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Lang Ya Bang Hall


Lang Ya Bang Hall

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Hello! I'm Nienna   (previously known as The Clenched Fist of Frustration)

NOTE: words in blue are links (except for that one ?)

Brief info about me: 

  • I like K & C historical (ish) drama.  I want to watch more Japanese Dorama, but I'm too cheap to pay for a VPN  (because I already subscribe to two drama services).  
  • I don't have a hard and fast rating system, other than this: I'd rather drop a series / movie than rate it poorly.  Why go through the aggravation of watching something just to give it a bad review? 
  • This page (like my lists, and my life...) is a work in progress.

Dramas with a historical angle  tend to be my favorites.  

Here are some examples 

  • This is quite a story of the Ming Dynasty; more like a saga.
  • Not an overt love story, but there are several "couples" who are intertwined in the forming and fate of the dynasty
  • Costuming is beyond excellent 
  • Ending song is beautiful
  • Jin Dong plays Min Lou,  a triple spy: try to beat that!   
  • Long series, but nearly every minute of it has a tension; sometimes the tension was so thick that I was holding my breath   
  • Japanese occupation of Shanghai is portrayed with subtle cruelty
  • Note the number of  actors in this series from Nirvana In Fire 

  • About the founding of the Joseon Dynasty.
  • Moves along at a decent pace, considering the number of episodes. 
  • I bought the  OST because I enjoyed it so much -  especially the Lee Bong Geun pieces that use Pansori style singing, but instead of lyrics,  he just uses syllabus and raw emotion.  
  • Watch this and then watch King of Tears, Lee Bang Won and draw your own comparisons.  Then read up on the founding of Joseon for the historical record

The Wind Blows from Long Xi

  • Set during the Three Kingdoms period of China 
  • Definitely NOT a costume drama; it's tense spy drama with dark overtones
  • the director's color pallet is subdued, keeping with the roles of the two spies
  • Slow burn with a deliberate pacing

  • A series about  the struggle to create and implement the Hangul writing system. 
  • Released before Six Flying Dragons, so If you've seen SFD, but not this, don't get freaked out by the actor playing Lee Bang Ji.  Also,  you'll notice several characters played by actors who were also in Six Flying Dragons (but they are playing different roles) 
  • Cast list is impressive, so are the performances, led by Han Seok Kyu, and Jang Hyuk - who always deliver top notch acting in everything they do.

The Man Standing Next 

  • A movie filled with tension about a very tense time in modern Korean history 
  • To get a better understanding of what was going on in 1970s Republic of Korea,  watch A Taxi Driver for historical context
  • Interestingly, the movie begins where it ends, but that hardly keeps the movie from being a nail-biter


aka some of my favorite sword-wielding characters from historical-ish dramas 

Officer Dong. Nirvana In Fire     Officer Xia Dong  

the first Bad-Ass Woman I encountered ⁕ watching C Drama;
⁕ insane sword skills;  
⁕ can hold her own against any man - and does

   Lang Zhan /Hanguan Jun/ Lan Wang Ji                         The Untamed    
⁕ silky smooth swordsmanship;
⁕ known for his blade appearing out of nowhere to block attacks on Wei Wuxian;
⁕ his sword does his talking

Ddang Sae /Venomous Magpie/Lee Bang Ji       Six Flying Dragons          
⁕  unmatched technical prowess with a sword ⁕ does not screw around
⁕ so well focused and balanced that he dethrones the greatest swordsman in Goryeo

 Nangon Pu Che   
 Snow Sword Stride 

⁕ bad-assery on a level with Lan Zhan
⁕ uses two swords because she is twice as cool as everyone else  
⁕ called the "White Fox" for a good reason

  Himura Kenshin   
 Rurouni Kenshin                                                    

 do not let his calm demeanor fool you: he is bad-assery on a High Heaven, Twin Dragon Stance level
 the sharp edge of his sword faces him, because he's tired of killing
⁕ can disarm and knock out 10 thugs with wooden swords

    Tang Lian

⁕ Tang Clan style bad-assery when throwing needles and very sharp objects
⁕ he is the Black Tortoise: one of the Four Guardians and we know that tortoises are inherently bad-ass
⁕ learns his martial skills will from the God of Liquor, which in itself is bad-ass
⁕ his sacrifice is the ultimate bad-assery


  Uncle Wu 
  • do I even have to say it? I mean, look at him!


    Zhang Xiao Jing 

   The Longest Day In Chang'an

  • Technically not only a swordsman (there is nothing he can't use as a weapon), his swordsmanship is proven on the battlefield and through the metropolis of Chang'an.
  • He is the Bruce Willis in Die Hard, of C-Drama

  Moo Hyul 
  • trains when he doesn't need to
  • when he squints his eyes and reaches for his sword hilt, it's a good time to run
  • It takes more than another swordsman to stop him
  • backlit image of him on a hill crest with his sword says bad-assery like few other images

      Warrior Moo Hyul
      Six Flying Dragons 
  • Starts out clumsy and in no time moves to warrior
  • takes on anyone who threatens his principle: Lee Bang Won
  • when he stabs someone, his sword is so fast that blood doesn't stick to it 

          Shen Lian                                                                                    Brotherhood of Blades 1 & 2

  • Member of the elite Embroidered Uniform Guards
  • Has to get bad-ass to clear the false accusations against him
  • injuries do not and will not stop his blade in both BoB 1 and 2.

Jin Fan
My Journey To You

  • masterful sword skills  
  • calm under pressure, even when that pressure is the adoration from Gong Shi Zang
  • The youngest person in the Gong clan to achieve the Red Jade distinction
  • Gives it up to be a Green Jade Guardian for Gon Zi Yu, which is indeed bad-ass

So much bad-assery that I can't pick one:

I also enjoy OSTs  - especially when the OST is amazing

The Longest Day In Chang'an (2019)

And then there are songs from C or K Dramas that just are amazing on their own.

Here's a brief  playlist
(Yes, I love Tiger Hu's voice)

What I like to listen to

I am beyond in love with  Lee Bong-guen's voice and everything  he sings, followed very closely by Oh Hyuk's voice.  I love Tiger Hu's voice and song songwriting.

I really enjoy the modernization of traditional Mongolian instruments and themes in two these groups:  The Hu Band and Hanggai

BUT: My first love is and always will be classical music.

More importantly: 

I am a Pentagon UNIVERSE Ahjumma...

...and I make no apologies for it!

Book recommendations 

The Dictionary of the Khazars

J.R.R. Tolkien:  The Silmarillion

Garth Nix: The Abhorsen Series

Phillip Pullman: HIS Dark Materials



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