Other than its well-known cast, what is so good about a drama involving patriotism, betrayal, and trust between a warrior princess and an enemy general?
WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS!
Title: The Long Ballad
Number of Episodes: 49
Duration: 45 minutes
Airing Dates: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
Airing Schedule: March 31 to May 3 (2021)
Manhua: Chang Ge Xing by Xia De
A story of a wanted warrior princess and an adopted enemy prince and general.
Li Chang Ge is the daughter of Li Jian Cheng, the Crown Prince of Tang. After Li Shi Min, Chang Ge's uncle, supposedly kills her whole family, Li Chang Ge attempts to build her own army for revenge. During her journey, she meets Ashina Sun, who is the adopted son of the Qaghan, the ruler of Eastern Turkic Khaganate. The two of them 'coincidentally' meet often, and both know that there is more to each other's identity but agree to not ask each other. In the beginning, Ashina Sun believes Chang Ge is a high Tang official with big connections, while Chang Ge believes Ashina Sun is a merchant with a Grassland background.
During this time, the Eastern Turkic Khanganate and the Tang Dynasty Rule is at war, and Ashina Sun happens to be the general attacking one of Tang's cities, which Li Chang Ge aims to defend. As the two of them learn to trust and support one another, they go through a series of events mixed in with loss and joy.
Li Chang Ge/Princess Yong Ning (Actress: Dilraba Dilmurat)
Li Chang Ge is the daughter of the Crown Prince of Tang, royalty of the Uyghur tribe, and was Princess Yong Ning. When her uncle, Li Shi Min, frames the Crown Prince and kills everyone in her household except for her, she vows to take revenge by raising an army. After escaping, she takes the Crown Prince stamp and becomes a wanted criminal.
During her journey, she encounters several people who betray her and starts to trust less and less. She is also adept in war strategies. When outside forces appear, she has to make a choice of letting go of her revenge and protecting her country or continuing on with her plan for revenge.
Ashina Sun/Ashile Sun (Actor: Leo Wu)
Ashina Sun is the adoptive son of Quētèqín, the ruler of Eastern Turkic Khaganate, and an undefeated general in charge of the Eagle Division. Because the Turks are in constant conflict with Tang, Ashina Sun is considered an enemy of Tang.
Ashina Sun's best friend used to be one of the princes of Turk, but for numerous reasons, they grew apart and became close to enemies. Throughout the drama, Ashina Sun falls in love with Li Chang Ge, while attempting to peacefully resolve the conflict between the two countries, and constantly goes against his own country in favor of Chang Ge. His character is pretty loyal, trustworthy, and skilled.
Hao Dou (Liu Yu Ning)
Li Yue Yan (Zhao Lu Si)
Wei Shu Yu (Alen Fang)
|He is an assassin and Minister Du Ruhai's subordinate. He follows orders well, is very focused, and is a straightforward person.||She is Li Shi Min's daughter, Li Chang Ge's cousin, and new Princess Yong An. She is loyal but slightly naïve.||He is Minister Wei Zheng's son and the childhood friend of Chang Ge and Yue Yan. He chose to save his family over Chang Ge's life.|
Things to Look Forward To
The Cast & Crew
Each of the actors and actresses are well-known, in addition to a noteworthy director and script writers. Starting with the director, Chu Yui Bun has directed famous Chinese drama works, such as Ashes of Love, Eternal Love and Dream, and Skate into Love. Similarly, the scriptwriters are Chang Jiang, who wrote The Advisor's Alliance and Secret of Three Kingdoms, and Pei Yu Fei, who wrote The Locked Room.
Now, the cast! Our main female lead is acted by Dilraba Dilmurat, who starred in The King's Woman, The Flame's Daughter, and Eternal Love and Dream. Our main male lead is acted by Leo Wu, who starred in Nirvana in Fire (support role), Fights Break Sphere, and Cross Fire. And for the second main leads! First up is Zhao Lu Si, known for her roles in Love's Better Than Immortality and The Romance of Tiger and Rose. There are also Liu Yu Ning from Ultimate Note and Alen Fang from The Love by Hypnotic and Jiu Liu Overlord. Naturally, the supporting cast is spectacular as well; cheers to high expectations. :)
Transition between the Manhua and the Drama
Throughout the drama, there are several scenes that have references to the Manhua. For example, in the opening introduction of each episode, the main female lead (Li Chang Ge) is throwing flowers as shown above. The transition between the drawing and animation and the real person and actress is quite spectacular. Naturally, there are several scenes throughout the drama that have these transitions. As a quick heads up, the transition between the drawings and action scenes have been criticized as well because it arguably breaks the vibe of the scene, but everyone's opinion on it is definitely different! The most notable scenes are when Li Chang Ge fell into the water from a cliff and the war and fighting itself; action scenes.
Relationship between the Li Chang Ge and Ashina Sun
This drama is for anyone who is into the enemies to lovers or the friends to lovers tropes. These two characters are on opposite sides of the war, where each of them are loyal and actively support their the country.
Li Chang Ge is an ex-princess and carries much love for her country, while Ashina Sun is the general attacking Li Chang Ge's country and respects his adoptive father who gave the order. If it has not been clear yet, these two characters are enemies by background and birth. The gif on the right is a clip of the two of them shooting arrows at one another.
Yet, despite their backgrounds, romance does blossom between them, and the trust between them and lack of misunderstandings is amazing. In the beginning, these two characters were somewhat friends, where Ashina Sun supports Chang Ge even though it slightly conflicts with his own interests. Eventually, as they learn more about each other, they actively support and help each other. How their relationship continues to develop is definitely something to look forward to!
Quick Note: Although the above gifs seem to protray Li Chang Ge as someone who 'needs saving,' she is extremely independent and smart in her own right!
Relationship between the Li Chang Ge and Li Shi Min
Li Shi Min is the uncle of Li Chang Ge and also supposedly the one that killed her whole family. However, Li Shi Min always treated Li Chang Ge like his own daughter; the reason why he constantly let her go despite her trying to kill him and the ministers who want her executed. To say the least, their relationship is quite complicated. Nevertheless, a few things are clear. Li Shi Min is a much better ruler than the Crown Prince, and at the end, Li Chang Ge will have to choose between her revenge or the better for her country. Quite expectant of the progress of their love-hate relationship!