Chen Kun and Zhou Xun’s New Film – The Yin Yang Master, Hits the Big Screens

The Yin Yang Master is a 2021 film adaptation of the acclaimed role-play mobile game Onmyoji: Master of Yin and Yang. It premieres in cinemas today and should not be mistaken for Deng Lun and Mark Chao’s version that aired last year. That one was a first part adaptation of the novel series titled Onmyoji by Yumemakura Baku. The stories have similarities, but this new movie is from a different director, production company, and cast.

Synopsis – The world is on the verge of a devastating war with monsters trying to retrieve the Scaling Stone. Yin Yang Master Qing Ming’s life is in danger, which leads him on a journey to different worlds in preparation for the upcoming assaults. During his voyage, Qing Ming finds that the key to stopping all the calamities is embracing his human and monster hybrid identity (source – Netflix).

Now here’s a more detailed summary provided on imdb.com – Captain of the City Guard, Yuan Boya, is stripped of his rank after failing to guard an imperial tribute. Unwilling to let things lie, he searches for the thieves that stole the tribute, only to end up entering a mystical world of demons. Along the way, he becomes mixed up in a feud between the Yin Yang Master Qing Ming, humans and the demon worlds. Yuan Boya and Qing Ming’s relationship grows from mutual distaste to grudging respect, and eventually, they establish an unbreakable bond of master and familiar. The two work together to solve an old mystery and prove Qing Ming’s innocence while also unravelling a conspiracy to bring the Demon King back from the dead. (I’m not too confident of this summary’s accuracy since anyone can edit the imdb.com site.)

Main cast list for The Yin Yang Master:

We have one of my favourite Chinese actors ever, Chen Kun as Qin Ming, the yin yang master/Seimei

Zhou Xun as Bai Ni/Yao Bikuni

William Chan as Ci Mu

Claudia Wang as the Peach blossom fairy

Shen Yue as Shen Le/Kagura

Cici Wang as the Snow lady –

Wang Yue Yi as the Butterfly monster

And finally, Shaw Qu as Yuan Bo Ya/Hiromasa.

This stellar cast for The Yin Yang Master truly excites me, and I’m equally eager to get more insight into the world of Onmyoji. I’ve never played the game, but I have seen the 2020 animated series. Sadly, the anime episodes were too short; hence I’m very thankful for these live-actions that allow me to dive more into this intriguing fantasy world. Since Netflix also picked up the international distribution for this version, I’ll wait to watch both the 2020 and 2021 adaptation together. As of now, there’s no official date for the international release since this film just started airing in China.

Update: This film is now available on Netflix.

To close this post, here are all the teasers/trailers for The Yin Yang Master. I saved them for last just in case anyone prefers to go into a movie without knowing what sort of visuals to expect, so watch at your discretion –

ACROSS THE OCEAN TO SEE YOU: Chinese Drama Review

img_2599Across The Ocean To See You is a 2017 Chinese TV show that tells the story of Su Mang, an executive for MG, a global tourism company. After failed attempts to have a child and dealing with an unfaithful husband, her marriage ends in divorce. To get a fresh start, Su Mang transfers to the company’s headquarters in Shanghai as a director. Unfortunately, rumours start to fly among the employees about Su Mang’s life overseas, and Zheng Chu is the unlikely employee who steps forward to protect her, despite the rocky start to their working relationship. This leaves a good impression on Su Mang and the two become friends, but how will the rest of their story play out?

Main Characters: 

#1. Zhu Ya Wen as Zheng Chuimg_2596#2. Claudia Wang as Su Mangimg_2589#3. Julia Ye as Tang Guo Guoimg_2586#4. Wang Yan Lin as Su Changimg_2588#5. Denny Huang as Tang Ming img_2575#6. Gao Yang as Yan Xiao Qiuimg_2583#7. Ma Qiu Zi as Chen Shan Shanimg_2592#8. Xie Gavin as Tony img_2587Okay now that I have the necessary information listed out, it is time for the main course. Going into this drama, I expected romance, drama, comedy and some form of character development because I had a strong feeling that I was going to be dealing with a few immature characters.

(Warning – spoilers ahead)

Review: Well, I got some of what I asked for, romance, very little character development and LOTS OF DRAMA. Honestly, this drama frustrated me to the point that I had to drop it for a long time, cool off and then somehow find the courage to complete it. Now, this does not mean that it was terrible all through. It started out great, but it got draggy and repetitive towards the end. What I have to give to this drama is that the comedic scenes were always on point. I was really excited to start this show because the synopsis seemed promising, but the execution was not the best. To explain my loves and hates for this drama, I have decided to break down my review according to character groups. Firstly let us discuss our main leads.

– Su Mang and Zheng Chu: The drama opens with Su Mang visiting the hospital for her IVF (In vitro fertilization) treatments. She later realizes after her divorce that she is pregnant. Now right from the start, I knew that her sperm donor was going to be our male lead, and I WAS RIGHT. He is the baby’s father, but this is not revealed until the very last episodes of the show. I found this to be the usual fate troupe, so I had no issue at all. I only wished that her pregnancy was depicted more realistically. All pregnant women develop baby bumps at some point, but here we are at about 3 – 4 months with an extremely flat stomach. Is that even possible? That aside, the leads had chemistry, their bickering was fun to watch at the beginning. The woman being the boss was a nice switch up from the usual male boss vs female employer and plus Su Mang had a strong personality. But what I did not enjoy was the way their relationship progressed. The push and pull game with both of them was excessively done. Zheng Chu is a very caring character, but he seemed to be a pushover and super clingy with Su Mang. Like if you keep on asking a lady out and doing everything to please her and she still does not want you, GIVE HER SOME SPACE. Also, in this situation, he could clearly tell that the other party felt the same way. She just was not ready to commit. Bugging her all the time and receiving all the nasty treatments from her was honestly frustrating to watch. Due to this small issue I had with their relationship, I was not exited even when they finally got married. To me, it was more like good riddance to excess drama. All the same, I still have a few moments I enjoyed from the leads, so here is a good one. 

– Tang Ming and Yan Xiao Qiu VS. Chen Shan Shan: Now, these three characters were the biggest problem I had with the entire show. This has to be the most annoying love triangle mess that I have ever watched in my life. Xiao Qiu and Shan Shan are sisters, but they have been separated for years due to their parent’s divorce, and their relationship is not great either. Shan Shan also happens to be Zheng Chu’s ex-girlfriend, and Tang Ming is Zheng Chu’s best friend.  MY LEVEL 1 FRUSTRATION – Tang Ming clearly knew that Shan Shan broke up with Zheng Chu because she did not want to date someone who was not rich enough to cater to all her needs. Any average person would have the common sense to keep away from such an individual and plus she is your best friend’s ex, what happened to BRO CODE? The heartbreak for your friend was still fresh, not even a week old, like for real? Tang Ming is supposed to be a doctor. But throughout the show, I kept on wondering if he was ever using his brain. How can you misunderstood someone’s good intentions but yet keep on falling for another person’s schemes? Even when his family was against it, he still stubbornly went along with Chen Shan Shan. MY LEVEL 2 FRUSTRATION – I absolutely adored Yan Xiao Qiu as a character. She is a sweet and loving friend. Although I must admit that she lacked a backbone. I get it that not everyone can be outspoken about their feelings, but there has to be a breaking point. When you are always pushed to the wall, it gets to the point that you have to speak up. No matter how many times her sister lied, threatened and insulted her, she just took it all in silence. It became too tiring to watch. MY LEVEL 3 FRUSTRATION – What was the writer, director, and producer thinking when they made the decision to kill off Xiao Qiu. She died so unexpectedly, and to me after her death, the happy ending for the other characters became meaningless. Like I already said, I did not like that she could not speak up for herself, but I respected her decision to give up on Tang Ming, go back to her hometown and stay away from all the drama her sister was creating. I feel that her character could have been given a chance to maybe travel abroad and focus more on her career because her death proved nothing to me. AND FINALLY MY BREAKING POINT – What gave Chen Shan Shan the right to blame Tang Ming for her sister’s death. EXCUSE ME but what drama have I been watching, am I still in the right show? Suddenly she is now a changed person and has reconciled with her dad. Excuse me?, this is not adding up because I do not feel that she deserves that happy ending. I know that in life, the unexpected always happens, but did Xiao Qiu really have to die. I rest my case on these three. 

– Tang Guo Guo and Su Chang:  This was one couple that I did not really care about. Both characters were super annoying at the start, but they were actually the only ones to show some form of character development. Although, at first, I was not the biggest fan of Tang Guo Guo, she actually grew to be the saving grace for me in this drama. She was funny and straight forward with everyone. I just did not care much about her romantic relationship with Su Chang. The only scene from them that really stood out to me was when Su Chang finally spoke some well deserved harsh truths to immature Guo Guo. So here is that scene. 

– Tang Guo Guo and Tony: Like I mentioned already, I really loved Guo Guo’s character as the story progressed, and I was even more invested in her relationship with her manager, Tony. They had more chemistry together compared to her and her boyfriend Su Chang, JUST MY OPINION. I admired the trust, loyalty, and friendship that both characters showcased and their incredible comedic timing. They had this little funny song and dance that they do, it was so adorable to watch. I can state for sure that they were my favourite part of this drama. Here is a clip that shows exactly why I love them. 

Although I did not really enjoy this drama, I must give credit, where credit is due. The cinematography for this drama was stunning. Each scene showcased vibrant colours.  Also, the actors did great in portraying their characters as directed, and their emotional and comedic scenes were top notch. I will be looking out for other projects from them. That concludes all I had to say about Across The Ocean To See You. I will rate this drama a 6/10. Will I be giving it a second watch anytime soon? The answer is NO. I would not mind watching the funny clips or the first half episodes of perfection, but I will definitely not be rewatching the entire show again. If you will still like to check out this drama for yourself and form your own opinion, here is the link: Full Episodes Of Across The Ocean To See You

To understand my rating, click 👉🏼 Drama|Movie Rating Guide

So until my next post, have a lovely week