Eternal Brotherhood (2024) poster
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 392 users
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Set in the turbulent land of Zichuan, where the clans of Zichuan and Sairong are engaged in intense warfare. Zichuan Xiu, stationed at the border, returns to the capital with remarkable military achievements, bringing a momentary peace to his homeland. However, new challenges arise as Yang Minghua, a prominent court official with sinister intentions, launches a rebellion. Zichuan Xiu, along with his sworn brothers Di Lin and Si Yi Lin, take action to eliminate the threat and restore tranquillity to Zichuan. Yet, as the dust settles, the aggressive Sairong officially declares war on Zichuan. (Source: iQiyi; edited by MyDramaList) ~~ Adapted from the novel "Purple River" (紫川) by Lao Zhu (老猪). Edit Translation

  • English
  • Türkçe
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Country: China
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Feb 27, 2024 - Mar 13, 2024
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
  • Original Network: iQiyi Tencent Video
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Score: 7.9 (scored by 392 users)
  • Ranked: #2972
  • Popularity: #4477
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Where to Watch Eternal Brotherhood

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Cast & Credits

Reviews

Completed
PeachBlossomGoddess Flower Award1
18 people found this review helpful
29 days ago
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 29
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.5

To Ningdom Come.

Eternal Brotherhood or The Three Heroes of Light/光明三杰/Guāngmíng Sān Jié is the first instalment of the live action adaptation of popular fantasy novel Purple River/紫川/Zǐchuān. The narrative opens in the thick of a gripping battle scene in a complex fantasy world and never stops to explain itself. The world building, political dynamics, power structures and character backstories all have to be pieced from the dialogue. It does not help that the plot is heavy with political intrigue and many opaque Machiavelli characters scheme against one another. Casual viewers out for light entertainment will find this storytelling approach frustrating and confusing.

Zichuan is a loose coalition of different warlords, noble families and clans in a war torn continent. Yuanzhou is the battlefront, the critical buffer province that stands between Zichuan and their arch enemy Beizu or the North Clan. Food is the scarcest commodity in that strategic battle-torn province that is rich in resources. Power in Zichuan is divided as the Chieftain Zichuan Canxing of the ruling Zichuan family must answer to the Elders Council. The family's grip on power is underpinned by a sworn brotherhood between the previous Chieftain and two powerful commanders; Yang Minghua who secures the capital and Ge Yingxing who secures Yuanzhou. This alliance frays as Yang Minghua is widely expected to rebel. This is the back drop that Zichuan Xiu, foster son of the late Chieftain returns to after a seven year exile in Yuanzhou. The time is ripe for a changing of the guard as the next generation's three heroes Di Lin, Si Yilin and Zichuan Xiu emerge. There is a subtly ominous foreshadowing as they are clearly parallel characters with their predecessors.

One of the keys to understanding this story is that actions speak louder than words and no one says what they really mean; not even when their interests are aligned. This is clearly conveyed in the secret bathhouse scene; the only safe place in the capital for Di Lin, Si Yilin and Zichuan Xiu to speak freely with one another. Of the brothers, Si Yilin is the most reliable and almost blindly loyal one. Di Lin is also quite easy to understand; a ruthless, vehement and dangerous character who cares for very few people. Zhichuan Xiu is a cunning and complex character that hides behind an indifferent and flippant facade. The first arc (~12 episodes) that introduces the three heroes is strong as they work together to put down a rebellion. It is nice to see Yang Xuwen, Liu Yuning and Zhang Mingen work so well together in their first collaboration. Their rapport and humorous banter lightens the portentous, politics heavy tone of the story.

The second arc explores Zichuan Xiu's relationship with the Chieftain Zichuan Canxing and his niece Zichuan Ning. It is anchored by masterful portrayals of two Machiavelli mirror characters who are not quite yet opponents; warily circling and assessing each other. Yang Xuwen holds his own well in this match up against a veteran like Ma Shaohua. Their dialogue is quietly menacing with doublespeak, layers of hidden meaning and traces of irony, and dark humor. This is a rare drama where I feel real genuine fear that the protagonists may be up against a more powerful and possibly smarter antagonist.

I was so busy wishing Ning to Ningdom Come that it took me a long time to realise she is quite an important character. Not only is she next in-line to be Chieftain but Xiu actually cares deeply for her. This role is not well acted to begin with and made worse by the choice of a terrible voice actor. Consequently Ning comes across as little more than an annoying, childish, spoiled and shallow princess that gets too much airtime. In reality, scheming is in Ning's blood and she has an innate shrewdness and strong survival instincts. She fears Canxing and wears the persona he expects as a silly princess only capable of learning the cartoon version of history and nowhere near ready to assume power to allay his paranoia. In their opening scene together, both Ning and Xiu are role playing the pampered princess and her foolish swain. Unlike Yang Xuwen however, the actress is not able to convey any hidden depth to Ning or that there are layers underneath her words. But if you watch her carefully, she is quite clever in how she helps Ka Dan and Si Yilin and she has a far better grasp of the power structures of Zichuan than she lets on. If they had cast an actress better versed at complex roles, her arc would be more enjoyable and how Xiu grew apart from her would be seen as a sad development rather than a cause for widespread rejoicing.

Considering the limited budget they had to work with, the cinematography, camera angles and overall visuals are really nice and it is quite clear that this drama was made with care. Even though the dialogue is extremely well written, it is too unbalanced and too much plot movement happens via exposition; making battlefront developments hard to follow. The too few action scenes that occur mostly at the beginning and at the end are exciting and very well choreographed. Even the CGI is not heavy handed and is actually really nice.

I find it really difficult to rate this drama at this point because it actually ends in the middle of an arc and is thus unfinished. Even though it ends with a superb line, it does not change the fact that this is not only unfinished but also sloppy enough to not even close the Lei Hong arc. The production's two fatal flaws are not making the world building accessible and in mis-casting Ning. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this drama and am going to temporarily rate it 8.0/10.0. I will revise up my overall rating for the Zichuan series if the second instalment The King of Light/之光明王/Zhī Guāngmíng Wáng wraps everything up well. I think a strong case can be made to wait to watch this in its entirety when the second instalment airs.

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Completed
Enigma05
7 people found this review helpful
Mar 14, 2024
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 8.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 9.5
Music 10
Rewatch Value 7.0
This review may contain spoilers

Chinese Game of Thrones with a Great Brotherhood

I've been anticipating this one for a long time; now not saying I had high expectations especially since it sat on a shelf for nearly three years. Now that part one is over, I feel something is missing. Watched primarily for LYN and I knew a few other of the supporting casts though not the other leads. But the vibe of this was the Chinese GoT with a great Brotherhood.

Pros: I loved the brotherhood; them three together on screen or when they could know what the others were thinking when they were so far apart. The comedy in the beginning was nice. LYN played ruthless DiLin very well and yet had a soft spot only for his two sworn brothers, his precious wife and unborn child. The rest of the world be damned. Pretty proud of him as the role was done early on in his career. SYL was the sexy hero of the trio and the woman he fell for molded him to a T. Their sexy time was very well played and left my iPad smoking. ML was the goofball with the secret ninja powers not even his brothers apparently knew about. He comes off as a playboy but has a great strategic mindset; so he's their hidden weapon.

Part 1 revolved around the GoT like power struggle and rebellion of one of the older keepers of the country. As well as the invasion of North Clan who are barbaric in nature. The one in control however was the one who pitted people against each and was the real mastermind to keep power for himself. Even ML's Shifu who never planned on rebelling was made a pawn of just so the old fart could stay in power. The old fart chief who looked feeble and sickly was really hellbent to keep everything to himself; doesn't matter who he destroyed and how. He had DiLin kill one of his "most trusted" spy's entire family just so they wouldn't form an alliance later against him. The actor played a very conniving and scheming antagonist pretending to be a protagonist very well. But all of that scheming, has made him more enemies than I'm sure he's aware of. His main phrase was "I trust you the most." That's how you knew he didn't trust you at all. Thankfully two out of three brothers have figured out that he is not who he appears and are very wary of him.

The budget was definitely on the lower side with major edits done plus a title change but the GoT low lighting atmosphere and that kind of world setting was only missing a few dragons and looked really cool. OSTs, costumes, scenery otherwise were all on point. I really hope they release part two soon.

Cons: One word: Ning! Her character though as completely unimportant as it was took up so many episodes, we feared instead of it being about the brotherhood, it'll be about this royal poodle gorilla glue and her childish crush on ML. While I understand this story had to show her childish behavior but not for 15 episodes. Oftentimes, only one brother would make it into an episode and it grated on everyone. The 12 year old tantrums she would throw thinking the entire planet—especially the nails on chalkboard "Xiu gege" she would whine—revolved around her and her needs was mind boggling. Her country was at war where people died left and right but all she could think of was the pretty dresses she hasn't worn etc. She ran away from home just to whine to the ML about how he had to cater to her like she was on some vacation while the man was trying to keep people alive. It was disgusting and she had way too much screen time where for a while, the story hiccuped a lot. Instead of wasting time on her, they could have told more about the brothers upbringing and how they became sworn brothers in the first place. Would have been far more interesting. Or even on the story of North Clan and why they couldn't keep still in their own territory. Anything but her. I hope in part 2 she takes a very serious seat in the back row.

The fact that there was more talk than action other than the very beginning and ending, we can attribute to the low budget as I would have preferred more fighting scenes then just the aftermath with explanations. Or after DiLin massacred an entire battalion, he just stands there, covered in blood. Would have preferred to see that actually play out as opposed to what we saw, same with SYL's battles.

Would I recommend it? Despite the lord awful Ning and lots of talking, it's actually a pretty decent watch and does grab your attention. It is an OE as there's a part 2 that's apparently already been filmed and needs to be released; so hopefully soon. I say give it a go.

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Details

  • Drama: Eternal Brotherhood
  • Country: China
  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Feb 27, 2024 - Mar 13, 2024
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
  • Original Network: iQiyi, Tencent Video
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 7.9 (scored by 392 users)
  • Ranked: #2972
  • Popularity: #4477
  • Watchers: 2,640

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