rocknload: (終極一家 ☌ 這是我的時代)
[personal profile] rocknload
Since I have finals this week I've decided to do the sensible thing and put together an epic pic spam of my new favorite television show, Zhong Ji Yi Jia, and MOST IMPORTANTLY MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: THAT BRIGHT RAY OF SUNSHINE AND HAPPINESS, XIA YU.





Unappreciated eldest siblings FTW.

If I was really awesome I'd Photoshop English subs over all the Chinese so you guys could actually see what they were saying (Taiwanese drama DVDs are hardsubbed by default, which is sort of annoying because I can't turn them off but I'm ridiculously thankful for the subs so it's okay!) But I'm too lazy to do that plus I only understand like 80 percent of what they say anyway. Less than that when they're going on about magic and super powers and alternate dimensions and all that crap. The bickering and insults, though? I'm totally there for that.

Xià Yǔ's real name is Xià Lán Xīng Dé Yǔ (夏蘭荇德 宇) which is a mouthful, especially if you're Taiwanese—their names are supposed to be like two or three syllables long. His name is so weird because his family, the Xia Lan Xing De family, is actually a clan of super important magic users, or Yi Neng Xing Zhe. As far as us normals are concerned his name is Xia Yu. His name sounds exactly the same, tones and all, as the Mandarin for "It's raining." This is sometimes remarked on. It might also explain his cheery disposition.

Xia Yu lives with his younger brother and sister in an imaginary cracked out version of their idea of ~Chinese history~.



No, actually, that's just in their heads. They all live in modern Taipei.

Xia Yu is a super smart sophomore in college, majoring in pre-law and econ, I think. Along with his amazing intellect, he has all the reasoning skills and emotional maturity of any other nineteen-year-old—which is to say, not a lot. He's also an irreverent, sarcastic jerk. Not, uh, unlike a lot of other nineteen-year-olds. Thanks to the fact that he has an unpowered—they call them Ma Gua—father, he's the only kid that came out without any powers, which causes him to be even more hilariously scornful of his younger siblings magical mishaps, if more scorn and derision is even possible here.

Fortunately, his parents don't judge him by the fact that he calls his mom by her first name and apparently can't get through even a simple conversation with anybody he knows without insulting them. His parents judge him by the fact that he cooks, he cleans, he's obsessively preoccupied with saving money, and he looks out for his brother and sister. His parents are so proud of him that they pay him almost no attention whatsoever, since Xia Yu is obviously just so awesome at life that he doesn't need them bossing him around. They apparently have no idea about that emotional maturity thing, though I don't know why. It's actually pretty obvious.

Like in the very first episode! When he unseals his little sister's Yi Neng powers as a harmless prank! In front of the police! And nearly gets them shot.

Don't worry, though. Mom did pay attention long enough to punish them for that.



I'm sure glad I didn't have any parents with the power to magically freeze me in place for hours at a time, man.

But anyway, the fact that any of this—or even all of this!—might bother him doesn't even occur to any character in this show. But it's about to! Because even though little bro Xia Tian is our regular protagonist, this arc is All About Xia Yu.

Xia Tian is worth mentioning though.



Xià Tiān (夏天) is a very adorable, very sweet, almost unbelievably moronic seventeen-year-old guitar player, who just wants to be a famous rocker when he grows up! Too bad for him he's a super powerful magic user that's destined to becoming the Iron Dimension's Ultimate Super Hero or something. Like little sis, his powers are sealed up almost all the time, because when they aren't, he becomes Gui Long.



Guǐ Lóng (鬼龍) is his outrageously evil alter ego and actually a bit of a crack up, because he's so ridiculously, senselessly psychotic. There's absolutely no rhyme or reason to it, and definitely no, like, evil plotting going on up there. I'm going to try to make out with my sister! I'm going to become a demon! I'm going to laugh manically and pour milk on the kitchen floor, that'll show them how tough I am! He'd probably be dangerous if he wasn't so random. And vain. And stupid.

Little sis is Xià Měi (夏美), presumably like sixteen? She and Xia Tian go to the same school, anyway, and appear to have the same friends.



She's loud, short-tempered, and more than a bit obnoxious, every character on the show knows this. Even she does! But I still find her fairly endearing, to be honest. Her power involves the ability to summon this creepy ghost thing named Zhen Zi. I get the impression that Zhen Zi can be used in some useful way, and that it's another side of her personality, like Gui Long is for Xia Tian? But mostly she just uses Zhen Zi to freak the hell out of people.



She can also lightning zap people. She does this frequently. Also mostly for fun, though she saves Xia Tian from a beating once.

TOGETHER THEY ARE ALL ADORABLE. Actually together they are in trouble all the time.





Like, they are always in so much trouble that when one of the goes missing, their mother immediately assumes, "Oh, Xia Tian, he's not here. Where is he, jail?" Xia Yu is the Good Kid, though, and he usually only gets sucked in by his siblings shenanigans and occasionally by his own attempts to get them out of them. But now! It's Xia Yu's turn to get in trouble all by himself! See, the bad guys have decided that Xia Yu is the perfect tool to use to assassinate Xia Tian, because the other zillion attempts to do this exact same thing have gone so well for them.

Personally, I would not have picked the dude who, in past instances of MY FAMILY IS IN DANGER, has responded like this:







The kid who has this picture next to his bed.



But I'm not a villain! What do I know!

He is the weakest link. Also to be honest I think all those near death experiences—plus fun things like watching his mother being magically compelled to strangle his father nearly to death, or Xia Tian trying to commit suicide by stabbing himself in the neck right in front of all of them and stuff—are starting to get to him. THE STRESS IS STRONG IN THIS ONE.

And he's resentful as fuck. It doesn't appear to be that he wants the powers themselves—though, you know, that'd be fun. But his muttered monologues indicate that he actually thinks that he's not really like, a full a member of the family since he doesn't have powers. He really should've kept those mutterings to himself though, because once he starts, they spiral into full blown hallucinations in which people on the street are maniacally yelling and laughing at him.



LIKE I SAID, STRESS. Relax a bit, Xia Yu. Take a vacation. Jesus.

I'm going to speed through this next part pretty quick because that's what the show does, really. One of those hallucinations turns out to be real, and they offer him a magic ring which will give him Yi Neng powers. He not only takes them up on the offer without really thinking about it, he also immediately begins to suck the magic powers of like, every Yi Neng Xing Zhe in the town. Everyone except his immediate family, which should've been a clue, but hey. He takes to being evil like, amazingly easily.

Seriously, like two scene cuts later he is stalking people like a pro. Or, you know, a serial killer.





Xia Yu's startling turn towards sociopathy is actually not completely surprising, AND I SAY THIS WITH LOVE, it's just that you get the impression that he's the sort of guy that super cares about his people, sort of vaguely cares about their people, and everyone else can go to hell for all he cares. There's actually probably a reason for this, and it's not even his fault!

But speaking of his loved ones and all. Eventually the bad guys reveal that they didn't give him these nifty tools for free. Their intention is to have him KILL HIS BROTHER or lose his powers, and he initially decides to give the ring back. I don't think he ever even considered it. Steal Xia Tian's powers, sure, maybe. Kill him? No way. The bad guys push the issue. He's all, ... Okay, I could also just use my powers to kill you? Let's do that.





AND THEN HE IS JUST RUNNING AROUND AMOK, THE BAD GUYS ARE FREAKED OUT, THEY NEVER SAW THAT COMING MAN.

...

EVEN THOUGH LIKE, THAT WAS A PRETTY OBVIOUS SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS YOU WERE CAUSING FOR HIM, BAD GUYS. The bad guys on this show suck so hard. Seriously Xia Tian is so fucking stupid, killing him should be a cakewalk. But no. Even their fucking stupid plan with Xia Yu should've worked, what with how easy he turned out to be to manipulate. But no.

Back on the home front, Xia Yu has been acting really weird lately, which is understandable for a guy who's been corrupted into some sort of weird demon! His muttered monologues now reveal that he like, has no conscious control of what he's doing half the time. Is he evil? Who knows! He has nightmares about attacking Xia Tian even when his darling little brother has the most trusting, more adoring expressions imaginable on his face, which I guess is Xia Yu's subconscious trying to remind him that he is in fact horrible person.



SERIOUSLY, WHO BUT A TOTAL MONSTER COULD HURT SOMEONE LOOKING AT THEM LIKE THAT, MAN.

Little brother and little sister have noticed this weirdness. Sort of. The evil powers seem to have turned him into an arrogant, short-tempered, stressed out and sort of nasty person—okay actually they don't really notice a difference, that was how he was before. But! Their magic powers clue them into something being wrong and then they put together a handful of weird happenings together and realize holy shit, big brother is the guy running around stealing everybody's powers!

Man, Mom's going to kill him.



Like, they're pretty sure she's literally going to kill him.



Oh shit.

As they continue their investigation, Xia Yu continues to constantly insult and taunt them. They still stick to their secret plan to save his life.






Man, Xia Yu, you are lucky they love you so much, because you are a total dick and don't deserve it at all.

By the way, Xia Tian and Xia Mei's secret plotting is like, the cutest thing ever.





After their adorable investigations they run out the door immediately to go find him before he magically assaults somebody else—they're supposed to be at school. Do these kids ever go to school? They catch him just in time and drag him off, by the lapels of his really ugly coat, to have one of my favorite conversations in this entire show. It's extremely adorable. Did I mention that they are disgustingly adorable? It burns, man.

WE KNOW WHAT YOU'RE UP TO, BIG BROTHER.



Xia Tian and Xia Mei are unwilling to let their big brother go! Like, literally unwilling to let him go, they spend basically the entire rest of this plot arc clinging to him and begging him to snap out of it, heedless to his threats that he's going to SUCK THEIR POWERS IF THEY DON'T LEAVE HIM ALONE OMG.





But they snap him back to reality by reminding him that they know where his debit card is and they know his PIN number, too! If he doesn't come with them, they're going to spend all NT$ 75874! (Like 2500 bucks American.) You can actually see how effective this threat is.






When Mom figures out what's going on, they even try to shield him from her wrath!



Which was possibly not the best of ideas. Dude is evil, kids.



Again, empty threats though, if Xia Yu was going to hurt them he probably, like, would've seized one of the other dozens of opportunities to do so. Mom calms him down and they all have a teary conversation about how Xia Yu thinks nobody loves him and Mom is shocked and appalled and all OF COURSE WE DO. Would this have worked? Probably but WE'LL NEVER KNOW, at that moment the bad guy shows up in person to fuck things up.



Oh I forgot to mention, the bad guy is like. This disembodied, floating eye. I dunno man. Anyhow he's decided that his new plan is that he wants a body, and since Xia Yu is evil and demonic and stuff, that's a great idea! Xia Yu is so fucked up by this point that he's like, yeah, that is a good idea.



Protective Xia Tian is protective. But ineffective. The EYE appeals to both Xia Yu's evil and good sides, by alternating between offering him ultimate power and casually threatening to obliterate his whole family. XIA YU IS TOTALLY SOLD ON THIS.



So right when they're about to totally lose him, Dad shows up just in time! Cracking stupid jokes.




His family is not amused.

Dad reveals his ultimate secret: he's not actually a Ma Gua, he's a member of a demonic family. Not even just a demonic family, the demonic family, the worst bad guys in this world, though he gave up all his powers in order to marry Mom and have a normal life and kids and stuff. Unluckily for him, Xia Yu came out with the demon genes and when he was a baby Dad sealed his powers completely, so he could live a normal life as a Ma Gua and be happy and stuff. And not evil. He can do this for Xia Yu again!

Xia Yu's all, fuck that, I like being evil man. More crying and begging from his little brother and sister are ineffective, so they tie him up and do it anyway.





PROBLEMS SOLVED.

Literally, they almost never mention it again. Everything goes back to the way it was, except now everybody knows about their dad and the fact that they're half-demons and stuff.

So, as you see, this is the cutest television show in the universe. Taiwan has been holding out on us, man. If I'd've known such adorable crack existed in television form I would've learned Chinese ages ago.
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Brittany

May 2011

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