“Why would you prefer to believe in the prophecy, but I don’t?” – Zhu Yan (The Longest Promise, 2023)
WeTV’s latest Chinese drama is currently all the rage abroad. The romantic story, which is full of twists and turns between the characters, will arouse our curiosity.
Not Just Romance, Titled Serial the longest promise or its Indonesian title, eternal promiseIt’s also packed very seriously, starting with the engaging story, feel-good cast selection, and colorful display.
This Xinxia drama also has technical elements that are not inferior to the Korean Netflix series, alchemy of soulswhich had ruled the streaming platform for weeks.
the longest promise Translated from Cang Yue’s novel Zhu Yan. How is the story, we break down the important parts one by one.
The prologue of episode 1 will take us to Zhu Yan (Ren Min), a princess of the Chi Yi Clan who goes with her entourage to where the Huotu Tribe lives.
Zhu Yan was to marry Ke’erle, the heir of the Huotu tribe in a marriage arranged by both parties against her will.
Zhu Yan wants to get away from that place, and uses magic on the portrait he made of himself, so that his double comes out of the painting and replaces him during the wedding ceremony.
Zhu Yan then creates a sand monster to kidnap her twin so she won’t marry someone she doesn’t want and everyone will think the monster took her.
From the prologue, we will start the main story that takes place 5 years before, where we move to Kong Sang, a continent where 6 clans live. The Crown Prince caught a glimpse of little Zhu Yan who wanted to give him flowers.
However, not long after that incident, 12-year-old Crown Prince Shi Ying was accused of murdering the emperor’s pregnant concubine. To protect her son, the empress, who is also the prince’s mother, concocts an elaborate plan to fake her son’s death.
He asked the Grandmaster of Jiuyi Mountain for help in bringing his son to live under his care in Jiuyi Mountain, so that the troubles in the palace would not drag on and everyone would know that the Crown Prince was dead.
5 years later, in the same timeline as the prologue, Zhu Yan meets the Crown Prince, who has changed his name to Young Master, for the first time during the offering ceremony at Jiuyi Mountain that is held at out every 10 years.
Zhu Yan, who was old enough, became his clan’s dancing messenger. Zhu Yan wanted the Crown Prince he knew to revive. But he did not know that the Crown Prince, who was only a teenager, had become a Young Master and was hiding in one of the valleys of Mount Jiuyi.
They eventually meet, but neither recognizes each other, until some time later, the Young Master realizes that the princess is Zhu Yan. However, neither of them had feelings.
Even more interesting when the Young Master has been appointed by the Grandmaster to become an Intermediate Master at the age of 18, and is tasked with selecting his first disciple from the 6 existing clans.
Zhu Yan was chosen, and from there their chemistry slowly began to converge and the two questioned themselves, did they like each other? Or is liking limited to respect only and limited to the teacher-student relationship?
The storytelling is amazing and the acting is so unified from the players.
It is undeniable that the power of a series is stored in its pilot episode or as we usually call it the first episode. If that alone doesn’t impress, this series is sure to be left behind by its audience.
But in the longest promise, this first episode is so lovely. The prologue makes us curious as to who Zhu Yan’s character really is and why he may get caught up in a marriage that is not of his own free will.
Only after that are we introduced to his second character, namely the young master who has become a figure he has admired since childhood.
Little by little we can understand one by one the characters they play in this series. It’s not easy for those who rarely watch Chinese dramas. Also, the name is very difficult to memorize.
However, little by little in the next few episodes we will be able to assemble the most interesting stories one by one and we will enter a much broader world than we imagined.
The performance of the cast itself can be said to be very strong. Especially for the two main characters, Young Master and Zhu Yan, whose chemistry is very close in every scene they play.
There are 3 interesting characters that need to be watched.
We will meet many interesting characters, but we will only talk about 3 important characters. The first is Chong Ming, the young master’s fellow student on Jiuyi Mountain, who can turn into a giant white bird, as well as other animals.
Chong Ming’s character is really necessary, because as an atmosphere breaker, this character is really entertaining and full of humor. We need to know that the Young Master’s character is too rigid and serious.
It’s rare to see him laugh in everyday conversation. Having Chong Ming next to Young Master made the scene less boring.
Apart from Chong Ming, there is an important but mysterious character, namely Chi Yan, who is the caretaker of the Chi Clan’s residence, who has also helped Zhu Yan deal with all his difficulties since childhood. Chi Yan is a Mermaid Man, who in addition to the 10 Ice Clan wizards, lives outside of Kong Sang.
Later, Chi Yan has a crucial role for the continuation of the story of this series. She has an agenda that we only find out about after episode 15 takes place.
The last character who is most important and influences the overall narrative of this series is Zhu Yan.
Zhu Yan had an expressive nature towards something he had just seen. He is cute, but also a bit mischievous. Also, he can be a troubleshooter when the atmosphere freezes over. Sometimes he is very smart, but he can be very lazy.
This character is unique. His role is very crucial in the longest promise. He never let his emotions control him and he showed that he could be wise. In fact, the correct pairing if we compare Zhu Yan with Shi Ying.
the longest promise it’s the best so far. As a Chinese drama with 40 episodes, the plot has a tension that has been arranged in such a way that we can feel the conflicts that occur, the chemistry between the characters, especially the main character.
It can be said that the CGI is very good visually, although it is not very consistent. However, this can be quickly covered by choosing colors that really spoil the view.
The artistic side also looks detailed, as well as the selection of costumes and hairstyles that are also interesting. It’s like seeing the world of Avatar-style with a broader and more diverse scope, but with a classical Chinese-style atmosphere, combined with scattered fantasy creatures, such as giant birds and dragons.
The romantic story is indeed a very interesting thing to follow from the very first episode to its completion. cineverse highly recommended the longest promise on the list for you to watch, especially for those who are curious to see what Zhu Yan and Shi Ying’s story will be like later.
Director: Jeffrey Chiang
Cast: Xiao Zhan, Ren Min, Wang Churan, Wang Ziqi, Alen Fang, Marcus Li, Han Dong, Ye Shengjia, Mickey He, Chen Zihan, Chen Xinyu, Yang Ming Na, Fan Linfeng