Do you think "Lianhua Lou" is a qualified martial arts drama, and why?

Personal Reflections on “Lotus Tower”

These are purely my personal thoughts, not authoritative and open to different viewpoints, with mutual respect.

In my opinion, “Lotus Tower” is a qualified drama;

However, there is a sense of regret, feeling that it could have been better.

“Lotus Tower” adopts a martial arts theme, especially in the first half, with a strong martial arts atmosphere. It starts with sects, martial arts, poisoning, injuries, and the mystique of the Jianghu.

In terms of narrative progression, “Lotus Tower” follows a pattern of unit mystery detective stories. The plot threads together the stories of the main characters through various cases. The trio cooperates, understands each other, shares mutual admiration, and investigates a truth from ten years ago.

The main storyline is relatively focused, with a fast pace, blending suspense with martial arts elements.

The drama’s original soundtrack is also commendable, matching well with the plot and the martial arts theme, creating a strong atmosphere.

Moreover, the drama is occasionally quite humorous. Some small plots, designs, and dialogues are amusing, providing relief and entertainment.

The romance is almost non-existent, but the few female characters, though not elaborately depicted, leave a lasting impression.

Jiao Liqiao, the admirer of Di Feisheng, stands out. Jiao Liqiao, a fiercely ambitious character, focuses on her career for love, and when realizing that success doesn’t win the man’s heart, she becomes even more dedicated to her career. After achieving career success and still not winning the man’s heart, she decides to take control of men’s hearts. She represents an ambitious and fiercely passionate career woman.

Li Lianhua’s ex-girlfriend, Qiao Wanman, is briefly depicted, but what’s remarkable about her character is that, in a martial arts suspense setting, where most female leads in male-oriented stories are mere attachments to the male lead, she, as Li Lianhua’s ex-girlfriend, initiates the breakup ten years ago. When they reunite after ten years, she doesn’t cling to the past but shows guilt towards Li Xiangyi and a sense of melancholy for the changes in life, maintaining her independence without reducing her to a character who simply adores Li Lianhua.

Overall, for me personally, “Lotus Tower” with its suspenseful, martial arts theme and a focused, fast-paced, and understandable plot, is to my liking. Thus, I consider it a qualified work.

However, I still feel that the drama has its regrets, that it could have been better.

Throughout the drama, apart from the tragic ending of Li Lianhua (either death or suffering from poisoning and amnesia), it often feels more like “rushing through the process” rather than touching the heart with genuine emotion, lacking that deep impact.

In terms of the detective aspect, it lacks the immersive feeling of solving cases. The rapid revelation of deaths and mysteries, followed by Li Lianhua swiftly solving them, misses the joy of immersion and fails to touch the heart with the cases.

The most touching element of martial arts is usually the sense of passion, brotherhood, and romantic love.

However, in “Lotus Tower”, the sense of passion seems somewhat lacking, not as vivid as in “Young Song Journey” (also about a small team adventuring through the Jianghu).

Regarding brotherhood and mutual admiration, although Fang Duobing carries a sense of youthful passion and brotherhood, and Di Feisheng and Li Lianhua (Li Xiangyi) share a bond, it still lacks that heart-touching moment and feels rather plain.

Regarding the female characters, Jiao Liqiao, though wildly ambitious, still appears somewhat stereotyped, a character who turns to career after being hurt in love.

Even the plot where Fang Duobing misunderstands Li Lianhua, leading to a quarrel and eventual reconciliation, which theoretically should be a climax, feels somewhat bland to me.

So, for me, “Lotus Tower” is a competent martial arts drama, but overall it feels rather plain. I feel that my emotional focus was mainly on the tragic ending [The Death of Li Lianhua]. (The main story ends openly, almost certainly with Li Lianhua’s death by poisoning. Although in the extras and circulated scripts Li Lianhua doesn’t die, he is poisoned, blinded, severely injured, and amnesiac, which is also tragic.)

I was genuinely saddened and unsettled by the grand finale,

Wishing the ending had been frozen with the trio (and ideally with my favorite fox spirit, haha) adventuring through the Jianghu.

But in the main storyline, it always seems to lack that deeply touching moment.

So, I think it could have been better.

Ps: To reiterate, these are just my personal thoughts, subjective and open to different perspectives, with mutual respect.

Understanding Wuxia in “Lotus Tower”

To judge whether a drama is a qualified Wuxia (martial arts) drama, one must first understand what “Wuxia” is.

The concept of “Xia” (heroism) first appeared in the pre-Qin text “Han Feizi · Wu Du”: Confucians disrupt law with culture, while heroes defy bans with martial arts. In the Western Han Dynasty, Sima Qian recorded many “Xia” figures in “Biographies of the Assassins” in “Records of the Grand Historian”, particularly admiring the street heroes of the pre-Qin era, lamenting, “Since the Qin Dynasty, the heroes of ordinary people have vanished, and I deeply regret this.” He described the essential traits of “Xia” as trustworthy speech, resolute actions, and sincere promises. They supported the weak against the strong, acted nobly, and were willing to sacrifice their lives to help others without boasting. It’s evident that “Xia” is associated with “righteousness”, encompassing courage and justice, as well as the lone hero filling the gaps in order. Jin Yong, through the character Guo Jing, defined ‘Xia’: “The greatest of Xia, serves the country and the people.”

Wuxia, reliant on the concept of “Jianghu” (rivers and lakes), is complex. Abstractly, it represents the disillusionment and downfall of the literati. The Jianghu of Wuxia novels, more straightforward and pure, emphasizes the dichotomy of good and evil, and the division of gratitude and revenge. Yet, it also includes a “grey area” with complex human nature, mirroring the real world. Wuxia, set in this kind of Jianghu, showcases diverse tales.

I personally feel that “Lotus Tower” embodies both detachment and engagement in the world, seemingly Wuxia yet contrary to it, and is qualified in the present context.

The uniqueness of “Lotus Tower” lies in its protagonist’s reverse growth. Unlike other Wuxia dramas focusing on settling scores, leveling up, and personal struggles, it talks about letting go of grudges, seeking survival through retreat, and self-reconciliation. It narrates the growth from shackles, the twilight of heroes, and a dying man’s confession and farewell to the world. It ends with reconciliation with friends, lovers, enemies, and the world, and a farewell to one’s past self.

The past was good, and so is the present.
The moonlight of those years is no better than today. The moonlight of those years is just like today.

It abandons the old Wuxia tropes, redefining Jianghu. The Jianghu in “Lotus Tower” is not equivalent to Wuxia; it is anti-Jianghu but pro-Wuxia. We often talk about the righteousness of Jianghu, but Li Lianhua’s life tells us that Jianghu is the spirit of youth. It might be the reckless passion of Li Xiangyi and Fang Duobing, the proud and wild nature of Di Feisheng, or the narrow selfishness of Dangu Dao and Xiao Ziyin. Without experiencing the ordinary lives of most, how can one understand the righteousness needed in this ordinary world? Even heroes must bow for their livelihood. But martial arts represent a power that the strong should use for justice, as Yang Yun Chun, not in Jianghu, still values Wuxia.

The original author, Teng Ping, once said, “ Li Lianhua knows what makes him happy. In life, what you consider significant is significant, and what you see as trivial is trivial. Decades of glory and wealth are but fleeting clouds; since they are fleeting, why obsess over them? Peace, health, and happiness are truly delightful.

To discuss “Lotus Tower”’s Wuxia, one cannot just talk about Wuxia. It’s about the unpredictable Jianghu where one is forced to engage and resolve conflicts; it’s about the loneliness at the top and the genius envied by heaven; it’s about the transformation from understanding all beings to becoming one, shedding pride and isolation for true heroism; it’s about whether ultimate elegance is gallantly riding through the martial world or the Lotus Tower’s omnipresence in simplicity; it’s about whether endless life is being admired by thousands and making a name or being alone in a tower with plain clothes; it’s about the meaning of life encompassing not only grand ideals but also every moment of small kindness.

Is excellent, but the positioning is a bit conservative.

The world of the Lotus Tower is both real and romantic, cruel and gentle, leading people towards kindness and open-mindedness, confronting various dilemmas of fame, fortune, and loss. It’s quite good.

“The Lotus Tower”: A Thought-Provoking Masterpiece

“The Lotus Tower” is a film with a lot of lasting power. It offers a mix of heart-wrenching “injustice” and a soothing sense of “so be it.”

If we were to describe the protagonist Li Xiangyi’s life in the world of the Lotus Tower on a platform like Zhihu, it might be summed up with the question: “How unfortunate can a person’s life become?”

Li Xiangyi, a young man, rose to fame with a single sword strike, drawing crowds for the sake of his beloved Red Silk. However, after a fateful duel, he willingly returned to the dust and mud.

He spent ten years searching for his senior martial brother, only to discover that his senior brother was the mastermind behind a grand conspiracy. Ironically, the coveted position his senior brother yearned for was Li Xiangyi’s destiny from birth.

In the end, to fulfill “righteousness” and “love,” a generation of heroes, Li Xiangyi, broke his sword and roamed the martial world, leaving behind a lingering mystery and a legend.

This level of adversity is akin to life testing us repeatedly, yet we still embrace life like it’s our first love. It’s only when the hustle and bustle of life fades away that we understand the true meaning. A Lotus Tower, a person, a dog… simple meals and plain tea are the essence of life.

It resembles the experience of those who have spent half their lives struggling in society, only to have their shining halo disappear suddenly due to a motivating event, making them realize they’ve been using their strength in the wrong way.

This profound insight into life in “The Lotus Tower” transitions from light-hearted suspense to a Zen-like contemplation of life’s meaning.

Li Xiangyi lives the kind of life we all aspire to.

In this context, it’s reminiscent of Eason Chan’s song “Top Gear,” which shares a similar sentiment:

“At eighteen, I didn’t wear a watch, so I had plenty of time to be carefree. In my wild and playful youth. In the blink of an eye, I’m twenty-seven, with limited time, and I dare not be lazy anymore. While my grand aspirations may remain unfulfilled, it’s never too late to strive.”

“The Lotus Tower” stands out today, opening new possibilities for the wuxia genre in online literature at a time when it seemed hopeless.

In the current era of new media, male characters are either worthless or have overpowered abilities, while female characters are caught in a constant struggle for favor or embrace the dark and eccentric. Every story seems to involve powerful abilities, and the plot often departs from the romantic relationships of the main characters, with kissing and hugging as if ratings no longer matter.

“The Lotus Tower” defies conventions by leading the audience inward. The romantic relationship between the male and female leads is nothing more than a cup of aged tea in the series.

However, in the recurring moments of “injustice,” the audience witnesses their own most honest values being reflected.

In 2023, it’s gratifying to see “The Lotus Tower,” and if we were to call it “qualified,” it’s certainly worth remembering.

“The Lotus Tower”: Not Just Qualified, but a Martial Arts Masterpiece

Is it just qualified? “The Lotus Tower” represents the pinnacle of martial arts dramas in recent years. In the era of mindless crowd-pleasers that many films and TV shows have become, “The Lotus Tower” is a breath of fresh air.

Previously, many protagonists in works were ordinary individuals who constantly gained power-ups through convenient plot devices, gradually transforming into mighty heroes. Along the way, they often attracted the admiration of numerous female characters. “The Lotus Tower” is quite the opposite. The male lead starts as an ordinary person, becomes complacent, and even develops arrogance. However, he experiences highs and lows, engages in deep self-reflection over a decade, and with just a single battery, fulfills his own wishes while helping others find closure and saving himself. The male lead has been lost, introspected, and regretted, reflecting a relatable psychological journey. Ultimately, he embraces his past with equanimity, letting go of the past, harmonizing with the world, and going with the flow. The character development is incredibly vivid, isn’t it?

Now, let’s talk about the plot. “The Lotus Tower” can wrap up a case in just about two episodes, without unnecessary dragging or filler. Each case connects seamlessly, paving the way for the next one, all the while supporting the overarching story. From start to finish, the narrative remains intact, avoiding any breakdowns. In terms of storytelling, it easily outperforms many other works.

As for the themes, “The Lotus Tower” doesn’t feature many conventional antagonists. The characters' stances differ based on their motivations. The relationships among the three male leads reflect this diversity. Afei is a formidable antagonist, but he is also a pawn in a bigger game, with a complex fate. However, he doesn’t blindly follow orders and can distinguish right from wrong. Fang Xiaobao, a rising star with inherent shortcomings, overcomes his limitations and grows into a towering figure capable of cleansing the impurities. His journey embodies the empowering and aspirational aspects of new beginnings. Li Lianhua spends a decade in introspection, seeking redemption in both the world and within himself.

“The Lotus Tower” transcends the notion of mere qualification and stands as a powerful martial arts drama.

“The Lotus Tower”: A Martial Arts Gem with Substance

Chinese dramas may overflow with ancient settings, but martial arts dramas are a rarity. When we finally get an S+ grade martial arts drama like “Sword Snow Stride,” it often falls into the slow-motion fight scene trap. In martial arts productions, if the action scenes falter, it’s as if half of the reputation has already crumbled.

On the contrary, if the action scenes are well-executed, they often lay a strong foundation for the martial arts essence.

In this regard, “The Lotus Tower” clearly learned from industry lessons. The fight scenes are thoughtfully designed, starting with an extensive one-on-one fight between the male lead, Li Xiangyi (portrayed by Cheng Yi), and the antagonist Di Feisheng (played by Xiao Shunyao).

The entire sequence features clear and fluid action choreography, smooth transitions, and a touch of old-school martial arts aesthetics. Both actors deliver commendable performances, and while they may not be professional martial artists, their moves and power convey the essence effectively.

Throughout the process, there’s no slow motion, only intense exchanges of blows. It’s a clash of good and evil, a pinnacle display of skill and confrontation, reminiscent of the showdown on the “Purple Forbidden Peak.”

The characters engage in straightforward, crisp combat moves, which stand out in comparison to contemporary martial arts productions saturated with slow-motion effects. The opening fight scene conveys a clear message to the audience: “When filming martial arts, we mean business."

A remarkable fight scene can captivate most of the martial arts enthusiasts, and “The Lotus Tower” begins impressively. For non-martial arts enthusiasts, it’s truly stunning.

The “form” of martial arts, visible to today’s audience, allows a work to stand out from the sea of ancient dramas. However, it’s the “essence” of martial arts that is the core highlight of “The Lotus Tower,” creating a dynamic and ever-changing martial world.

A World of Martial Heroes and Complex Relationships

Li Xiangyi, later known as Li Lianhua, is the central figure in the entire story and a legendary character, much like Xiao Li Flying Dagger. He gained fame as a young man and became the number one martial artist in the martial world by the age of twenty. He is the founder of the Four Gu’s Sect.

Even without a detailed exploration of his rise to fame, the audience can glimpse this martial prodigy from the narrative. He was once an extraordinary talent who roamed the martial world, spreading heroism and embroiling himself in countless disputes.

The martial world is ever-changing, and human hearts are complex.

The swiftness of Li Xiangyi’s ascent to legend is matched only by the suddenness of his fall. On the surface, he is targeted by the obsessive antagonist, Di Feisheng, who challenges him, willing to kill his closest senior martial brother for the title of “the strongest in the martial world.”

A battle on the high seas seeking revenge and finding his senior martial brother nearly costs Li Xiangyi his life. The Four Gu’s Sect also disintegrates due to Di Feisheng’s Gold Mandarin Alliance, and the once-great prodigy loses all his martial skills, teeters on the brink of death, and faces the resentment of his fellow disciples.

After a life-threatening ordeal, Li Xiangyi chooses to “cleanse his heart with a single thought” and becomes Li Lianhua, vanishing into the martial world. He seeks only to find his senior martial brother’s remains, abandons worldly affairs, and cools his once-fiery spirit, withdrawing as a hero.

It’s not until the encounter with the passionate youth Fang Duobing (portrayed by Zeng Shunxi) after ten years of solitude that Li Lianhua’s path takes a different turn. Their meeting marks a reunion of passion and tranquility, as well as a journey shared between kindred spirits, breathing new life into the martial world.

In this story, viewers witness the legacy of the old martial arts heroes, such as Li Xiangyi’s early life. They also see the obsession of a martial arts fanatic, like Di Feisheng, whose ambitions revolve around reaching the highest level of martial arts.

There’s also the noble ideals of a young and passionate hero, like Fang Duobing, who embodies both the past and present of martial arts enthusiasts. It’s a time-traveling adventure where heroism remains unwavering.

At the same time, the narrative is shrouded in the complexities of the martial world and the depths of human hearts.

Even if one has not read the original “The Lotus Tower,” the audience can sense that there’s more to Li Xiangyi’s “death” than meets the eye, as the main antagonist Di Feisheng is not a particularly complex character on the surface.

His obsession and ambition are primarily driven by the pursuit of martial arts perfection. How could a “madman” obsessed with martial arts design a widespread conspiracy to slaughter? If he wanted bloodshed, he could have engaged in a direct contest of strength.

Simultaneously, Li Xiangyi’s former colleagues in the Four Gu’s Sect clearly harbor their own ambitions. Some outwardly praise him while secretly belittling him, others covet his beloved, some have ambitions to establish their own sects, and some are opportunists.

The Profoundness of the Martial World Lies in the Hearts of Men

Pure martial artists and heroes are always the most captivating, representing the unwavering soul of the martial world. However, the purest martial artists and heroes often become the regrets and reminiscences in the ever-changing martial world.

Will the main character shatter the darkness and reshape the martial world, or will they slowly come to terms with the complexities of the martial world, carried along by the whims of fate? This is the enigma “The Lotus Tower” leaves for the audience, and it’s the essence that grips viewers the most.

Mystery and Suspense, but Lacking Thrills

Martial arts can be expressed in various ways, but in art, it’s not just about martial heroes and the martial world; it’s also about providing clues for heroes to uncover the martial world’s story. “The Lotus Tower” has chosen investigation as its narrative anchor.

The seasoned martial artist Li Lianhua, now a physician, crosses paths with the young Fang Duobing, determined to revitalize the Four Gu’s Sect. They become an investigative duo by chance, one using intellect, the other valor, solving mysteries and unraveling enigmas together.

Objectively speaking, “The Lotus Tower” had a remarkable premise for its suspenseful cases.

On one hand, the case concepts are intriguing, such as the second case, “Inn Disturbance and Ghostly Murders.” The death of the young girl Jade Autumn Frost, where all suspects were involved in her death, presents a thought-provoking scenario.

Everyone is trying to protect their interests, and at crucial moments, they all acted in their own favor, collectively leading the beloved girl down the path of death. The ones who sought her life were those who loved her, a tragic and pitiable situation.

On the other hand, the case style incorporates elements similar to “Tang Dynasty Mysteries,” with the killer using supernatural methods to stage the murders. This adds more suspense and drama to the mystery, increasing the tension.

However, “The Lotus Tower” falls slightly short in delivering the suspense it promises in the cases.

The thriller aspect lacks some buildup.

The horror elements in the first two cases are relatively subdued for suspense enthusiasts. Many opportunities to create a sense of horror through cinematography or atmosphere are underutilized, squandering the potential of a strong premise.

This is evident when comparing the trailer to the actual series.

In the trailer, the suspense elements are palpable from the first glance, causing the audience to shiver with excitement and curiosity.

In the actual series, the “thrills” are overtly revealed as mere “supernatural trickery,” without any need for the protagonist to uncover them. As a result, some of the depth expected from the premise is lost (possibly as a gentle introduction to the story).

The deductive aspect also lacks interactivity.

The limited impact of the thriller elements wastes the strong premise, and the protagonist’s deductive methods are too straightforward, robbing the suspense of its charm. The excitement of suspense lies not only in the revelation of the truth itself but also in engaging the audience in the thrill of deduction.

In simple terms, it should allow the audience to brainstorm alongside the main character, deducing the outcome from the foreshadowed clues. It’s like playing a game of Werewolf; watching experts face off is one layer of fun, and deciphering clues based on evidence is another layer of enjoyment.

However, “The Lotus Tower” largely omits the second layer of enjoyment from its deductive process because most cases are solved directly by the main character, making the deductive segments feel more like plot exposition, lacking the guided anticipation built on clues.

Yes, in today’s entertainment industry, which is dominated by ancient martial arts and fantasy genres, Lianhua Tower is a good starting point. The actors have a strong sense of belief, and I don’t know if it’s real fighting, but at least it looks like real fighting, and the pain and injuries feel very genuine.

Cannot be described as “qualified,” can be described as “excellent.”

An Excellent Blend of Martial Arts and Mystery in This TV Series

The first-generation leader gives up his prestigious position, follows his beloved woman, disguises himself as a “divine physician,” but his job is actually solving cases!

You might think it’s a martial arts drama, right?

Well, 80% of the theme is about solving cases!

You might think it’s a suspense drama, right?

But this TV series also carries a strong martial arts flavor!

So, if you ask whether this is a qualified “martial arts drama,” I personally think it’s not! Because it deviates from the norm!

But if you ask whether this is a qualified “good drama”!

I have to say, it’s truly a good drama!

Cheng Yi’s performance did not disappoint me!

The above is my personal opinion, for reference only!

Discussing Episodes 20-24 (From Disciples)

As “Lianhua Tower” has passed its halfway mark, and the highlight of the farewell party has concluded, these episodes serve as a pivot and transition in the storyline, offering a brief respite for the blogger. While these episodes hold significant importance in the main storyline, there is not much exploration in terms of character development and actor performances. These episodes can be seen as a proper callback and a time for the main plot to flourish. So, let’s dive into the “Female Residence Case” that I binge-watched today.

Episodes 20-21 bring a light-hearted and delightful atmosphere as Li Lianhua, Fang Duobing, and Di Feisheng team up once again, sharing humorous banter and playful moments. While there are brief encounters between Xiao Zijin and Li Lianhua, as well as a reunion with Ah Mian, they ultimately part ways, becoming friends of the past. The subsequent “Female Residence Case” is highly regarded by many. Indeed, among the stories within “Lianhua Tower,” this case stands out. It features the clearest logical progression, a well-crafted atmosphere, a suspenseful narrative, and a gripping tension. The case follows the classic “Stormy Mountain Manor” pattern, involving a secluded mansion and a series of murders.

The unfolding of the case is filled with twists and turns, creating a strong sense of immersion. Several clever plot twists are ingeniously designed, and I believe the ending will both shock and move viewers. However, as a fan of Agatha Christie’s works, I must point out that while the “Female Residence Case” has remarkable small-scale designs and emotional resonance, the overall structure of the case follows the classic “Murder on the Orient Express” style, involving a collective revenge plot. As the guard and Fang Duobing discuss that it takes a thousand pounds of force to push the roulette, the answer and the culprit may lie in the “majority.”

So today, instead of dissecting the dialogue-heavy scenes or reviewing the case, I’d like to focus on two smaller aspects. Firstly, in this arc, we can see a notable change in the relationship between Li Lianhua and Fang Xiaobao. It becomes apparent that Li Lianhua places increasing trust in Xiaobao, consciously stepping back and allowing him to engage in reasoning and hypothesis testing before the others, encouraging Xiaobao to take the lead in investigation. This highlights Li Lianhua’s thoughtful mentoring and his hope that Xiaobao will grow through “real-world” experiences, with Li Lianhua silently supporting him.

Secondly, this is one of the reasons why I appreciate “Lianhua Tower.” Despite being a martial arts detective series with male protagonists, it has successfully crafted well-rounded female characters. These female characters are not objectified or marginalized, nor are they used solely as tools to cater to popular aesthetics. In the “Female Residence Case,” the women support and help each other, striving to assert their dignity and freedom in a world dominated by ancient authority. Their unity in purpose is touching and rare.

Additionally, there’s the character of Ah Mian. I have always said that Ah Mian is a rare, complex character in martial arts dramas. In many martial arts works, female characters, whether they are haughty princesses, skilled female heroes, or unfortunate women trapped in adversity, often seem to be bound by the concept of “loyalty.” That is, loving one person means loving only that person wholeheartedly, unwaveringly faithful. Unless fate intervenes, they rarely undergo “passive” changes. Ah Mian’s character adds depth to the story as she embodies the sensitivity and vulnerability of women when it comes to love. Even if the other person is exceptional, women have their reasons not to love and choices to leave. Ah Mian’s character, as seen in current martial arts works, portrays the subtlety and complexity of women, their vulnerability, and their independence. They don’t necessarily have to stay loyal forever; they have the power to choose and control their own love lives.

In conclusion, “Lianhua Tower” continues to maintain its 8.2 rating. I will continue watching, hoping to discover more surprises and highlights beyond the cases in the upcoming episodes.

A Qualified Blend of Wuxia, Mystery, and Suspense in “Lianhua Tower”

I consider it a qualified wuxia drama, though wuxia dramas don’t have a very clear definition. When we think of wuxia dramas, we might immediately recall many classic ones. However, “Lianhua Tower” combines elements of martial arts, mystery, and suspense, making it a wuxia drama with additional themes.

I believe that wuxia dramas can incorporate these elements. Moreover, it is set in ancient times, with characters who uphold justice, which is somewhat reminiscent of wuxia dramas. This series is positioned as a historical wuxia mystery drama, blending mystery and martial arts together.

In my opinion, as long as it’s enjoyable, it qualifies as a wuxia drama. Wuxia dramas don’t always have to be about righteousness; they can also include elements of mystery. Besides portraying the events of the martial world, they can also delve into solving mysteries, which is also a form of upholding justice.

I haven’t watched wuxia dramas in a while; these days, I tend to watch more fantasy dramas. Fantasy dramas have a broader market appeal. Wuxia dramas, on the other hand, seem to have lost some of their popularity. Many wuxia dramas are remakes of classic ones, and there aren’t many new wuxia dramas being produced.

Combining wuxia with suspense is, in my view, a new genre, and people seem to be enjoying it. It should be considered quite satisfactory. Wuxia dramas don’t have a strict definition; they were just exceptionally popular for a period, and everyone was watching them. Nowadays, people prefer fantasy dramas, and the wuxia drama market isn’t as vibrant as it used to be. Therefore, wuxia dramas need to incorporate other elements, such as solving mysteries, to make the plot more engaging and highlight the protagonist’s personality traits. The overall storyline is very enjoyable, and I believe it can be considered a wuxia drama.

“Lianhua Tower”: A Unique Blend of Genres Beyond Wuxia

I don’t consider “Lianhua Tower” a traditional wuxia drama. As for whether it’s qualified or not, I dare not make a casual judgment. However, this series is undeniably excellent and offers a fresh perspective on the world of martial arts.

Li Xiangyi achieved fame at a young age, becoming the world’s top martial artist at the age of 15. At 17, he founded the Four Directions Sect, and by 20, he was on the path to becoming the leader of the martial world.

In theory, his life was just beginning, but the zenith often precedes the nadir. Due to the death of his senior martial brother, Dangudao, and the belief that it was the work of the demonic cult, Li Xiangyi led the Four Directions Sect on a quest for vengeance. He suffered severe injuries and was given ten years to live, while the Four Directions Sect suffered heavy casualties.

Li Xiangyi had returned to the doorstep of the Four Directions Sect but decided not to enter. From that point forward, he ceased to be Li Xiangyi and became known as the divine physician Li Lianhua. His medical skills were exceptional, partly due to his own poisoning and prolonged illness, and partly because he excelled in learning everything rapidly. In less than ten years, Li Xiangyi had transformed into a renowned divine physician. Whether in martial arts or medicine, whether as Li Xiangyi or Li Lianhua, he possessed remarkable talents.

Previously, Li Xiangyi had been the object of envy among the talented. This was perhaps because he had heard the opinions of the Four Directions Sect and others behind his back, or perhaps because he was already formidable in the martial world.

Li Lianhua may no longer have a prominent reputation in the martial world, but that doesn’t mean he has withdrawn from it. When he sees Fang Duobing wearing a particular jade ornament, he deduces his true identity.

Moreover, Li Lianhua imparts his knowledge of the martial world to Fang Duobing and demonstrates an exceptional ability to understand people. He remains well-informed about the latest events in the martial world, indicating that he still cares deeply about it.

Initially, I thought Li Lianhua possessed strong abilities in medicine, cooking, gardening, understanding people, and solving cases.

However, as the series progresses, his excitement upon finding the body of his senior martial brother, Dangudao, and his emotional reunion when he learns that Dangudao is alive, saying, “I’ve been searching for you for ten years, a whole decade!” made me truly empathize with Li Xiangyi/Li Lianhua. If he had chosen a method to cure the poison during these ten years, it would have been cured long ago. Even when Di Feisheng learned that Li Xiangyi/Li Lianhua was poisoned, he could have provided the antidote, but Li Lianhua still handed the herbs over to the Emperor.

Perhaps to outsiders, Li Xiangyi/Li Lianhua wasted ten years, but for him, these ten years were filled with experiences and learning. He went from being the sect leader of the Four Directions Sect to someone who appreciated things he couldn’t understand before. While Li Xiangyi was always busy, Li Lianhua’s days were less hectic but profoundly fulfilling.

Cheng Yi indeed portrayed Li Xiangyi’s exceptional martial skills and Li Lianhua’s sense of transcending worldly matters as if he were cultivating immortality. His performance was truly remarkable.

I acknowledge that “Lianhua Tower” is highly enjoyable, but it seems to be more than just a wuxia drama. It combines elements of mystery, case-solving, and even a slice-of-life feeling.

While “Lianhua Tower” may not be a typical slice-of-life drama, its relaxed and unhurried pace gives me a sense of watching a slice-of-life series.

Despite the numerous cases to be solved and the intricate conspiracies and power struggles within the plot, for some reason, watching this series feels leisurely and relaxed.

Therefore, I don’t think this series can be strictly defined as a wuxia drama. Whether it’s qualified or not, I can’t say, but it’s undoubtedly an excellent drama and highly enjoyable.

“Lianhua Tower”: Blending Wuxia and Mystery for a Unique Experience

I’ve often wondered what the criteria are for a qualified wuxia drama. There shouldn’t be strict standards for TV and film productions because the forms of artistic expression vary widely. Many wuxia dramas I’ve seen in the past primarily focused on martial arts and disputes between martial sects in the jianghu.

“Lianhua Tower” falls more into the realm of a mystery drama, but it also touches upon elements of the jianghu (martial world) and the pursuit of a simple and unworldly life, which are characteristic of wuxia. As long as it involves sects and the jianghu, it can be considered a wuxia drama, even though this series primarily revolves around mystery.

So, what’s the definition of “qualified” in this context? I believe it qualifies because it delves into the jianghu, something rarely explored in typical period dramas. However, “Lianhua Tower” not only showcases the jianghu but also weaves a captivating mystery, making it a blend of suspense and wuxia.

I consider it quite qualified because the character of Fang Jia’s young master aims to join the Bai Chuan Academy and revive the Four Directions Sect. Meanwhile, Li Lianhua is a rural wanderer who gets entangled in the jianghu. Their character arcs are tied to the martial world, making it justifiable to view this as a wuxia drama.

It may not be a pure wuxia drama, but it still falls under the wuxia genre. Combining wuxia with mystery is a clever move, as it creates a compelling storyline. This fusion appeals not only to wuxia enthusiasts but also to fans of mystery dramas. It’s a great blend, in my opinion.

It qualifies as a wuxia drama within the wuxia genre and as a mystery drama within the mystery genre. By merging these two elements, it offers a unique viewing experience. The plot is engaging, and it’s best to watch it first before forming an opinion because everyone has their own definition of wuxia.

“Lianhua Tower”: Blending Wuxia and Mystery in a Changing Genre Landscape

Let me begin by sharing my criteria for a qualified wuxia drama. It should primarily focus on martial arts while incorporating intricate plot details. There’s room for adding investigative elements since wuxia can be portrayed through this lens as well. Ideally, it should minimize or even exclude romantic storylines, opting for subtle or no romantic subplots.

“Lianhua Tower” seems to fit the description of what I consider a wuxia drama. In today’s entertainment landscape, purely wuxia-themed series have become increasingly rare. Moreover, the wuxia genre doesn’t enjoy the same level of popularity as before. I remember a time when wuxia dramas were all the rage, but after multiple adaptations of classics, people became less enthusiastic about them. As a result, wuxia dramas have dwindled in number.

Viewers' tastes evolve as they consume more content. While wuxia dramas were once the favorite, they’ve now given way to xianxia dramas, and it’s unclear what the next trend will be. Xianxia dramas have certainly captured a significant market share.

“Lianhua Tower” qualifies as a wuxia drama, but it also incorporates elements of mystery. Pure wuxia dramas might not attract as many viewers, but by infusing mystery, they can appeal to a broader audience. When viewers encounter wuxia elements within the suspenseful narrative, it can evoke nostalgia for classic wuxia tales, making it a well-rounded viewing experience.

However, when it comes to the definition of “qualified,” any storyline involving martial arts can be classified as a wuxia drama. There are no strict standards, and delving into specific subcategories within the genre would be challenging. Given the relatively smaller market for wuxia dramas today, it’s essential to include additional elements to pique viewers' interest and boost viewership. Without such additions, wuxia dramas might struggle to find an audience.

“Lianhua Tower”: A Breath of Fresh Air in the World of Wuxia Dramas

This is purely a personal perspective.

I believe it is.

In recent years, everyone seems to have discovered the formula for success in the entertainment industry: produce historical fantasy dramas. Consequently, there has been a flood of such dramas, resulting in a mixed bag of quality. Historical fantasy dramas, with their captivating visuals and the ability to generate buzz, have become a launching pad for many rising stars. Almost every young actor has dipped their toes into this genre. Even Li Xian, who isn’t particularly suited for historical dramas, appeared in one related to fox spirits, although the title escapes me because I didn’t find it very appealing.

The majority of these dramas fall under the category of xianxia, or fantasy martial arts, which I can recall include popular titles like “Ashes of Love,” “Love and Redemption,” “The Moon Brightens for You,” “Unrequited Love,” “Love is All,” “The Story of Minglan,” “Word of Honor,” “My Dear Guardian,” “The Long Ballad,” “You Are My Glory,” “Ancient Love Poetry,” and “The Oath of Love.” Every year, several historical fantasy dramas gain immense popularity, featuring a plethora of handsome men and beautiful women entangled in love, hate, and complicated relationships.

In such an environment, producing a drama like “Lianhua Tower” is a breath of fresh air. This series doesn’t follow the typical pattern of male and female leads falling in love, then fighting and reconciling, only to repeat the cycle. Instead, it presents the love and grudges of martial artists, grounded in the world of martial arts.

Li Xiangyi, a young martial prodigy, is portrayed as arrogant and self-assured. At a young age, he establishes the Four Corners Sect and enjoys a life of glory. But the story focuses more on Li Lianhua, who experiences the bitterness of failure after a fall from grace. His journey represents the ups and downs of life, offering a more realistic portrayal of the world.

Cheng Yi’s portrayal of Li Lianhua is incredibly accurate, from his appearance to his character design, all align with the world-weary Li Lianhua. I’ve elaborated on Cheng Yi’s Li Lianhua in a previous response, so I won’t repeat it here.

In recent years, pure wuxia dramas have been scarce, and even those that exist haven’t garnered much attention. Many dramas use wuxia merely as a backdrop for romantic plots, turning martial arts into a tool for melodrama. Moreover, most viewers now prefer xianxia dramas filled with eternal life, immortal characters, and complicated reincarnation stories.

Therefore, dramas like “Lianhua Tower,” which focus on righteous martial artists navigating the world, are a rarity. In today’s market, there’s a demand for characters who embody both justice and practicality. After witnessing an abundance of melodrama and xianxia plots, a return to traditional wuxia can be a refreshing change.

No matter what Cheng Yi’s next project may be, taking this step with “Lianhua Tower” was a wise choice. The success of this drama indicates that the market yearns for such content. If the quality remains high, it could lead to a positive cycle of producing more wuxia dramas.

A highly excellent wuxia drama, with impressive fight scenes, a sense of justice in the martial world, and well-developed characters. This is the only wuxia drama I’ve watched over the years that I can watch repeatedly. Highly recommended.

A True Representation of the Martial Arts World

This series comes closest to the authentic world of Jin Yong’s martial arts novels. This is how a wuxia drama should be, and it truly lives up to that standard. In recent years, other so-called wuxia dramas have fallen short.

It’s not just a typical wuxia drama; it’s also a thought-provoking journey through life. The cases may seem simple, but it makes you reflect on life and feel nostalgic. Life has its ups and downs, and often, we spend our entire lives learning to let go.

Unlike previous wuxia dramas that felt disconnected from modern reality, “Lianhua Tower” is grounded in reality, reminding me of the depth found in Stephen Chow’s “The Kung Fu Hustle.”

Li Xiangyi was burdened, but everyone aspires to be like him. Not everyone can be Li Lianhua, though. I didn’t feel any regrets after watching the series. He experienced highs and lows, supported himself, and made a few close friends. I believe he is still living somewhere. How many people can achieve that in their lifetime?

At first, I wanted Li Lianhua to recover his martial skills and return to being Li Xiangyi.

Later on, I just wished for Li Lianhua’s long and healthy life.

In the end, all I want is for Li Lianhua to live freely, as life and death no longer matter. Whatever ending he chooses, it’s all good.

After watching this series, I constantly remind myself to let go of things that need to be let go. Don’t sweat the small stuff; life is full of regrets.

“Lianhua Tower”: More Than Just Wuxia

No, no, and no.

“Lianhua Tower” is a great series, but it’s not your typical wuxia drama.

In my view, “Lianhua Tower” is masquerading as a wuxia drama with its three male leads, but it’s actually an anthem of rising female consciousness.

From the author to the scriptwriters, this series is crafted entirely by women.

Men often like to claim good things for themselves, but when they realize this excellent wuxia drama with three male leads was created by women, does it lose some appeal?

Many men enjoy this series, and that’s a good thing. It proves that women can write compelling stories, and on a spiritual level, there’s no gap between men and women.

The brilliance of this series lies in:

  • Questioning the character Jiajie
  • Understanding Jiajie
  • Becoming like Jiajie
  • Surpassing Jiajie!

The plot is well-constructed but not very suspenseful, earning it a score of 80, which isn’t outstanding.

In the martial arts department, the fight scenes are good, also deserving an 80.

However, what truly stands out, in my opinion, is Jiajie.

The scene where Jiajie cripples Difei Sheng’s hand and foot tendons is truly astonishing.

Li Lianhua and Danguodao were re-enacting my emotions on that set.

Some guys have described watching videos where someone gets hit in the groin and feeling a sympathetic pain. For the first time, I experienced that feeling, hurting along with the character on the screen.

Jiali Qiao’s desire to make Difei Sheng her successor and Li Lianhua her husband, even though unsuccessful, inspired many.

The improvement of women’s status doesn’t happen overnight, and it certainly isn’t achieved through dowries, privileges, moral coercion, or PUA tactics.

Many so-called female-led series still rely on male protagonists or second leads for the female lead’s success.

Jiajie managed to marry the male leads through sheer determination and strength, which was truly awe-inspiring.

“It’s not that I don’t want it, it’s that I haven’t obtained it!”

“The game needs to change.”

Jiajie showed people that the game could have a different playstyle. Even though she didn’t succeed the first time, she ignited hope.

Think about it; after achieving success, can you marry Difei Sheng and Li Lianhua? Is it worth taking life-threatening risks and paying the price of life for it?

After watching, you can empathize with Jiajie.

In the series, they didn’t kill women, but they killed Jiajie.

Outside the series, Laodi is a sentimental man who shed a tear for Jiajie.

Why did “Word of Honor” become so popular initially?

Because women wanted to see equal A-level romance.

In Chinese dramas, there are few female leads with such strong character development.

Having a strong female lead who still relies on men and uses subpar supporting characters to prop her up can be frustrating.

I remember watching “Glory of the Tang Dynasty,” where the female supporting character, a general, couldn’t handle things, and the female lead had to solve the problems. It was infuriating.

Equal power in a romantic relationship is true equality and a reflection of individual charm.

If you can’t write equal power dynamics for men and women, then write same-sex relationships.

In “Lianhua Tower,” Jiajie is always worried about whether Li Xiangyi hates her, not whether he loves her. This hits home, as it shows that women don’t always prioritize love above all else.

Jiajie may have lost, but her defeat is something to cherish.

She fought for what she wanted, and that’s truly remarkable.

Women don’t need sympathy, pity, concessions, handouts, or fake privileges.

Women can also, like men, use force to seize power and authority. Once you have power and authority, what kind of man can’t you find?

After watching so many dramas, “Word of Honor” and “Lianhua Tower” are the only two that I’ve truly invested in, even buying tickets for their concerts.

Audiences understand what the creative team is trying to convey, and the creative team understands the audience.

Heroes see eye to eye; on a spiritual level, many people are simply bound by preconceived notions.