Ice Fantasy 幻城 - Episode 12 (Recap)

kakashi: A Bear Tribe episode! I bet they stink a lot. Also, there does not seem to be a single woman in that tribe, I do wonder how they ... you know? Apart from that, there is a lot of Shi in this episode and I know a few ladies who like that a lot.
JoAnne: I like his take-charge attitude in this episode... But he should keep his shirt on.
Saki: He is cutely-thin.

Episode 12

There's a new ferocious king in Bear Town! His name is Hei Feng and he wants to be allies with the Fire Tribe. He says he has the ice crystal! But.... he'll only hand it over if he gets Yan Da's hand in marriage. Furry beast! You dare to offend the beautiful princess! Hei Feng finds the Fire Princess' defiance hot. And I can't help but think that the actor playing this horrible Bear Man is quite a looker. In a Khal Drogo kind of way.
I would like to see his un-made-up face. For research.
But his behavior is Peng-ish. Anyway, this and the next couple of episodes are my favorites for the Shi and Yan Da ship.
At the human village, Kasuo notes that something is "weird" about the place and yes indeed! There's that demonic music (it only works on humans) and Li Luo gets spellbound (her lipstick is smudged, too) and Kasuo has to freeze her to de-enchant her!
Maybe he kissed her off-camera and she's just dazed.
She refuses to stay away though and promises to be more careful in the future. Good. Sure. The three of them go out and follow the enchanted people. Everyone is like a zombie except a group of deaf men, who are getting ready to find and defeat the source of the demonic music themselves. Joining forces with them seems like a good idea. Luckily, Li Luo knows sign language. She is so resourceful!
And yet this never occurred to anyone before, that the entire village of deaf people might be of some use in this situation that affects people who can hear.
I thought that too. And I also wondered how these people even knew there was a problem.
The source of the demonic music is something that looks like a mini tornado without the clouds at the top. Does it turn people insane or what? Not sure. Kasuo does a few ice tricks and the grey mini tornado reveals ... Chao Ya, the Spirit Tribe Princess! 
Hmmm... if I can't trust the Eagle Sprite I'm going to be sad.
He could turn out flighty. Also, why couldn't they find this music before? This all seems so ridiculously easy.
The Eagle Man is very worried and we realize he may have feelings for her. She ought to have some back because he's very handsome. She wakes up eventually and tells them what happened: One night, she thought she'd heard her mother play the zither and she walked and walked to get there.... until she woke up just now. Huh. But it was her that made that demonic music with her harp?
Maybe she's saying she got possessed.
Meanwhile, Yan Da tries to resist the stupid idea that she must marry the bear man. It's not going well for her though, because her father also thinks the Fire Tribe's interest come first. Shuo Gang suggests to hold a battle - if anyone can defeat Hei Feng, she does not need to marry him. Why would he suggest that? I think to torture her. He does not think there is anyone stronger than Mr. Bear.
It made me think he must be faking the support of the father.  If the father said it was going to happen, then he doesn't need to do anything like this. He's trying to get her to agree.
Jo is right when she's right. Also, I will not be happy until this owl-murdering scum freezes to death in an avalanche of snow and ice.
Yan Da can't hold it in any longer - she runs to the lake and screams out her frustration. She's like a big kid.  The lake starts to bubble and echos her screams. Shi turns up and tells her to come back. She hates to be seen vulnerable by anyone, but Shi is nonchalant as always. When she orders him to find a way to defeat that beast, he just says: "Kill him". This was awesome.  She really likes that idea! And she promises Shi the antidote to the Heart Scorcher if he comes up with a way to kill the bear. All that while, her echo continues screaming ... until he freezes the whole lake. Unseen by her, of course.
Sometimes I think he doesn't like her at all.
He may just not like her making so much noise that gives her frustration away.  
Afterwards, he is puzzling over how to kill the Bear without using magical powers (that would give his secret identity away) when he happens upon a cave, in which Liao Jian - the dethroned bear king - is kept prisoner.
I think he's probaby better looking than the other King, under al that dirt.
Still a smelly bear.
Cut to the Wedding Battle, with Hei Feng winning every fight.
Looks like dangling, furry balls.
Which I never noticed until now.
But Yan Da won't give in that easily! She goes in to fight the Beast herself! And she's really good, too. He throws dirt into her eyes though and wins in the end. Too bad, Yan Da.
Oh, I don't think this is the end of it.
For an all-out fight, there's no rules, unfortunately.
Hei Feng gets a bit touchy right there in front of everyone - until Shi steps forward and tells him to let the princess go. He will fight! Not to marry her, but to make sure she doesn't get married to a weakling. Shi is fast, even without his magic, but there is no way he can defeat this Bear Man without it. But because he's smart like nobody else in this show, he has a trick up his sleeve... he "rings" bell flowers. Apparently, bear spirits can't stand the sound. I am not sure, should I file this away for, you know, future use?
Maybe it works on cows who are feeling overly lickish, too.
Why didn't he use these first? I suspect he wanted to show off some fighting skillz.
Of course, Shi learned about this particular weakness from Liao Jian. He returns to the cave and frees the former king - breaking the protective spell that binds the bear man with some blood of the defeated Hei Feng that he got by scratching his face. I don't know, these Bear People are really loud and really uncouth.
Boorish bears.
Oh, right, he needed blood to free Liao Jian, hence the fight instead of using the flowers right away. But I can never get over how stupid villains are when they don't just kill off their enemies and instead waste time and opportunity torturing them instead.
For freeing the true king, Shi demands the ice crystal, but Liao Jian won't give that to anyone but the Ice King or someone sent by him. Shi tries to prove he is an ice prince, but damn! He does some fire magic instead. Bear Man thinks he's a Fire Tribe spy and catapults him out of the cave. Outside, Shi runs straight into the ugly Fire Prince, who takes him prisoner.
Poor Shi cannot catch a break.
Must be so annoying to meet Fire Prince at any time.

Back at the Fire Camp, Shuo Gang starts torturing Shi. He has him flagellated, and when Shi suggests the prince should marry Hei Peng's sister if he's that desperate to make an alliance between the tribes (Sassy), Shuo Gang gets the wood of a Heart Scorcher tree and subjects Shi to the heat of it. It makes the effects of the poison come out much stronger.
This is just irritating and a bit too much for the rest of the story, I think. Also very badly choreographed.
Point is to show how horrible the Fire Prince is.
Yan Da comes in and fights for her Yun Fei. He is visibly touched, especially when she tells her brother he's not her slave - he's her friend. Which, the vile brother teaches us, the Fire Tribe hasn't had for thousands of years. Which in turn brings him to his favorite topic: Having feelings for anything is a weakness, and that's why our Fire Princess is weak.
Oh, fuck you and your stupid PeeWee Herman face and your tiny tiny imitation of daddy's much bigger headpiece... I bet we could talk about that a lot, huh?  Just go away.
That jackass brother slapped her too. I hate him so much. Aw, poor Yan Da having to use heartburn to make and keep a friend.
Fire Princess is very serious though and has her brother on the floor in no time. I'm not sure about this one. He tries to kill her whenever he can, but there are moments where it seems he cares for her? Weird.
I would like to rip off his ear tips.
He didn't act like her cared about her at all, just that he cared that she didn't stop the fight when he said to. Except, now she's learnt dirty tricks are necessary with the menz. After all, the brother didn't tell Hei Feng "you used a dirty trick with Yan Da, so you lose." And here, while Shuo Gang's back was turned to hear a message from their father, Yan Da felled him. Go Yan Da!
Look at Shi when he looks at her after she fought for him. Awwwwww.
Yeah, that boy was touched for sure.
Me too, though he should know by now she likes him.
Meanwhile, Liao Jian has breached the Bear City walls, frees his loyal subjects from prison and starts a bloody fight with the imposter.
He sort of looks like Weir, this actor that a couple friends really like. From Thailand. I like him too, although I've never seen him in anything.
He so does! I think I know Weir better than any other actor because said friends like to post a lot of picutres every day on Twitter :)


This is a strange episode. For the first time, I felt that the storytelling stuttered a little - or maybe it was the editing? The "demon music" arc is totally weird. There are those deaf people, but they disappear completely and really don't play a role at all. Then, there's the Spirit Princess, but nobody discusses the fact that she seems responsible for the death of all these mortals? Just like the mortals claimed.
They often let people languish off-camera for some time and then bring them back into the story, but you're right - it was very noticeable here. Why have the deaf people at all?
And the Queen of the Fairies is missing, so why was that storyline dropped? At least say she's on walkabout or something.

Also, I just don't like the bears. They're so ... unrefined. There's nothing more to them than meets the eye, no secrets, no subtleties. I guess I like the dethroned king a bit better, but only marginally so and only because I know he is loyal to the ice tribe.
Right? No mystery to this one at all, and not much of a quest. It's interesting though that this time it's not Kasuo and Li Luo doing the was Shi. But are we entirely sure for whom?
Right now, Shi is questing to get the ice crystal for the Ice Tribe.  

What I really liked though are the Shi-Yan Da moments. Awww. At the lake, when he once again happens upon her when she is crying. When he stops the echo-screams and dryly remarks that she is loud. It is very clear that he cares for her and her fate. He stands up for her in the Marriage Battle and later, when he is being tortured by her brother, who is of the opinion that serving her tribe as bride is all she's good for. That she considers him a friend touched him. I don't think he ever considered it before, but yes... they are, in some ways, friends. the end of this I do feel more assured that he feels some sort of way about her, but I am less certain than ever that he likes her as a woman.
To be honest, while this episode showed a lot of warmth between Shi and Yan Da, there wasn't much sizzle. But then, in a relationship, I don't think sizzle is all there is. It will be deeper and better if there's affection first.