Earlier this year, I had announced a new category called Explore with me on my blog. Where I check out the most hyped movie, movie series, TV series, books and what not, or something that I had high expectations in from its trailers and stuff. I would probably have several posts as I post on detailed recaps and opinions as I journey through the subject of the series.
The first series for this happened to be the hit fantasy Chinese TV series – The Untamed! If you want to know more, and have a spoiler free review of the series then I suggest you continue reading! I highly recommend this series and I’m glad it was my first Watch With Me series on my blog as well!
Listen to Wu Ji the main song off the series OST as you read the review!
Country of origin : China
Language : Mandarin
Title : The Untamed
Based On : Mo Dao Zu Shi by Xiang Tong Xiu
Directed by : Zheng Weiwen and Chen Jialin
Starring : Xiao Zhan, Wang Yibo, Zhu Zanjin, Cao Yuchen, Qi Peixin, Wang Yizhou Xuan Yuewen, Ji Li Xu Weiluo, Meng Ziyi Lin Chenxi, Yu Bin Su Quiyi, Wang Zhuocheng Huang Zhenchen, Xuan Lu Ye Xuantong
Number of seasons : 1
Number of episodes : 50
Status : Completed
Genre : Xianxia (Chinese fantasy influenced by Chinese mythology etc.)
Available on : Netflix
The series starts off pretty grim. A huge battle ensues at the top of some mountain like place. Amidst the battle one man seeing all the destruction, who I suppose is our lead decides to jump off the cliff only to be stopped by someone who seems to be a close friend. Their happiness is short lived as another man runs in and tries to push them both off. Fearing his friends death, our lead let’s go of the hand and plummets to his death. Well. That was quite a start. Everyone rejoices now the the feared Yiling Patriarch has now fallen to his death.
However our hero is reincarnated and starts to meet up with his old friends and enemies. All that time, he tries his best to hide his identity as well.
But why? And that’s when the flashback starts –
Our protagonist, the man who fell off the cliff and the man who got reincarnated and tries his best to hide his identity as everyone fears him like a villian is – Wei Wuxian. He is a member of the Jjang clan and trains alongside with his close friend whose more like a brother – Jjang Cheng and his sister Yanli.
The main characters in this series all practice the art of cultivation. They possess a magical golden core within them which is the source of their magic that they act through their swords. The swords are like Harry Potter wands. They can only be unsheathed and used by its owner. As part of their training, the Jjang clan as well as several other clans across China decide to visit the Lan clan for a seminar on cultivation.
It’s at this point Wei Wuxian and us meet the cool, poised, serious and talented cultivator of the Lan clan – Lan Wangji. Yes, he is the same friend who held onto Wei Wuxian on that cliff. Lan Wangji is all about the rules which makes him dislike the playful Wei Wuxian at one glance.
This time however the seminar is joined by the members of the Wen clan. Although perceived innocent at first, our characters and the other clans realise that the Wen clan has a sinister plan to execute and take control of all the clans by way of dark magic.
The rest of the story shows how our duo – Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji and all the other clans investigate across a period of many years during the flashback and the present time to solve the mystery behind a chain of crimes that took place amongst the clans.
The premise that I have given for this series is the bare minimum that I could give. Honestly the premise doesn’t even cover the entire concept of what the whole story is based on – fantasy, brotherhood, friendship, love, magic, solidarity, upholding the truth, sacrifice and so much more.
I started watching this series because at one point I couldn’t go through my Twitter feed without seeing an image or a fan art based on this series curious to understand what the hype is, I dived in. And I regretted it. O regretted the fact that I didn’t start it before.
My experience with Chinese TV series are very limited in fact I’ve just watched 2-3 Mandarin movies and one Mandarin TV seties prior to this. The C-Drama industry is not as popular as the K-Drama one, but boy does it have potential. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the story, be it the flashback, the investigations, and the way the relationships between the characters developed over time. Each episode inches through the story at a steady pace that I was highly satisfied with.
Coming to another the main reason the series sky rocketed to fame – our main duo. Although shown as friends in the TV series, the actual story depicts the two as lovers. Due to the restriction to be shown on TV it was toned down. But does that reduce the chemistry between them? Hell, no. I’ve never seen a more in-sync on screen pair than these two. Their scenes together were effortless. A glance between them is enough to relay a truckload of emotions and these two grip you onto the screen from beginning to end. I could actually put up a separate post just for these two. If you check out the episode recaps that I have posted on the blog you can see the fangirling in detail! It’s hard not to like these two!
Coming to characters one cannot review this series without talking about the supporting cast. The nunber of clans that the story involves led to the series having quite a bit of characters. Each had their importance and didn’t feel unnecessary or a waste of time at all. And although I raved about our main duo, do not misunderstand that the series is completely scenes of just the two of them. It’s anything but that honestly. All the characters had their decent share of screen time and story. You couldn’t have made the series what it is today with even one of the characters missing.
There are scenes and instances that you would laugh along with them, cry along with them and so much more. The ending may be what you expect or may not be, it depends on what you perceived and considered important throughout the series. The ending also gave a small whiff of maybe a Season 2? One difficulty that you may experience if it’s uour first series is that the initial few episodes may have you a little lost with a very new setting (what with the fantasy) and a huge lineup of characters. It would help if you read a recap after watching each episode so that when you start the next episode you are free of any confusions that you may have had. Also I understand that this is based off a novel and an animation series which I will be watching soon and updating on the blog soon!
Do these images look like they came out when you searched “beautiful wallpapers” on Google. Well no. These are some of the few clan homes that were shown throughout the series. Apart from the homes of the clans, their journey through the lands and different areas are all really good. The CGI in the series was not the best, but the location and scenic beauty made up for it sure.
If these reasons aren’t enough foe you to watch the series then I don’t know what else to say!
My final verdict – if you’re looking for a first exploration into the world of C-Drama, this would be a really good choice. The series stays with you even after the final episode ends. You can catch a more details episode recap and other posts on this series here!
Let me know what you feel about the series as you watch or after you watch it in the comments! Its a definite must watch!