Heyo~~ long time no write ^.^ Our wonderful captain has asked that I write a series review since quite a few people have been requesting it, and I’m happy to oblige.
Colourful Bone or 艷骨 is originally a webnovel by Mengyan Dianxia. Although it is said the drama is a novel adaptation, a large chunk of the story has been changed.
I was meant to have this up at the end of January, but with Chinese New Year and the influx of new dramas, this has been sitting in my draft box for the longest time. I can’t harp on about it enough and Kappy can attest to this @[email protected]
WARNING! THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Some may find the heroine a crybaby, and some may think the hero weak for getting injured all the time – I think both play an important part in the development of both story and character.
There is no lack of betrayal or birth secrets nor mind control. The redeeming factor from all this plotting and machination is the pure love between the two main characters and, the comedic effect of Kuan Shu.
Colourful Bone is a series that I fell in love with in January. It didn’t receive as much attention as I feel it should have when considering the acting, the filming and the storyline itself. All of the cast are relatively unknown names to me, and I feel that is one contributing factor to the low hype. With so many idol dramas released at the same time, this one seemed to get swept under the rug.
The series cast are all new faces (to me at least), but they bring with them an abundance of talent and none will stand out more so than the two leads, Tong Mengshi (as Lue Ying) and Wang Herun (as Jing Shu). Throughout the series, you will continuously ponder who the actual main character is, and to tell you the truth, it would be these two as one.
The title itself, I believe, refers to the sect abilities passed on to Jing Shu by her master, and adoptive father Feng Ru Ge. The ability to perform, what we modern viewers term, face transplants. She is able to give a person a new face, a new identity, and a new life but in doing so, changes their fate and the fate of those around them. Whether it can be considered a blessing or a curse can never be foretold.
It is with this ability that we are introduced to one of the main turning point characters, Zhao Rushi, the daughter of Prime Minister Zhao who, after entering a political marriage, sends herself over the edge of a cliff.
Although only a supporting character, it is with her appearance that our hero enters Jing Shu’s life.
Jing Shu has been hidden away by her adoptive father until her 18th birthday to avoid a calamity, to the consternation of her ‘brothers’, Crown Prince Chu Zi Fu (played by Meng En in white) and Han Guang (played by Zu Huai in purple).
And has since being sent away, had no contact with anyone other than her adoptive father, Uncle Kuan and Sister Ying. The latter of whom has an unrequited love for Feng Ru Ge – her master.
The three, Jing Shu, Crown Prince and Han Guang are already involved in a complicated love triangle without the addition of Liu Ying. Jing Shu had made a promise as a child to marry the Crown Prince when they become older and it is this promise that he holds on to, while Han Guang holds a one-sided love for her that can only manifest itself in him being her protector.
Our hero, Lue Ying, appears as a mute servant to Zhao Rushi. Not only is he a mere servant, but a death warrior. This means that he would die in order to save his master, not because he wishes to, but because he is trained to. Without the explicit instructions of his master he will not eat, drink, move or sleep. His situation sparks in our heroine a saving people complex – to borrow a phrase – to ensure his survival and she uses her face painting skills to trade for his ownership.
A web novel to drama adaptation with a, for once, welcome, twist ending. Those who have read the original know that the story does not have a happy ending for any of our characters. Although one guy gets the girl, it isn’t in the way he would have wanted. Thankfully, the drama veers completely away from this and although the happy ending is short-lived. It’s a happy ending nonetheless.
Unlike typical dramas where the story only revolves around one lead and the other serves as a love interest/emotional support, Colourful Bone manages to intricately weave the stories of the two mains together into a novella that keeps the audience glued to the screen. I have yet to come across anyone who hasn’t loved the series upon watching it.
The official synopsis reads:
Changing one’s face is full of uncertainties. It is difficult to determine whether such a technique is good or bad and whether it will bring good fortune or ill-will to those that use it.
The Kingdom of Chu has always been under the rule of those bearing the last name Chu, but the imperial family falls to ruin as Feng Ru Ge takes control. In the last fifteen years, the Crown Prince has been biding his time to take back what was lost.
Feng Ru Ge’s adopted daughter, Jing Shu has mastered the skill of painting skin from a very young age. She used a face in exchange for a life from the hands of Zhao Ru Shi. Who would have thought that the person Jing Shu has gained is Lue Ying, a formidable death warrior that is known throughout Jianghu. His only reason for living is to kill the Crown Prince who is to be Jing Shu’s future husband, thus beginning a heart-wrenching story of love and hate.
MyDramaList, Adapted from the novel Beautiful Bones
by writer Meng Yan Dian Xia (梦魇殿下)
Let’s begin with character introductions.
Tong Mengshi (Thomas) as Lue Ying.
The silent, death warrior who never really has much to say but his words can cut you deep. Originally owned by Zhao Rushi, his freedom is bartered for by our heroine, Jing Shu. His martial art skills are incomparable and can only be beaten by Feng Ru Ge and the masked man. Not hailing from any prestigious schools or clans (that we know of at the beginning of the story), he completely believes that his life is worthless and at the behest of his master (i.e. whoever owns the golden whistle).
Revealed to be the missing Prince Renyi, we learn that he was kidnapped during the night that both his mother and father perished, leaving behind his younger brother to become Crown Prince.
This makes the love triangle/square between Lue Ying, Jing Shu, Chu Zi Fu (younger brother to Lue Ying) and Han Guang (martial brother to all three) even more complicated.
With the encouragement of Jing Shu, Lue Ying begins to learn to talk again and begins communicating with others, but his habits of old are hard to break. Still requiring his owner’s instruction before eating or sleeping. Due to this nature, he is often the brunt of others’ jokes. Appearing beside her, he is willing to go through hell and high water to keep her safe, even to the point of willing to give up is life, a choice and not an obligation.
Wang Herun as Jing Shu.
Jing Shu is the adopted daughter of Feng Ru’ge and destined Queen. Gifted in medicine, she is the sole heir to the art of face painting. A skill that brings with it great responsibility as it essentially defies the will of heaven.
She originally resides in Hongyao Residence for her own safety from those that wish her adoptive father harm. Accompanied by Uncle Kuan and A Li, it is there that she meets and becomes the master of Lue Ying.
Caught in a love square, she wholeheartedly falls head over heels for our silent warrior who again and again risks his life to save hers.
Meng En as Chu Zi Fu.
Younger brother to Prince Renyi, eventually taking over the position of Crown Prince after the death of his mother and disappearance of his father and older brother. Growing up in tumultuous times and not being gifted in either martial arts or intelligence, he is led around by ministers with ulterior motives to fight against Feng Ru’ge. However, having grown up under Feng Ru’ge’s care and tutelage, and in love with Jing Shu, he isn’t too quick to be taken in by their schemes and machinations.
As children, he and Jing Shu had promised each other that they would marry when he was older and became King. It is this promise that he holds on to while fighting all the politics and outward enemies. Yet is it also this promise that brings him the gratest amount of heartache.
Zu Huai as Han Guang.
Han Guang is the older martial brother to both Jing Shu and the Crown Prince, and later, to Lue Ying. Brought up an orphan by Feng Ru’ge, he is Jing Shu’s silent supporter and more than happy for her to find her happiness elsewhere.
As the personal bodyguard to the Crown Prince, he gets away with small amounts of insubordination, but he is also subject to the Crown Prince’s tantrums.
At first, he is always at odds with Lue Ying, annoyed that the other is superior in skill to him, then annoyed over Jing Shu’s attachment. Later, he and Lue Ying become fast friends once Lue Ying becomes Fen Ru’ge’s disciple.
He is devoted to Feng Ru’ge.
Liu Chao as Feng Ru Ge.
Jiang Bing as Uncle Kuan.
Fang Cheng Cheng as Sister Ying.
Jiang Ruijia as A Li.