Kdrama Jen and I are back home and checking out the newest Chinese options, which led us to start the martial arts Wuxia drama Fights Break Sphere. And while the title leaves a lot to be desired (so awkward to say!), it is a truly unique drama gem among a sea of historical and harem shows. So come join us as we do our best to convince you to give this quirky drama a chance!
Xiao Yan is a genius child who suddenly loses all his powers. In a world governed by strength and power, Xiao Yan’s lack of talent is an embarrassment to his family. At the age of 15, Xiao Yan accidentally summons Yaochen (Baron Chen) from his mother’s ring. With the elder’s help, Xiao Yan’s skills improve by leaps and bounds.
After his entire family is assassinated, Xiao Yan embarks on a journey to find his family’s killer and return peace to the Jianghu (martial world). ~~ Adapted from the xianxia novel Battle Through the Heavens written by Tian Can Tu Dou. (MyDramaList)
Leading Man Leo Wu
Kmuse: I am so impressed with this young up-and-coming actor. Leo Wu was a delight as the youthful bodyguard in Nirvana in Fire and he has grown up into a delightful leading man. I love watching him battle obstacles in his quest to become a fight master and avenge his mother. And if I feel a little enjoyment over his shirtless training sequences, well, he’s over 18 and is the equivalent of a pretty work of art.
Kdrama Jen: I am not as far into the drama as Kmuse, so I have yet to see a shirtless fight sequence, but I have enjoyed his youthful energy and his ability to convince me that he is serious about fighting a CGI rock scorpion. It takes some talent to make that believable, so I would say his acting is quite good. I also loved him in Nirvana in Fire, so it is great to see him tackle this role.
Silver Fox Baron Chen
Kmuse: Woot! A more age-appropriate hottie to gaze upon. Not to mention, he’s got that know-it-all, “I’m the grand master” smirk (he really has the best smirk). I am a huge fan of Baron Chen, and so far he has been a delightful sidekick to our plucky Xiao Yan. Is it wrong to wish that he will throw off his shirt to frolic around the waterfalls?
Kdrama Jen: I regret that in our recent podcast we compared him to Yoda. That really does not capture the essence of this character and Baron Chen’s charisma. He wears this mane of glory with all the confidence and panache of a high fashion model. It suits him!
Intricate Fight Scenes
Kmuse: I wouldn’t say that the fight cinematography is better than that of a show like Legend of Fuyao. However, there is something so very satisfying when Xiao Yan defeats a bully or someone who is in the way of his ultimate revenge. It just makes my heart glow.
Kdrama Jen: So far, I have really only seen him fight a CGI rock scorpion and his ex-fiance. I love a great fight scene, though, so I will keep pushing play!
Strong Female Characters
Kmuse: Xiao Xun Er didn’t really make a huge first impression. However, she really grows on you. I cheered when she stood up for her bestie/crush when he was jilted and I hope that Xiao Yan realizes her positives sooner than later. That is the type of woman you want to be in your corner when things get rough. Not to mention the dimples she is flashing are fierce!
Kdrama Jen: I love Xia Xun Er. It is still early, but I really like how she is so competent and confident. I also hope he recognizes her awesomeness in the very near future.
Welcome to the Martial Arts Version of Hogwarts
Kmuse: Young child who loses his mother to a super mysterious bad guy with no face. Check! Half of the people surrounding him are secretly in league with said bad guy (including his teachers). Check! Traveling away to a magical and mysterious boarding school and discovering his powers. Check! We even had a creepy CGI-created snake try to take him out after he came to school. I’m telling you, this is totally a Chinese-style Harry Potter story line. If we get wands anytime soon, I will be laughing out loud like a loon.
Kdrama Jen: I was intrigued from the beginning, but now that we have wu xia school hijinks, I am all in! I have not seen any wands, but there have been some flying school chums. Also, the Ron Weasley equivalent wearing his fancy fur cloak is extremely easy on the eyes. He doesn’t even have a very big part right now, but he has caught my attention.
Time Altering Dimension Rings with Gray Haired Hotties in Them
Kmuse: It’s bigger on the inside than the outside. Bwahahahaha. It also is very convenient that this magical realm within the ring has a different timeline than in reality. Here our bromantic hotties can hang out, banter, and train for days while only minutes pass in Chinese Hogwarts. I personally adore this plot twist. It makes Xiao Yan’s sudden increased talent much more explainable than just proclaiming him a genius martial artist.
Kdrama Jen: Time for epic bromance banter and Baron Chen with a mane of glory… I rest my case.
The OST is so flipping bad
Kmuse: I burst out laughing when I began hearing sound effects from Super Mario Brothers pop into the main songs…and not in a good way. It’s a good thing that OST is not at the top of my list when choosing a drama. If it was, this drama would not be one I am watching.
Kdrama Jen: This is definitely not the kind of OST you are going to seek out and chill out to while wearing headphones. Kmuse is not kidding. It’s bad. Like, it’s really bad.
CGI….. when is it not bad when it comes to dramas?
Kmuse: The cheesiness of the Scorpion/Dragon and the evil snake is beyond explanation. There are not words enough to describe how, even by Chinese drama standards, these monsters are found lacking. Thank goodness we get to stare at Xiao Yan whenever these monsters show up on screen. He totally makes me forget I am watching C-level CGI.
Kdrama Jen: I don’t expect a lot when it comes to CGI monsters in Chinese dramas. They usually look like something an 8th-grade media arts class might create. The ones in this drama might be more like the 6th-grade media arts class created them. Or perhaps someone made something out of clay and animated it. So, if you watch dramas because you love CGI, I would like to suggest that this one is not the best. Still, when you have Baron Chen and Harry Potter/Xiao Yan fighting them, it makes it so much better.
Phew. There you have it. The pros & cons regarding the new Chinese drama Fights Break Sphere. Are you watching? What do you think? Did we convince you to give it a try? Be sure to come back and let us know your thoughts in our comments, and we look forward to sharing our favorite new dramas with you in the future.
Til our next dramatic adventure,
Kdrama Jen & Kmuse
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi
10 thoughts on “The pros & cons of Chinese drama Fights Break Sphere”
Is that feng liu from Nirvana in fire?
Yes! He is doing such an amazing job
I couldn’t get into this drama, no matter how much I fast forward. Which is a shame because I enjoy Wu Lei in “Tomb of the Sea.” I’ve resigned to the fact that I’m jsut not into super-Mario-saving-the-day kind of drama.
This doesn’t look wuxia. Fantasy is more like it, methinks.
As I watched the anime also based on the book, can I say where the OST and CGI lacks in this version is made up in the anime. Where the anime characters where just okay, the actors in FBS makes up for everything (except the females, I like them better in the anime)! I’m really enjoying this one. I’m seeing more from the novel in this than the anime but most of the story Line is here and I’m loving it! I said this would make a great drama and then they cast my no longer little (the bath scene had me blushing) Wu Leo is perfect casting. Now if they do Soul Land, I’ll be in hog heaven!!
Loving this fast-paced tale. So often these fantasy wuxia dramas make very little sense to me, but this one is easy to follow, people do things for understandable reasons, the Fight Qi and levels might be complex but you get the gist and don’t need them overly-explained. Leo Wu is doing a bang-up job as the main character: he’s cute, irrepressible, strong-willed, resilient and mischievous all at the same time. Baron Chen as the Yoda in the Spatial Ring is serene but sarcastic, and the interactions between him and Leo are fun and often funny.
The school is great. It really does remind me of Hogwarts, and I’m huge on Harry Potter so that’s saying something. The friends are mainly from an idol group called XNine and make up for their acting inexperience with the enthusiasm they’re putting into their roles. The main girl, Xun Er, I initially put down as a doormat for Xiao Yan so wasn’t expecting any romantic sparks but I’m changing my mind as the show continues. She’s unexpectedly a strong character so I’m hoping she’ll have an unexpected arc coming up. And those dimples are killer; I’m surprised all the boys aren’t at each other’s throats over her.
The best thing about the show, though, is the plot. There’s a test or challenge almost every episode, nobody’s brooding around, and it switches up the game every now and then.
It has its cons so can’t give it a full 10, but for sheer enjoyment it gets 9.5 from me.
Looks interesting – I like a good martial arts/period drama but might need to get over Legend of Fuyao before I give it a go 🙂
It’s the year 2020, and COVID-19 has shackled many of us at home. In other words, I had lots of time on my hands and content ran out that I went into a pile of C-Drama. I started with Handsome Siblings, which I thought was pretty good for a TV show. So then, I got greedy and stumbled on this based on it’s high rating among C-Dramas. I only have one word to describe this show: Annoying. See? It’s not a ad show, and it’s not the best show ever, either. It’s got many great things, particularly the spatial master and the training aspects, but for every one good thing you see there is one absolutely terrible thing that follows it, and I don’t mean in a suspenseful heart-wrenching way. Terrible as in how inconsistent the show can be. One example that completely breaks the show’s own rules: The Green Lotus Core Flame. This flame is supposed to cancel all Blood Sect poisons, yet our protagonist forgets that he has it in his possession and doesn’t cleanse his poison (it was so effective on grandpa that he knowingly refused to get treated more by the green flame so that he could die from being poisoned again). Even his Spatial Master tells him, “there’s no cure”. The OST, I agree, is horrible. It quickly takes you out of the fantasy. It makes me think that this show is aimed at kids that think that a goofy blocky sword you can make with MindCraft pixels is somehow AWESOME. It’s not. I am at the episode where our hero almost go trapped in a painting, so if anyone has made it that far will understand how “annoying” some elements have been. Hey, I understand, this is TV. It’s low-budget fare. And It’s not a full feature length film where a lot more resources can go into it and invest in good CG, but goodness – how about some tender-loving-care for the writing. The script is mostly at fault here. That is the root cause of my annoyance with this show. I don’t think it’ll get better. Hey, it’s 2020. This year has been awful overall, anyways.
As I am a content seeker, by the 3 rd episode, I realized the similarities of Harry Potter story line and this show. I still liked both in their own way. Fights are pretty good. Baron Chen and Leo, totally agree with bloggers!!
The anime and novel (Battle Through the Heavens) are both very good. I am at episode 4 and they skipped an entire story arc where he received his first Core Flame, meets a pivotal character and learns better skills. He is supposed to spend a couple of years outside monster hunting before he goes to Jia Nan Academy.