Thoughts on: Wind Chime

Wind Chime (Shi Ling Lu 示铃录), based on the novel by Yuan Qi Zhuang Ling follows our heroine, Sheng Xia (Xu Jing Yuan) on her epic journey to discover her destiny as the new master of the Road (Wind) Chime, which gives mystical powers to its bearer. She was once a cheerful girl loved by her parents, but they died in a suspicious explosion one night. A mysterious family friend, whom she calls Third Brother then takes her under his wing. After four years being trained by him, Xia sets off under the name of Ji Tang Tang to uncover the truth behind her parent’s death. In order to become a true conduit for the wind chime she must help the dead (all victims of unfair and violent death) who ‘ring’ the chime to resolve their grievances and thus set their souls free. During the first case Tang Tang meets the male lead, Yue Feng (Meng A Sai), who later becomes her companion on her journey. [adapted from the synopsis by Kappy @ Virtual Voyage]

This is yet another one of my random findings while browsing the cdrama selection @ Viki. Wind Chime is sort of a supernatural quest cum detective story and it’s been surprisingly fun ride so far. Of course, it’s not flawless, very fiew dramas are but at least I haven’t come across anything majorly irritating yet. The PPL for the alcholic beverage, which must be the main sponsor, is so unabashedly blatant that I ended up amused rather than annoyed. It’s quite refreshing to have a story centered on a heroine who is capable of taking care of herself. Well, most of the time anyway. Tang Tang can kick ass with the best of them, but she’s prone to rushing into danger without proper planning. Which is why a sidekick like Yue Feng comes handy. 🙂 He’s a wanderer and bit of a lay-about with many contacts in convenient places, but also an upright guy with a good heart. The pair starts out on a wrong footing but soon settles in a comfortable partnership. I’m pretty sure they were fated to meet (in ep 1 the blue scarf Tang Tang lets fly at a Buddhist shrine auspiciously lands on Feng’s hands^^), though there’s still (at ep 16) only a whiff of something more than friendship in the air. No idea if it’ll go deeper than that later on.

The rest of the main supporting characters consists of couple of Feng’s friends who occasionally prove to be helpful and Tang Tang’s guardian. There’s also her ex – a decent enough guy, just annoyingly clingy. Well, the dude did have a major meltdown when she supposedly died. That doesn’t change the facts, he’s still annoying, ha. The cast seems to be a bunch of noobs with varying acting abilities but I think they all fit the bill quite nicely regardless. Chinese thespians are no strangers to extensive “nip and tuck” either, so it is nice to have a main pair with natural looks and also a habitus that suits the characters. Meng A Sai (Yue Feng) has a really lovely smile. 🙂 The OST is a tad intrusive sometimes but I do like the overall eery effect. It suits the theme.

I think they’ve managed to meld in the different aspects very nicely indeed. Pace has been just right for me and with 27 epis I’m sure there is plenty of time to reavel all the mysteries and maybe leave some room for romance too. Cinematography is just gorgeous – again. Have all the Chinese production companies updated their cameras lately? I’ve no idea where the filming location for Wind Chime was but it’s definitely more off the beaten path. Tang Tang and Yue Feng’s ‘base’ looks like a small, provincial town with plenty of historical buildings, pretty gardens and lots of nature’s beauty around. I like the old inn they live in as well.

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6 thoughts on “Thoughts on: Wind Chime

  1. The visuals is stunning. The locales are GORGEOUS! I got to say they chose Yunnan well. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I love everything there: The landscape, the food, the architectures, and most of all, the clean air and bright blue sky. I would go back again in a heartbeat… if it weren’t so damn far! The show did an excellent job showcasing the beauties of China’s southwestern province. And, I applaud their attempts at incorporating ethnic groups into the story. Though they still fall into the cliché of making Tibet a place of mythical legends.

    I wouldn’t have watched this drama if it wasn’t for your post. I’m up to ep17 now. Yue Feng and Yanzi Jie had been the only reason I lasted this long. They are so sensible when they are not hankering for Tang Tang and her ex. I laughed every time Feng says, “I got friends.” I look forward to every scene with them in it. (I just wish Yanzi can get away from the annoying ex and get a whole scene by herself.) But now, I am also intrigued by the mysterious Sheng family and other wind chime’s functions. I also want to know how Tang Tang got the super healing ability and the kickass fighting skills. Is Mr. San’s purpose to reunite with his old lover or does he have ax to grind? Why is he looking for her, she may well be long dead by now?

    • So it’s Yunnan where they were located. Such a gorgeous, gorgeous area! Never been to China myself, so I can only envy those who have seen these locales for real. Can’t really blame them for making Tibet a place of myths, it totally looks very mystical indeed.

      Um, have you noticed that there are 2 more posts on Wind Chime? 🙂 The last one being my closing thoughts on the drama. I was ok with the (non)ending but you may think differently, especially as there seem to be only some aspects of the drama that you care for. I do wonder if it really was ment to end that way and a 2nd season was/is planned or if there was some other reason for it.

  2. I saw this recently pop up on Viki too. I like the premise, but as usual, I’m hesitant because of the detective aspect to it. But those visuals look so gorgeous! I may try it just for that 🙂

    • It’s more of a supernatural mystery adventure than a detective story really. I see the ‘cases’ as sort of conduits that move the plot along. They are needed for Tang Tang to reach her full potential as a Chime Bearer as each case solved makes the bond with the chime stronger and unlocks more of her special abilities. Show is a pretty well balanced mix when it comes to all the different aspects of the story.

      Yup, the visuals are lovely and my screencaps don’t really do justice to it. Even the opening sequence is wonderfully crafted and changes every fiew episodes. The setting is one of my favourite things about this drama. I love it that the location is kinda unique.

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