Recess: Favorite TW-drama Opening Credits

It’s Recess time at the Playground! Which of course means I’m on vacation, this time for two weeks (as opposed to a meager one week last August to Maui). Come sunshine or typhoon, clearly I’ll still be posting since I’m OCD like that, it just won’t be that often. Last time I took a long vacation, I inaugurated Recess posts to generate a discussion topic for folks to run with it and generate fun conversation. This first Recess post will be to share my favorite opening credits from Taiwan dramas. Unlike J-doramas or K-dramas, TW-dramas tend to actually spend time and effort to craft memorable and oftentimes stellar opening credits. It requires blending the perfect opening theme song with a series of creative montages from the drama (either footage or something outside from the actually story) to whet the appetite and engage the interest of the audience. More than anything, a great opening credit becomes something that can be enjoyed as a standalone entertainment piece. Even if you don’t watch TW-dramas, check out the opening credits below and try something new. Then tell me – what are your favorite opening credits from any drama?

PS Man:

 

The drama is all sorts of terrible, but this might be my all-time favorite opening credits. Classy, fun, and evocative. It gives a clear snapshot of Blue Lan‘s character in the drama, and the theme song by Magic Power is amazingly perfect. Love the black and white suit juxtaposition between the two male leads, and how the spotlight shines on them all at the end.

Material Queen:

 

The first ten episodes of this drama was on track to become my favorite TW-drama of all-time, and the final ten episodes crashed and burned spectacularly. But this opening credit is just a work of art. I love how lines of dialogue spoken by Lynn Xiong and Vanness Wu from the drama are included, which encapsulates their character’s world views. This opening manages to be sexy and intense.

Black & White:

 

Everything about the excitement and thrill of this drama and the beauty of Harbor City (really Kaohsiung, Taiwan), reduced to less than 2 minutes. And FYI, I do plan on finishing my B&W recaps. I really do!

Zhong Wu Yen:

 

Drama was meh, with so much potential never realized. But the opening was lovely and dreamy, though it was really Chris Wu that stole the show for me even starting from the opening credits.

It Started with a Kiss:

 

An oldie but goodie. Simple but effectively shows off a cute manga vibe and captures the central theme of the story, Xiang Qin always chasing after Zhi Shu, and Zhi Shu turning around to look for her when he can’t spot her.

Sunny Happiness:

 

What can I say? This opening just fills my heart with glee until it fairly wants to burst with happiness. Well done, SH, well done.

Autumn’s Concerto:

 

The drama was good but ultimately not great, but it had amazingly gorgeous cinematography which is evident in its darling opening credits. Despite not loving AC, watching the opening makes me want to re-watch the drama, which means it really did its job.

© 2012 – 2014, ockoala. All rights reserved.


Comments

Recess: Favorite TW-drama Opening Credits — 55 Comments

  1. Definitely PS Man for me!
    Magic Power’s “Who am I” is still on my Top Rated in my iPod.
    Blue Lan and James Wen looks so suave in three opening credits.

    Enjoy your vacation, koala!

  2. Oh lord I remember playing the intro song for ISWAK 50million times, it just reminds me of summer
    Also really like the PS Man intro
    One intro that I will never ever grow tired of hearing and watching is Devil Beside You intro, I ship RainiexMike He too much >_<

  3. My vote goes to PS Man and Material Queen. PS Man’s is so polished and made the cast look gorgeous (which they are anyway) but it highlighted it…though it really did not fit with Sonia’s character in the series. And I managed to get sucked in by the credits and wasted my time watching the series. Sigh. Though I will say I did think that Bianca Bai outacted Sonia Sui in PS Man.

    Material Queen captures the opulence of the drama while highlighting the differences btw Lynn & Vanness’ characters. And I love Is This All!

    But if we’re talking about favorite opening credits across the board, I don’t think anything beats Last Friends. From the perfect song (Prisoner of Love) to the symbolism embedded and the having the cast represent different emotions. Simply the best imo.

    • Although I didn’t watch all of Last Friends, I loved the opening also! Very memorable. Prisoner of Love is such a powerful, intense song, the perfect ost for the story.

    • OMG, I hadn’t even heard of Last Friends but just watched the opening credits based on your rec and was blown away. What a breathtaking intro to the show! I totally want to watch it now :)

  4. Adding to the list, some oldies: Smiling Pasta, Meteor Garden, Prince turn to frog, Lavender
    Period Pieces: Princess Returning Pearl, Fairy from Wonderland, Butterfly Lovers (Peter Ho version),BBJX
    And most recenly watched-SOP queen!

  5. For me, I prefer Mainland Chinese opening themes because they have dramas that really focus on perfecting them. For example, Legend of the Condor Heroes 2008 with Hu Ge, and a multitude of palace dramas (Gong with Yang Mi is another good example).
    As for TW… the most memorable from the top of my head are
    Tokyo Juliet with Ariel Lin and Wu Zun – absolutely gorgeous scenery montages with beyond amazing OST.
    Mars with Vic Zhou and Barbie Hsu.
    The Outsiders with Ady An and Dylan Kuo.
    My conclusion is that the better drama openings were from the past and very few caught my eye recently :/

    Great post! I love this topic, it was very interesting! :D

      • Totally agree with Mars.. one of my fav t-drama…
        I do love Material Queen…
        lately though… the opening and ending credit of Alice in wonder city got me hook.. the drama is just ok.. but i must say it’s beautiful to look at and great music.

    • I definitely agree with Mars. Zero is one of my favourite drama theme songs. The Outsiders is great more for the song than the scenes.
      I also think that I mostly prefer the older dramas when it comes to the openings.

    • Oh tokyo juliet was such a mess but I agree the opening was lovely- the opening song was so intense and the montages were gorgeous. Still watch and listen to it now~

  6. i also liked some of the older mainland openings, such as LOCH 2003. of your list, my favorite is black&white, but also second mars & devil beside you.
    my additions are the following, regardless on what i thought about the drama:
    drunken to love you
    bull fighting
    hot shot
    wish to see you again

    for end credits, i really like the one from K.O.3an Guo – i just think it’s really funny.

  7. Hahaha, I reviewed B&W for a communications class when I was a freshman and knew nothing about Asian culture… That was when my drama obsession began! It’s been so long since I’ve watched that opening, I loved that show

  8. I love this post! These are all pretty great, but I have to say that the opening credits to It Started with a Kiss are the only TW opening credits that I never really felt the urge to fast forward through. And I have a pretty short attention span, so that’s saying something. Maybe it’s just because I liked the song a lot, but it was such a simple but effective concept and the characters are so lovable that I think I’m gonna have to give ISWAK my vote.

    ps. Is Sunny Happiness a good drama? It looks super cute but I haven’t heard anything about it. I’m on the hunt for a new drama, so I figured I’d ask :).

  9. Hope you’re enjoying your vacation!

    Ah, this brings back memories. My favourites are Material Queen, which was just perfect, both telling a story and setting the tone; Black and White, so badass and awesome; and ISWAK, which was just the perfect song, done in the perfect way to illustrate the OTP’s relationship.

    I do like that TWdramas have these log opening sequences and that they’re usually subbed and available to int’l viewers. Jdoramas usually do too. I absolutely LOVE Pride’s opening. Makes me both swoon and get all pumped up every time I see it.Probably my favourite dorama opening of all time (and it’s my favourite dorama too). A more recent one was Soredemo, Ikite Yuku – the song and the opening were perfect for the drama: beautiful, melancholy, nostalgic, mysterious and moving. Everything that the drama was. I also really like the opening to Kekkon Dekinai Otoko. Nothing earth-shattering but just right for the drama.

  10. From your list, ISWAK, Black & White, and Autumn Concerto.
    I also like Smiling Pasta, Prince turn to frog, and SOP Queen.
    As for period dramas, I liked The Amazing Twins, Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre, My Bratty Princess (Jang Nara & Alec Su)
    ISWAK and Black & White – my favourite modern tw-dramas!
    I loved Autumn Concerto when I first watched it but now somehow thinking back…I wonder why I liked it so much.

  11. ISWAK fan for life, SH, Mike can make e’thing to look good, but this drama was great.
    I like TW dramas, they have different feeling and bring a lot tears and heart.

  12. P.S. Man, Autumns Concerto and Material Queen – the best opening credits in my opinion. They capture the story so well in just a couple of minutes. Ahhhh… the memories….

  13. I have not seen many T-drams, but I need to know. Does James Wen ever get the girl in the end? The only dramas I have seen with him in it are My Queen and The Fierce Wife, and it looks from the opening credits of PS Man that he plays the second lead here as well.

  14. I really love It Started with a Kiss even the song “Say that you love me.” I also adore the opening credits of Skip Beat, there is just something about it that draws me in. And of course, In Time With You .. oh it is beyond perfection to me :D

  15. PS Man and Material Queen for me (couldn’t resist Vanness Wu’s voice ^^)Although his earring fashion lately keeps me distracted from actually watching the dramas that he’s in ^___^

  16. I think both JP and TW have great opening themes. I actually like japanese dramas operning themes, they got some really intriguing ones and I don’t know is it because the graphic design industry is pretty advanced in Japan so they actually use a lot of pretty artistic graphic elements.

    Some notable ones… SPEC.. I actually like their opening credits a lot!
    Last friends
    Mother

    and many more.

  17. I vote for the Material Queen opening credits even though I had to drop the drama after 2 eps.

    And now great, I feel like rewatching Sunny Happiness again!

  18. Usually I skip the opening after watching it 5 or 6 times at most, but Material Queen was the only drama that had me watching every opening. It wasn’t only that it sounded awesome, but that they changed up the scenes and it was kind of like a little preview for the next few episodes. If the second half of the drama continued what the first half had done, it would have become my favorite TW drama too… Sigh.

  19. love the ps. man opening credits, always gets me dancing in my chair. and mars too, though i don’t know the words, i usually find myself humming it even when i’m not watching it. i even liked the opening credits for fondant garden, smiling pasta, happy & love forever, sunshine angel, drunken to love you, City Hall, My Lucky Star statring Jimmy Lin and love keeps going

  20. Oh – and much as I love Tdrama opening credits, sometimes they give too much away. Like Corner With Love – I knew every single kiss and romantic scene just from the credits. And the very, very ending, too!

  21. Hands down – it’s “In Time With You” for me. Love the mood, love the graphics, love the music…best T drama ever.

  22. i like the SH opening. But since I loved the drama AC, I like its opening credit more. It reminds me of the moments I loved.

  23. I watch the material queen opening more than the actual pv for “is that all” It’s perfect. “is this all” is just the right song for it too. its really sad how that drama went in the second half- the first half was incredible, those paris episodes especially. If only that drama was only 10-12 episodes!

  24. Recently, I think Fondant Garden’s opening captured my eye.

    Some oldies would be Return of the Pearl Princess HZGG, ISWAK and ISWAK2, Devil Beside You, Smile Pasta… I vaguely remember WZBQW and remembering liking EFHL.

  25. Oh – I forgot about Black & White. I loved that one too. My cousins live in Kaohsiung and I worked there as a intern before. In 10 years, it got even more beautiful. :) I loved the theme song :)

  26. Definitely vote PS Man and Material Queen even though i don’t complete the whole series.. But I would like to add some more opening credits..
    Drunken to love you
    Ti Amo Chocolate
    My Queen

  27. I’ve got to say MARS is my favourite. That song was just all kinds of emotional. I also really liked Devil Beside You’s, because the song was very fun. And of course LOCH 2008′s, as well. ISWAK’s was cute, but after a few episodes, I always skipped it. I actually didn’t remember it until I listened to it just now, so those first three are the only ones that really stuck with me : )

    Hope you’re having a wonderful time, all the best!

  28. Devil Beside You
    Fated to Love You
    It Started with a Kiss
    Down with Love
    Drunken to Love You

    In no particular order but I have to say Fated to Love You always sticks after I re-watch the show. Also I don’t think I ever skipped it!

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