I’ve never done a review post before nor do I intend to publish one regularly. However, I might be posting one or two once in a while for the purpose of ranting. hehehe… It would be hard to make me stop gushing when I fangirl so I will try my best to write sanely. Well, I can’t wait any longer! I might as well share my thoughts. Besides, sharing is caring. Oh yeah! 🙂
If I can bet my life on a good Asian drama series at a time plagued by oppas, ajussis and the fantastical and mythical productions in the likes of Goblin, Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon, Legend of the Blue Sea, etc., NIRVANA IN FIRE is on the top of my list!
Based on Hai Yan‘s novel with the same name, Nirvana In Fire or “Lang Ya Bang” (琅琊榜) is a 2015 Chinese historical drama. If you haven’t sank your teeth into this 54-episode praise worthy masterpiece, you are definitely missing out on the good stuff.
So, what made Nirvana In Fire so appealing?
- HU GE (Ok, this is me being biased!). Does the name ring a bell? With multiple award-winning dramas under his belt, it’s easy to access his body of work given the numerous downloading sites online. Though he is Chinese and his works are in Mandarin, don’t fret! Like K-dramas, Chinese dramas are subbed in English as well! If you haven’t heard about this wonderful person yet, you need to come out of hiding and start exploring! I loved him in Chinese Paladin and I enjoyed his character as Guo Jing in The Legend of the Condor Heroes. In NIF, Hu Ge proved once more his caliber as an A-list actor. I particular liked the kind of restraint he’s put into the character of Su Zhe/Mei Changsu in the series. Although he plans and executes the devious tasks in expense of another character in the drama, as for me, his role is still highly likable. He showed an unwavering determination to achieve his goals. I was particularly charmed by his intelligence as Chief of the Jiangzhou Alliance and his no-nonsense approach to exacting revenge. As a master schemer, he was able to change the fate of the other characters in the series. Talk about a manipulative person! He can talk me into marrying him too! kidding!
- The rest of the cast didn’t fall short of talent. All throughout the 54 episodes, I never once thought of any actors from the drama that didn’t fit their respective roles. They were a talented bunch with a good grasp of what they needed to portray. They breathe life into those characters. During the most part, I felt like they were not actors acting but they were the characters themselves.
- I hate to break it to you but unlike most Chinese and Korean drama today, Nirvana In Fire clearly dodged the idea of silly romance between the opposite sex.
Just look at those photos! Wait. Wait. Hold your thoughts and violent reactions. I surmise that you’re being mistaken too. Nothing like those shown above actually happened in the story. I just ship General Meng Zhi with Mr. Su. Besides, these promotional stills are just too cute. I felt the urge to share it! Hu Ge and Chen Long definitely have that on screen chemistry that viewers are always looking out for. And there’s even more!
Ai-yaaa! These guys had too much fun! One thing is for certain, there was no showcase of cheesy gestures (pulling the heroine for a kiss, back hugs, etc.) between the male and female leads, as well as with the secondary characters. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Those “kilig” scenes which are very common nowadays in both Korean and Chinese dramas are nowhere to be found in Nirvana In Fire. I hope you don’t set your hopes to high on that aspect. Personally, I was very happy to have found a series that didn’t depend on the love story of the main characters to appeal to the masses. It was, however, explicitly shown in few instances how concubines and consorts win favors. The ladies of the inner court surely are well-versed in the game of flirtation!
- Cinematography was on point! Everything looked flawless. So pretty. So neat. So classy and done with good taste!
As a viewer and spectator, I have seen quite a number of C-dramas that looked so unrealistic! Honestly, when I saw the trailer, I thought it was one of those high budget films. Oh boy, I was mistaken. It was a 54-episode TV drama for crying out loud! And the quality of the production is no joke! I don’t think I need to elaborate more on this. You have to see Nirvana In Fire to know what I mean.
- Martial arts. I’m a sucker for anything martial arts! My fascination goes way back when I was in grade school. To this day, I still think that is still the coolest thing ever! If you are into wuxia (n. Literally means “martial heroes”. A genre of Chinese fiction that shows the journey of martial artists in ancient China), this one will satisfy your action packed feels. The execution of the martial arts moves in the drama was very well done. The actors surely placed a lot of effort into perfecting their craft. I was at the edge of my seat every time! You have to look out for Fei Liu, Ni Huang, Jing Rui, and a lot more from the pugilistic world as they wield their swords and use their fists to fight their way to seek justice.
- The story itself was well put up. The lines were straight to the point and was easy to understand. The stories behind each character were properly told. Character development was done nicely which added intrigue and suspense to the series. The flow of the story was smooth and not dragging like most historical drama.
There you have it folks! Those are some of the many reasons why I love Nirvana In Fire. I can go on and on and on! 🙂 I am watching it for the 3rd time. You? Are you ready for it?
For comments and suggestions, leave you thoughts below! Don’t be a stranger!