rocknload: (飛輪海 ☌ 大東跟亞綸)
[personal profile] rocknload
Okay now that I'm done with the series I'm going to talk about KO One. BUT FIRST, A CLIP OF HOW AMAZING IT IS.


I love this show and everybody else should too.

The premise is actually two different things. The first is the KO Charts, which is a list of teenagers throughout Taiwan who have studied kung fu to magical mastery, shounen manga style, giving them measurable power points and their own unique abilities. The chart ranks them, and they challenge each other to move up and down. The second thing is 終極一班 / Zhong Ji Yi Ban, a class in a private school high school in Taipei specifically geared towards delinquents who can't go to school anywhere else. Their parents are mostly gangsters and criminals who pay the principal big bucks to let them go to school there. Every major character is a member or a teacher of the class at some point in time, except for the main bad guy.

汪大東 / Wang Da Dong is the seventeen year old protagonist, and he's ranked third on the KO chart, which in the beginning of the series is as good as being number one, since the second and first placers are mysterious and unknown. He's also the undisputed leader of Zhong Ji Yi Ban, which means that even if he doesn't want to kick your ass personally, he can mobilize about a dozen overpowered blood thirsty super fighters to do it for him—but actually, most of his energy goes towards keeping them in line, because he's in love with the homeroom teacher and she asked him so nicely. He fancies himself an amazing badass and a terrible, ruthless person, despite the fact that he's a devout Christian and a good Taiwanese boy who, seriously, won't even stay out past ten for practically any reason whatsoever, because that'd worry his parents!

Da Dong is actually a pretty straightforward example of a character archetype I have a pathetic weakness for, that being the super strong incredibly thickheaded moron who's all about the POWER OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP and actually depends on the POWER OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP to survive practically every day of his life, since on his own he's too stupid to live. Like Lloyd Irving before, him Da Dong is ridiculously charismatic and collects loyal followers wherever he goes, who then find themselves devoting considerable amounts of time trying to keep him from killing himself. His friends aren't actually very good at it, though they try extremely hard. Their wasted efforts are somewhat endearing. Fortunately he's almost unkillable, since his Unique Power is the ability to get stronger to match the strength of whoever he's fighting. He fights with a magical frying pan. No, seriously.

The other protagonists are Da Dong's 兄弟, his brothers. It's not hard to become Da Dong's brother, honestly. It basically goes like this.

Booyeah. Congrats, you have now joined the most brilliant family.

Also, weirdly, Da Dong starts out looking like the little teenaged punk he's supposed to be, but by the end of the series he looks like the excessively good looking man Jiro Wang actually is. I mean I didn't mind but it was like, wait, what happened? Did they recast you with your hotter self from five years in the future? He's still lightyears away from the fine piece of work I'm infatuated with now, but man, I can't figure out if growing his hair out two inches made the difference or what. They filmed it only over a few months I am pretty sure.

王亞瑟 / Wang Ya Se is Da Dong's second in command in Zhong Ji Yi Ban, though usually they rearrange the characters in his name and call him Ya Se Wang, which is Mandarin for King Arthur. Actually Da Dong doesn't even call him by his name, he calls him 自戀狂, which means Narcissist. (Ya Se retaliates by only referring to Da Dong as 自大狂, which means Egomaniac.) He initially transferred to Zhong Ji Yi Bang in order to challenge Da Dong for third place, since they're tied on the KO Charts, but their animosity lasted for barely an entire episode, and after that they were swearing everlasting brotherhood to each other. His dad is a mob boss. He drives a fancy car and wears stupid looking suits, and frequently quotes Shakespeare wrong: "To be or not to be, that is a question". He fights with the Sword in the Stone, and when he wants to rip your arms out and beat you to death with them, he has the scariest smile.

That's the one.

Ya Se has the thankless task of being the smartest member of the trio, and actually probably the whole class. This means that he spends more time worried than probably every other character put together, and the villains often try to take him out first because after he's stepped out I mean, they've pretty much won already. It's not hard to outsmart Da Dong and everybody is too loyal to speak up. And literally, Ya Se's every action pretty much is keeping his friends alive, his girlfriend alive, his family alive, et cetera. The bizarre contrast between his aloof, sarcastic and nasty attitude and his hyper protective, mother hen personality is possibly a cultural thing, I'm not sure. But it's hilarious. His Unique Power is the fact that if you take the sword off of his Sword in the Stone, he'll go completely psychotic and try to kill everybody around him, and even with the stone on the demon in his weapon is slowly possessing him. Wait, actually his power totally sucks, I mean he has enough to worry about already, but it's still useful sometimes, because it gives him Mega Power.

Oh and I initially had a ridiculously hard time reconciling the character with the actor that plays him, because Calvin Chen is by all appearances a hyperactive sarcastic loudmouth (I mean that fondly), and Ya Se is such a cold badass. It seriously took me like five episodes to accept him by the time I did he was like my second favorite.

That's not IC, by the way. You can tell because Xiao Yu is actually laughing.

丁小雨 / Ding Xiao Yu is our final brother, the one with the emo face and emo eyes and emo hair and emo life, since he like, has no home and no family and he lives outside in a tent. He's apparently okay with this. I mean Da Dong has offered him a room and I bet Ya Se has too, but no, it's okay. He likes the tent. I guess. He lives to play the piano and can take an obscene amount of punishment without doing anything but stand there—they call him the Endurance King. Which is, uh. Really what they call him, and not something I just made up because I am immature. Anyway. Despite how much of a pacifist he is, if you smack him on the head he'll go into a rage blackout and destroy you, which is probably how he ended up as fourth place on the KO Charts. He can play the piano so well it makes people cry and hug each other. Seriously!

His Unique Power is his punching, his left (?) fist has the power of ... something powerful, and his right fist I think has the power of an atom bomb ... or something. That's his super secret weapon though, because if he uses it he's left powerless for three hours and at that time any random person on the KO Charts could show up and take him out. But that's a sacrifice Xiao Yu is more than willing to make to protect his friends, because as he demonstrates time and time again, Xiao Yu doesn't care about himself whatsoever. Not even a little bit. It's actually sort of sad.

Anyhow with their POWERS COMBINED they have the cutest friendship.

There's other characters, like the gorgeous and hilarious American homeroom teacher Melody Tian who constantly speaks in random English—"Oh my god!"—and Lei Ke Se, Da Dong's childhood best friend who is secretly insanely evil and also secretly in love with Da Dong plotting to destroy Da Dong for ... no reason that makes sense whatsoever, unless you accept my premise that he's totally in love with him. I don't have slash goggles man, it's just the only possible explanation! The show says that he's in love with An Qi, the most obnoxious character on the face of the freaking planet, since she monopolizes a ton of the show with her horrible whining at Da Dong for being such a terrible boyfriend. Which he is, but. Anyway these characters are notable in that Da Dong seriously behaves as though he's hopelessly in love with all of them simultaneously. It's the homeroom teacher that eventually wins out. They don't get together or anything, that would be weird, but he obsesses over her until the end of the last episode.

But basically the entire thing embodies all the troupes I love, like the power of FRIENDSHIP and TEAMWORK and honestly the thing is full of random Taiwanese cultural things. I mean they all speak Hokkien for one, and there's random jokes and asides and wacky Taiwanese drama stuff and man, I love this show to a ridiculous extent. Seeeeeeriously.

In that scene they conveniently put the subtitles for Hokkien in a different font! How kind of them.


Anyway I'm having like an emo day man. Everyday is an emo day. Also I can't decide if it's better to get yelled at in Chinese I don't understand or Chinese I do understand. I guess it's a good sign that the second thing is what happens more and more often, but man! Stop yelling at me! 拜託你,不要再罵我好不好。 I can't make my listening comprehension get better by magic and lecturing me about it isn't going to help goddamn.

Also now I have no American friends here and now I have no Internet connection in my dorm, prepare for my English to get far worse than it is already since I get virtually zero exposure to the language anymore. Sob. Sooooob.
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May 2011

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