In my last blog post, I wrote that I was struggling to blog. Lo and behold, I came up with this blog post idea. It’s funny how life works sometimes.
Before I get into it, Happy birthday Xue Yang! He is one of my favourite characters of all time.
I am a villain stan. When I tell people that I love villains, they often give me disapproving looks or insult my favourite characters. This type of response is so normal that I just laugh now.
I have a type.
There’s this meme I’ve seen a couple of times, and it’s pretty funny.
It’s true. I don’t like all villains. Appearances aside, I don’t like villains that pretend to be good and hide behind a curtain (Jin Guanyao from The Untamed; Zhao Jing from Word of Honor). I also don’t like villains that manipulate, lie, and use others (Light Yagami from Death Note; Zhao Jing from Word of Honor).
I like characters that are outwardly chaotic. Everyone in that fictional world knows they are the villain. Hidan from Naruto Shippuden, Deidara from Naruto Shippuden, and Xue Yang from The Untamed are a few examples. A character with an evil laugh is a bonus.
I also love Juuzou Suzaya from Tokyo Ghoul, but I don’t exactly consider him a villain. The lines are blurred because he works for humans and kills ghouls. At the same time, the humans are sometimes painted as the villains.
I also like calm and intelligent villains, like Scorpion King from Word of Honor and Jun Kanzaki from Bloody Monday.
Back to the meme posted above, I feel that the normal thing to do is to side with the good protagonist, almost as if it’s automatic. I question that! Why should I side with the protagonist? Just because they are good? What if the protagonist is the villain? Whose side are you on? Examples I can think of are Death Note, Moriarty: The Patriot, and Word of Honor.
It’s a fictional story. Does your moral compass even matter here?
I don’t need a tragic backstory.
Most villains have a tragic childhood story, like their parents were killed when they were young trope. I don’t think it’s necessary. Sometimes, they can just be evil. I don’t need a backstory on why they turned evil.
I won’t defend a villain or apologize for their actions.
I am NOT a villain apologist. Like I said, I don’t need them to have a tragic backstory. Some people use it to justify a villain’s actions. I am fully aware that what they did was wrong. Again, it’s fictional.
I don’t agree with their actions most of the time.
I don’t. And I don’t think this is a pre-requisite to liking a character. In fact, I don’t even see how this relates to why you should like or dislike a character.
They make the story entertaining. Some series would cease to exist if there was no evil. Rather than admiring a hero’s journey, struggles, and perseverance, I would rather applaud the villain on their boldness.
I don’t expect them to win (or live).
Knowing how most stories go, the villain almost never wins. And sometimes, they die. This is expected, and I’ve already mentally prepared myself for this to happen right from the start. This is just the reality.
Bottom line: Fiction =/= Reality
Back to the responses I get when I tell people I like villains, why do people react like that? The villains are not real. Does me liking a mass murderer in a fictional story mean that I like criminals in real life? Of course not. It would be ridiculous to assume that I do. For the record, I have zero interest in real life criminals.
It’s so easy for me to make the distinction between fiction and reality. Me liking a character that does terrible deeds does not mean I support that behaviour in real life! I really don’t know why this is so difficult for some people to understand.
Thanks Minty for the tag. ❤ There are so many prompts, hahaha. 95% of the music I listen to are from Asian dramas, anime, other shows, and games. That’s why most of the songs I listen to are in Chinese, Japanese, Thai, or Korean.
Link back to the original (Sophie @ Me and Ink) so she can see your answers and listen to the tunes.
For every prompt you choose, name 1-5 songs (you can use Sophie’s grapics)
Have fun and play your music LOUD!
1) Home Town Glory
Songs that remind you of home
The gist of it is: Suddenly, it seems that time has passed by so quickly and you’re left feeling confused where exactly that time went. It’s a very sad song.
2) It’s a Love Story
Your favourite songs about love
This is from The Phantom of the Opera musical. Raoul is played by Kwang-ho Hong. I actually don’t like Raoul and prefer Erik, but I like Kwang-ho Hong too much. I like this specific performance.
Another favourite is Time of Flight 時間飛行 by Bai Yu 白宇 and Zhu Yilong 朱一龍. It’s from the Chinese BL drama, Guardian. I talk about this song more in #11.
3) Shut Up and Dance
Songs you have to dance to
I’m a boring person and never dance to music.
4) If This Was a Movie
Songs from movies/TV/Broadway
I love the songs from the musicals, Jekyll and Hyde, The Phantom of the Opera, and Death Note. My favourite musical singers are Kwang-ho Hong and Zheng Yunlong.
I like anything Kwang-ho Hong sings. Here, he sings This is the Moment from Jekyll and Hyde.
5) Comfort Crowd
Songs that make you feel calm
Kago no Naka ni Tori 籠の中に鳥 by yourness makes me feel calm. It’s from the anime, Sing “Yesterday” For You.
A chill instrumental song is Revelation, also known as Oracle. It’s from the Catherine OST. Catherine is one of my favourite video games.
Another calm song is Artic Whispers by Bai Yu. It helps me fall asleep.
When I was in a child, I listened to S.H.E, Fahrenheit, and JJ Lin every day after school.
I believe this song is from 2006 because it has clips from the Taiwanese drama, Hana Kimi. Two of the Fahrenheit members starred in it.
7) Let’s Get Down to Business
Songs that motivate you
I was feeling down one day and then Man With a Mission’s Fly Again played on my phone (it was on shuffle). At the time, the lyrics and the overall feeling of the song lifted my mood. I still feel lucky about getting a pick at their concert.
8) Old Town Road
Songs from the past (like really old ones) that you love
I feel like this and #6 are the same for me.
9) Cry With You
Songs that make you cry and cry
Where Has Time Gone? (See #1) makes me cry.
10) I Think I’m in Love
Your latest music obsessions
This one is easy to answer. The songs that I listen to repeat are from the shows I’m currently watching.
The first one is The Love Letter 唯一寫過的情書 by Alex Chou 周予天. It’s from the Taiwanese BL drama, We Best Love: Fighting Mr. 2nd. I loved the first season, but this season feels so… raw. I’m enjoying it a lot more. I don’t know why I love dramas that are painful to watch.
The next song is Ask Heaven by Liu Yuning. It is the opening song for Word of Honor, a Chinese historical BL series. I’ve been listening to the entire album non-stop these days.
This series was recommend to me by a Twitter stranger, and I’m thankful for them because I’m enjoying it a lot. If you like The Untamed, I definitely recommend Word of Honor.
11) Writer in the Dark
Favourite lyrics from songs
The English translation for Time of Flight by Bai Yu and Zhu Yilong (#2) probably won’t make a lot of sense.
In Guardian, Bai Yu plays Zhao Yunlan and Zhu Yilong plays Shen Wei. Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei are soulmates, and this has been proven time and time again. No matter how many years pass (and I’m talking about thousands of years), the feelings are never lost. They will find always each other again.
Zhu Yilong: How much more serious and how firm it is to make a difference
How many exercises will you become like this?
Bai Yu: I am always waiting for a message here, you have not given up.
Chorus: Flying together across time”
I also like the lyrics from Joker Xue’s Animal World. I’ve interpreted the lyrics in this post.
12) Sign of the Times
Songs in the charts that you love
I have no idea. I just listen to what I like.
13) More Than a Memory
Songs you have specific memories attached to. Tell us the memory.
When COVID was a new thing, I got into Thai dramas for the first time. Listening to the songs from the dramas reminds me of that period because I had so much energy at the time. No one wants a pandemic, but I made the most of my time and tried a lot of new things.
This song is sung by Bright Vachirawit, who played Sarawat in 2gether: The Series. I’m currently watching Lovely Writer: The Series. Thai dramas make me so happy and I love the music.
Another song is Wu Ji 无羁 by Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo. The reason is because I watched The Untamed with my friends and did a blogger collab on it. Instead of watching alone like I normally do with shows, I had people to watch and talk with. I talk about it more in #17.
14) Sing to Me Instead
Those songs you have to sing to
15) I Wasn’t Expecting That
Songs that you didn’t expect to love, but you do
In 2018, I knew that the opening song for the anime, Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii, was popular. When I listened to it the first time, I thought it was overhyped. I didn’t include in My Top 5 Spring 2018 Anime Opening Songs post. After I published that post, I couldn’t stop listening to it. LOL
The song is called Fiction by Sumika.
16) Favourite Record
Albums you can’t live without
My favourite album is The Untamed OST by various artists. The Untamed is my favourite Asian drama, so I hold the music dear to my heart.
My other favourite albums are the Guardian OST (#2 and #11) and the Word of Honor OST (#10).
17) Video Games
Name your favourite music videos
I’m a little confused why this is titled “Video Games’ when it’s asking about music videos. Anyway, my favourite music video is Wu Ji 无羁 by Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo. It’s the opening song for The Untamed. It’s my favourite music video because my feelings for this drama resurface every time I watch it. It’s one of my favourite songs.
I went to Bowen Island with my friends for healing because I was super stressed at the time. I don’t think any of us really expected a pandemic to happen back then, so I feel lucky that I was able to spend quality time with my friends.
Scott recently posted his Husbando post and I expect Nabe to do the same soon.
I’ve been told that I have questionable taste in anime boys. The reason is because I like villains.
Izaya Orihara from Durarara!!
In 2018, I wrote a post called, Why I Love Izaya. You can check it out if you want detailed reasons as to why Izaya is my favourite anime character of all time. Izaya is an antagonist. He’s an underground information broker.
Sharing this again:
J from Bloody Monday
Bloody Monday is an amazing manga. The Japanese live-action is great, too. I love J in Bloody Monday: Last Season the most. That’s Bloody Monday 3, but I liked J since the beginning.
No surprise, but J is an antagonist. He loves melon soda, hence my username. He’s a genius and one of the leaders of an evil group.
Other Characters I Love:
I’m picky. Although I love a lot of characters (Click HERE for my 30 Anime Characters – Appreciation Post!) I’m not sure if I could call these characters my husbandos.
Juuzou Suzuya from Tokyo Ghoul
Juuzou is a Special Class Ghoul Investigator, which means he helps humans. I think the lines between good and evil are blurred in Tokyo Ghoul. As humans, are we supposed to view all ghouls as evil?
Xue Yang from Mo Dao Zu Shi / The Untamed
I ship Xue Yang with XXC so that’s why he’s not my husbando. Xue Yang is a villain.
Wow, this post is a lot shorter than I expected. Like I said, I’m picky.
Based on the novel Mo Dao Zu Shi by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu.
Elle: So there was once a tweet and then there was a reply to that tweet and that is how this collaboration started.
We totally did not plan to post this on Xiao Zhan’s birthday but here we are. It’s just meant to be. Like Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji. (I rhymed).
It’s quite awesome how we started drafting right away and we just happened to finish the post in time for Xiao Zhan’s special day. Without him, Wei Wuxian’s character would not have come to life the way it did. So thank you for being born Xiao Zhan ❤
Rose: Happy birthday Xiao Zhan! We love you so much and we dedicate this post to you. ❤
HOW DID YOU GET INTO MDZS/THE UNTAMED? The story of how you fell into the rabbit hole.
Elle: I just recently got on the train that is Mo Dao Zu Shi this July when I got home after the quarantine and it was a fun ride! I watched the drama first (The Untamed). 50 episodes in 3 days. Can you imagine? That was some ride. Then I immediately looked for an english translation of the novel. Yes, I am that kid who often wants to compare to the source material. The book vs movie kid. And I found that I appreciated the series even more after reading Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. Special thanks to the fans who translated the novel! The characters were fleshed out properly in my head after that and thus continued my descent into their world.
I only heard about the drama because of Wang Yibo and now here I am knee deep into the different adaptations of the series. After watching the drama and reading the novel, I immediately started the donghua. I just could not wait! By the way, this is my first ever BL series and it did not disappoint.
Rose: I’m impressed you finished The Untamed in three days! I started watching The Untamed by myself. I think I was at 12 episodes. I went on a trip to an island with two friends and we ended up watching The Untamed during the trip. They had no prior exposure to the show and were willing to watch where I had left off. To my surprise, they were immediately hooked! We ended up watching it on Day 2 of the trip. Afterwards, we watched it over voice chat every weekend until its completion. The Untamed is special to me for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is because I was quite touched that my friends expressed interest in a show I liked.
After I finished The Untamed, I started watching Mo Dao Zu Shi and Mo Dao Zu Shi Q. In fact, Mo Dao Zu Shi Q is still airing! It’s a chibi donghua, kind of like Attack on Titan Junior High.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to the soundtrack. A lot of the cast sing their character songs which makes it so meaningful. The actors and actresses that starred as Wei Wuxian, Lan Zhan, Jiang Cheng, Wen Ning, Lan Xichen, A-Qing, and the youths sang songs on the soundtrack. Isn’t that the coolest?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG FROM THE SOUNDTRACK?
Elle: I think hands down it’s Wuji. The WangXian song. The one Lan Wangji composed in the turtle cave for Wei Wuxian and it’s also the one that made LWJ able to recognize WWX when he returned. This song is very meaningful in a lot of ways.
“wén dí shēng dú chóu chàng/
Listen for the melody of a flute, alone in sorrow
yún shēn yè wèi yāng/
The nights in the clouds are long”
“Hear the flute, alone in its melancholy
The night is still young at Cloud Recesses (LWJ’s home)”
The instrumental in the beginning, the way the track began, was already a beautiful introduction and then added to it the deep and melodious voices of Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo which makes it all the more alluring. The first time I listened to the track, it felt like heaven in my ears and it is still the same even now. Interesting twist that the rapper, dancer and actor Yibo can also sing so well! And some notes in the song are quite high too so I was really impressed! Xiao Zhan, I understand, is also an idol and he is definitely a talented vocalist. This was my first encounter with Xiao Zhan and I’m already in love with his acting and now his voice in the OST too. I want more! It was quite a deviation from his voice in the drama which led me to research about the voice actors who lent their voices to Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian. Dubbing is fairly common to Chinese dramas and I admit it adds to the performance of the onscreen actors too.
But more on the track.. Lyrics wise of course it was also on point. The soundtrack already packed a wallop even without the lyrics and so when you add the meaning behind it, it just hits you differently. More deeply. I had to rely on translations but I think they delivered the meaning really well. But of course some meanings are lost in translation and some fans said that the lyrics are really beautiful when understood properly in the original language. But no matter, because the way I feel about the song just proves that music really transcends barriers. ♥️
“yòu wén qín xiǎng/
The Qin (Wang Ji zither) can be heard again
chén qíng wèi jué/
Chen Qing (Wei Ying’s flute) is still sounding”
The lyrics also mentioned Wei Ying’s thoughts and what he told Wangji when everyone shunned him for his supposedly crooked path. That he will follow what he thinks is right and his heart/conscience will be the judge of whether it is right or wrong. It also echoed Jin Guangyao/Jiang Cheng’s words in the series about how he is The Untamed hero at best but also someone that can be despised by others if he doesn’t conform with their ways.
“hóng chén zhōng huǐ yù dé shī rú hé qù liáng/
In this world, how do we measure praise and condemnation”
There are also references in Wuji about some scenes in the series and also about the two main protagonists. It was interesting to see different translations and the meaning behind the lyrics. The drama as a whole emphasized on the music part because the characters also used instruments as their weapons.
Ultimately, Wuji is the theme song of the series and it helped tell the story of two people who lost and found each other again, and how these two consider each other as their soulmate.
Side note: The OST album as a whole really sounds great! Even the character tracks and the way it tells the story from their own perspective, really adds to the depth of each character.
Rose: I love how you broke down the lyrics like that. My favourite song is also Wuji. I love all of the versions – WangXian duet, Lan Zhan solo, Wei Wuxian solo, the version by Bibi Zhou, the instrumental version, and the piano version. In fact, I bought a kalimba so I could play this song!
Of the different versions, my favourite would have to be the WangXian duet. While the solo versions are still beautiful to listen to, it feels complete listening to the duet. After all, this is their special song. I listen to this song several times a week. It’s one of my top five favourite songs of all time. I love that the background uses traditional instruments. When I listen to this song, I think of The Untamed and all of the memories resurface. Every time, I am reminded of how much I love this series.
Elle: Same! And whenever I listen to Wuji, it makes me want to watch or read the series all over again. I wonder if you already have a Kalimba post? Or are you planning on sharing something soon? ^_^
Rose: I feel the same way. I’ve posted a video of me playing Wuji (badly) on my Instagram. I learned the second half of the song right after I posted but I don’t remember the tabs. I’ll have to learn it again…
That’s it for Part 1! Elle will be posting Part 2 on her blog so be sure to check it out! It’ll be longer than this post as we will be discussing deeper topics. Thanks for reading.
I recently finished the Chinese drama, The Untamed. I’ve watched many Asian dramas. According to MyDramaList, I’ve watched over 1000 episodes. Most of the time when I finish a drama, I just move on and watch the next thing… but I have to write about The Untamed. The Untamed is an exceptional drama. I give it 10/10.
Throughout my life, I’ve heard people talk about shows in a negative light.
“It’s just a show.”
“Everything is fake.”
“Watching TV is a waste of time.”
It’s really not just a show. I think that we all know that dramas are fictional. Is there anyone who doesn’t know this? I think that people who really appreciate dramas and anime are cognizant of the amount of time and the effort that went into making the show. Actors, directors, producers, scriptwriters, voice actors, camera crew, costume design team, those who work on the sets, those who work on the props, and subtitles, the editing team, the animation team, the list goes on… Pre-production of The Untamed took two and a half years. Saying that watching TV is a waste of time is almost disregarding all of these things.
The Untamed cast practiced posture, calligraphy, martial arts, musical instruments, and more. Since The Untamed takes place in ancient China, they went through training to learn these skills.
Several of the cast members sang their own character songs. They’re really talented.
Wu Ji – sang by Xiao Zhan & Wang Yibo (Wei Wuxian & Lan Wangji)
Wei Wuxian’s theme song – sang by Xiao Zhan (Wei Wuxian)
Bu Wang (Lan Wangji’s theme song) – sang by Wang Yibo (Lan Wangji)
Chi Zi (Wen Ning’s theme song) – sang by Yu Bin (Wen Ning)
Hen Bie (Jiang Cheng’s theme song) – sang by Wang Zhuo Cheng (Jiang Cheng)
Bu Wang (Lan Xichen’s theme song) – sang by Liu Haikuan (Lan Xichen)
Gu Cheng (Yi City group’s theme song) – sang by Sun Bolun & Chen Zhuoxuan (A-Qing)
The youth group also sang their theme song. The rest of the character songs are also really nice. I think the songs really convey the characters’ feelings.
This is not a goodbye post because there’s still the Mo Dao Zu Shi donghua, novel, and manhua. Maybe I’ll rewatch The Untamed one day. I think it will be interesting to compare the different versions. I think that The Untamed did an amazing job at portraying the relationships, given China’s heavy censorship. I think they made it obvious and clear.
Missing: Wei Wuxian nendoroid (It’s out of stock… I really wanted it…)
Full episodes with English subtitles are on Netflix and YouTube.