Saturday, May 24, 2008

Drama Review: Liao Zhai Qi Nu Zi

The Strange Tales of Liao Zhai (聊斋) are famous supernatural stories by Pu Song Ling who lived in the 17th to 18th century. Like all famous chinese fantasy stories, they are adapted for television and movies viewing. Liao Zhai in particular has spawned many China and Hong Kong versions - though not as much as Jin Yong's Return of the Condor Heroes.

The most recent adaption, Liao Zhai Qi Nu Zi (聊斋奇女子) chose four tales with strong female characters. Unlike the previous adaption in 2005, Liao Zhai Zhi Yi (聊斋志异), this version is not as 'creepy'. Rather it's focused more on the touching romance stories of the heroines.

See drama wiki for short summary of Liao Zhai Qi Nu Zi.

I personally find the first tale of Liao Zhai Qi Nu Zi to be rather boring. Lian Cheng 连城 felt rather forced, I don't feel anything much for the three main characters. It would have been better if they have increased the pacing. Huan Niang 宦娘 on the hand was extremely tragic. The male lead suffered so much that you couldn't help but feel sorry for him. As per usual the villain in the tale wreck havoc to the poor couples.

Poor Huan Niang who suffered a lot in the show

I'm currently still watching Xia Nü 侠女 on TV. The pacing is very fast. Within the first five minutes of the show, the heroine is fighting with the villain who has been raping and killing virgin girls. The villain however is no ordinary human...

I cannot comment on Xin Shi Si Niang 辛十四娘 since I have not watched that yet. But many people on the chinese forums seemed to prefer it.

Overall from the episodes I've seen, Liao Zhai Qi Nu Zi is more of a idol show with pretty and famous faces in it. Nonetheless, the show is still intriguing due to the plot and I recommend Huan Niang for a tragic ghost story and Xia Nü if you like to watch supernatural action story.

Friday, May 23, 2008

To watch list

The Queen's Classroom
14 Sai no Hana
Kurosagi (and the movie when it comes out =D)
Hana Yori Dango season 1, 2 and movie
Honey and Clover Taiwan (when it comes out)
Last Friends
War of In-laws 2
Heart of Greed 溏心風暴 (ARGH I got spoiled for the ending! @#$#$%&%&^&*$!)
Densha Otoko
The Legend (or the king's four gods?)
聊斋奇女子 侠女 (surprising good)
Zettai kareshi

Honey and Clover season 1 and 2
Code Geass R2
Itazura Na Kiss
Macross Frontier
Nabari No Ou
Ghost In The Shell - S.A.C. 1st and 2nd Gig
Soul Eater