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[Mainland Chinese Drama 2019] Novoland: Eagle Flag 九州缥缈录


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12 hours ago, skibbies said:

The set built for Legend of Demon Cat, and used in last year's Rise of the Phoenixes and Ever Night. The hallway (?) and lead up to the palace is SO recognisable.

 

I wonder if Chen Kaige still owns that set.  So many dramas are filming there now he would be making bank! :lol:

 

12 hours ago, skibbies said:

@raziela while censhorship comes into play sometimes, more often than not I think it's investor request, and screenwriters not having enough control/good enough to pace the show properly.

 

That's definitely a problem too.  So many C-dramas where supporting characters suddenly have an inordinate amount of screentime it's embarrassingly obvious investors and agencies are calling the shots.  And, yes, some is just simply poor writing.

 

13 hours ago, skibbies said:

Rating-wise, 1% is pretty great for a non-primetime weekly slot, especially considering the lower rating trends recently.

  

The criticisms so far have been major changes to certain characters and world building, I think. I haven't really followed it, since I didn't read the book. The show opened a little chaoticly but I think it was reasonably easy to follow. 6 ep in, I'm not fully on board yet, but will keep watching.

I'm happy to see this getting good ratings. It's obvious everyone involved put so much effort into this drama and things were looking pretty bleak a month ago so this must be a relief.

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It took me a while to get into the drama, requiring 3 sittings to finish the 12 episodes aired thus far. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I watched the first 3 episodes with a great deal of impatience and annoyance. After the hype leading up to the broadcast, not to mention the unexpected cancellation, it was bitterly disappointing to be so underwhelmed by a haphazard introduction that is punctuated by stilted dialogue, repetitive statements, awkward performances and poorly edited scenes which does a slipshod job of establishing the universe to a newbie like me. What should have been emotionally charged scenes, such as the massacre at the opening scene and Asule's loss of those dear to him, falls flat, while everything else felt rushed with little continuity. I have to wonder if this is the result of the drama being reduced from 65 to 56 eps. If so, it is really a shame since the drama would have benefited far more with a better structured, well-paced opening. On the other hand, it is also frustrating to see little care given to details such as etiquette. Whether in the grasslands or Eastern Lands, such details are overlooked, which, coupled with the awkward dialogue, did not help the viewing experience at all. Still, I have had enough interest in the drama beforehand to persevere on, hoping that these issues are merely teething problems which would be ironed out in subsequent episodes. And thankfully I did, because from Ep4 onwards, the narrative, pacing and script improved drastically.

 

There is a great deal to absorb, and I have not quite properly grasped the complexities of the universe yet, nor the mysticism behind it. However, the drama finally finds its footing as the plot intensifies upon LGC's move to the Eastern lands. The political and mystical landscape is fascinating - the weak king controlled by his aunt behind the scenes; the ruthlessly ambitious Duke of Li backed by the mysterious Lei Bicheng from the 辰月 Chenyue sect who is manipulating the scenes for his own hidden agenda; the wily Duke of Lower Tang who seeks to fortify his strength with a marriage alliance with Qingyang, while secretly plotting for the day when a mystical sword entrenched in the underground palace would be pulled out by its rightful master; the scattered 天驱 Tianqu organisation which stands for righteousness but now gone underground - identifiable by a unique ring they each possess; the unusual blood curse that befalls LGC's family and himself, the consequences of which remain unknown for now. There is a fine balance between the fantasy elements and the political intrigues which is beautifully handled thus far. The characters, rich and diverse with less than obvious motivations, provide an added layer to the tapestry that is woven, and in the short time they have been introduced, have deftly drawn me to them.

 

The cinematography is breathtaking, finding its pinnacle in the battle at Gubei Pass, spectacular, devastating. Likewise, the one-on-one verbal confrontation between XY and Duke of Li on the eve of battle is just as deadly as physical warfare, with the gauntlet thrown down at the end. The highlight of the battle for me is JY's single-handed charge right into the heart of the enemy, suffering terrible injuries at the hand of the Duke of Li, and his refusal to betray his principles even in the face of death, giving up his last card to survive, which ultimately wins YWY's respect. What must surely be his last heart-wrenching cry: "My name is Ji Ye! Ye as in the wilderness!" moves me to tears not for the first time. My heart has a special place for this lonely boy who has nothing for so long - no family who loves him, no status, despised by all until he met YR and LGC... and he makes me hurt for him as not even LGC can.

 

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To be honest, I had my reservations about the story being centered around the three young leads, and apart from Liu Haoran, I am unfamiliar with the other two. However, both Song Zu'er and Chen Ruoxuan both captivated me from the get go, and I now adore them just as much as I do LHR - all three having made the roles their own - LGC's compassion and gentleness belying a steely resolve and strategic mind; YR's free-spirited, sassy nature the perfect fodder to her two newfound friends' more broody temperament; and JY's bitter loneliness and desperate need to be seen for himself, not someone insignificant or disposable. The chemistry between the three of them is palpable and alive, and the unusual friendship that has been cemented between the three lonely youngsters in a faraway land, is the bright spot in this otherwise dark tale where death is but a hair's breath away and enemies lurk in every corner. Truly love them!

 

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Safe to say, after an uneven start, NEF has gone from strength to strength, leaving me eager for more. Fingers crossed that it continues to outdo itself and bring us through a breathtaking journey all the way to the end.

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On 7/20/2019 at 12:15 PM, liddi said:

It took me a while to get into the drama, requiring 3 sittings to finish the 12 episodes aired thus far. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I watched the first 3 episodes with a great deal of impatience and annoyance. After the hype leading up to the broadcast, not to mention the unexpected cancellation, it was bitterly disappointing to be so underwhelmed by a haphazard introduction that is punctuated by stilted dialogue, repetitive statements, awkward performances and poorly edited scenes which does a slipshod job of establishing the universe to a newbie like me. What should have been emotionally charged scenes, such as the massacre at the opening scene and Asule's loss of those dear to him, falls flat, while everything else felt rushed with little continuity. I have to wonder if this is the result of the drama being reduced from 65 to 56 eps. If so, it is really a shame since the drama would have benefited far more with a better structured, well-paced opening. On the other hand, it is also frustrating to see little care given to details such as etiquette. Whether in the grasslands or Eastern Lu, such details are overlooked, which, coupled with the awkward dialogue, did not help the viewing experience at all. Still, I have had enough interest in the drama beforehand to persevere on, hoping that these issues are merely teething problems which would be ironed out in subsequent episodes. And thankfully I did, because from Ep4 onwards, the narrative, pacing and script improved drastically.

...

Safe to say, after an uneven start, NEF has gone from strength to strength, leaving me eager for more. Fingers crossed that it continues to outdo itself and bring us through a breathtaking journey all the way to the end.

Wow!  This is an incredible review.  Really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the episodes so far :)

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Although the protagonist of the drama is played by two young actors, they all have powerful acting skills, and the scenes and costumes are also beautiful, so I am willing to watch it on Tencent video using paid plexvpn.:wub:

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liuhaoranintl.com has some fantastically detailed and thoughtful episode recaps that are incredibly helpful for anyone like me who is waiting for English subs:

 

Ep 1 - 2

https://liuhaoranintl.com/2019/07/20/novoland-eagle-flag-recap-episodes-1-2/

 

Ep 3-4

https://liuhaoranintl.com/2019/07/21/novoland-eagle-flag-episodes-3-4/

 

Ep 5-6

https://liuhaoranintl.com/2019/07/23/novoland-eagle-flag-episodes-5-6/

 

:)

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I know that my opinion will not be a popular one but I am going to express it all the same   i do not like Yuran all that much. She is causing a lot of problems.  She will also cause more problems for the boys. Hoping this changes.  From the moment she interacted with Ji Ye her character has bothered me. Again, hoping that changes.  

 

So far, all of her visions have been her caught deciding between Ji Ye and Asule. But I think she loves Ji Ye. 

 

The visions that the boys get are more profound.  Asule's visions are hard to understand while Ji Ye's helps him understand himself.  I hope that in future episodes i will be able to see what the writers are trying to convey.  

 

This drama is fantastic.  The cinematography is shot beautifully.  I hope the drama is picked up by Viki soon so that the subs will come out faster because for a non speaker of the language, a lot is hard to understand. 

 

EP 16 WAS EPIC!

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18 hours ago, tarjig said:

  I hope the drama is picked up by Viki soon

Apparently it has been picked up by viki and I saw on Twitter it should start airing in a  week or so. Hope it's true as there is no formal confirmation yet:D

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On 7/24/2019 at 12:26 AM, tarjig said:

I know that my opinion will not be a popular one but I am going to express it all the same   i do not like Yuran all that much. She is causing a lot of problems.  She will also cause more problems for the boys. Hoping this changes.  From the moment she interacted with Ji Ye her character has bothered me. Again, hoping that changes.  

I do understand what you mean about Yuran. I sometimes find her character very frustrating and I wish they had made her a bit more wise and bit less impulsive.

 

I so wish the drama wasn't going down the predictable love triangle route too because it's making me resent her character even though I know it's not fair. Apparently the marriage subplot wasn't in the books either.

 

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I'm kinda scared to start this one. I love Liu Hao Ran but... I just haven't gotten myself to pick it up and watch it. Might wait till it's almost ending.. and is it just me or is there not a lot of hype of this one... 

 

If anyone can recommend this drama in one phase or word, how would you guys describe or recommend? 

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The overriding theme of Eps13-20 is that of missed chances, regrets, and reparations made almost too late. The narrative sees some highs and lows, most hitting the right notes on the emotional front and political arena, but with some missteps in other areas. There is an escalation of the plot, covering a wide spectrum from the abrupt end to the battle of Gubei Pass, to the menacing presence of YWY and his 50,000 strong army in the capital Tianqi, effectively subjugating the royal family into accepting him as their protector, followed swiftly by the awakening of the mystical sword, the rightful master of which is targeted by all who wishes to control or support the one who wields the sword and its power - from the Chenyue sect to the Duke of Lower Tang, and even the scattered Tianqu organisation, who finally regroups under their new sovereign leader. We finally learn the story of Chenyue and Tianqu's inception, as well as the truth of the events that lead to the fate of the last Tianqu leader 幽长吉 You Changji at the hands of his own people, and the subsequent decreed mass persecution of the remaining members branded as traitors. Inadvertently caught in the middle of a conflict they did not quite understand the consequences of, the three friends are torn apart with one whose life hangs in the balance, while the other two are coerced into marriage in exchange for his survival. And now, the scene shifts once more, this time bringing one of them to the capital by royal summons, the day after his marriage.

 

Zhang Fengyi's YWY is a towering persona - frighteningly ambitious and ruthless. His demand to look out from the highest vantage point of the capital Taiqing Tower is even more ominous when he explains his reasoning to the prime minister - simply to stand at the highest point. The extent of his voracious ambition is clear from his recount of his childhood determination to scale a mountain near his home despite breaking several bones - not for any other reason except the fact that the mountain was there, so he had to conquer it, and with that simple story, YWY makes no bones in declaring his lust for the throne, which he is more than halfway to securing, his army already strategically stationed at the capital itself.

 

With such a threat at their doorstep, it is no wonder that the royal family has reached out to LGC though I am uncertain as of yet as to what capacity they are hoping for his help. If it is as the crown prince of Qingyang, is it to mobilise help from the Northern Lands through him, though I find this rather implausible, since any request for reinforcements would take time, time that I don't think the royal family has. If it is the power of the sword that he now controls, how could they have known that he is the new Tianqu leader? I don't believe the Duke of Lower Tang would so easily reveal the chess piece that he has gone to so much trouble to obtain and control. Add to the fact that the Tianqu organisation is already marked as traitors, punishable by death, does it make sense that the royal family would reach out to a group which killed a king in the past? 

 

The highlight for me has to be the narration of Su Shunqing and XY's tragic relationship - beautifully, poignantly portrayed, so much meaning behind those brief veiled words. Their unusual first meeting amidst a bloodbath, the stillness of their oh-too-brief interactions with so much left unsaid, his steadfastness in quietly waiting for the day she would love him despite knowing that she, who gave up her life to bring up the son of a man she loved, may never ever do so. The scene where he asks her to turn back to look at him just once is particularly heartbreaking as we see that she did turn back and finally hug him, only to realise later that it was all only in their imaginations - his longing and her unexpressed wish - and that she never did turn back after all. The purple zilinqiu  紫琳秋 wild flowers he cultivated, which he planted in hopes of being able to see her, takes on such a poignant significance when at last, he sees them growing ever visible outside her room, a final confirmation that she too did reciprocate his love after all. Wang Ou and Li Guangjie bring every nuance of SSQ and XY's love to life, and I ache so much for what might have been, but can no longer be.

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My heart too hurts for the three friends whose lives begin spiraling out of control the moment they stepped into the mausoleum and the ancient sword claimed its new master in LGC. JY's forced betrayal of Tianqu due to the threat to his family sets into motion a chain of events that would change their lives forever. The deaths of so many Tianqu members to escape capture, and later to protect their leader when he tries to bargain his life for JY's, compounds on to the guilt that LGC already carries due to Chenyue's sibilant reveal that he was the one who killed his childhood friend Longke Qin during his possessed state so many years ago. Bound in marriage with YR whom he loves while knowing that she loves his best friend, becomes yet another source of pain for him, and I wonder how long before he breaks under it all.

 

JY's life remains on a downward spiral - forced to betray the organisation he swore fealty to, losing his family, finding his love in YR and losing it soon after, first by the threat of death, and later, through her marriage to his friend, of which he is ignorant of yet. The one silver lining out of the entire tragedy, is JY finally knowing his father's love. It is unexpected, but perhaps not surprising, that when his unloved son is in mortal danger, JQZ steps up to protect him as best he could, at last realising that he did love his son after all, and willing for him to survive, whatever it takes to do so. I teared up when he searches for his son in the dungeons, for what could possibly be the last time he would ever see the boy he has neglected all these years.

 

I do have my gripes about how events unfold. LGC's failed haphazard rescue of JY, outsmarted by the Duke and General Tuoba seems out of character for him, though I guess it could be attributed to his youth and inexperience. Nonetheless it felt jarring since he was patient and bid his time in exacting revenge for Su Ma not too long ago. In addition, General Tuoba's sudden control over the Chiya prisoners of war with his knowledge of the correct incantation to keep them under his will seems to come out of left field, accentuated by his subsequent cruelty and apparent turn to the dark side. Perhaps he was merely wearing a mask all this while, but for someone who not too long ago at Gubei Pass, was a formidable, heroic warrior, this change threw me off. 

 

Gripes notwithstanding, this drama continues to keep me in its thrall, particularly on an emotional level. Can't wait to catch up with this week's episodes, with hopes that the narrative will improve in terms of cohesion and character development. Meanwhile, one last look at the three friends in happier times... one which I fear will never return anymore...

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I am enjoying Novoland Eagle Flag but I feel like Ji Ye story is overshadowing Asule.  I like Asule and I want him to be stronger but it seems as though everyone around him is getting stronger and he is getting weaker.  Ji Ye is all about himself.  Yuran is running behind him because he is the love of her life, yet he is not going to be the one to love her all her life.  Ji Ye will always put what he wants ahead of others.  He wants fame and fortune.

 

Asule puts people first.  He is putting Ji Ye and Yuran ahead of himself.  Maybe when a huge betrayal comes about, he will become stronger.  Some new chick has appeared in the picture and I don't know what her deal is yet (no eng subs) but I don't like her, but then again, I don't like Yuran.  Asule deserves someone who likes him first. Yuran is a brat! 

 

I wish the subs would come out faster.  Right now we are 10 episodes behind on any website.  If someone knows of one that is current (up to ep 26) let me know.

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Ohh my first post here...I love the series, watched it to 22 raw, and 14 with sub (youtube)...Now viki has the rights, yahooo....

 

I like asules character, like @tarjig wrote, Asule puts everybody ahead of himself, he think of the ppl, he is getting stronge rin head, but still at the beginning and his body, still ill, I think he will get stronger  after some big deal. It is sad to see the rwas, where asule and  Ji Ye are taking different ways...I have to say, Yuran was a girl when they met her, she is also the youngiest isn't she? Sometimes she is more mature, I still hope, she will see Asule for what he is. Sometimes she is looking at him. I don't like the new princess ...she is nice, looks like she is ok, but no fire no connection. Still waiting for yuran to mature and be good with asule...

 

@liddi thank you for your long review and summary. It is really nice to read.

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I know this drama will end ...sad, but do You also think that the beginning, the first 3 Minutes from episode 1 is the end? I mean like one loanly surviver there with the boy putting the little boats ( like memory or something) on. can somebody read what is written there?

 

Can we post links here? I will try, does anybody knows the totle and singer of this song? Love the song so much, but it is so short here

 

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@Michaela Heimlich The words on the paper boat says "水畔听钟了却了此生", which means "Having listened to the bell by the water, thus ends this life."

 

I have not read the books in its entirety before, merely snippets here and there. However, from what little I have read in passages relating to that scene, the old man was the old duke 文睿 Wen Rui of Lower Tang. For years, he would always stop at the bridge by Phoenix Lake to listen to the tolling of the large copper bell - a gift from the Rose Emperor to the Baili family 700 years ago - from 文庙 Temple of Literature. As he listened to the bell, he would inscribe verses of poetry on to paper which he folded into paper boats and let adrift on the lake. The old duke passed away at 70 years old at the bridge, once again, letting adrift paper boats, and on the very last boat that was retrieved, were the words "水畔听钟七十年,便了却了此生" "Having listened to the bell by the water for 70 years, thus ends this life." This is slightly different to the inscription in the drama, and without the "70 years" reference, particularly for viewers who never read the book and won't have no idea who the old man by the lake is, I guess it is anyone's guess whether it still refers to a historical figure of Lower Tang, or perhaps as you say, the last survivor of the turmoil to come.

 

The song is 长生诀 Formula to Longevity, and is sung by 西瓜JUN. It was first released in Aug 2016.

You can hear the full length version here:

 

 

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I beg to differ. I really like "Zho" princess, more than Yu Ran. I find YR very irritating, not knowledgeable and unable to appreciate all the loving kindness showered on her by Asule. as a matter of fact, I love the general's character (I forgot his name. The chief warlord who resides in palace now) his lines are very witty. This show, this far, ( I watched until episode 28), is very captivating. Liu Haoran protrayed Asule to perfection despite his young age. I am going to be his fan for a long time to come.  

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I am really enjoying this drama.Couldn’t wait for the subs.He is very expressive with his eyes,I feel sad that Yuhuan is not in love with him.Asule thinks like a mature adult unlike Yuran who still shows her immaturity. I ‘m hoping that she will show personality development in this drama and she will realized that A is a better person than Ji ye.I feel that she is so sympathetic with J considering his situation in life  and what she is experiencing is not true love but more of a pitiful love.

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Sorry,it is Yuran instead of Yuhuan.I always think that the main actress always end up with the main lead but maybe not in this drama.I wanted A to have like an instant attraction  or show of indifference with the girl unlike the other princess. In Nirvana in Fire 2 , it took a long time for the main couple to realized that they are in love to each other considering the indifference at the start ,misunderstanding, and their goal in life. It was only at the end that they were together.

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just watch ep 5

i dont understand, 

it was said that Baili Jinghong is the king of Xiatang kingdom, he has a son who is crown prince, and a daugther who is princess.

but why there is someone who has higher authority and power than him?

 

qe.jpg

 

 

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