First Look: Classic of Mountain and Seas

Classic of Mountains and Seas is filled with sword fights and neon lights with its indiscriminate use of CGI. It's a fantasy fest that doesn't shy from its premise and after being introduced to the Red Phoenix and the Green Dragon warriors, I am neither dissuaded nor captivated.

Zhang Han and Gulnezer in The Classic of Mountains and Seas, a Chinese fantasy series


Episode 1 begins with a brief narration of the celestial beings that roamed the realms, stating that only the heavenly maidens can awaken their power.

Back to the present, a swordsman name Chi Yu (Zhang Han) is desperately searching for a magical herb called Ghost Grass, which was almost within his grasps until Su Mo (Gulnezer Bextiyar) beats him to the punch, bringing the two together as they argue about who gets their keep. 

Zhang Han in The Classic of Mountains and Seas, a Chinese fantasy series
Gu Li Na Zha in The Classic of Mountains and Seas, a Chinese fantasy series
Chi Yu attempts to grab the Ghost Grass from Su Mo only to pull away after realizing that Su Mo is in fact a girl. It was a delayed realization for me too because I completely forgot that Chi Yu couldn't possibly know Su Mo's gender once she donned a man's clothing. Su Mo escapes but not before leaving Chi Yu the herb, which he needed to save his friend.

Su Mo is from the Peach Blossom Village, a sacred community said to possess the blood of the Heavenly Maiden. However, she is not allowed to participate in the annual ritual because she is merely an outsider that was adopted as a baby.

Su Mo sneaks in with her sister Fu Er (Lan Ying Ying) anyway but the ceremony ends in utter chaos resulting in several missing women. Su Mo and Fu Er barely escape thanks to the help of Chi Yu, Shang Guan Jin (Kenny Kwan) and Su Mo's ingenuity but she ends up derided by the irrational villagers for being the bringer of bad luck.  

Zhang Han and Gu Li Na Zha in The Classic of Mountains and Seas, a Chinese fantasy series



First Impressions: Gulnezer Bextiyar is still strikingly beautiful. I first saw her in Rift of the Sky where she really didn't leave much of an impression other than being a pretty face. This time around, she manages to give more depth to the character by bringing out a lively and feistier heroine. Do I absolutely love her? Well, not really but it's definitely better than the first time.

Zhang Han is being Zhang Han and emoting the same way Zhang Han does, though admittedly he can pull off cool with his brooding swordsman poses. I can't say much from the first episode alone because everything about his character is still a mystery. 

What I can share is that the second episode is much better, providing a glimpse of what could potentially encompass a fight for the throne and an escalating conflict amongst the countries with our leads caught in the middle, whether they want to or not. 

Besides, I want to at least watch until I see Wu Lei

For synopsis, cast and ratings, see 2016 c-drama listing.


Gulnezer in The Classic of Mountains and Seas, a Chinese fantasy series


Zhang Han in The Classic of Mountains and Seas, a Chinese fantasy series

7 comments:

  1. thanks for quick intro, I'm enjoying the drama, but must admit that Fu'er's scenes with Baili Han are boring and so i skip them. Even though I skip certain scenes i'm still able to pick up the narrative. The leads are discovering their fates and destiny does not wait for anyone, time will foretell all. Su Mo journey and growth will be instrumental in the future and for the future. I can safely say it gets more and more interesting as long as its not taken to literally.

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    1. Thanks for commenting. Agree, even though the story is nothing extraordinary, it's actually quite entertaining to watch. The drama seems to be going for something ala Street Fighter where we get to discover new characters and their unique powers. It sounds outlandish especially in an ancient drama setting but it is what it is haha

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  2. This drama is a complete rip off of Japanese anime/manga of fushigi yuugi. Similar storyline all round, hope female lead in this drama will be better than e anime.

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    1. no wonder it had an anime feel to it! I used to love Fushigi Yuugi but never made the connection. Now that you mention it, the similarities are endless. Though both are inspired by the ancient Chinese scrolls about the four gods so it's not as surprising in that sense.

      Now who is Tamahome, Zhang Han? haha

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  3. They tweaked e character for tamahome, tho some fans said it was a mish mash of e male lead from genbu kaiden manga, prequel of fushigi yuugi. They say e lead has same prophecy as Zhang Han. I didn't read that manga cos heard was tragedy. Zhang Han probably suppose to be e better version of tamahome. Guess they preferred e male lead to be royalty. Yuu watase accused e show of plagiarism as e storyline is v similar but they said she based her story on Chinese myth to begin with and so their use of it was coincidence. But then again how to explain having e same storyline?

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    1. If it is true, that's low.. I'm unfamiliar with the prequel to Fushigi Yuugi maybe that's why the copying isn't as blatant to me.

      Yea Su Mo was getting on my nerves at times but I think it might be the character itself because she became always the damsel, tho I watched till the episode where she finally does something with her powers, then faints right after.

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  4. I'll be reading genbu kaiden next, tried to find out e ending n it wasnt as sad as I'd thought, too bad no anime version. However, I read somewhere this drama is a mish mash of both fushigi yuugi n genbu kaiden. I can't stand Su mo in e drama, dunno whether it's her character or e actress bad acting.

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