|Name:||势不可挡 (novel), 盛势 (show)|
|Medium:||book, web series|
|Country of Origin:||China|
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Advance Bravely (势不可挡) is a 2013 Chinese webnovel by Chai Jidan that was adapted into a live-action webseries in 2017, starring Gong Jun and Xu Feng. The webnovel is danmei and sexually explicit, but the drama is censored.
Chai Jidan was also the author of Are You Addicted, whose adaptation was so popular it got live-action BL banned in China. The initial fanbase for Advance Bravely was probably Chai Jidan and BL fans, but after Gong Jun starred in Word of Honor in 2021, Word of Honor fans also became interested in Advance Bravely.
The novel, 225 chapters, is a contemporary romance between a young police officer, Xia Yao, and an ex-military owner of a body guard training school, Yuan Zong. Xia Yao's two friends are also paired off: Peng Ze/Li Zhenzhen and Xuan Dayu/Wang Zhishui. The main couple meet because Yuan Zong's younger sister, Yuan Ru, has a crush on Xia Yao and asks Yuan Zong for help in getting him. Yuan Zong decides to help himself instead. Shenanigans ensue.
The drama is reportedly very similar in content to the first half of the novel, but with all the sex and any dialogue directly acknowledging the characters' sexualities removed. Xia Yao's profession is also never mentioned. The drama has 30 half-hour episodes and is live-action, except for a surprise animation sequence in the last five minutes, inserted due to censorship. The actual air dates of the drama are a little unclear. It was filmed in 2016 around the time of the BL ban and was scheduled to air in 2017, though some sources say it actually aired in 2018. However, in 2017, a fanmeet with the actors and various behind-the-scenes footage were uploaded to youtube by fans, and fans on twitter were reacting to the show in various languages.
A somewhat edited version of the drama was officially released with English subtitles on Youtube, but was taken offline in late 2021 (a version without subtitles was uploaded again in March 2022). In 2023 fans reported that it was available on Viki. Fans have also shared an uncut version with each other. Rumors of an uncensored, unreleased version of the drama have been mentioned by fans on social media, but it's unclear if such a version ever existed.
In 2016 a fan started posting a fan translation of the novel to Wattpad, which enabled other fans to leave in-line comments on the work as they read it. Allegedly Xu Feng also left a comment on the translation. It was finished in December 2020.
Fan activity is scattered, and there doesn't appear to be any organized forums, websites, or other communities dedicated to Advance Bravely specifically. However, BL fans and Word of Honor fans have shown an interest and created fanworks for it, including fanvids and episode reactions on youtube, gifsets on tumblr, and fanfic on AO3. Two fans wrote fic for Yuletide 2021. Word of Honor fans organized watch parties for it.
Fans on every platform discuss how ridiculous both the book and the show are and whether the show would have made more sense if it hadn't been censored (fans who read the book say no). Early on, BL fans were surprised and upset to discover that the show wasn't true BL. Meanwhile, fans who entered cdrama fandom via later BL-adapted dramas were pleasantly surprised that Advance Bravely was barely censored compared to the other bromance shows.
- advance bravely → behind the scenes by advancebravely (August 6, 2017)
- i make gifs sometimes by beaucooper (March 11, 2018)
- Advance Bravely (2017) by hellofavillain (March 20, 2021)
- Watching this show like “how did this get past the censors, holy shit.” by thebkwyrm (June 12, 2021)
- Gong Jun (shirtless) in Advance Bravely [盛势 (2017) ] by lan-xichens (June 29, 2021)
- Gong Jun Advance Bravely Episode 15 by happyfatcatfornow (December 4, 2021)
- 2022 journal | 7. advance bravely by baek1nho (March 23, 2022)
- beautiful crime by misstonight (March 5, 2018)
- Don't You Know by Isabella Rothe (August 14, 2018)
- Hands to myself by Shipp!!!Girl (September 7, 2018)
- With Coldness Still Returning by Mara (November 2019)
- enough. by LadyAscalon (October-November 2021)
- The Struggle is Not Real (Except in Your Head) by thawrecka. written for Yuletide (December 2021)
- advancing bravely through the novel tag by agendratum (2021-2022)
- What the heck is advance bravely even about??? tumblr thread (June 2021)
- thread discussion on Advance Bravely, BL, and censorship in anonimanga (2018)
- series of discussion posts reacting to the version on Viki, posted on the boyslove subreddit, March 2023
- Advance Bravely on mydramalist
- Advance Bravely on Novel Updates
- 盛势 on Chinese Wikipedia
- 盛势 on douban
- Advance Bravely on GoodReads
- Advance Bravely fanworks tag on AO3
- Advance Bravely RPF and Gong Jun/Xu Feng fanworks on AO3
- 峰俊夫夫日常 supertopic on weibo
- 峰俊cp supertopic on weibo
- Danmei drama Advance Bravely (starring, among others, Gong Jun) now available on Viki, CDrama subreddit post, 3 March 2023.
- does anyone know where to find the uncut version of Advance Bravely, posted to the boyslove subreddit, 2 June 2020.
- I am so so so disappointed about the advance bravely plot twist, I feel like crying. I really hope that it is just an alternate plot to appease the higher ups, and the usb/dvd version actually continues as BL., Archived version, tweet by TragicSamosa, 25 December 2017.