Ever since South Korea initiated Hallyu, also known as the Korean Wave, Korean dramas (often shortened to K-dramas) have seen an exponential increase in interest among international viewers. Certain K-dramas, like past hits like Autumn in My Heart, Moon Embracing the Sun, and Boys Over Flowers, and current hits like Yong Pal and Descendants of the Sun, surely helped.
Because of Hallyu, many other Asian countries stepped up in their dramas just so they too can become a viable competitor in entertainment’s international scene. As a result, we have seen major leaps and bounds in Philippine dramas, Japanese dramas, and even Taiwanese dramas. However, the one country that is making the biggest leaps and bounds is China. Case and point: Descendants of the Sun was extremely popular in China, but it was nowhere near as popular as C-drama God of War, Zhao Yun starring Lin Gengxin (Scarlet Heart), Kim Jeong Hoon (one half of UN, Princess Hours), and Im Yoona (face of Girls’ Generation, Prime Minister and I).
Now, there is a new C-drama that is garnering the interest of many international drama fans. It is titled Ice Fantasy, and it is turning out to be the Chinese equivalent of Avatar: The Last Airbender combined with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Airing on Hunan Broadcasting System (Hunan TV), Ice Fantasy stars Feng Shaofeng (Dragon Blade, The Monkey King 2) as Ka Suo, Victoria Song (member of f(x), When Love Walked In) as Li Luo, Ma Tianyu (East Meets West, Love Without Distance) as Ying Kong Shi, and Zhang Meng (Beauty World, Ancient Sword) as Yan Da.
The plot of Ice Fantasy centers on the Empire of Snow, originally known as the Ice Tribe, and the Fire Tribe. About 100 years after the Empire of Snow defeated the Fire Tribe and unified the people of the land, both gods and mortals, the Fire Tribe exacted their revenge and laid to waste the Empire of Snow. As a result of the war, Prince Ka Suo and Ying Kong Shi are the only royal heirs and pure-blood ice illusionists to survive. Conflict ensues when Ka Suo’s lover, Li Luo, and Kong Shi go missing.
Ka Suo finds the cause of the war that nearly wiped out the Empire of Snow, Yuan Ji, the head of a mysterious shrine. After defeating Yuan Ji, Ka Suo ascends the Empire of Ice throne while searching for his brother, who has become the new Fire Prince. A war between the Empire of Snow and the Fire Tribe commences again as the two brothers now fight against each other.
The aforementioned synopsis of Ice Fantasy sounds like it has plenty of elements from Avatar: The Last Airbender. In Ice Fantasy, the Empire of Ice (Ice Tribe) is pitted against the Fire Tribe. Not only that, the gods of the Ice and Fire Tribe are able to control their respective element. This is very familiar to the Water Tribe versus the Fire Nation, which pitted Waterbenders against Firebenders, in Avatar: The Last Airbender, especially if compared to the Season 1 finale.
Ice Fantasy even has elements familiar to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, especially multiple races, magical powers, and mythical artifacts. For example, the One Ring in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is considered very powerful in which the use of its power often leads to great sacrifice. The same can be said about the Deicide in Ice Fantasy, an extremely powerful sword that requires the sacrifice of a pure-blood royal member of the Empire of Snow to be used.
As a matter of fact, it even has elements of the Harry Potter series, the Chronicles of Narnia series, and the Song of Ice and Fire series, better known by its television adaptation Game of Thrones. Combine the fact Ice Fantasy uses elements from the popular series mentioned above with the more-than-descent use of 3D graphics, phenomenal set pieces, and interesting plot, Ice Fantasy might become the most-popular C-drama this year. It might even become the most-popular Asian drama surpassing Descendants of the Sun.
Ice Fantasy airs on the Hunan TV. The C-drama will air for 62 episodes. Seven Chinese video-sharing websites — Tencent, iQiyi, Youku, LeTV, Mango TV, Sohu, and PPTV — will air the show in China. For international airing, it can be viewed for free, with ads, on both DramaFever and Viki pending region.
[Image via Hunan Broadcasting System]