Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Conqueror's Story

The Conqueror's Story

Monday to Fridays 10pm on ChU
But it's the last five episodes now.
But follow the link above you can watch it on crunchyroll.

I came across this title on crunchyroll last holidays while searching for some nice shows to watch and pass time. But I turned out to be so busy that I had the title saved in my favourites tab for these couple of months. Upon hearing that Channel U was screening this, my desire to watch this epic period drama was rekindled. But as now is the exams period, and previously was the crunch weeks and stuff, it took me great determination not to watch the entire series on crunchyroll, but instead spent an hour a day watching it on TV. Only on days when I couldn't make it home in time that I watched it on crunchyroll.

I love TVB dramas.
I love TVB period dramas.
I love TVB actor Kong Wah.
I love the historic character Xiang Yu.
I just had to watch this drama serial, and my god is it good...

This is one of the best historical period dramas I've watched in quite some time. Lest not talk about the historical accuracies of the show, but it did provide some realistic feel when watching it. The best of the show is still dear Kong Wah. He's damn shuai. I know the thing I hate most about watching historical shows is that I know the bloody ending already, pun not intended. We all know between Xiang Yu and Liu Bang, the latter will triumph. Okay, this is a historical fact, not a spoiler, but if you think this is a spoiler then don't carry on reading. I usually do give spoiler warnings, but this is history, so it's not a spoiler. Anyway, despite the fact that I know that my hero will die, I still am in awe of my hero.

I know I've a weird taste for men, often tending to prefer power figures like Xiang Yu over the more favoured characters. It's just like in the Three Kingdoms, I favour Cao Cao over Liu Bei, heck, I hate Liu Bei, but that's not the point. The point is that I've this thing for these powerful almost arrogant heroes. Xiang Yu is the epitome of the kind of Scorpio guy I have stereotyped in my mind.

I'm at episode 25 now, and I'm quite surprised that Xiang Yu does have this more partial edit than Liu Bang in this TVB version of the Chu Han Rivalry. Xiang Yu is seen as the more powerful character, although arrogant, he is filal and loving. Liu Bang on the other hand is shown mostly of his faults and his uselessness, the only redeeming point of Liu Bang is that he has a stable of remarkable officials who were willing to do all they can to help him. Perhaps the good use of men is the only thing that is shown that puts Liu Bang in a more superior position that Xiang Yu. But seriously, other than that, Liu Bang is but one big grass pillow.

Also, when we hear of Xiang Yu's atrocities, it's usually just narrated over and not given any screentime. But on the other hand, Liu Bang's mistakes were all highlighted in the show and the details were all gone through to the viewers. In a sense, Kong Wah did get the better role over Cheng Siu Chao.

The only thing that strikes me about Cheng Siu Chao in the role is that he still looks remarkably youthful. That guy is like so old already lor, and he even has a daughter my age, and his ex-wife is on her deathbed and he still looks younger than Kong Wah in his costume. Seriously, all the facial trimmings and dark make up makes Kong Wah older than he looks and Kong Wah isn't really that young anymore. According to Joan's history of China, Xiang Yu dies when he's 31 years old. Kong Wah in his costume looks more like 41 than 31!

But it's cool la, with only the vetrans in this show, the acting was damn solid. Even the female actresses were great. There's Maggie Cheung (the TVB actress, not the film star) and Melissa Ng who looked totally in place 2500 years ago.

Do catch the last five episodes of the show. What's up next is the downfall of Xiang Yu, the evil plotting of Lü Zhi and Chen Ping, and the over arrogance of Han Xin, and the continued stupidity of Liu Bang.


stanley said...

It's a good show.. managed to learn the dian3 gu4 of many chinese idioms too.. =) but definitely not the best rendition of the historical story~

On a separate note, I dun think many people like Liu Bei for his wimpy-ness at times. I personally like characters like Guan Yu and Zhuge Liang and Jiang Wei anytime.

Woot I can go on for hours talking about chinese history in these two eras! lol..

xxoos said...

i do admire guan yu but i don't really like zhuge liang. i find him quite overrated. can't rmb who's jiang wei at the moment. haha~ you really should be doing history instead leh...

stanley said...

yup zhuge liang is overrated! haha.. if you are talking about sanguo yanyi that is.. in the original sanguo zhi.. he's onli a talented politician.. not the war genius he's portrayed in the former..

jiang wei is zhuge's disciple btw =)

and no lah.. me onli know a few portions of chinese history.. and some other tidbits from watching history channel (lol..)

xxoos said...

haha... but can tell you have a very strong interest in history~