Never would have one thought that Chinese drama, Word of Honor, would have got international recognition. The BL drama is not only one of the best series in Wuxia, but also the leading pairs are super shippable as boy’s love rather than bromance. The series has become the talk of the internet for portraying some cute and intense moments. In the latest drama, two superpower-wielding handsome men in ancient China’s fantastical world find each other as soulmates. Moreover, they come to the rescue of each other at moments of death and life, uses love poems from ancient times for flirting with each other, raise together even a child, and also enjoy rooftop romantic moonlight together.
The drama has become the latest hit and trending in the genre of gay romance. Furthermore, its popularity has exploded under boys’ love in China with their stirring scenes. One cannot say about their companionship exactly like love. But, it is somehow more than bromance with lingering feelings for each other throughout the whole series. No one has thought that the show would become so famous or put expectations into the show. It is because the series is neither one’s original work and is only an adaptation. The other reason is that the primary leading cast was not that much popular.
However, the series managed to surpass the expectation of anyone and rose to become one of the best competitors in Boy Love 101. It is indeed a surprise for everyone when the series on Douban outdid a score of 8 and became the Internet’s hot topic. Word of Honor started airing on February 22, 2021, and ran until March 23, 2021. The series consisted of thirty-six episodes. The drama gathered total million views of 50 since its YouTube streaming from February 23. The first episode itself got a million views of 5.6. Now, let’s have a glance at the plotline and why one should watch the series.
Word of Honor: Plotline and Spoilers
Word of Honor portrays Zhou Zishu, or Ah Xu quit his leadership job of protecting royalty at an assassin organization. However, he had to go through deadly tortures for quitting the organization. Moreover, his living time is also limited to up to three years. It is too good to be realistic regarding the story about one person’s death; that too for all anxiety suckers. Wen Kexing is playing the role of ghost valley’s master. Since the beginning, he has been interested in knowing Zhou Zishu and gets closer with him after running into him. Hence, Wen Kexing not only flirts and sweet talks with him but also follows him everywhere. However, he does not get any response from Zhou Zishu, who does not want to lead him as a dying person.
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Later on, Zhou Zishu began reciprocating his feelings when once Wen Kexing plays his flute for healing Zhou Zishu. Wen Kexing names their relationship as soulmates after initiating the same. There is mutuality in the relationship between Wen Kexing and Zhou Zishu. But, it does not seem so in appearance and seems contrast. The only difference is that the two persons have different ways of expressing their feelings. They realize that there are many things to do in the world and a caring soulmate for each other after passing through many hurdles together. It makes Zhou Zishu unwilling to dies, who has been waiting for death all along and more human-like to Wen Kexing.
Word of Honor: The Characters
Word of Honor’s leading characters is Wen Kexing and Zhou Zishu. Simon Gong and Zhang Zhe Han are depicting the roles. I think it to be a little pity that Wen Kexing has slightly higher attention than Zhou Zishou at the beginning of the show. The interpretation and the early design of the character played a part in depicting the same. Wen Kexing’s elegant and flashy image is more pleasing to look at in comparison to the sloppy beggar image of Zhou Zishu. Moreover, extroverted characters with characteristics of half good and half evil, like Wen Kexing, are more favoured in the drama world.
Wen Kexing is not only flirty but accurately portrays his mercilessness and madness. On the other hand, Zishu is a reserved and calmer person. It is harder to empathize with him as he has hidden emotions that he hides beautifully. However, the novel version Zishu is more aggressive than the novel version. It can also get said that a single person does all the flirting. There are no mutual flirtings between Wen Kexing and Zhou Zishu as Kexing has more lines than Zishu. The series’ screenwriter stated, she purposely designed Zishu to be introverted and colder. Things will only become interesting between them when Zishu would talk more after taking off his guard.
The performance of the actors was praiseworthy, portraying the inner thoughts of the character accurately. Furthermore, the chemistry between them was good. I prefer the soft aura and fragile grazes of Zhang Zehan that are opposite to his real-life personality and previous roles. Although Simon Gong also did a fine job of performing the prominent characteristics of Wen Kexing and took the epic stage.
Word of Honor: The Bromance
Word of Honor gives bold hints of BL, one which cannot just get ignored. There are also some restrictions applied to the theme of such dramas after leading to the ban of two male leads of Addicted series for a short period from the mainstream media. However, the fangirls huge demand also cannot get ignored, although there is more consciousness regarding the risks from the creators. BL elements are reduced by them. Bromance-themed series comes in their place, which in disguise is BL dramas only.
The series will make everyone feel impressed with their bold hints. There is too much intimacy in the two male leads interactions. I don’t know if this drama will too receive backlash from the mainstream media. However, it is fairing well until now with its international recognition. But, the last episodes of the series led down my expectations. The Zishu in the drama is too much incomplete and fragile than the novel. It is one of the most regrettable things in the series.
Word of Honor: Why to Watch?
Word of Honor is for anyone loving family trope as there is the accidental acquisition of a child between Wen Kexing and Zhou Zishu. It makes them seem like a complete family. They refuse to admit themselves to be parents but do their best for the kid. The drama is all about relieving in every single moment, learning to live fully, and love life. At first, Zishu was only waiting for his death while wandering around. Wen Kexing had a dark past. Later on, they both learnt about being more to life instead of only their sufferings and problems. Every single moment is precious in life for everyone. Well, they had a hard time and took time to understand the same.
One of the most attractive things in the series and Wen Kexing is that there is constant quoting of poetry from him. If someone is interested in knowing about Chinese literature and poetry, then the series is a must-watch one for them. There is always a deeper meaning in Wen Kexing’s quotation. Moreover, one must not forget about the Wuxia. There is a deeper meaning in the leads silent gestures. Wen Kexing and Zhou Zishu support one another and also portrays shyness in their mutual trust after they began to know each other. Furthermore, there is a delight in watching the blossoming relationship between Wen Kexing and Zhou Zishu.
In terms of personality, both characters complement each other apart from being equally badass. One would rather watch from the shadows and is quiet. At the same time, the other one is attention-drawing, confident, and talkative. There is beautiful writing in the evolution of the characters. Love is the only thing that makes the series a fantastic one for watching. I am talking not only about the love shared between the characters but also the efforts and love put into the work. The more one watches the drama, the more it will become likeable. I would give the drama a rating of 4.9 out of 5. But, I cannot compare the drama to the novel much or say anything about it as I have never read the novel.
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