Chinese Drama: Fighter of the Destiny (择天记)
Broadcast Date: 4/17/2017
Airs: Monday-Thursday/ one episode a day
Total Episodes: 55
Leads: Lu Han & Guli Nazha
Set in the fantasy world where the humans have to be constantly on guard of the Demon race’s ambition to become the ruler of all other races, our hero Chen Chang Shen, the prince of the human race is born carrying the fate of the world on his shoulders. Completely unaware of his true identity, Chang Shen believes himself to be an orphan but grows up happily under the loving…if not a bit unconventional care of his Taoist monk master.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that Cheng Shen’s master is a brilliant doctor there is nothing he could do to cure the special condition Cheng Shen is born with that makes it so our hero could not live past the age of twenty. Unwilling to accept death without at least doing everything to challenging his fate, the now 19 year old Chen Shen decides to embark on a difficult journey to find a way to save himself. Supportive of our hero’s decision, Chen Shen’s master bids him goodbye…then casually mentions that Chen Shen should also pay a visit to his fiancee Xu You Rong. Stunned to find out that his master had agreed to an arranged marriage for him, Chen Shen is nonetheless happy to have a chance to visit his childhood friend You Rong (heroine).
Not about to marry You Rong when he might die in a year, Chen Shen shows up at the Xu family home fully intending to void the engagement… that is until You Rong’s parents rudely declare him to be unworthy of their daughter. Furious that Chen Shen would not simply admit his unworthiness and obediently void the engagement to their daughter, You Rong’s parents promptly use their influence to make Chen Shen’s already difficult path of finding a cure almost impossible.
In the meantime, our heroine is equally surprised to find out about the engagement but like Chen Shen, You Rong also has no intention of fulfilling the engagement agreement. Treasuring the youthful friendship she once had with Chen Shen deep in her heart, You Rong is fully aware that as the possessor of the extremely precious phoenix bloodline, her life is devoted to the greater good so she cannot afford the luxury of love. (In this case, the heroine is pursuing the ultimate Daoist path so even familial love falls into that category.)
Of course, since this show is all about fate, destiny will not allow our two leads to just walk away from each other…especially since the fate of the world is also hanging on their shoulders.
Ninja’s First Impression:
I have to admit that I went into Fighter of the Destiny with a fairly low expectation since the synopsis of a hero charged with the fate of saving the world sounds just like every other C-fantasy drama. However, surprise surprise! I like this one a lot!
The story does follow the prescribed formula that most Wuxia novel fans would recognize: unlikely hero, a school or something like that where the hero will be the underdog, good friends who will rally around the hero when he needs help, the hero will encounter various experiences that will make him triumph above all who dared to doubt him. Predictability is not usually a good thing when it comes to dramas, but when done right in a Xianxia (Wuxia genre with fantasy elements added to it) drama then it becomes nostalgia since that transports viewers like me back to the glory days of bingeing through Wuxia novels. We are only eight episodes into the story so this show still has plenty of time to go south but for now, Fighter of the Destiny is hitting all the right buttons for me.
By the way, I thought I have seen “beautiful” actors that could rival pretty women before but dang, Lu Han who plays Chang Sheng really takes the crown. I am ashamed to admit that for the first two episodes I had some fear that the hero is “too pretty” for my taste. After all, is not every day you see a hero who could look more like a “godess” than the heroine. Fortunately, my fear was unfounded. While Lu Han’s hero doesn’t necessary become more manly in the traditional sense but I find his character increasingly attractive and intriguing as the story progresses. Poor Guli Nazha’s heroine probably could never “out-pretty” the hero but they do look great together.
One more note. With the hero thinking death is eminent and the heroine’s eyes firmly on the Daoist path, the romance part of the plot obviously will take a bit to develop. However, as one who is usually on the more impatient side, I actually find the pure friendship between the two leads very refreshing and probably wouldn’t mind it at all if the writer keeps up the slower pacing on the two leads’ romance.
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