History Literature / WaterMargin

22nd Apr '17 2:31:44 PM nombretomado
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The earliest surviving example of the {{Wuxia}} genre, ''Water Margin'' has been translated many times, and adapted to other media such as film, television and comics. Probably the best known adaption is the successful 1973 Nippon Television series which was broadcast in many countries, effectively introducing this epic work to Western popular culture. Perhaps the ''second'' best known, and much much looser, adaptation is the ''{{Suikoden}}'' video game series. Mostly just the first game, with the rest drawing basically ''nothing'' from the original story other than the concept of 108 protagonists. (Other video game adaptations include {{Koei}}'s TurnBasedStrategy game ''Bandit Kings of Ancient China'' and Creator/DataEast's FightingGame ''Outlaws of the Lost Dynasty''.)

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The earliest surviving example of the {{Wuxia}} genre, ''Water Margin'' has been translated many times, and adapted to other media such as film, television and comics. Probably the best known adaption is the successful 1973 Nippon Television series which was broadcast in many countries, effectively introducing this epic work to Western popular culture. Perhaps the ''second'' best known, and much much looser, adaptation is the ''{{Suikoden}}'' ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' video game series. Mostly just the first game, with the rest drawing basically ''nothing'' from the original story other than the concept of 108 protagonists. (Other video game adaptations include {{Koei}}'s TurnBasedStrategy game ''Bandit Kings of Ancient China'' and Creator/DataEast's FightingGame ''Outlaws of the Lost Dynasty''.)
23rd Mar '17 12:40:42 PM TheNicestGuy
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* FalseFlagOperation: This was Song Jiang's ploy to force General Qin Ming to join their band. While they wined and dined him in captivity, a bandit dressed in his armor led a force to pillage his hometown. Qin Ming initially declines their invitation to stay, but when he gets home he finds he's thoroughly unwelcome, and his family has already been executed. This plan actually succeeds, even though Song Jiang fesses up to the whole thing immediately. Qin Ming doesn't even hold a grudge.
21st Mar '17 9:51:16 PM TheNicestGuy
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* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: This is used numerous times, being a particular trademark of characters who qualify as TheStrategist. It's customary for the characters to lampshade it by following the non-explanation with remarks about what a marvelous plan it is.
21st Mar '17 1:06:29 PM TheNicestGuy
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* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Bribery is not just for the rich, but for everyone, so it's more like The Rules Screw You If You Don't Have Money. Venality is portrayed as a way of life in the Song Dynasty, to the point that officials often expect a "tip" just for doing their jobs correctly. Even relatively honorable characters will sometimes accept a bribe just to avoid giving offense. Note that the "rules" that are screwed by money aren't limited to those of the government, but sometimes include the chivalrous tenets of the "gallant fraternity". For example, Wang Lun tries to buy off men who want to join the Liangshan outlaws if he's afraid they'll show him up.
21st Mar '17 12:06:09 PM TheNicestGuy
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* BribeBackfire: When Ximen Qing is implicated in the murder of Wu Dalang, both his accepted ''and'' rejected bribes contribute to his death. His bribe to the coroner is seemingly accepted, but really the coroner set it aside to give to Dalang's brother Wu Song as evidence. Meanwhile, his bribes to the court to avoid prosecution are gladly accepted, but it's implied that if he ''had'' been prosecuted Wu Song wouldn't have felt the need to kill him. (Then again, if convicted he probably would have died anyway.)
19th Mar '17 6:36:51 PM TheNicestGuy
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* BestServedCold: Wu Song doesn't exactly bide his time when he hears rumors that his brother was poisoned by his adulterous sister-in-law, but considering his anger and his reputation it's impressive that he proceeded as politely as he did. He sought evidence and testimony, and he gathered neighbors as witnesses and stenographers before forcing a confession out of the poisoner and her accomplice. ''Then'' he stabbed, disemboweled, sacrificed, and beheaded his sister-in-law and her lover. He even tried to take the matter to court first, and it's implied that if the adulterer hadn't gotten the case dismissed through bribery Wu Song wouldn't have killed them.
18th Mar '17 9:29:39 AM TheNicestGuy
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* UglyGuyHotWife: Wu Song's brother and his wife, Wu Dalang and Pan Jinlian. Neither is enormously happy with the situation.

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* UglyGuyHotWife: Wu Song's brother and his wife, Wu Dalang (also known as "Three Inches of Mulberry Bark") and Pan Jinlian.Jinlian (also known as "Golden Lotus"). Neither is enormously happy with the situation. Apparently their neighbors know this trope as "a luscious piece of meat landing in a dog's mouth".
17th Mar '17 3:18:04 PM TheNicestGuy
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* UnfitForGreatness: The original Liangshan leader, Wang Lun, knows he is, and that's why he felt threatened when Yang Zhi joined up and tried to turn Lin Chong away. When he tried the same with the famous Chao Gai, Lin Chong decided he'd had enough.
17th Mar '17 2:16:09 PM TheNicestGuy
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* DismissingACompliment: Not all the heroes are well-bred, but even many who aren't employ this trope instinctively. Their Confucian self-deprecation in the face of praise can be so extreme that obviously no one involved is taking it literally. Also, they can take half a page to decide who sits at the head of a table: Everyone wants someone else to.
15th Mar '17 8:29:41 PM TheNicestGuy
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* JustLikeRobinHood: The Liangshan Marsh bandits do occasionally steal from the rich and give to the poor, especially under Song Jiang's leadership. More often, though, their game-plan is either 'steal from the rich, ignore the poor' or 'steal from the rich, slaughter the poor'.

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* JustLikeRobinHood: The Liangshan Marsh bandits do occasionally steal from the rich and give to the poor, especially under Song Jiang's leadership. More often, though, their game-plan is either 'steal from the rich, ignore the poor' or 'steal from the rich, slaughter the poor'. Since the historical Song Jiang was active in 1121, and he became a legendary folk hero long before the novel was written, this likely makes the trope [[OlderThanTheyThink older than Robin Hood himself]]; ''Water Margin'' or the stories it was based on may be the UrExample.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Literature.WaterMargin