Here to Heart tells how Zhan Nan Xian (Zhang Han) and Wen Nuan (Janine Chang) mend their relationship after they broke up ten years before. Nan Xian, a geek who has nothing, sees clear potential in the country’s high-tech development and decides to found his own high-tech company “Shallow Cosmos”, although the odds of success are very low. After many ups and downs, Nan Xian finally succeeds. Wen Nuan, who has been living in England, suddenly resigns from her job and comes to work as the director’s assistant at Shallow Cosmos, and the two former lovers meet again.
The current emperor at the time neglects his duties and spends his time playing and frolicking with the ladies. He also has a habit of hunting foxes late at night. With their declining population and innocent deaths rising, the enraged Fox Clan wages a war against the royal family. They reserve a special pearl that boosts power and beauty to the consumer, which is stolen by a pair of sisters (Hu Bing Qing, Chen Yao) and split between them. They enter the palace as dancers to fulfill the mission of killing the emperor. But before the sisters could kill the emperor, he’s abruptly assassinated, and the throne goes to Li Han (Vic Zhou).
Excellent Investor deals with the distance between dreams and reality and raises the question of how to find yourself. Fang Yu Bin (Yang Xu Wen) is no different from tens of thousands other young men who leave their small town to realize their dreams in the big city and can only rely on their own talents and efforts. Yu Bin becomes the vice-director of investment of Rongding Capital’s Shanghai branch, but is soon drawn into the internal fights between those who occupy high positions. Yu Bin’s hardest phase of life thus begins. He doesn’t give up though and manages to be recognized by his boss Yuan Rui Liang (Chen Long) as well as by the chairman. However, he is soon tempted to make a decision that envolves the betrayal of Rui Liang. Will personal gain or moral integrity be stronger?
In the final years of the Eastern Jin dynasty, the prime minister Liu Yu seizes the throne. During the bloody coup d’état, only the imperial concubine Ye Qing Mei’s newborn son (Zhang Ruo Yun) is spared. Minister Fan Jian takes him in and names him Fan Xian. At the age of 18, Fan Xian is about to be married into the royal family and thus becomes the target of many people. Moreover, he is drawn into the fights between the princes. Thanks to his agility, he always ends up being able to avert disaster. He becomes a famous official who is loyal to the emperor. But when Fan Xian learns about the truth behind his birth, he is determined to seek revenge.
Three Lives, Three Worlds, The Pillow Book, another novel by Tang Qi Gong Zi, is set in the same universe as “Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms”. The drama depicts the love story of Bai Feng Jiu (Dilraba Dilmurat) and Dong Hua Dijun (Vengo Gao), that spans 2000 years. Feng Jiu, the queen of Qing Qiu, is the only nine-tailed fox in Qing Qiu and thus being pampered by everyone. She loves to cry and to throw tantrums, but is also persistent and brave. One day, when Feng Jiu is in the mountains for cultivation, a beast attacks her. Luckily, the former Emperor of Heaven Dong Hua passes by at this moment and saves her. To pay the debt of gratitude, Feng Jiu follows Dong Hua who goes to fight the rebelling Demon Lord. Feng Jiu soon realizes that gratitude has turned into love, however, Dong Hua already forgot what love is. In order to keep her save, Dong Hua sends Feng Jiu to the mortal realm, but the guardian he sends together with her unexpectedly dies. While trying to find the immortal fruit that can let her be reborn, Feng Jiu enters the temple of the ghost princess.
Because Yu Ying Nan (Yu Ting Er), a young girl with a mysterious background, wants to find the person who once saved her life, she and her brother Yu Ying Qi (Chen Zhe Yuan) go to the Shu Mountain to learn martial arts. What Ying Nan doesn’t know is that Ying Qi isn’t in fact her brother. Ying Nan lost her memory when little and Ying Qi picked her up and brought her home.
The Gods is another adaptation of the 16th century classic novel “Investiture of the Gods”. It is a romanticised retelling of the overthrow of King Zhou, the last ruler of the Shang dynasty, by Ji Fa (Jaco Zhang), who would establish the Zhou dynasty in its place. The story integrates oral and written tales of many Chinese mythological figures who are involved in the struggle as well. These figures include human heroes, immortals and various spirits. Bewitched by his concubine Daji (Wang Li Kun), who is actually a vixen spirit in disguise as a beautiful woman, King Zhou of Shang oppresses his people and persecutes those who oppose him, including his own subjects who dare to speak up to him. Ji Fa (King Wu of Zhou), assisted by his strategist Jiang Ziya (Yu He Wei), rallies an army to overthrow the tyrant and restore peace and order. Throughout the story, battles are waged between the kingdoms of Shang and Zhou, with both sides calling upon various supernatural beings – deities, immortals, demons, spirits, and humans with magical abilities – to aid them in the war. Yuanshi Tianzun bestows upon Jiang Ziya the “Fengshen Bang”, a list that empowers him to invest the gods of Heaven. The heroes of Zhou and some of their fallen enemies from Shang are eventually endowed with heavenly ranking and essentially elevated to their roles as gods.
The story follows the lives of three boys from Taiwan Hsinchu Senior High School under the Japanese rule. Lin Qing Wen (Jasper Liu), Zhou Shao Zhen (Bryan Chang) and Zhuang Shi Geng (Hou Yan Xi) are childhood friends who grew up together and suffered under the Japanese colonial movement. The turbulence in lives and the brutality they faced under the Japanese rule awakens their nationalist feelings, which lead them to different paths.
A huge number of Chinese dramas and movies are based on novels, but only few of the original novels are available in English. I tried to compile all official English translations of Chinese novels that were adapted into dramas or movies into a list. You can find it in the main menu under “novels”. The list might not be complete yet, so if you happen to know of more novels, please let me know and I’ll add them to the list!
Flipped in My Youth depicts the life of an ordinary married couple, how they overcome hardships together and both mature over ten years. In the 1990s, roadman Chen Ye (Shawn Wei) falls in love at first sight with the department store clerk Li Zhao Di (Jiang Yan). He tricks her into marrying him by promising her that he will take the TOEFL test and emigrate with her, turning her into a wealthy expat lady. Meanwhile, Zhao Di has been pampered by her family since litte, and her temper comes to light when the newlyweds start living together. In order to help her husband concentrate on taking the test, she takes care of the whole household, but Chen Ye still fails in the end. Moreover, Chen Ye even loses his job and Zhao Di is found out to be infertile. Zhao Di falls into despair and starts questioning whether she made the right decision.