The Ingenious One (2023) poster
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 1,301 users
# of Watchers: 5,808
Reviews: 25 users
Ranked #1652
Popularity #2410
Watchers 1,301

Yun Xiang, a disciple of Yuntai, entered the world to exact revenge for his massacred family after fifteen years of cultivation. Though lacking any martial arts skills, but having an incredible intelligence about him, while traveling Yun Xiang made several friends who shared his aura of intrigue and mystique. Shu Ya Nan, an orphan taken in by Yun Xiang's master, possessed amazing martial art skills but also had many secrets she was hiding, Jin Biao was a master swordsman with a sense of his own justice, and Su Ming Yu, who hid his skills and due to his travels, possessed an uncanny ability to understand almost every martial art skill and name as well as its weakness. Yun Xiang and his friends spent a period getting to know each other through various means of unveiling secrets to determine whether they were really friends or foes. With the ever growing in-depth investigation of past tragedies, Yun Xiang unearthed more appalling secrets, and things began to unravel as much was not as he had originally thought including Yuntai itself. Throughout all of this, he and his friends experienced deception, betrayal, and many life and death struggles. Could Yun Xiang and his group determine who all of the villains were and bring justice to the land as well as get their revenge or would they lose to the evil in the end? (Source: MyDramaList) ~~ Adapted from the novel "Qianmen the Secret Manual" (千门之门) by Fang Bai Yu (方白羽). Edit Translation

  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • עברית / עִבְרִית
  • dansk
  • Country: China
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 36
  • Aired: May 1, 2023 - May 21, 2023
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: iQiyi Tencent Video
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 1,301 users)
  • Ranked: #1652
  • Popularity: #2410
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

Where to Watch The Ingenious One

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Cast & Credits

  • Chen Xiao in The Ingenious One Chinese Drama (2023)
    Chen Xiao
    Yun Xiang / Luo Wen Jia
    Main Role
  • Mao Xiao Tong in The Ingenious One Chinese Drama (2023)
    Mao Xiao Tong
    Shu Ya Nan / Kou Lian Yi
    Main Role
  • Tang Xiao Tian in The Ingenious One Chinese Drama (2023)
    Tang Xiao Tian
    Su Ming Yu [Su Family of Nandu]
    Main Role
  • Xu Ling Yue in The Ingenious One Chinese Drama (2023)
    Xu Ling Yue
    Ke Meng Lan [Liansheng House]
    Main Role
  • Liu Guan Lin in The Ingenious One Chinese Drama (2023)
    Liu Guan Lin
    Jin Biao / Jin Shi Liang [ Swordsman, Ten Teals of Gold]
    Main Role
  • Peng Bo in The Ingenious One Chinese Drama (2023)
    Peng Bo
    Mo Bu Fan [Guanghui Bank, Yuntai Sect]
    Support Role


46 people found this review helpful
May 22, 2023
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 6
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.0

Liar's Poker.

The Ingenious One is part of the new wuxia genre where the main protagonist is an anti-hero by classic wuxia standards. He is so highly evolved that intelligence and cunning rather than superior martial arts is his defining characteristic. Thus the ingenious Yun Xiang is aloof and cynical, he can run but he can't fight, he is righteous in an ends justify the means sense and his main tactical advantage is his big brain. This drama unfolds like a three-dimensional chess game, which can be very interesting or very boring depending on your attention to detail and interest in complex plots. Even though Yun Xiang can't fight, he is surrounded by characters who can so there are well choreographed action scenes to look forward to.

After his village was massacred, Yun Xiang was raised as the sole disciple of the master of the mysterious Yuntai sect. The cerebral and commercial Yuntai and their rival the lethal and rebellious Lingyuan are successors of the legendary Qian sect. At Yuntai, Yun Xiang immerses in qiān shù 千术 or the secret Qian art of scheming and deception. They are sophisticated grifters with a controversial reputation that pay lip service to Taoist principles. One of their core principles is detachment as everyone is a pawn. Attachments and emotions make you vulnerable. This is Yun Xiang's lonely world view as he makes his way down the mountain 15 years later as a brilliant practitioner of qiān shù 千术. Time and all that brain washing did not erase his thirst for vengeance. Against his master's instructions, he makes a beeline for Nandu to uncover the truth behind his village's massacre. Along the way, he is besotted by the formidable and mysterious Shu Yanan. Sparks fly and their objectives appear aligned so they both let their guard down enough to form a wary alliance.

In Nandu, Yun Xiang's first order of business is to finance his mission. This focus on the practical money aspects of everything from running a sect to building influence is fresh and interesting. To achieve his goals, Yun Xiang plays monopoly using qiān shù 千术 or deception to control a bank, a port, a casino and a silk business. As it turns out, this brilliant protege of Yuntai is just a talented con man, a grifter. He boldly plays liar's poker with higher stakes at each turn with the power brokers of Nandu. Everyone is a pawn until they are not and he starts to break Yuntai's core principle of not letting emotions be it love or friendship mess up the con. The drama could have better highlighted how his hidden opponent was plying the same schemes against him. With narrow margins against a hidden foe, does Yun Xiang's growing affection for his pawns become his Archilles heel?

A recurring criticisms of this drama is that Yun Xiang is not that ingenious. The narrative fails to emphasize how under resourced and outnumbered Yun Xiang is. When he shows up in Nandu, he has no allies, no money and only cold clues as to what happened 15 years ago. So it's not fair to expect him to be three steps ahead when he can barely tell friend from foe. We are told he is a complex and morally ambiguous revenge driven character but his backstory is so cursorily shown that he seems like a blank person with no family or friends or history. This impression is amplified when his revenge gets sidelined as he stumbles upon the greater conspiracy and that plot-line takes over the rest of the drama. Similarly Shu Yanan's history is murky until late in the game and her relationship with Wen Cong is never explained. Thus her decisions and priorities are difficult to understand and seem at times inconsistent. Their romance developed too quickly and hiccups at a point the plot should have been building momentum towards a climax rather than digressing into romantic angst. Even though Chen Xiao and Mao Xiaotong did their best, their character designs and relationship evolution did not give them that much to work with.

In sharp contrast, the supporting roles are better written and steal the show. The priorities and drivers of Jin Biao, Mo Bufan, Kang Qiao, the Su family and Liu Gongquan are understandable and empathetic. I was too invested in their well-being and happiness to enjoy the irony of Yun Xiang's role reversal into a puddle of a tropey female lead whose whose life's mission gets hijacked by love. The standout entertaining roles areJin Biao the assassin with a heart of gold and Mo Bufan the money loving banker lured by greed and whipped by fear. Liu Gongquan's entrance also lifts the plot at a point it was sagging. I enjoyed Wang Zirui's chemistry with Chen Xiao better than that of Mao Xiaotong's, which seemed forced. While the role is well acted, Kou Yunjie is the biggest moron in the entire drama. His actions make no sense other than to facilitate plot movements. Only lazy writers take short cuts in plot design by dumbing down characters. The so-called brilliant mastermind and his main dogsbody win more as a result of a huge information and resource advantage rather than exceptional tactics. Their motives for engaging in such a vast and long-dated conspiracy with dire consequences for failure are not compelling. Petty antagonists like Tang Xiao are more believable with their penny-ante tricks and more basic instincts.

The plot picks up into a predictable but overall satisfactory ending after the final conspiracy and mastermind is unveiled. The main antagonist is designed to not show themself or their plans too early. This comes at the cost of making their motive unconvincing and is pointless as their identity quickly becomes obvious anyway. While based on true historical events, the plot design is often used and does not stand out in any unique way. After years of scheming, the mastermind's grand plan is full of holes and overly dependent on single sources of supplies and too few and too unreliable sources of manpower. This kind of shoddy plan would have failed on its own without much help from anyone! But I was too busy enjoying the confiscation of irreplaceable family jewels, a nice end surprise twist and watching villains face gruesome consequences. The message that detachment is a flawed Yuntai mantra; that emotional attachments can swing the odds both negatively and positively is lost in the finale. I enjoyed this drama but recognise there are many holes and unanswered questions, the pacing is not exciting enough and the momentum build disrupted by unnecessary romantic angst. It is a story that had a lot of potential and a wonderful cast but did not come together in the best way. Thus it would not be fair of me to rate this more than an 8.0/10:0 as one of those far from perfect but still highly enjoyable dramas.

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19 people found this review helpful
May 9, 2023
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 8.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0
This review may contain spoilers


There wasn't only one ingenious person in this drama. Yun Xiang was the master of brilliant strategist, manipulator, thinker, a charmer, negotiator, but most all he's a loyal friend. It's all started when he came down from mountain, finishing 15 years of study and cultivation to seek justice of the dead his family and fellow 300 people of Luo village where he came from. Yuntai Sect is the organization that produce smart people around in many different aspect. A long the way Yun Xiang met friends, foes, love, understanding, trouble, challenges and happiness.

Yun Xiang & Shu Yu Nan
Yu Xiang was brilliant with strategic while Shu Yu Nan was an incredible with martial art. They both love each other, Yun Xiao broke his sect's rule by loving her. They learn to trust and depend to each other because Yun Xiang wasn't entirely open with this strategy or manipulation to Yu Nan, while she's totally in his side she felt that she's being used by him as piece of chess. Around ep 22 the trust was broken, relationship strained, heart distanced, YuNan switched side and betrayed their love. Broken heart lasted for 10 episodes full of drinking, crying and daze...thinking hard for next step forward for both. Will they back together? We'll see that on last episode...

Mo Bu Fan/Kang Qiao (Guanghui Bank, Yuntai Sect)
They both have great relationship between father and adopted son (uncle/nephew). One of the smart Yuntai student in finance and banking. He monopolize economy in town, very money oriented - everything is for profit, cutting throat to his customers, sharp tongue to Yun Xiang, lovable in concern to his nephew. He went bankruptcy for mishandling trust of an old friend, business, reputation, and money was gone. BuFan was so heartbroken when Kang Qiao died, lost in disappointment of his sect and angry to his master. So sad, he didn't see way out - he'd rather died than go on living.

Su Ming Yu/Ke Meng Lan
While Su GongZe was a young handsome heir of rich merchant, he inspired to be a wanderer in martial world, forced to learn business from his sister and family, got PTSD after the terror of killing. In love with the manager of entertainment gambling house Ke Meng Lan. Although she's great with business and very loving, her character was a boring one, killing atmosphere to few notch down. The love affair was smooth one after MingYu's sister approved with their relationship although Meng Lan didn't come from respectable background.

Jin Biao
He called himself '10 Gold Tael' hitman for hire. Very rough looking, brash attitude, soft heart and kind. He liked Meng Lan's personal maid Tian Hu and became the patron of orphanage. He struck friendship with Yun Xiang for money at first but genuinely devoted to him after they've been through together. Ep 32 he went coma of poison.

Many critical characters came and went as new episode brought in new development with new characters, Mo BuFan should go as 2nd ML as he has important role and most of the crisis focusing on his money/bank and the way he handled things. Every character related to him....he's a pretty good actor with much charms and difficulties in such role. All this, at the end is about rebellion to overthrow the throne initiated by Prince Fu (Yun Xiang's master). As a master of Yuntai where Yun Xiang came from, they met face to face, at the end he came up with the ingenious idea to avoid revolt and personal grudges.

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  • Drama: The Ingenious One
  • Country: China
  • Episodes: 36
  • Aired: May 1, 2023 - May 21, 2023
  • Aired On: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • Original Network: iQiyi, Tencent Video
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older


  • Score: 8.1 (scored by 1,301 users)
  • Ranked: #1652
  • Popularity: #2410
  • Watchers: 5,808

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