LOOK IT’S SO GOOD OKAY?
*CAVEAT: To be honest, I put off watching this series for a bit because there were some mixed reviews, and for the first episode(s) the critics are legit. The beginning is … a lot. They throw a lot of shit out there, and introduce characters that are instantly killed off. Also, for whatever reason the first (few?) episodes – I’ve replaying from E1 as I write this review for me … third? fourth? rewatch – anyway, especially in episode one it’s like the director firmly told everyone “hey, overact as much as humanly possible.” Even knowing that/having seen some gifs that had me facepalming, I almost DNF’d at E1, but powered through, and am so glad that I did, because this series truly is excellent. (You need to watch the first few episodes the first time to get the background, but IMO the series only really starts/gets good once the hero loses is stupid awful “disguise.”) So … lol truly – if you pick up this series, which I hope you do … POWER THROUGH THE FIRST FEW EPISODES. Ping me, tweet me, email me, I will let you bitch all you want! I’ll encourage you and we’ll get through it! (It’s taken me months to write this review where I started and stopped…) Anyway, here’s the blurb/summary.
As leader of an elite unit, tasked with protecting the imperial family, Zhou Zi Shu was not a man to be taken lightly. A man of great honor, who commanded much respect, he served with the utmost loyalty and was rewarded accordingly. However charmed his life may have seemed on the outside, in reality, it was not the life Zi Shu desired. Unsettled within himself, Zi Shu ultimately decides to leave his position in order to pursue his own dreams.
Putting the past behind him, Zi Shu is determined to start anew but even the best laid plans can be waylaid by fate. Not long after setting off to see the world, Zi Shu finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy that rocks the martial arts world. At the same time, he meets Wen Ke Xing, a mysterious martial artist from the Ghost Valley, who is on a quest to avenge his parents’ death. Brought together by fate, the two become fast friends as they share a series of adventures that leads them ever closer to a legendary treasure that is rumored to give its owner ultimate power over the martial arts world.
Entangled in conspiracies and hunting treasure, Zi Shu and Ke Xing find themselves caught up in an adventure so epic, it could alter the course of history forever.
Adapted from the novel, Faraway Wanders by Priest, Word of Honor is a 2021 adventure fantasy drama directed by Gary Sing and Jones Ma.
I posted online a little bit about this series while I was watching it and I said it has some of the most complex main characters I’ve ever read or watched. One was basically forced to become an assassin to protect not only himself but his entire martial [arts] sect (Four Seasons Manor) of nearly 100 people that he was entrusted to lead at just 16 years old. The other is willing to watch the world burn as he tries to avenge the tragic death of his parents – and with good reason, because they were betrayed by the world. Then there’s the added level of this being a same sex relationship/romance drama which is definitely ~not allowed in China, so the whole thing is overall subtle and it’s mostly hints and innuendo. (Since the airing of this show there’s been an outright ban…) Still, I really enjoyed Word of Honor and started rewatching it to write this review. Again, I also entreat people to “endure” through the first few episodes because there’s some pretty painful overacting in them which thankfully doesn’t last.
The “prompt” of the TBR challenge this month is “love is love” – and this is a “BL” series – “boy love” which is unfortunately banned now, so shout out to the iconic Word of Honor. (LOL seriously – considering comments I’ve read, these characters live rent free in a lot of people’s heads. 💯) And truly. Gong Jun and Zhang Zhehan give a masterclass in chemistry here, with just looks. Continue reading