The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

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Already, the show is out for the hero’s blood using the tried-and-true method of killing off the protagonist’s loved ones and leaving him in a strange and hostile environment. But our underdog is foolishly kind and like attract like. Pretty good for a first episode.

The Legend of Chusen Episode 1 RECAP:

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The narrator explains that in the wide and boundless Shen Zhou, the Good and Evil have never stopped fighting among themselves. Hundred years ago, the Evil Sect and its army attacked the Central Plains. Qing Yun faction, representing the Good, managed to resolve the Zhu Xian sword’s seal and defeat the legendary immortal soldiers.

While a mysterious figure is seemingly harvesting the blood of all the fallen Evil Sect warriors into a red orb, the narrator tells us while it was Qing Yun’s complete victory, the Evil Sect has never once given up their intention to enter the Central Plains.

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Grass Temple village. A boy calls after his friends to chase him, taunting them to run faster. He is our protagonist Zhang Xiao Fan (Wang Yuan, later Li Yi Feng). His friend Jing Yu (Wang Jun Kai, later Cheng Yi) chases him into an abandoned temple, where a man is hiding. The man lifts the red orb we see earlier. Something comes over Jing Yu and he pins Xiao Fan to the wall in a fit.

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The mysterious man begins chanting, which seems to affect Jing Yu. His eyes are red as he strangles Xiao Fan. When the chanting stops, a force hits Jing Yu and he falls. Xiao Fan checks on his friend but he seems alright – as if he was merely under a spell earlier.

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The man comes out in the open and he asks why Jing Yu uses so much strength even though he is still young. Xiao Fan notices his deformed hand and worries over him. But Jing Yu is suspicious of the man, who is not a villager, and drags Xiao Fan away. Jing Yu later apologises for the incident, not knowing what came over him. The kind-hearted Xiao Fan readily forgives him and instead worries about the stranger.

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Meanwhile, a hooded figure is spying on the man from earlier, who is now cultivating the blood orb. He nearly loses control but he succeeds in sealing the orb with a gold mark before it fades.

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In a humble but happy home, Xiao Fan sweetly pours his father alcohol during dinner. His parents clearly dote on him. After dinner, he leaves home to visit his friend – which is when he sees a dark-hooded figure carry an unconscious Jing Yu away. Xiao Fan gives chase.

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Jing Yu is dropped outside the temple, where the man notes that he has been poisoned. It is not light either. He begins healing Jing Yu, while a panicked Xiao Fan watches. Jing Yu writhes in pain, unconscious. But an unwanted visitor arrives: the hooded man from earlier.

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The not-hooded man puts up a barrier which blocks the hooded man’s attacks and tells him that it is unbecoming of a skilled master to attack an innocent child. But the hooded man only wants one thing. He will spare Jing Yu and Xiao Fan then, but if not, the rest of the villagers will pay.

Jing Yu screams in agony as the man works on him. The poison seems to be transferred, where a worm-like thing squirms under the man’s skin. He gently assures Xiao Fan that things will be alright. He tells him that no matter what happens outside, he must not come out. But of course Xiao Fan doesn’t listen and follows them.

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The two men size each other up. The hooded man comments that the not-hooded man is truly deserving of his fame, to be this powerful even after stealing the red orb and suffering Jing Yu’s poison. They fight.

Both men summon their strongest power: the hooded man with his lightning and the not-hooded man with the stolen red orb. They match aura to aura, which knocks Xiao Fan out. Unable to win, the hooded man escapes. But it is no victory for the not-hooded man either as he spits out blood.

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The poor man still has to heal two boys after, one of which should have really listened to his advice in the first place. The man thinks that the hooded man is right, he is really dying from the poison. Once he dies, there will no one to protect the villagers from the hooded man. He can only save the two boys and the only way to do so is to send them to Qing Yun faction.

The red orb suddenly takes over him and his personality seems to shift. He snickers that if he teaches the boys Tian Yin faction kungfu and sends them up to Qing Yun mountain, [his] lifelong ambition can be fulfilled. Even though Jing Yu has the better ability, he is unable to keep the secret. He decides on Xiao Fan.

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He transfers the power (aura?) to Xiao Fan, which wakes him up. The man asks why Xiao Fan followed him, the boy says he is worried over his injury. He hands him the medicine he brought from home. Oh this boy, he is going to be too kind and too foolish, isn’t he?

The man asks if Xiao Fan wants to learn kungfu from him. Xiao Fan agrees eagerly and the man once again transfers some sort of energy to him. They have now become master and disciple. He hands Xiao Fan the red orb and asks him to toss it someplace no one knows. Xiao Fan promises not to tell anyone. With that promise, the man knocks Xiao Fan out and leaves.

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The next morning, Xiao Fan and Jing Yu finds all the villagers mascaraed, including Xiao Fan’s parents. They sob over their dead bodies, which is how a Qing Yun immortal finds them. They are taken to Qing Yun mountain, where they looked as terrible as they probably felt.

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A Qing Yun disciple takes them to see the immortals. On the way, they meet a mythical dragon which overlooks the mountain. The dragon takes a strange interest in Xiao Fan, because main character.

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In the hall where the immortals are (this is giving me Chang Liu feels all over again), the boys barely have a minute to take in everything when the remaining survivor of the village massacre, Uncle Er. Jing Yu looks grim while Xiao Fan pleads with Uncle Er to tell him what has happened. But Uncle Er is in no condition to talk as he is scared out of his mind of a ghost only he knows of.

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The no.1 immortal orders him to be taken away and addresses the two boys. Jing Yu doesn’t recall anything while Xiao Fan has his memories wiped. But regardless, Qing Yun will take responsibility for them, considering they have lived under their mountain. The best way is to make them their disciples.

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The immortals fight over Jing Yu, who has extraordinary abilities, but no one wants to take Xiao Fan. Being a good friend, Jing Yu tries to help but he really has no say. Poor Xiao Fan is shoved towards the smallest Da Zhu Feng clan, with only six disciples and an unwilling master, Tian immortal. Jing Yu goes under Chang Song immortal.

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Da Zhu Feng disciples crowd around Xiao Fan, overwhelming him with their hospitality. A sweet young girl interrupts, asking the shi xiong not to bully Xiao Fan. She introduces herself as his shi jie Tian Ling Er and begins introducing all the six disciples who have really similar names. Xiao Fan looks super confused, lol.

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Their master clears his throat, interrupting the happy chat. It turns out Tian Ling Er is his daughter. Tian immortal blatantly ignores Xiao Fan and theatrically wonders who this new disciple they are talking of is. He even congratulates Ling Er for getting a new disciple. This man is infuriating.

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But fortunately for Xiao Fan, the mistress seems fair and asks the oldest disciple to bring Xiao Fan to his new room. The oldest disciple, Song Da Ren, explains that their clan always had the fewest number of disciples in its 700-year history and their master is simply feeling desperate. Song Da Ren is really kind and tells Xiao Fan that he may feel lonely, but he has to depend on himself from now on. But he and the other shi xiong are here for him and will help him out.


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Ryu: Everyone’s most anticipated show and probably the least interested reader of the blog gets to write about it, lol. Honestly, it is not my type of genre and the last one I watched was Hua Qian Gu, of which the angst was entirely self-inflicted (on myself. But the pain was so good). This show did gave me similar vibes, especially with the high and lofty immortals who already have revealed their hypocrisy when they refused to accept Xiao Fan. He may be weak and untalented for now but the poor thing just lost his entire family and village. Would giving him a place be so difficult? Xiao Fan’s unwilling master may be forced into it but he was ridiculously petty and disgraceful about it. I don’t hate him yet like I do Mo Yan (from Hua Qian Gu) but from what little I have seen of him, it is this close. And nope, not giving him the benefit of the doubt.

I watched the episode not really knowing anything about the show, except that it stars Li Yi Feng and Li Ying. When I reread some of Kap’s posts, only did I realized that this show is really, in some ways, Hua Qian Gu 2.0: a hero/heroine sets out in a journey to find a place for himself, is the underdog and generally belittled, and is eventually forced to the dark side. I really, really want to see how Xiao Fan turns “evil”, because Hua Qian Gu let me down. If the show is going to make me sit through people and circumstances that will no doubt hurl abuse at Xiao Fan at every turn, they better make the comeuppance worth it.

  1. 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

    LOL. The least interested!!!

    Thanks so much though Ryu!! Youre so fast and I need subtitles and a place to discuss this with others. That fat shifu is not nice, would it kill him to accept our hero??!! I swear the teachers in these good sects be pissing me off!!

    Mo yan feom Hqg is the worst persom ever. Im still mad he survived.

    Thank-you again!!

    • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

      You’re welcome! It’s not like Kap put a gun to my head or anything, not at all. Hur hur.

      Jokes aside, you’re right. These so-called masters would really benefit from generous servings of the humble pie. And same! I have so much not-so-repressed anger for Mo Yan. I can’t believe he not only survived but was welcomed back to Chang Liu and within Qian Gu’s circles in the book. It’s like everyone suffered selective-Mo-Yan-amnesia.

      • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

        I swear I am innocent. Li Ying is the one calling all the shots.



    • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

      i am halfway through the book, his master takes some time to warm up to, but I think he’s not a bad guy.. just ill-tempered and fouled mouth, but in his heart he cares for his disciples even though he will never say it out.. Can’t say that I’m really taken with Xiao Fan though (kind of a contradicting character, written as a strong willed child then at the same time has very low self-esteem), hope that it will change once he turns evil (haven’t reached that part in the book).

      How is the child actor for XF though? From the screencap he looked awkward.. =/ and LYF appears in epi 3 already? he’s acting as a 16yo?

      I probably will just follow this drama through the recaps, not that interested to watch.. from epi1 itself i think there are some changes as compared to the book..

  2. 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

    LYF’s character isn’t as appealing as HQG. Idk how I feel having him as the hero.

    • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

      Agreed. I am not sure how well Li Yi Feng will play him.

      • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

        In Ep 2 LYF’s acting is stiff, perhaps because Xiao Fan starts out as naive and mentally not as quick as the rest? Chen Xiao played Lin Pingzhi (similar naive type character) with more panache, LYF overdoes blank expressions too much to be convincing and his other facial expressions betray his maturity. Qin Jun Jie’s superior acting shone in the bookshop scene, compared to LYF’s stiffeyed widemouthe look when he met LXQ & BY. 加油李易峰, I have dropped all other dramas due to work except like Chusen, due to the hype & my liking for the novel!

        I didn’t expect the kid actors to be gone by Ep 2 but the TF boy who played young Xiao Fan cried so awkwardly in the grieving scenes that it inspired laughter instead of pathos. Seems the casting was based on popularity, the producers missed a chance to cast awesome child actors like the girl who played young Tian Ling Er and let the kids set strong backstory for the adults.

  3. 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

    You didn’t like when Hua Qian Gu turned evil?

    That was like by far my favorite role of Zhao Li Ying. She’s always been the cute girl from Female Prime Minister and Boss and Me, I was so amazed to see her as a Demoness. She looked so beautiful, and I was surprised how vicious she could be. Her costume design was also spot on.

    • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

      No, quite the contrary! It wasn’t anything against Li Ying, it was how Hua Qian Gu’s character ended. I wanted her to turn evil and be the anti-hero. I want her to go get revenge on those who ever hurt her. If she was going to join the dark side, I wanted her to go all out, although it’s not really her nature to do so. I suppose it’s kind of out of character if she does end up becoming an actual anti-hero, but after all that torture porn, I as the reader/viewer deserve more damnit. I at least would have rooted for her to kill Mo Yan. It’s been months since I last read/watch Hua Qian Gu and I still have a lot of feels.

      • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

        Me too. I would have forgiven Qian Gu had she chopped off Mo Yan’s head with her bare hands.

    • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

      ZLY’s demon image could have been better. Red didn’t look good on her. Maybe a darker red or the dark purple she wore earlier. THAT would have done her character justice.

      • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

        I hated HQG with a passion, I never read the book and onky started it because she was supposed to turn evil but in the end everything she did was to force her master to admit he loves her which he only did once she was dead and can’t hear him anymore. No one gets the comeuppance.

        Legend of Chusen I read and hate it for the oposit reason. Our lead guy does some really bad stuff and yet walks away still the hero. If you stand by and watch hundreds of people die from something you assisted in creating when a least a handful of those people were extremely nice to you then your just as guilty. Even though you did come and help in the end. But I still want to see how it translate on screen.

  4. 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

    Making me feel guilty about being the least interested but still get to write about it hahahahhaaha
    Well, I got everything to agree here! Hua Qian Gu turning evil was no good esp. after seeing how the fan pics are much better.
    Guys always have harder times being dramatic compared to women. Only best male total-focus in an entire drama I can think of now is Louis Koo from Step into the Past but even he was so bad from the middle to end.

  5. 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

    Everyone is talking about Qian Gu in a Chusen recap post, lol

    I enjoyed the first 2 ep. I haven’t been so excited for a show like this in years. The directing, editing, acting, clothing, sets, visuals, OST, everything is amazing! I’m loving this. The pacing is good too. If this level of quality keep up, it’s gonna be great. So far it’s already turning out to be my favorite Mainland series, of all time!

    Looking forward to more!

    • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

      We have very strong feelings to the disaster train Hua Qian Gu, Wuxia. Like even the name triggers a knee-jerk reflex. Lol.

      • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

        Yes, I can see that. lol

        Qian Gu was stressful. And Mo Yan, yea he’s something else.

      • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

        Is HQG that bad? I havent watched it, but I thought it was good since it seems to be quite popular until now.

        Ups, a HQG question in Chusen thread, sorry couldnt help it :p . I came to read the recap but couldnt help asking after reading the comments *lol*

        • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

          I don’t think it’s bad… I love it so much how there were no random bright colors flying everywhere, and it’s a very fantasy-like drama so all the tech. used in there are very acceptable. OST is good too.

          My personal taste just couldn’t swallow the overly-sweet Qian Gu though, and of course it’s just too hard to understand the shifu’s love for his student. I honestly watched it for the actors and actresses but not the plot otherwise nothing will make sense to me and I will just complain non-stop.

        • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

          Yes Chusen’s CGI and whitewashed color filter is a bit iffy. I watched Ep 4, the story is fast paced but not captivating due to the bland acting. Even YangZi who is bubbly and usually strays on the verge of OTT acting is extremely wooden here.

          HQG was saved by a great ensemble cast, Ni Man Tian, Mo Yan & BZH’s roles were so annoying that people stayed till the end to watch evil HQG sass at them. The plot sagged in episodes 20 to 30 with the silly vampirism subplot and HQG’s noble idiocy, but I stayed for Sha Jiejie and to see if Dong Fang will completely betray HQG. I rarely ever finish dramas so I was surprised to like it that much.

        • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

          I see. Thanks!

          Well, I havent watched it because fantasy romance drama like that was just not my kinda drama. But, noticing how it’s thread was still filled with people liking it, I planned to watch it someday when I was in the mood.

          But, after reading the comments here, I dont think I want to watch it anymore since it IS not my kinda drama *lol*.

  6. 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

    Oh yes a recap post. I was beginning to think there is no platform for discussion. Contrary to most opinion I loved HQG…thought ZLY was awesome just a tad disappointed she didn’t get to be bad for long. I thought that show/book had some of the most memorable dialogues ever.

    Anyway on the Chusen..which admittedly gives me similar vibes which is why I think I’m going to love this as well. I haven’t seen YZ in anything yet so hopefully she makes me stay even after BY dies. But everyone is pretty ok so far..only felt the little XF is a little awkward in his scenes. Poor kid…. famous as he is as a TFBoy I think he wasn’t ready to carry the emotional stuff. He wasn’t even cute when he is suppose to…I think Tian LingEr is a wonderkid with her adorable wide-eyed enthusiasm. Even little JinYu is a bit better but then he didnt have much to do but to look aloof. I thought LYF isn’t that bad…sure he wasn’t convincingly “naive” but I would rather this that him forcing himself to be cute and probably making me puke in the process.

    But damn HunanTV, only episode 2 and already there was 10-15min worth of “recap” scenes. Why can’t they air proper a drama in its proper length. Jeez.

    • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

      Hunan is airing 2 episodes every Sunday

      Mango TV is airing 1 episode Monday-Thursday

      So, we get 6 episodes THIS week

      Next week will be 4 episodes since Hunan will repeat episodes 3&4 while Mango TV will continue with their airing

      • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

        That only works conditionally tho. is broadcasting 1 ep Mon-Thurs for VIP users, plus doesn’t work for peeps in the US. I’ve only found eps released in high quality and at broadcast date on the exclusive-r tencent youtube channel (not the main one). Thankfully, they did broadcast ep 3 today, so maybe they’ll continue, but otherwise, fans not in China shouldn’t rely on for their extra eps.

        • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

          Yes, but with a little digging, one can find the VIP episodes online ?

  7. 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

    I really dont like Ancient at all but I was surprisingly engrossed in this. Good pacing and interesting characters. Plus the scenery and costumes are amazing.

    Best acting so far for me are Liying and Qin Junjie. Yang Zi doesn’t have much to do yet.

    Li Yifeng is ok, actually better than I expected because I don’t think he is naturally a very naive person. His wide eyed naivety is at least fairly endearing and not cloying.The acting is better than some of the acting I’ve seen in 9 gates by far. Hopefully he’ll get better when he switches to evil mode.

    TF boys…ah poor Wang Yuan. He doesn’t even look like Li Yifeng. Yi Yang Qian Xi would have been better as young Xiao Fan but I guess he has a bigger role.

    I usually hate idols being cast in acting but I can’t help but like the TF boys. They seem so nice, earnest, and mature for their age – never entitled – all 3 of them. It’s really impressive for how much fame they have.

    So far ****/5

  8. 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

    Lol the story seems similar to HQG, but honestly that’s the bare bones of any “hero’s journey” story, as classified by the literary arc every high school in America teaches. Have seen all possible clips plus even the “VIP” ep 3, and I don’t really have too much of an opinion on LYF’s acting. His character hasn’t really had too many interesting interactions, so I mean, LYF so far hasn’t been great, but not bad either.

    The diff b/w HQG and Chusen though, is that the original story/source material is supposed to be way better anyways. There were serious hard core fans of HQG novel, but it was also very contentious in general opinion and a lot of people thought it sucked. But Jade Dynasty on the other has a really large fanbase with a general consensus that’s it’s good. Plus so far LYF’s evil promos and scene-snippets from MV’s and trailers look WAAAAY better than Li Ying’s did in HQG, tbh. I love ZLY and she’s forever my #1 bias, but my whole family agrees that HQG was a disaster, and not even a addicting disaster, just plain terrible. Yet apparently enough ppl liked it for it to be THE drama of the summer basically and the one that propelled ZLY to like, super stardom, altho I question why.

    Anyways enough about past mistakes. So far in my opinion, Chusen is looking very promising ( I hope ). And I really like the feel of the OST. Almost oldies wuxia feel instead of the usual idol aura all dramas like to strive for.

    • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

      haha.. as someone who tried to read HQG and gave up after 2 pages, I think the writing in Chusen is definitely.. more.. how to say.. public-friendly.. HGQ’s writing is somehow too flowery (not sure if this is the correct description) for me.. but I shan’t comment on the content because I didn’t finish the book.. halfway through Chusen, it’s not a masterpiece, but i can see why it was a hit..

    • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

      But I would argue HQG has a better OST so far. Richie Ren song even though good was jarring when it appear..and I thought the editing was not smooth for Chusen as well.

    • 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

      Juli, I agree with you on HQG & ZLY. The last half was of HQG was particularly bad. The ending really takes the take. I assume a lot of women like it. HQG moves the “ice beauty” BZH and once he is moved he is unwavering. I’m not against HQG turning evil, but the details are so messy and not too logical. I love LY, but I didn’t find her HQG convincing when HQG turned evil. i don’t get the hype on LYF. I have yet to see a role where he really impresses me. I hope Chusen will be the one. I haven’t seen much of Qin Junjie before, but the little bit of what I saw of him, his acting looked better than LYF’s.

  9. 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

    Hmm. I think HQG was a bit choppy because of poor editing. The drama was pushed for release last summer. So I get why there were incoherent parts. Indeed, it could have been better on the main characters.

  10. 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

    hahahahaah…. another HQG psychological support tread. The wounds still hurt, I suppose. I will refrain from cursing Mo Yan even though he deserves it.

    I was thinking about skipping this because ZLY is not a lead and her fate is (again) unfortunate. BUT, if this thing turns out to have even a half of the addicting factor HQG had – I might reconsider. I shall continue to read the recaps. 🙂 Thanks Ryu for providing them and thanks to everyone participating in the discussion!!! 🙂

  11. 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

    Big KUDOS to Viki’s volunteers, the first 6 episodes are already subbed! (OK, ep 6 is halfway done, but I’m sure it’ll be completed soon). Like many have mentioned above, it’s face-paced and the fighting scenes are pretty decent. Sure, there are multicolor lights here and there, but it IS xianxia, and thankfully there are still hand-to-hand (or sword to sword) combat –so yay! I never read the book, and I’m happy to get to know the characters as the story unfolds.

    No wonder there are many here referring to TJOF, because the vibe IMO is similar, not only the premise. I chuckled seeing the students learn to fly on their swords. CGI is much better than TJOF, but still leaves a lot to be desired. Acting wise, I thought the kid actors are not bad. The TF Boy who plays little Xiao Fan is a tad better in his cameo than Li Yifeng. I can’t really tell how Xiao Fan is supposed to be, LYF appears most of the time confused or dozing off, LOL. Saving more of my comments for the next batch of recap! 🙂

  12. 33 thoughts on “The Legend of Chusen: Episode 1 “A Hero’s Path.”

    Thank you Ryu for the recap. I like to read your comment. Sometimes make me more understand the story.

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