Colourful Bone: Series Review (Cdrama, 2017)

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 @_@.


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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.

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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).

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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.

The Characters

Tong Mengshi (Thomas) as Lue Ying.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jiang Bing as Uncle Kuan.

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Fang Cheng Cheng as Sister Ying.

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Jiang Ruijia as A Li.

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  1. 13 thoughts on “Colourful Bone: Series Review (Cdrama, 2017)

    I did start watching this but ended up dropping it in the teen episodes. I liked what I saw of it but wasn’t really taken in by the plot at all (I just sort of lost interest in the plot). It popped up on my feed again a few months later so I ended up watching the last 10 eps separately, lol. I loved the main actress; she’s really pretty. Her character was kind of bland but honestly she somehow made such a Mary-Sue character not only work but likable. Kudos. I also really liked the adopted brother.

    I’m really curious though; what was the original ending in the webnovel?

    • 13 thoughts on “Colourful Bone: Series Review (Cdrama, 2017)

      Yeh, her character is a little bland but I think it was meant to offset all the highly strung and antagonistic male characters around her. I personally considered her story as an underlying plot mechanic to Lue Ying’s so it played second fiddle – honestly only way I could continue watching the ‘Crown Prince’.

      The original novel…didn’t have as happy of an ending. It was more…all the bad guys taken out of the way but the love lines were never solved.

  2. 13 thoughts on “Colourful Bone: Series Review (Cdrama, 2017)

    I really really enjoy watching this drama. It started off intriguing enough for me to continue. In the middle, it was a bit draggy for me. However, at that time, I am already engaged in all the characters in this story that I continued to see what happened to them til the end. This drama has it flaws but consider the fact the actors are all fresh and young, the costumes and setting are amazingly pretty, and the story is interesting, I overall think this is a pretty good and enjoyable drama. I like the fact that there is a deeper layer to all the characters and they are all quite interesting and understandable. When I first started this drama, Lue Ying is the one that intrigue me the most. However, at the end, my focus turn to another character. I still really like Lue Ying but my favorite character has to be Feng Ru Ge. To me, his whole story line is so interesting and such a tragedy that I feel soooo bad for him. Lue Ying was forced into all the hardship in his life but his personality and belief (and Jing Shu) made himself in to a better person and a hero in my book but Feng Ru Ge had so many choices but he made the choice to walk down such a hard path for himself for the greater good (I think it is more for the queen). I really like both of these characters because in the drama, they mentioned that “Colourful bone” is when someone is so “癡情” in love with someone that it dissolved into their bones. To me, this means both of our hero here who turned their life around for their love one.

  3. 13 thoughts on “Colourful Bone: Series Review (Cdrama, 2017)

    Thank you so much for this review. I started this on YouTube as it looked interesting but I was confused about characters and the plot as the subtitles aren’t great. I will definitely give it another try now. The detailed review and character introductions are very helpful 🙂

    • 13 thoughts on “Colourful Bone: Series Review (Cdrama, 2017)

      I feel bad as this sounded ungrateful to the kind people subbing. I am still very grateful for the English subs we do have!

  4. 13 thoughts on “Colourful Bone: Series Review (Cdrama, 2017)

    I watched the drama the first time raw and now rewatched it with subs…only the last episode with the happy ending is still missing…I have to say that I really like this drama, despite all those plotline-cliches..and this is mostly because of the 2 main characters and Feng Ru Ge.
    Lue Ying really grew on me with each episode. I just love(!) his characters as I haven´t see such a character development in a drama in a long time…he really changed from the beginning until the end…
    Jing Shu is also a really likeable character…finally we have a female character that is not wishy washy.
    Feng Ru Ge is a ruler which I admire..and most of all he really wants to teach the next generation of rulers and doesn´t want to keep the power all to himself.
    Meng En as Chu Zi Fu really did a good job portraying his character, because there was no episode, where I didn´t want to clobber him over the head or throw him off a cliff…gahh..he stayed “princely” and didn´t grow up at all through these 54 episodes…The country really was lucky his older brother returned…because he would have been one tyrannic and easily influenced emperor.

    Thanks to this drama, I now have my eye on Tong Mengshi …I really liked his performance and hope he will get good new roles, so that we can see more of him. This is also true for Liu Chao..he was great in his role.

    • 13 thoughts on “Colourful Bone: Series Review (Cdrama, 2017)

      @Khamira, I agree Lue Ying grows on you.

      The only character who caught my attention the moment he appears is Lue Ying because Tong Meng Shi is so handsome. He has a manly look .Not the pretty boy Korean idol look.

  5. 13 thoughts on “Colourful Bone: Series Review (Cdrama, 2017)

    I started watching this but dropped it after 9 episodes. I was really getting tired of episode after episode of the hero kept on getting hurt or sick. Some of the plot are predictable so I kind of guess where it’ll lead. Plus, I ran out of patience to watch all 54 episodes. I do however love the OST.

  6. 13 thoughts on “Colourful Bone: Series Review (Cdrama, 2017)

    I like it. The story is not bad, and I love the chemistry between the leads. Although the hero often got sick or wounded, I felt that he was very pitiful and wanted a good end for him. Him and the girl were pretty sweet, while it was good to see her friends ended up liking and supporting him.

    And I also like the girl’s godfather, Feng Ru Ge. He was quite charming.

  7. 13 thoughts on “Colourful Bone: Series Review (Cdrama, 2017)

    I watched this till the end but i really cant say this is a good drama. I finished it not because i like any of the young actor storyline because i dont, especially the mary sue lead or even the love interests and i even want to drop this lot of times but because i like the regent character i try my best to finish it.

  8. 13 thoughts on “Colourful Bone: Series Review (Cdrama, 2017)

    I first saw Tong Meng Shi in this drama and his role as Lue Ying captivated me. From the moment I saw him in Episode 1, I couln’t take my eyes off him. And his chemistry with the lead actress is very good. I just don’t like the ending where he died early.

    It doesn’t make sense to take away the joy of the audience who has been agonising with the couple from the time he was a dumb slave to his acsension to the throne, just to see only his baby girl . I wish they had had shown them growing old together .

  9. 13 thoughts on “Colourful Bone: Series Review (Cdrama, 2017)

    I enjoyed this drama for one reason – actor Tong Meng Shi. He’s gorgeous and acted very well. I think he is good for acting cold , aloof characters.

What do you think?