This is like WAY overdue by now since I first planned it in 2011. YES, that long ago. But I guess better late than never. I initially wanted to list all characters and then discussed them before wrapping up with saying who my favorite characters are. Yet I couldn’t really do it now since I have practically forgotten about half of the characters already, especially part 2 since I couldn’t even remember some of them, except for the ones I really liked. So I’m going to list the ones that I like and actually remember.
Li Xing Wen (李興文) – Ding Hao (丁浩)/ Đinh Hạo. A very strict yet effective leader. He seemed fierce yet he also cared for his soldiers’ well-being. He often encouraged new ideas yet also warned others to be cautious of all actions, especially how he had advised An Bang many times throughout. Considering how he had been in a similar situation in the past and wouldn’t want the same incident to happen again. The actor sure delivered and I have no complaint about him.
Yao Yuan Hao (姚元浩) – Sun An Bang (孫安邦)/ Tôn An Bang. Very, very tough with his routine and was a no-nonsense type of guy. However, his only weakness was caving into his younger brother’s attitude. He later learned to loosen up among others, not just for the sake of his younger brother but had managed to learn how to interact and get along with others. His role was beyond cool if you didn’t watch BTS. I think BTS sort of ruined it for me yet at the same time showed the hardworking attitude of cast members. Because in the BTS, it showed that he NG’ed so much that Tang Feng got impatient and yelled at him. I’m sure Tang Feng was kidding though, but it was indeed a riot to watch with how the cool, fierce dude wasn’t so cool anymore.
Fu Zi Chun (傅子純) – Yang Hai Sheng (楊海生)/ Dương Hải Sanh. Very funny and such a smooth talker. A smart-aleck but wasn’t too hateful with his way. Initially, a player and could flirt with any girl. Yet since he met Yu Ting, he had changed somewhat of his way so one could see his sincerity. Of course, he can’t be too serious or it would be too boring for his character, lol. But it was convincing to see how he had proved to Yu Ting he was serious about her, not just a casual date or two to show off some sort of record. His most admirable characteristics must be his righteousness and his loyalty to his friends. It made him heroic in that sense.
Tang Feng (唐豐) – Luo Gang (羅剛)/ La Cương. Could be quite hot-headed at times but definitely righteous in many ways. Growing up with such a harsh childhood, it was hard to blame him. He was also quite gifted in different areas too, but again, his hot-headedness got in the way of his path. He could be funny and was seen joking around at times with the others when he was finally accepted within the group. (Or after the misunderstandings were resolved.) And although I sympathized with him on many things, eventually I was tired of watching some of his side dramas. I felt that I liked him better with the guys joking around or competing for the sake of the training than seeing him morbid all the time. Or maybe I didn’t like seeing Tang Feng in depressing roles or moody situations, lol. NOT sure, but yeah.
Liu Xiang Ci (劉香慈) – Wang Sheng Nan (王勝男) / Vương Thắng Nam. A tough character. Both intelligent and daring, she was a convincing heroine. She was a hardworking person and didn’t care for anyone’s senseless gestures. Yet she was also caring toward the soldiers in her own way. That didn’t mean she spared them the rod either.
Pang Yong Zhi (龐庸之) aka Ah Pang (阿龐) – Yu Shan Ren (余善仁)/ Dư Thiện Nhân. He could be silly, unreasonable, senseless, and a pervert–among many other random bits. But what was admirable about him was he was able to keep to his word. Not a tattle-teller, especially that one disagreement with Luo Gang. He also was willing to keep one eye closed for some people as see fit, especially that one time when he sided with Yang Hai Sheng when YHS was picking on Xiao De Ji.
Hao Zi (浩子) – Cai Hao Zhi (蔡浩志)/ Thái Hạo Chí. Mixture of seriousness and silliness, depending on the situation. He was just one of those guys that add to the list of crazy characters.
Ah Xiang (阿翔) – Qiu You Shun (邱有順)/ Khâu Hữu Thuận. There was more of a plot going on for him since he was having some very harsh times with the financials and that had caused some misunderstandings and obstacles throughout. Yet he wasn’t all bad. It was just that he wasn’t in a situation to joke so lightly like others–even if it looked like he didn’t care.
Novia Lin Ruo Ya (林若亞) – Qiu Jing Wen (邱靖雯)/ Khâu Tĩnh Văn. She didn’t appear much, but she was the typical gentle and kind medic. She was also able to joke at times, not too one dimensional or boring. Yes, she could be so naive at times or seemed clueless, like that one time she got lost. But it wasn’t pathetic. It was somewhat cute in a way.
Zhao Jun Ya (趙駿亞) – Wang Wei (王威)/ Vương Uy. A mixture of serious and silliness yet was different from the randomness of others in here. He seemed cold-blooded or cool on the outside yet his caring for others was undeniable. He was seen helping the new recruits straighten up at the beginning somewhat, and later joined in on some of the recruit’s craziness as well. The difference between him and Shan Ren was his ability to distinguish between professional and personal matters. On top of that, he was quite hardworking, because he was also seen studying at various points of the show to enter the special training and programs, etc. He was quite ambitious but wasn’t bragging about it at all.
Derek Chen De Lie (陳德烈) – Lin Bo Wen (林博文)/ Lâm Bác Văn. Funny at times yet could be depressing at others. Sure, I like Derek Chen, but only like the character when he was joking around with Hai Sheng, not with the whole Tian Xin thing. It was driving me insane, to say the least.
Ye Jia Yu (葉家妤) – Zheng Yu Ting (鄭玉婷)/ Trịnh Ngọc Đình. A teacher. She was not only cute and pretty but was also quite witty as well. She was seen in constant banter with Hai Sheng. The two were sure a match made in heaven with their arguments, lol. She wasn’t just the typical naive girl though since I said she was seriously witty. She was quite grounded, like the majority of the characters in here.
Debbie Huang Di Jun (黃荻鈞) – Jin Bi Ying (金碧瑩)/ Kim Bích Oánh. At first, I found her quite interesting and couldn’t wait to see how they might cover some other stuff with her being a higher authority figure. However, she sort of lost ground when it was only focused on her crush on An Bang, etc.
Qian Jun Zhong (錢君仲) – Ye Da Tong (葉大同)/ Diệp Đại Đồng. Hilarious at times and just plain silly at others. From the start, we know he tried to dodge from having to serve by coming up with different schemes. After he failed, he had no choice but to do as told. Yet he was driving others insane, especially Shan Ren.
Xia Zheng Feng (夏政峰) – Wu Yong (吳勇)/ Ngô Dũng. Probably the most talented among all the side characters. ‘Cause he was seen knowing a lot of stuff too. His vast knowledge of the jungle and his other side tips shaped his character quite well. Although he was clueless around girls, that only made it funnier and realistic as well, considering how they couldn’t all be pros, lol. He was indeed younger than some of the guys in here so it made sense. He also had a knack for singing and rapping with the others so all of those traits made his character stood out as well.
Lin Dao Yuan (林道遠) – Lai Hu (賴虎)/ Lại Hỗ. I don’t know. I just can’t like him that much. NOT because of what happened at the end. Since I’d already gone past that. Considering how now I finally revisit the characters, it had faded with the other thing. But I just found his character as quite unnecessary as some others in here. Perhaps, it was more enjoyable seeing him joking around with others and the whole F4 craziness, but aside from that, his character alone was just annoying in some ways. Well, it added to the realistic of the military since not everyone was as hardworking there, but it was just pushing my patience too much at times. Yet I think Lin Dao Yuan did a good job with the character since he’s actually really, really smart outside. (I remember watching this one game show years back, it was impressive.)
Pan Bo Xi (潘柏希) – Shi Jun (石俊)/ Thạch Tuấn. The poor guy that was trying to get acknowledgment from his father. I really felt his frustration with trying to prove to his father that he could do it. He was working so hard, having endured so much pressure yet the father just plain shrugged it off like it was nothing. On top of that, he was being gang-bullied by Xiao De Ji and the others. It was just plain madness. I really enjoyed his storytelling from time to time from his diary though. What was really admirable about him was his loyalty to others and although he realized how he had to work harder than some others in here yet he wasn’t envious of them. He’d even seen it as a challenge or took them in as role models to work harder.
Ah Gan (阿 竿) – Chen Tian Bin (陳添彬)/ Trần Thiêm Bân. Seriously funny and could be a riot. He was smart and was a smart mouth at first yet learned to mingle with the others later.
Tang Zhen (唐臻) – Yan Xiao Rou (嚴小柔)/ Nghiêm Tiểu Nhu. Sooooo cute. I just loved watching her clumsy moments in here. She was probably the only naive character on the female side here. Although the others were young too, she believed in a lot of stuff that the other girls didn’t, lol. It was a riot. But I guess cute in her own way, not too exaggerating.
Achel Chang/ Zhang Xin Yu (張芯瑜) aka Xiao Xiao Yu (小小瑜) – Ye Xiao Yan (葉曉燕)/ Diệp Hiểu Yến. Cute and hilarious. She could be so mean, but it wasn’t her fault. NOT exactly, lol. Seeing her getting into some bicker with the others was funny. And for this character, XXY got to show off her swimming skills at various points so it wasn’t all lost. Then she got to sing for the soundtrack too so that was fun.
Jacky Chu (祝釩剛) – Xu Jia Cheng (許家成)/ Hứa Gia Thành. He didn’t appear much but was a promising character. He was seen at odds or having conflicting views with Sun An Bang. However, he agreed to help them later regarding An Bang’s case so he wasn’t all hostile. It was just that he was a doctor so he didn’t like seeing the strict ways An Bang was enforcing with the recruits.
Ricky Jiang Jun Han (江俊翰) – Chen Zhan Hong (陳展鴻)/ Trần Triển Hồng. Tough and no-nonsense type of guy. He was a strong leader and was convincing in that area.
Enson Chang/ Zhang Yan Ming (張雁名) – Tang Kai Yu (湯凱宇)/ Thang Khải Vũ. Like I said in the other post, it was such a shame that he wasn’t able to appear more because of the accident. The little bits of his character made me really liked him more, and he was like a breath of fresh air among all those new authoritative figures who were already so intense.
Okay, the others I didn’t list or had to erase because I could no longer remember, LOL! Too bad, but I didn’t want to go back and dig it up. But who are the top 5? Well, I have to divide into two groups, for guys and girls, since there are seriously too many characters. I would say my top 5 for the guys would be Yu Shan Ren, Wang Wei, Yang Hai Sheng, Wu Yong, and Shi Jun. Many might be shocked why I didn’t pick Luo Gang, although I claimed to be a Tang Feng fan. It wasn’t because of how the ending turned out with the triangles or whatever else. It was more like I said that it was too much to bear with his background and all. It sort of faded for me over time. It was also because I liked him more with others than his individual character. Sure, I acknowledged he was awesome throughout and a powerful character–and had enjoyed his performances during different trials a lot. But put aside all his talents, there wasn’t much to go on for me. It sure was a tough decision in dropping him, but I didn’t want to put him in just because of Tang Feng. Shi Jun seemed like the weakest link at times, aside from Bo Wen (lol), but I felt his story was intriguing aside from the constant bullying and the frustration of watching him enduring all the pressures from his father. His story could be elaborated in part 2 if they had decided on that route. But perhaps it wasn’t Pan Bo Xi’s time yet since most of the focus was on the other members of the cast, even some of the ones I didn’t care for got to participate in the soundtrack and much more. In a way, I was glad I held back on this post because I felt I could finally stand back to observe without the bias of because a favorite person portrayed a character, I had to pick that person. Stepping back and just focusing on the characters after the buzz had died down had helped heaps. Oh yeah, I almost wanted to put Tang Kai Yu in but had to resist. This was due to the fact that he only appeared a bit and his character wasn’t properly developed yet so that seemed like only a bit of obsession thus I didn’t put him in the top 5 in the end. It was too obvious that Shan Ren and Wang Wei made it because they’d been my favorite characters right from the start. Even if I didn’t like Ah Pang much (mostly due to the fact that I had watched him in not so likable roles in the past) and I had no idea who Zhao Jun Ya was. They were my favorites together as friends or were fine when they were involved in other scenes with their own side stories. I found them hilarious and addicting to watch. Yang Hai Sheng was invincible. He was a riot in many ways yet wasn’t just all talks either. He had real capabilities so that sort of fused his arrogance at points. But he wasn’t all bad. He just couldn’t help but be obnoxious at times. It was how he was. He got this incurable teasing habit. But that was what made him fun to watch. Yet like I said before, his righteousness and loyalty made him admirable in many ways. He helped Shi Jun to fight off the bullies at one point. He also tried to protect Bo Wen by hiding the magazines from Bo Wen that one time. The things that did matter, he didn’t brag about. And Wu Yong? Need I say more? He was just different yet still hilarious. Sort of odd at times yet wasn’t all clueless either. He wasn’t outright rude with others since he did call Hai Sheng “Hai Sheng Da Ge” (海生大哥) at one point or another. He was also the teasing type but wasn’t cruel. It was his way to get others’ attention or it was just some harmless prank.
So moving on to the top 5 girls: Zheng Yu Ting, Qiu Jing Wen, Yan Xiao Rou, Ye Xiao Yan, and Wang Sheng Nan. Yes, I placed Sheng Nan last. Again, not because of what happened in the end. It was more because I got sort of side-track later on with liking other characters more. I got it that she was a tough leader and all, but it sort of faded for me with other conflicts going into play, etc. Still, one of the coolest characters, just that I got pulled in more by others along the way. Although Jing Wen didn’t appear much, I really liked her. Like I said, a mixture of maturity and somewhat innocence. It was cute. Xiao Rou was just hilarious to watch with her clumsiness. She made it cute without being too over the top, etc. Even though Xiao Yan was the youngest (I think), she was more mature than her age. Considering how her mother ran the shop, she had to help with luring customers in and all. So she wasn’t so clueless with stuff. She made it funny, even when she was being mean. Or tried to, lol. Actually, it was a tough call for me with placing Jing Wen, Xiao Rou, and Xiao Yan. I felt like they could be on the same scale for me. All funny and lovable in their own way. I saved Yu Ting last on purpose. She was like a chameleon in here, both appearance-wise and personality-wise. She made it addicting to watch like it was with some other characters in here. I wasn’t sure if it was because Ye Jia Yu had to work on several dramas at the same time like some of them, but I liked how her hairstyles and attires were changed gradually throughout the drama. It was like showing her sense of style as the character and also made us see that she wasn’t just always wearing the same type of clothes. It was like Director Wang–or perhaps the production team as an overall–had decided to make it more realistic with not going the lazy route by letting some people’s hairstyles just stay the same or always wearing the same set of clothing. I got it that we all wear some similar outfits all the time and can’t just toss stuff out and be wasteful like that, but in other dramas, it was always the same set of styles. In fact, even Xiao Yan had different hairstyles and a variety of outfits too. Same with Xiao Rou. In fact, various characters in here showed differences when they were on or off duty or in different settings. That was what made me feel like their characters consisted of realism.
So now that I got this topic out of the way, I’m not sure when would be the next time for a Rookies’ Diary update. But perhaps when I couldn’t resist and go back to watch? Who knows?
*All images were captured by DTLCT.