Choose-your-own-adventure in interactive drama The Invisible Guardian

With a douban score of 9.7/10, Invisible Guardian rates way above even the highest rated drama of last year (The River Flows East at 8.8)

China’s most expensive choose-your-own-adventure yet, interactive drama The Invisible Guardian 隐形守护者 is the latest espionage drama hit.  With about ten hours of gameplay, complex characters, and multiple brilliant endings, the game allows the user to take on the identity of Xiao Tu, a student who has decided to go undercover in Shanghai during the Republican era. There, you must navigate a world where everyone is out for themselves, all the while making difficult decisions that often have no right answers. Pay attention, for there are hints in episode one that won’t show up until the very last episode.

The interactive drama doesn’t gloss over the complexity of human nature and the harshness of reality. In one plotline, you have the option of manipulating the masses Culture Revolution-style to smear the name of a former colleague. In another, you can join the Japanese army to save yourself. There are bad and good people in each party, and you can also end up in any of them by the end of the series.  Can you maintain your original dreams when everyone around you seems to have betrayed them and you?  Even if you’ve kept alive, are the sacrifices along the way worth it? Will you still be you? 

By having the option of death, the series also gets rid of the “dumb decisions” issues that many dramas have. After all, one mistake and you’re dead. The series allows you to experience over a hundred endings in five main plotlines, including some that seem cruel but logical to you, but also some that are “losses” but might make your life so much happier.  Sometimes even when you lose you might be winning.

Liu Xijun sings the theme for the Red Blossom plotline of the drama game, which is part stills and part video:

(more…)

Double Exposure: Artists come together to promote water conservation with Elle

Cfensi is currently, gradually working on uploading posts from the dramaaddicts site to our current WordPress platform (you can find these recovered posts by looking at cfensistaff posts here). Most will be filed under their original publish date, but some photo shoots are pretty enough to warrant a “re-run.” What were your favorite stars doing 2-3 years ago?

JUNE 18, 2012 | POSTED IN PHOTOSHOOT, TAGGED JING BORAN, LI QUAN, MARK ZHAO, TIAN YUAN, ZHOU DONGYU, ZHOU XUN

After being asked what her favorite water-related activity was, Wanda replied: “Doing ballet in the water, swimming like a mermaid.”

It turns out that Sun Li wasn’t the only artist who featured in Elle’s July “water” issue. Other artists also joined the cause to promote water conservation, each artist  expressing one aspect of water. Adorable sisters Wanda and the incredibly poetic Linda Li are featured above; Zhou Dongyu and Zhou Xun showed off how pretty rain is. Courtesy of Mark Zhao and Tan Yuanyuan, we were reminded of how essential water is to maintaining good hygiene. Jing Boran, is your secret to such nice looking skin drinking lots of water? Li Quan and Tian Yuan chose to enjoy the simple pleasures that water can bring, while sculptor Xiang Jing expressed the other emotional side of water, tears. Synchronized swimmer Tian Tingting was quite at home as she submerged herself in the water.

Linda Li was able to quote this phrase from Tao Te Ching on the spot (how many eleven year olds do you know who can do that?) – “The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things without trying to. It is content with the low places that people disdain.” (Translation by Steven Mitchell)

“I am Singer” finale round-up

5e2bee51gw1e3pnn1nx74j
The three-hour music extravaganza made headlines across the strait, but whose performance captured your heart?

The finale for “I am Singer” is every bit as awesome as it was expected to be, with some really amazing collaborations.The finale is probably the first mainland singing competition to be aired live both in mainland and Taiwan, not to mention in live-streamed in theatres across China. Actually, the show has been reported so much in the Taiwanese media that some politicians are warning of the show as a brain-washing tool.

Here are some of idarklight’s favorite performances of the night. There are a few misses, but overall the  show was great. You can watch HD versions of all the episodes as well as collections of the individual singer’s performances on YouTube.

First up is Tan Weiwei and Zhou Xiao’ou‘s folk meets rock No party unended. Tan Weiwei really pwn’ed everyone as soon as she opened her mouth.

(more…)

“I am singer” to air live in theatres across China

Screen shot 2013-04-11 at 11.11.32 PM
Who are you rooting for?

 

Boasting some of cpop’s most wellknown singers and state-of-the-art sound systems, the 3-hour finale of music competition  “I am singer” will be also be airing live in movie theatres across China on Friday night.

In addition to established musicians and competitors Yu Quan, Aska Yang, Huang Qishan, Terry Lin, Winnie Hsin, Zhou Xiaoou and Peng Jiahui, there will also be guest duets from Jam Hsiao, Deng Chao, Tan weiwei, Li Quan, Emil Chau, The One, Shunzi. Former contestants Laure Shang, Paul Wong of Beyond, Sha Baoliang, Chen Ming, and siblings  Qi Qin and Qi Yu will also perform.

Will you be watching live? Who are you rooting for? What have been your favorite performances from the show?