Interesting title, because if you notice, many Gods in this series don't have much honour in them. Just look at Lei Jing and you'll know what I mean. Perhaps this is a story about a God towards the path of honour, just by looking at the title.
In Cantonese, it is "Foong San Bong". Foong is not "wind" but rather it means Appointment or Bestowing a certain title on a certain person. "san" is "God" and "Bong" is a tricky one. It means "Notice" or "Announcement" but in this title, it is used in the context of the place where deities are made into Gods. So you could say the title means...
"The Arena For The Appointment/Canonization Of Gods" though to be more precise, it should be, more or less "The Announcement/Notice of the Title Of The Rank Of Gods Bestowed Upon
However, one scene Benny describes the Chinese title as an announcement board, where the names of those who are appointed or canonized as Gods would be on it.
The title of the Book is the same as the series' title and in English, it is known as Creation Of Gods.
40 episodes/20 tapes
Cast - Characters
Below is probably the most complete cast list you'll ever see in a review in an amateur reviews site. I thank Tammy, Jonathan Yeow and Charbydis for their kind help with the names. Without them, my review will not be as complete as it is now. I am so excited because for once I can comment on those ke-le-fes for their excellent performances by listing their names. If you know of any characters that I have not included into the list, feel free to E-Mail me their names and the actors' names together with your name so that I could thank you. If there are any spelling mistakes or unlisted English names, do E-Mail me the info. I thank you in advance for your kind help.
Benny Chan Ho Man Lei Na Zha
Chin Kar Lok Yeung Jin
Lei Ka Sing Lui Jan Tzi
Yuen Keng Dan Yan Sap Leong
Yuen Wah Lei Jing
Angela Tong Ying Ying Lau Pei Pa
Irene Wan Pik Har So Than Gei
Rain Lau Yoke Chui Tang Sin Yoke
Sherming Yew Lok Yee Concubine Yang
Ngo Ka Lin Muk Zha
Tang Siu Juen Kam Zha
Winnie Yeung Yuen Yee Wong Gan
Tsang Wai Kuen Wong Fei Foo
Kwok Ming Fai Nui Wo
Michelle Yip Shuen Yeung Lin Fah
Lo Lan Grandma Lei / Onn Yan (aka Mom in law)
Cheng Chi Seng Emperor Zhao
Lui San Empress
Fung Hiu Man 9 Tailed Fox Devil
Lam Kei Yan Lei Ngai Seong
Lei Kwok Loon Sang Kung Pao
Lo Jan Soon Bei Gon
Yu Tzi Ming Keong Tzi Nga
Marco Lo Hing Fai Bak Yap Hao
Wong Wai So Wo
June Chan Kei Mrs Bei Gon
Chan Onn Ying Mrs Wong Fei Foo
Wai Ka Hung Tou Hang Shuen
Law Lok Lam Sai Bak Hao, Ge Chung/Chow Man Wong
Fiona Yuen Choi Wan So Ying Heong
Kwok Cheok Wah 3rd Dragon Prince
Wong Wai Leong Minister Tang
Lee Kah Teng Wan Jung Tzi
I feel a need to explain the relationship in this series, due to the size of the cast, the many characters. Your could read Character Info but you may still be blur as to who is related to who. Below is my simple division or categorisation.
The Lei Family
Onn Yan - matriarch of the family
Lei Jing - Father
Yan Sap Leong - First Wife
Lau Pei Pa - Second Wife
Lei Kam Zha - Son of Lei Jing and Yan Sap Leong
Lei Muk Zha - 2nd son of Lei Jing and Yan Sap Leong
Lei Na Zha - Youngest son of Lei Jing and Yap Sap Leong
Lei Ngai Seong - Sister of Lei Jing, aunt of the boys.
The 4 Mo Family Assistant Generals - Not related by blood, loyal servants of the Lei Family.
The Yeung Family
Yeung Jin - Brother and only son of Mr Yeung, a businessman and his dead wife, husband of Wong Gan.
Yeung Lin Fah - Younger half sister sister and only daughter of Mr Yeung and his second wife, potential love interest of Na Zha.
The Wong Family
Wong Fei Foo - Matriach of the family, general for the Shang Dynasty.
Mrs Wong - Wife
Wong Gan - Only child, later married to Yeung Jin.
The So Family
So Wo - Matriach of the family, general of the Shang Dynasty turned rebel.
So Than Gei - Eldest daughter, concubine of Emperor Zhou
So Mui Heung - Youngest daughter, concubine of Emperor Zhou
The Shang Imperial Family
So Than Gei
So Mui Heong
The 2 sons of Emperor Zhou
The rest of the concubines
The Shang/Than Gei Suporters
9 tails fox devil & her foxes
Lei Jing & Lau Pei Pa
Wong Fei Foo
Sang Kung Pao
Bei Gon & his wife
Hang & Ha
Effortless Ears and Thousand Miles Eyes (my very own translation, no laughing allowed!)
The Rebels Supporting the new self declared Emperor, Chow Man Wong
Na Zha & Yan Sap Leong (General & Commander)
Yeung Jin (General)
Lui Jan Tzi (the 100th adopted son of Chow Man Wong-General)
Bak Yap Hao (the ill fated eldest son of Chow Man Wong)
Keong Tzi Nga (Advisor/Military Strategist)
Yeung Lin Fah
Most of the former generals of Shang
The citizens of the Shang Dynasty
The rest of the characters who are merely bystanders who has nothing to do except to appear briefly, look dignified but died too easily or is in the series to die a dramatic death or walk left, walk right and breath
Nui Wo (Creator of the universe, Kuan Yin lookalike)
Wan Jung Tzi (the man who transformed the soul of Na Zha into a Lotus Root)
Songs In This Series
Available for download in Songs.
Sung by Benny Chan and Rain Lau, at first I hated it. But you know, after 6 tapes or so, I am beginning to really like it, especially the lyrics and the chorus. The whole lyrics are about Na Zha and it ended with "Filial piety forever in his heart forever." So basically listening to the lyrics, you already know half the storyline, listen to your grandma and you got 1/3 of it right, read my info below and you got a further 3/4 right and I know my maths is horrible so you can stop laughing and just ignore the total sum because at the end of the day, whatever the number in the percentage left in the calculation, just know that that some of the story in this series are purely cooked up by TVB.
A very good song sung by Kit Chan, available for download in Songs. I like this song, especially the beginning and the lyrics are rather romantic. Just imagine Lin Fah singing this song to Na Zha and you'll know what I mean.
The Instrumental/Background Music
Very unoriginal, borrowed from Happy Ever After and Journey To The West, though the End/Sub song did make a very good instrumental music.
If I heard it right, and I hope I got it right, really really old, Shang Dynasty, around 1766 BC - 1027 BC during the reign of the last and the most tyrannical Emperor of the dynasty that was once thought to be a myth but exists, King Zhao.
For a comparison of how old, JTTW was set in the early Tang Dynasty around during the reign of Emperor Tai Zu.
Basis Of The Story In The Series & Character Intros
Refer to earlier pages in this site for a more complete character intros, their origins, the myths, the Dynasty, and many more. This review is only concerned with the plot in TVB's version.
A series about the uprising of the rebels against the tyrannical Shang Emperor and his evil concubine, So Than Gei by a man who declared himself as the new Emperor, Chow Man Wong, once a loyal minister of the Shang Dynasty. Aided by many generals and talented people, this is also a story how these very same ordinary folks became extra ordinary and the journey in earning their ways towards becoming Gods. We will get to see how Na Zha was born, killed, reborn and became an immortal with super powers as well as his volatile relationship with his uncaring father, his devotion for his loving mother and how he controlled his temper and became a god. We will also see the future Yu Long San, the three eyed god, Yeung Jin, how he loved and married, parted and reunited with his loved ones. We will see Lui Jan Tzi, the future Thunder God and how he became a General in the Zhao army. And we will see the struggles and the hardships, the many lives lost and many lives killed, the frustration and the triumph of the rebels overthrowing the woman who created the havoc in the Kingdom and established a just and peaceful dynasty.
Simply put and by looking at the bigger picture, this is a series about ...
Good vs Evil.
I find it interesting that when someone watches a series, they expect A to be with B and C to be with D. Most of TVB series would be like that. But this present series is not written by Qiong Yau. You won't see kisses, hugs, dramatic or even fruitful love affairs. You would already know the story would end up not that way you would wished it to be, if you're those that wants A to be with B. The hint? With Na Zha as the title character, what would you expect? Rolling on the mud in the rain, screaming I love you whilst the girl ran to him slow mo and they live happily ever after? So it is my sincere recommendation, before I give my verdict and before you rent this series, bear in mind a few important caution;
-pretend you have never read the book
-pretend you're ignorant about myths and legends of Gods and did not even look at my Character Intros
-do not expect a Qiong Yau ending
-ignore the stories your grandma or mother told you (includes all related or non related close elderly and respected people who like to talk about Na Zha)
-and most important of all, ignore the fact that TVB's Journey To the West exists.
That way, you could stomach the 20 tapes in one gulp and will not have a migraine the size of Alaska trying to answer that dreaded question...
Just remember, and this is my verdict which I shall explain in full technicolour below;
TVB SCREW UP BIG TIME WITH THIS ONE!!
SPOILERS BEGIN....SPOILERS BEGIN
The Plot Revealed
If you have read my Character Intros, you would have already know half the series' storyline. I am sure the book comes in volumes but this series' plot could be summarized (which I did) as below:-
Once upon a time, a long long time ago, in a country not too far from Malaysia, in a time period where Gods were yet to be deified, Buddha have yet to walk the Earth, Kuan Yin have yet to be born, and Funn Lim was probably still an amoeba, in a Dynasty known as the Great Shang Dynasty, there once lived an old King who had a no good son, Zhao as his successor. This old King was dying, and he was afraid that he will lose his dynasty. Therefore, he trusted his most loyal generals, one of them was the famous and fiercely loyal Lei Jing, a man that looks like he is starving but he is not to look after his son. As a minister, this man was loyal, going through lengths for the old King, as a husband this man was strict but nevertheless he loved his wife, Yan Sap Leong very much, as a son he was filial and respectful to his old mother and as a general, this man was all about bravery and gutso. Together with his loyal and loving wife, Sap Leong and his loyal assistants, the 4 Mo Family Generals, won many wars. Whilst he was the brute force and the military might, his wife was the real brains behind all the strategies. She has never left his side, not even when she was heavily pregnant. They went to wars together, and their love were limitless.
Yan Sap Leong had a peculiar condition. She was pregnant, and she had been pregnant for 3 and a half years and still the baby won't come out. She was already blessed with two young sons, the eldest Kam Zha and the youngest, Muk Zha. Now they will have a third child whom they have decided will be named Na Zha.
But this Na Zha had a peculiar story of his own. Before he was the baby in the womb of Yan Sap Leong, he was the Keepers of the Deers. One fine day, Lei Jing came riding in his horse and headed towards the place where this young Keeper was taking care. He was summoned by the ailing King to kill a deer. Naturally, the Keeper gave a huge fight but the Keeper was of no match. In an attempt to save his beloved deers, the young novice keeper who had a foul temper turned himself into a deer and Lei Jing, not knowing anything, shot his arrow and so the life of the young keeper ended abruptly.
Much later, much to the chagrin of both the keeper and Lei Jing, this keeper was destined to be his son, Na Zha. And that moment came in the middle of a battle. Yan Sap Leong was rushed into the tent, Lei Jing was told to go back to lead the men together with the 4 Mo Generals. She finally gave birth after such a long gestation period and the thing that came out was not a baby but was her very much bouncing placenta which looked like a ball. The little ball immediately bonded with Sap Leong and when the father came in, he immediately attempted to kill his own son, thinking it was a devil. The sword pierced the ball and out came a little boy who certainly didn't look his age. The boy knew how to talk and walk, was rude and very naughty. But nothing could prepare Lei Jing for what happened afterwards. Na Zha remembered Lei Jing was the one who killed him when he was a deer keeper and both detested each other. Yan Sap Leong was caught in the middle and tried to patch them up.
When Na Zha came home, he was greeted by a rather confused grandmother, 2 loving brothers and an aunt whose main function in the family was to pick on faults and insult everyone. Na Zha was undeterred and he caused so much havoc in the family, he was taken to a Taoist temple to live on his own, much to the dismay of Sap Leong. She went to visit him and found out that he was very afraid because the Taoists dressed up as ghosts to scare him in an attempt to control his naughtiness and his fierce temper. It didn't help that Na Zha was as stubborn as an ox. Sap Leong could do nothing but cry, because she was a very traditional woman and her husband was the head of the Lei family, not her. He was supposed to make the decisions and she was supposed to respect his decisions.
However, after much persuasion and after much loving care by Sap Leong, Na Zha became a good boy. Lei Jing gave him a 2nd chance chance, that he will be able to return home on the condition that on Lei Jing's birthday, Na Zha will bring a birthday cake all the way home, unescorted and unassisted within a specified. At that time, though Na Zha looked like a 7 year old, he could probably have been barely 3 years old. But Lei Jing sent his faithful assistant to secretly care for him. The boy did ran as fast as he could, but it was raining heavily. And suddenly, he stopped fell and his cake was gone. He almost turned back which was everybody's assumption but this boy did not give up. He ran to a nearby God Of Land/Earth and took the cakes there, ran back and then turned back to shelter the statue of the god from the heavy rain with his only coat and then he ran all the way back. When he reached home, Lei Jing had already accepted him back but the aunt, Auntie Ngai Seong made such a ruckus about the time is up and he must crawl to Lei Jing and kneel before him that Lei Jing did and said nothing. Na Zha was a pitiful sight then. He fell down, tried, hurt, wet and dirty, he slowly crawled to his stoned faced father whilst Sap Leong, his two brothers and everybody else there gave him words of encouragement. He could move no more, but Lei Jing lifted him up and declared Na Zha his son. The happiest person in that room that day was Yan Sap Leong because all she wanted was all her family, under one roof, safe and sound.
Na Zha proved to be a very intelligent boy who was smart, playful and his father loved him much more each day. He declared that when he grew up, he will be a general like his father and his old man was extremely proud of him. Life was bliss, up until Sap Leong was told by a fortune teller, that was the great Sai Bak Hao, Gok Cheung that Na Zha will face a difficult test and only flying tigers could save him. True enough, one night the old King dreamt that a boy who looks like Na Zha was travelling on two fire wheels killing his only son and this ending the Shang Dynasty. He summoned Lei Jing, gave him all kind of emotional threat and bribes that Lei jing must kill his own son. Lei Jing refused but on the King's death bed in front of all the ministers, he walked to the King who died and took the King's sword. He will serve his country and he will kill his son.
Sap Leong was frantically looking for Lei Jing, telling him what Sai Bak Hao said and then she looked at him and she knew; her husband will be the one who will cause Na Zha great danger. She tried all her might to stop him and begged him that they could abandon him in a Tiger Mountain, as she thought there must be some flying tigers there. And Lei Jing agreed. On the pretense that they would be going out hunting, Lei Jing dropped Na Zha at the foot of the mountain, and rode away with his two sons who was asking their mother why little brother is not coming home with them and a crying wife whose only wish at that time will be Na Zha to be safe and sound and that there will be a flying tiger.
Na Zha was only 3 years old.
Na Zha couldn't understand why they abandoned him and he couldn't understand how parents could do such inhuman act to their own child. As he walked deeper into the mountain's forest, he heard noises and he was almost in danger until he bumped into a an entourage of people and he was picked, cleaned and taken care off. That man who saved his life was General Wong Fei Foo, whose name meant Flying Tiger.
But this Wong Fei Foo was more interested in showing off this young prodigy who could blow fire than taking care of him. Na Zha ran away and he bumped into two people who will be his best of friends for eternity.
A boy with three eyes who was constantly hungry called himself Three Eyed Boy, and a boy who had wings and looked like a bird called himself Flying Boy. Na Zha at that time could no longer remember his name, was known as The Blowing Fire Boy or the Boy Who Could Blow Fire. Together, they took care of each other until one day they were trapped by the Mountain Devil who refused to let them go and enslaved them for the next 15 years or so, everyday they engaged in fights to escape the mountain devil but failed everytime, until one day they won. The Mountain Devil turned out to be a God and he said he was sent by Nui Wo, the woman who created the universe. Nui Wo told this God to trap them and train them and to prepare them for their career for eternity; as Generals, Commanders and Gods for the Heavenly Army. They will in time have a career with the Jade Emperor! All three were excited with the news and decided that the first thing to achieve God-dom is to do lots of charity and join an army regiment such as the famous Lei Jing army. And off they went, down the mountain and into the town, for the very first time in more than a decade, in ragged clothes, a curious mind and a burning ambition to make it as a Heavenly General. Who would know that to earn their way to God-dom, they will have to face grave dangers in life and they will be responsible, together with many other righteous men and women in the war between Good and Evil, equipped with the most magical weapons, many hardships, wonderous ordeals and heart breaking losses? Who would know that they would destroy Shang and create a new and just Dynasty?
Well, I KNOW and you will too if you read on. I mean I wish I could put a Midi into this review with drum rolls. It would have had that effect of suspense. The truth is..well, I'll elaborate this in my comments. Back to the p-lot!
Why? What?! Really?? How Come?!?! Oh, I Seeeee........but whyyyy?
This series is 20 tapes long but it has a lot of events in it. So I'll try to fill you in with all the aspects of this series, just try not to fall asleep. I know I could be very long winded. Inborn. Can't help it.
Till When Do Us Part?
At this time, Lei Jing was being given a second wife by the King in order to shut him up with marital bliss. The King could not fire him since he was loyal and yet he could no longer stand Lei Jing's incessant complaints about his irresponsible behaviour. And so he gave him a woman from a place called Ghost Town, or Gwai Fong and she was actually a beautiful fox devil in disguise named Lau Pei Pa. Lei Jing ignored her because he felt someone from a place famous for Black magic was not a decent person. Sap Leong tried to be nice and kind to this "sister" of hers. What Sap Leong didn't realise was Pei Pa was planning to replace Sap Leong in Lei Jing's heart. She first enticed Sap Leong to break the rules of no black magic in the house by telling Sap Leong that she could ask the ghosts to find her long lost son Na Zha and she did. Sap leong quickly ran away looking for Na Zha at the right place but instead of finding him with a happy reunion, they couldn't recognise each other and in fact became pseudo enemies. At the same time, Lei Jing was forced to go to war with those evil giants and without Sap Leong he felt jittery. He asked her to come back and sent Lau Pei Pa to deliver the message but Pei Pa didn't do that. She just said hi and bye. When she came home, she told Lei Jing a great big lie that Sap Leong didn't care to come home. And so Pei Pa replaced Sap Leong in her position as commander of the Lei army and Lei Jing was pressured by his ungrateful mother and spinster sister to divorce Sap Leong for this one act of abandonement. He didn't until he couldn't stand it anymore and agreed. Sap Leong at this time was still busy looking for her long lost son.
A Road And A Will
At the meantime, our 3 heroes left the mountain and planned to join Lei Jing's army, on the road they met some very interesting characters whose fate will intertwine with them in the future.
For one, Na Zha bumped into his won mother but both didn't recognise each other, until one big fight later, Sap Leong saw his wrist band and his red underclothing that could protect him from harm. She instantly recognised that he was Na Zha because when she abandoned him, he had the same items. More so this boy claimed he didn't have any parents at all. But seeing how much he hated his parents for abandoning him and what a foul temper he had, she couldn't reveal the truth, and so she lied that she ordered by Nui Wo to teach the how to read and learn magic. Na Zha became closer to this woman who he thought to be a woman who practiced black magic, until the fire incident which changed his opinion.
Before the above, Na Zha and friends was walking on the road, causing quite a big mayhem when Sap Leong didn't know Na Zha was Na Zha and they broke into a fight, Sai Bak Hao was walking past one day and saw the 3 of them. He couldn't recognise Na Zha but his fortune telling skills told him these 3 were destined to be great men and even great Gods. He personally went and searched for them and enrolled them in a school to learn about customs and manners. After all, they had no class nor manners since nobody taught them anyway. In class, they met many younger people, like them who didn't like all 3 of them at first. Three Eyed Boy was eating too much of their rice, in fact he ate non-stop, Flying Boy was always pestering them to teach him something more and Na Zha was arrogant and too wild. Only one girl liked them and that was a girl named Yeung Lin Fah, who immediately took a liking for both Na Zha and Three Eyed Boy. All thought she was in love with Three Eyed Boy until she revealed that she once heard from her father that she had a older half brother who had 3 eyes, ate a lot and was abandoned in a mountain. One thing led to another, Three Eyed bOy finally found his real father and Lin Fah was his real half -sister. But 2nd wife of daddy who was his step mother and Lin Fah's real mother hated him. His father a businessman loved him and had to abandon him years before because he was considered a bad luck in the family. True enough, he made mistakes and aften caused his father severe migraine. Three Eyed Boy knew he wasn't exactly smart but decided he will be a filial son and so he decided to leave school, stop learning magic and help his father with his business. The truth was he was more like a kuli in that shop than the son of the taukeh. But he didn't care because his father loved him and he finally had a sense of belonging; he had a name and his name was Yeung Jin, which he proudly announced.
His sister however got into big time trouble which would cause Na Zha his life and set in motion Na Zha's fate. A dragon prince, third son of the Eastern Dragon King fell in love with Lin Fah at first glance. He pursued her relentlessly, reciting poems and even kissed her twice on her cheeks. Lin Fah was afraid of him and Na Zha took it upon himself to protect Lin Fah, and had many fights with the Dragon. At one time, dragon started a fire that destroyed his own father's temple, after Na Zha declared that he will not hesitate to burn down the temple if that dragon was still as persistent as he was. Na Zha wasn't there but his classmates were. Sap Leong who was there at that time thought Na Zha was in there and ran into the burning temple and saved everybody but herself. However, she was finally saved and everybody thought it was Na Zha who did it. He didn't but he said he did, because he was too hot headed and arrogant to see the consequences of saying yes. However, Sap Leong knew the dragon king for many years and secretly settled the matter with the king and the King thereafter did not pursue the matter. Na Zha declared the dragons were simply cowards.
One good thing that came out of this incident though. Na Zha had a new found respect for Sap Leong after she saved many of his classmates and from thereon, Sap Leong became his mentor and teacher as well as mother, secretly.
Later on, Sap Leong found out that Lei Jing had an important mission, that was to steal 3 sacred arrows from a cave guarded by two really mean phoenixes. Sap Leong immediately rushed back to help and found out that he already divorced her, but she barged into the Lei household, and regained her position, t5hough at this point of time, Pei Pa had already won over the hearts of the Lei family, even Kam Zha and Muk Zha blamed the mother for deserting them. And so Sap Leong stayed on and at the same time, worried about Na Zha, who by that time has already arrived at the capital to seek his fortune, with the dragon following Lin Fah. Lin Fah followed Na Zha because she needed his protection and because she loved him. Yeung Jin stayed on and became a businessman.
Once in the capital, Lei Jing was busy testing the 3 arrows that will kill anybody who is disloyal to the King or who is not a brave man with honour or one who is not filial. Sap Leong who knew Na Zha was in town was afraid if one of the arrows will get Na Zha, one such as the filial arrow and so she rushed to him. She tried to stop the arrows but again and again, the arrows attacked Na Zha, hurting him but he survived. Na Zha became very angry and swore to find the culprit who wanted to kill him. He found out it was General Lei Jing. But there the arrow came again, all targeted only Na Zha and suddenly, the Honour arrow stopped attacking him and defended him from the two other arrows instead. The two other arrows flew back to Lei Jing defeated and the Honour Arrow turned into a magical and powerful spear and became Na Zha's loyal weapon, because the spear could feel that Na Zha will be an honourable man doing great honourable things in future. But Na Zha wanted to find Lei Jing and Sap Leong finally revealed the truth and father and son met each other, angry with one another. Na Zha wanted to win his father in all battles and Sap Leong had no choice but to bring him before the King and the King, seeing how great Na Zha's magic was, made him a General to kill the giant which defeated Lei Jing earlier. Because of this, Lei Jing and Sap Leong separated and divorce was inevitable.
However, without his mother, Na Zha would have been dead a thousand times. As a general, he was rash and uninspiring. As a fighter, he wad too arrogant. And as a son, he was rude and extremely unforgiving towards hi own mother, even Lin Fah couldn't stand his unfair treatment to his own mother. Time and time again, he refused to listen to Sap Leong, and time and time again, he almost sacrificed thousands of his men's lives, and yet this stubborn no good ungrateful S.O.B still behaved like he was number one in everything. The truth was, except for protecting Lin Fah voluntarily, he was a loser in everything else. And the worst of all, there was drought around the army camp and they were losing the war against the giant. And who would be the one throwing tantrums? Well, our 18 year old General of course. The one who was a born loser. Lin Fah seeing how desperate things were made a pact with the dragon prince, that she will marry him if he made rain. He did and Na Zha won the war. Lin Fah didn't want to marry the prince and almost hanged herself when Sap Leong stopped her and helped her to tricked the prince into giving up the idea of marrying her. He finally gave up and Lin Fah went home happy. But Na Zha didn't know and when he knew, it was the end of his life.
Life For Life
I can't remember how Na Zha found out about the almost wedding but when he did, he was mad and blamed it all on Sap Leong. It didn't help much when Lin Fah just shook her head when he asked her what happened and kept saying, "I don't know! Go ask Madam Yan! I don't know!!". And his temper was increasingly unreasonable.
One day, he was having lunch at a local restaurant when he saw the dragon prince, in human disguise having lunch as well. Let us all be reminded that the prince by that time had already gave up Lin Fah, that he actually loved her, that all he did to her was reciting poems and was rather affectionate to her, and that as a dragon, though he was a romantic dragon he never ever hurt any innocent soul. Na Zha picked a fight with him though the Dragon tried to stay calm. When he couldn't a fight broke up and Sap Leong and Lin Fah rushed to the battleground. By that time, Na Zha had won, and he had pulled the dragon's spine from the dragon's back and the dragon fell onto the ground, looking gravely wounded. Na Zha and Flying Boy went away. Flying Boy was worried about the dragon but Na Zha, in his boastful arrogance and ignorant mind, claimed that he just pulled the spine, the dragon will be ok..after all, a dragon was supposed to be immortal, a deity and so the prince will be alright, and our Na Zha and his loyal friend went away for a long holiday.
At the meantime, Sap Leong rushed to the dying prince and begged the prince to stay alive. Because if the prince died, there will be lots of trouble. What Na Zha didn't know as the dragon spine was like their life source. Pull it out and there goes their lives. Sap Leong felt extremely guilty over what Na Zha did and she blamed herself; that she never fulfilled her duty as a mother to teach him goodness, that the prince who probably lived through thousands of lifetimes doing good deeds to become a dragon prince whose life now was nearing the end because of her son. The dragon King arrived and the situation was unforgivable for Na Zha. The prince died looking at Lin Fah, loving her and hugging his own father.
What happened for the next few months whilst Na Zha was busy sightseeing was tragic. Dragon King was so distraught with his son's death, the weather which was controlled by the dragons was in chaos. Flood was everywhere or drought and people died in the thousands. Na Zha came back and was captured by Lei Jing using the pagoda which Pei Pa took from Ghost Town, together with Flying Boy but he was unafraid because felt he was the person who was right in killing the Prince and because he thought the King would protect him. After all, he won the battle against the giant. When the King came back from a holiday, Pei Pa too this opportunity to destroy Na Zha and kick out Sap Leong. The decision to kill Na Zha was in the King's hands. Most loyal ministers supported Sap Leong, including the Empress to spare Na Zha's life and punish him with imprisonment. But one man said Na Zha should be killed and that was Lei Jing himself.
Na Zha who escaped (I can't remember when but I think Sap Leong saved him) thought for a very long time about what Sap Leong said to him; that his life belonged to his parents and suggested one method which he used to return his life to his parents. Out of his own sheer arrogance and refusal to admit he was wrong, he'd rather "return his bones to his father and his flesh to his mother". When Lin Fah found him the next morning, he was already reduced to flesh and bones in a box. How he managed to kill himself that way and put his bones into the box without Lin Fah knowing who by the way was sleeping next to him, I think that will always be an X-Files. On the other end of the spectrum, Sap Leong was busy begging Nui Wo for help.
Hope For Sale
At the meantime, Yeung Jin's father was nagged to death by his step mother about Yeung Jin. He was thereafter kicked out of the house and he wandered alone, until he met Wong Gan who gave him a job as a kitchen helper. Wong Fei Foo, Wong Gan's father liked Yeung Jin's honesty and looked highly upon him, as a helper. The relationship between Yeung Jin and Wong Gan became closer when Wong Gan told him that she saw a boy, who was soaking wet, looking rather pitiful , always next to Yeung Jin. That boy was actually Na Zha's lost soul. Because of this incident, Yeung Jin met Sap Leong and his sister again and together with Wong Gan and her mother, they tried to persuade a Wan Jung Tzi to help regain Na Zha's soul. Wan Jung Tzi claimed that Na Zha must be worshiped by incense from ordinary folks for 3 years before he could be human again. The trouble was persuading Na Zha to get into a golden statue and stay put. Whenever Sap Leong appeared, he disappeared. That was how much he hated her. But she and everybody else was still hopeful and one night, voluntarily Na Zha flew into the statue.
3 YEARS LATER, Na Zha became a good boy again and his temper was controlled. His relationship with his mother became extremely close. Yeung Jin at the meantime, realised he fell for Wong Gan but Wong Fei Foo objected to their relationship, for class reasons. Wong Gan finally made a decision that will change her life forever. Her father made her choose and choose she did. She'd rather break off her relationship as father and daughter with her father than to leave Yeung Jin. And so she stopped being Miss Wond and lived with Yeung Jin, in poverty. However, much later, Yeung Jin finally married her and she became Mrs Yeung. Though they were poor, they were happily poor.
Why does the sun goes on shining? Why does the sea rush to shore? Don't they know, it's the end of the world, it ended when Nui Wo cursed the landdddd....
Now comes the pivotal moment of this series, in my opinion.
Ahhhh...yes and sadly very true. You see, in this series, we have this guy, who happens to be a King, who likes to run around looking for beautiful women, who likes to eat meat from tortured animals (whipped to death, supposedly meat more tender), who likes to hang meat in the garden on the trees like fruits and who likes to swim in pools filled with wine. Let us ignore that all he did was run around chasing this women, making them drink and these women would entice him by dressing as sea through as possible and running away from the King, hoping to be caught. Let us not wonder, why don't TVB just make these people more wanton, more disgusting by having the King rip off clothes or actually make the women kiss him. Just assume all this king wanted was a marathon and not the physical act. So why Nui Wo cursed him?
Simple. this King walked to her statue on fine day, found that Nui Wo was rather beautiful and said something supposedly offensive which we never got to hear. Nui Wo shook her head in dismay and cast a curse into the Shang land, what curse I really do not know. And from thereon, our Shang has a whole new load of problems and that was the beginning of an end.
One day, the King was passing by a desert when he saw a mirage in there was two extremely beautiful women, playing on the beach. He was instantly lusting after them, and Pei Pa volunteered to look for these two woman, which led them to where Na Zha's temple was. And that was when tragedy occurred for both the dynasty and poor Na Zha.
The Awakening Story leading to When Dreams Come True
Passing by one day, Lei Jing and Pei Pa overheard that there was a famous Na Zha temple. Lei Jing said nothing but secretly visited the temple and had a heart to heart cordial talk with Sap Leong. He was happy Na Zha became a good boy. But unbeknownst to Lei Jing, Pei Pa who was wrecked with jealousy and her need to possess the man all for herself, went and destroyed Na Zha's golden statue. Na Zha's soul was released and he was so angry he had a fight with Pei Pa. Lei Jing came, misunderstood the whole situation and was responsible for almost killing Na Zha, for the 3rd time. His soul disappeared but luckily, there was Wan Jung Tzi who saved Na Zha's soul and transported him into a lotus seed. When the lotus seed grew into a lotus root, then Na Zha will become human again, with a lotus root as his body.
He had to wait and during these time, he learnt to be patient. But he was never alone as there was a butterfly who always flutter around him, keeping him company. That butterfly, which I shall reveal here but you won't know until about half a series later, was Lin Fah. She made a pact with Wan Jung Tzi that if he was willing to help Na Zha, she will become his slave and serve him for 3 years, during which time she could be a butterfly and follow Na Zha around. Wan Jung Tzi lied to Sap Leong and Na Zha and claimed that Nui Wo was the one who made Wan Jung Tzi help Na Zha and she liked Lin Fah so much, Lin Fah followed Nui Wo to learn magic for 3 years.
They all believed his story.
Some more time later, Na Zha's lotus seed became a lotus flower and thus, he was given the body of a lotus root but his head is still intact. His flesh may look human but his movements were rather restricted and therefore stiff. He could no longer fight because he lost all his magical powers as punishment and he had to do enough good deeds to have human flesh again. Sap Leong being desperate, took him to a man who was famous for reasons I do not know why named Keong Tzi Hga, who seemd preoccupied with fishing with a straight hook. His wife left him and Na Zha was made to wait for the fish to bite the hook without a bait. Naturally, Na Zha was a bit frustrated but Sap Leong kept him in check. Patience was certainly a virtue then. It seems that Keong Tzi Nga had been fishing for 60 years, rejecting offers of high official posts because he wanted a bigger fish.
One day, the fish arrived.
Keong Tzi Nga was still fishing when Sap Leong saw Sai Bak Hao running after 12 white rabbits calling them "son..son". They greeted each other and Sai Bak Hao told what had happened and voiced his confusion as to what to do. Keong Tzi Nga stopped fishing and said; "Why fight for a dynasty that is tyrannical and doomed? Why don't you form a dynasty of your own?" And Sai Bak Hao thought for the shortest of time, yes shortest, and then he questioned, why not? And Keong proclaimed himself to be a loyal servant to Sai Bak Hao and at last, after 60 years of fishing, the fish finally bit the straight hook. Keong Tzi Nga who always said; "Wait until I catch a fish....the fishes will bite the bait if they're willing".
Sai Bak Hao was renamed Chow Man Wong and he established a Zhou Dynasty, with Keong Tzi Nga as his Prime Minister and Na Zha and gang as his loyal servants. The battle that created Gods will begin.
Game Of Deceit
How Na Zha got his flesh back was rather interesting.
Remember Flying Boy? He was trapped in the pagoda years before? He was released after Na Zha escaped and became Sai Bak Hao's 100th adopted son and was renamed, Lui Jan Tzi. And remember Yeung Jin? His mom in law, in a effort to make her husband accept this dumb son in law, suggested he join the regime of So Wo, one of the 4 Heavenly Sky Kings in this series. He didn't want to at first, but when he saw his wife, formerly a rich man's daughter who never had to cook nor sew now had to cook, find food, and sew to make a living, it broke his heart. He felt he needed to do something to make her proud of him, to make a name for himself at least as a commander of an army and return home, full with glory and to show to his father in law, "Here I am, take it or leave it!". And so he traveled to a distant land. What he didn't know nor he couldn't hear was Wong Gan found out she was pregnant on the day he left. That one separation will be for years. And when he arrived at the destination, he met Na Zha, Sap Leong and Flying Boy, and was reunited again. At that time, So Wo had wanted to start a war with Shang King but instead joined Chow Man Wong. All 3 soldiers were small time army men then, where Yeung Jin met a greedy general, Tang Sin Yoke and her equally devious assistant, Dou Hang Shuen. They found out that So Wo had predicted, as was indicated by the Book of Fate that there will be a great general in the So Wo army, someone who was illiterate, with a huge appetite and had 3 eyes. Everybody knew who and Tang Sin Yoke created a lie that made Yeung Jin cover his 3rd eye. But as fate had it, So Wo met Na Zha and gang and he told Keong Tzi Nga of this mysterious man. They all immediately replied, Yeung Jin. And thus Yeung Jin was promoted to the ranks of General and Tang Sin Yoke, Dou Hang Shuen ran back to their master, a Sang Kung Pao and went to Keong Tzi Nga for the humiliation and the defeat they suffered at the hands of Yeung Jin.
Now this Sang Kung Pao was a very intriguing character. He lost and yet he couldn't admit defeat because of his pride. He was actually Keong Tzi Nga's "brother" from the same sifu. Everybody was worried about his presence but Keong Tzi Nga embraced his presence and told the three guys, "Now there's someone here to provide you with weapons."
War is quite peculiar in this series. And so was a duel. They don't engage in all out fight, but each side will come to an agreement and they'll send one man at one time to fight a war of magic.But it was more of a battle of wits. At the end of the day, Yeung Jin got his weapon that looked liek a cross between a sabre, a spear and a ferocious dog with an attitude named Hau Tin Huen, Lui Jan Tzi got his thunder making weapon which consists of a big hammer and a big nail for the hammer to hit and Na Zha got his human flesh back and two phoenixes that can transformed themselves into fire wheels, taking the person on top of the wheels for miles and miles in just a few seconds. All became General, though Na Zha was of a slightly higher rank. And so all were equipped, and it was time for war with the useless King, but Keong Tzi Nga made them wait. They were ordered to plant potatoes, and was told that " When it is time for harvest, it is the time for war". Surprisingly, Na Zha didn't make a noise and plant away. Finally, our Na Zha has grown up. At the meantime, life was difficult for Lei Jing with his constantly naggy wife, Lau Pei Pa who by that time had dominated the Lei household. Lei Jin from a big hero became a small man who had not gone to war for years. Everybody was fearful of Pei Pa. But Sap Leong kept going back when the husband asked her for help and every time, she returned home humiliated by Pei Pa and disappointed with Lei Jing. She didn't even make a sound when her two sons were bullied by that despicable step mother. But Pei Pa knew she was at a losing end, as was said by her fod devil sister, the 9 Tailed Fox Devil. Pei Pa, like all non-human entity, the devils could never bear any children. And to bind a man, you must have children. And so she asked this sister of hers to blow some devil breath into her stomach to look pregnant and everybody believed her, except Na Zha who saw Pei Pa chatting happily with a fox devil. He was actually on an important mission to kill a certain person, his very first mission but he stupidly gave this sword to Lei Jing, that was given by Wan Jung Tzi, a man famous for killing devils, a sword that can force a devil out of disguise and turn them into a pool of blood. That night, Lei Jing was told that Pei Pa was pregnant, and he destroyed the sword before Na Zha's eyes and Na Zha stormed out. Keong Tzi Nga was very disappointed with Na Zha but decided to let it be, since Na Zha did everything for the good of his family. This one botched attempt of assassination caused more suffering to the common people.
Because Na Zha was supposed to kill the King's favourite concubine, the evil manipulative and cunning So Than Gei.
Demi Gods And Semi Devils
Remember the King saw a mirage with two young pretty girls? They turned out to be So Than Gei and So Ying Heung, both daughters of So Wo. So Than Gei had a peculiar life. On the day she was born, devil foxes around the region came to her birth place and offered gifts. Later Sai Bak Hao predicted that she will be the one cause that will end Shang Dynasty. The father was fearful that such would happen, since he was loyal to the dynasty then, and so he prohibited his daughter, Than Gei from learning how to read or write, did not ever let her go out of the house, never thought her anything at all and she grew up knowing very little what was happening out there. But she was born with a curious mind and she was born intelligent. She could learn things fast and she often questions the orthodox beliefs. When one day she sneaked out with her sister to a temple, she saw the pillar with the carvings of a dragon above a phoenix. She asked the man there "Why is the dragon above the phoenix"? The reply was, "Of course the dragon is above. How can a man not be above a woman? He is the head of state and he is the head of the family, therefore a more superior gender." But Than Gei refused to accept that answer and this is a pivotal point in the series. She told herself, a Phoenix can be above a dragon and at that moment, you had to admire her determination and her committed view of the unorthodox view.
As I have said, she learned things fast. When Bak Yap Hao, the son of Sai Bak Hao thought her how to play the Chinese piano, she learned it all by listening once and she had the admiration of Sai Bak Hao, who by the way was a perfect gentleman.
But one days, news came that the King wanted both of So Wo's daughters and was willing to start a war just to lay his hands on them. So Wo agreed to a war but the two daughters, especially Than Gei persuaded the father to let them be concubines, because she believed they could be good influence to the King, that they could change the King to a better and more concerned Emperor. When they left their hometown for the capital, they left with good and noble intentions. But once they arrived, Than Gei would become their worst nightmare.
Nobody approved of Than Gei because of what Sai Bak Hao said. She was still young and still innocent and she didn't understand why they disliked her. The King almost slept with her even with the protests outside his room but on much thought, he felt afraid that what is Sai Bak Hao was correct? And so he rejected Than Gei, reduced her rank and stripped her of al privileges. Instead, Ying Heung became the King's favourite.
Times past and there was no sign of Ying Heung visiting her. And by this time, Than Gei always say this red headed woman smiling at her. That woman was 9 Tailed Fox Devil. Than Gei was given a dog as a gift by the kind hearted Empress, and things though were lonely but was tolerable. But there was a devious Consubine Yang who insulted her and even a maid would not hesitate to kill Than Gei's dog and cook the dog meat. Out of anger, Than Gei fought with this maid and the maid accidentaly fell and hit her head. She died. She didn't know what to do and then Bak Yap Hao saw her, and what he did next was perplexing. He helped her to throw the body into a well, maybe because he pitied her. He promised he will take her away, but he never came. Instead, the Empress came and Than Gei was thrown into the cold palace to suffer. One piece of advise from the 9 Tailed Fox Devil, that she had to help herself, Than Gei who refused to live such a life anymore screamed at all the unwanted former wives of the Kings and cruelly slapped them. And a plan was devised for her to win the heart of the lusty King. She appeared when he needed a woman the most and they ended up having their first night as husband and wife in front of Nui Wo in a Nui Wo temple. Everybody had no choice but to shut up when she became a bona fide concubine.
But what was worst has yet to come.
The King was lazy and when Than Gei volunteered to take over the administration of the country, he was only too glad. She began to run the country independently and she had her own circle of trusted men. She was devious but was yet to be cruel, until her number one enemies, Sai Bak Hao returned and criticised her, implying she was a bad influence on the King and that she was, if I have heard correctly, beneath the King. She immediately threw tantrums and the King agreed to her form of punishment, even when they both knew Sai Bak Hao was a very respected sage. His punishment was awful. A pillar made of steel by the previous King to commemorate loyal ministers were heat up under a huge fire and Sai Bak Hao was stripped and pressed against the heated steel repeatedly. Pai Pa said nothing but Lei Jing beg for leniency. She refused until the Heaven rained and she proclaimed the Heavens has mercy on the wrong doers and so she will give him such mercy.
Bak Yap Hao immediately came back with gifts to please the King, even when his father told Ying Heung to stop him from coming back. Than Gei who was secretly in lust with Yap Hao tried to seduce him but he refused, again and again. And so Than Gei made a devious plan to avenge for her jilted loins..I mean heart. She had someone killed Yap Hao and reduced him into minced meat. And since everybody was demanding for Sai Bak Hao's release, she suggested to the King that if he was such a great fortune teller, and that he was right about Than Gei, he could perhaps predicted his son's death? And so, they will make Yap Hao's minced meat into 12 meatballs, and if Sai Bak Hao eats the meatballs, he will be released and retuned home, since he must have been a hoax. If he didn't, they will kill him. At that time, Sai Bak Hao already knew what had happened to his beloved eldest son and he was torn between eating and not eating. He wanted to kill himself but decided he shall live to avenge his son's death. The next morning in front of the minsters and the King in the imperial court, he slowly ate the 12 meatballs, smiling happily. Than Gei laughed and thought she was smarter...Sai Bak Hao was allowed home, but then they found a letter written by Yap Hao before his death in the father's cell, and she knew she was tricked. She sent assassins to kill Sai Bak Hao but luckily, a mysterious figure rescued Sai Bak Hao. He turned out to be Lei Jing and Lei Jing personally escorted Sai Bak Hao home, which is 2 days journey by the way. Once he returned home, Sai Bak Hao vomited 12 white rabbits and that was when he met Keong Tzi Nga and became Chow Man Wong.
The curious thing was Than Gei was a nice sweet idealistic girl at first. She know became a killing machine. She certainly would not agree with death by lethal injection. No. She was those type that would insist a death by chopping the head off, and she will make the executioner miss the head a few times, hitting somewhere else, to prolong their sufferings.
The King was still busy enjoying himself, never realising his end was coming. And every day, the death count arises and yet, Than Gei felt no remorse, she even thought she would usurp the throne in later years and that she will be a better King than that useless King.
Than Gei was now a full fledged devil, equipped with a tail.
The Tough Side Of A Lady
At the meantime, back to Wong Gan and her pregnancy. After much hardship, which included begging her stubborn father to reveal the whereabouts of Yeung Jin, starvation and extreme poverty, she gave birth to a son whom she named Yeung Lim Long, which meant Remembering Husband. She was told by Yeung Jin that he would be back in 3 years time. She wrote him letters which he never replied, which was funny because she knew he was illiterate. So she wrote on a piece of cloth and release the cloth high up in a mountain, so that the wind will blow the cloth to Yeung Jin. It almost did, ONCE. This one separation will take them 8 years of constant worry and strong faith in each other's love for one another, before they can ever reunite.
Secret Of The Heart
At the same time, our Na Zha met Lin Fah again but never knew that she was the butterfly that have been following him around for 3 years. 3 years have changed Lin Fah from a girlish girl into a quiet, unassuming and mature woman, whose love for Na Zha never waver, though he was still very blur about all these love-dovey stuff.
Problems were brewing in the Na Zha army. Lin Fah loved him, but it was a secret. Sap Leong was constantly asked for help by her husband and it was a secret, though Na Zha knew she borrowed his Fire Wheels and flew home to help his heartless father. What Na Zha didn't know was, Sap Leong was constantly humiliated by the Lei family, especially Pei Pa, who did all she could to make Sap Leong never to return. The husband did nothing though he did feel a bit awful. Sap Leong didn't mind the slaps and insults, what she couldn't bear was seeing her two sons being bullied and she could do nothing. She often blamed herself that she must have loved Na Zha more and neglected her two other sons, because she had left for a very long time. But she never gave up home for any reconciliation with her husband. That moment will not come until much much later. She was keeping secrets from Na Zha, and the one secret she kept from him was the fact that she fell for Pei Pa's evil scheme and Sap Leong was actually bitten by a fox, thus her whole body now had fox poison and she had only months to live. There was no cure, and nobody knew. Lin Fah knew but she didn't know the extent of Sap Leong's injury.
Some people kill other people with no reasons at all, often doing it in the open, never having any guilt. That was So Than Gei. She didn't like one person, she made sure that person suffered before they died. She created ways to prolong the pain and though death was inevitable, she made sure that person would suffer before death took the pain away.
Lau Pei Pa would be the opposite. She still kill but she loved to use people's kindness to kill someone. She did that with Sap Leong, she did that with Wan Jung Tzi and she tried that on the person with the kindest heart of all, Yeung Jin and Tan Sin Yoke was almost killed, but Yeung Jin was not the old stupid Yeung Jin. this all new Yeung Jin had a dog to assist him, a weapon that could kill in one swing and his third eyes, apart from seeing the future and shooting out laser beams, his 3rd eye could see devils in disguise. Again and again Lau Pei Pa escaped. And when she lost, and feared that she was losing power in the imperial court, the one who suffered was Lei Jing and family.
The funny thing was, everybody knew everybody was no angel.
Lei Jing knew Pei Pa lied about her pregnancy, but why he condone her actiosna nd stopped Na Zha from killing her, a devil in disguise? The answer will be given much later because it is not important to know.
The important thing is that the stupid king knew that Than Gei was no angel. Perhaps he didn't realise the full extent of her evil mind. He ordered for the only loyal uncle to cut his 7 Noble Sacred Heart out so that Than Gei could eat it to be cured of black magic. She was only pretending and he believed her. Bei Gon cut his heart out because he knew the King's order he must listen and he knew that the king could not be cured. When he cut his heart out, and walked away tearfully, the King almost looked apologetic. When his own wife, a woman of high impeccable integrity, loved and respected by the citizens who gave him two sons, who asked Wan Jung Tzi for help and was accused of abetting in a failed assassination plot against the stupid king and was subsequently tortured and imprisoned in the cold palace, and the Empress blinded herself to maintain her innocence, he finally realised that Than Gei was up to no good. He may have been a bad King and a bad husband but he knew his wife was a good woman and a good wife. He almost kicked Than Gei out of his life and then he became afraid in how to handle certain matters and asked Than Gei for advice. In the end, the empress died in the cold palace and the two princes' were almost killed if not for Lei Jing and Sap Leong. And of course, then we saw the pettiness of this King. He wanted to change for the better, and yet when he went out to the common people's land, trying to see what was happening out there, our Than Gei posed a question why an old man walks faster than his young son, whether a fetus' head is up or down in a woman's stomach, he immediately ordered for the father and son's legs to be chopped off to see why and that poor pregnant lady had her stomach cut open to see the position of the baby.
Some people just never change and therefore are incurable in every sense. In the end, the King suffered a fate that nobody would care to shed a tear for him. He was drowned in his pool of wine, thanks to Than Gei who now fully usurped the King's power and became a King herself. Finally, the phoenix was above the dragon, but frankly, for how long?
Face To Face
The war continued and the fate of Shang was a grim one. Thou Sai Bak Hao died of old age, his second son took over the throne and continued the war to fulfill the father's dream. Maids and eunuchs abandoned the palace and in the end, Than Gei was left with only Ying Heung by her side, and about 10,000 of soldiers who, strangely was willing to die for her. Ying Heung begged Than Geo to let them go, to surrender. When Keong Tzi Nga and gang was barging into the abandoned palace, she sat on the throne, not uttering a word, not crying a tear. She was expressionless but in her mind, she saw her past. She saw Bak Yap Hao, and her happier times with Ying Heung, how she met the King and finally, it all came to this final moment. She signed the decree to surrender and she finally admitted defeat. The Phoenix must go and a new dragon was set to replace her. Shang was out and Western Zhou was in.
As Sure As Fate
Would it be surprising at all that Than Gei was to die? She didn't suffer. She was about to be beheaded but the executioner couldn't do it, because she cast a spell on him with her seductive eyes. And so Keong Tzi Nga himself beheaded her. Not one word was uttered from Than Gei before she died. Her sister cried, looking at her headless body that turned into a headless fox. Everybody rejoice, and it was nearing the end.
Road To Eternity towards the State Of Divinity
Keong Tzi Nga declared it was time for all to fly to heaven and to receive their well deserved promotion into the ranks of God. He read from a decree, thus the title Fong San Bong and gave each of the men their promotion. Lei Jing became the Pagoda-Holding God, Yeung Jin became Yu Long God and even his dog had a title, Lui Jan Tzi became the Thunder God, Na Zha became the third prince commanding the heaven army in the ever battle against the devils and demons. Yeung Jin, before the promotion reunited with his wife and child. And so everybody was happy.
Happy Ever After
Decades have passed. Yeung Jin and wife were now an old happy couple blessed with grandchildren. years before they begged Nui Wo to allow Yeung Jin to live his life fully as a mortal and after his death, he will join Na Zha and gang in the Heavens. Na Zha and his father was closer than ever and then we could see Sap Leong, who was now the Nanny to all children on Earth talking to Na Zha and his father, being the typical mother that she was before her death. As Na Zha flew away to kill demons, he saw a butterfly fluttering around him, but he didn't look back. That butterfly was Lin Fah and she wished him well in the upcoming battle. And off they flew, to fulfill their duties as Godly Generals in the Heavens.
How Come This & How Can That....
All possible questions revealed and my theories as well. If you have any additional questions or answers, feel free to E-Mail me.
How come Lin Fah and Na Zha didn't get to be together at last?
Somewhere before the series ended, the evil Than Gei commanded that her evil demons to change the weather in the Kingdom and it was cold, Lin Fah was getting worse and worse each day. Na Zha had no choice but to fly her out of the snow and into a war place, in an abandoned temple. He repeatedly told her not to leave the Sacred Circle that will protect her from all harm no matter what she saw and what she heard. Then he left. Moments later, ala Journey To The West, Lin Fah saw a fake Na Zha dying before her, uttering "I Love You". She quickly crawled out of the circle and that Na Zha became Lau Pei Pa but luckily the real Na Zha came and saved the day. But he was very angry with Lin Fah for disobeying his order and sent her back to Kei Chow, escorted by Tou Hang Shuen. Halfway there, they saw a wounded phoenix who was one of the fire wheels of Na Zha and each separated to find a cure for the wound. When Tou Hang Shuen came back, the phoenix was well again and Lin Fah was nowhere to be seen. Then we saw the ending and Lin Fah said to Na Zha "Good luck" but Na Zha didn't see her.
My question is, why she disappeared without a trace and why Na Zha never bothered to look for her? Simple. TVB does not have enough episodes to squeeze all that into this series. And how come he seemed so cool when he saw the butterfly? Wouldn't he have guessed? My question is did he know Lin Fah was a butterfly before? If yes, heartless S.O.B and if no, well, how would he know that that butterfly is her?
Is Than Gei that intelligent and did she ever loved Bak Yap Hao?
She probably loved herself too much to love others. This is one woman who is incapable of love. Some telling scenes had her complaining about the stupid king, some scenes had her feeling so smug for winning wars but those were temporary and short victories. She thought she could a much better job that the King and she planned to usurp power. But yet all of her actions were only leading to one conclusion; hatred by the common people. She reasoned that which dynasty did not kill anyone to get to the top? TRUE. I agree, bloodshed is inevitable but her way of bloodshed is too juvenile to begin with. Let me list down all her dead points;
-she kills loyal and honest ministers when she should have tried to persuade them to her side by at least pretending to be a much capable and kinder king than that stupid king. One scene she said that she must be nice to these loyal ministers because she needs them.A nd yet the next, she goes torturing them for something they said that she knew is true. Yes, she is one woman who knows what they said are true but yet she refused to listen.
-she feels so smug about winning wars that she is the advocate of outright wars, never once considering nor consulting strategists. She employs useless evil entities that were demons and listens to that 9 Tails Fox Devil and later on, they listen to her. See the missing element here? She never once find a good intelligent strategist to help her with her quest and she depends on Sang Kung Pao to win wars. She should know Good always triumps over evil and yet she thought she won most of the time. And when she lost she couldn't believe it. She was far too arrogant and she believed too much in her own intelligence that she didn't know she was outsmart plenty of times.
-she used dirty tricks to win wars which I feel is effective but not honourable. But no war is honourable.
-she wants to be king and feels she could do a better job. So at last she kills even the king, and frankly he deserved to die. But she has created such havoc in the country, there was no way she could return the dynasty to the past glorious time. When she first tried to usurp the throne, and when she works day in and day out to run the country, didn't she at least for once thought that perhaps what she is doing now will be reflected on her when she takes the throne?
The truth is I feel this is one woman who thinks highly of herself, too highly. She may have been intelligent but she is intelligently stupid. So I really do not think she is intelligent at all with the way she handles things. Look at her past. She is one prime example that you may have been born intelligent, you may have been able to learn how to read and write in the shortest of time, but if you have not had a proper education, and if in the end you still refuse to listen to the advice of good people, you're still stupid, no mater how highly you think of yourself.
Why Nui Wo looks like Kuan Yin?
Maybe because we have the same woman playing Nui Wo who played Kuan Yin in JTTWII. Some once said that their dressing is so alike. True but not true. I didn't see a vase on her hand and I didn't see a lotus on her feet. Maybe I didn't pay attention. This one, you would have to ask TVB.
Why on Earth Nui Wo didn't kill that King herself?
Everything has a certain order to it. Nui Wo can't kill the king herself because that would be against the fixed order of things, and she would be interfering with the mortal's world. All she could do is to stand and watch. By the way she never sit and watch. In the book, she sent a fox disguised as Than Gei to cause the downfall of the Shang kingdom. In this series, we were told she cast a curse into the Shang land when the King who in making suggestive suggestions to her had offended her. We were not told she sent a fox devil to Than Gei. Therefore, I would assume she didn't and this was more logical than in the book, if such was the case. Imagine, in the book, Nui Wo knowingly sent an evil entity to destroy a tyrant. That was ok, but along with that she, Nui Wo would have known that this Than Gei would kill many other innocent lives. So in the book, if such is the case, good people die for no good reason at all. And all this because Nui Wo felt offended. What a goddess huh?
In this series, there was no mention of that. But we know she cursed the Shang land. Supposedly a kind hearted goddess, she was certainly not that forgiving towards Zhao's actions. I assume Than Gei was fated to be the villainness in here and I assume Nui Wo didn't send her to do what she did. And so the deaths made sense.
On why didn't Nui Wo just kill the king and establish Zhou dynasty herself, like I said there must be a certain order of things. We all know Zhou would win, the question is when. the series never said so but my theory is, the heavens would want Zhou to fight their own battle and to fulfill their own fated destiny. Only real winners deserve to create a new kingdom and so Nui Wo and other could not butt in and start making one side win and another side lose, no matter how much they wanted to.
Where was Jade Emperor?
We could see the Hell King in here, the Earth God in here, Nui Wo, and the dragons but no sign of Jade Emperor and his ministers. Strange.
Where was Kuan Yin?!
Aiyor.....not yet lar. Buddha not even born yet, so how Kuan Yin could even be Kuan Yin? This series was set years and years before there was Buddhism. Which is why in this series you do not see a set values or a set theme to it. We do not know what is their religion, we just know they pray to the useless Nui Wo everyday.
What was Than Gei? Born a fox devil, sent by Nui Wo, possessed by a devil or was a human turned Fox Devil?
In this series, she was not sent by Nui Wo. She was not born a fox devil. She was not possessed by a fox devil. She was a human being who somehow became a fox devil, To me, I was very lost in how Than Gei from a girl became a fox. No explanation was given, except that when she was born the foxes were celebrating her birth. Was she innately a fox? I don't think so. TVB didn't give a solid explanation on this and expect us to believe that she was a fox in disguise. I didn't buy it. And I could never understand why 9 Tailed Fox Devil helped her in the first place. Out of nowhere she appeared and helped Than Gei, in many many ways. This would be this series' weakest point. Which is why this series' story sucks. It would have been better if the story is as below;
That Than Gei was a nice girl but we all know 9 Tailed Fox Devil was always on the lookout for a human body. If only TVB showed that that fox devil killed Than Gei and possessed her body. Only then will I believe Than Gei was a devil in disguise, capable of killing people in the most inhuman way.
But alas, the story was not as such.
Why didn't Bak Yap Hao turned up the night he was supposed to elope with Than Gei?
No explanation given. Not even at the end. And funny, when Than Gei met Bak Yap Hao much later, he didn't seem to be close to her. Do remember that he helped dump a body for her. And she never asked him the all important question; "WHY?!"
Why Keong Tzi Nga always waited and waited?
He believed in destiny, fate and the right timing. He acted every according to the Heaven's set timing for these mere mortals.
Why Lei Jing after he knew of Pei Pa's lies still treated her well?
One perplexing question that has an answer if you connect the events carefully.
The Empress had asked Lei Jing to help overthrow Than Gei. And that was before he knew Pei Pa's real condition. When he knew, he stayed quiet and didn't want her to be killed. The next thing, he surrendered to the Zhou army and with Na Zha and gang, planned to rescue everyone out of danger. Then he pretended to be really nice to Pei Pa and so she took him to the ministers imprisoned in the dungeons. And the he let them go and he and Pei Pa was history. He became a man again so to speak.
If you see it that way, the answer to the above question is that she was of some use to his future plans.
But somehow, I can't quite see the connection that way. He only agreed to run when his own mother was almost killed in interrogation. My theory is, he was secretly helping the Empress and so he had to treat Pei Pa nice even when he knew the truth.
Why Ying Heung never showed up in front of Than Gei when Than Gei was sent to the cold palace?
Ying Heung was a very soft spoken gentle girl. Imagine the King was busy being with her, where would she have the time to visit Than Gei? Even if she did, she would have been stopped probably because she had to act in a way that pleases the King so that he could let her sister go. To ask him to release Than Gei would be to aggravate him.
But all these remains as theory since TVB never bothered to show us this point.
How come the fire wheels listen to Sap Leong even when they were actually Na Zha's tools?
Good question and my answer is, remember Na Zha telling the fire wheels to be good and listen to mommy? I guess the fire wheels who had a mind of their own, who knew how to leave one side to join another were simply emotionally human. They belonged to no one, they were not the property of Na Zha but rather they gave their allegiance to Na Zha which could change as and when they like. So the fire wheels were just like you and I. They can listen to whoever they want whenever they want to.
Which is very different from the real Fire Wheels. According to my reliable source who is becoming increasingly unreliable, the fire wheels were given by Kuan Yin, and they were meant for transport, no mind of their own.
If Yeung Jin misses his wifey so muchy, why don't he fly home using the fire wheels?
A question asked in a review in SPCNET and a question that I asked when I was watching this series. Truth is, I don't know. Perhaps Yeung Jin was simply too busy with war and he never once ever considered leaving his post. if you notice, Yeung Jin is always away in war and when he is not away in war, he is busy doing something else. Maybe he simply had no time to fly back. Or a more simple answer; TVB writers want us to go ;"At last, a reunion between wifey and hubby and sonny, how touchingggggggggggg". Because if they were to constantly meet in between separation and reunion, how are expected to feel some suspense for poor Wong Gan? 8 years of separation mannnnn! 8 years!
Did Wong Fei Foo ever forgive Wong Gan and accept Yeung Jin?
Nope. Never. Stubborn old man.
Where was Wong Fei Foo during the war? Why wasn't he in the honour list?
He ran away from the war. That much I know. I was told in the book Wong Fei Foo is an important character and in fact he contributed a lot in the war. In this series, he is just one stubborn old man. Shameful.
What took Than Gei so long to get rid of Concubine Yang?
My question exactly. I always though once Than Gei is in power, Yang is first to go. Apparently, the first to go is Bak Yap Hao. Poor guy. By the way, when Yang died, I felt nothing. Who told her to go against that woman when everybody knew the King gave her the supreme right to rule the land?
When did Yan Sap Leong die?
I assume when Na Zha was at war and she was in the army camp. TVB never showed us. One scene she was hurting like hell and the next scene, we have everybody in a camp, tearfully celebrating their victory and remembering Sap Leong's death. Which is so anti-climax. We do know through Na Zha that mommy said no revenge for her death. Why don't just show us that scene? Make us cry a little.
Why didn't the 2 princes' return home to persuade their father earlier? Where were they?
They were at Kuan Loon Mountain learning magic. I always thought the useless king had no sons. Interestingly, these two sons were more noble than the useless father. I don't know, maybe suddenly TVB realised, "Hey! We have to write in two sons who almost persuaded the father to rule as a wise king and to kick out Than Gei!! To add more family drama and danger!!".
I tell you, after watching this series, YOUR QUESTION WOULD BE;
"Why is at ahhhh...when that two princes' were rescued by the Zhou army ahhhh, when Sao Bak Hao died ahhhh....when Shang dynasty fell ahhhh...why don't these two princes' ahhhh...become the new king? Why ahhhhh...that son of Sai Bak Hao became king? Don't these 2 princes' have anything to say at all ahhhhhh?
My unanswered question!
What happened to the Queen?
Died. We never saw how she died but the last time we saw her, she was blind, and she was sick. Poor thing.
How come that 9 Tailed Fox Devil helped Than Gei so willingly? What was the deal for her?
Like I said above, I do not know. In the end this devil died too easily.
Where was Nui Wo when they all needed her?
Probably somewhere applying make up to her face. I don't know. She is one useless goddess. You see, in this series, we will hear her name a lot and we will see many many times she appearing, telling Na Zha and gang something which is not anything that is remotely intelligent. At the end of this series, you would realise these few facts about her;
-She never really once appeared as herself, as the true Nui Wo except for 3 times. Once was to tell Bei Gon of his future when he was a kid, another was to tell that Mountain God at the beginning of this series that he must train these 3 young kids and another when she cast a spell on the Shang kingdom.
-She is probably the easiest Goddess to be impersonated, because even a half cow-half donkey-half horse could impersonate her and tricked Na Zha into believing he was some sacred beast.
-She is also the only one goddess in this series whose name is often used in many occasions for not very noble reasons. For example, Sap Leong said Nui Wo sent her to teach Na Zha magic, Wan Jung Tzi said Lin Fah followed Nui Wo to study magic, Lin Fah said Nui Wo taught her some sacred text. All of these statements were lies.
-She never seemed to give any indication or advice to the war, never seen blessing them. In fact, her presence was almost non-existent in this series.
What kind of a goddess is that? GIVE ME KUAN YIN!!!!!!
I mean Kuan Yin never give outright answers but at least, when you're lost she will guide you towards the right path. How you go down that path is your own undoing. Noooooo....not this Nui Wo. When you need her, she is not there. When you don't need her, she is also not anywhere. Useless goddess. No official duty whatsoever except ;
a) be offended easily;
b) cast a curse on the whole land of ONE PERSON who insulted her; and
c) disappear, nowhere to be seen.
What happened to the dragons half way through the series?
I do not know. All of a sudden, the Gods and the Heavens do not exist anymore. The dragons didn't seem to have anything to say when Than Gei did all that she did to poor innocent lives. Maybe they didn't care or maybe they were ordered not to interfere with the order of things.
Wait! I don't get this; Why did all those devils feared Bei Gon?
Supposedly he had a 7 sacred noble heart which could prevent any corruption in any form by these devils and demons. Once the heart is cut out, he would not have that protection. And he would die.
But let me ask you this rather stupid but all important question;
"If you cut out your own heart, do you expect to live? What kind of protection is left?"
I am sure if he had known this was the outcome, when he was a kid and when Nui Wo gave him that heart, if I were him I would throw back the heart to Nui Wo and say, "NO THANK YOU MADAM!"
Poor Bei Gon, he got a bad deal in this whole sacred heart thing.
Lau Pei Pa died right. You said she was a fox devil but when she died, she became a chinese guitar. How come ah?
I really thought she was a fox devil and yes she was actually a Chinese guitar. And this is just so stupid! I mean how can a guitar, an object that does not breath nor even have a soul to start with could become human? A flower I understand, a cockroach maybe but a Chinese guitar?!?!!
How come Than Gei said nothing even when she was about to die?
What more could she have said? That she was sorry? I do think she felt she was right, but since she was the loser here she had no choice but to be punished. I thought her silence was one of the better aspect of this series. It could be so corny to have her crying, begging for forgiveness.
What did So Wo, Than Gei's daddy say?
Nothing because after she left for Shang, they never met again. I would wish for a scene where they actually met in war or before the execution. But I feel there was a reason why So Wo was not there and rightly so. He was ashamed of what his daughter did and so what more could he have said if he had been there? Slap his daughter?
Did Yeung Jin marry Tang Sin Yoke?
Nope. They became brothers and sisters. Yeung Jin so honest, how can he betray his wife's trust in him?
One last one...why Lin Fah and Na Zha didn't get together at last?
Simple. He is Na Zha. Na Zha getting married and having kids? Nooooooo wayyyyyyyy.
But seriously, in this series, our Na Zha is only concerned in his career which would last an eternity by the way. Lin Fah was never in the picture though he did care about her, but not enough to abandon his ambition. I tell you, this Na Zha is one male chauvinistic pig. He was all about ego earlier in the series and in the end, he was all about work, work, work. Definitely no bar, drinks and social life for this Na Zha.
I knowwww....but I so want them to marry and have kids and live happily ever after. It is just so unfair!!
Some things can't be changed I guess. I don't share your sentiments though. I feel the ending was appropriate.
One last last question....how come the book is so different from the series?
Never read the book, so I don't know. But read some summaries on the book and my answer would be;
"Write TVB a nice letter, ask them this question, and if you ever got an answer, share it with all of us, because I myself would want to know."
SPOILERS END....SPOILERS END
My Favourites and Not So Favourites
Most Favourite Character(s)
Surprisingly, Keong Tzi Nga. Trueeee. Not that I am into old guys or anything but I feel this guy has got patience, is brave, has good moral virtues, integrity of steel and I just love the way he touches his long white beard. And he didn't hesitate when he chopped off Than Gei's head. My salute to this senior citizen!
And of course, Hau Tin Huen. He has the most personality in here. Though I would think a Labrador would have been more suitable for this role than this pooch, and I feel he was more cute and ferocious, I really like this dog.
Most Disliked Character
I can't stand Lau Pei Pa. She said she loved Lei Jing and yet she was all about dominating the man and not really giving at all. She irritates me with her constant nagging and the truth is, if not for her constant nagging and irritating voice, I would have voted for Lei Jing as my most disliked character. A wimp!
Most Wasted Character
So Than Gei. Her character should have been better developed, because she was the most interesting character in here.
Most Disappointing Character
Lei Jing for being such a chicken, a wimp and such a little man. It doesn't help that he looks like he needs food. No integrity that one would associate with a Pagoda Holding God.
Most "Who Cares?!" Redundant Character(s)
Everybody that is no directly or indirectly involved in the war. Wong Gan and those aunties. They're in this series to waste time. And in some ways, Kam Zha and Muk Zha but that's because they had little to do in this series. And also Lin Fah.
Most "What Is Her Problem anyway?!" Hated Character
Lei Ngai Seong. I mean, what had Na Zha and Yan Sap Leong did to her anyway? She just had to add chili, pepper and salt to every comment!
Most Ungrateful Bunch
The Lei Family. One time of abandonment, DIVORCE. How can they ever forget what Sap Leong did for them? The way they embraced Lau Pei Pa into the family and controlling the family is just too ungrateful of them. Luckily they realised their wrong actions and begged for forgiveness with Sap Leong who never really hated them, when she should have!
Most Pitiful Character(s)
Bak Yap Hao, the 3rd Dragon Prince, Bei Gon (whose name sound like Be Gone!), Mrs Bei Gone, the Queen and in some way, So Than Gei.
Most Irritating Character
Lin Fah. I don't care what you say, being the biggest fan of her character or that she was kind hearted and was really in love with Na Zha; she was annoying the hell out of me.
Let me count the reasons;
1. When she is scared, she nods or shakes her head or is simply silent. That is so annoying.
2. She caused the death of 3rd dragon prince. So Na Zha killed him but it was her "I don't know, ask Madam Yan" statement that caused the misunderstanding and miscommunication between Na Zha and that poor prince.
3. She almost let Lau Pei Pa win when she stepped out of the protective circle when she though she was Na Zha. How can she be so stupid so as to undermine Na Zha's ability to fight and win? Sometimes I do think she deserved to be screamed at by na Zha, however good her intentions are.
4. Because she reminded me of those person who just stand there, quietly, looking at you, never leaving your side and when you ask her things, she would stay silent, never offering one good opinion or useful advice. Don't go to her for wisdom. She will probably "Silence" you to death.
Most Heroic & Deserving of the God Status Character(s)
Yan Sap Leong. Very heroic and very brave. However, she also irritates me because she is too forgiving and too traditional in her thinking. Husband first, wife last.
And my ultimate vote would go to....YEUNG JIN!!
Ok, so he was darn stupid! But as the series progresses on, he became a little wiser. Some scenes were in this series to explain the goodness in this man.
When he was made a General, Tang Sin Yoke and gang never respected him. They felt he didn't deserve the position, because he couldn't read, and he was stupid. They ridiculed him and the thing about Yeung Jin is, he knows he is not smart. he knows his limitations. He didn't welcome the idea of being God because he never expected it. He never thought to be a general, but somehow fate has a different arrangement for this guy. The same when he helps people, he expects nothing in return. He never expects anything but things just happen.
In one of the longest, most frustrating and yet best scene in this series, Yeung Jin received a letter from Wong Gan. But before he could ask someone to read it for him, the bad guys came and they ran to a nearby abandoned temple. He realised he lost the letter and ran back, against the advice of Tang Sin Yoke. But as he ran, he saw wounded soldiers of different costumes. He just picked them up and carried them back to the temple, one by one. In the end, he carried a man whom we know as Chow Man Wong, the man he was supposed to meet earlier before the attack. Tang Sin Yoke had a newfound respect for this guy. And in a way, me too. And funnily, he was so busy saving people, he forgot about the letter.
You see, he saved everybody. Call him stupid, I would say he has the kindest heart. He didn't care if you were friend or foe, king or peasant, he saved all lives because all human lives to him is precious and worth saving, no matter what. He forgives people easily, and yet he is not so stupid where you can play his emotions. This was why Keong Tzi Nga said Yeung Jin had no enemies, and he could make friends easily.
If this character's name is not Yeung Jin, he would have been my favourite character. But I just can't buy Yeung Jin, The Three Eyed God as someone so stupid, however kind hearted he was.
Most "You mean he was in this series?!" Forgettable Character
Lui Jan Tzi. Waste of time of a character. Does not even have a personality.
Most Favourite Duo
Sap Leong and Na Zha. I like their relationship and 50% of this series' content is towards their volatile and then loving relationship. Na Zha had mentioned at the end how important Sap Leong was to him and I felt that was this series whole message, however unfocussed this series was. I would say if this series is about filial piety, I certainly could not quite see it. But if this series is about sacrifices, Sap Leong's story would be an epitome of such a message. Na Zha said;
"There was a boy who was very naughty , who did a lot of mistakes, creating havoc and never realising he was at fault. When everybody gave up on him, even when he gave up on himself, his mother never gave up. She looked after him, nurtured him, taught him goodness and molded him into a good man, always reminding him to be a good person. I was that boy and that woman was my mother".
I find their relationship very touching and it helps a lot that Benny and Yuen King Dan has this unspeakable chemistry.
Most Anti-Climax Scenes
The supposed wars and battles. This series will be the worst example on how to fight in a war. For example;
-you're my father and so I'll give you 3 days to retreat and if you do not I'll fight you.
-each one of us choose one member and engage in a fierce battle which involves me standing on the left, you standing on the right, your weapon fly into the sky, my cow fly into the sky and we will both stand there looking worried whilst the cow and your weapon fights it out. If my cow losses, I lose the battle.
-you send a dog and I send my man and they fight. But dog knows man and man knows dog. In the end, no fight at all.
What kind of a war is this?!
I admire the attention to the costume, the chariots, the surroundings. Very ancient.
The best of course had to be the graphics. I especially liked that bird, those phoenixes, that fire wheels, the weapons. I do thin TVB is getting better at this kind of special effects, Do take note of the shadows of the phoenixes and birds. Such attention for details.
My favourite special effects, well there are two. One is that protective circle that Lin Fah was in and I can see the overlap of the actress and the supposed protective light. Amazing. And of course, that dead dragon flying around Sap Leong. Simply exquisite.
Also see senior citizens engage in battles. Like Wong Wai's So Wo and Yuen Wah's Lei Jing. Even Lo Lan's Grandma Lei.
Apart from what I have to say below, the worst has got to be the unimaginative fighting scenes. Horribly done, sometimes even clumsy looking.
And one more thing. If they can graphically create a bird that looks so real, why can't they do the same with the cow and the half horse-half cow-half donkey?
Every scene with Sap Leong and Na Zha. The best few are as follows;
-when Sap Leong rescued Na Zha out of the pagoda and instead of telling him to run, in the rain she tearfully used a cane to beat the hell out of the unrepentant Na Zha. That was when she said "You flesh is mine, your bones are mine" and that was why he killed himself by returning his flesh and bones to Sap Leong and dad. Very emotional scene.
-Whenever they have this mother-son moments. Very touching, loving.
-especially those scenes when Na Zha was little. Very noisy but very touching.
Every scene with Sap Leong. So she was naggy but those scenes, where she smiled in front of everybody, and then locked herself in the room to cry. Very emotional scenes.
The scene where young Na Zha crawled to Lei Jing with two birthday buns on his hands. Very pitiful and you would feel like kicking Lei Jing then.
The scene where Yeung Jin, however stupid he was outsmart the two demons working for Wong Fei Foo, that were Effortless Ears and Thousand Miles Eyes.
The scene where third dragon prince's death. Felt like crying.
The scenes where Sap Leong beats the hell out of Lau Pei Pa, and lecturing her a thing or two about being second wives and honour to the first wives. Very exciting scenes.
The worst had to be when Bak Yap Hao died. I could still remember the 12 meatballs. Red, pinkish meatballs and Sai Bak Hao said, "Ummm..yummy" and there I was, having my dinner and I stopped eating immediately. Every time I thought about those 12 meat balls and remembered poor Bak Yap Hao, I lost my appetite. Get readi with your tissues either to vomit in it or to wipe your tears.
The later scenes of Na Zha where he matured into a responsible adult, though he was still very hot tempered. At least he was under control. And at least, he finally admitted he was to be blamed for poor dragon's death.
The scenes where Yeung Jin became acquainted with Hau Tin Huen.
The scene where Na Zha got his spear.
The ending, where everybody got promoted. Very happy to see that scene because with such a closure, I knew there would be no sequel to torture me anymore.
Ultimate Classic Scene(s)
The scene where Na Zha and gang got their weapons and beasts. The battle with Sang Kung Pao was a classic for one simple reason. This guy was such a loser!! There were three stages to the fight;
1. Yeung Jin Vs Hau Tin Huen : Hau Tin Huen was not Yeung Jin's pet all along. He was one of the 5 sacred beasts, belonging to Sang Kung Pao. Yeung Jin already met the dog some time ago and through fierce battles, actually became friends. The dog even lent him the sword which would be his weapon in future! So when it was time for battle, they flew into a golden pot and instead of fighting, pretended to fight. It was very funny and of course, Sang Kung Pao lost because even the dog couldn't stand him. So at last, Yeung Jin got the dog and the weapon!
2. Lui Jan Tzi Vs the phoenix : No need to fight at all because the phoenix could see the feather behind Lui Jan Tzi's back which belonged to the phoenix's mate. The other bird flew back and there was no fight. these loving phoenixes just flew away. By the way, these phoenixes are so loving, if once separated, one would lose his/her sense of living. Life without love and togetherness meant an empty life to these birds. And so Lui Jan Tzi got his thunder making tools.
3. Na Zha Vs Sang Kung Pao : The best of all the bests. Na Zha at that time was still a lotus root boy. Keong Tzi Nga challenged Sang Kung Pao into a weird game; each would take their head off, fly up into the sky and if one fails to reattach themselves to their body, that person lose. Na Zha was a lotus root and so he could easily do that. So when Sang Kung Pao and Na Zha were busy flying in the sky, Keong ordered their bodies' position to be switched and were their clothings. And so when the heads came back, Sang Kung Pao suddenly realised he had a lotus root body and Na Zha a human body. But Keong had better plans. He told Sang that if he wants his body back, he must give Keong a potion. And so they switched bodies again and Keong told Na Zha to drink the potion. And ta-daaaaaa....Na Zha got flesh to cover his bones, no lotus root body anymore!! YIPPEE!! And he got the two phoenixes that can change into fire wheels!!
Classic and very ingenious plan.
Generally, I find the performances in this series very satisfactory, all thanks to to the secondary actors. However, some could do better, one was particularly bad that she is considered worst and one was so good, despite her character in this series, she deserved every award and every praises that one could give her. Anyway, this is my time to honour the older generations of actors and actresses because in this series, it is those that are 35 and above who shines the brightest.
By the way, below are my very personal evaluation of the performances and I did not point a gun to your head to agree with me. So chill.
This is the time to give recognition to those I have seen for years but never know their names.
Kwok Cheok Wah as the dragon prince was very good, and very effective as the love sick dragon.
Wong Wai Leong is one name I have never know but I have seen his face for years. He could play all types of characters, good cops, corrupted cops, villains, kings, and even Buddha himself. Kudos to his performance as Minister Tang. Hate that guy!
June Chan Kei did a good job as Bei Gon's wife who killed herself at the end. Though she had little screen time, but she gave a touching performance of a wife who did not want her husband to return to the Imperial court to just die.
Lam Kei Yan was effective as the spinster sister, Lei Ngai Seong.
I have always liked Wai Ka Hung. A man who has very little facial expressions but like Marco Ngai, he could play any role, except heroic roles of course. His Tou Hang Shuen may have been mean at first but nevertheless, Wai Ka Hung portrayed him well.
Rain Lau as always was wonderful. And very short too! However, I disliked her Tang Sin Yoke at first and I felt her role is one of the redundant roles in here but nevertheless, she has quite a good rapport with everybody in here.
Chan Onn Ying is a name I never knew until now and yet I have seen her giving great performances in many many series, very recently, Seven Sisters which was not one of her best. In here, she was very good as Wong Gan's mother. Those tears, those reluctance to leave her daughter and grandchild. Very convincing performance.
Tsang Wai Kuen may have been a tad too young to be Winnie Yeung's father and his Wong Fei Foo is such a heartless father, but this actor gave a good performance, however redundant his role was.
Fung Hiu Man was quite ok as 9 Tailed Fox Devil. But her make up is a bit too red.
Law Lok Lam was wonderful as Chow Man Wong. Especially the scene where he felt so sick after eating the meat balls.
Lei Kah Teng was ok as Wan Jung Tzi and had one of the funniest scenes with Yuen's Sap Leong. But his character's death was too soon, too rushed and such a shameful thing for TVB writers to end his life that way.
Lei Kwok Loon is another actor I have seen many times but never knew his name. You must remember him as the restless soul of a dragon in JTTW I where Kong Wah's monk gave him a pep talk and finally he was not angry anymore and was ready to return to hell? How about JTTW II where he played Yeung Jin's father, the scholar who died in front of the mountain that imprisoned his wife played by Louisa So? In here he had little to do and his Sang Kung Pao reminds me of a man who has a cactus up his arse all the time. He looks painful but his performance, though not his best was quite ok , if only his character was more well developed.
Yuen Wah was ok though I hated his character, Lei Jing.
I have always liked Tang Siu Juen and I am beginning to like Ngo Ka Nin and I think they gave good performances in here though their roles were so limited, their presence was nothing more than just to add drama value. They simply had nothing to do.
Cheng Chi Seng gave his best performance in this series as that stupid King, the best amongst all his performances. His every mannerism, the way he talks, the way he walks, the way he looks, he is my idea of the useless King. For once, perfect casting.
Marco Lo improved a lot in his acting since his not so hot debut in Kindred Spirit. This is one guy who is tall and good looking and yet his acting was not really my cup of tea. But over the years he improved a lot in Kindred Spirit but still weak in more emotional scenes. In this series, he gave an outstanding performance though his scenes were few. His story is probably one of the saddest story in this series and that scene where he was visiting his tortured and sick father in the prison was very well done, and how he tried to avoid Irene Wan's Than Gei was one of the more better scenes in this series. I like his Bak Yap Hao and I was horrified with the idea of what happened to this nice guy. Good performance.
Despite what everybody has to say about Benny Chan and his acting, let me just say this out loud;
he is not a gifted nor a fantastic actor.
But I like him. I really really like him. He gives me an impression that he is a guy who can get along with everybody. In fact I said this in my comment on him in The Yue Ling Connection. I like him. In here, I hated him at first but I like the progression of his character into a good responsible man. However, much is left to be desired in his character's characterization. If you see any inadequacies in his performance I blame it on the writers, which I shall explain below. In his Na Zha typical do, let's just say he won't be the object of lust for young girls out there. It's almost like pedophile to feel that way about him in that costume and hairdo. But in his General's armour and with his spear and his two flying wheels, he looks absolutely amazing. A friend of mine said that Benny has this naturally beautiful features. I would say maybe but in this series, he looks so good looking for once I thought of him as...handsome. I always thought of him as cute but in here, maybe it's the General's hairdo. He fights very convincingly and his best scenes were with Yuen Keng Dan and when he screamed at Michelle. Was he convincing as Na Zha the legend? I would say no because he is too old and he does not have Na Zha's little boy antics though Benny certainly looks young for his age. But he is still too old to play that young, even if in this series, Na Zha is 18-29 years old by the end of this series. But as a character, taking away the element of Na Zha but look at it as just another character, I think he did well. His defining moment was towards the end, where he recounted on his angry past, or all his wrong doings and he finally admitted that he had wrongfully killed the 3rd dragon prince. His eyes was slightly red, there were tears and in that moment of time, Benny was at his best. I feel overall, because I like him so much that I like watching him even in his worst moment, despite how I hate his Na Zha at the beginning, I feel if this series is a success, he deserves a bit of a recognition thought I would think the older generations are the real winners in here.
Wong Wai wasn't very good as So Wo.
Fiona Yuen was inadequate as Ying Heung. Her performance in here is a bit like opera type of acting. Even when she talks she was a bit too stiff in this role, though for once I noticed she has button nose. Very pretty.
I do not know what to say about Irene Wan. Looks wise, she is not drop dead gorgeous but amongst all the women in this series, she certainly has that vixen look. At times I feel she gave an adequate performance and yet sometimes I thought she didn't. At her best, she gave her character that calculative and manipulative look, which is so Than Gei in my opinion. But I could also say she is wooden, because her face registers very little expressions. At most, she looks like she is making plans in her mind and her face looks like she is blur and yet she is not. I didn't put her as worst because her almost final scene was quite well done. As the good guys were walking into the hall in the palace, she sat there in her King's outfit, and she was wooden. Emotionless, her eyes registered nothing. And then we see flashback on her brief life and there you could see redness in her eyes. She was silent throughout, even on her death day because she knew had nothing more to say to justify what she did. She may be cold on the outside, but she gave Than Gei an emotional aspect most may not be able to appreciate nor see. But those moments were few. I would say the fault lies in her story in this series which was inadequate and her character is clearly not adequately explored. I could think of all the possibilities and this character may be this actress' most challenging role. All in all, I would say she gave an inadequate performance. I would say her performance was wooden, stiff and sometimes, even cold and detached. Perhaps these are the very qualities of Than Gei. However, I feel more could have been inputted into this character. I just don't see how her stare could be so scary or why she could manipulate her way into running the Shang government. Her performance is not enough to convince me that Than Gei could do what she did, because Irene gave a cold detached interpretation of the evil Than Gei. Which was quite a pity.
Angela Tong. Would you believe me if I were to tell you that Angela Tong, besides Yuen Keng Dan has the most screen time in this series? On average, per episode ever since she appeared she has about 15-30 minutes of screen time and she has the longest single dialogue to deliver in each scene. Poor girl. We know her command of Cantonese is weak, and having to deliver so much words at one go, you could feel she is struggling. You would notice that she would pause between sentences, and this is not because she is tired or anything. I know with great certainty that she almost forgot her lines. You could see and you could hear that very clearly. And poor girl, not only has she got an ugly looking guy as her husband, she has to scream her lines, most of the time. But the fact is I find her extremely annoying. She gave an ok performance but she simply screams far too loud for far too many times and she appears in far too many scenes that I just feel sick looking at her. Her hysterical character bores me, except when it involves some beating by Yuen's Sap Leong. And did I mention she gets beaten the most? Poor girl.
Winnie Yeung Yuen Yee improved a lot in her acting but her character is so pointless in here, I feel sick watching her. She bores me. Her performance isn't all that bad but it isn't good either. She has absolutely zero chemistry with Chin Kar Lok and she is totally unbelievable as a mother, a suffering wife and an un-filial daughter.
Chin Kar Lok is not an amazingly gifted actor, but he is one guy who excels playing buddy roles with human or even a dog. I am not putting his name here because I didn't like the way he portrayed Yeung Jin. I am not having this preconception of Yeung Jin when I evaluate his performance. I just feels that this guy is at his best acting stupid, acting silly, you know, acting like he is in real life. You know he is having a great time interacting with Benny, Lei Ka Sing and even the dog. But he lacks that oommphh to convince me that he is the brave and giving Yeung Jin. I find his interpretation shallow, though I learnt to like his Yeung Jin towards the end and see the beauty of this character. But for all the beauty I see in this character, it is the action and not the facial expressions that I appreciate. Chin Kar Lok was very inadequate in this role.
Lei Ka Sing. Nothing much to do except to have this hot headed temper or act as best friends to other two characters. I feel nothing for his Lui Jan Tzi and frankly, he is one character with no personality. Very weak performance.
Michelle Yip. As the somber and more mature Lin Fah, she is quite ok, because she really looks depressed. She has great chemistry with Benny and at some angles, she looks like Jessica Hester Hsuan. Not Charmaine Sheh though. I was told that Jessica wished that people would stop saying they look alike. But they do, especially the side angles. Anyway, she is very raw and I absolutely can't stand her when she is crying and talking at the same time. Her performance is very opera-ish. If you don't quite get what I mean, look for scenes where she runs into the camp, asking Yuen's Sap Leong if she is ok. Look at the scene and all such similar scenes and you'll know why amongst everybody, she is the worst. Though frankly, she is not that bad if you don't look at everybody else.
Most Excellent Performance(s)
Lou Jan Soon is excellent as the honourable Bei Gon. Look out for that scene before he cut his heart out, where he screamsat the King, scolding him, and then cutting out his heart. His eyes, his tears, such intensity.
The younger Na Zha who was the same boy who gave the best performance in Love Is Beautiful. Look out for the scene where he crawls to his father. Very heart wrenching and superb performance, though he doesn't look a bit like the white, chubby and cute Na Zha in cartoons.
Yu Tzi Ming is another excellent cast in this series. His scenes are few but I think I know more about Keong Tzi Nga than is shown. His every mannerism, the way he delivers his lines the way he stroks his white beard, the way he walks. All these minor details gives Keong Tzi Nga character, and a personality. Excellent performance.
The best of the most excellent would have to be the great Yuen Keng Dan. I didn't like her character at first, she was someone naggy and was far too forgiving. I hated the idea that she could so easily agree with her husband to abandon her son but then I realise I can't watch this series with a 90's thinking. This is a series that is in a very old time, where women are still beneath man. But if you look carefully, Yan Sap Leong is a woman who is far more superior than her husband in both intelligence, the art of giving and her best virtue; patience. But she had to lower her standard to accommodate her husband and frankly, she never regretted that. I love her performance which was multi layered. She showed us one side of Yan Sap Leong and then she showed us more and more and towards the end, I felt like I have watched this character a million times. Her every mannerism, her every expressions, her every movements. The series was written with Yan Sap Leong as the lead female character and she clearly handled the role very well. Her interaction with Benny is the highlight of this series. The two scenes which I thought she did so well, and scenes that every mother or women can relate to were:
-where she had to take her son to the Taoist temple. She came to visit him and he quickly went to her, asking when he could go home. The boy who played Na Zha played that scene with great panache but it was Yuen Keng Dan's expression that had me glued to the screen. She simply turned her head away, and tearfully but still smiling explaining to her son why he can't come home yet. This is a situation I can relate to because I did the same as Na Zha in this series did, asking my mother when I can go home when she knew she couldn't take me back home. I feel for that scene. Though my relationship with my mother isn't exactly close, I knew for a fact she had the same response as Yuen's Sap Leong did in this scene. Which is why I feel Yuen did a marvelous job because she captured to perfection all good mother's response to such a question; "Mommy, when can I go home?"
-one scene she went to her room looking rather sad and once in the room she cried, and Benny asked her what happened and she tearfully cried, questioning herself where she was biased in her love for her sons, whether he loved one too much that she neglected the other two, that she failed as a mother.
-the scene where she beat the hell out of Benny, crying but kept beating. her expression was the best. You knew it hurt her to beat her beloved son but she was at wits end as to how she could teach him to be a good boy.
Her performance in here were heart wrenching, honest, sincere and very in depth. She gave Yan Sap Leong personality by making Yan Sap Leong into a woman with little personality, if you know what I mean. Her interaction with Yuen Wah and everybody else was just as good. I would say if she doesn't win an award in the TVB b-day bash, no one should. If you would feel heartsick for Marianne's Ling Wan in Love Is beautiful when she beat Ngo Ka Nin's Chiu Hei, you would certainly cry every time Yan Sap Leong shed a tear. Amazing performance.
Despite what I have to say below, this is an entertaining series, if you ignore the obvious flaws. It is certainly not the best series ever or even the best in 2001. 3 years down the road you wouldn't remember this series, because this series has no real impact in our minds. At least, it didn't make an impact in my mind. The only 3 reasons to watch this reasons are the performances which are generally good, the special effects which is really good and Benny Chan.
Whether to rent it or not It depends on what kind of series you're looking for.
If you're looking for those series that will entertain, and you don't expect much from it, that you can ignore all the holes in the story, this is the series for you and I highly recommend it.
But if you're a fan of JTTW Part I and you loved it so much that you think this is similar to JTTW, or that you have read the book or that you really like stories about myths and legends, I would sincerely recommend that you skip this series. If you still insist on wasting your money in something you won't enjoy at the end of the day, something that is not even remotely thought provoking and will not change your life forever, if my advice is of any use, remember my words;
WATCH THIS SERIES WITH AN OPEN MIND. A VERY OPEN MIND.
Most Disappointing Aspects - My Comments On Why This Series Did Not Deserve The Recognition Given, If Any
I have said above, "TVB SCREWED UP BIG TIME WITH THIS ONE" and I am not the only one who said this. I can't help but compare this series with another TVB production some years back that was considered a classic. The only way I could voice out my dissatisfaction for this series, and to justify all my nasty comments would be to take another similar genre of a series and do a Compare and Contrast. Therefore, I shall take my most favourite TVB series ever, JOURNEY TO THE WEST PART ONE, the epitome of perfection in all elements and perhaps convince you, that this Gods Of Honour, though entertaining in itself, will probably be forgotten a few years down the road, and why Gods Of Honour is like a Dog who knows how to bark out loud but couldn't bite at all. Yes, this series is all about "grrrrrrrrrr" and thereafter, no action to accompany that "grrrrrrrrrr", to put it in lay man's term.
The Character Of Nui Wo
In JTTW, we have a character that appears very rarely throughout the series but whose name we always hear. Kuan Yin. The only woman that the Monkey King is crazy about because of respect. the only woman he would listen to. Unfortunately, in GOH, we have a very bland Nui Wo in place of Kuan Yin. I don't like this Nui Wo. She has zero personality and because we don't believe in Nui Wo anywhere, I don't feel in awe when she appears. That is the problem with this character. The writers should have given Nui Wo not just screen time but personality as well. We see very little interaction between Nui Wo and common people but please permit me to remind you that we see very little interaction between Kuan Yin and everybody else in JTTW I. But in Kuan Yin I see her as a guiding light in the times of darkness for the characters in JTTW I. In GOH, Nui Wo does not hold such a high honour and in the end, this character is nothing more than just a platform to start off a supposedly mythological story.
The Character Of Na Zha
Isn't Benny's fault that his performance in here looks a lot like his performance in JTTW II. The reason why I am so forgiving in my evaluation of his performance in GOH is because the writers actually took Monkey King and made him into Na Zha. Watch carefully and they're the same.
Hot tempered, at times unreasonable, learnt to be responsible. In fact some scene were blatantly ripped from JTTW I.
For example, the scene where the fake Na Zha lay dying before Lin Fah who is in a protective circle. Remember this scene? You're so smart! YES!! In JTTW I, fake Monkey King lay dying before the spider girl and they even uttered the same line; "I Love You". And then they ran out got captured by bad guys, hero comes on time to shoo the bad guy away. The only 2 difference between these two versions are as follows;
-Rain Lau was far more convincing in JTTW I when she ran out of the circle, begging Dicky not to die. Michelle Yip was opera-ish and Benny was simply, Benny.
-I almost cried when Rain ran out, because I knew how much she loved Dicky. In scenes prior to that dying scene, she had tried ways to make Dicky say I love you to her and when he did at that moment of time, it was very natural that she ran out of the circle. GOH was not as convincing as JTTW I.
I find it laughable that even the way Benny laid on the ground, his every word was very similar with JTTW I. Shameful that TVB does such a thing. It only makes JTTW looks much better and GOH an embarrassment of the hallmark of "I ran out of ideas and so I just take a bit from JTTW, no one will notice". Well, I watched JTTW 4 times and I can tell you with a great degree of certainty, I noticed.
One more which I must mention was the scene where Yuen talked to the soul of the dragon prince who was haunting people because he was angry. if you think why this scene is so familiar it is because in JTTW I, there was an almost same scene, where Kong Wah did his best to calm an angry dead dragon. The only two differences between these two versions are;
-Kong Wah appeased the dragon by talking about Buddhism and Yuen appeased the dragon by talking about his parent's suffering in seeing him like this.
-the dragon's graphic in GOH was much much better than that one in JTTW I.
Anyway, I feel the one side of the story that should have been in here is how he reconciled with his mother. One scene he hated his mother the next he was in a statue and then 3 years later they were exceptionally close. What about in between? Why not at least show one scene where he actually said sorry to dear mommy even if he was in the statue?
The Character Of Lei Jing
I can never understand how TVB writers can take such an honourable character, like Lei Jing and made him into what he is in this series. Even though at the end the writers tried to give him back some dignity, my respect for this character is simply destroyed. In fact I didn't feel a thing for him in JTTW I or JTTW II, where he was a minor character. In GOH, from the beginning I disliked him. But I read about him in books and in this series Sap Leong described Lei Jing as someone manly, someone brave and righteous. I saw very little of these description and when I did, it didn't matter anymore. My impression of Lei Jing from now on will be zero. Shameful how TVB can do that to a god that people still pray to even today.
The Character Of So Than Gei
Not enough of screen time and characterisation. Many aspects of this series is wasted on redundant characters when more time should have been given to So Than Gei. I believe this series' main protagonist, the main character and the main whatever is So Than Gei. She set in motion the fall of Shang; she fueled on the anti Shang sentiments and she was the reason why Na Zha could be god. Therefore, more time should ahve given to us to show her life, to introduce her. They gave very short introduction that you would feel she is a secondary character. But I shall dare say she is the number one character in here because without her, there will be no basis for this story about Gods and the honour thing. Everything that happened revolved around her actions and decisions. The writers should have shown us her childhood and how she was deprived of an education, how perhaps innately she is one angry woman which explains for all the evils act she could think. But this series chose to show her as someone really nice at the beginning and turn evil like overnight. I didn't buy that transformation.
Call me naive but I like to think in every action there is a reason to it. Even in the worst of act, like what those Arab guys did with WTC and Pentagon with planes full of passengers in USA on 9/11/2001, I like to think that they have their reason, a reason we may never accept or understand but they have their own logic. Likewise with So Than Gei. Maybe she turned bad when she knew she had to be tough to stay alive and to enjoy the privileges that she feels she was deprived of, but somehow something was lost in the middle. All of a sudden, her brain could think of ways to torture people. The mind is a mysterious thing but there must have been something in between that was edited out to shorten the series. I find her change to such an extreme spectrum of humanity to be illogical. I would have wished they showed she was killed and then possessed by the fox devil who helped her, because then I could reconcile her behaviour in the future and her goodness in her past. But they didn't. The writers just expect us to buy this one illogical fact and this is one of the reasons why I say this series sucks big time.
The Character Of Yeung Jin
I like the Yeung Jin as Three Eyed Boy but I do not like the Yeung Jin as Yu Long God. Perhaps I was too brainwashed by JTTW I and JTTW II. I find his story with his natural father, and sister, friends and wife, sons and generals, superiors and ordinary folks to be a bit contrived, illogical. The writers expect us to buy the fact that mere mortals can give birth to a three eye baby. I don't buy that. They expect us to believe that someone who does not know magic nor learnt Kung Fu before could suddenly fight so well. There was no building up of this character in that sense. I like his kind heartedness but in my mind, Yu Long god is intelligent, all about ego and power and extremely righteous though he may not appear to be one. That was Joe Ma's interpretation in JTTW I, the God that Monkey King absolutely hated. In GOH, they tried to give us a humanized Yeung Jin, an ordinary Yeung Jin who wants to go home to his wife and lead an ordinary life. They expect us to cheer for him. I don't feel that way. In fact I feel Yeung Jin in JTTW II is more human that this Yeung Jin in GOH. His story in JTTW II was touching. How he met his dog, Hau Tin Huen, how he was born, his parents' predicament, it was one of the saddest moments in JTTW II, which was generally weak in its story. The scene where he prayed for his mother trapped soul in hell. That was all very touching. And in the end we misunderstood Yu Long god. He was just like you and I, he had a reason for his arrogance and his refusal to co-operate with others. You see him as somebody vulnerable and yet honourable. I must stress that Joe Ma had little role in JTTW II. His story was about 2 tapes at most but there were more human and deep issues in that 2 tapes than Yeung Jin in GOH's 20 tapes. I find it is shameful that the writers tried to change Yeung Jin, perhaps to give us a fresh perspective. But please, at least give us a more convincing perspective.
And I did not like the fact that they made Yeung Jin a married man with son. The ending was particularly stupid, where he was old and gray, and that only when he dies he will be a General in the Heavens. In JTTW and in all notions of Heavenly Generals or officials, non of them were actually married with kids, all except Jade Emperor. in fact romance in the Heavens in strictly prohibited, because work is everything, romance is not. I feel Wong Gan's presence made it more difficult for me to see Yeung Jin as Yu Long God.
The Direction Of The Storytelling
What does this series want to tell us? Good triumphs over evil? Filial piety? The fall of one kingdom and the rise of another? A history lesson perhaps? Or a lesson on how Gods were made?
Because I saw none of the above. A theme has to be single minded and consistent. In this series, one second it is about filial piety, suddenly it felt like a history lesson, then it became a war movie and suddenly we saw gods being created. There is no consistency and one fixed focus.
At this moment allow me to describe to you a certain Malaysian delicacy. It is called Rojak. You will find mangoes, pineapple, prawn crackers, papaya, crushed nuts all mixed in this wonderful thick prawn sauce.
This series is like rojak. So many many things at one go. The difference is Rojak makes a perfect combination but this series gives me a headache.
Compare it to JTTW I and even JTTW II. These series may have been lighthearted, funny, entertaining, but JTTW I series is so memorable because of one thing that runs throughout the series. I do not know if you see it because for the sake of seeing it but I could even feel it. Buddhism. The one series that made me open a book and want to learn more about something was JTTW I. I didn't realise that when I saw Buddha, Kuan Yin because I was laughing so hard. It was purely entertainment for me. But as the series progresses on with the journey, notion of love, the biggest test of humankind is actually whether you can abandon your own child for a bigger cause, the things that the Monk said, the reflections of the Monkey's rash actions. It made me think and opened books about Buddhism and read why love is not that type of love we like to think and why it isn't important. Something else is. JTTW is a very philosophical series but the producer, writer and director intelligently blended these elements of entertainment, education and religion into this amazing package. Those that can't see these values will enjoy the series for it's highly addictive and entertaining story. Those that could would appreciate it for it's intelligent and witty script and learn a thing or two about life. One of the best thing about JTTW is that you don't need to be a Buddhist to see the values in this series. You did something wrong, you will be punished and you must be willingly punished. Monkey King had to escort the monk to India not because he wanted to but because he had no choice. So was everybody else. Remember that naughty Hung Hai Yi? He became Kuan Yin's golden boy but that was a form of punishment and he knew he can never see his parents' again and that was why his statue shed a tear. At the end of this series, it was a journey for the realisation of humanity's greatest truth, the greatest quest, everybody learn a little something and redemption is a theme that runs throughout alongside with Buddhism beliefs and practices. The series was not preachy and yet I learnt so much as I laugh along with the antics of the pig, the shark and the monkey. These are what make JTTW such a great series, a series if you watch it once you will remember it for the rest of your life.
You could feel that the writers, director and producer gave careful attention in the making of JTTW, that they loved it so much they made sure they got it right. And it is the only series by TYB that I dare say they got it right.
GOH ..they got it all wrong. I do not know if they're the same producers with JTTW. If yes, shame on them. If no, still shame on TVB. This is certainly a series that won't make me run to the library and read about something deep and something new. This series reminds me of Incurable Traits; the promises of an epic and in the end, we got a dead dog here. The series was far too rushed and in the end, I feel like I know nothing.
The Missing Elements That Could Have Made The Series Better
Many things were unexplained in this series. Read the plot above and you'll know what I mean. For example, why does the cow-horse-donkey help Na Zha? He belonged to Sang Kung Pao but why? Why he pretended to be Nui Wo? WHY?!
I believe TVB must have edited some pivotal scenes that they thought were unnecessary. I hold the believe that sometimes, not all editing is good. For example, reviews. We receive quite a number of reviews, despite the fact that my name is everywhere in E-Buzz, we do have people writing for us. I do not know about Seagull but I do check out the review. There were places I feel could be edited out to save downloading time but I feel if I were to do that, I would be undermining your effort. I feel a review must be shown as a whole review, because you must have written down that statement for a good reason. By editing without consulting you or editing without reading the whole review, my action would tantamount to killing your intent on the review, your message. Likewise with series. Editing must be done, but it must be done intelligently. This series has a weak script and I believe sloppy editing. Many things were left unexplained and therefore illogical and unacceptable. In JTTW I, the only illogical thing was how can one guy from a lifetime of being a good guy could be a centipede demon the next? But everything else was explained adequately.
There were times I wish I could shut the narrator up. He is actually the actor who played CK in War Of The Genders, who has quite a nice voice. But I find his narration in here an exaggeration and my biggest complain of him is actually not his fault; his narration always came at a bad time. Too intrusive. When people are talking, he is still talking. When he finishes talking, half the dialogue on the screen is gone. I believe by doing that, we the viewers lost a lot of good info that TVB may have thought to be unimportant. The one scene that I was hoping would happen happened but not in the way I wanted.
The queen was arguing with Than Gei and Than Gei was arguing back, the King in the middle. I wanted to hear what they were arguing abouta nd how they were arguing and Than Gei's response to the Queen's accusations and guess what? All i could hear was HIS voice. And when he stopped talking, the scene was no more. One good scene that we could never hear nor see again.
Many times I wished I could just tell him;
"Arrrgggggg.....JUST SHUT UP WILL YA?!!"
Karma and Fate
In JTTW, though were some destined to be a certain thing, it is up to them to create the fate and all depends on their karma. Everybody has a chance to be somebody. And the Kuan Yin and gang rarely interferes with the governance by the Jade Emperor, because helping humanity is one thing and running the system to accommodate humanity was quite another. There was a clear demarcation.
In this GOH series, we are supposed to buy the fact that there is a Heaven since we will see hell. There is a Jade Emperor and perhaps some religious figure, such as Nui Wo. But the funny thing was we never got to see the Heaven. Not even once. And that is the problem with this series that based the whole thing on myths and legends. Everybody is just way too human, just so happen they have magical powers and we never know why and how they got it. We don't see trainings, we don't see test. We only see..boom boom... Yeung Jin got his laser beam eyes or Na Zha could fight. Even when they showed to us how great the weapons were, they tried to make the fire wheels a bit humanized, with temper and love of their own. They kept saying how powerful were the fire wheels, and frankly, in this series I could only see them as means of transport. Why without them Na Zha would lose? They tried to give personality to the spear tha Na Zha has but I feel more for the Golden Needle that the Monkey King uses. The only weapon I feel has personality is Hau Tin Huen.
In GOH, we see plenty of fate and karma. We see plenty of people who are born to die. Period. No reason given why they were chosen to die. They were just supposed to die to make Than Gei look evil. Like Bei Gon for instance. He got a bad deal. Nui Wo gave him a heart and told him he will encounter big problems in future. Translation: You'll die sooner than you expected but you must take this job because you were fated and destined to die that way.
You see my point? Na Zha and gang from the beginning were destined to be Heavenly General. So whatever they did would never affect their ultimate fate. Because even if they were to die, they will be revived because their times are not up yet. I find these beliefs very unreal and restrictive.
In JTTW, they had to earn their way to Buddhahood. Maybe in GOH, they're trying to say you're destined to be generals but you have to earn your way to being a buddha. On second thought, that is a logical assumption because let's face it; buddha is more difficult to be than generals. generals can be emotional and cold but buddha, he has got to smile and feel heepy and contented even with suffering around him.
I just do not like the idea things are fated. If such is a case, Than Gei should not have been said to be evil, because let's face it, she was fated to be evil. Did she really had any other choice?
I don't think so. If we look at it this way, Than Gei deserves our sympathy, not our hatred because her life has been written even before she was born and she has no way to change it.
Conclusion: Why This Series Sucks
One simple reason; I find this series very impersonal, very emotionally detached despite what I had said about Yuen's character. Too many things happened outside the camera, that we only got the narration to fill us in as to what happened. Some were just pure guesses by me. This series excels in making us ask more Whys and making us understand why. Questions are left unanswered. Many thing were not shown to us, making us feel emotionally attached to this series. when thing should have been shown and should show us more, TVB chickened out. They should have shown us how Than Gei manipulated her way to the King's heart, how she seduced him, how she became the evil Than Gei, how Yan Sap Leong die as in showing us the scene where she dies, showing is more realistic and more horrifying torture scenes by actually showing us death for some closure, like show how they kill Bak Yap Hao, the Queen, the images of Deaths. But they never did that and all we had was the narrator's words. I feel much more could have been shown to us but they didn't. I feel is this series were to take the viewpoint of Than Gei, starting the series with her it would have been better. Or at least start with the Kingdom and end with the kingdom. But they preferred to start with Na Zha and everybody would have thought this is a series about Na Zha., Then they included love stories, and etc and everybody would have thought this is a love story.
Characters such as Lin Fah, Wong Gan and Lau Pei Pa should have been removed to give us a more focused storyline. But they didn't do that, perhaps they wanted a mix of drama, comedy, love and loss. This would be suitable for series such as ATE but this is a series about Creation of Gods, not about how one loves another, how a family was torn apart by a woman, how this and how that. In the end, this series is like pure drama. Frankly, I don't see it as comedy. I didn't find it funny. I find it depressing because good people die for no good reason. I feel this series has wasted many precious moments, took away many potentially good stories and therefore, robbed us of the pleasure to really watch a series about Creation Of Gods and perhaps learn a thing or two about myths and legends.
Frankly, the book and the series have materials to last 100 episodes but they confined it to 20 tapes. Something has to be sacrificed so that they can squeeze everything into 40 episodes and so they took away the one thing that could have made this series great and added in things that made this series sucks;
The book's original theme & melodrama.
And so my conclusion as to why this series sucks is as such;
this series wasted a potentially gold mine of a storyline and instead gave us a neither here nor there story that neither affected me in the way I see things nor did it gave me a helluva of a great time. In the end, this series is pure big bangs and dramatic scenes. Few scenes were good and in the end, as I watched the last episode, I saw there and ponder of all the possibilities and I could only conclude, it could have been much much more.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE
A must read, if you don't already know ...
- GENERAL NOTICE ABOUT REVIEWS▼
- 1. All reviews are the personal opinion of respective reviewer
2. All reviews are opinion and if you can't stand opinion different from yours, best to avoid reading any of them here
3. All reviews contain mild to major spoilers so please be forewarned
4. All reviews are written in English and although every effort has been made to spell/grammar/fact check each review which is the responsibility of the reviewer, please take note some reviews may not be spelling/grammar/fact accurate
5. The above applies to opinion and episodic thoughts as well
- 1. All reviews are the personal opinion of respective reviewer
- GENERAL NOTICE ABOUT COMMENTS▼
- 1. All comments are the personal opinion of respective commenter
2. If you like to post a comment, please use Post A Comment in respective review. If you like to reply to a comment, please reply to the specific comment
3. This comment system uses the threaded comments system so that reply can be given to the specific post by the specific commenter
4. Whilst honesty and critical comments are most welcomed, this site does not tolerate bullying, rudeness, vulgarities and any display that will undermine the credibility of this site. A good opinion is always welcomed and any opinion is biased, prejudiced and with a tinge of sarcasm but opinion that is meant to belittle or bully fellow commenters are not welcomed, especially for comments that add nothing to the discussion
5. All comments are moderated therefore your comment may not appear immediately until approved
- 1. All comments are the personal opinion of respective commenter
- GENERAL INDICATORS EXPLAINED▼
- [R] WILL POWER [TVB]  Funn Lim
[Type] Title [Produced by][Year of release] Name of Reviewer
1. [R] Reviews
Full review posted originally at Reviews Database
2.[E] Episodic Thoughts
Long recaps of each episode which will contain critical analysis of the plot of the episode as well as a brief review. These thoughts are usually posted at its own blog with its own blog URL
3. [O] Opinion
Overall commentary on each episode or series/movie generally. These are usually posted at the main blog Point2e.com under one post
4. [P] Placeholder
Main page/gateway for a title with links to other pages such as episodic thoughts, opinions, etc
5. [TV] TV series
Others which are TV based series or TV movies will be included in this category except TVB and ATV which is always TV.
6. [MOV] Movies
The subject matter is a movie or movie released straight to DVD, excluding made for TV movies
- [R] WILL POWER [TVB]  Funn Lim
- CLASSIFICATIONS EXPLAINED▼
- [Chi] - Mainland China
[Tw] - Taiwan
[Kr] - Korea
[Jp] - Japan/Japanese
[Spore] - Singapore
[Msia] - Malaysia
[Hol] - Hollywood
[Misc] - Other countries
- Any title without any indicator means it is a Review.
Any title without any indicator as to nature of it is a TV series from TVB.
Any title without any indicator as to country/language is in Cantonese language.
- [Chi] - Mainland China
- GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSION OF REVIEWS▼
- If you're interested in writing for series or movies that are either reviewed or not yet reviewed, you're welcomed to do so. Whilst there is no strictly guidelines, generally you must adhere to the following prior to sending your review to me:-
1. You may write on a NOTEPAD saved in TXT format with clear paragraphs indicated which must contain the following:-
a. the title in English and Chinese/language of origin
b. brief info such as year of release, produced by/which country, cast list and a short summary. For the cast list and short summary, you may just put the Wikipedia link
c. YOUR REVIEW/COMMENTS. Write it in anyway you like but please tone down your language if you feel a need to rant
d. in English please
e. give your verdict, or your rating (out of 5 or whatever number you prefer but indicate it clearly) or both f. optional, you may add in interesting facts, historical background, links to screencaps,anything you may wish to complete your review g. if you review is in parts, please indicate it clearly so I will add that into the top of the review but do remember to follow up and finish the review
2. to save trouble, you may want to use THIS SUBMISSION FORM instead
3. spell/grammar/fact check please because I will not do it for you. No request for amendment will be entertained unless it is for correction of wrong facts/links/synopsis
4. If you're not using the submission form, please ensure you have included your name, your email address (for contact purposes only) and attach the review in TXT format with any screencaps and posters (optional) to funnlim(AT)gmail(DOT)com
Your review will be posted within 3 days of submission unless I am not able to access the Internet for some reasons. You can check out Point2e.com for notification.
I thank you for your submission.
- If you're interested in writing for series or movies that are either reviewed or not yet reviewed, you're welcomed to do so. Whilst there is no strictly guidelines, generally you must adhere to the following prior to sending your review to me:-