Welcome to The Pretty that is the world of Old Nine Gates (Lao Jiu Men), the nine grave robbing families of Changsha. And that ‘pile’ up there is the humble abode of nbr 1 of the Nine Gates, Zhang Qi Shan aka Fo Ye. It’s equally impressive inside. XD Ah, all that for just one man and his servants, though he does manage to aquire a wifey around ep 10. She’s a doll.
The Mystic Nine is about the only drama I’ve actively made time to watch, you could say I’m kind of obsessed. It’s interesting how I’m never able to predict which dramas I’ll end up being totally hooked on. More often than not they are those I started on a whim or had no expectations what-so-ever. Mystic Nine is no exception. Show just grew on me untill suddenly I realised couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new epis and I was reading everything I could find about the plot and the characters. It’s not Monks and Masters level of love but there’s just something about Mystic Nine that resonates with me.
The plot is still moving rather slowly but I’ve realised I’m not in any sort of hurry to get to the end because I enjoy spending time with these characters. TPTB also tends to give a bit too much screentime for the baddies plotting and being villainous, but even those scenes often give us some insights we wouldn’t otherwise get. What I don’t agree with is all the whining at some quarters about time spent with the other main supporting characters. It seems those viewers are only interested in the loveydovey OTP interactions and find everything else, including the toomb exploration, a bore. Mind boggles! XD
I’m looking forward to the last three Gates getting into the action. Numbers 4 and 7 are currently on the Dark Side, so no pretty pics of them as I refuse to litter my post with the baddies. *g* And I just realised I’ve no pics of Jie Jiu (nbr 9) either, oops. He doesn’t appear very often but is quite vital, being the smartest of them all, a master strategist. At this point of the story the baddies seem to have the upper hand but they have underestimated Fo Ye’s loyal crew. I’m sure the battle isn’t even near at being lost. Next couple of episodes look really interesting – I the gang (minus Er Ye) travels to what I think is Fo Ye’s ancestral home, to seek some answers and a cure for what’s ailing their fearless leader. It’s funny how only Fo Ye and Er Ye were affected by the toomb (well, save for those poor sods who got killed) but the others didn’t even get the ‘horrible hair invasion’, ha.
The ladies @ The Problematic of the Unproblematic are doing lovingly hilarious recaps of the episodes, so head there to read if so inclined. They are at ep 8 at the time I’m writing this.
There’s an introduction to all the Nine Gates (characters) by laymerence @ tumblr (lots of other Mystic Nine stuff there as well). It’s based on the written stories by Nan Pai San Shu but there have been some changes made in the drama version, so it doesn’t quite hold true. E.g ‘drama Fo Ye’ isn’t as dark and tortured a soul, so I’d say he’s easier to root for.
During the era of the republic, nine great families known as the Commanders of Changsha guarded the city. These Nine Gates were incredibly powerful grave-robbing families who were known to everyone. Every funerary object leaving Changsha would have had passed through the hands of one of the families. Why were they known as the Commanders of the Nine Gates? One explanation most recognised is that, as ancient cities have nine gates, merchants visiting the city would have to choose one to pass through, and the Nine Gates means precisely this. Doing business in Changsha, you can only choose one of these nine gate powers, there is no other road that can be taken.
The Nine Gates are divided into three groups. The Upper Three Gates are well-off families with large businesses holding great political power. This includes 1 Zhang Qi Shan (Zhang Da Fo Ye), 2 Er Yue Hong (Er Ye) and 3 Ban Jie Li.
The Middle Three Gates are lone warriors, walking through the forests each day with only a few disciples under them. This includes 4 Chen Pi Ah Si, 5 Wu Lao Gou, 6 Hei Bei Lao Liu.
The Lower Three Gates are small businessmen making their business in reselling objects and they themselves do not rob the graves. This includes 7 Huo Jin Xi, 8 Qi Tie Zui (Ba Ye), 9 Jie Jiu.
Now, this story begins in the Autumn of 1933, when a mysterious black train drives slowly into Changsha station. —cr. The Mystic Nine Subs FB
Lucky for you, I managed to talk myself out of inserting all the Fo Ye screengrabs I’d amassed. He is SO easy on the eyes… and HOT. There have been plenty of actors/characters people seem to find ‘hot’ but they hardly ever do anything for me. The guys may be cute, manly, handsome or good looking even but that’s about it. Fo Ye on the other hand… mmm… yummy! That’s just Fo Ye though, William Chan the actor is just adorkably cute with a million watt smile. XD
The lovely wifey, Yin Xin Yue. She is the heiress of Xin Yue Hotel, which seems to be an auction house cum hotel. Feisty, outspoken and bubbly, she won’t take no for an answer, so Fo Ye has truly met his match. She is also smart and cool headed in crises, which is good as the Master will need someone to take care of business while he’s off on a mission, exploring toombs, saving the world… paltry things like that. *g*
Chemistry! It’s crackling from the start and I love how she makes him bemused and flustered, frequently at the same time. It’s like movielosophy wrote @ Tumblr “She pulls out expressions Fo Ye never shown to anyone before”. These two interacting is just endlessly fun to watch.
Guess this is the expression a lot of us have while watching Fo Ye in action… or in inaction, he broods oh!-so-beautifully too.
It’s a given that a hero must have his sidekicks. It’s just our good luck that they are equally easy on the eyes.
Er Yue Hong aka Er Ye, the nbr 2 of the Nine Gates. Chinese Opera singer, quietly elegant, devoted to his pretty wife, he decided to quit the family business after he got married. Tragedy strikes and he’s pulled back into the fold. Er Ye is played by one of the EXO boys, Zhang Yixing and it’s thanks to him that there are subs for the drama. Boy is pretty as a picture but can’t really act for toffee, which is especially notable when he has to emote more. Visually he does fit the bill though and seems to do better in the more active scenes.
Another Fo Ye affiliate, Qi Tie Zui aka Ba Ye, the 8th Gate and a renowed fortune teller with an uncanny ability to predict the future events. Most seem to find him annoying to begin with but the character grows on you and I do like him a lot these days. He may seem useless but there’s more to the man than meets the eye at first glance. A total Fo Ye fanboy, ha.
These two have a fun, bickering relationship and I just love that they were given couple of episodes of their own – ‘Visual’ Zhang and Ba Ye on a secret mission to help their friends. High jinks ensure. They have very complementary skillsets and they work surprisingly well together.