It took fourteen years to finally adapt Luo Xin‘s web fiction Little Daisy (Chinese: 小雛菊 Xiao Chuju) for the big screen. The novella, which tells a story about eternal love and sacrifice between a good girl and a street bad boy, has been successfully turned into a TV series The Outsiders (Chinese: 鬥魚 Dou Yu; meaning “Fighting Fish”) in 2004. This summer, this hot-blood melodrama is ready to rekindle our memories of those unperished heart beats.
Little Daisy (2003) and The Outsiders: TV series (2004) | Image via Readmoo and KKBox
The story of The Outsiders revolves around the love between Yu Hao, the leader of a group of gangsters who is loyal to his sworn brothers (Shan Zi and Yang Xiong Qi), and Xiao Yan Zi, a good girl who dreams of becoming a pianist. The two teenagers, as if a bird and fish, never know each other until one day Xiao Yan Zi runs into the injured and bloodied Yu Hao in the streets and saves him. From that day on, Yu Hao falls in love with this innocent and sincere girl and starts to pursue her. In the beginning, Xiao Yan Zi rejects him and feels annoyed by Yu Hao’s relentlessness. However, being moved by Yu Hao’s integrity, Xiao Yan Zi gives up her simple life and chooses to love Yu Hao and his world.
The Outsiders: Film (2018) | Image via COOL-STYLE 潮流生活網
Set in 1987 when Taiwanese government just suspended the Martial Law, the new cast wear vintage costumes－khaki uniforms, bell-bottoms, and pleated skirts (Yes, we do have to wear uniforms in Taiwanese high school). According to the producer Ko Yi-ching, the settings will be nostalgic as well, including wooden furniture, military dependents’ village, campus heart-shaped love letters, MTV, and street racers.
Xiao Yan Zi (Gingle Ｗang) and Yu Hao (Charles Lin) | Image via GQ Taiwan
The 1980s Taiwanese style | Image via GQ Taiwan
Vintage costume and campus | Image via 中時電子報
In the newly released trailers, fans are surprised by the reunion of the original cast in The Outsiders: TV series. Xiao Yan Zi (Ady An) and Shan Zi (Blue Lan) encounter each other with an implicit melancholy. What does this touch of sadness mean? Ko claimed that an unexpected twist and turn will be embedded in the latest adaptation.
The original cast: Blue Lan and Ady An | Image via Love News 新聞快訊
I remember the time when the internet was new and I squatted in front of my computer (with the Dial-up Internet access!) reading Little Daisy (2003) online. I was a junior high boy and totally moved by the romance and brotherhood described in the novella. In the following year, with the big success of The Outsiders: TV series, the theme song－Taiwanese band F.I.R’s Lydia－also became big then. The song starts with a piece of Spanish hymn: “Por los momentos dificiles, ya entendí que la flor más bella sería siempre para mi” (For the difficult moments, I finally understood that the most beautiful flower was the one that would always bloom for me). The melody and the lyrics beautifully echo the legendary love in Little Daisy and The Outsiders.
Now, Lydia is back in the film adaptation! My body can’t help but shake when I heard the revival of the familiar melody. I’m ready to throw myself into the tunnel of Time, and refresh the memories of Taiwanese classic teen drama. The local debut of The Outsider will be on August 17th. See you guys in the theatre! For the international debut, I will keep you, the ones whose interests have been peaked by my article, in the loop!
To those Taiwanese unwearied heart beats!
Note: The novella 小雛菊 hasn’t been translated into other languages; Little Daisy is my own translation.
Featured Image via Dappei 搭配