0kuo0 in 2015: The Verdict

I know this comes a bit late but I wanted to at least finish or try to finish some stuff before I give suggestions.  I have avoided doing this in the past since I don’t really like ranking dramas.  I find that my opinion of them changes depending on what I am feeling like but I also realize that people try to read these posts as reference for what to watch.  Therefore, these are relatively “ranked” by my personal level of enjoyment… which may be inaccurate sometimes since I do click through dramas if I get impatient and may miss something good or critical…

Murder Mystery/Of Monks and Masters (侠僧探案传奇)

The top three would have to be one of the three major successes of the year for me.

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Qin’s Moon to be released

Group marriage 200 BCE

Qin’s Moon is gunning for a November 29th release date. Starring Jiang Jinfu, Qin Junjie, Hu Bingqing, Lu Yi, MIchelle Chen, Sun Yizhou, and Gina Jinchen, hurrah to more releases, an amazing songs, and what looks like so much potential.

More stills below the cut.

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Tangren still loves snow in drama stills released for Qin’s Moon

Michelle Chen’s hair is so much better here than it is in ROCH. Also, Tangren really likes its snowswept scenes. No, really. Even though it’s usually Liu Shishi.

After releasing a few sets of character stills and a trailer, Tangren has decided to show off some drama stills for upcoming television series Qin’s Moon. This end-of-Qin dynasty era wuxia drama is slated for broadcast later this year,Jiang Jinfu, Qin Junjie, Hu Bingqing, Lu Yi, MIchelle Chen, Sun Yizhou, and Gina Jinchen. At least one of the actresses come from a dance background, so you’ll be glad to know that they can (or should be able to) pull off some of the more martial arts heavy scenes. Look under the cut for more stills!

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Trailer released for drama adaptation of Qin’s Moon

Tl;dr (you may need to have a basic grasp of the series in order to understand some of the trailer): Jing Tianming (Jiang Jinfu) is the son of the legendary assassin Jing Ke, who died in a failed attempt to kill Ying Zheng (our beloved First Emperor).The swordsman Ge Nie (Lu Yi) takes him under his wing, and along the way, they meet the future King of Chu Xiang Yu (Qin Junjie), a princess of former Yan (Hu Bingqing), and the talented doctor Duanmu Rong (Michelle Chen). Other members of the core cast include Sun Yizhou, Gina Chen, Qu Zheming, Zhang Lei, Gong Beibei, and You Jingru. 

Some of the wuxia scenes are a little awkward – Tangren’s CGI seems to have improved, but be warned, it’s not hard to do better than the lotuses you saw in Bu Bu JIng Xin. I can’t hold that against them though; the couple I’ve shipped for 5.5 years finally got together in this trailer, so…I’m looking forward to this one.

Also, the fifth season of the animated series is going to be released on December 25th.

 

More character stills from upcoming drama Qin’s Moon

Michelle Chen and the (absolutely adorable) child actress for the princess of Yan take a break from filming to take a selfie together (and prove that Michelle Chen suffered really bad photoshop in her character stills)

Tangren’s drama adaptation of QIn’s Moon has released another set of character stills. Lu Yi, MIchelle Chen, Jiang Jinfu, and Sun Yizhou show off more costumes/poses, but they’re also joined by Sui Yongliang as Gao JIanli, Gong Beibei as Snowlady, Song Ning as the senior “Controller of Fate”(Da Siming, who was female in the original), Qu Zheming as White Phoenix, You Jingru as the junior Siming, and Zhang Lei as Zhao Gao (a very powerful, and generally evil eunuch from the Qin dynasty). Look under the cut to see character stills.

Also, if you were interested in the animation series, the trailer for Season 5 was also recently released. HQ version of the season 5 trailer here; Youtube version below the cut. There was also a trailer showing off how nice the animation of the series is becoming, for another one of the special shorts (you can watch the full short here) (this one is particularly heavy on the fantasy). Continue reading

Character stills released from upcoming drama Qin’s Moon

The first character stills for Qin’s Moon秦时明月 were released on Tuesday, only one day later than the purported Monday showing (StarQ, who gave the series to Tangren to make into a drama, is notoriously slow). Recently, it was revealed that Huanduan (who made Ancient Sword) and Yu Zheng had also approached StarQ for the rights to the series; had the former been successful, the following costumes would resemble the original animated costumes much more, in the case of the latter, the costumes would be much more colorful. Which company would you have preferred to buy the series? (As it is, this kind of reminds me of Schemes of a Beauty married to Desert Melody).

This is not to say that these stills don’t throw shout outs to the original (animated series). The swords for Jiang Jinfu and Lu Yi greatly resemble the originals. Look under the cut for more pictures of Jiang Jinfu, Hu Bingqing, Qin Junjie, Lu Yi, Sun Yizhou, Gina Jin Chen, and Michelle Chen. Supposedly, the main leads each have some 20 different get ups (probably not entire costumes; I wonder if they count switching up hair/accessories different sets. Though, this might be where part of the money they saved from casting newcomers is going~).

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Drama adaptation of Qin’s Moon rounds cast with fresh faces

The following description reads like a yearbook, because there are many (cute) babies! young’uns in the cast. Row 1: Gina Chen, Gao Shengwu, Cheng haofeng. Row 2: Sun Yizhou, Jiang Jinfu, Lu Yi. Row 3: Qin Junjie, Hu Bingqing, Michelle Chen.

Tangren’s upcoming drama adaptation of Qin’s Moon begins filming in Hengdian on August 15th, and has officially released news of its cast. Lu Yi will be playing the “sword saint” Ge Nie, love interest of the “divine doctor” played by Michelle Chen. Jiang Jinfu will play Jing Tianming, the glib but goodhearted protagonist, with Sun Yizhou (of Bu Bu Jing Qing) playing Lu Yi’s ambitious rival, Wei Zhuang. Jiang Jinfu’s love interest, once the Princess of Yan, is Hu Bingqing. His best friend, the future King of Chu Xiang Yu, will be Qin Junjie, a sort-of-promotion from his previous roles as Prince Changqing from Ancient Sword and the Prince of Tennis. Gao Shengwu takes on the role of “White Phoenix,” while Gina Jin Chen will be the former princess of Han. A cosplayer(?!), Xiaoxiao Bai, scored a role as one of Wei Zhuang’s subordinates.

Of these, Hu Bingqing and Gao Shengwu have had little experience in “published” works (neither have a weibo, and Gao Shengwu, when casting was announced, didn’t have a Baidu page). They’re also very young – at the moment, Hu Bingqing (’92), Gao Shengwu, and Qin Junjie (’91) are all twenty-two; Gina Jin Chen is 23 (’90). (Jiang Jinfu (’91) is 23, but is more well-known, thanks to Xuanyuan Sword). How young they were/how old I am hit me when I realized that I calculated their ages relative to my own, instead of subtracting their birth year from 2014.   Instead of opting for more well known stars with bigger fees, Tangren has selected less well-known artists – hopefully giving them a chance to shine (think Hu Ge, of Chinese Paladin) while saving money for better costumes and etc.

To the disappointment of many fans, Geng Le, and not Hu Ge, will be Jing Ke. Meanwhile, Cheng Haofeng comes in as Gao Jianli, with Gulinazha rumored to be his love interest, the elegant dancer Snowlady. Continue reading

Fantasty cartoons set in Ancient China: coming to theaters, possibly an ocean away from you

I feel a little hungry after looking at all the cute potato and pork bun shaped people.

Do you like Disney movies? China’s new animated film “The Magic Brush” is combining two things form your childhood – Disney technology, and the traditional Chinese story about a boy whose magic brush allows the things he paints to come to life. (Granted, the Disney part of this is from the China special division). In this story, Ma Liang is given the magic brush, and must use it to save his village. (Trailer below the cut, how cute!) This will be released on July 25th. There’s also the Qin’s Moon movie, made by China’s own animation studios in Hangzhou. The film is finally coming to theaters on August 8, two years behind schedule. In my honest opinion, the posters for this one are hideous…but they are below the cut anyways. They seem to have diverged in animation for the series and the movie (or so I hope); their new mini-series/season 5 preview series, which is supposed to release its third and final episode on July 8, sports gorgeous animation that looks less like it was pulled from a generic RPG game. Below the cut: the cute, the pretty, and the…other.

Not sure how many polygons this was made with, but it’s the next stage in the progression mentioned in this post.

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Qin’s Moon showcases China’s rapidly advancing animation, will be made into a live-action drama

In season 1 (original animation), this character was made with 5000 polygons. In season 4, he was made with 50,000. It shows.

China is known for gorgeous period pieces (think Legend of Zhen Huan), for not so gorgeous period pieces (uh), for the cutest kids (Dad?), for blockbuster movies like Tiny Times. She is not known for her animation, unless you’re thinking about sheep.

But if you’re not into animated features, the progress that this one animation has made should be a source of pride. Qin’s Moon is China’s first 3D, CG animated wuxia drama, produced by StarQ, a company centered in Hangzhou’s “Animation City”. The first season was released in 2007, with ten episodes of around twenty minutes each. Since then the franchise has expanded to include a web game, and has produced a movie (the first in a purported trilogy, according to a recent interview) that will be released sometime after Chinese New Year’s. Massive improvements in animation have been made since the release of Season 1 in 2007, and the release of season 4 (at 37/38 episodes) in 2012. Meanwhile, season 5 will be released sometime this year. Synopsis and more stills below the cut.

SARFT also passed their proposal for a live-action drama at the end of 2013. This thirty-episode series is to be produced by Tangren.The cast has not been announced yet, but Zhang Jizhong is supposed to direct it.
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