Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei: Overall Review
Strange Hero Yi Zhi Mei is an action c-drama that aired back in 2011. Apparently it could also be classified as a wu xia but I view it as more of a fusion-wu xia-action drama. It stars Wallace Huo & Liu Shi Shi! I posted about the last few episodes of YZM a long time ago in 2011. But when I look back at those posts now…I realize that they sucked. T_T Pretty much all I talked about in those posts was about San Niang x Ge Xiao, HAHA. Anyways I’m replacing them with this overall post instead! 😉
Yi Zhi Mei is about a group of four thieves who steal for justice. In other words, they steal from the rich corrupt people to help the poor. At first the four of them are at odds with each other and begrudgingly cooperate for one project…but eventually they decide to stick together to help others as well. I know, it sounds pretty awesome and exciting but unfortunately the plot isn’t quite as complex or thrilling as it could’ve been. I think the drama would’ve been much better if only it had a more cohesive story and if it had elaborated more on the concept of the righteous-thief. Instead the story is separated into mini story arcs; each one is a few episodes long and it focuses on the past of each of the group members. There is also an overall cat and mouse game between the main character and his arch-enemy, but that wasn’t all too compelling.
Anyways I guess the main draw of Yi Zhi Mei would be the characters. Even if their story arcs weren’t super interesting, at least the characters are entertaining to watch and they also have awesome fight scenes. Wallace Huo plays the role of Li Ge Xiao, a super genius and the leader of the group. He is all angsty over his lover’s death and he also must fight off his genius nemesis, Wu Qian. Don’t get me wrong, it is awesome gazing at Wallace in this drama (totally not shallow at all! 😛 ) but I admit his acting here could use some improvement. Li Ge Xiao recruits three other members for his team–Xiao Mei, who is a master of disguise and uses hidden weapons such as a fan and needles–San Niang, a master thief & pick-pocket who is the only female member of the group–and Chai Hu, who is known for his super-strength. My favorite characters would actually be San Niang and Xiao Mei because they are the most lively and spunky characters.
YUP I’m proud of myself for knowing who Liu Shi Shi was BEFORE her breakthrough role in Bu Bu Jing Xin. 😛 Although LSS’ role here isn’t as complex as her role in BBJX, I’d say I like her character as San Niang more! San Niang is SUPER AWESOME…even though I don’t watch many wu xia one thing I love is how the lady characters always kick butt! Let’s just say you don’t want to come across San Niang when she’s mad! I was really invested in San Niang’s character because she’s so fearless and full of girl power, and yet she is also vulnerable and sees the best in Li Ge Xiao!
San Niang also has really great outfits. At first I was all, ‘why is she wearing ribbons with her hat thingy?’ but eventually I realized how awesome all her outfits really are.
The main reason I was addicted to YZM is because of San Niang and Ge Xiao’s romance. Omg. The romance is much more subtle in this drama but I sitll loved it all the same. There are not tons of shippy scenes in every episode, but each and every scene with San Niang and Ge Xiao was so good. Yeah, once I got on their ship I just couldn’t stop watching, even if that meant having to watch some of the more boring episodes. I admit, if there were no San Niang x Ge Xiao in YZM I probably wouldn’t have been watching it. O___O””
Anyways I really like the relationship between San Niang and Ge Xiao. San Niang is the first one to fall for Ge Xiao, but she doesn’t throw herself at him or anything. Instead she gives him some space while still showing him how much she cares about him. Ge Xiao is only loyal to San Niang because he views her as his comrade. But later on we see him warming up to her and he finally decides that he can let go of his ex-lover and spend his life with San Niang.
San Niang x Ge Xiao MV
^more great moments. I especially love the scene when San Niang is surrounded by like 30 guards and she still holds her ground!
Honestly, at first I tried watching ep1 of YZM a few times and I couldn’t get past the first scene. O___O I was not impressed at all with the opening scene of Wallace sweating and fighting some random guy in a boxing ring. But one day I eventually got past that first scene and ended up being quite surprised by the drama! Usually I have gripes about wu xia and Chinese RPG dramas because of the cheesy CG effects, the overexaggerated fighting, etc. Although Yi Zhi Mei isn’t without its cheesy moments, it is exceptional when it comes to its fight scenes. I’m glad that it doesn’t overuse the CG or the wirework so that the fighting seems more natural. Also I feel like it is more experimental and creative with the fight scenes especially since it keeps the CG effects to a minimum.
If you enjoy other RPG dramas (i.e. Xuan Yuan Sword) or wu xia I would recommend giving Yi Zhi Mei a try. Personally I don’t find the drama good enough for me to rewatch the entire thing, but I still have many favorite scenes that I am fond of!