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Completed
Order of the Sommelier
12 people found this review helpful
by kpun
Mar 24, 2023
64 of 64 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.5
This review may contain spoilers

Fairy Tales and Ghost Stories

Order of the Sommelier feels like a string of fairy tales/ghost stories, which are connected through the two main characters: Fu Yu, who is a demon hunter and Bai Qi, who is a dragon. The audience meets them first at the demon tavern Bai Qi owns, a place that shifts between modern times and the ancient past. Different guests enter the tavern, bringing along their stories. Then, by the magic of the served drinks, the two main characters get involved in those stories, which take place in an ancient rural setting. The relationship between Fu Yu and Bai Qui starts out with a little hostility, but during their adventures together, they slowly learn more about each other and their tone changes.

The stories are simple, yet engaging, the plot keeps moving, but is never rushed, the actors bring the characters and their emotions to life, the music is nice and fits the scenes, its overall an entertaining and pleasant watch, if you don't expect spectacular sets and costumes or a dreamy romance.

the five story arcs (as you can find them on KUKAN youtube channel atm):

1. The Fox Repaying Kindness (about a friendship between a fox demon and a human)

2. The Imperishable Flower (about the love of a mother and separation)

3. The Distant Dandelion: (about different kinds of love and forced marriage)

4. The Parasitic Cure (about a miracle remedy and having low self-esteem)

5. The Promise of Double Ninth Festival (about a friendship between a spirit and a poor scholar)

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Completed
Rising Feather
4 people found this review helpful
by kpun
Jan 20, 2024
30 of 30 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
This review may contain spoilers

On a dangerous path as a choice

A young woman, sold from the “Flower House” to the prime minister to become his concubine, turns out to be a strong and independent personality with her own goals. She also has a mysterious connection to the prime ministers son-in-law, which makes her endeavour even more risky, while at the same time yields an advantage, as it enables her to involve him into her scheme. Being well prepared she turns dangerous situations into opportunities, so she is not afraid, to provoke such situations, despite being already almost killed by the prime minister, before even entering the mansion. There the story unfolds, as she works on settling old scores and retrieving something important, that had been stolen from her.


Maybe give it a try, if you are looking for something with more tension and passion between the main characters, than the average cdrama and if you can bear enemies/lovers stabbing and hurting each other in plenty of ways repeatedly… Also, if you are tired of the innocent, always nice and kind female lead characters, but also don't want her to be unemotional or a stereotypical physically strong woman/warrior type.

I would not recommend this to people, who only want to see sweet/innocent romance. This surely isn't a wholesome love story, since the main characters are set up to be “enemies and lovers” at the same time. Problematic behaviour occurs, but in my opinion, its framed as problematic, not as something to aim for.

I appreciated about the drama:
-that the female lead has agency. She is resourceful, confident and willing to take matters into her own hands. Additionally she has political aspirations besides her personal motivations, giving her purpose beyond romance.
-that the second female lead plays a role beyond being an antagonist to the main leads, not simply being a character to be exclusively hated by the audience, like in many similar dramas.
-that the acting is decent and the plot moves along quickly (there are more flashback scenes in the beginning, but its not excessive throughout the drama)

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Completed
Swords Drawn
0 people found this review helpful
by kpun
Jan 27, 2024
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 7.0
This review may contain spoilers

Fantasy movie with lots of CGI, fighting and an emphasis on family, friendship and love

Its a typical story about the main character being part of an evil organization/sect and after leaving them, finding a new group of people, that show him a different side of life, than the violence and cruelty he was used to. The simpler family life is disturbed, as the evil organization is still chasing after their "traitor" and sins of the past lead to attacks from another party.

Watching it, without expecting anything deep, the movie is entertaining enough, providing a mix of action and a found family theme, a little bit of romance in addition. Nothing to complain about the music or production in general. Surely not a "must-watch", but okay to pass the time in my opinion.

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Completed
Hou Yi
0 people found this review helpful
by kpun
Apr 3, 2023
Completed 0
Overall 6.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 5.0
This review may contain spoilers

A hero origin story for the archer of myth

It's a nice little fantasy movie, revolving around a mythological figure, the archer Hou Yi. Evil demons are about to break a seal, once again threatening to take over the three realms.
The hero of the story lives as a shepherd and hunter in a rural/tribal community. He has a sister and his father is the leader of the community. The heroine is a cute fairy, who has waited 1000 years for the appearance of “the son of prophecy”, a warrior that is said to be able to stop the demons, because she wants to support him in the fight. There is no palace or officials involved, everything plays out between the tribal villagers and the demon forces.

Sets, CGI and costumes are not amazing, but decent enough to make it a colourful and entertaining performance. In some scenes, the choice of music is questionable.
If you are looking for a simple story, with a little bit of action, love and magic mixed together, this movie might suite you.

random information: Hou Yi is played by Ma Jing Han, who recently played Wu Xin's white-haired Uncle, Mo Quishi, in Wuxia-drama The Blood of Youth.

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