Who would have thought that Word of Honor Chinese wuxia drama, which was broadcast on the online video platform in mainland China in February 2021, would become the masterpiece of domestic BL adaptation dramas.
Word of Honor can be said to be a peak of Chinese domestic BL adaptation drama productions.
The plot is good, the acting is excellent, the picture is beautiful. The lines, the martial arts scenes, and the screen layout have improved a lot of quality for it.
There are many people who say that Word of Honor "opens up a new martial arts style in China". The two protagonists in the play also become "top-notch" by virtue of this play.
On Douban.com, nearly 600,000 viewers gave this drama a comprehensive high score of 8.6/10. Even the same type of The Untamed broadcast in 2019 failed to achieve such a high score.
The reason why Word of Honor is so good is that it is not only deadly to “rotten women”(fujoshi, yaoi fan), but also has a equally powerful appeal to straight men and straight women.
Where exactly does this attraction come from?
A romance drama: beautiful man, fatalism, forbidden love
For a good BL romance drama, in addition to good-looking people, the most important thing is to have an interesting soul that respects love rather than deliberately selling BL stories.
The feelings of the protagonists Wen Kexing and Zhou Zishu, as well as their respective personalities, together make up the interesting soul of this drama. To use a sentence in the original book is:
There is light in you, I will catch it and see.
Their love glows, and so do both of them.
The protagonist Zhou Zishu, is the head of the sect named Four Seasons Manor. He defected to the state power department to become the leader of “The Window of Heaven”, originally in order to preserve his sect, but in the end he was forced to kill the 81 brothers of the old part of the Four Seasons Villa with his own hands.
He underwent the torture of the “Seven Acupoint Nails” - seven acupoints nailed with poisonous iron nails, lost his five senses, could not speak, and had only three years to live. So he left “The Window of Heaven”. He never wanted to work for the King of Jin again.
Because he could not forgive himself.
The protagonist Wen Kexing, the son of a doctor. His parents were tragically murdered due to the greed of others.
He was orphaned and became the master of Ghost Valley under the support of hatred, and then he fell from earth to hell.
He set up a big game and used all his efforts to make his enemies die one by one, but he still could not get relief.
Because he cannot forgive the world.
Before meeting each other, Zhou Zishu and Wen Kexing were both people in the abyss. After meeting, they redeemed each other and finally reconciled with the world and with themselves.
And finally let us understand:
Hate, can only let you stay alive.
Love, can let you live as a person.
The two protagonists are not heroes in the traditional sense.
They each have a poor life experience. Only because the immortal light of justice in their hearts, the two finally completed each other's redemption. But also for various reasons, their love cannot have a too perfect ending.
This powerless sense of destiny also adds a lot of attraction to the love of this drama.
A martial arts drama: Love and righteousness, an story like poetry
Word of Honor constructs an intriguing arena. There is a Ghost Valley, there is power scheming, and there are chivalrous heroes.
This is also the reason why so many straight men and straight women exclaim that the drama is good and enjoyable. Some people even shouted:
I see the hope of Chinese martial arts dramas in the BL drama.
The martial arts of Word of Honor are beautiful and poetic.
Different from the brutal swords, lights, and shadows in many martial arts dramas, Word of Honor integrates dance elements into martial arts when designing the action, giving the fighting scenes a sense of power and more beauty at the same time.
For example, the two fight scenes between Wen Kexing and Zhou Zishu in the peach blossom forest and the lake. It can be seen that the two of them are more of an emotional exchange, with a subtle yet interesting feeling.
The beautiful presentation of many famous scenes highlights the freshness of Chinese ink painting.
Eye-catching and comfortable, chivalrous, courageous, love and hate, fast and furious, what a flesh-and-blood poetic story.
Wuxia, not only must have martial arts, but also "chivalry".
What is chivalry?
Sima Qian once praised the chivalrous warrior in "Shih Chi", "to be trustworthy in word and resolute in deed".
This chivalry is also shown by the characters in the play.
Zhou Zishu escorted Zhang Chengling for thousands of miles because he accepted the boatman and kept his promise despite all the hardships.
The boatman who gave his life to protect his benefactor, swung the ferry at the entrance of the manor for three years, just to repay his kindness one day. No one knew his name until he died.
Ao Lai Zi, risked the danger of his sect being destroyed to protect the Danyang sect heir.
There is also Gao Chong, who protects the Five Lakes Alliance with a clear ambition to die, and Wen Ruyu, who is willing to endure harm for the brotherhood.
Even the villains almost always do what they say. The “evil ghosts” of Mount Qingyashan will do anything bad, but will never do anything that breaks their promises."
Honesty and trustworthiness, not only is the traditional Chinese virtues, but also the moral bottom line of jianghu.
The real core of Word of Honor is that mountains and rivers are not important enough, it is important to meet one’s confidant.
In today's new martial arts/wuxia works(compared with Jin Yong's), although there are also Confucian ideas such as the stability of the country and the inheritance of sect, the more prominent values are the humanistic spirit of modern civilization.
The jianghu is turbulent, and people's hearts are unpredictable. It is the most rare thing to maintain a pure heart after experiencing conspiracy and suffering.
As Zhou Zishu said to Zhang Chengling:
Glazed armor is not important, neither is revenge, nothing is more important than you, a living person.