Review Nirvana in Fire II: The Wind Blows in Chang Lin
I have not update this blog for quite a while. New Years and jobs have kept me out of the way. I have not give up on watching Chinese series, though Thai lakorn has long ago been out of my sight.
I have been watching Nirvana in Fire II: The Wind Blows in Chang Lin and personally for me it did not disappoint. The sequel is directed by the same team from Nirvana in Fire starring Hu Ge, Wang Kai, Jin Dong and Wu Lei, but comes with a different story and different casts. The rating currently in China isn’t as successful as the first but sometimes ratings don’t determine whether you will like this series or not. The sequel makes me cry more than the first one. The first one has this melancholy sadness tone behind all the revenge plotting and finding justice along the way. However, the second one focuses on loyalty, family and sibling love. It still has the same melancholy tone but it will leave you a deep impression. The Chinese are good with teaching you life lesson. It teaches you the core of humanity and how to be a good filial son, loyal heart and good person.
I watch up to 30 episodes now. If you watch the first Nirvana in Fire, you would know that in the beginning Mei Chang Su saved three servant boys from the palace. One of the them is Xiao Tingsheng who is the real son of Prince Qin, who was the crown prince before Lin Su’s and his father’s army was killed. Because Prince Qin was so benevolent and beloved by courts and official, the Emperor listened to bad politician, prisoned and killed Prince Qin’s whole family. At the end of Nirvana in Fire, Emperor Jingyan adopted Xiao Tingsheng and give him the title of a “Prince”.
It is now 50 years later, Xiao Tingsheng (Sun Chun) now upholds military power with the Chang Lin army (this army name was given by Emperor Jingyan at the end of the first part) and has a powerful voice that the current Emperor will listen to. Whatever Xiao Tingsheng said goes. His elder son Xiao Pingzhang (Huang Xiao Ming) is clever and a mastermind behind all the strategies against their enemies. Xiao Tingsheng favors his elder son and name him as the Heir to the Chang Lin Army against the Emperor’s objection. If you watch, you will know the Emperor and certain servants favors the second young master Xiao Pingjing (Liu Hao Ran) who is more carefree and learns martial art with Lin Chen from the Langya Hall.
With powers comes with enemies from all four front. You have people fearing your power with the military in the palace. You have people who you may never intend to offend but did and now they’re here for revenge. Then you have people that are just pure greedy and want to see you be destroy.
You don’t have to watch the first one to understand the second one. But there is still a connection to the first one especially Xiao Tingsheng. You will feel his pain more if you know his history. You will understand his philosophy that he lives by and how he teaches his sons to be upright people. He is just such a good person that you don’t want him to die at all. I know I’m going to cry a bucket of tears when he goes leaving our hero alone by himself fighting against all odds. Xiao Pingjing is a clever young boy but even a genius who barely stays in the palace would know about politics and plotting. How will he fight against enemies that he doesn’t know exists? He does not have 12 years to gather information about everyone to make any move like Mei Chang Su does. Our hero just lost so much, his brother and his father who spoils and pamper him to the age of 20. The cost of growing up is a lot. This also teaches you that as the younger sibling you have more free time to do what you want and now that you have to actually overtake the responsibility, it isn’t easy at all.
Remember the quote “A father will always know his son and his son will always know his father”. This is a good foundation to trust and loyalty. The Chang Lin Family live by this philosophy. You will see how Tingsheng’s trust for his two son is above all even though a bit bias. HEHE When Pingjing was wrongly accused for assassinating one of the crown prince from a different kingdom, Tingsheng stands up for his son and trust in his son’s judgement. He trust his son is a good person because he after all did raise them.
Xiao Pinging is the young master of the Chang Lin Manor, who basically spend most of his time learning the way of the pugilist world and learn martial art through Langya Hall. He returns to the palace after knowing that someone is trying to hurt his brother. Stays in the palace trying to be helpful with the family duties that he tries to neglect. He is basically, the spoil and pamper young master.
Xiao Pingjing has all the thing in the world. He comes from a rich, powerful military family. He is arrogant, superior and pamper but he has a good heart. He is a clever young boy when it comes to solving mystery but for him politics in court is not his thing. His brother have to teach him the way of court lives. For him, good and loyal subject should never have enemies, naive on his part.
Liu Hao Ran is a young actor who was casted when he was 18 year old. As a young actor, I think he is doing a decent job as a young carefree boy who grew up to be a general after his brother dies. The whole story is about his growth and that life is not fair even if you’re a good person.
Xiao Pingzhang is the heir to the Chang Lin Manor. He is the brain that moves the chain with his father and court. He is loyal to his brother, father and wife. He will do anything for them even sacrificing his own life. He always see all the angle that his enemies throw at him and sometimes even if you see the angle, life just don’t work the way you plan it.
If you know Huang Xiao Ming’s reputation, it isn’t good at all in China. He has a constant bad reputation in the past year for his acting as the overbearing president who always about looking good onscreen. His acting has been shunned by the Chinese netizens. So, when news of him getting a role in this series, people decided they’re not going to watch it. But surprisingly, his acting in this series is not as bad as they expected. So, even though he gains some acting credibility back, among the Chinese netizens, they still feels icky about him. I think he plays well enough to keep the chain going but there is something about him that makes him feel greasy and slimy. LOL But he is decent in here compared to his other one.
Xiao Tingsheng is a loyal subject to his emperor. However, even loyal at heart still suffers from despicable and jealousy politician destroying his family.
I really love this actor. His voice is so powerful. When he speaks you listen. When he tells you sad story you cry.
She is the granddaughter of the famous general Meng Zhi’s in the first Nirvana in Fire. She plays the daughter-in-law of the Chang Lin Manor and wife of Xiao Pingzhang. She is a brave woman who is able to understand her husband’s decision made in life. Even if it hurts her, she would not want him to live to resent her for stopping him from doing what he wants and regrets it later. Life is tough and choices are made. And you live on fronm the choices that you made.
I feel bad for her. She is very important to Xiao Pingzhang but when life throws hardship at you, there is decision that you have to make and at the end you suffer from it, you moved on. Pingzhang did not mean to leave her by sacrificing himself. But when you have a father and a brother you want to save at the same time, it only leaves you choice that if you can save both, you choose to save both. That’s what Pingzhang did. He saved both but leaves himself vulnerable.
She plays the love interest of our young hero Xiao Pingjing. She is aloof and cold as the doctor. She barely give him the day of the time in the beginning which makes me laugh because he was young and arrogant.
I feel for her though as a doctor. Later on Pingjing and her will separate because life circumstances lead to that. Pingjing can’t face her because for him she will remind him of what could have been with his brother. He can’t face reality and decided he needs time. Doctors made difficult choices and she made her. Pingzhang made his.
Due to his father’s greed, their family was downgraded to just a nobody but the Emperor has always been kind so give the title of Marquise to this young boy Xiao Yuan Qi. His mother has always been vengeful against the Chang Lin family because Xiao Tingsheng was the one doing the arrest. His father hang himself because he did not want to be prison and killed. She holds grudges against the family.
Young Marquise is a friend of Pingjing but with a rank of a marquise is still unable to bring him fame. Due to his greed for bigger thing and willing help from Marquise Mozi, Xiao Yuan Qi will later become the real villain of the story. He is jealous of Pingjing, who is a born genius, with a loving brother and father who pampers him. Pingjing gets recognition for the things he done. Xiao Yuan Qi thinks that all Pingjing’s glory is just because he comes from a family of power.
He is the disciple of General Meng Zhi. He overtakes the capital army. He is a loyal subject to his emperor, to the Chang Lin family and especially to Meng Qianxue. Feizhan is very single minded in that he believes only what he sees. He would not make any stupid assumption just because someone tells him that this is what will happen in the future.
Emperor is always sick because of health issue and bad intentions from the bad guys. He is a nice emperor but weak who doesn’t know that the Empress is a jealousy woman always plotting against the Chang Lin family.
His brotherly love with Xiao Tingsheng is real and their friendship stays that way till the day he died. For him, his brother Tingsheng is above all. Whatever Tingsheng says goes. The emperor made his own decision too but always take his brother’s advise into consideration.
He plays the guru who comes to Great Liang to seek revenge for something that happens 20 years ago with his kingdom. His sole intention is to destroy the Chang Lin family. Twenty years ago, a plaque hit the neighboring kingdom Yeqin, Great Liang closed its border to protect its people. To revenge for his kingdom, he disguises himself as the guru heavens sent to help the Empress to destroy the Chang Lin family, who he believes orders the closing of the border.
This empress is very narrow-minded. She is in a constant state of mind that the Chang Lin family who holds military power will some day rebelled and take her son’s place as the future emperor. Her problem is loving her young son too much and thinking about something that would never come! Whenever she talks, you just want to smack her because where did she get all these thinking of her from? You would think the previous Emperor Jingyan would find a better empress for his son? Her jealousy knows no bound. When you have a loyal subject who will die protect your Kingdom, you better just kiss their feet. lol
The crown prince is 13, I think by the time he becomes Emperor. But his young mind is confused. In his mind, his uncle Tingsheng is a good and loyal person. They would never betray him or his country. But his mom and uncle keeps putting things in his head, things he doesn’t even know himself what it is about.
He is listed as number 1 in the martial art world in Langya Hall. I hope to see a battle between him and Pingjing!
Empress brother who is just like her lives in constant fears of the power struggle with the Chang Lin family! Though he is sensible at time because when it comes to the country’s safety, he would love the Chang Lin family to be there. But when it comes to the palace power, he is in fears the Chang Lin family’s descendant will rebel.
Credit: All pictures credit to the original weibo