it is just for this one special one. The title of this animated series is Qin's Moon or Legend of Qin 秦时明月. I've heard of this title for a million years already so it's not unfamiliar, but I had the misunderstanding that it was an rpg game like 古剑奇谭 and Chinese Paladin 仙剑奇侠传 etc.. all those familiar names. It is actually an anime, China's only 3D anime and a very famous one at that. How I got tempted into watching this was thanks to Tangren's newest drama. Yes, it is being remade in live-action. I saw a trailer and immediately fell head over heels for it. It seemed to promise a hell of a story and for the novel-addict in me, the story is what reels me in. Did some research and found out that it is an animated drama, read the general synopsis, and then my impatience pushed me off the edge. I can't wait to save my life so here I am eating it all up like cookie monster. I'm on the 4th season already and I think I am already feeling the impending withdrawal when it's all going to come crashing into a wall. There's still 2 seasons but who knows when they will be released. I can feel the torturous wait already but I really can't get myself to slow down.

There is something really beautiful about this drama. The characters are made in 3D and although it gave me the feeling of watching a game recorded when I first started, that feeling faded away really quickly. It looks like a painting. I can feel the immense amount of work that went into the drama and it shows through; it's in the environment and the composition of the scene. It's just so friggen pretty! The fighting scenes are beautifully choreagraphed and each character has very realistic body language and facial expressions. It takes a little getting used to at first, but at some point, you will start to forget that these characters are rendered and just admire how beautiful they are. Also the story is orginally a novel so there is a very strong plot as the backbone. The story is very loyal to history with tons of actual historical characters and schools of thoughts with room for fantasy and wuxia elements that make this very easy to appreciate for any guy or girl young or old (like me). Something that came up in english reviews of this drama is the term "Steampunk" and "Rip-off" of Japanese and Korean anime series like Naruto or Avatar which I find is actually pretty sad to see for me. Steampunk is a western fictional element and what "Ji Guan" is here should actually be interpretted as an exageration of booby-trap technology, ie. in Chinese ancient tombs, not rip-off of western fiction elements. That is like saying boxing is karate or that tissue is actually Kleenex, technology is technology. There is no need to compare Qin's Moon to Naruto or Avatar because they all have their independant plots and characters, I don't see why. Won't it just take away from the experience if you watch it that way?

Alright, I have a lot to say. I don't want to bore anyone out with my slow moving review. Without giving away the plot, I'll just say there is a lot of heart in it. It not about fighting monsters and saving the world. Every character will grow on you, I've cried multiple times watching this. My favorite character is Ge Nie. I adore him as much as Tian Ming does, nobody compares with him! Nobody! Everybody wants his head but he is cool with that, he answers to nobody and does what he feels is right. He has the guts to betray the emperor, be chased by all of Qin and protect a bunch of people who also want to kill him. But it's ok, Tian Ming says Ge Nie is a good person, he'll always be a hero in the eyes of the people he protects. No one should care about the life and death of Tian Ming, but there is a person willing to betray an entire kingdom to protect him. Does that sound like my future husband? Yes it does. Too bad he is not real. Aside from Ge Nie, there are also a slew of heroic charactors and villains that seem to cross the lines all the time, because the story dedicates a lot of time and background to them. The good people are really awesome, but the bad guys aren't so hateable. I am really curious of Bai Feng's background and how he got recruited as one of Wei Zhuang's asassins. The half man, half machine Wu Xuang also managed to put a soft spot in my heart. Wei Zhuang as one of the main villains is always managing to elude understanding but somehow gives you the hope that he is not all evil, maybe he is just twisted. Just want to spend a few sentences giving these villains their credit, because they make the story interesting too. I really love how Qin's Moon takes it's time building up the suspense and spinning out the story. Every season makes the picture a little bigger, a little more complex, and a load more addicting. I am just really happy I did not catch on after season 3 just finished. I would not live through the cliff-hanger.

All in all, I can't believe I love this drama as much as I do. I totally did not see it coming, but seeing that it's gotten so much love from Chinese viewers throughout the years, it's not a surprise. It's really a gem and now I just hope the live action will live up to this masterpiece of an anime, and I especially worry that they will slaughter my perfect image of Ge Nie. It'll really hurt.

Here are a few pictures to lure you.




29 December 2014 @ 10:09 pm


End of a Story

Snow never approached her since. It still continued circling overhead, disappearing every so often, Ying Ru suspected when it got hungry, but it followed her everywhere. Gradually, she accepted it.

Being the ironic persona that she is, she even gave it a name: Snow. It didn't have a cute ring to it like Fu Fu did, the name she had given the brown dog, but that's because a shiao is not a 'cute' creature in any sense. It is still pretty terrifying to her, and she hopes it never swoops down in front of her like that ever again. The distance right now, it somehow brings down that fright factor a whole lot.

Zhu Cheng's bustling crowd is as noisy as always. Ying Ru's eyes drift back and forth looking for a particular face.

She has gone down into Zhu Cheng again. One of three times leaving Bamboo Forest, she will meet with danger in the form of a jing or in the last incident, an animal. Still, she somehow ends up here. Saying she's itching for danger is not too far fetched.

"Lao Shen Sheng?" Ying Ru weaves through the busy street.

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29 September 2014 @ 12:08 am



I've noticed that almost every famous woman in Chinese history is going to get a drama dedicated to her sooner or later and I'm actually surprised Wei Zi Fu hasn't had a drama to her name until now. I've heard of this queen since Da Mo Yao days when reading Tong Hua's popular novel which is already been made into a drama and is going to air soon. Growing up in America means my history is so so pitifully shallow so my dad filled in most of the holes in what I didn't know about Wei Zi Fu. I ask a lot of questions!

Virtuous Queen of Han 卫子夫 is something like a brilliant gem when you compare it to the saturation of palace female-central dramas out there that torture and torture and torture the female lead until you wonder why you are still watching. I am being sarcastic of course, it's true though that the palace is a grave and ladder for ambitious women is what I am familiar with from watching palace dramas. Rather than watching repetitive plots, I am now craving more epic character development and more of the front-court plot elements and basically what the king is up to when he is not under the stress of deciding which woman's pavillion to go to for the night. Wei Zi Fu satisfies that craving of mines so well I can hardly consider it a palace drama, it is a brilliant piece of historical fiction really. Every character is so powerful and there is such strong emotional weight to every one of them, even those characters that should be smaller received such detailed scripting. And my highest praise for this drama comes to the script. Only the script can drive a watcher to tears over a heartfelt dialogue, make the watcher shiver from the incredible detail of a chess-like maneuver on a character's part, make a watcher clap from pure admiration. This is a generation in Han Dynasty full of smart women, able men, hidden dragons and crouching tigers everywhere, it's a grand production with costumes and sets to make your eyes salivate, actors and actresses that are every bit as amazing as the characters they portray, and a moving script that stole my breath more than one time.

In a very very short version of Han Dynasty history, Wei Zi Fu is the wife of Liu Ch,  great grandson of the opening emperor of the Han Dynasty and one of the most notable emperors of that era. He is known as a very able and successful emperors, and one of the many points under his name recorded in history is pushing back the Xiong Nu northerners and creating a peace for the Han kingdom that lasted a long time. Behind him is a very smart woman from a humble upbringing, with a love for the Han people that instantly steals the emperor's hearts and thoughts, through the magic of six simple words: "Suffering cold and winter, casting gold lump" 苦饥寒,逐金丸 which the king falls in love with for it's honesty. It is repetitively proven in the story, she loves the people more deeply than her love for her king and this is the kind of woman that a king needs to have in his palace for the kingdom to flourish.

The love story I won't review on because it can be summed up in one word: tribulous. Even with a king who's eyes only see one woman, there are hurdles after hurdles. With love there is responsibility and sometimes pain has to be taken with dignity, which is why the female lead I never saw her as a week, tortured woman. Wei Zi Fu wins the faith, I won't say trust because it's more than that, of characters by her naturally persuasive and calm personality. She seems to be able to see through everything, find what is most important, and do exactly what her heart tells her to do, and she is rarely stopped because if there is a guard in her way, he will walk out of her way, if there is a sword to her head, someone will stop it, because those that see her worth will not possibly let her die. It's not feminist pulp fiction that Wei Zi Fu is powerful and persuasive in this drama, she simply is a very smart woman who posesses something a lot of palace drama female leads lack: reasoning. If the king was not good enough for her, I would be suffering so bad, it's really great that the king is equal.

My last praise goes for my favorite female character in the entire drama: Princess Ping Yang. I love Wei Zi Fu a lot, but Ping Yang stole my heart. She has such a strong air of regality and her actions and dialogues always manage to move me. I really love the actress, the way she carried out the script fleshed out Ping Yang so well, I was mesmerized by this character. This is handsdown the most 帅 princess, if not female character I've ever watched. I adore her to pieces. She is the king's blood elder sister, even at such a high position, even when facing situations that would make a normal woman much less such a proud one break beyond repair, was able to bend down and make a difficult decision like that. She moved me so much because even at such a pitiful shitty situation, she could still be so 帅. Ping Yang in my eyes is a brave woman with a strong backbone that knows when to bend. It really hurt to see her become veiled by hatred for Wei Zi Fu over the misunderstanding, but she was never a villain in my eyes. And my happiness for her happiness, no matter how short it lasted, was one of those rare drama moments that I feel at the bottom of my heart. I would hate this drama if the characters took the misunderstanding to their graves. Of course she didn't deserve it.

2014 is a great year with 2 great dramas!
28 September 2014 @ 12:32 am


The last game-based drama I tried to watch, 轩辕剑 I failed miserably. Couldn't get past the first episode because it was just not up to par to my expectations. Can't help it, I had such high hopes for Liu Shi Shi's next drama after falling in love with her inside Bu Bu Jing Xin. Such a tough critic I was.

古剑奇谭 Legend of the Ancient Sword from the second I watched the trailer, I knew it would revive my love for those fantasy-style wuxia dramas like Chinese Paladin from so many years ago. The graphics could still use some work especially in the later episodes (we poor drama addicts probably won't drop out from watching by then over some under-par graphics) but the sets and costumes are already gush-worthy for me. It probably costs a lot as is? I remember the first time seeing 天墉城, I was bought. Now we just wait for this production company Huanrui Century Pictures to produce Tonghua's 曾许诺 and my life will be even more complete. Before I forget, the soundtracks are fabulous. My favorite is Zhang Jie's Jian Xin (Heart of the Sword) and Li Yi Feng's Jian Shang (Sword Wound) sung by the main guy. I remember for the past few weeks while driving around, these songs were constantly being played on the chinese radio station in Vegas. Looks like someone is watching it with me!

Although this was a fantasy drama, all the romance, plot, even humor was kept on a good balance and I never felt myself cringe even once. Everything is under control and has a serious tone. Qing Xue (lady #1) is played by Yang Mi and I know she has lots of haters out there after Gong, but seeing that I missed that wagon since I skipped Yu Zheng's Bu Bu rip-off, I could watch Qing Xue without red eyes. Her support and faith in the hero, Su Su, is very touching throughout the drama.

This drama is based off of one of China's hottest RPG games, so I expected a lot of people to be watching it, especially guys and guys don't buy the sappy stuff that much. Gu Jian is very heavy on plot and that was also one of the reasons why I was so hooked onto it. Me and sister chased it since episode 1 over a period of ... can't remember when, painstaking pace of 4 episodes a week. It was so horrible.. but taking it slowly was pretty nice for a change because the saddist in me knows that there are a lot of people hanging off the same cliff lol. The acting was superb, the grey character especially and he is very very grey. Even at the very last episode when the drama is over, my feelings were more tipping towards compassion for him. The ending is not overdone, no deliberate prettying up, no fan-service sappy endings. It was very complete and tied up a lot of loose ends for every character that mattered. Some of you friends might be disappointed but really, it is all set in stone since episode 1. Just like how some things can't be changed no matter how hard you try, which pretty much sums up this story. It is very heartbreaking to watch the characters constantly going through these trials, passing some miraculously because there is such thing as compassion, but in the end what they want is unobtainable and they just have to submit to the laws of life or go crazy trying to undermine them. There are about 5-6 mini stories in this drama and each one builds these characters and makes them grow. Some are good ending, some are not, but I enjoy them.

My favorite character? I'd have to say, I fell in love with every single one. Some faces might be more familiar than others but this drama was so well done in my opinion, I was able to see them for the characters they portrayed rather than Yang Mi, Ma Tian Yu, etc... My favorite character? It's actually Su Su's shifu. I am sad he doesn't get much screen time to be the cool shifu he is.
It's time to sleep now so I will end my review here.

My next review will be on 卫子夫, which I owe the painstaking wait between episodes of Gu Jian for. Its a very touching and great drama and deserves some love too!
03 January 2014 @ 11:53 pm

2013-05-04 22_58_45-Greenshot
枫林 - 苏州

This is a screenshot compilation, I guess it's a diary of some sort? Actually I hadn't taken a single screenshot in-game until about April this year and I had been tumbling about Jianghu since Nov. of 2012. I didn't see myself staying for so long when I first downloaded 九阴真经 and created 风停. Since my computer was sad, I only allowed myself to use LQ graphic settings until I got myself a desktop computer. That was when I became a scenery hawker and took screenshots nonstop. In no way am I claiming this game is the most beautiful game on Earth, but the sceneries I've traveled through in this game hold a special place in my heart and I'll probably keep this folder of screenshots in my hardrive for as long as I can (presuming nothing happens to my computer or harddrive!)
More pics under the cutCollapse )