Woohoo! I’m finally done watching the first four episodes! It’s been a while since I wrote a first impression. The fun and hard work behind it does not go well with someone having a full time job. Lol. I don’t think I can write one every week for the next four months. Hence I might just do quick chat stations. The first week has great ratings and is all about introducing the characters (SO MANY) and getting out heroine to Chang Liu to fulfill her fate as the hero’s calamity star.
Episode 1 Summary:
A bright moon hovers over a beautiful quiet night. A meteorite disturbs the peace and flies through the skies, attracting the attention of a Taoist Priest, Qing Xu, and he follows it. It enters the house of a woman in labor, resulting in the death of the mother and the birth of a beautiful baby girl. I swear that is one evil baby, she’s smiling when others are mourning the death of her mother! The immediate effect of her birth is a strange scent that withers flowers and plants, as well as attracts spirits and unfortunate happenings.
The priest gives the baby a cloaking device to hide the scent but there’s a time limit to its function. After sixteen years, she must visit the Zu Mountain and get trained to control her special nature. I laughed so hard. Did they know that Zhao Li Ying was gonna be in The Legend of Zu? =D Before he leaves, Qing Xu names the child: Hua Qian Gu (Zhao Li Ying).
For the next sixteen years, the poor girl lives among humans in Lotus Flower Village and yet not treated like one. She’s shunned and hunted by the people and lives on the outskirts of the village with her really sick father. If you ask me the reason why the Taoist can’t take her in when she was a baby, my reasoning would be…his place doesn’t have breast milk.
Hua Qian Gu’s biggest birthday wish very year? To have friends. Don’t worry young one, you’ll have many friends, most of them males. Lol.
Elsewhere, a ghostly figure with perfect, HDTV-compatible skin, flies through the air, mumbling something about being the most
beautiful powerful immortal being ever. Because with that power, he can protect the world and maintain peace. That is one boring wish. No wonder why you want to live forever. Meet our male lead – Bai Zi Hua (Wallace Huo), one of the disciples of the Immortal sect at Chang Liu.
The other two disciples: one is a perverted-looking senior brother, Mo Yan, the other is constipated-looking junior brother, Sheng Xiao Mo. To train Zi Hua for the seat of Sect Leader, he is sent down to the human realm to investigate the Seven Murder Faction and protect the people from harm without using his power/magic during the process.
Bai Zi Hua is also part of the Five Superior Immortals and two of them have disappeared since the incident sixteen years ago. We are not told what happened. The other two – Tan Fan (Yang Shuo) and Xia Zi Xun (Jiang Xin), are not happy with Zi Hua’s ambition to become Sect Leader of Chang Liu. They long for his return and yet he returns no emotional support.
Somewhere, a mysterious man in a purple robe and peacock-tailed mask laughs manically when he finds out that Bai Zi Hua has descended to the human realm and he can finally avenge for his father’s death after 16 years.
The first person Zi Hua meets is… no doubt an ugly demon roaming the forest and planning to attack a defenseless girl. Hua Qian Gu tries to wake up a still Dr. Zhang to help her father just to discover that he’s dead – presumably because of the demon. Zi Hua saves her from being maimed and together they chase away the big bully.
Shortly after arriving at her home with the the herbs, Qian Gu finds it light up in flames as the villagers blame her for killing the villager’s doctor. Like a helpless human being, Zi Hua can only wave the flickering flames ineffectually. Lucky for him, Zi Xun arrives to gloat that she can use her powers and he can’t. Please insert the mocking na-na-na-na-na-na~~ Lol.
But having breathed in too much smoke, Qian Gu’s father begins to labor each breath he takes. Zi Xun questions whether his position as sect leader reigns above his will to save a man from dying. Zi Hua muses his decision while Qian Gu’s father takes his last breath. And there you have it people, this is the first time Bai Zi Hua chooses his career over Hua Qian Gu’s happiness. A very telling foreshadowing, isn’t it? I’m gonna keep count!
At Qian Gu’s request on his guilty heart, Zi Hua stays with the lonely girl so she wouldn’t be alone on her 16th birthday. And here comes the obligatory sword-teaching scene of all OTP in Wuxia dramas. XD He gives her a wooden sword to protect herself and leaves that night, returning to Chang Liu and accepting the new title of Sect Leader.
Days of travel finally lead Qian Gu to the entrance of Zu Mountain but she can’t get passed the invisible barrier created to ward off unwanted visitors. This setback reminds her that she’s hungry and after digging around for a few turnips, she turns to a river for a refreshing bath.
And she’s not alone. A fellow is refilling his water chug with her….bath water…. Oh my. *gasp*
She screams and covers her eyes for a second while I am screaming, “Your babies first! Cover your babies first!!” Lol. Then she has to turn around and yelp “Leave!” for the gentleman to finally understand what an inappropriate thing he just did. =D
A bit later, Qian Gu hides her face behind her hat with a giant opening, tiptoeing around to make sure Mr. Peeping Tom is not nearby. My dear, your face fits into that hole!! He jumps out and starts sprouting the teachings of Confucius while introducing his name to be Dong Fang Yu Qing (Zhang Dang Feng). He implores for her forgiveness. His face is so funny in the screencap above after being forgiven.
But instead of each going their own way, he follows Qian Gu and tells her that he’s decided (on his own) that after he passes the scholarly exam, he’ll come to take her as his wife! You know what I’m thinking? He likes what he saw! LOL.
Just when she thinks she ditches him, he appears behind her while she’s munching on her turnip and asks whether it tastes good. OMG. He tells her about a man called Yi Xiu Jun at the Pavilion of Strange Decay in town who can solve world’s problems if they give him something of equal value. So she distracts him quickly with a mouthful of turnip and rushes off.
Outside the mansion, Qian Gu watches the line restlessly until the Master’s assistant opens the door and picks today’s lucky winner, someone with carrots? Qian Gu happily takes a few steps forward before a beautiful maiden flies to the entrance, announcing herself to be Peng Lai’s Sect Leader’s daughter, Ni Man Tian (Li Chun or Jun Jun). She’s on her dad’s request to ask something. And being rude to the assistant is her way of getting things done. The assistant allows her to pass the door but the smirk on her face says a different story. She’s kicked out shortly and Qian Gu is ushered inside.
She meets the peacock-masked man and he fulfills her wish of entering Zu Mountain by giving her a pendant containing a drop of her blood. She has a second question, “When will I meet my only friend again?” He agrees to tell her and claim a price later. Her friend can be found at Chang Liu.
Looks like the Zu Mountain is under attack by the Seven Murder Faction and all the students are mercilessly killed in sight. Bai Zi Hua and his senior and junior brother learn about the event and that the demon sect is after a divine chain called Tie Up The Sky. Since it’s too late to send help, Bai Zi Hua heads over to see what’s left of Mount Zu just as Qian Gu gasps at the sight of the dead students.
Episode 2 Summary:
Our Taoist Priest Qing Xu is betrayed by his own student, Yun Yi, and as he takes a few last breaths, he tells Qian Gu to head to Chang Liu and find a man named Bai Zi Hua, relaying to him that the precious Tie Up The Sky Chain has been stolen by the Seven Murder Sect. He also hands down a pure white feather to her, naming her as the new Zu Mountain Sect’s leader. But when she finds his eldest disciple, Yun Yin, she’s to pass it down to him. But he’s not done yet, Qing Zu opens a secret compartment and gives her the Complete Book of Six Kingdoms and the Zu Mountain’s Sword Manual.
Waiting to snatch the treasures, Yun Yi chases and strangles Qian Gu before being stopped by Zi Hua. The traitor flings her to Zi Hua and Qian Gu falls into a familiar embrace. The demon follower called Dan Chun Qiu appears and intercepts the chase just as Zi Hua notices his weakening inner power, forcing him and Qian Gu to be trapped in the barrier created by the Tie Up the Sky chain. I love how he side-eyes Qian Gu, who’s hanging onto his shoulder like a pest. Lol!
The night is spent like this…
Since they are trapped in that little bubble, our eager heroine decides to not sit and look pretty. She begins to dig the ground, hoping to dig their way out. In the mean time, Bai Zi Hua does exactly what I thought he would do – sit there and look pretty. What a damsel! XD
In the morning, they try to force their way out again and Qian Gu accidentally learns that her blood can melt the barrier. Zi Hua sends her out and stays behind to fight with Dan Chun Qiu and Yun Yi and quickly defeats them. He orders Qian Gu to stay nearby while he finishes off the bad guys and takes back the divine chain.
But a new powerful force interrupts the fight. Guys, meet Sha Qian Mo (Ma Ke), the holy ruler of the demon realm. Seems like a man of fair trade and immediately starts killing his own followers for the massacre of Mount Zu but Bai Zi Hua stops him and only requests to take back the divine chain.
After Zi Hua feeds a very hungry Qian Gu (are you sure you’re not Shan Shan in your past life?), she kneels down and begs to be a student of the Immortal Sect. But he says the Immortal Sect has standards in picking students (oh…..such an insult!). Plus, the next time they hold a new entrance for new students is in three years so she would have to wait until then.
Bai Zi Hua has a meeting with all the Sect leaders to decide the new locations for their deity devices. However, it looks like the Sect Leaders do not agree with his plan for now. In the meanwhile, Qian Gu meets the unlucky scholar, Dong Fang Yu Qing, again on her path back to Zu Mountain. He asks to send a proposal to her house and she shots him down one more time.
While meditating at Chang Liu, Zi Hua loses control of his own power and vision and his junior brother worriedly asks whether his fated calamity has appeared. And it’s a person. HOHOHO. Pick me! I know the answer! A flashback tells us that his teacher has warned him before and if he ever meets that person, he should kill without mercy – the only way to safeguard his own being.
Armed with a mission to kill the said calamity star, Bai Zi Hua uses his life stone to guide him to that person. Lo and behold, it brings him to Qian Gu, solving his life’s big mystery. The tension is quickly resolved with Dong Fang entering the picture and babbling on about Qian Gu being his wife. Hilarious how our supposedly emotionless Bai Zi Hua quirks up an eyebrow, asking, “Wife?”
Zi Hua leaves in a foul mood. LOL. YESH. And Qian Gu demands that Dong Fang stop calling her wife. He’s all defensive, “It’s because you never tell me your name so I can only call you wife!” So she says her name loud and clear. They are so cute!
So much for staying outside the temple and protecting Qian Gu, Dong Fang doesn’t even know Zi Hua has returned to kill Qian Gu! Or at least it’s his first attempt. We have 50 more episodes to see how this plays out!
Episode 3 Summary:
In the end, Bai Zi Hua can’t kill her because it’s not within his principle and he decides to find another way to fix this. A few moments later, the pendant made of Qian Gu’s blood lights up and pops out a spirit worm. Qian Gu is initially skeptical of bugs but soon melts completely over it. That caterpillar is so cute! EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Qian Gu names it Tang Bao and it calls Dong Fang father. LOL.
Elsewhere, Zi Hua plays his zither quietly until his ex-brother, Tan Fan, interrupts and calls him heartless for not reciprocating Zi Xun’s feelings for him. Zi Hua asks how she’s doing and Tan Fan says she has made it her life’s mission to punish all men who let down their lovers. And here she is – delivering a man to her bat cave, ready to hit him until Zi Hua consents to meet her face-to-face. Zi Hua doesn’t agree with her crude method, saying that there are orders to everything. He appears like a flash to save the man and disappears just like that.
Tan Fan knocks her unconscious and takes her back to their own place. When she stirs awake, he advises her to let go of her feelings and she turns the table on him, “Then why don’t you let go?” Awww, lady, he’s worried of your cray cray methods! Tan Fan regains his composure and honestly says that maybe his feelings for her would dissipate when her feelings for Bai Zi Hua disappears.
With the Seven Murder Faction’s expanding power, junior brother Xiao Mo suggests they expand their own people and recruit new students before the 3-year period. Moreover, he’s bored and needs new bloods to fill his time.
The fresh meat gather at Chang Liu Inn and we have a few new characters to meet. We have met the rude girl before and she’s Ni Man Tian. The talkative girl is Qing Shui (Bao Tian Qi) and the manly guy is Shuo Feng (Ocean Jiang Yang). The senior brother in charge of watching over the exam is Luo Shi Yi (Dong Yi Jin). The exam comprises of 3 parts; 1) Passing the Forest of Spirits and Monsters before noon tomorrow.
Just before Hua Qian Gu enters the forest, Shi Yi takes away her little worm, Tang Bao. LOL the worm’s reaction matches Qian Gu’s perfectly. “WHAT?” And her attitude too!
During the exam, a cheater makes his move and sends the weaker students out. Bai Zi Hua is informed but he decides to continue the exam and see how the future disciples deal with the crisis. The cheater almost eliminates Qian Gu but Miss bratty Man Tian saves the day and becomes Qian Gu’s friend. Aww, it’s nice to see the ladies as friends. 🙂 But it’s quite sad that they are from the same source of loneliness.
Episode 4 Summary:
The two new friends successfully defeat a team of man-eating flowers and Qian Gu finds out that her blood is toxic enough to kill them. Girl, if I have your blood, I would be afraid of N.O.T.H.I.N.G! Come at me and see what happens! The two ladies sit around, acting tough before Dong Fang runs to Qian Gu’s side. He’s the last applicant on the list with no clear background. First round is over!
….Not yet! When the recruits fall asleep that night, they have no idea the first round is not over. Zi Hua orders the release of a special smoke, putting everyone into dreamland. Such cheating examiners! Qian Gu’s dreamland is so simple that it surprises Zi Hua. She only wanted her father back and him as her friend. Zi Hua plans to have her lived in this fantasy and failed the exam. Dong Fang, of course, wouldn’t allow his future wife to be trapped so he charges at a rock and knocks himself out. Intruding her dreamland, he finds her entranced in a standstill. To wake her up, he cuts himself, and blood splatters onto her face, sending her back to reality. OMG. Dong Fang. YOU!
Second test: crossing the bridge made up of a thin metal chain. There are also flying boomerangs attacking with each step. Arrogant Shou Feng goes first and passes it easily. Man Tian tries to pull Qian Gu but she crouches down and confesses to being afraid of heights. Man Tian huffs and puffs and crosses on her own.
Qian Gu finally musters up the courage to cross the bridge but her path is tougher because a big cheater is in town! Zi Hua controls the boomerang and makes sure to cut off the chains one-by-one. She’s hanging onto to one last chain by the time he’s satisfied and smiles to himself. But my girl is not that weak, she climbs up the chain to the surprise of everyone!
Third round takes place at Chang Liu in a pool called Three Life Pool. Each pool represents one of Immortal Sect’s teaching – be free of greed, desires, and emotions. Should you not rid yourself of those, you’ll experience pain when your body touches the water. Like I said, too much of anything is bad! In moderate amount folks! Moderate!
Qian Gu walks in with caution but as she walks farther into the pool, she finds it oddly relaxing and comfortable. TADA! They’ve passed all three tests and are official Immortal Sect’s disciples.
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Filling out the Seashell’s First Impression Rating Chart!
– Story: ✪✪✪ ½ I’m not captivated by the whole story yet because there’s very little background of our heroine and all the characters. And I’m not convinced that she’d go to such lengths to find Zi Hua/Brother Mo when they spend very little time together. Why is she so obsessed with him? Is it because he is her FIRST friend ever? I need more from them to be on boat.
– Chemistry: ✪✪✪✪ ½ Li Ying has chemistry with everyone but very little with Wallace (when he’s in character). Lol Not surprising but I’m waiting for THE moment – even if it’s just ONE second of their chemistry to be romantic down the line.
– Acting: ✪✪✪✪✪ Everyone is on their A game!
– Directing: ✪✪✪ I’m okay with the CGI but the make-up could use less foundation, especially on the young demon lord Sha Qian Mo! The color of his lips! Why can’t they give him a better hairstyle too? LORD.
– Entertainment Value: ✪✪✪✪✪ It’s entertaining and I can see why the author describes Zhao Li Ying as her Qian Gu 100% from the start. She’s so adorable.