With barely any promotion, Novoland: Eagle Flag’s 九州縹緲錄 sudden premiere puts it in competition with the current lineup of summer dramas. The fantasy series based on Jiang Nan’s novel is also written by the author himself. Now that it has aired, it’s clear that Eagle Flag has taken great lengths to retain the book’s setting as much as possible.
To recreate the scenes of the novel accurately, the production reportedly took 10 months to travel to different locations to get their desired shots, and the result is breathtaking and comparable to a movie. With such detailed costumes and settings, it’s not hard to see the characters led by Liu Haoran, Lareina Song and Chen Ruoxuan as their book counterparts.
The story seems to focus on the two male leads and coming from the success of Nirvana in Fire 2, Liu Haoran proves his acting skills once more as he manages to bring out his character’s grief without having to say anything, and there’s much grief to go around in the first episodes alone.
The story is fast paced as it opens with the massacre of an entire tribe. However, the downside is that it can feel a bit rushed. For instance, the experiences of Asule before he became Lv Guichen are explained in detail in the novel, but even with Jiang Nan writing the screenplay for the drama, the events crammed into one episode can be too fast. When Asule’s loved ones were killed, he barely had any time to grieve before he had to adjust to
his new life as a crown prince. Furthermore, the drama initially had 68 episodes that were reduced to 56 before it aired, so it seems that a natural consequence of condensing so many episodes is that parts of the story will be dropped.
In Eagle Flag’s defence, director Zhang Xiaobo said that it was impossible to include everything from the novel. He said that the drama adaptation is more realistic compared to the fantasy-laden book and that it was what he and Jiang Nan wanted. They spent 3 years working on the script and hoped that people will be able to understand it better.
Novoland in and of itself is a concept that is filled with fantasy elements, and there are often limitations in recreating such a mythical world. While some fans of the original novel might be put off by how much Novoland: Eagle Flag didn’t include, there are those who liked what they’ve seen. As long as the plot is good, I’m pretty sure viewers will still go for Eagle Flag. Have you guys started watching yet? If not, then I suggest you do.
I'm enjoying this drama a lot! Despite the slightly rushed editing on the first two episodes, everything else is great. Stunning landscapes, sets and cinematography, excellent costume, good pacing, dialogue and acting. There's a lot of things to admire, so I wouldn't make a fuss just for small thing.
People looking for recaps of the drama can head to here. They've updated up to ep 6. I enjoyed reading their great recaps and thoughts, so I thought I'd share. 🙂
Fast pace? Really? I"ll check it out and they better live up to that description
Thanks. Those recaps are so well-written and enjoyable to read. Very helpful!
I can forgive them some messy editing in these early episodes as I suspect they had to cut a lot to get this to air after it was pulled from airing before.
First 2 episode was not rushed at all, not at all. Pace there was totally right, that's how drama is supposed to be like. Slow things are unacceptable, just because people are not creative to find enough things to make 1 episode they purposely prolong some nonsense as fillers.
Ep 3 onwards are a bit too slow.
Ep 1 and 2 pace are good while I don't like the acting and details either. I have to stress the male lead is too obsessed having his face clean. He's fighting a bunch of people and his face is always remains beautiful and clean, his acting isn't very good either. They must be rushing to get pass ep 1 and 2 asap so they can move on to the real story, so they missed a bunch of these details. Upset that's probably the only reason why there were willing to make something fast pace for once. All dramas these days have good cinematography, I can stop caring about that already but nobody dares to be creative and make their storyline fast and interesting.
Fast paced? Really? The 1st episode could be called "fast paced" but it was really just inconsistent pacing. Then the rest is so slow paced it's annoying and way too much time spent on troop movements, lots of people milling around in cities, etc., like they don't have enough real story and need to fill time (but there should be and is enough story). Each episode go like this: show 2nd lead being beaten or tortured, girl acting like a boy; 3) Liu haoran's character ill and throwing up blood. But I'm hanging in there because I have so much respect for Liu Haoran.
Totally agree with you. They've taken a good story and ruined it (so far).
9 states in war with a powerless emperor. The world alone makes an interesting storyline and brought me into this drama. Unfortunately to my disappointment, this show forcus too much on the 3 friends and I could not stand their constant whinings and cryings. Im about to quit this at episode 27.
In war, they do not even understand the great strategy of hitting the enemy where it matters most to force them to retreat. Instead the lead was crying oh my friend will save us, and the friend kept crying all the way why are reinforcements not going to the blockade while going elsewhere. They are not military geniuses to me, and at best only good in martial arts.