This is another example of great Chinese drama. I personally rank this below the Disguiser but it’s on top end of my list still. This drama is … pervertedly awesome.
The Chinese title is 镖门. In Korean, it’s 표문. It is, as seen above, translated as “The Great Protector” but it can have other meanings to be honest. I wouldn’t personally translate it as such but that’s the official English title. I wouldn’t translate so because … the main character fails to protect anything and anyone.
This drama takes its place during Xinhai Revolution. I won’t bore you with a history lesson. The result of the revolution gave births to two nations. One is People’s Republic of China AKA just China nowadays. The other is Taiwan.
In this drama though, the revolution isn’t exactly displayed first hand simply because location of the main cast is far away from the revolution itself. But as the conclusion of the revolution nears, their lives start to change, mostly for the worse.
The main character is Liu An Shun, a chosen heir to an armed courier company. The master of the company has no son but only a daughter. Therefore, he chose a suitable guy, in this case Liu An Shun, as his heir.
As norm in the era, when an outsider takes over someone’s entire business who has only a daughter, the guy is expected to marry into the family. Such is the case for Liu An Shun.
The courier company is known as one of the best in the country, and their future seems bright…. for a bit.
Because of the revolution sweeping across China, general security becomes low. Bandits become rampant, and the courier company starts to lose its clients. As an “armed” courier company, they are capable of dealing with bandits. But their real enemy appears from within rather than from outside.
As time passes and the revolution kicking up its speed, the whole courier company industry is falling apart. Liu An Shun starts to hear that other courier company are closing their doors.
As the master passes away, he takes over but he doesn’t marry his daughter because their relationship doesn’t work out. This creates friction among members because their marriage was a part of the deal. Liu’s leadership is questioned but he eventually takes over the company fully after falling out with some members.
Can Liu An Shun steer things in the right way?
This 38 episode drama is basically about Liu An Shun’s downfall. Nothing, not a single thing, works in his favor. At the same time, most of failures aren’t his fault. A lot of things are simply beyond his control.
His arranged marriage doesn’t work out. The company shatters, not because of his leadership, but because someone from the company decides to do an illegal opium run. His later girlfriend gets killed. Again, nothing really works out for him.
What’s the point of this drama then?
Amid all the shits he goes through, he keeps his sanity as well as dignity. By the end of the series, he becomes a master swordsman and earns a huge amount of reputation and respect for sticking to the very end from those in the industry.
He becomes complete by the end of the series. Still, at times, it is quite painful to watch simply because, as said, nothing works out for him. Not a single thing.
In a perverted sense, this drama is awesome. You don’t often see a MC failing at everything but still comes out as the victor in the end somehow. This drama is such a case. No blame is ever placed on Liu simply because none of his downfall is caused by him. As said earlier, a lot of things are out of his control.
Only in the last episode, he gets some revenge for all the grief he has been receiving.
The company he was supposed to protect is gone. The woman he was supposed to marry marries someone else who, in the end, destroys the company. The woman he loved is murdered.
What part of him makes “the great protector” is beyond me. He couldn’t protect anything or anyone.
In the end, Liu An Shun becomes completely alone and simply leaves. He has no one by his side. He barely has any money. He doesn’t even have a place to be. Where he is going in that screenshot, I have no clue. But, if I were him, I would just go somewhere, anywhere but there.
This drama was weirdly awesome to me. It was oddly satisfying in the end.
I think this is a form of sublimation. In a sense, he is completely free after losing everything that binds him to his place. He can restart somewhere else. He is still young enough to restart.
If I were to translate the title, I’d translate it as either “The gateway to pains” or “The door to sublimation”.
You can freely watch this via this URL on Youtube.