Ancient Chinese Media List [TV Shows, Movies, and Doc's]

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Ancient Chinese Media List [TV Shows, Movies, and Doc's]

Unread post by Kongde »

Hi all,
I'd like to compile a list of pre-Han thru end of Jin Dynasty media, preferably all that have been at least subtitled in English.
Here is what I currently know of, and I'd love to see more added to it.

TV Series
-Romance of the Three Kingdoms (1994) - Han Dynasty/Three Kingdoms/Jin Dynasty
-Three Kingdoms (2010) - Han Dynasty/Three Kingdoms
-The Legend of Chu and Han [also known as King's War on Netflix] (2012) - Chu/Han Dynasty contention : (Paid)
-Han Liu Bang (1998) - Qin Dynasty/Han Dynasty
-The Advisors Alliance (2017) - Han Dynasty/Jin Dynasty : (Free)
-Growling Tiger and Roaring Dragon (2017) - Han Dynasty/Jin Dynasty : ... ?locale=en (Free)
-The Story of Han Dynasty (2003) - Chu/Han Dynasty contention
-The Legend of Guan Gong (2004) - Three Kingdoms : ... share_cu_r
-Cao Cao (2014) - Three Kingdoms : ... S&index=36
-God of War Zhao Yun (2016) - Three Kingdoms
-The Great Revival (2007) - The Spring & Autumn Period : ... jf-Nv152mi
-Prince of Han (2001) - Han Dynasty
-The Qin Empire I, II, III, and IV (respectively, 2009, 2012, 2017, 2020) - Qin Dynasty
-5,000 Years of Heroes: Han Xin - Chu/Han Dynasty contention : ... 16fd43adaa (English Dub, paid)
-Princess Weiyoung (2016) - Sixteen Kingdoms / Northern Wei Empire : ... ?locale=en (Free)
-The Song of Glory (2020) - Sixteen Kingdoms / Liu-Song Dynasty : ... ?locale=en

-White Vengeance (2011) - Chu/Han Dynasty contention : (Paid)
-Red Cliff I & II (respectively, 2008, 2009) - Three Kingdoms
-Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon (2008) - Three Kingdoms :
-The Lost Bladesman (2011) - Three Kingdoms : (Free)
-The Assassins (2012) - Three Kingdoms :
-The Weird Man (1983) - Han Dynasty/Three Kingdoms : ... B01GKD35RK (Free with Amazon Prime)
-The Warring States (2011) - Warring States Period : ... tes/273623

-The Last Supper (2012/2013) - Chu-Han Dynasty contention :
-Battle of Wits (2006) - Warring States Period :
-The Legend of Doctor Huangfu (2020) - Wei/Jin Dynasty : [ Episodes on channel ]

-The Han Empire 206 BC - 220 AD (????) - Han Dynasty :
-China's Dragon Emperor (????) - Qin Dynasty :
-First Emperor: The Man Who Made China (2006) - Qin Dynasty : ... B0778BVJ26 (Free with Amazon Prime) [Alt link: ]
-The First Emperor of China: The Qin Dynasty (1989) - Qin Dynasty :
-The Story of the Real Confucius (????) - The Spring & Autumn Period :

I know there are other older series such as Zhuge Liang (1985) for example, but I do not know if it had English subs, so I did not include it in this list, as I want this list to be English speaker friendly. And yes, there is a Wikipedia page entry that covers most of these entries, but I know for a fact it does not cover all of them, for example, Growling Tiger and Roaring Dragon was not on the list at all, and it also includes obsolete movies that were lost to time, so I want this list to be more practical and for every entry on this list to be viewable by an English audience. I am also including documentaries in this list, which was not included on the entries as well, and TVB which is a drama form of history with bits and pieces of the truth mixed in with fabrication, much like the RoTK books/movies.

If you are affiliated with any of these movies I've listed, I am more than open to linking the proper website to watch or purchase said media. I am simply doing the best I can to provide a resource to those who want to watch it with a direct link to save some searching. I will not be providing any links to piracy sites - I try my best to link to the proper viewing outlet, whether it's paid or free.

If you want to suggest something, the only two criterias I ask is that it has English subs somewhere to be found even if fansubs on the internet, and that it is indeed based on ancient Chinese history as late as 600 AD, I could maybe accept it to 1,000 AD but absolutely nothing beyond that. I'd like to preferably keep this list Pre-Han to Han/Three Kingdoms/Jin/Sixteen Kingdoms. Eventually, I'll get around to organizing the list perhaps in some rough timeline fashion, at least by period if nothing else. I hope you can find some use in this list!

LAST UPDATED: 9-23-2020
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Re: Ancient Chinese Media List [TV Shows, Movies, and Doc's]

Unread post by Kongde »

As a bonus, I'd like to create a recommended watch list. This will be a watch list consisting of watches that I personally (and I must emphasize, personally) think are well worth the time if you feel the original list is just too long or overwhelming and don't know where to start - hopefully, my personal recommendations will be a great starting point.

If you're new to watching Chinese shows in general, I must first strongly recommend you one of two shows to watch as a baseline for the Han Dynasty/Three Kingdoms/Jin period, it wouldn't be a decent list without including them! I will also include a bit of information on each when necessary. So without further adieu, I present to you my personal recommendations.

Recommended Watch List

TV Series

-Romance of the Three Kingdoms (1994) - Torn between whether to watch the 2010 or the 1994 version? If you're looking for an exact following of the RoTK book, this is the way to go. Covering from the 10 Eunuchs in Han Dynasty to the beginning of Jin time period, it has the edge over the 2010 version in covering the longest period, starting before and ending after the 2010 version did. Be aware, English speakers, the subtitles are very subpar and hard to keep up with and at many times just poorly translated. There is a project in works to resubtitle this version to alleviate the biggest downfall. The quality is also slightly subpar as the result of its age. Acting is great, the series is solid, and feels pretty realistic for most of it, overall a solid watch.

-Three Kingdoms (2010) - Torn between whether to watch the 2010 or 1994 version? If you're looking for better acting, better quality, better subs, and a spectacular Cao Cao actor which alone makes it worth the watch, this may be the version for you! The show focuses mostly around the Big Three, Cao Cao, Liu Bei, and the Sun clan. Since this is newer, it is better in many aspects. When it comes to actors, I think this version had the best - both in terms of acting and the representation of characters - Zhang Fei, Zhuge Liang, Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Cao Cao, and virtually everyone else I tend to prefer the new version representation over the 94 version. However, it did fall short in a few aspects to its predecessor. It did not cover the Ten Eunuchs and the buildup to Dong Zhou, but rather you start out with Dong Zhou already in power. Further, it ends right as Jin begins, so its ending can feel a bit abrupt. It does make up for this in the quality of the show throughout, which is quite solid, but falls a bit astray from the book. In a sense, however, they made it slightly more historically accurate than the 1994 version was, as they removed any bits of supernatural out of the picture for the most part. Still, take this show like you would take the book, realize there are many truths to it but there's still many falsehoods too. If all you care for are the Three Kingdoms period, you may prefer this version over the 1994 version.

-The Story of Han Dynasty (2003) - This is in reference to the founding of the Han Dynasty. The alternate and more commonly seen version of this story is told by The Legend of Chu and Han (AKA King's War on Netflix). I personally cannot comment on this series as I just began watching the first episode of King's War. However, I can give a strong recommendation to watch the 2003 version which, at first glance between the two, seems to have better acting and actors and going from what little I have seen from the first episode, it appears to delve into the story a bit deeper in the 2003 version as well. There are many aspects not touched on the King's War version that are touched on in this version, some of them relatively major points. It portrays things much better in my opinion. And personally, I prefer the actors for the 2003 version over King's War. Sadly, this version can be quite hard to find online and I managed to watch it on YouTube before it was taken down. Now, you will likely have to find a movie site like drama cool (hint: look up the story of the han dynasty drama cool).


-The Warring States (2011) - This one particularly stood out to me from the others, but it is not based in the Three Kingdoms time period, but rather the Warring States Period which was before the Han Dynasty. The reason this stood out to me is because of how it touched on disability. Not too often one sees the troubles of a man who has no use of his legs in ancient times. Further, this was a solid movie all around from start to finish with wonderful acting skills from all involved. I strongly recommend giving this movie a watch and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

[More will eventually be written here]
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Sun Fin
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Re: Ancient Chinese Media List [TV Shows, Movies, and Doc's]

Unread post by Sun Fin »

Thanks for compiling this list Kongde. Lots on here I've not watched.
Have a question about a book or academic article before you buy it? Maybe I have it!
Check out my library here for a list of Chinese history resources I have on hand and my tumblr to see if I have reviewed it!
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Re: Ancient Chinese Media List [TV Shows, Movies, and Doc's]

Unread post by Ranbir »

The Longest Day in Chang'An.

Set during the Tang Dynasty. Great production values and so much attention to detail about Tang-era city life. Loves it.
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Re: Ancient Chinese Media List [TV Shows, Movies, and Doc's]

Unread post by Liu Yuante »

Kongde wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:46 pm Hi all,
I'd like to compile a list of pre-Han thru end of Jin Dynasty media, preferably all that have been at least subtitled in English.
Here is what I currently know of, and I'd love to see more added to it.
Great list but I fear for what you've done to me - I already watch way too much TV and now this massive list of shows and movies I'm almost-guaranteed to enjoy *sigh*.

I need to win the lottery so I actually have the time to do all the things I do.
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Re: Ancient Chinese Media List [TV Shows, Movies, and Doc's]

Unread post by Rivvy Elf »

I'm surprised that The Emperor in Han Dynasty ( 汉武大帝) (2005)- a TV series spanning the end of Emperor Jing of Han and until the end of Emperor Wu of Han's reign is not on this list. It's also one of few series that has someone playing Sima Qian in it. Very faithful to history for most of the series. It's in vernacular Chinese as I could understand what was going on.

Unfortunately only the first episode has english subtitles on the youtube playlist I'm looking at: ... 7%E5%A0%B4
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Re: Ancient Chinese Media List [TV Shows, Movies, and Doc's]

Unread post by Deej »

Where is the best place to watch Advisors Alliance? I watched via China Zone's Youtube channel and the subtitles are not great. Is there a fan sub or a separate sub that's better quality?
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