Noble Aspirations

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Noble Aspirations
Zhu Xian Poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Also known as The Legend of Chusen
Zhu Xian
Traditional 青雲志
Simplified 青云志
Mandarin Qīng Yún Zhì
Genre Xianxia
Fantasy
Romance
Based on Zhu Xian by Xiao Ding
Written by Shao Xiaoyi
Zhang Shaowei
Directed by Zhu Ruibin
Liu Guohui
Zhou Yuanzhou
Zhang Jian
Starring Li Yifeng
Zhao Liying
Yang Zi
Cheng Yi
Qin Junjie
Mao Zijun
Country of origin China
Original language(s) Mandarin
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 55 (Season 1)
18 (Season 2)
Production
Executive producer(s) Deng Xibin
Production company(s) H&R Century Pictures Co.,Ltd
Release
Original network Hunan Television
First shown in China
Original release 31 July (2016-07-31) – 8 November 2016 (2016-11-08)

Noble Aspirations (Chinese: 青云志), also known as The Legend of Chusen, is a 2016 Chinese xianxia Romance television series based on Xiao Ding (萧鼎)'s best-seller novel Zhu Xian. Produced by H&R Century Pictures Co.,Ltd, the series stars Li Yifeng, Zhao Liying and Yang Zi in the leading roles. It aired from 31 July to 8 November 2016 on Hunan TV.[1]

The second season of the drama premiered on 8 December 2016 on Tencent Video.[2]

Synopsis[edit]

Season One[edit]

Zhang Xiaofan (Li Yifeng), and childhood friend Lin Jingyu (Cheng Yi), are the sole survivors of a village massacre. The two are accepted into the Qingyun Sect (Noble Sect), where they learn the ways of the Immortal Sword. Although he is hardworking and determined, Xiaofan struggles to catch up to his peers due to his slow wit. One day, he acquires a "dementor sword" by chance when he was training in the mountains.

During the martial arts competition held within Noble Sect, Xiaofan enters the Top 4. Together with Lu Xueqi (Yang Zi) and company, they go to the Bat Cave in Mt Kongsan to investigate the trails of the demonic sect. There, Xueqi encounters danger but is saved by Xiaofan, leading the two of them to become closer. Pivotal circumstances make Xiaofan grow and mature. Along the journey, he meets Biyao (Zhao Liying), daughter of the Ghost King. Their relationship slowly grows and takes a meaningful turn through these difficult times.

However, the villainous Ghost King attempts to overthrow the Noble Sect, and Xiaofan puts his life on the line. Biyao sacrifices herself to save him, falling into an endless sleep.

Season Two[edit]

After Biyao sacrifices her life to protect Zhang Xiaofan, she falls into an endless sleep. Devastated and vengeful, Xiaofan decides to devote his life to saving her. He enters the Ghost King faction, and becomes his right-hand man Gui Li, also known as "Lord of Blood". He embarks on a quest with former allies Lin Jingyu and Lu Xueqi, as well as former enemies such as Qin Wuyan (Mao Zijun) to revive Biyao.

Cast[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Li Yifeng as Zhang Xiaofan (张小凡) / Gui Li (鬼厉)
Determined and loyal, Zhang Xiaofan is a hardworking man with average skills. Because of fate, he is able to learn the cultivation from Fu (Buddhist), Dao (Taoist), and Mo (Heretics), and becomes the world's number one swordsman. He even obtains the Striking Blood Pearl from Pu Zhi, one of four reverent masters of Tian Yin Pavilion, and a black stick object called She Hun from the Da Zhu Palace's lake in the back mountain. It merges with his blood become a blood magic object. Later, his soul is trapped by the He Huan bell, causing him to transform into Gui Li, also known as Master Blood. He thereafter wanders the world in search of a way to revive his dead lover, Bi Yao.
Daughter of the Ghost King and Xiao Chi. She is beautiful, elegant and bright. A noble girl who will do anything for love, she dies for Zhang Xiaofan under the Zhu Xian Sword, causing the transformation of his lifetime.
Said to be a "fairy from nine skies" for her beauty that can enchant the entire country, Lu Xueqi is one of the most skillful and talented disciples of the Noble Sect. She falls for Zhang Xiaofan after undergoing life and death situations with him.
Zhang Xiaofan's childhood friend. He possesses extraordinary skills and potential, and becomes a student of Cangsong and Wan Jianyi. He falls in love with Jin Ping'er.
Zeng Shuchang's son and Zhang Xiaofan's good friend. He is an easygoing and peripatetic man who is loyal to his friends. He becomes the Chief of Yu Du City. He has a crush on Lu Xueqi.
  • Mao Zijun as Yan Lie (颜烈) / Qin Wuyan (秦无炎)
Disciple of Hundred Poison Sect, also known as Demon Faction's Third Young Master / Poison Master (毒公子). He disguises himself as a guard named Yan Lie to enter Yu Du City. Cold, cruel and calculative, he does not show his true emotions except when he is in front of his love, Bi Yao. He is unwilling to do the bidding of the Poison Deity, but has no choice as his body is controlled by him.

Supporting[edit]

Noble Sect[edit]

Actor Character Introduction
Tang Yixin Tian Ling'er (田灵儿) Tian Buyi and Su Ru's daughter. She is Zhang Xiaofan's first love, and stands up for him when he is bullied. However, the one she loves is Qi Hao.
Liu Xueyi Xiao Yicai (萧逸才) Reverend Daoxuan's senior disciple. He drank the blood of the Heavenly Beast to infiltrate the Demon Sect, causing him to turn into a beast every Full Moon. He was sent by the Ghost King to spy on the Noble Sect, but he actually hates the Ghost King and attempts many times to harm Bi Yao. Later, he becomes possessed due to his desire for power.
He Zhonghua Reverend Daoxuan (道玄真人) 18th chief of Noble Sect. He uses the Zhu Xian sword to kill Bi Yao, but eventually becomes possessed while trying to control the same sword, causing him to murder Bi Yao.
Huang Haibing Wan Jianyi (万剑一) A mysterious old man residing at the Founder Shrine. He used to be in a relationship with You Ji, but they could not be together as they were from opposing sects. Later, he becomes Lin Jingyu's teacher.
Lu Xingyu Reverend Cangsong (苍松道人) Head of Mt. Longshou. His actual identity is a spy and assassin for Lian Xie Hall, trying to steal the Striking Blood Pearl from Zhang Xiao Fan and attempt to kill him as well. Later, he is killed by Zhang Xiaofan and Lin Jingyu but before he dies, he destroys the last remaining magical rock that could revive Bi Yao.
Xie Ning Tian Buyi (田不易) Head of Mt. Dazhu, Zhang Xiaofan's teacher and Tian Ling'er's father. A strict but loving man.
Yang Mingna Su Ru (蘇茹) Tian Buyi's wife and Tian Ling'er's mother.
Jiang Hong Shui Yue (水月) Head of Mt. Xiaozhu, Lu Xueqi and Wen Min's teacher and Su Ru's senior sister.
Zong Fengyan Zeng Shuchang (曾书常) Head of Mt. Fenghui, Shu Shu's father.
Chen Zeyu Qi Hao (齐昊) Reverend Cangsong's senior disciple, Tian Ling'er's lover.
Zheng Guolin Song Daren (宋大仁) Tian Buyi's senior disciple. A honest and loyal man.
Ma Chengcheng Wen Min (文敏) Disciple of Mt. Xiaozhu, Song Daren's wife and Lu Xueqi's senior sister.
Ge Ziming Shang Zhengliang (商正梁) Head of Mt. Zhaoyang

Ghost King Faction[edit]

Actor Character Introduction
Fu Chengpeng Archlord Ghost King (鬼王) Head of the Ghost King faction, Bi Yao's father and Xiao Chi's husband.
Xiong Naijin You Ji (幽姬) One of the four great messengers, and biological aunt of Bi Yao. She used to be in a relationship with Wan Jianyi, but the rivalry between their sects forced them to separate.
Yang Xuwen Qing Long (青龙) One of the four great messengers. He is highly skilled and possesses the unique Qian Kun Green Light Ring. He is cruel and calculative toward his enemy, but fiercely loyal to the Ghost King. He is a long time friend of Qin Wuyan.
Liu Can Mr Ghost (鬼先生) / Ghost Doctor (鬼医) A mysterious figure who helped Zhang Xiaofan find the Heaven Book and defeat the Ghost King.

Hundred Poison Sect[edit]

Actor Character Introduction
Wang Weihua Poison Deity (毒神) Chief of Hundred Poison Sect. Bai Duzi and Qin Wuyan's teacher.
Liu Can Bai Duzi (百毒子) One of Poison Deity's disciples and senior brother of Qin Wuyan.
Guo Xin Sucking Blood Old Demon (吸血老妖) One of Poison Deity's disciples.

He Huan Sect[edit]

Actor Character Introduction
Jiao Junyan Jin Ping'er (金瓶儿) Also known as Master Miao (妙公子). She was saved by Xiao Huan when she was young, and becomes part of her family. However, she was later framed and left Yu Du, and came under the Ghost King. After she met Lin Jingyu, she fell in love with him, and thereafter secretly assisted him and his friends to escape from the Ghost King.
Zeng Li Lady Jinling (金鈴夫人) Chief of He Huan Sect, and owner of the He Huan Bell. She later sacrifices herself for her lover by reciting an incarnation.

Tian Yin Pavilion[edit]

Actor Character Introduction
Li Chenghao Ah Xiang (阿相) Senior disciple of Tian Yin Pavilion, Zhang Xiaofan's good friend. He likes Ding Ling.
Wu Yue Pu Zhi (普智) One of the four great reverent. Under the influence of the Striking Blood Pearl, he killed Zhang Xiaofan's entire village. He later passed on Tian Yin Sect's hidden skill to Zhang Xiaofan.
Guo Kaimin Pu Hong (普泓) Chief of Tian Yin Pavilion, one of the four great reverends and Ah Xiang's teacher.
Liu Bo Pu Kong (普空) One of the four great reverends.

Lian Xie Hall[edit]

Actor Character Introduction
Chen Chuang Yegou Daoren (野狗道人) Disciple of Lian Xie Hall, who is aligned with the Ghost King. He likes Zhou Xiaohuan.
Xiu Qing Black Heart Old Man (黑心老人) The former head of Lian Xie Hall, and owner of the Striking Blood Pearl. He shares a special relationship with Lady Jinling, whom he met at the Blood Drop Cave.
Zhang Fan Elder Nian (年老大) He went undercover near Noble Sect for five years in order to steal the Striking Blood Pearl, but was later defeated by Zhang Xiaofan and his friends.

Fen Xiang Valley[edit]

Actor Character Introduction
Qin Shuo Li Xun (李洵) Zeng Shushu's older cousin. He often goes against Zhao Xiaofan and his friends.
Liang Jingxian Yan Hong (燕虹) Li Xun's junior sister.
Chang Cheng Shang Guan Ce (上官策) The top 2 swordsman of Fen Xiang Valley. He later becomes possessed and was killed by Li Xun.
Yang Zihua Yun Yilan (云易岚) Chief of Fen Xiang Valley. Li Xun's teacher.

Yu Du City[edit]

Actor Character Introduction
Bai Xue Xiao Huan (小环) Zhou Yixian's granddaughter. She has a special gift to foresee the future called Heaven Eye, and uses this skill to assist the people of Yu Du City. She is good friends with Zhang Xiaofan, Lu Xueqi and often squabbles with Zeng Shushu.
Zhao Lixin Zhou Yixian (周一仙) Xiao Huan's grandfather. A mysterious man who possesses the long-lost skill of Qing Yun sect. He used to be bosom friends with the Ghost King.
Yang Guang Wei Jing (卫琼) Zeng Shushu and Li Xun's grandfather. Chief of Yu Du City. He later sacrificed himself to ward off the Beast God, and turns into a stone.
Zhang Weina Ding Ling (丁玲) Ah Xiang's love interest. She has a sisterly bond with Jin Ping'er, and later inherits her position as the boss of the Embroidery Shop.
Zhao Chulun Chief of Guan Xing Mt (观星崖崖主) An immortal who saved Zhao Xiaofan when he was poisoned.

Eastern Sea's Ding Hai Mountain Villa / Chang Sheng Hall[edit]

Actor Character Introduction
Zhang Xin Situ Xiao (司徒肖) Young chief of Ding Hai Mountain Villa. He loves Yun Shu.
Hua Jiao Yun Shu (云舒) Daughter of the Sea Tribe. She becomes a servant at Ding Hai Mountain Villa, and falls in love with Situ Xiao. Later, she sacrificed herself to save Situ Xiao.
Qian Yongcheng Yu Yangzi (玉阳子) Former chief of Ding Hai Mountain Villa, leader of Demon Sect's Chang Sheng Hall and Meng Ji's teacher.
Yang Meichen Meng Ji (孟骥) Yu Yangzi's subordinate.
Jia Zhengyu Zhou Yin (周隱) A member of Chang Sheng Hall, who possesses the Li Ren Pyramid. Known as the Assassin, he secretly attacks the Noble Sect but was chased away by Wan Jianyi's ferious attacks.

Little River Town / Fox Mountain[edit]

Actor Character Introduction
Jackson Yi Xiao Qi (小七) Liu Wei's little brother, a wild fox demon saved by Zhang Xiaofan, and later lives together with the Heavenly Fox Tribe.
Shu Chang Xiao Bai (小白) A nine-tailed heavenly fox. Liu Wei's mother and Xiao Chi's older sister. She was trapped at Fen Xiang Valley for three hundred years, but was later revived and helped Gui Li prevent the Heavenly Beast from reviving.
Wang Wanjuan Xiao Chi (小痴) The Ghost King's wife, Bi Yao's mother and Xiao Bai's little sister. She died in the Grass Temple Village's cave.
Allen Ren Liu Wei (六尾) A six-tailed fox demon. Xiao Bai's son and Xiao Qi's big brother. He later died together with his wife in the Black Stone Hole.
Tang Jingmei San Wei (三尾) / San Niang (三娘) A three-tailed fox demon. Liu Wei's wife.
Liu Chang Bing Qiqi (冰琦琦) Xiao Qi's good friend. Former identity of Lu Xueqi, the daughter of Heaven and Earth.
Tong Mengshi Shi Tou (石头) Disciple of Jin Gang sect, a half demon and half human.

Production[edit]

The Golden Horse Award winner, Shirley Chan (zh) serves as its stylist and the Hong Kong Film Award laureate, Bill Lui (zh), serves as the art director.[3][4] Fang Sizhe (zh) serves as the clothes designer.[5] Stunt director Chen Weitao (zh) helped designed the wushu stunts and fighting styles for each character.[6] The production of special effects is handled by South Korean company IOFX.

Casting[edit]

On September 24, 2015, singers Roy Wang, Wang Junkai, and Jackson Yi from TFBOYS were cast for the drama.[7] On December 5, actress Yang Zi attended the commencement ceremony, and the producers announced that she had joined the cast as Lu Xueqi, one of the two leading actresses.[8] On December 19, Wu Yue, Zhao Lixin and Chen Chuang joined the cast during filming.[9]

On January 12, 2016, the television series's official Sina Weibo announced that Li Yifeng had been signed on to star as Zhang Xiaofan, the protagonist in Noble Aspirations.[10] On January 25, it announced that Zanilia Zhao landed the lead role as Bi Yao.[11]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography started on 5 December 2015 at Hengdian Studios and wrapped up on 29 April 2016.[12][13][14] The scenes of the drama were shot in various parts of China, such as Yunnan, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Hunan, Fujian, Zhejiang, and Henan.[12] The total investment of the television series reaches ¥ 60 million, with majority of the budget going to special effects.[12]

The scenes set in Qingyun Mountain (青雲山) were filmed in Laojun Mountain, in Luanchuan County, Henan province.[15] The monkey groups scenes in the Qingyun Mountain were filmed in Huangshan, Anhui province. The scenes set in Heyang Castle (河陽城) were filmed in Hengdian World Studios, in Dongyang, Zhejiang province.[16] The Liuboshan scenes (流波山) were filmed in Erhai Lake, Yunnan.

Soundtrack[edit]

The television series's soundtrack is composed by Japanese composers Ikuro Fujiwara (ja) and Seikou Nagaoka (ja), who have previously worked on the film Painted Skin (2008) and Dr. Jin respectively.[17]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

When the television series premiered on July 31, it received mainly positive reviews for its acting and quality.[18][19] NetEase, one of the three biggest Chinese portals on web, praised the series for its beautiful cinematography and music.[20]

Commercial reception[edit]

The drama was a commercial success. It achieved a market share of 7.075 for its first two episodes, the highest record held by a Chinese drama for the year 2016. In October 2016, it surpassed 20 billion views, becoming the third drama to do so after The Journey of Flower and The Legend of Mi Yue. In December 2016, it became one of the most viewed drama online with over 25 billion views.[21]

Ratings[edit]

China Hunan TV premiere ratings (CSM52)
Episodes Broadcast date Ratings (%) Audience share (%) Ref
1-2 July 31, 2016 1.352 7.075
3-4 August 7, 2016 1.005 4.931
5-6 August 14, 2016 0.957 4.929
7-8 August 21, 2016 0.952 4.839
9-10 August 28, 2016 0.907 4.918
11-12 September 4, 2016 0.705 3.855
13-14 September 11, 2016 0.529 3.187
15-16 September 18, 2016 0.568 3.363
17-18 September 19, 2016 0.631 3.918
19-20 September 20, 2016 0.603 3.66
21-22 September 25, 2016 0.592 3.632
23-24 September 26, 2016 0.513 3.277
25-26 September 27, 2016 0.536 3.316
27-28 October 2, 2016 0.548 2.98
29-30 October 3, 2016 0.616 3.505
31-32 October 4, 2016 0.716 4.003
33-34 October 9, 2016 0.369 2.536
35-36 October 10, 2016 0.424 2.733
37-38 October 11, 2016 0.488 3.926
39-40 October 16, 2016 0.47 4.175
41-42 October 23, 2016 0.308 1.83
43-44 October 24, 2016 0.357 2.217
45-46 October 25, 2016 0.375 2.418
47-48 October 30, 2016 0.265 1.629
49-50 October 31, 2016 0.297 1.936
51-52 November 1, 2016 0.305 2.136
53-54 November 6, 2016 0.329 2.023
55-56 November 7, 2016 0.425 2.79
57-58 November 8, 2016 0.487 3.238
Nationwide Ratings
Episodes Broadcast date Ratings (%) Audience share (%) Ref
1-2 July 31, 2016 1.37 9.11
3-4 August 7, 2016 1.10 7.12
5-6 August 14, 2016 1.22 8.22
7-8 August 21, 2016 1.22 8.11
9-10 August 28, 2016 1.00 7.16
11-12 September 4, 2016 0.49 3.91
13-14 September 11, 2016 0.46 3.83
15-16 September 18, 2016 0.47 3.85
17-18 September 19, 2016 0.46 4.05
19-20 September 20, 2016 0.56 4.71
21-22 September 25, 2016 0.42 3.69
23-24 September 26, 2016 0.43 3.77
25-26 September 27, 2016 0.5 4.26
27-28 October 2, 2016 0.79 5.8
29-30 October 3, 2016 0.79 5.8
31-32 October 4, 2016 0.79 5.8
33-34 October 9, 2016 0.26 2.56
35-36 October 10, 2016 0.5 4.4
37-38 October 11, 2016 0.43 3.72
39-40 October 16, 2016 0.42 5.73
41-42 October 23, 2016 0.3 2.64
43-44 October 24, 2016 0.26 2.29
45-46 October 25, 2016 0.34 3.13
47-48 October 30, 2016 0.33 2.8
49-50 October 31, 2016 0.32 2.95
51-52 November 1, 2016 0.3 2.95
53-54 November 6, 2016 0.3 2.68
55-56 November 7, 2016 0.39 3.5
57-58 November 8, 2016 0.42 3.95

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2016 Tencent QQ Star Awards[22] VIP Drama of the year Noble Aspirations Won
VIP Star of the year Li Yifeng Won
Most Popular TV Actor Won
Most Popular TV Actress Zhao Liying Won
Artist with the Most Potential Qin Junjie Won
2017 22nd Huading Awards[23][24] Best Actor Li Yifeng Won
Best Actress (Ancient) Yang Zi Nominated
Best New Actor Qin Junjie Nominated
Top 10 Dramas Noble Aspirations Won

International broadcast[edit]

Global Broadcasting:

References[edit]

  1. ^ 《青云志》曝全阵容海报 定档7.31率“仙”开战. Tencent (in Chinese). 25 July 2016. 
  2. ^ 《青云志2》8日回归 李易峰变鬼厉赵丽颖复活. Tencent (in Chinese). 2 December 2016. 
  3. ^ 诛仙电视剧服装道具制作揭秘 陈顾方方思哲量身打造. KKnews.cc (in Chinese). 15 May 2016. 
  4. ^ 《青云志》画风居然如此"正常"?挽救玄幻剧尊严. NetEase (in Chinese). 8 August 2016. 
  5. ^ 《青云志》曝服化道特辑 3D打印助力仙侠高定. Tencent (in Chinese). 12 May 2016. 
  6. ^ 《青云志》刀光剑影 网友叹“找到久违武侠情”. Tencent (in Chinese). 5 August 2016. 
  7. ^ TFBOYS加盟诛仙《青云志》助力顶级仙侠IP. Tencent (in Chinese). 24 September 2015. 
  8. ^ 诛仙青云志演员阵容名单曝光 诛仙青云志什么时候播?. Sohu (in Chinese). 5 December 2015. 
  9. ^ 《青云志》赵立新领衔实力派加盟 焦俊艳抢眼(全文). NetEase (in Chinese). 2015-12-29. 
  10. ^ 李易峰《诛仙青云志》开拍 晒张小凡造型照. NetEase (in Chinese). 13 January 2016. 
  11. ^ 诛仙《青云志》赵丽颖演碧瑶 灵秀引期待. Sina (in Chinese). 25 January 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c 诛仙青云志电视剧顺利杀青 主演李易峰赵丽颖剧照曝光. Xinhua News Agency (in Chinese). 6 May 2016. 
  13. ^ 诛仙《青云志》今日开机 baby郭采洁争女主碧瑶. Tencent (in Chinese). 5 December 2015. 
  14. ^ 熊乃瑾《诛仙青云志》杀青 朱雀幽姬露出神秘面纱. ifeng.com (in Chinese). 16 April 2016. 
  15. ^ 玄幻剧《诛仙·青云志》 将进驻河南栾川取景. China Radio International (in Chinese). 28 April 2016. 
  16. ^ 仙侠剧《诛仙·青云志》横店开机. dynews.zjol.com (in Chinese). 10 December 2015. 
  17. ^ 诛仙《青云志》建组100天 曝特效音乐团队. Sina (in Chinese). 10 September 2015. 
  18. ^ 《青云志》开局破收视记录 小小凡王源颜好戏赞. Tencent (in Chinese). 1 August 2016. 
  19. ^ 《青云志》收视告捷 刘学义与众主创再聚蹲首播. Tencent (in Chinese). 1 August 2016. 
  20. ^ 《青云志》首播收视口碑双收 正统仙侠攻占暑期. NetEase (in Chinese). 1 August 2016. 
  21. ^ "Chinese Dramas with over 10 billion online views". Cnewsdevotee. 11 December 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-14. 
  22. ^ 星光大赏荣誉榜丨李易峰、赵丽颖斩获“最受欢迎电视剧男女演员”. Tencent (in Chinese). 10 December 2016. 
  23. ^ 华鼎奖提名公布投票开启 《人民》吴刚陆毅齐入围. Sina. April 28, 2017. 
  24. ^ 第22届电视华鼎奖获奖名单公布. Sina. May 18, 2017. 

External links[edit]