Alright, I was agonizing if I should post this in the Chinese bl section or rather in the non-bl Chinese section. Long story short: „Guardian“ is a series that is based on the novel of the same name. The novel is totally bl while the series … met with Chinese censorship. There have been many changes from the source material and one of the biggest is certainly that there is no explicit bl and we’re just stuck with some insinuations and, well, two gorgeous main characters that are so well portrayed by their actors that I … still felt like I was watching a bl series. 😅
So, the Chinese bl section it is. 😉
What is the series „Guardian“ about?
There have been quite a lot of changes from the novel so I’ll really only tell you what the series is about.
The basic storyline is still the same, though: There’s the Special Investigation Department, in short SID, that is working on some supernatural cases in Dragon City. Their boss is Zhao Yunlan, the so-called guardian. While he is working on a case at the local university he meets Professor Shen Wei and … well, it feels like sparks are flying but as far as Zhao Yunlan says he just feels that this guy is really familiar.
Somehow, Shen Wei is being connected to nearly all the incoming cases of the SID so those two meet up a lot more and more or less start working together.
All the cases that are occurring recently seem to have another thing in common: They have to do with the four Hallows that are tied to the so-called „Dixing“-people, some sort of mutated alien-race that totally looks human on the outside but has some special abilities. The SID now has to prevent the Dixing-people to get their hands on the Hallows.
My opinion on the series
Alright, so, I also read like the translated half of the novel and I’ll just say this beforehand: I like the novel more. And not just because of the only implicit bl in the series 😁 But I still like the series very much.
So, first of all, the series did a fantastic job with how they changed things. Sure, it’s sad that there’s no bl but I guess the most important thing is that people who don’t know the novel and just want to watch a nice series are able to watch it and enjoy it. Considering that I watched part of the series first before reading the novel I’d say that it worked.
The series explained the backstory a lot differently than the novel did but it worked. They also changed up some arcs which was quite nicely done overall, too. Here’s the big but: When the first antagonist turned up I felt like the series had a sudden drop in classiness.
Do you know these series where there’s that strange-looking antagonist that seems super-strong at the beginning, then the protagonist mops the floor with him and then another even stronger antagonist appears and laugh crazily? Yeah, Guardian felt that way to me when we got to see the first antagonist for the first time.
At that moment, I had a short urge to stop watching and solely persisted because Guardian was advertised as bl and I liked Zhu Yi Long since „Border Town Prodigal“.
Well, it got better later, so I guess I can’t say I regretted it. 😁
Now I already mentioned one of the good things about this series: The actors! Yes, they’re just great. Even if you’re a lover of the novel you probably won’t find much to cuss about. They did a fantastic job, IMO. And, well, I guess this is the moment where I’ll start to gush about just how handsome I think Zhu Yi Long is? 😁 Mn, anyway, I think he and Bai Yu did a really, really good job at portraying Shen Wei and Zhao Yunlan.
Uh, and that Black-robed Envoy … Ah, I just can’t watch this enough. Let me put a big picture as an exception:
Honestly, you can’t fault me for this. I do have a thing for men with long hair (in this kind of series, at least 😁) and he’s just too handsome. Yes, totally not my fault!
*cough* I guess this was enough fangirling now … Lets get back to the point: Even the supporting characters are great. Each of them has a backstory and distinct personality. The series gets Brownie point for the fact that they have a fat black cat that is looking so adorable. 😁 Well, I always felt like it looked a bit scared, too? But maybe that’s my misconception and it’s just the type of cat that always looks like this.
I had lots of fun watching these 40 episodes and even though I was a little taken aback by their version of an antagonist (at least the first one) I still liked most of the series. Especially the main characters and the supporting ones from the SID and the way they were portrayed by their actors appealed to me.
Actually, I started to like this series even more after after I started to read the novel because there were a lot of things where I would think „Hey! Even though there’s censorship they did a really good job showing this“ but even if you don’t know the novel you’ll probably like Guardian if you can live with the fact that there’s more of a bromance than a bl-story going on and like plots with important backstory and lots of mystery.
I definitely recommend Guardian to everyone! It’s actually one of my highlights now, I guess 😁 If you’re now thinking that you definitely have to try watching this, then you can find the complete series subbed on YouTube. I felt like the sub was really good. I could read everything and there were even some nice explanations. Sometimes, it might also be worthwhile to have a look at the comments. Besides the gushing about Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei there’s sometimes comments from the translators as well who explain some things in more detail. 😊