Skip Beat, Episode 1

I’m probably the most underqualified person ever to be doing drama recaps of any sort, but this is what happens when I have boatloads of spare time and the Wellesley virus is forcing me to be productive over winter break. Boo.

Anyway, I should probably preface by saying that I have not read one page of the original Japanese manga, but in a sense, I think I’m probably better off that way. For one, I hate it when people constantly make comparisons between originals and the remakes, because a remake series rarely sets out to “outshine” the original. I think any remake is meant to stand alone as its own work — for better or for worse — and should be regarded as such.

So why have I decided to, in a sense, marry this drama for the next four months via recap? Well, for one, I like seeing Donghae and Siwon’s faces on a weekly basis, regardless of how badly they’re dubbed or how stiff their acting is. And as simple as the story might be, it’s nonetheless clever and cute in that fluffy, Boys Over Flowers sort of way.

It’s also filmed in Taipei, and everyone knows what seeing the Taipei cityscape does to my feeeeeelings.


The series opens with a bunch of CGI graphics and an oh-so-dramatic narration, which is perhaps worth mentioning as it seems to introduce a running theme throughout the series:

“Every person on this earth is born with a mysterious, ancient chest within them, and within lies a soul of hate. If the chest is accidentally opened, this soul will escape and cause its host to do evil deeds. In order to prevent the temptations of Satan that would hence cause the chest to open, this chest has been locked up by the heavens and hidden within the person’s heart of hearts.” 

And cue the opening sequence!


We’re first introduced to Gong Xi (Ivy Chen) who’s seen scrubbing the floors at a fast food joint. She sees a pair of girls sitting at a nearby table fangirling over the hottest celeb of the hour, Bu Puoxiang (Donghae), and they’re super, super excited over the fact that one of them had just bought his newest album.

And right on cue, Gong Xi pops up besides the girls and gives them the Bu Puoxiang lowdown: The boy writes all the songs himself and the album concept was completely designed by him and he’s not just cool and handsome but also chock-full of talent and he’s just the all-around best and…and…

With clasped hands, Gong Xi thanks the girls for their love and support for Bu Puoxiang while her manager comes up to her and tells her that she’s off for the day, reminding her that she has another part-time job to attend to after her shift at the fast food place.


As she’s rushing to change out of her uniform and get to her next job, Gong Xi overhears another pair of employees discussing Bu Puoxiang’s performance on TV last night. “But I thought you liked that other guy, Dun Helian (Siwon),” says one of the girls. Gong Xi freezes.

“Nah, I’ve changed my mind and I like Bu Puoxiang better,” replies the other girl, and Gong Xi breathes a sigh of relief. The girl continues and says that when she went to buy Bu Poxiang’s CD, they gave her two roll-up posters of him for free. “Jealous?” she says.

And indeed Gong Xi is, despite only being an eavesdropper in the conversation.  Struck with disbelief, Gong Xi sinks to the floor, dismayed that she had not gotten a poster despite having bought two copies of the CD. She resolves that no matter what, this is a matter that must be resolved. Gong Xi grabs her things, flies out of the locker room, and goes on a crazed bike-ride throughout the city with one motive: get to the record store and get her hands on that poster.


Unfortunately for Gong Xi, all the posters are already gone by the time she gets to the record store, but the record store manager gives her the lifesize cardboard cut-out of Bu Puoxiang in the store and promises to give her a call once the new shipment of posters comes in. Gong Xi giddily leaves the store, but soon realizes that she’s running late and bikes over to the Japanese restaurant where she works.

Her friend, Wan Zi (Cai Yizhen) looks at Gong Xi’s exhausted state and marvels at her ability to bike the 40-minute route to the restaurant in under 15 minutes. Boss lady at the restaurant and asks her how she can possibly work in her current state. But Gong Xi suits up for work anyway.


The reason for working multiple jobs? To pay the rent for her expensive pad. The boss is puzzled as to why a young girl would consider living in such an expensive place if it came at such a high cost. “Just look at you,” she says. “You might as well use some of that money to doll yourself up a little.” Gong Xi can’t deny it: who would be interested in her plain-looking appearance, anyway?

But Wan Zi disagrees, and says that everyone has their own style, so why should Gong Xi be denied her right to look plain if she so chooses? Anyway, boys seem to dig Wan Zi’s simple style, so appearances aren’t all that. Boss says it’s nonsense and reminds Wan Zi that she has an after school class to attend. But before Wan Zi leaves, she tells Gong Xi that her classmate has a new boyfriend and was wondering if they could borrow Gong Xi’s pimped-out pad to celebrate. But Gong Xi hesitates – she’s been really busy and the apartment is a mess; she hasn’t had time to clean up, the floor is crawling with cockroaches, and she even managed to catch a bat last time…wow, we couldn’t think of some better excuses?

Wan Zi mutters that it’s awful funny that a person with such a good apartment never invites people to come see it. It couldn’t possibly be that Gong Xi is hiding a secret boyfriend in the apartment, right? Gong Xi scoffs at the notion. Wan Zi leaves for her class as Gong Xi says to her self, “Wan Zi, I’m really sorry…”


Gong Xi heads home after work, bicycle and Bu Puoxiang cardboard cutout still in hand. She passes an advertisement in a window display, and envisions herself as the beautiful model in the ad. But she quickly snaps out of it and tells herself that she doesn’t have the money to spend on prettying herself up like the advertisement model.

And all the while, Bu Puoxiang — the real life version, not the cardboard version — is watching beside her. She asks him, “You wouldn’t hate me just because I don’t put on makeup, right?” He coyly smiles at her…and then transforms back into his cardboard-y self. Oh, female leads, you and your semi-hallucinogenic imaginations.

Gong Xi opens the door to her apartment and who else is sitting on her couch but Bu Puoxiang himself, albeit looking a lot more aloof than the Bu Puoxiang of Gong Xi’s imagination. Gong Xi hastily apologizes for her noisy intrusion, and then proceeds to excitedly tell Bu Puoxiang (who Gong Xi refers to simply as “Xiang”) about her newly acquired cardboard cutout.

Xiang, however, doesn’t really seem to care, and instead tells Gong Xi to fetch him something to drink. Gong Xi obligingly and enthusiastically brings him a glass of water and practically feeds it to the man via bendy straw, while asking him if he’s hungry and if she should make him some noodles. It’s 10pm, says Xiang. He’s already eaten. Forget it.


It’s clear that Xiang is in a bad mood, and as he’s packing up his things, Gong Xi continues to hold a rather one-sided conversation with him: What’s wrong? Has work been too busy? It’s been a long time since Xiang has returned to their apartment, and Gong Xi tells him that she’s missed him a lot. She’s called him a bunch of times, but only managed to get as far as his voicemail message. But Xiang replies, “Is that supposed to be my fault?”

Apparently, Xiang’s sour mood has reared its ugly head the past few times he’s been home, and Gong Xi can’t seem to figure out why. She still remembers back when Gong Xi and Xiang moved to Taipei and things were a lot more cheerful. For one, Xiang actually acknowledged Gong Xi’s existence back then and didn’t treat her like his personal maid. According to Gong Xi, Xiang used to be super warm and considerate, but fame eventually took a toll on him and his temper. Xiang had never liked the idea of other people telling him what to do — which is why he and Gong Xi moved to Taipei in the first place — but it turned out that the celebrity lifestyle was just that.

But despite Xiang’s consistently stanky attitude, Gong Xi is still determined to cheer him up. She hurriedly tells Xiang that she’s heading out a bit to buy a few things and zooms out the door.


We turn back the clock twenty years or so, and little Gong Xi is seen running through the halls of Xiang’s childhood home. Gong Xi’s parents didn’t have much time to take care of her, so much of her childhood was spent at Xiang’s house, and in a sense, the two had grown up together. Xiang’s family owned a Japanese-style hot springs hotel, and Xiang had known since childhood that he would be taking over the family business once he was of age. But he always seemed to hate the idea of picking a wife to help carry on the family name and business. The boy’s passion lay in music, and had dreams of being a famous singer, rather than the owner of a quaint hot springs hotel.

Which, of course, eventually led to the inevitable showdown between father and son.


Xiang argues that life only happens once and he’s determined to not let it pass like his father — having an arranged marriage and a preestablished life all set up by someone else. This earns him a slap in the face from his father, but Xiang continues and says that a person shouldn’t follow another person’s path, and that he’s determined to prove his father wrong.

And with that, Xiang decides to run away to Taipei. As he storms out of the house, he sees Gong Xi and asks her to come with him. Elated by the thought of being Xiang’s one and only, Gong Xi immediately agrees.

Upon moving to Taipei, Gong Xi took on three jobs for the sole purpose of supporting Xiang and his dream, thus leaving her with no time or money with which to treat herself. But she doesn’t regret any of it, and considers herself blessed — a blessing that must remain a secret, but a blessing nonetheless.


Back to 2011. Gong Xi bolts through the aisles of a convenience store and ultimately dumps a pile of strawberry-flavored prepackaged snacks at the register and asks if, by any chance, the store has strawberry pudding in stock. The cashier says no. Gong Xi goes to buy strawberries at a roadside stand and asks the vendor the same question. Still no luck. It isn’t until she dives under the closing gate of a bakery that she finds the strawberry pudding — which, as luck would have it, is Xiang’s favorite dessert.

Gong Xi returns to the apartment and finds Xiang getting ready to leave. She dives to her knees (Seriously? Seriously.) and waves the strawberry pudding in his face. Sold.


Apparently a tableful of strawberry-flavored prepackaged snacks is a feast fit for a king like Xiang, because he is giddier than a kid on Christmas day and Gong Xi is giddy by association. But his obsession over mini strawberry puddings knows no match, to the point where he’s adopted a certain way of eating the puddings: placing them in a uniform horizontal row and sucking them into his mouth one by one, vacuum style. But being the big star that he is, Xiang warns Gong Xi that no one must know about his pudding fanaticism. Otherwise, disaster.

Gong Xi goes on to relay the news that one of the girls at the fast food joint recently converted from being a Dun Helian fan to being his fan. The mere mention of Dun Helian’s name sets Xiang’s eyes ablaze, and he revels in the victory of stealing yet another fan from Dun Helian. It’s one step close to defeating him, says Xiang. And then the two of them hold a brief screaming banshee declaring Xiang’s, well, handsomeness. Are they for real?


But of course, Dun Helian’s appearance on a TV show crashes the party. He’s been voted as the number one ideal type across multiple media platforms, and despite Gong Xi’s consolations, Xiang is still enraged. He wants to beat Dun Helian and he wants to beat him now. And, in true Xiang fashion, he picks up his packed bag and leaves.

Gong Xi returns to the television just in time to watch Dun Helian answer the host’s question about his ideal type. His answer is as standard as standard gets: warm, considerate, smart, capable. Gong Xi proceeds to throw a cake at the TV, marring Dun Helian’s face for all its pixelly worth.


Dun Helian’s manager, Du Jin (Jin Qin), laughs at the corniness of Dun Helian’s response as the two walk down the hall of the television studio building together. Dun Helian smugly responds that an ordinary question is deserving of an ordinary answer. But that’s just what variety programs are like, after all.

A man in a funny hat rushes into the scene, and it turns out that he’s Nan Gua (Dong Zhicheng), a fellow actor who just happened to be in the building and, after finding out that Dun Helian was recording in one of the studios, came to find him and get his autograph for his daughter. Dun Helian is about to sign the autograph when Nan Gua’s manager also rushes in and tells Nan Gua that he’s been looking everywhere for him and that he needs to get back on set and film — the entire staff is in complete disarray because of his sudden disappearance. But Nan Gua doesn’t seem to care: he says that his entire family is full of Dun Helian fans and that the consequences of playing hooky would be nothing compared to a potential lost opportunity to get one autograph for his daughter

But Dun Helian disagrees, and tells him that, as an actor, Nan Gua ought to be ashamed of throwing away his work in order to get one autograph. But Dun Helian signs the autograph anyway for the sake of Nan Gua’s daughter and walks away, leaving Nan Gua somewhat shaken.


As they walk to the car, Du Jin tells him that Nan Gua holds a high position within the entertainment industry, so for him to step out of the studio in order to get Dun Helian’s signature is kind of a big deal. He knows that Dun Helian places a high value on work ethic, but is it worth the potential antagonism from other stars in the business — especially from one of such a high status? Dun Helian’s never been one to criticize someone in such a deliberate manner, but this time was really too much.

Dun Helian smoothly and swiftly admits to going a bit overboard in his exchange with Nan Gua, and promises to change in the future. He smiles, and walks on, leaving Du Jin rather befuddled. I feel you, dude. This Dun Helian guy is going to be one interesting character to follow.


It’s the next day and Gong Xi’s calling Xiang from a phone booth during work, but he doesn’t pick up. She leaves a voice message apologizing for making him angry, that he’s still the handsomest and coolest and best so please don’t be mad and all that. She hangs up and gets back to work distributing fliers on the street, but sees a poster of Xiang and remembers that Xiang’s recording a music program today — so if she goes to the television station, she might be able to see him! Gong Xi decides to visit and bring some snacks over to the television station in an effort to cheer him up. Sound logic right there, girlie.


But it seems as if Xiang’s just a pissy person in general, and this time he’s mad because the producers are forcing him to change his song lyrics again. Trailing behind him is his manager. She tries to coax him into agreeing with the change: they’re newbies within the company anyway, so it’s best to just let this one go. But Xiang takes this as a sign that he’s open to manipulation; shouldn’t he be allowed to have his own opinions as well? But manageress tells him to relax, and that she’s already done everything in her power to make things work in their favor. All he’s got to do is just cooperate with the producers for a wee bit, and everything will be fine.

She asks Xiang if he met up with that “Happy New Year’s” girl again last night (a pun on Gong Xi’s name; her name sounds like the Chinese word for ‘congratulations’ as well as the first two characters in a common New Year’s greeting phrase, ‘gongxi facai‘). Xiang notes that Manager seems a bit jealous, but she insists that she’s just here to discuss work-related matters with him. But she still says that they ought to find some time to have a good talk about this Gong Xi thing.


Meanwhile, Gong Xi is busy getting booted out of the television studio, having been stopped by a pair of policemen right at the front door. Determined, however, she manages to sneak in through a back entrance and finds her way to the lounge where Xiang and his manager are being awful friendly with each other. And worse, they’re talking about her.

Xiang says that he doesn’t plan on hanging around Gong Xi for much longer, and says that Gong Xi was just good for doing all the stuff that Xiang wasn’t interested in doing. “So she’s your maid?” asks the manager. Kind of, but not really — the only thing that Xiang’s done since childhood was music, and he doesn’t really know much else apart from that. And plus, Gong Xi’s always hung around him since they were little and she’s always volunteered to take care of him, so why stop her now?

But his manager reasons that Xiang’s in much better shape that he was before, and it’s wrong of him to lead Gong Xi on in such a way if he has absolutely no feelings for her. “That sounds about right,” says Xiang. “So does that mean that you’ll take care of me instead?” Gong Xi’s eyes go wide as she eavesdrops at the door. She peeks in, only to see that Xiang and his manager have their hands all over each other. (You know, in that PG, Asian drama kind of way.)


As Gong Xi looks on, the locks on the aforementioned Chest Of Evil slowly snap open one by one, and she can’t hold it in much longer. Xiang continues and says that it’s a good thing he left home when he did; otherwise his father would’ve forced him into an arranged marriage with Gong Xi. Oh yes — Xiang was so desperate to not marry Gong Xi that he ran away from home. Besides, his manager’s his type of woman, not Gong Xi: the plain, boring girl completely devoid of sex appeal and attraction. Oh no he didn’t.

A box of strawberry pudding hits Xiang at the back of the head, and who is standing at the door other than a very pissed Gong Xi.

Xiang: What are you doing here?

Gong Xi: So it was me who was that boring, ordinary girl you were talking about. You only brought me out here for the sake of your convenience — someone who can do your laundry for you, cook for you, work three jobs for you so you can pay the rent for your apartment. I did all this for you just so you could do nothing but just concentrate on reaching your dreams.

Xiang: If you’re going to cry, then just go home. Don’t come and bother me here.


But instead, Gong Xi starts laughing maniacally as a host of CGI Gong Xi-demons fly around the room. Going all-out with the metaphor here; I like it.

Manager: Are you crazy?

Xiang: I think she is.

Gong Xi: I made you my one and only. I did anything and everything for you. Never did I think that you would be selfish enough to take advantage of my dignity as a human being. I’m going to get revenge on you!

Xiang: Revenge? And how are you planning on doing that?

Gong Xi: I’m gonna to send you to hell! I’m gonna…

A pair of guards walks in to take her away, but that doesn’t stop Xiang from getting in the last word.

Xiang: Don’t you see? You can’t even do as much as lay a finger on my little toe. I’m going to rise even higher in the future, and the gap between us will only get wider. You and I will be in completely different worlds, so I wouldn’t make too many plans to seek revenge, unless…

Gong Xi: Unless what?

Xiang: Unless you join the entertainment industry.

Gong Xi: Entertainment industry?

Xiang: Right. So if you want to take revenge on me, just join the entertainment industry. That way, you might have a teeny, tiny chance. But looking at you, I think it’ll be a bit difficult.

And with that, Gong Xi is thrown out, but she leaves kicking and screaming, declaring to take revenge on Xiang and send him to the pits of hell no matter what it takes.

The apartment is empty when Gong Xi returns, but the lifesize cardboard cutout of Xiang is still staring right back at her as she walks through the door. She tears off its head…and then proceeds to destroy every last bit of any Xiang-related thing still in the apartment — posters, pillows, you name it.


She’s about to tear Xiang’s album in two, but stops herself and remembers the time when she and Xiang were still on good terms and were celebrating the release of his first album. All of a sudden, memories of a kinder, more considerate Xiang rush back to her, but she then remembers the selfish, narcissistic person that Xiang’s become. Gong Xi destroys the CD anyway and vows revenge. You go, girl.

But in order to get revenge, Gong Xi has to join the entertainment industry, and in order to join the entertainment industry, she needs a makeover — and the makeover starts with Gong Xi buying a pair of shoes that she can’t afford. Or can she? She shoves a huge pile of NT$100 bills (NT$1 equals roughly US$3) at the register and tells the clerk to wrap the shoes up for her.

The lady at the hair salon comments that Gong Xi’s grown out her hair for so long; is she sure she wants to cut it all off now? Gong Xi hesitates, but after remembering Gong Xi suddenly remembers Xiang’s exchange with his manager back at the television studio, she decides to go through with it anyway. The lady then asks her what style she wants. Gong Xi answers, “A hairstyle fit for a superstar.” Superstar indeed.


The last thing on Gong Xi’s makeover list is quitting her jobs, but this task proves to be far more difficult than getting a haircut or buying a pair of shoes. The owners of the restaurant are more sad than angry about Gong Xi’s plans on becoming a celebrity — the restaurant staff has become more or less a small family, and they’d hate to see Gong Xi go. But Gong Xi says that it’s best to cut her ties now, as she knows the farewell will only get more difficult once she actually finds a job.

So wait, says Wan Zi, you haven’t found a job yet, and you’re only thinking of becoming a celebrity? Gong Xi vehemently says no and declares the she’s already made her decision. Being an entertainer isn’t just a possibility; it’s a necessity. Which then leads Wan Zi to ask how Gong Xi is planning on paying off the rent for her expensive apartment in the meanwhile. “I’ve decided to move out,” says Gong Xi. But she has nowhere else to live.

Fortunately for Gong Xi, there’s a place right above the restaurant — it’s a bit small, but it’s livable. The only condition is that Gong Xi continues to work at the restaurant until she finds a job as an entertainer. Gong Xi is thankful, and the owners are more than happy to have Gong Xi back.


Gong Xi doesn’t have much to bring to her new place above the restaurant, which leads Wan Zi to be even more suspicious of Gong Xi. What kind of person suddenly sells off their apartment, changes their look, and then says that they’re entering the entertainment industry? Wan Zi’s conclusion: Gong Xi’s a spy from the National Security Council who plans on infiltrating the celeb circles and seek out the potheads, ketamine users, coke snorters within the industry. Honestly, being an NSC spy sounds a lot more exciting than seeking revenge on your childhood friend, but maybe that’s just me.

Wan Zi wants in on this clandestine fight for righteousness, but Gong Xi scoffs at the idea and says that she wouldn’t go through the trouble of meddling in the entertainment world if things were so simple . . . and almost blurts out her real reason behind her actions. Fortunately, she catches herself and Wan Zi doesn’t notice. But regardless of Gong Xi’s motives, Wan Zi says that she has a good idea to help Gong Xi achieve stardom.


Her idea?  Decking Gong Xi out in ridiculously gaudy clothing and strutting around the streets of Taipei in the hopes that she gets noticed. Apparently an actress was discovered in this way, says Wan Zi. Gong Xi’s never heard of her. But Wan Zi’s mom has, Wan Zi claims. As if that counts for anything.

Gong Xi sees a newspaper article on Xiang and his sudden announcement about his plans to go to college. Gong Xi’s enraged — Xiang was the reason why Gong Xi couldn’t get a proper college education and now he dares to run off to college by himself? How dare he!


Dun Helian’s in the office with Du Jin, and Du Jin asks him if the two could talk things over before he makes a call regarding Dun Helian’s earlier run-in with Nan Gua. Dun Helian just tells him to say things as they are. But apparently Nan Gua’s manager personally came over to complain about Dun Helian’s attitude, so it’s probably best for them to think of something to say before diving straight into the phone call.  Dun Helian replies that if Du Jin’s having such a hard time thinking of things to say, he might as well do it himself. Suddenly, the phone rings and it’s the chairman of Nan Gua’s company — we don’t directly hear what the chairman says, but Du JIn seems to be surprised at whatever it is, only nodding and saying ‘okay’ to whatever the chairman is telling him.


Anger breeds new ideas, and Gong Xi decides to change her plan of attack and…march around Ximending with a giant sign that reads, “Star of Tomorrow Seeking Management! Please Contact Me ASAP; Guaranteed to Gain Popularity that Stretches Across the Skies!” (Trust me; it doesn’t sound any more poetic in Chinese than it does in English.) But Gong Xi doesn’t run into much success, save for one producer that picks her up. He turns out to be a porn flick producer. Anyone surprised? (Gong Xi and Wan Zi do beat him up though, so extra points there.)


But that still leaves Gong Xi at square one, and the two seem to have run out of ideas (and Wan Zi seems to have run out of patience for Gong Xi’s antics). Then, Gong Xi suddenly notices a newspaper headline mentioning LME. What’s LME? Only the biggest entertainment company in Taiwan. If they go directly there, Gong Xi thinks, maybe she’ll have a shot. Besides, even the washing-machine-incapable Bu Puoxiang managed to get into the entertainment industry, so why can’t she? But this only serves to further arouse Wan Zi’s suspicions: how does Gong Xi know that Bu Puoxiang doesn’t know how to use a washing machine? Gong Xi goes on to add that her grades in school were better than that of Bu Puoxiang’s, but Wan Zi counters that grades have nothing to do with being an entertainer. And plus, how does Gong Xi know that Bu Puoxiang’s grades were suckier than hers? Common knowledge, Gong Xi says.

Welp, says Wan Zi, good luck to you then,  and she leaves. But even despite Wan Zi’s doubts, Gong Xi is still determined to be signed by LME and enter the entertainment industry once and for all so that one day, she’ll be even more popular than Bu Puoxiang, that stinky meathead. Just you watch, tough guy, she says. Just you watch.

But not before she changes her hairstyle.


I’m not going to pretend that I’m watching Skip Beat because it’s a good drama, because it clearly isn’t. However, this first episode didn’t go as poorly as I thought would be. For one, Donghae and Siwon’s acting skills are far from being cringeworthy — granted, this partially has to do with the fact that their parts are dubbed by Taiwanese voice actors, thus eliminating the possibility of awkward line delivery by either of them. But Donghae’s doing an impressively good job, especially considering that this is only his second drama role and his first role as a lead character. Siwon is smooth as always — we haven’t seen much of him yet, but I don’t feel like I have to worry about him too much.

Truth be told, the script writing is kind of terrible. The story is pretty much set in stone since it’s based off of a manga, but you would think that this would give the scriptwriters greater motivation to spice up their writing style a bit. Alas, the lines are dry and boring and barely funny, which therefore is even less of an incentive to watch this drama.

I like Ivy Chen a lot. She could easily be accused of overacting in her role as Gong Xi, but I’m starting to get the idea that this drama remake was meant to adapt some of the manga style attributed to the original Japanese version. In that regard, Ivy Chen does a good job of personifying the exaggerated behavior of your typical female lead in a Japanese anime. I just hope that it doesn’t get tiring to watch.

Considering Cai Yizhen’s resume, I’m really surprised at her greenish acting as Wan Zi in this drama. I don’t think Wan Zi will be a reoccurring character in this drama — and I really hope she isn’t because Cai Yizhen’s acting gets exhausting to watch. On the other hand, Jin Qin is fan-freaking-tastic as Dun Helian’s manager. He plays the classic sidekick role and his character doesn’t seem to have a huge presence in the drama, but Jin Qin’s acting has drawn me in already and he’s done a fantastic job of giving a real sense of life to his character.

To be honest, I find that I have very little incentive to continue following this drama. But there’s nothing inherently blasphemous about it — okay, maybe the voice-dubbing, but that’s nothing new for many Taiwanese dramas and it hasn’t been too distracting in this first episode. One thing I have realized, however, is that writing drama recaps is really time consuming, and with the way that this story is going, I don’t want to get to the point where I’m bored out of my mind doing these recaps because the story and the scriptwriting is just that uninteresting. Of course, the story itself is pretty much set in stone because of its connection with the manga, but here’s hoping that the scriptwriting will be progressively less dry as the series goes on. Crossing my fingers and my toes.

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