Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Reviewed by: Anonymous

September 28, 2008

Rating: four-point-five

This was the first actual DVD series that I ever bought. Ever since I played the games Romance of Three Kingdoms from Koei I've been addicted to the whole era. I can probably name all the generals and big name characters just from playing the game. This was actually helpful while I was watching the series, since many times the characters were just names and none of the faces were familiar. It could get very confusing for some people.

Characters - All in all, the best part was the casting of the main characters. They were simply excellent. Especially the person who portrayed Zhuge Liang. Oh my god, what a great actor. He is by far my favorite character in the series. Guan Yu in my opinion wasn't portrayed dramatically enough like Zhuge. In fact my favorite part was when Zhuge led the expeditions near the end. Simply amazing. Wow, that guy is such a great actor. His voice, his look, he is just realy cool! I can't wait to see him again when i watch the series for the second time! The acting by everyone is pretty much superb. Don't expect ridiculous TVB acting. This seemed to go for authenticity. Don't expect any street talk like you see in almost every TVB series.

Sound - eh. The soundtrack was all right. It wasn't that great. However, I really, really liked Zhuge's theme that they played during his expedition -- which only made it seem like the best part even more. However, overall there is not enough music. Most scenes lack any music at all. They can learn from TVB that music makes a big difference in dialogue scenes etc. It can get rather boring without music. The dubbing in the DVD Version was extremely bad and good at the same time. When the dubbing was done correctly, the voices were simply great. Guan Yu's stern, heroic voice, Zhuge Liang's intellectual voice were portrayed rather well. However, you come to realize soon that the characters have more than one voice. Often, this other voice would just dub over all the characters and at the same time block out all the other sounds! I suppose that part of the dialogue was lost. Very irritating. I would find myself switching to mandarin even though I don't understand much when 'the voice' came up. Another thing, the first chapter consisted of a dubbing that was about a few seconds too slow (or fast, I don't remember). You are blessed if you understand mandarin. The battle sounds, sea sounds, are all much, much more crisp in the 5 channel mandarin speech.

Battles - rather poor in my opinion. Sure, they did a great job with the costumes and weaponry, the armies seemed organized also. However, the actual fight scenes just plain sucked. Most battle scenes were very, very short clips. For example, you would see a soldier spit blood, and then it would immediately jump to the next scene! DO NOT expect Braveheart type choreography. I only recall a few good fight scenes, Guan Yu delivering Liu Bei's wives were one of them.

All in all a great watch...very large scale, ships, HUGE armies, great scenery, actors. But, if they had only added better music and used it more often it could have been SO MUCH better. Better fight scenes also. One thing I hated was the title of the chapters in the beginning. It gives away a lot if you've never read the book.

Add your own review and become a featured critic on!

Buy Now

A Hero Born (Legend of the Condor Heroes)Jin Yong English Translation Book 1

A Bond Undone (Legend of the Condor Heroes)Jin Yong English Translation Book 2

Buy Locca Boba Tea Kit

Love bubble tea?DIY Boba Tea Set