30 September 2016

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Ice Fantasy 幻城 - Episode 15 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on September 30, 2016
kakashi: Poor Kasuo... depressed and powerless(and put in a place with horribly esoteric colors, look at him!) and tricked by his brother, more than once. But as one has absolutely no power, the other gains power. Shi takes charge of things in this episode and him being in charge is quite sexy. More, please.
JoAnne: This looks like a talk show from the 70s, and Kasuo is a guest trying to work through past-life trauma. Invited experts include a mushroom hunter from Northern California who channels the spirit of a particular redwood tree in the Russian River valley and a neurosurgeon who claims to have pinpointed the locus of our souls through similarities noted while performing brain surgery on multiple patients, later to be discredited and kicked out of the AMA for recreational drug use/experimentation on non-consenting patients.
Saki: I love Shi.  

Episode 15

All the tribe leaders have come, at the summons of the Ice King. But we soon realize that the Ice King is remote-controlled! By the Fire King! He is in zombie mode! He announces that he is passing on his title to Mr. Fire and everyone is: are you insane, Fire King? We will not serve the Fire King! Never!
Frozen braaaaaaaains! Frozen braaaaaains!
Depose them all and put Shi and Yanda on those thrones.
Mr. Bear attempts to run to the Ice King, but there's a fire barrier there and we're soon treated to Fire King's insane cackling. He's having fun, isn't he. He says Shi and Kasuo are to "reunite" with their family in ten days. The "or else" is implied: it means hand over Kasuo or bear the horrible consequences.
I just...the set, it... What's that shadow? Is it the Ice King and his throne? Or did they get the carpet cheap after a terrible accident and only recently finish shampooing?
Shadow. And on the facebook page, there's a video of the Fire Brat and the King practicing their hahahahahahaha behind the scenes. Sadly, it's not funny.
Kasuo is recuperating on Mermaid Island. Yup, still no power. Naturally, he is super depressed about it. He looks across the sea, where the icebergs of his home country are - and can only watch them melt. But Li Luo offers some wisdom. Ice melts and becomes water. Water evaporates into air. When it gets cold, that air (via some water) freezes into ice again. That means: His icebergs will grow again.
In one way or another, every woman has to have this conversation with some man at some point in his adult life.
Just give me Shi's icebergs.
Not helping though. He's still depressed and he tells her to leave him, the powerless, sad prince, to go lead a carefree life with a lovely mortal. He insists until she says "fine, bye for now". She hugs him though, assuring him he is the only one the Guardians will accept as king.
Icebergs do not make the man. But they sure make him easier to take, sometimes.
Way to put pressure on him, LuLuo. He only wants to live happily ever after with you, not be king.
At Ice Castle Central, Fire King meets with Lian Ji. So why is she called "Lotus" in the subs? Does her name mean Lotus? Anyway, I really love the Ice City CGI. All those scary heights and the lovely snowy mountain panorama. Imagine how good the air must be! Divine! 
If it's that cold, breathing in would be painful.
I would be sniffling. And yes, I understand her name means Lotus, and, after reading some Kim Heesun articles, learnt that the Korean version of LianJi is YeonHee.
The reason for the meeting is a) he tries to feel her up, not successfully and b) he wants to know who Shi's daddy is. She claims that's Mr. Ice King. Come on, woman. Nobody believes you. Because Shi was able to enter Desperadom unharmed, Fire King knows: he has fire in his veins. And that means: he will not harm him in the future, which I find a plus, overall.
At first I thought he was asking because he'd never done the deed with her, after all.  But now I think he wonders if there was someone else, too.  Like maybe his tiny pillar of fire just wasn't warm enough for her.
Probably wasn't.
Kasuo continues to be depressed. That's him standing on a cliff.
This screen shot makes me laugh really really hard because of you.
It's where Shi finds him, all agitated about how the Fire King used the Ice King to pass a decree on to all the tribes, asking to be delivered the Ice Princes and taking command of all three realms. Here is Shi. Pretty.
Why do they leave that one piece of hair dangling at the temples? WHY?
Style, innit.
Here is Kasuo. He is pretty too, but he looks ... ill. Or at least seriously off-color. Also, he's kinda wondering about Shi's powers in Desparadom. And he worries about his little bro: He wants him to leave, go far away, where Fire King can never find him.
I find the fact that the line of his pulled back hair forms a continuum with his eyebrows very, very distracting.  It looks like that whole top part of his head is a hat, covering up his REAL head.  What's he hiding under there?
The wigs in this could've been CGI'd a bit better.
He's really hellbound to send everyone he cares for away in this episode, right? He insists so much and for so long that Shi finally "agrees"...
Shi is hilarious. I love him.  
Shi is my hero in this show. Kasuo, what kasuo? He's just a plot device.
... but it's all a trick! Shi leaves to fight against the Ice King without Kasuo knowing and leaves Kasuo in Lan Shang's care for the time being. 
Yes, yes, I'll do what you say, Older Brother. *puts big rock in boat, doesn't even attempt to get one vaguely human shaped* See, I'm going! Bye, Big Brother! *rubs hands together* OKAY! Now to get down to BUSINESS! Note to self: Next time, try with a smaller rock.
Maybe it was a matter of weight, so that Kasuo wouldn't notice the boat was extra-weighed down.

First, Shi goes to the Dreamers. Ohhhhh, look how good he looks!
and that gesture means....
I don't know, but I'll calmly accept.
It means "eff you, I'll do ice magic now"!
With Princess Xing Gui's help, Shi is able to enter the Lord of Dreams' dream...
I'm waiting for him to appear in mine...
Shi totally looks good in anything.
... and together with Xing Gui, he convinces the Lord of Dreams to summon all the other leaders. Not in reality, though, cause Fire King spies .... in the dreamworld. That's so cool! Secret rebellion meetings in dreams! I want that! He's good looking too, by the way:
Yes indeed, but he could use some lip scrub.
Amazing how they do all the other makeup exept scrub, moisterize and paint the lips.
Only Mermaid Saint isn't coming. How typical. Eagle Man is missing too, but he isn't the head of a tribe, so he's excused. In the dream, Ying Kong Shi has to prove to everyone that he's capable (aka strong enough) to fight the Fire King. And he does that be having them fight him - all at once. Shi is slightly wounded in the process, but he wins. Everybody is mucho impressed and they pledge their alliance to Prince Shi.
That blood in the corner of his mouth...can he be Lestat in a Chinese remake of Last Interview with the Vampire?
Mermaid Saint is so annoying! Yes, let's have Ma Tianyu be Lestat. Someone do this.
Cut to Kasuo, who wakes up and finds ... Lan Shang sleeping on his stomach. Seriously, I'm outraged. How dare this ditz! And my god, we've had tacky sets, but this Mermaid Palace... it beats everything! Anway, so Kasuo is embarrassed at the closeness and tries to put some distance between himself and the Mermaid, but she even offers to wash him. OMG, back off!
I think they live in a Barbie Dream House, Special Under the Sea Edition. And this little Miss Thing needs to back OFF. That is Li Luo's man.
She's a sasaeng fangirl, basically.
Just when Lan Shang declares her undying love for Kasuo, Li Luo steps closer outside ... of course, she hears it all. Lan Shang shows Kasuo the shoes she will wear once they are married. Come on, you silly girl. He clearly is NOT INTERESTED. Kasuo even tells her he is in love with another woman. I hope you heard that too, Li Luo!
She probably wouldn't think it was her, though.
Just then, Kasuo is summoned to the Mermaid Saint (she doesn't seem very saintly to me, actually. No, too selfish.). He expects it to be the Fire King, who has come to pick him up - but it's Healer Huang Tuo. He has just given the Mermaid Saint "pollen of the rainbow flower", fabled to make someone young again when used. It works particularly well if the person applying it goes to sleep afterwards! (of course, the thing puts her sound to sleep when she tries it).
Yes, I find her quite unlikable.  
Kasuo comes in and Mr. Healer tells him to flee, since Mermaid Saint wants to hand him over to the Fire King soon. But Kasuo is ready for that. He does not want anyone to suffer because of him. However, Huang Tuo has come to tell him of an amazing retired magical healer by the name of Qiu Tian Nian, missing for many years, but now found - who could most likely help Kasuo regain his powers! There is hope! Awww, look at him. Of course, we all know that all of this is some plan of Shi's. To what end though?
His mopiness is beginning to annoy me.
He is so emo, I have stopped considering him the hero.
In any case, it's exactly what Kasuo needed to hear - he is out of his depression and on a horse, leaving to find the Healer! Li Luo attempts to accompany Kasuo, but he wants to be all manly and do it alone. Duh.
And not a moment too soon.

The Mermaids are taking a bath, when all of a sudden, Kasuo appears. Say what? But no, it is NOT Kasuo - it is Shi, who has the ability to turn himself into Kasuo! Why would he do that when he looks that good!!
And when did he discover this ability, anyway?  How?  Is it an ability that others have, too?
No, just Shi can do this. Each person's powers are a bit different, even within the tribe. For instance, Yan Da can fly while Shuo Gang cannot.
Plus, he has brains ... he suggests that Mermaid Saint gives Lan Shang to Fire King to please him (instead of handing over Kasuo, who is gone now anyway). Of course, Lan Shang protests loudly. But here's the trick: it will not be Lan Shang who marries the Fire King - but Ying Kong Shi, looking like her. And then, during their wedding night, he will assassinate the Fire King.
But WHEN during that night, hmmm?  Maybe he has to burn out some of that fire first, you think?
I'm looking forward to how this all works out.
In the meantime, Kasuo has entered the mortal realm, where he gets given food by some kind tent-dwellers, a man and his daughter. Sadly, bandits kill the father and rape the daughter. Kasuo, who tries to help but is defeated easily by the ruffians, can only watch when the daughter kills herself (after killing her rapist first) in utter dispair. Damn you, Fire King. 
Well, that escalated quickly.
Also means that Kasuo isn't a good fighter.
Before they can kill him too, Li Luo steps in. So glad to see you, woman.
Save your man, melty iceberg be damned!
And get there earlier next time!

Comments

The rape and suicide scene was quite hard to watch. I get it, Kasuo has hit rock bottom. Plus, he really needs Li Luo, even though he keeps trying to send her away. But did we really need this to understand this?
It was quite jarring.
I was not actually able to watch it a second time.  

As for Shi's plan: I like it, but it's pretty crazy. We know how strong the Fire King is. Is Shi a match for him when Kasuo was not? I doubt it. But it's good that Lan Shang can finally be of some use. I just hope that Shi can stop the wedding night "celebrations" quickly enough.
It will be tough to time...I'm sure the Fire King will only need a minute or two since it's been a while.
Shi will find a way, he's clever like that.

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