aka The Proud Twins, Proud of Twins, The Handsome Siblings, The Perfect Twins, The Invincible Duo. This is the description from yesasia.com:
Famous movie director Wong Jing adapts the classic sword and martial arts epic by Gu Long into a TV series, with Hong Kong pop idol Nicholas Tse and comedy star Dicky Cheung playing the legendary twin brothers! Xiao Yu Er (Dicky Cheung), raised by The Ten Villains, attempts to uncover the mystery of his family in a gathering for martial arts masters, without knowing that his long lost twin brother Hua Wu Que (Nicholas Tse) is also there…
I found this at Netflix searching for things with Nicholas Tse; it looked interesting (martial arts epic with halfway-decent reviews and/or a favorite actor is enough). This was apparently an official US release, which surprised me; I didn’t realize dramas were being released here. The subtitles were OK (I’ve seen much much worse); I can’t judge the accuracy, but they were readable and understandable. The verb tenses were consistently a little off, and some of the word choices were odd; I did notice one scene with a mis-named character.
The subtitles use translated names; I don’t know enough Mandarin to be able to pick out the actual names. The main cast consisted of:
- Dicky Cheung as Xiao Yu Er/小鱼儿 — Little Fish
- Nicholas Tse as Hua Wu Que/花无缺 — Flawless Flower
- Fan Bing Bing as Tie Xin Lan/铁心兰 — Iron-Hearted Orchid
Little Fish is a joker-type/fights with words/will talk circles around you until you don’t know your own name, though he can fight (he has the most character development so far). Flawless Flower is the quiet one, and Iron-Hearted Orchid is the female lead and a competent fighter. Fish and Orchid both have sidekicks; Fish’s is a former bully who idolizes the Ten Malevolents and wants to meet them; I’m not sure what Orchid’s is (they are referred to once as the daughters of Wild Lion Yun, but she acts more like a maid/servant than a sister).
The show starts off with Little Fish causing trouble for a bully and ending up with the bully as a sidekick; there was a family of a woman wronged by a noble(?) involved. They visit the man and meet Flawless Flower there.
The Floral Palace is a woman-only group (no male dogs, even), though they did raise Flawless Flower. They take revenge on men who hurt women, and order Flawless Flower to get the man that caused the wronged woman problems, which he does, meeting Little Fish in the process.
The leads are all separately on their way to Jianghu, where a competition for the leadership is about to take place: Little Fish is looking for Red Leaf, the historian, to see if he can find out anything about his family; Iron-Hearted Orchid is looking for information about her father, who was the last leader and has been missing for six months; and Flawless Flower has been ordered by the Floral Palace to win the competition and become the leader of Jianghu. They all end up in the competition, and Orchid wins the first round (fighting: Fish had stolen one of Red Leaf’s books and blackmails various people, and is beaten by one of the others; Flower and Orchid win their battles, but Flower loses to Orchid). They are given a second task (to find a wanted criminal), which they complete together. The third task is to find Wild Lion Yun; Flower goes in one direction, and Fish and Orchid in another.
I think Little Fish has the most screen time so far; I don’t think Orchid was shown apart from the others, and Flower was only alone a few times at the Floral Palace. Most of these episodes were backstory, first of Fish/Flower’s father and his best friend and the events leading up to their birth and separation, and then of Fish’s childhood with the 10 Malevolents (actually 5 misfits). Red Leaf’s clan leader(?) is telling the backstory to the acting leader of Jianghu (framing device; the action is being shown) up to the birth of twins and one child taken to the Floral Palace; I don’t think they knew what happened to the other twin. I think Fish was telling Orchid his own story.
I’ll definitely rent the next disc (cliffhanger, though I doubt they’d kill of a lead this early), but I’m not sure if I’ll finish this; it is 40 episodes, and I’m not sure that I have the patience to sit through that much of it (five hour-long TV episodes equals close to four hours of DVD, subtitled, in an unfamiliar language). I’m working from memory; I had this for six weeks, and returned it a couple of weeks ago (made notes, but didn’t finish writing it up then).