Hi, I’m Wuxia gege, and I’m about to get canceled.
Disclaimer: This drama is going to get an epic roast. If you’re a Xu Kai (XK) fan or an Esther fan, please look the other way.
You’ve been warned.
Also, I dropped this 6 eps in. So keep that in mind.
The drama is Sword and Fairy, aka Chinese Paladin 6, aka Sword and Fairy 6, aka Trash Drama.
Before we start, here’s a quick summary of the drama: XK and Esther woke up one day next to each other with no memory, so they went on a journey to re-discover their memories. The only problem is, no one cares.
That’s the gist of the drama. It’s dumb.
Let me explain before you k*ll me. (Don’t do that, you go to jail)
10 Reasons Why this Drama Fails.
(In no particular order)
Note: Stories are subjective, everyone has different tastes. This will be a Demi-Rant, Semi-Review.
A story needs a proper set-up, this story failed that right out of the gate. We start with a super poor info dump narration at the start about some monster turning people into stones, (which is nonsense), and then we jump to the present day with our two leads, XK and Esther. (I’m gonna call them by name cause I could care less about their characters.)
They play with each other like brother and sister but flirt with each other like high school crush. It’s weird. But anyway, the set-up is that they both are wanderers with no memories. So they go on a field trip to find themselves. It’s not a bad setup, right? That’s the problem, they didn’t set it up properly. Because we barely got to know them, and next thing we know, they are fighting bad people. Also, who is Lord Ming? We don’t know enough about this evil Lord Ming, so why does it matter if Esther is Lord Ming or not?
And she’s a whale spirit who eats whale spirits from pearls that were inserted into people’s chests to kill them and then turn into pearls with whale spirits inside, what?
2. Cause and Effect
Stories are all about cause and effect, without that, you don’t have a proper story. This drama failed at cause and effect, and that offends me.
What is cause and effect?
Cause and effect is when something happens in a story that triggers an outcome. But the cause and effect must match each other. This drama failed hard with this.
Here’s one example; Esther got hit with a poison needle and fell into a coma, sad music is played, and we’re supposed to be sad. This is the effect. But this effect only works if the cause is as serious. That’s not the case.
The cause of all this drama was her mechanical buddy, who randomly activated a shady mechanical box, this caused a bunch of poison needles to fly out, and one of them hit Esther. And ta-da! We get a sad scene. See how the effect does not match the cause? The result is sad, but the cause is comedy.
Why should we care if she’s in a coma when the cause of it was dumb and could have been prevented? Also, that dumb mechanical boy who triggered the poison needle that nearly killed Esther felt zero guilt. Not only that, he even celebrated in the same scene claiming himself to be a hero. The rest of the characters cheered for him, what? Did the writer even remember 2 seconds ago he was the one who caused Esther to be in a coma?
Also, he’s a mechanical guy, that’s his thing, so why would he touch random shady mechanical devices in a bad guy’s lair? This is the dumbest thing ever. He’s a dumb character. His IQ is zero.
The cause and effect are broken in this show. Which tells me, the writers have no idea what they’re doing.
Here’s another one, Xu Kai says if they follow the mysterious person in red, they might find some clue about their past. So they followed this person in red, guess what? They found out this person in red sucks, so they bailed. What? So what was the point of him saying follow the person in red, if they are just gonna go off on their own anyway? Again, cause and effect, failed.
Later on, it was the person in red who followed them.
Also, a purple guy and a pink girl joined them as well for whatever reason. They’re just randomly here. I can’t tell if it’s their acting or their character. How do you have two wooden characters as partners?
Speaking of characters, that’s my next thing.
The characters here pissed me off, not so much a matter of who they are, but how they are written.
Let’s start with the two leads.
XK and Esther.
They both woke up with no memories but decided to respect each other as fake siblings. But if they have no memories, how can they be so certain they are not real siblings? It’s like they convinced themselves they are not real siblings just cause, they don’t look alike. Did they do some DNA testing? What if they fall in love with each other? (They do) See how contrived and poorly written this is? The characterization sucks.
And there’s more, Esther’s character eats constantly, we get it, she’s a whale, but you don’t have to show her eating 24/7. And my brother brought up a good point, (Yes, I watched this with my brother, and he said it sucked too) The thing that came up was, why is she so rude? One time Xu Kai sat in a corner and watched her eat the whole time. She couldn’t care less. And we’re supposed to like this character?
Also, here’s another poor characterization, the mask doctor, who is OG Xu Kai, from heaven, or something. He sucks too. We are introduced to him as a shady guy, then a good doctor, (who of course is Esther’s teacher in her past life, and he likes her?) While human Xu Kai is jealous of her and him, he’s jealous of himself. Aww, it’s so cute. It’s not though. It’s bad characterization. She could be his blood sister! (I know they are not, but these characters shouldn’t know that.)
Next, our idiot mechanical boy.
The first time we see him, he is seen watching a naked girl in a pool, or pond. We then see him get attacked by the girl. (Keep this girl in mind, she’s also an idiot) The mechanical boy then tells our heroes he saw nothing, and then we get a flashback of the exact scene we saw 5 seconds ago. Oh, he has a backpack that turns into a wooden robot bear. Which does nothing. His character is nonsense, he’s the worst character in 2024. My take.
Oh yeah, he became buddy-buddy with our heroes, but we don’t know him, XK and Esther don’t either. Everyone is just being buddies just cause the script says so.
The demon girl that was bathing in the pond from earlier, she’s a spy. Except she doesn’t do any spying. She met the mechanical boy for a minute, and then later when they cross paths, she was like, “You suck,” and the mechanical boy was all sad, and he was like, “Next time we meet, we are enemies, you’re a demon, I have to beat you.” And I’m like, “What? You guys don’t even know each other!” Is this a breakup scene? They never dated.
Aye. My head hurts. Oh, don’t even get me started with the purple guy and the pink girl, these two are equally as nonsense. They came out of nowhere and joined the crew, just cause the script says so.
The whole thing is nonsense, and that’s the next thing.
I explained this above already, there’s like 900 paragraphs up there, I’m tired. The story is incoherent. We never got a proper set-up of the world, or background, or characters for that matter. I’m just gonna say the writers have no idea what they’re doing. Because they don’t. If they did, it wouldn’t be so messy.
They said people feared Lord Ming. But who is that? They said people turned into stone, how does this relate to the present? They showed us that Esther was a pink dolphin-whale thing. So what’s her mission for coming to Earth again? To kill the evil dragon whale that turns people into stone? So where is that beast in the present?
Who is Lord Ming, again? Forget it. Don’t care.
It’s a mess.
This is important. In the art of writing, a failed telegraph is a death sentence. One of the biggest writing sins ever, and this drama did just that.
What is telegraphing? Telegraphing is when a writer tells/shows the audience something ahead of time.
When done right, you get awesome stuff like Mysterious Lotus Casebook. We know who the ML is, but none of the characters in the story know. This is well-telegraphed because we already know who he was before he took on this new identity, because of this, we are familiar with both identities, and this makes it more exciting for us as viewers because it was done properly.
Not the case here, we don’t even know who Esther’s teacher was, we never saw his face, and we don’t even know his character. And then later, our good doctor with a mask revealed his face to us, he’s the OG Xu Kai. Why does this matter? Why should we care if he was Esther’s teacher? So what if we know something the characters don’t? Big deal, we never got to know him before the unmasking, so what does it matter?
This is the poor telegraphing.
6. Info Dumping
This is frowned upon in the world of writing. And this drama did all of it. The opening narration was a bunch of nonsense info-dumping. We know XK and Esther lost their memories, and they are fake siblings. How do we know this? Because they told us, to each other, why? Because the writer doesn’t know how to let us know this info, so they have the characters tell it to each other, but they both already know this. It’s called bad info dumping.
They might as well turn to the screen and just explain directly to the audience. I wouldn’t mind this. It’ll be super meta. I’d take the 4th wall breaking over a bad info dump.
I have nothing against the actors, but I think all their acting sucks in this drama. Maybe it’s the writing, or directing, or a bit of everything. It seems like everyone phoned in. (Phone-in is a term meaning people just show up for work half-hearted.)
That’s what watching their acting is like in here. It’s bad.
8. Insert Songs
Insert songs should evoke some emotional response, right? Not the case here. It’s just random, and all over the place. For example, Esther is in a coma, and a sad song is played, which is nice and all, but how she ended up in this situation is so clown, having a sad song felt like they were generating fake emotions. Because that’s what it was. The cause was dumb, so the effect doesn’t matter.
Also, at one point, a new character was introduced into the story, she’s some goddess with a blue costume, (don’t care about her name) she flew down, and then we have a sad song played in the background. Why? We spent 2 seconds with this character. Why the song?
They just throw random songs everywhere, it’s just spam.
What is a fantasy story without stakes? This show has little stakes, what is at stake? Our two leads have no memories, and they want to find their memories. That’s it, where’s the stake? There’s no sense of urgency, it’s just characters doing random things.
None of it matters.
This. I kid you not, when I say that I spent 3 days trying to finish one episode. I only watch 5 minutes per day, and it felt like hours. One episode lasted forever. I was dragging my feet on Ep6. And I dropped it because it was so slow, nothing was happening.
10 minutes of Xu Kai and Esther running in cheap CGI pink flower fields. Really?
Again, why are they flirting? We know they are not real siblings, but they don’t know that. They don’t have memories. How can they just assume they are not blood-related? Anyway, I’m done. The pacing sucks.
And I had to watch the first 5 episodes twice!
In conclusion, this drama sucks. I advise everyone to stay away from it because life is short.
Actually, no, you can watch it if you want.
But I’m willing to bet, if it wasn’t for star power (XK and Esther) no one would watch this drama.