“Fire Blue Blade” is a drama by Beijing Xingmeng Factory Culture Media Co., Ltd., Beijing Perfect Jianxin Film and Television Culture Co., Ltd., Perfect World (Beijing) Film and Television Culture Co., Ltd., and Guangdong Southern Pilot Television Communication Co., Ltd. This is a 31 episode military-themed TV series directed by Zhang Guoqing. Guo Jingyu served as the artistic supervisor and Yang Zhigang was in the starring role with Zheng Kai, He Ziming, Liu Siyan, Wang Qiang, Li Yiling, Song Jialun, and Pan Yang were cast in other leading roles. It is about a new generation of naval scouts trained in “beast camps”, starting with faith and dreams, glory, and dignity in warfare.
The story was broadcast on the first round of CCTV’s TV series in September 2012 and was later broadcasted by several TV stations on prime time.
“Fire Blue Blade” mainly tells the story of a Navy reconnaissance squadron training to combat international pirates. As a result of a higher-order instructing the expansion of the Marine Corps’ amphibious reconnaissance team, the instructors of the Navy’s reconnaissance team rushes to gather talent all over the country.
Jiang Xiaoyu, who loves bragging, finds himself enlisted into the “beast camp” which is known for its harsh training. Here, he meets a group of peerless geniuses—Zhang Chong, a wild child who can capture crocodiles in the Yangtze River and catch a wolf with one hand at the age of ten. Lu Yan, a National College Student Swimming Champion. Balang, who is known as “Beast King” in the beast camp for defeating all other members. Xiang Yu, who grew up in a pirate’s nest and is known as the “God of War”, finally, Wuyun Gerilei, a sharp-shooter hunter on the grassland.
Taunted by the cruel training, Jiang Xiaoyu convinces Lu Yan to escape the beast camp. In the midst of escaping, the two find themselves in the sea training ground and end up becoming a fielder. Zhang Chong, who is reckless, broke military rules by fighting with another comrade and is exile to the sea training ground. Female sharp-shooter, Wuyun Gerilei apply to be transferred to the sea training ground after hearing of another sharp-shooter’s presence. The four thus gathered together at the sea training ground for different reasons.
Deng Jiuguang and Liu Xiaoshan are outstanding scouts of the older generation who are now guards of the sea training ground due to an old injury. They are determined to teach the youngbloods. However, Jiang Xiaoyu refuses to follow the training as he thinks that they will just end up as guards and nothing more. It was not until one day that things changed. In a mission to rescue a boat of people on a passenger ship from the pirate’s hand, old guard Liu Xiaoshan sacrificed himself to save Jiang Xiaoyu. The death of his instructors made the youngbloods understand that all kinds of training are for the country, and protecting the people is the responsibility of every soldier.
Jiang Xiao-Yu, Lu Yan, Zhang Chong, and Wuyun Gerilei accepts the toughest training and finally stand out and are specially recruited into the Marine Corps. With the cooperation of the team, they fought pirates and became heroes of the Marine Corps, receiving the “Fire Blue Dagger” which symbolizes the highest honor for naval scouts. This inspirational drama tells a story of these men through years of training who get groomed to become excellent marine soldiers whose beliefs are to defend their country to their last drop of blood.
The four returns to the beast camp to go through the toughest training and are eventually selected to represent the country in the International Scouts Competition. On the international competing grounds, Jiang Xiaoyu maximized his full potential, standing up bravely despite countless “attacks” from the competing teams, retaining hope for victory to his team. Eventually, the China scouts team won the championship.
After returning back to the country, Jiang Xiao-Yu formed the Dragon Squadron, whose combat strength expanded significantly by the day. They successfully destroy international pirates standing firmly by the belief to fend for their country. The film highlights the transformation of Jiang Xiao-Yu from a simple fisherman to a nation’s hero and the excellent performance of the veteran soldiers will definitely touch the audience.
This work reflects the real life of soldiers of the Marine Brigade, under the background that is the construction development of the Navy in this new century, the story depicts youthfulness and interesting combat training life of the Marine Corps soldiers. The film combines ideology, arts, and appreciation to bring the audience into the emotions of the characters as the plot twists up and down. The plot is driven by competition, skills training, contests, and fighting against the enemy. The image of a group of soldiers who are full of vigor, witty, humorous, strong, and unwilling to give up leaves a deep impression on the audience. The show which uses the actual setting of the sea life in depicting the real life of the Marine Corps, not only adds depth to the soldiers’ training and combat atmosphere, but also shows the loyalty, bravery, and responsibility of the Navy in protecting the Motherland.
“Fire Blue Blade” was broadcasted on the long holiday spanning eight days in 2012. It records an average viewership rating of 2.08% and average ratings share of 6.16%, with the last episode reaching its peak with a rating of 3.31%, ranking number one for prime time shows in 2012. The impact of the series was tremendous as it not only introduced the life of the Navy’s contribution to its country but also gathered many “Soldier Fans” as a result, encouraging many youths to join the military. The TV series was highly praised by professionals from all walks of life, and evaluated by industry experts as another turning point among military-themed dramas after shows like ”Drawing Sword” and “Soldiers Sortie”.
The original novel of the “Fire Blue Blade” series has reached more than 100 million views online. The show was broadcasted eight times on the People’s Broadcasting Stations. In addition, “Fire Blue Blade” reached the highest rating records on CCTV integrated channels. It has become a legendary production under military-themed film works. Not only has the show won the likes of the general audiences but it is also highly praised by industry experts and the media as it is titled “Best Drama Series in October 2012”. The inspirational element of the fire blue blade spirit carries the will of Navy soldiers and aroused the youngblood’s passion and love for the country. It is highly talked about with trends including “Marine Life”, “Passionate Men”, “Muscular Men” and “Grassroots humor style”, gaining victory in both ratings and impression. The media review: “The drama “Fire Blue Blade” echoes the values of most young people who are eager for an opportunity to transform their lives. However, the show emphasizes that transformation is due to a steady base and resilience instead of following the crowd and not taking action.
As the first domestic film work that fully portrays the Marine Corps, “Fire Blue Blade” adapts the ideology of martial arts novels in gathering a group of great characters; Jiang Xiaoyu, who is witty and humorous like Wei Xiaobao, Zhang Chong, who is straightforward and brave like Lu Zhishen, Lu Yan, who is elegant and melancholic like Zhang Wuji. Each character is unique and unforgettable. An online viewer commented, “The success factor of the drama “Fire Blue Blade” is the successful creation of the characters, and the allocation between the main and secondary characters are just nice, allowing all characters to stand out but not sacrificing main lead Jiang Xiaoyu’s image.” The passion and responsibility of the Navy is undeniably the highlight of the show. From devil-like training to the different kinds of navy ships to the firearms, every detail is portrayed to perfection in carrying the dreams of a strong Marine Corps.
A perfect hero steps back, giving room for a normal hero who is both righteous and evil to shine. “Fire Blue Blade” is indeed a show that talks about the growth and struggle of grassroots soldiers. Tang Jing, chief producer states that: “Many audiences who watched the show commented that they are able to identify with the show’s character and this resonance is what we aim to pursue in our creation. We aim to create a unique military-themed drama of the new era. It should be a work that blends joy and blood, putting the soldier’s feelings as the main melody of the plot, allowing it to be easily accepted by the audience.”
With its outstanding performance, “Fire Blue Blade” won many awards including the 29th Flying Apsaras Chinese TV Drama Best Drama Award, the 25th Army’s Golden Star Award Best TV Drama, and Beijing Culture and Art Award.