Ice Fantasy is a Chinese fantasy predominantly live action drama featuring magic and martial arts in a rich fantasy setting. I found it whilst looking through some of the newer shows being discussed over at MDL. It looked interesting, so I decided to give it a run. The series itself is based off of a novel that I am unfamiliar with.
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!!!
Ice Fantasy is set years after a war between the immortal Ice and Fire tribes. Queue scene of main character playing with ice lion that can apparently grow ice wings. It focuses on the heir of the Ice tribe Ka Suo (Feng William) who is a thoughtful and intelligent young man that has reached his coming of age at 130 years of age. He has magical abilities unlike his little half-brother Ying Kong Shi (Ma Tian Li). Ying Kong Shi is subject to bullying by other kids because he doesn’t have magical ability and Ka Suo is regularly stepping in to deal with the assholes picking on his little bro. Queue ominous group of horseman heading towards their castle.
At Ka Suo’s COA ceremony, we are introduced to some other immortal characters. Those of note are the ditsy fangirl Mermaid Princess Sang Lan played by the adorable Memet Madina and the villainous Fire Prince Lu Zhao played by the hunky Qing Yong. Lu Zhao tries to start some shit and is rebutted by Ka Suo.
We take a detour over to one of Ka Suo’s other interests. Li Luo (Song Victoria) is a human woman from one of the mortal tribes to who Ka Suo has taken an interest. He engages in regular conversations with her about mortality via owl-to-owl mobile as she feels somewhat annoyed with his odd questions. She also is subject to numerous suitors looking her hand in marriage because she is attractive and important and actually kind of neat. Time for an mild info dump about the affect of human blood on immortals.
Lu Khao later heads into off-limits woods nearby after killing some guards and then makes a bunch of bird creatures pissed off. When Sang Lan wanders in with the hope of talking with Ka Suo in private, she is attacked by the bird things, is saved by Lu Zhao who then procedes to beautifully twirl her with his world famous rape attack. he stopped by Ka Suo again. Cut to end credits.
So, what is there to say about this story? To begin with, I like the setting and the characters for the most part. The appearance of the outfits worn by the Ice Tribe is reminiscent of those snobby elves from LotR. Both the Ice and Fire tribe members also have specific genetic traits. In the case of the ice tribe, they have white or ice blue hair with electric blue eyes. The Fire tribe has red hair and red-brown eyes. The personality for each is notably different as well, though there does seem to be an ongoing hatred of the Ice tribe by the Fire tribe due to whatever started the war a century or so before. I suspect that this will become apparent in future episodes. What can be said is that the character Lu Zhao is a rapey asshole.
To the graphical side of things, this series does make use of a lot of CG. As beautiful as the backdrops and mythical creatures are, they would be better served with a motion capture cast. In my personal opinion, the CG didn’t work as well with the actors digitally placed into the scenes. There are some scenes that make use of non-CG settings, and these tend to work better because it feels more natural. Some folks may not have the same issue as I did though.
As for the cast, we have some all-stars in this series. So… much… eye candy!!! Yes, it did spend a bit of time admiring those sexy live action bishies even if no shirts were removed. For those inclined, I suppose that you might also be interested in the beautiful actresses. As far as the lead is concerned, William Feng plays a convincing and brilliant young man that would simply like to live free, but is constrained by being the heir. He and Victoria have great chemistry even if their characters don’t technically appear in the same scene in the first episode.
To the plot. Well, there is certainly enough of a hook there for me to continue watching. The pacing was reasonable as well. However, folks will notice that many of the scenes are created with aesthetics in mind. I did enjoy some of the English translated dialogue as well, though some of it felt a little stiff at times.
In conclusion, I enjoyed the story enough to continue this lengthy live action series. It is the first Chinese series that I have given a run so far and look forward to see whatever Chinese shows pop up in the not-so-distant future. I highly recommend that folks consider giving it a run as well. You can learn more about the series and add it to your watchlist over at MDL.