The xianxia series follow the journey of Ji Yun He, a spiritual master who is tasked with capturing demons within the Flower Valley. She is controlled by the Valley Master via poison, and especially trained to be the main rival to the Valley Master’s son, Lin Hao Qing. Although rivals, Ji Yun He and Lin Hao Qing have a deeper understanding on their roles and their hatred towards Valley Master.
As the Flower Valley is under the control of the Royal Family, Princess Shunde orders the Valley Master to capture and tame the merman, Chang Yi. Enamored with the beauty and kindness of the merman, Ji Yun He decides to help and free Chang Yi. Although at the beginning, it does seem that she would be able to free Chang Yi, she soon discovers the Valley Master has tricks up his sleeve to keep her by withholding the cure to her poison.
In order to save Chang Yi, Ji Yun He pretends to betray him by stabbing and pushing him down the cliff. Chang Yi is saved by a physician monk, Kong Ming and embarks on his own in the cold north. The incident at the cliff creates a misunderstanding whereby Chang Yi loses his faith in love & kindness, harboring hateful & revengeful thoughts towards Ji Yun He.
Meanwhile, Ji Yun He is captured by the Grand Master and imprisoned to be experimented with. The Grand Master’s interest is piqued as Ji Yun He has trails of being a demon as well as a spiritual master, which is against the nature of their world.
As Chang Yi recovers his power, he also manages to get a following from other demons who have been oppressed by Princess Shunde and the Grandmaster. As they increased their strength, it poses a security threat to the Royal Family & Princess Shunde. When Chang Yi realises Ji Yun He is imprisoned, he rescues her from the Grand Master. As he is still angry at Ji Yun He’s purported betrayal, he imprisons her. Caught in a conflict of emotions, Chang Yi observes that Ji Yun He is wasting away physically. He tries his best to get Kong Ming to save her and slowly realises that Ji Yun He has her own reasons in her previous actions.
As the investigation continues, it is revealed that Valley Master has previously experimented on Ji Yun He as part of a bigger scheme. As Ji Yun He often dreams of a mysterious woman, it is also then linked to the Grand Master. Ji Yun He sacrifices herself to save Flower Valley followers, but resurrects through the demon in her as the nine-tailed fox.
When she resurrects she loses all her memories and saved by Lin Hao Qing. However, her journey still brings her back towards North Abyss where Chang Yi is. When both are reunited, they finally resolved their misunderstandings to fight against the Grand Master and Princess Shun De (and the demon who is driving all the conflicts).
The main story revolves around the love between Chang Yi and Ji Yun He, a kind-hearted merman turned frosty and a manipulative spiritual master with a deeper heart of gold. Chang Yi’s direct and unassuming personality is the initial attraction for Ji Yun He but the deemed betrayal by Ji Yun He changes his personality significantly. Therein, lies my issue with their love story.
Although it is repeatedly indicated that Ji Yun He takes the actions for the benefit of either the greater good or for Chang Yi’s safety, I have an issue on how she does not communicate the intention nor correct the perception given, especially by Chang Yi. Due to such lack of communication, Chang Yi has even deeper misgivings and misunderstanding of Ji Yun He’s intention. Keeping all the sorrows within herself does not provide the happiness or freedom to Chang Yi. Her actions and decisions imprison the lovers into deeper sorrows. And I have an issue with the direction of the story as such. The main leads and their love are so painful to bear, and worst still, it is brought upon by themselves.
There are other love stories within the series even early on involving Li Shu and Xue San Yue, Kong Ming and Luo Luo, Qing Shu and Ning Ruo Que and even the Grand Master and his master. These other love stories are a lot more palatable, whereby most of their misunderstandings are finally resolved by either patience & perseverance or simple communications.
The other schemes especially involving the poisoning of the spiritual master tags along, but the series focus on the love between the two leads. It felt as if the love story is the main focus while the other storylines are not important.
Comparison with Novel
The novel Blue Whisper is authored by Jiu Liu Fei Xiang, who has written a number of interesting novel (sometimes inter-related), many of which has been also been turned into drama series. I do like the author’s stories, many are quite funny with comedic twists.
A link to a good translation in English of the Blue Whisper novel is listed below.
The novel has 118 chapters, while the series has a total of 42 episodes split into Season 1 of 22 and Season 2 of 20 episodes. I finished reading the translated novel before completing the series. The novel provides some internal thoughts especially of Ji Yun He and leave much more to the imagination of the readers on the details. I am a little more sympathetic towards Ji Yun He’s characters when I read the novel, vs when I watched the series. I guess the main reason is there is less agony between the lovers in the novel.
Allen Ren who portrays Chang Yi is great as the frosty & distant Chang Yi, and looks a little like a lost lamb as the naïve kind hearted merman at the start. However, I hated his portrayal of the antagonistic lover who punishes Ji Yun He at every possible turn. It is mental abusive behaviour, which is totally unhealthy. Dilraba Dilmurat is pretty as her usual self, but I personally thought lacks the “pale” and whithering away part.
In the novel, I am piqued with Lin Hao Qing’s character the most. I am wondering whether there is just sibling love (and rivalry) between him and Ji Yun He, or is there anything more. In later part of the novel (and series) when he plays a more pivotal role to save Ji Yun He, I thought his love (be it family love or otherwise) of Ji Yun He is so much more accepting of the natural balance. He is giving Ji Yun He the freedom to choose, rather than acting upon obsession as what happened in the case of Chang Yi.
Both novel and series are sad-provoking with the theme focused on anguish & painful love experiences. The backdrop of the stories is not that compelling with the twist in revenge stories, but I guess the two main leads would have been interesting to promote the series.
The novel itself is much shorter and leave much more to the imagination of readers. I don’t think I would have missed the series that much if I have just read the novel.