First Impression: What do you think of Zhang Ruo Yun and Wang Ou’s Awakening of Insects?

This one really snuck up on us, didn’t it? Not a lot of promos, then bam! We are airing! A lot of dramas are. Part one Sparrow with Li Yi Feng and Zhou Dong Yu got decent reviews, so I’m gonna go on a limp and say this one must be of parallel quality? The premise is quite interesting with Zhang playing dual roles – a spy and a gangster who makes a living by trading intelligence (kind of a perfect transition). Because of his resemblance to a Japanese spy, he’s forced by the Japanese to work for them, after they kidnap his younger sister. Unfortunately, he’s not the type of man to betray his home country and he eventually realizes his responsibilities as a citizen and fights alongside other comrades against the Japanese.

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Episode 1.

  1. 8 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of Zhang Ruo Yun and Wang Ou’s Awakening of Insects?

    I had been waiting for this since I loved Sparrow. Plus ZRY and Wang Ou? Yes please!

    I only managed to watch the first episode. So while Sparrow had an amazing, almost haunting opening theme song, Awakening of Insects does not. I’ve already forgotten the melody. =P That was slightly disappointing.

    Will try to report back once I try a few more episodes. Read on Douban that it gets better from episode 3 onwards.

    • 8 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of Zhang Ruo Yun and Wang Ou’s Awakening of Insects?

      Hope you’ll have a happy Halloween and a great Nov birthday.

      Nice to read your review above. I’m super slow with dramas lately. But I saw ZRY in Namiya (film) on Viki. He looked very different there.

      I bought cinema tickets to watch (… Swan?) film with Hu Ge, Gwai Lun Mei, Wan Qian. I’m hoping to watch the animated White Snake film later when it gets to the cinemas. When I first heard they animated WS, I had my doubts. But WS’ trailer looked good to me. They are doing a WS prequel for the animated feature. A slightly different spin than the usual WS I think. You didn’t watch the Nezha film? I didn’t.
      Super busy lately, so haven’t AVV-ed much the last 2 weeks.

      • 8 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of Zhang Ruo Yun and Wang Ou’s Awakening of Insects?

        Thanks! I hope you have a Happy Halloween as well.

        What’s the Chinese title of the movie? I have only watched him in WuXin, Medical Examiner Dr. Qin and Sparrow. Enjoyed all three and he left deep impressions on me especially in Sparrow. At times I thought he stole the spotlight from Li Yifeng.

        Let me know your thoughts on the Hu Ge film. It has been a while since I watched him in anything. I am not a WS fan as I feel like it has been overdone. Nezha did amazing at the box office from what I read, but no, haven’t watched that either. The only recent film I watched at the cinema was Jade Dynasty, which was surprisingly entertaining.

        Take care and hope to hear from you soon~

        • 8 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of Zhang Ruo Yun and Wang Ou’s Awakening of Insects?

          Namiya is 解忧杂货店. The timelines jump around as the movie goes on. I didn’t even bother trying to sort out the scenes chronologically as I watched it. All the subplots seem to tie back to one of the people at an orphanage. That looks like to be the unifying theme to focus on.

          I’m moderately allergic to Li Yifeng. Still didn’t like him much in Sparrow. I didn’t finish Sparrow. I thought when this .. Cicadas/Insects trailer & news came out months ago, you mentioned there had been too many entries in this genre and that the genre could be discontinued.

          I saw a few eps of Hotel De(l?) Luna (should have been “de la”). It would actually fit Halloween once you get to the spooky or supernatural parts. I wasn’t planning on watching it, but my D BFF has a soft spot for horror flicks. This drama looks sooo glamorous. FL’s outfits look pricey. And there are 7-10 outfits per episode. Speaking of outfits, did you finish Xing Zhaolin, An Yuexi’s … in Time? You mentioned her outfits there.

          I’m not expecting much from Hu Ge’s Black Goose Lake film. I suspect it’s a bit like those visual-oriented Wong Karwai movies. My drama BFF dislikes many of those, except for Chungking Express. It’s just been a very long time since I saw a cfilm. 1 reason that makes me want to watch WS is the animated Hangzhou, lanterns, and pagodas. lol. I like classical style architecture. WS’ male lead looks like Yang Xuwen, ROCH.

          Re: our past mentions of skin color issues and things, recently I was really blown away as I was reading about past CA eugenics (“Final” CA victim figure was ~22,000. About 66,000 nationwide). Puerto Rico was ~45% (of all women I think). Not to mention a bunch of Vox channel news on YT watch?v=UGqWRyBCHhw watch?v=tkD6QfeRil8 watch?v=x-ItsPBTFO0 I experience a milder form of these things sometimes. There are just tons of these pasts. Like articles on The Atlantic (2016), The Guardian (2018) on how select neighborhoods were selected for freeway constructions. Apparently it was not random. After skimming one article, I thought maybe certain neighborhoods were targeted because of their low economic standing. The next article changed my mind. Old redlined map of Seattle lists the color-coded tiered preferences, iirc. Most large cities were redlined, but not all cities listed the color preferences in numerics.

          I now have a whole new level of appreciation for the Civil Rights movement. The PR incident has been so secretive, reporters & investigators can only guess that most likely, it continued until the 1970s. In CA, some of the former sites where these things took place are now part of some of the Cal State Univ systems. One of them is now, or recently, the location for Sun Microsystems office complex. I’m not sure if all the past buildings were demolished. It’s eerie and it’s not all just from Halloween. I wasn’t aware of any of these things before.

        • 8 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of Zhang Ruo Yun and Wang Ou’s Awakening of Insects?

          Hmm. My previous post a few minutes ago may have gotten snagged in the spam folder.
          Let me wait a day or 2 to see if it appears.

          Take care!

      • 8 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of Zhang Ruo Yun and Wang Ou’s Awakening of Insects?

        Sorry for the late reply!

        Oh, Namiya! It’s on my list to read but I also watched the Japanese movie. I liked how everyone and everything is related to each other, but the chronological order can be confusing for sure.

        I appreciated LYF in Sparrow and really liked his character there, however it’s not a drama that I would watch again. Insects is still not as good as Sparrow but Zhang Ruoyun is finally getting the spotlight he deserves. Yes, the genre is still overdone and I haven’t thought otherwise.

        Kdramas are not my thing but I have seen the title you mentioned. Didn’t realize it’s supernatural. Oh I haven’t started An Yuexi’s drama yet. Just recently finished Lucky’s First Love and needed a break from Xing Zhaolin.

        Did you like Hu Ge’s film? I’m waiting for him to return to dramaland.

        I grew up watching Wong Karwai films and never understood the hype around them. Sure they are heavy on the visuals but the plots themselves are not that appealing.

        Chinese classical style architecture is right up my alley. Do you also like Chinese gardens?

        Thanks for sharing the information you’ve been reading. I looked up the article in the Atlantic and everything seems so familiar. At one point in college I took a course titled Race and Power in the US, and a good portion of the class focused on issues like this. It hits close to home. In the article they mentioned Boston’s Big Dig but they didn’t give the specific details. My neighborhood Chinatown was in the center of this huge project, when they started to tear down buildings in the 50s and 60s for a toll road, and I think they underestimated the impact of this. Thanks to this project, we lost a majority of the land in Chinatown, which is one of the biggest reasons why we’re so small and densely populated.

        I’ll have to read up on CRM another time but thanks for bringing this up!

        • 8 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of Zhang Ruo Yun and Wang Ou’s Awakening of Insects?

          I saw bits of Eternal Love due to all the mentions on cdrama blogs, so I saw a bit of Xing Zhao Lin. I can’t watch that much of his acting though I think he is probably most watchable for me in the newer An Yue Xi drama. But I haven’t really watched whole eps of these dramas yet.

          Luna Hotel has some zombie-like characters in some of the sub-stories. LH only has ~20 eps, so we managed to finish it. The last ~4 eps drag more.

          Black Goose Lake was fine. Hu Ge’s acting & Diao Yinan’s direction were largely fine, but dreary setting and plot. Less plot towards the last half of the movie. I think Wan Qian probably acts better than the leads but WQ has a lot less screen time. BGL’s movie design & structure are meatier than the average Wong Karwai movie. There’s a lot more story to BGL. WKW often works with just a couple of pages of scripts for his movie plot and then he improvises on the spot while filming. He focuses more on his daily visions than the overall movie design. I don’t dig that style.

          Which eps of Untamed are you re-watching? I’m still in ep 20-something. Too busy.

          Yes, I like C gardens. 😀
          I thought J gardens use rocks too, like Kanazawa’s Kenroku-en. idk why my J SIL keeps bugging me endlessly about use of Taihu rocks and the in C gardens and the rationale and deep meaning behind it. lol.

          A lot of things I’ve been reading the last few months are all inter-related. The winners still largely write the history and the headlines. The largest culprits are often the groups of people with large amount of powers. Victims are often hit multiple times. The people who are among the most victimized rarely appear on headlines. During the times when many unfortunate events are unfolding, the processes are often not widely advertised. Only decades later, you find out retrospectively how widespread these events were.

          I agree with you on the Big Dig and its related issues. Just like a grown tree can take a kick better than a seedling. A fledgling neighborhood can’t take as much of a hit than a long-standing, affluent neighborhood. Like that book I mentioned to skibbies previously, The Color of Law. TCoL’s author has a YT vid on UC Berkeley website. His analyses of the situation are not that different from ours. Timing is very important in any growth process. If you step on a small seedling. Or skip watering that seedling and instead do something else. You could probably make a good guess of what the likely outcome would be.

          Banks are still doing this sort of thing at the economic level. Since there are huge number of people (laoban) involved, they are not prosecuted. Only recently I’m reading about Lian He Guo’s Shi Jie Yin Hang’s InternationalFC on 奥克兰 (研究)所 网站. Or alternatively, for a quick overview: watch

          The above doesn’t even begin to illustrate the tip of the ill effects. 我就是觉得很奇怪. 我在亚洲时, 明明挺多人被弄得好惨,但头条和商业新闻都说这些国家管理和生活都好自由. 原来头条都是跟着shi jie yin hang’s standard script. Rural 南美,非,亚区民的地 都被国际企业高管富商monetize起来了.

      • 8 thoughts on “First Impression: What do you think of Zhang Ruo Yun and Wang Ou’s Awakening of Insects?

        Apologies for the late reply!

        I have not even started the An Yue Xi drama. Have been meaning to start it but ended up watching Royal Nirvana instead.

        Sometimes I miss watching Kdramas for the length, but I quit it a decade ago. Good to know that there are many good ones out there.

        It’s probably why WKW often works with the same actors. Not everyone can accept his filming style. Too sporadic. Interestingly, most of the people I know who enjoy his films are in creative fields. Great minds think alike, I suppose, even if I don’t understand it.

        Re: Untamed. I jump around depending on my mood. As I know the story now, it’s easier to just watch the episodes that I want.

        Japanese gardens use a lot of rocks for sure. Their dry gardens are all about it. Did you like Kenroku-en? It was very cold and windy when I visited so I didn’t enjoy it as much. Kanazawa was very pleasant in general though. On the other hand, Kouraku-en in Okayama was far more beautiful with autumn leaves even if it was raining when I visited.

        Have you read anything new re: victims and culprits? I feel like we are hit with so many similar stories these days that it’s kind of discouraging.

        Gentrification is becoming a widespread issue here and Chinatown residents are told to just accept it because it’s happening to other neighborhoods. Some argue that it’s about time we learn to assimilate, while others are fighting to keep our unique cultural identity. I find this to be a valid struggle with many overseas Chinese communities, and a conflict amongst first generations of immigrant families.

        Thanks for the tidbit on the banks. I’ll have to look into that.

What do you think?