Without doubt I have soft spots with wuxia movies. It was my go to movie date for the longest time and my fave romance series. While Saeguk is also interesting but to me nowhere near wuxia (or in some instances xianxia movies).
Januari 2023 started strong with strong line up of wuxia series, some of them very very strong quality with not only trademark strong fight choreography, but also strong cinematography and strong props. Here are the list for you to pick from. Enjoy !
A League of Noblemen
A League of Noblemen is one such story albeit one of the male lead has no martial art skill. The story is about poor orphan who sells noodle in street stall but detective genious name Zhang Ping with nearly obsessive devotion in the art of detecting, the other male leads are Lan Jue who is well mannered very smart smooth politician vice minister of Rites with secret to hide. Lan Jue has best friend Hong Yao who is chief in Justice Review. Together through up and down they develop tight bond and solve mysteries together. There is a faint hint of Sherlock Holmes in the story line, which makes it interesting.
The cinematography, fight scenes and even music truly great. This is a series that suddenly dropped in WeTV 10 episodes each making watching (or rather bingeing) enjoyable. One of the reason in the past it was stopped from airing, seemingly it has faint BL hint but to me this is not it, merely a bromance context.Jing Bo Ran (Lan Jue), Song Wei Long (Zhang Ping) and Hong Yao (Wang Yan) chemistry is truly great and so is their acting. With only 29 episodes much less filler, fast pace and full of suspence. The male leads, I have to admit, are super good looking, making the entire series visual treat. Worth bingeing absolutely !
Wuxia series with strong female lead is very rare next to nothing so when one is playing as feminist I do not want to miss of course. The story of Choice Husband is about Shen Miao who is the daughter of the wealthies man in Yangzhou. While she is gorgeous, very smart and wealthy, the fact that she has two ex husbands make her less desirable. However she met Pei Yan Zhen, who is a government officer, and her life changed, albeit then after she also met Songxi Yuan, a wealthy merchant, who also is interested to marry her. The story has a mixed of comedy, drama and wuxia (of course) and throughout 30 episodes are entertaining. There is conspiracy story with the Palace (as always) to make the story rich. Fight choreography is very entertaining with Pei Yan Zhen using very innovative sword and as well Song Xi Yuan using fans. While cinematography is average however what is interesting to me the insert of traditional chinese puppets and performance that color the entire series. The performance of Zhang Xue Ying (Shen Miao), Xing Zhao Lin (Pei Yan Zhen) and Riley Wang (Song Xi Yuan) have been stellar for wuxia series. Worth watching to laugh, cry and be entertained !
Fight Break Sphere
A series that has Leo Wu and Xiao Zhan has no need of introduction nor review, by the virtue of their last series Love like the Galaxy (Leo Wu) and the Untamed (Xiao Zhan), it is destined to be entertaining even if the story may not be as strong. Not to mention it has also Baron Chen who is equally interesting. The story is about Xiao Yan a genius child who lost his power and became an embarassment to his family. His only supporter is Xiao Xun’er who stood by him no matter what, even when at some point he supposedly marry a girl unintentionally. He has a lot of trials / challenges but starting with gaining strength through his mother ring who lead to summoned of Yao Lao (played by Baron Chen) who taught to master martial art and protect him in the most dangerous situation. This is typical martial art series (albeit with hints of xianxia) and at 45 episodes can be a bit long but for martial art series fan, it is still a solid series with strong fight choreography and decent props. I love the fact that the female characters are shaped as martial art masters as well not some women to be carried everywhere as is some of the series in East Asian. Leo Wu (Xiao Yan), Jelly Lin (Xiao/Gu Xun’er) and Xiao Zhan (Lin Xiu Ya) acting hold together (together with Baron Chen’s Yao Lao) the series tightly. It is nevertheless enjoyable series that you can binge leisurely on weekend.
I have to be honest that I like Dylan Wang a lot, he has decent comedic still with strong sense of timing. I equally like Yukee Chen who is as comedic as Dylan Wang so first off the bat, I love love love the series because of these two actors. The story is about Xiao Duo who is an eunuch with colorful backgroun who rule the team that control the Palace and beyond. Bu Yinlou is one of the Emperor’s women (lady-in-waiting) who is supposed to be buried with the passing of the Emperor, but Xiao Duo save her as requested by the next emperor Fu Wang who love her since their youth and in the process fell in love with her. Additionally both Xiao Duo and Bu Yinlou offended Empress Rong An who is a very powerful Empress. Xiao Duo is master of martial art as he become the leader of eunuch and we are treated in some fine fighting scenes. Dylan Wang (Xiao Duo), Yukee Chen (Bu Yin Lou) and Peter Ho (Murong Gaogong)played their characters well especially the comedic and drama scenes. At 36 episodes, it is not too long with a lot of filler albeit the story is still typical convoluted story but I am fully entertained by the comedic and fighting scenes.