I am sure everyone who uses Viki and Dramafever for their drama viewing pleasure has noticed the sudden huge push for the Chinese drama Ice Fantasy. You might be wondering if it is something you might check out? So before investing 62 hours on this high fantasy adventure, let’s do a little checklist to see if this is the Chinese drama for you.
SYNOPSIS: The story is set a hundred years after a war between the Empire of Snow (Ice Tribe) and the Fire Tribe, where the Fire Tribe was defeated. However, the war was fatal, leaving Prince Ka Suo and his younger half-brother Ying Kong Shi the only royal heirs and pure-blood ice illusionists left in the Ice Tribe. Conflict ensues after Ka Suo reluctantly ascends to the throne as his lover, Li Luo, and his brother go missing.
#1 Do you like High Fantasy?
This is 100% a fantasy drama. If you throw together Thor, Dungeons and Dragons, The Hobbit, and random other fantasy stories out there. Mix them all together and make everyone Asian, then this would be the result. If you don’t like this kind of story then look elsewhere. This is not the drama for you.
#2 Does the overuse of CGI (Computer Generated Images) make you break out in hives?
There are so many CGI aspects to this drama that you won’t go more than two minutes without some fantastical magical moment being created by computers. And we are not talking the CGI you see on Hollywood blockbusters. This is more your Syfy channel special effects. They are going to be cheesy. Very very cheesy. So be sure to embrace your inner cheesy geek. If you can’t this might not be the drama for you.
#3 Are you able to go the distance when it comes to drama length?
Ice Fantasy is a 62 episode commitment. Sure they are only 40 minutes long, but the time still adds up and you will have to be committed to watching 6 episodes a week to the drama’s conclusion. Personally, I suggest trying to watch along while it airs. With this kind of show, it is very easy to fall behind and drop unless you are diligent.
#4 Are you OK with really over the top melodramatic bad guys?
The Fire Tribe combines every 90’s emo kid’s angsty wardrobe and throws it together to create the Fire Tribe look. Farrah Faucet hair and punk glam is obviously the style de jour. It really makes me think they all just needed more hugs as babies.
After answering the above questions and you now think you are ready to dip your toes into the Ice Fantasy waters, then here are a few observations from the first four episodes. No spoilers, but just general thoughts regarding what I liked and didn’t like about this drama.
First, I would like to say I appreciate the vivid colors in many of the scenes. The director really does a good job at making blues and reds pop out of the screen. That said, I really wish that the Ice & Fire Tribes did not have colored contact lenses. Sure it looks cool and makes a great screencap, but then I lose so much emotion in the eyes that the acting often comes across as stiff and blank.
I put this almost completely at fault with the contacts which really take away from the tone. I was very happy that the blue eyes were hidden in the human realm. I never thought I would say this, but the blue eyed Asian look is not working for me in this drama.
So far the romance is not a factor so I can’t really comment on its quality. I will say that I am enjoying Victoria Song‘s performance so far. Maybe even more than Feng Shao Feng’s which comes as a huge surprise. Again, I blame it on the lack of emotions due to contact use. At least that is the reason I am claiming since Feng Shao Feng is just so pretty. I would be so upset if Prince of Lan Ling was just a fluke of his acting abilities.
Since I don’t really want to give any spoilers I will end my thoughts here. If you ask me whether I would suggest you watch this drama ASAP? Probably not. It is entertaining enough and I plan on sticking with it, but it is nowhere near the level of love I have for many other Chinese dramas (Check out our Chinese Review section if you need some better drama suggestions). If you do decide to watch, be sure to drop me a line in the comments, on Facebook (Amber Kmuse or The Crazy Ahjummas), or on twitter @AmberKmuse. I love to chat dramas and am happy to discuss Ice Fantasy if anyone needs a place to vent or rave.
Til next time,