Mystic9 is nowhere near a perfect drama and has it’s fair share of annoyances but none of them managed to damper my enjoyment. It was just perfect way to wind down and have the analytical, logic brain take a short vacation. Sometimes a simple story without any pretensions or delusions of grandeur is all that you need.
If I was a die hard fan of any of the mains or dead set on as much loveydovey as possible, I’d probably be somewhat grumpy as well. As I’m neither, I’m quite happy with what I got. I went in with no expectations and adjusted my viewing lens early on to align with what the drama had to offer – that being Fo Ye. XD I think I was hooked the minute he strode purposefully into Changsha Station in his crisp uniform, with the cape flowing, all in slowmo. (gif credit)
Yes, this might be one of the fiew times I watched a drama for The Pretty and there sure was plenty of it.
Things I liked
- Fo Ye, LOL! William Chan is very photogenic and the role was tailor made for him. I suppose he isn’t very versatile as an actor but I couldn’t imagine anyone else as Fo Ye now. I think he did good.
- The other pretties, Ba Ye and Lt “Puppy” Zhang. That was an unexpectedly fun partnership and I just loved their bickering. Others may whine as much as they like about the episodes devoted to these two, but I really liked them. The twosome and Fo Ye formed a perfectly working trio (sometimes a quartet when Er Ye got involved too) and I would have loved to see much more of them exploring tombs, fooling baddies, kicking ass, solving mysteries/problems…
- The friendships/relationships, some of which wheathered disasters, misunderstandings and outside interference.
- The OTP, which was kinda perfect and especially miss Xin Yue who is the perfect partner for Fo Ye. She was even more a blessing as the other lady featured turned out to be such a soggy noodle.
- The gorgeous sets, costumes and for the most part lovely cinematography. The opening credits are so pretty! And they change thoughout the drama. I also liked the OST. CGI wasn’t too bad either, though it did go a bit wonky in places. Like that time the team decended with ropes into the tomb during their 2nd visit. That was rather funny.^^
What could have been done better
- The editing! It was kinda iffy to begin with but got progressively more sucky as the episodes passed. The last few epis were especially badly done. The problem was that they devoted far too much time to things irrelevant to the plot and gave too many scenes to the baddies, particularly in the early episodes. When we started getting closer to the end, it suddenly seemed like they had run out of time and had to do an awully bad chop job, which resulted in cutting many relevant scenes from the later epis. This made the plot rather hard to follow as they were jumping from one scene to another without any proper transitions. My heartfelt opinion is that TPTB should just re-edit the whole thing and do a proper job while they are at it.
- The plot was on the thin side and not properly thought out. From what I gleaned from the stuff I’ve read on the net, the whole thing seems to be based on a short story which the original author never quite finished. Ergo, there is no ready made answer e.g for the mystery of the ghost train and the drama writer had to pull that out of a hat. Which is a pity as that is actually at the center of the story. What where the Japanese doing in the mines/tomb? I don’t think we ever got a comprehensive answer. There were other plot threads left awkwardly dangling as well.
Things I could have lived without/didn’t like
- Far too much time allotted to the bad guys. They are not even particularly interesting baddies and most of them just got on my nerves in the end. Thank god for the ff-button! According to my pal Mookie TPTB were promoting their new faces, hence the overexposure. Pox on them!
- Ya Tou! Why on earth did they have to saddle Er Ye with such a lame excuse of a female as her? Gosh, she was annoying and sucked out eneregy from everyone near her. I just wanted her off my screen but unfortunately she came back to haunt us even when dead. The thing is, she was the cause of most of the troubles our heroes had to face later on. I suppose Er Ye/Ya Tou were a sweet and loving couple, totally devoted to each other but they bored me to tears.
- Too little tomb-action and swashbuckling in general. We didn’t even get one single blood zombie, let alone man eating bugs! I’m dee-saa-ppointed. 😀 We also only got just a glimpse of the last three Gates to appear, which is yet another thing caused by the crappy editing and overindulgence in things not relevant to the plot. If a drama is called The Mystic Nine, I expect to get a full set! *is grumpy*