dangermousie: (ROCH by meganbmoore)
[personal profile] dangermousie
I watched the first three episodes of the Chinese period/adventure/romance (alright, alright, wuxia) drama, Romance of Red Dust.

Our heroine, Hong Fu Nu (the gorgeous Shu Qi) is the pet assassin of the evil minister. The evil minister (EM) has a whole squad of assassins, male and female, to take out anyone who opposes him and Hong Fu Nu, picked up from the streets when a child, is one of them. (There is a subtext of a past relationship of some sort between her and Du Gu, the assassin trainer, who is kinda hot).

In between assignments, she is EM's plaything, and has to submit to him in his bed (there is actually a pretty horrid flashback, which basically shows that he took her virginity as well).

She hates the killing, she hates her boss, she hates having to be a whore. She is dead inside. Until one day her paths cross with Li Jing (Wallace Huo), an enthusiastic, idealistic scholar who sees her as a person. So when she is ordered to assassinate him, she saves him almost on impulse, and they go on the run...

I've been promised OTP, angst and other awesome things.

So far I love it. It might be my fave wuxia except for Return of the Condor Heroes.

I just love the unusual take in this story, which is so far heroine-centric, and is about the redemption and growth of the heroine. Who is the jaded one, the soul-dead one, the non-virgin. When Hong Fu Nu saves Li Jing's life instead of killing him as ordered, it's not love, not yet. It's just she has seen him be kind to a pair of starving children, and has seen him be a good, enthusiastic, warm person. Something wakes up in her that is long dead: she loves his idealism and sweetness so far, not him yet.

Which is so awesome, because she is the damaged one, the more experienced one, and he is the wide-eyed innocent. Though I've read that's going to change and he is going to be able to kick butt super-well, which is awesome as I prefer strong heroes :) But as of now, I think she is slowly falling for him, as much for his belief that she is good as for the fact that Wallace Huo is hot :)

Here are some pics:


Falling in love:

I haven't met this guy yet but doesn't this say: 'she is so heavy?'

The girl assassin squad:

Color-coordinated and fighting evil:

Evil Minister:

Assassin in blue is iin love with Du Gu and in yellow with EM's son:

In other news, I am up through ep 14 of Tenjou Tenge. Oh my. Shin (Maya's brother) is SCARY. He is a psychotic, incestuous freak. Yikes. I have to say the families in this give me the creeps: we have Maya's family, with the psycho, incestuous-codependent brother (and somehow, I still find him fascinating) who killed their parents (!!!!) And Mitsuomi's family? In the past, we have the super-psycho father who is OK with ruining people in order to turn his son into an ultimate fighter (as he thinks he is too kind) and now we have Mitsuomi beating on his brother to toughen him up. Yikes. I have to say that in TT, I find the backstory a lot more interesting than in the present story. So cool and so messed up. Also, the adviser dude? So made of awesome. The characters I love are adviser guy, Maya, Mitsuomi and (in a weird way) Shin.

Mitsuomi has issues. He is about to have some more:


I shouldn't like Shin but I do. He is just so messed up and trying his best to stay sane:

Mitsuomi's Dad with a slight overdose of evil:

Mana and Shin. I kinda like them a lot. A LOT.

'Cest is best?

Or not?

Mitsuomi and Maya. Seriously, I ship them so hard. I love it, because he got a challenge but he is freaking out so when he shows up, she's already taken care of the guys. Heh. She rocks:

Maybe I like Shin because he is complex and tormented. Or maybe because I am shallow. You decide:

Seriously, I love them together:

Oh man. Shiiiiiin! I love that she totally calls him on being a murdering, schitzo, sister-complexed freak and stiill loves him:

Mmmm., present-day Mitsuomi. I love that Maya was earlier all 'sorry dead brother, can't kill him' and flashbacking to topless scene. Heh. I suppose you can always kill him through sex?

Seriously, most fail as enemies ever. I mean, she is apologizing to him and asking him for help (her little sis went berserk):

And they talk in unison:

And they search hallways together:

And he asks her if she remembers their first meeting:

And she talks about how she felt like the failure of her family (because she is the sane one):

Yeah, I can so sense the pulsing hate:


Did I mention the whole part where he offers to take Maya home because the sis might be homicidal and come after her? Yeah:

LOL. Isuzu (who has a thing for him herself) is having a total Nuriko moment over this:

And he insists over Maya's objections because any guards she gets will die, in the worst case scenario, but it's OK for him because:

So much joy over that on Maya's face. Or not:


Ohhh, Maya. Give in and make this fangirl happy:

Date: 2007-12-10 06:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meganbmoore.livejournal.com
The near-complete role reversal and the harshness of Red Dust were, IMO, the best parts. It pulls absolutely no punches with Hong Bi's life, or with some things that happen later on. I think it's revealed early on, but at one point we see her indoctrination into the secret palace, and it isn't easy stuff. I was actually kind of surprised to see some of the stuff in it(but in a good way.)

The guy carrying her in the one pic, Li Shi Min, appears for about 30 seconds early on, but becomes important during criplling through gangrene/blindness through leaches. I kinda ran hot and cold with him-he'd be awesome one minute and then annoyingly otp-interfering the next-but he ended up my favorite character. I also really like his sister.

I *hem* possibly had a thing for Du Gu, and spent a lot of the first half wishing he and the Blue Assassin would become an Evil OTP...I am not ashamed to admit this. And Yellow Assassin and PM's evil son is...I don't know if they're "good," but it's kinda fascinating in an odd way later on.

Date: 2007-12-10 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Yay, I am not the only one who likes Du Gu!

Oh, and yeah, initiation is in early eps.

This thing would have made a good anime.

Date: 2007-12-10 05:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meganbmoore.livejournal.com
Du Gu and Li Shi Min are both characters that could have been really awful or annoying, but instead are really, really great.

I actually found the "examination" to be harder to watch than her realization of who was going to take her virginity, in a way.

Date: 2007-12-10 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Yeah, that was pretty horrifying

Date: 2007-12-11 12:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crumpeteer.livejournal.com
I think I love Shin because I've never seen an anime character who is supposed to be evil (and he is) fight against his evilness and insanity so hard. Shin fights tooth and nail to keep what shreds of sanity he has and he KNOWS he's going to lose, but that doesn't stop him from fighting. He's weak. It's pretty evident that he's weaker than Maya, but you understand why his friends are so willing to forgive him. They know he's going down eventually. They know they're going to have to kill him in the end, but Shin has so much charisma you understand why they're willing to just let things play out rather than deal with them on the front end. I completely understand why Mana loves him in spite of knowing how screwed up he is.

Date: 2007-12-11 02:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Yeah, normally I am not big on bad guys, but I love Shin. Mainly because he does fight hard and is charismatic, but also because it's not his fault. It's the sword and the powers. I mean, even with the evil sword, if he didn't touch it when so young (but then what kind of weird parent entrusts the duty to a small child like Maya) he could have been better able to cope.

It's funny, but while I am normally all about the good guys in TT I love Shin (who is the violent sister-loving psycho-prone guy), Mitsuomi (whose idea of family bonding it to beat his brother to a pulp) and adviser guy who is pervy even by TT's standards. But Soichiro leaves me cold.

I wonder about Maya, btw. She comes across, at first, as this very well-adjusted if slap happy marital arts guru type. But then we see she is incredibly screwed up. But then, her brother and her boyfriend both turned to monsters, to varying degree, to protect her. And I have a feeling Soichiro might go that way too...

Date: 2007-12-11 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crumpeteer.livejournal.com
I also feel deeply for Shin because of how he's used and manipulated by people far more powerful than he is. Watching Shin is watching someone deconstruct. Much like Anakin, watching Shin is watching what was once a charming person devolve into a monster. And Maya knows it's for her. That last point where SHE ends up driving him over the edge by choosing Mitsuomi over him haunt her.

Much like the lead character in The Promise, Maya seems to doom the men around her.

Date: 2007-12-11 02:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Yeah, I really hate the Takyanagi old guy: who uses Shin for 'data' and drives him crazy for his own purposes. Ugh.

SHE ends up driving him over the edge by choosing Mitsuomi over him haunt her.

But then you can't live your life completely negating yourself so your crazy brother doesn't snap. But yes, that guilt will totally haunt her. Of course, short of moving to Australia and going out with an accountant, she can't do anything re: Shin or Mitsuomi or Soichiro...

The Promise is a good analogy.

Date: 2007-12-11 01:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weissman.livejournal.com
I have always though that Shu Qi was just amazing looking, almost as awesome as Grace Park. (what can I say one track mind)


Date: 2007-12-11 02:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Yeah, she is gorgeous.


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