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Manhua / Choukakou

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Chang An in the Tang Dynasty of China (618-907): The demon star is passing through the sky, calamity is about to befall the Tang Dynasty - all because of one girl.

Choukakou (also known as 长歌行, Chang Ge Xing, Chang Ge's Journey or Song of the Long March) is a manhua series by Xia Da. It tells the story of Li Chang Ge, a young Chinese princess plotting revenge against the man who killed her family: Li Shimin, Emperor Taizong of Tang.

Unfortunately the series is presently on hiatus due to the original Chinese publishing company stealing Xia Da's right's to the work and making their own modifications. Xia Da has decided not to publish any more material of the work until she wins the legal battle and gets her rights to the work back; she has promised that the work lives and will be completed, however.


Choukakou contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Li Chang Ge can really hustle and is a good shot with a repeating crossbow.
  • Arranged Marriage: Chang Ge narrowly avoids a political marraige when she was very young.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Sun developed this for Chang Ge, thinking of "him" as a " brother", even pretty early on in their relationship. Then he found out that Chang Ge had covertly took control of the 18 horsemen of Yanyun and felt betrayed. And THEN he discovered that Chang Ge is a Sweet Polly Oliver. Judging from chapter 33, the protective feeling is still there, but he's understandably a bit conflicted.
  • Blood Brothers: Ashina Sun declares Chang Ge his brother after she proves to be a faithful ally, and vows not to instigate fights with the Han anymore.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Chang Ge doesn't hesitate at using disguises, tricks and poison to achieve her goals.
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  • Cool Sword: The sword 'Gentle Rainbow', gifted to Chang Ge by Situ Langlang, is a pretty, very thin looking sword that nevertheless manages to cut through men and swords alike in the hands of the equally slender Chang Ge. It is also one of two named swords, the other being 'Airy Crescent' which Situ Langlang keeps with him.
  • Death of a Child: Wu Niang's baby brother dies several chapters after being introduced. Justified as he was without his mother since he was born, she died due to starvation, and Wu Niang was trying to raise him on rice porridge and vegetable soup.
  • Dramatic Wind: All over the place, since talks of politics and very long hair on many characters is in abundance, it was probably inevitable.
  • Death Faked for You: Despite choosing to work for the new emperor, several government officials are hiding the fact that the princess is still alive.
  • Destroy the Evidence: Chancellor Fang and Wei Zheng go as far as burning down a shop with all its people inside. It's also a way to tell the princess not to cause more trouble.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • In a classic example, the Governor of Shuo kills himself to appease the Turks. His wife does the same after that.
    • Later, Mimi chooses to die rather than kill Chang Ge.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Played with and platonic, since Chang Ge is just pretending to be a dude and yet has absolutely no reason to save Mimi when she bursts into her tent beyond the fact that Mimi has the same coloured hair as her mother. But she does, despite the fact that she is revealing her secret weapon and is already on bad terms with the Turks.
  • Fainting: Of the exhaustion kind. Chang Ge passes out after fighting the Chi Ni men and in the middle of fighting Ashina Sun, whom she didn't recognize due to the fatigue.
  • Guile Hero: Chang Ge is actively trying to slay her uncle, "the Emperor" as revenge using just her intelligence, her connections with people in high positions are no longer usable since she is supposedly dead but does continue to use and remember their teachings.
  • Heroic BSoD: Chang Ge has a small one when Gongsun killed himself. Another one hit her really hard when Mimi died.
  • Heir Club for Men: Chang Ge is the daughter of the former crown prince, Li Jiancheng. The current Emperor, Li Shimin is her uncle. We get hints that Chang Ge would have been a serious contender for the throne had she been born a boy.
  • Hidden Weapons: Chang Ge keeps a copper plated, poison tipped, repeating crossbow hidden on her person. It is later confiscated by Ashina Sun when she uses it to save Mimi.
  • Historical Domain Character: Half of the cast is composed by real figures from the early Tang Dynasty, including, but not limited to: Emperor Taizong, Li Jiancheng (Chang Ge's father), chancellors Du Ruhui and Fang Xuanling, astronomer Li Chunfeng, and Ashina Duobi (the Turk Khan).
  • I Have Your Wife: Defied by Ashina Sun when it is clear the Lesser Khan is trying to lead him into a trap when he convinces the Great Khan to have Sun kill the Khitan. The men stay with Sun in the camp and sends the women and children away with Chang Ge so that they can't be used against his soldiers.
  • Imperial China: Set during the early days of the Tang Dynasty.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Both Chang Ge and General Luo suffer from this which causes Blood from the Mouth on several occasions. General Luo doesn't survive his.
  • Inspector Javert: Chancellor Du Ruhui, who rightly suspects that princess Li Chang Ge is still alive.
  • Le Parkour: Chang Ge escapes her pursuers, the royal guards set on her by her uncle, by cutting the horse free from her wagon and riding on it, jumping over a wide chasm where the ladder has been destroyed, and then jumping off the horse to reach the other side.
  • Luminescent Blush: Mimi, she doesn't deal well with Chang Ge's straightforwardness. At first it was also because she thought she had 'finally found a good man'. Later Ashina Sun when it is revealed to him that Chang Ge is a woman.
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: Jin Dan is a student of Sun Simiao, the Master of Medicine, and taught Quan Niang medicinal knowledge. Quan Niang is now passing the knowledge on to Wang Ah-Bi.
  • The Mole:
    • Mujin and Ashina Sun tell Chang Ge why they always kill the slave women sent to them by the Great Khan. It is because moles can easily slip into the group, or the women can be convinced to become one, and in the past had caused internal conflicts. They also couldn't let them go as there was no guarantee they wouldn't give information to the Lesser Khan. He even goes so far as to say that the women on this side of the world are bad for your health.
  • Men Act, Women Are: The story is set in Imperial China so the culture and society there is very much attuned to this idea. However, the manhua makes it a point to show that that is not the case in this story. As a child, Chang Ge couldn't understand how she was anything like the delicate ladies in the palace and how she was "not" like the men who were running the country.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Several high ranking officials are sympathetic to Chang Ge and her deceased father, but they choose to work for the new emperor instead.
  • Named Weapons: Situ Langlang carries the two swords 'Airy Crescent' and 'Gentle Rainbow' which he inherited from his master. He gives Gentle Rainbow to Chang Ge, who vows to return with it and continue being his disciple should she accomplish the goals she already set out to do.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Chang Ge disguises herself as a man in order to raise an army. Although many commented that "he" is "like a girl", not a lot correctly guessed her true gender.
  • Spit Take: Sun, when he learns that his trusted advisor Chang Ge is a young woman.
  • The Strategist: Chang Ge works her way into this position under Governor Gong Sun Heng. After the surrender of the Shou province she later convinces Ashina Sun to let her be this under his command.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Mimi had quite a shock when she found out Chang Ge's real gender. So did Ashina Sun.
  • The Usurper: The legitimacy of rulers is a driving force in the story:
    • Li Shimin, second son of the previous emperor Tang Gaozu, had his brothers killed to take the throne, in what was historically known as the "coup at Xuan Wu Gate" or the "Xuanwu Gate incident."
    • Princess Yicheng of Sui considers the Tang to be this and is plotting rebellion from the Turk camp.
  • Waif-Fu: The Yue Nu sword style seems to be teaching this. It exemplifies graceful turns, dives, and precise strikes; it allowed Chang Ge, who learned two and a half stances, to punch a neat hole through both sides of a cup with a thin and flexible piece of bamboo.
  • You Killed My Father: Chang Ge's driving motivation is revenge for the murder of her father.

Alternative Title(s): Song Of The Long March, Chang Ge Xing