by KimWanHee, July 19, 2018


Recently I started out on a search for new and interesting shows to watch. Usually I stay with Korean and Thai dramas but I took the chance of trying something new and discovered the 2018 Chinese web-drama Guardian.

I haven’t watched many Chinese dramas since it did not seem to be my kind of thing. Guardian was a step into the dark and I have to say, I do not regret picking up this fantasy/bromance drama. I mean, I even decided to write an article on MDL about it which I have never done before.


Guardian (镇魂) is a Chinese web-drama adapted from a novel and features forty 45-minute episodes. It is going to air until the end of July and features Bai White (Memory LostLove O2O) as Zhao Yun Lan, a Special Investigations detective, and Zhu Yi Long (As Flowers Fade and Fly Across the SkyRoyal Sister Returns) as Shen Wei, a university professor with a hidden identity. The genres for this series include action, comedy, fantasy and, most of all, bromance.

(Warning: Spoilers for episodes 1 and 2 ahead)

       THE STORY       

The story starts off pretty simple and gets a little bit more complicated later on, without overwhelming the audience though. It mainly revolves around the most chaotic and strange police department, the Special Investigations Department (or SID). The SID’s purpose is keeping people from the underworld (who possess special powers) in check when they come to earth and wreak havoc in Dragon City. One day, while on a case, Zhao Yun Lan, SID’s chief, meets the calm university professor Shen Wei and there seems to be a mysterious connection between them. He cannot stop the feeling that they have met before and that Shen Wei is hiding a secret. From then on they work together to protect Dragon City from threats from the underworld.

I love that the story does not give you the feeling that you achieved nothing after a few episodes. You get no unnecessary scenes or information and everything fits just right. Guardian gives background information where it is necessary but when it is not needed, the series will not go there and just continue onwards. This is exactly the structure that will glue you to the screen and make you not want to miss a moment of the story.

       THE CHARACTERS       

Zhao Yun Lan (赵云澜) – chief of SID

Zhao Yun Lan is the core of Guardian. In the beginning, he may seem like an easy-going and simple person but later on, he shows that he puts a lot of thought into things and is always careful when it concerns people he cares for. After meeting Shen Wei and the threat for Dragon City becoming more apparent, he starts getting more serious – but also keeps his original energetic spirit. I am interested in whether he will learn how not to cause worry to the people who love him by the end of the series. I doubt it but I guess his mindset of sacrificing himself for the others with no hesitation at all, is one of the things that make him as amazing as he is - and makes me worried for the ending of the series, but I am still going to watch it.

Funny fact, in the novel he actually smokes but since they could not use that in the drama, they switched it up and gave him a lollipop addiction instead.

Shen Wei (沈魏) – university professor

Shen Wei always seems calm and collected even when he sees a dead body while encountering the SID and Zhao Yun Lan. The times he loses his calm attitude are always connected to Zhao Yun Lan. Zhao Yun Lan’s apparent lack of self-preservation is probably going to give Shen Wei a heart attack sooner or later. Shen Wei also hides a secret identity.

He is the “Black Cloak Envoy”, one of the demon lords of the underworld, you could say. He is SID’s main contact person in the underworld and always takes the supernatural criminals back into their world. He is supposedly one of the strongest in the underworld but it is always fun seeing him be the damsel in distress and Zhao Yun Lan protecting him as if he could not do it himself.

The other SID members act mostly as comedic relief and side kicks but help move the story forward. They bring out a lot of different sides of the two main characters and help by giving enough background knowledge to navigate through the drama. There is Guo Chang Cheng, the office newbie, Da Qing, who can turn into a cat, Zhu Hong, a snake person, Chu Shu Zhi, a puppet master, Lin Jing, their technical expert and Wang Zheng, a ghost. Some of them are just peculiar people, others are originally inhabitants of the underworld.


Guardian has a lot of special effects and while they may not be perfect all the time, they give the drama the feeling of being an amazing fantasy movie. And even if you do not get a long back story on all the characters, you fall in love with them and root for them. The novel was originally boys love, but since it is a Chinese drama, it was changed into bromance. Not that this would matter much since Bai White and Zhu Yi Long do a great job at conveying the feelings with small little actions and looks. 

"One look can say more than a thousand words"

And even if you are just there for the fantasy and action it gives you what you want. There are regular fight and actions scenes, chase scenes and a lot of *insert ominous drum beat* overdramatic moments.

And just when you think you are going to faint of excitement, they throw in some funny remarks and you can let out a breath until they start building the tension again.

Guardian is a rollercoaster ride that is enjoyable, funny, sometimes serious, quite dramatic and caught me off-guard with the actors portraying so many things without having to outright say it. You will not get too many cheesy lines, but definitely, a lot of cheesy actions and exasperated looks when Shen Wei really wants to smack Zhao Yun Lan over the head but cannot get himself to do it since he is actually worried about him.

I am enjoying it a lot and whatever the final ending may be, I am going to re-watch it right after.

Interested yet? I recommend watching this drama, if you:

  • like fantasy dramas
  • liked the Korean drama A Korean Odyssey
  • like action dramas without it being a modern crime drama
  • adore bromance
  • will not shy away because of 40 episodes
  • like supernatural investigation teams
  • enjoy underlying humour without just obvious jokes and wordplay

If any of those things apply to you, I would highly recommend watching the drama and see for yourself. 

Tell me down below what you think about it!