Chinese Mythical Creature: Qilin

Qilin (麒麟) aka. kirin is one of the five auspicious animals in Chinese mythology, along with dragon, phoenix, turtle, and pixiu. Description of the animal varies throughout the centuries, but it generally has a horn/antler with deer body, cow tail, and hooves. It may have colorful fur or be covered in scales. And, it blows fire too.

Qilin is known for its benevolence. Despite being armed to the teeth, it does not attack without provocation. And such, its image served as the badge of rank for the highest ranking army officials in Qing Dynasty.

In dramas, Mei Changsu from Nirvana in Fire is known as “Qilin Scholar.” Zhang Qiling from the Lost Tomb franchise has heat activated Qilin tattoo on left side of his body. More recently, Qilin is making its appearances in Western movies.

My Only 12% ลุ้นรัก 12% Part 2

I personally don’t believe in “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” I’m an “out of sight out of mind” kind of person. I need the warmth of human touch to feel connected. Therefore, I understand how difficult it is for Cake and Eiw. From this point onward, they can’t give each other a head rub when happy nor a solid hug when sad. They are not simply saying farewell to a best friend. They are leaving behind their way of life. It’s natural to feel lost, lonely, and in fear of being forgotten. But the scariest feeling of all is that they may not be able to go back to the way they were by the time Cake returns.

My Only 12% Cake Eiw parting
Eiw may be the one crying a river of tears, but it is Cake’s heart that is broken into a million pieces.

Then again, if they don’t let time and distance to untangle their attachment, it may be impossible for them to see their possibilities.

My Only 12% Cake Eiw reunion
Their reunion is a long time coming.

Possible spoiler ahead. Read at your own risk.

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My Only 12% ลุ้นรัก 12% Part 1

Thai BL drama My Only 12% (ลุ้นรัก 12%) didn’t catch my attention at first. The yellow filter, early 2000s, and childish (childlike?) leads turned me away from this drama so fast. Good thing I gave it another try. Once I pushed myself pass ep1, my affection for Cake and See-eiw grew more and more with each episode. It felt like I was growing up with them, and I only wanted sunshine and rainbow for their future.

My Only 12% Cake and Eiw growing up together

I love a good friend to lover drama. Specifically with one friend protects and other adores. Cake and Eiw fit the bill perfectly. They were joined at the hip since they were born and they couldn’t be any closer if they tried. Then adolescence happened. All the new people, new experience and new set of social norm tried to pull them apart. Except they weren’t your regular childhood besties. Cake’s identity was very much tied to being Eiw’s protector-caregiver. And to Eiw, Cake was his entire world. The drama did a wonderful job of establishing their super tight bond in the first 8 episodes. It allowed me to understand why it was so hard for them to transition from friends to lovers when they reunited 4 years later as adults. If you already love someone with all your being for as long as you can remember, how do you differentiate that love from a different kind of love?

Possible spoiler ahead. Read at your own risk.

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My Second Chance Dramas

Wow. It’s been a year since I last posted. I have no excuse. I was just lazy. Stitching random thoughts together to form a cohesive article felt like a chore. It still is. But I’m trying to overcome it. So let’s move on to the main topic: Dramas I dropped, then tried again, and ended up loving.

Love Mechanics; Floating Youth; Delicious Romance; The Blue Whisper; My Only 12%

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Rainless Love in a Godless Land 無神之地不下雨

The first two episodes of Rainless Love in a Godless Land (無神之地不下雨) did a nice job of establishing worldview and character traits. I like that the gods/spirits got personalities and not all of them act high and mighty and mysterious. Those who chose to mingle with the mortals were especially fun to watch in action. (Hello, God of Wisdom, I’m looking at you *wink *wink.)

God of Wisdom and God of Rain

But this drama is not about the gods. It’s about them leaving the world they love. Seeing how the humans are destroying earth, The Creator (Kakarayan) orders the gods/spirits (Kawas) to withdraw their blessings and leave the humans to their own devices. After the fall of last rain and Kakarayan takes with him all the Kawas, oceans will no longer flow and time will cease to matter. Doomsday will commence.

Based on the animistic mythology of the Taiwanese indigenous people of Amis tribe.

Five minutes into episode one we already know that not every Kawas is on board with the idea of leaving. They have deep bonds with the people they protect and want to guard them to the end. Caught in the middle is ‘Orad, the God of Rain. On one hand, he is diligently executing Kakarayan’s plan to evacuate all the Kawas and erasing human’s memory of them. On the other hand, he struggles himself with having to part with Xie Tiandi, a woman he may or may not have loved non-platonically but definitely has guarded over throughout her life.

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Flourish in Time 我和我的时光少年

I’m in a phase where I don’t enjoy fluffy or depressing dramas. Flourish in Time (我和我的时光少年) fits my need for sweetness without the toothache and angst without the spite. At first glance, this seems like yet another childhood sweethearts in high school drama, which it is. But the characters’ relationship is more complicated than meets the eye, and the show’s lighthearted wholesomeness is laced with a tinge of bitterness.

Flourish in Time Lu Miao and Jiang Haoyue

I gave kudos to the show for not having a comically stupid female lead. Lu Miao may not excel at studying but she is no study slacker. She is just a regular high school student with her priority not quite in the right order. But no worry. Jiang Haoyue keeps her on the straight and narrow. The guy excels in school. If he is not studying, he is helping Lu Miao with her studying. Those who study together, stay together.

But I’m not here to watch bunch of kids studying. I’m here for Jiang Haoyue’s angst. The guy may look like a model high schooler but he is “slightly” broken physically and psychologically. Lu Miao is what kept him intact. And I’m a sucker for characters with codependency issues.

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Chinese Mythical Creature: Nine-tailed Fox

I am a fan of supernatural stories. I despise zombies with a passion, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything else within that genre (disgusting looking ghost maybe not as much). Recently, I’ve been watching quite a bit of Korean dramas with Nine-tailed fox as the main character. I like them but I wish the stories could expand beyond the fox’s infatuation with short-life humans. This is the moment I miss Chinese supernatural dramas the most. When will their supernatural ban ever going to be lifted??? I’m tired of all my supernatural creatures being re-imagined as space aliens, alien-plant hybrids, alien this alien that. Anyway…

I decided I should write about Nine-tailed fox (九尾狐), a mythical creature that enjoys popularity throughout northeast Asia. The book Classic of Mountains and Seas (山海經), written between 475 BC – 200 BC, had three entries for it. They all basically said the same thing: There is a beast with four legs and nine tails living on Mt. Qingqiu.

又東三百里,曰青丘之山,其陽多玉,其陰多青䨼。有獸焉,其狀如狐而九尾,其音如嬰兒,能食人,食者不蠱。

Another three hundred Li to the east is a mountain called Qingqiu. It has jade on its south side and azurite on its north side. It also has a beast that resembles a fox but has nine tails. It barks like crying baby. It eats people. Those who eat it are protected from evil illness.

~ 《山海經 • 南山經》 Classic of Mountains and Seas: South
Visual representations of Nine-tailed fox throughout the ages

There was no mention of superpower or shapeshifting. That came later.

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