The Untamed Preserves Bromance Between Dual Leads Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo

mo dao zu shi live action
It isn't everyday that a series gets positive reactions from viewers, especially with a cast of mainly newcomers. The Untamed  陈情令 starring Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo has been on air for almost a month. It is based on the popular BL novel Mo Dao Zu Shi 魔道祖师 by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu 墨香铜臭. It also stars Meng ZiyiXuan LuWang Zhuocheng and Yu Bin

the untamed cast xiao zhan wei ying

the untamed cast wang yibo lan zhan
While there is no chance that a live-action of a BL novel will get past China's censorship without being altered or watered down, producers are getting credit for making The Untamed as faithful as possible to its source material without crossing the lines. 

the untamed cast meng ziyi as wen qing
This comes as a welcome surprise because prior to airing, Meng Ziyi who plays Wen Qing was introduced as the leading lady despite the character not having a substantial presence in the book. There were rumors that she would become the main love interest for Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng who would fight over her. As glimpses into production last year showed that the rumors might end up being true, book fans made noise and cried out in protest. From the looks of it, they've succeeded. 

the untamed cast wang zuocheng jiang cheng
Despite having top billing after Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo, Meng Ziyi has a small part in a story that doesn't lose focus on its dual leads. Netizens have praised the strong relationship between Xiao Zhan's Wei Wuxian and Wang Yibo's Lan Wangji. Their bromance is evidence through their interactions, longing stares and the character development that is buoyed by the storyline. 

The Untamed Cave Scene
Who can forget that scene when both Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji had to take shelter in a cave to treat their injuries? It reenacted a beautiful moment that the two heroes shared. Props to both Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo as it is not easy expressing things by just looks alone.  

the untamed cave scene

the untamed wang yibo
Netizens have praised how the writers subtly delivered the special bond between Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji. Although no longer a BL, it has managed to stay consistent with the novel. How it was portrayed has gone beyond expectations with stunning visuals and for a drama that had a lot of skeptics going in, it's ultimately a win. 

the untamed xuan lu
As proof of this, The Untamed's Douban score which was at a low of 4.6 when it first premiered has risen to 6.6 in a matter of weeks.  What do you guys think?

the untamed wen ning yu bin
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  1. Loved the first 14 episodes of the drama! So surprised they kept the "intimate" moments between the leads and even added more interactions. The middle episodes are abit draggy, but still watchable. Xiao Zhan is perfect as WWX, and Wang Yibo's LWJ is growing on me as well.

  2. I think its dumb that China keeps making BL books into movies and then just making them “bromances”. Whats the point?? If the story was good enough to use for a movie then they shouldn’t have to change it. So hypocritical.

    1. I think in China bl/ homesexual is still a taboo words. I already thankful that this series is still can go on. But, I do long for a full series though. The government is sooooo strict that it bring tears to my eyes.

  3. The chemistry between main character is was perfect. 22 episode so far and still progress.. I read the novel and really love their relationship. If in the end between them will end with Wen Qing, so what is the point for their bromance?

  4. Thanks for this article and so happy to hear netizens love it. I love this drama so much I'm watching it for the 3rd time even though there are only 20 episodes aired for me to this date. And following along with the novel which explains some things that are in the drama but more subtle. I love the story so much, the actors have so much chemistry, the music (especially the duet) is beautiful - the whole thing is gorgeous. My one nitpick is so far the supposed leading lady adds nothing to the story - it would have been just fine without her.

  5. I just started, and reached ep11 right now. I also enjoy the subtle bromance. There's a very natural development of their relationship as LWJ slowly starts to get angry when people try to harm WWX. I don't mind the leading lady. I think she's a good balance for the male heavy cast. Her and her brother will likely play a larger role in the storyline since they're closely tied to the evil side and will probably have to make a tough decision between evil and good. I find there to be more of a bond growing between her younger brother and WWX, than between her and WWX. WWX seems to find her interesting because he knows she has inside knowledge on the evil side.

  6. No... No way!!!! Wei ying is lan zhan wifi forever!!!! Good job fans for stopping this unforgivable sin!!! I cannot see Wei ying with someone else beside lan zhan.

  7. It doesnt matter without BL skinship or the romantic things cuz the main leads XZ & WYB had done a great job to show us their abilities portraying the WY & LZ. I dont agree if there would b changes of plot, i meant tht WY & JC would fight each other for WQ.i wish it'll never happen cz however the GREAT one of the story based on novel is the strong bound between WY & LZ till end. I know tht china has no place for BL or LGBT but continue following the story line as the original one is best than making some plot changes.

  8. It's less than BL but more than just a bromance. So well and a bit more than subtly executed. I loved when Wang Ji sang their song to Wu Xian in the cave. When Wu Xian asked the name of the song, Wang Ji whispered "WangXian".

    1. Ooh, I totally agree with you! Both actors managed greatly to convey the special bond that existed between WWX and LWJ without being overboard by the China standards! I feel gooey inside every single time they interact in their scenes!!!

  9. still kinda wish this was a BG romance kind of thing, although I enjoyed the bromance very much. very good plot and all but I was rooting for WWX & WQ to ship. oh whaaaale.

    1. Lol.
      I'm sure if untamed changed into BG story, it will not as successful.

      First, that'll change the plot waaaay too much. Even with brilliant actor, that will not saved it.

      Second, the fans will sure boycott it. All they gonna get is negative exposure from the fans and critics.

      Third, I'm not sure international fans will interested in BG story of this adaptation. Except for the canon of course.

      Fourth, it will make no sense. It just weaken the character, and makes the logic of the story doesn't make sense.

      Yeah. Just don't. Don't make BL into BG, please. It's unpleasant and dumb.

  10. I think this drama is doing the best because of the censorship. And that makes this special. Making this blatantly BL just gonna water down many essential plot.

  11. I love the novel and I love the live action(The Untamed) so much. Both of the lead actors are just perfect. Theirs chemistry, theirs personality and looks ofcourse are just perfect in every way. I just started to get to know them by watching other videos, they are mirror image of Wei Ying and Lan zhan. I have to give thumbs up to the producers for casting Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo. I can't imagine anyone else portray WX and WJ better then Zhan and Yibo. I understand Chinese censorship. As fans we wish we could get a little bit more of romance just like the cave sence. Oh well, still loving it. Zhan and Yibo,from on screen to behind the scenes and other interactions between them in various videos. They make me laugh and smile every day. I felt 10 years younger. Thank you