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Startling By Each Step (DVD) (End) (China Version) DVD Region All

Nicky Wu (Actor) | Kevin Cheng (Actor) | Cecilia Liu (Actor) | Lee Kwok Lap (Director)
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Startling By Each Step (DVD) (End) (China Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.2 out of 10 (8)
All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.9 out of 10 (13)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Based on the popular novel by Tong Hua, the blockbuster period series Bu Bu Jing Xin (a.k.a. Startling By Each Step) is the most highly anticipated Chinese drama of 2011. The latest series from renowned director/producer Lee Kwok Lap, Bu Bu Jing Xin steps back in time to the romantic and political upheavals of the Qing court. A frequent star of Lee Kwok Lap dramas, Cecilia Liu Shishi plays a young woman who jumps back in time to the reign of Kangxi, and gets drawn into the ascension struggle among the royal princes. Both a heartrending romance and a historical drama, Bu Bu Jing Xin uses its fantasy premise and fictional heroine to observe and affect well-known figures and episodes in Qing Dynasty history.

Bu Bu Jing Xin has inspired a fervent following for its outstanding cast of royal princes. Taiwan actor-singer Nicky Wu stars as the stone-faced 4th Prince who eventually rises to the throne as Yongzheng, while TVB actor Kevin Cheng, collaborating with Lee Kwok Lap again 12 years after The Legendary Siblings, is the genteel 8th Prince destined for tragedy. The other members of the royal family are Han Dong as the scheming 9th Prince, Ye Zuxin as the simple-minded 10th Prince, Lee Kwok Lap regular Yuan Hong as the unbridled 13th Prince, and newcomer Lin Gengxin as the loyal 14th Prince. Veteran Hong Kong actor Damian Lau reigns over all as Emperor Kangxi.

After an argument with her boyfriend, 25-year-old Zhang Xiao (Cecilia Liu) rushes out into the street, and gets electrocuted in an accident. When she regains consciousness, she finds herself in the Qing Dynasty. She is now teenaged Ruo Xi, the willful younger sister of the 8th Prince's consort (Annie Liu). Ruo Xi enters the Forbidden City, and becomes a trusted servant of the Emperor (Damian Lau) as the years pass by. Knowing what happens to everyone historically, Ruo Xi hopes to stay detached from palace politics, but she gets romantically entangled with both the 8th Prince (Kevin Cheng) and the 4th Prince (Nicky Wu), whose competition for the throne leads inevitably to danger and tragedy. Staying true to her love and friendship with each prince, Ruo Xi struggles to take control of her own heart and destiny in the Forbidden City, where every step could be a matter of life and death.

© 2011-2024 Ltd. All rights reserved. This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Technical Information

Product Title: Startling By Each Step (DVD) (End) (China Version) 步步驚心 (DVD) (完) (中國版) 步步惊心 (DVD) (完) (中国版) 步步驚心 (DVD) (完) (中国版) Startling By Each Step (DVD) (End) (China Version)
Also known as: Bu Bu Jing Xin / Scarlet Heart Bu Bu Jing Xin / Scarlet Heart Bu Bu Jing Xin / Scarlet Heart Bu Bu Jing Xin / Scarlet Heart Bu Bu Jing Xin / Scarlet Heart
Artist Name(s): Nicky Wu (Actor) | Kevin Cheng (Actor) | Cecilia Liu (Actor) | Yuan Hong (Actor) | Damian Lau (Actor) | Liu Yu Xin (Actor) | Annie Liu (Actor) | Shi Xiao Qun (Actor) | Han Dong (Actor) | Guo Xiao Ting (Actor) | Kenny Lin (Actor) | Ye Zu Xin (Actor) | Yang Yi (Actor) 吳奇隆 (Actor) | 鄭 嘉穎 (Actor) | 劉詩詩 (Actor) | 袁弘 (Actor) | 劉松仁 (Actor) | 劉雨欣 (Actor) | 劉 心悠 (Actor) | 石小群 (Actor) | 韓棟 (Actor) | 郭曉婷 (Actor) | 林更新 (Actor) | 葉祖新 (Actor) | 楊 懿 (Actor) 吴奇隆 (Actor) | 郑 嘉颖 (Actor) | 刘诗诗 (Actor) | 袁弘 (Actor) | 刘松仁 (Actor) | 刘雨欣 (Actor) | 刘 心悠 (Actor) | 石小群 (Actor) | 韩栋 (Actor) | 郭晓婷 (Actor) | 林更新 (Actor) | 叶祖新 (Actor) | 杨 懿 (Actor) 呉奇隆 (ニッキー・ウー) (Actor) | 鄭嘉頴(ケビン・チェン) (Actor) | 劉詩詩(リウ・シーシー) (Actor) | 袁弘(ユエン・ホン) (Actor) | 劉松仁(ダミアン・ラウ) (Actor) | Liu Yu Xin (Actor) | 劉心悠 (アニー・リウ) (Actor) | シー・シャオチュン (Actor) | 韓棟(ハン・ドン) (Actor) | グオ・シャオティン (Actor) | 林更新 (ケニー・リン) (Actor) | イエ・ズーシン (Actor) | Yang Yi (Actor) Nicky Wu (Actor) | Kevin Cheng (Actor) | 류시시 (Actor) | Yuan Hong (Actor) | Damian Lau (Actor) | Liu Yu Xin (Actor) | Annie Liu (Actor) | Shi Xiao Qun (Actor) | Han Dong (Actor) | Guo Xiao Ting (Actor) | Kenny Lin (Actor) | Ye Zu Xin (Actor) | Yang Yi (Actor)
Director: Lee Kwok Lap 李國立 李国立 Lee Kwok Lap Lee Kwok Lap
Release Date: 2011-09-27
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: Simplified Chinese
Place of Origin: China
Picture Format: PAL What is it?
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: All Region What is it?
Publisher: Goldbee Movies & Teleplay
Other Information: 14 DVDs (Ep.1-35)
Package Weight: 650 (g)
Shipment Unit: 4 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1025015459

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Editor's Pick of "Startling By Each Step (DVD) (End) (China Version)"

Picked By Sanwei
See all this editor's picks

November 14, 2011

Making every step matter
China produces a high number of period dramas every year, but only a select few bear the label of director Lee Kwok Lap and production company Tangren (Chinese Entertainment Shanghai, Ltd.). Over the past decade, Lee Kwok Lap and company have successfully adapted Jin Yong classics, heroic folk tales, and fantasy RPG for television, and along the way developed their own brand of fusion period productions that tap into a trendy, idol drama appeal. There's a high level of anticipation attached to every Tangren release, but their 2011 series Bu Bu Jing Xin was even more hyped than usual. The immense popularity of Tong Hua's original novel and the breakout success of the similarly themed Palace placed a lot of pressure on Bu Bu Jing Xin, so it's almost amazing how much the drama lives up to, and perhaps even exceeds, expectations. Bu Bu Jing Xin may well be Tangren's best work.

Bu Bu Jing Xin revolves around a modern-day woman who gets injured in an accident, and wakes up as a teenage girl during the reign of Kangxi. Though pitched as a time-travel drama, Bu Bu Jing Xin's premise is different than say Palace or The Myth, which physically transported characters into the past. Here, our heroine, played by the beautiful Cecilia Liu Shishi, has the mind and memories of 25-year-old Zhang Xiao, but through a time blip, she has somehow become Ruo Xi, the sister-in-law of the 8th Prince.

With her curious, headstrong personality setting her apart from other girls in the royal family, Ruo Xi makes friends and trouble quickly in her early days of Qing Dynasty life. She befriends the 10th Prince (Ye Zuxin), 13th Prince (Yuan Hong), and 14th Prince (Lin Gengxin), and flutters the hearts of the 8th Prince (Kevin Cheng) and the 4th Prince (Nicky Wu). The bonds formed grow stronger over the years as Ruo Xi enters the palace and becomes Emperor Kangxi's trusty tea servant, but her relationships with the 8th Prince and the 4th Prince are complicated by the brothers' increasingly fierce rivalry for the throne.

The historical ending of the princes' succession struggle is clear to Ruo Xi and to the audience from the very beginning. The 4th Prince eventually becomes Emperor Yongzheng, who is remembered for being coldly efficient and cruelly unforgiving to his enemies. The 8th Prince dies in captivity, and the 9th Prince (Han Dong), 10th Prince, 13th Prince, and 14th Prince all meet difficult fates of their own. Between now and then, there are some twenty years in which Ruo Xi struggles with love, loyalty, friendship, and self-preservation in the Forbidden City.

Bu Bu Jing Xin is a period romance, not a flat out historical series, so it's Ruo Xi's love for the 8th Prince and the 4th Prince that serves as the drama's most important storyline. What makes her relationships and conflicts so compelling, however, are the historical context: the romanticized representations of Kangxi's sons, the inherent tragedy of brother turning against brother for the throne, and the way in which the drama brings the characters step by step down a known timeline. Like the heroine, the audience knows the results but not the process, and Bu Bu Jing Xin makes the process interesting, surprising, and heartwrenching.

Much of the narrative credit goes to the strong source material. Tong Hua's original novel is fairly particular with historical details and accuracy in terms of timeline and characterizations. Save for a few additional scenes and the much talked about ending, the drama stays very faithful to the source, following the novel's events almost scene for scene and often using dialogue straight from the book. In comparison to the first-person novel though, the drama is able to more directly portray the ups, downs, and character quirks of the princes, making them more relatable in the drama than in the novel.

To many (female) audiences, the handsome lineup of princes probably outshines even the heroine. For the leading men, Tangren brought in outside help in the form of idol-turned-actors Nicky Wu and Kevin Cheng to play two princes of starkly different personalities but equally aggressive ambitions. Tangren courted Nicky Wu multiple times to take the role - he was initially reluctant to shave his head - and their persistence paid off. Wu often plays cool roles but he becomes downright cold as the formidable 4th Prince, whose icy expression melts only in the presence of Ruo Xi. Kevin Cheng is the tragic romantic figure as the gentle and genteel 8th Prince, whose royal dream leads to his own demise. The casting of Nicky Wu and Kevin Cheng is really a case of perfect balance; having two actors of comparable weight portray the 4th Prince and the 8th Prince seals the characters' presence and rivalry right away.

Both Nicky Wu and Kevin Cheng have their share of supporters and detractors, but few dispute the casting of Tangren staple Yuan Hong as the strong-willed, freedom-loving 13th Prince, the one person who understands Ruo Xi's modern thinking. Tangren newcomer Lin Gengxin, who reminds of a younger Hu Ge, also makes a strong debut as the immensely likable 14th Prince - expect to see a lot more of him in coming years. Though the various princes are on opposite ends of a brutal succession crisis, the cast succeeds in making both sides equally daunting and sympathetic as stubborn, self-aware players in a cruel battle they're helpless to change.

Production values on Bu Bu Jing Xin are generally solid, especially on photography and costumes, but not even Tangren's budget was enough to adequately recreate the grandeur of palatial life. There's a suspicious dearth of extras and sets, and occasional awkward use of CGI for backdrop (including the fakest lily pond ever). These are just small complaints though as everything else falls so wonderfully into place. The production gets the visual details right most of the time, and there are some beautifully memorable scenes in the drama, such as Ruo Xi and the 8th Prince's walk in the snow. As an adaptation, Bu Bu Jing Xin does justice to the original story, with a strong cast giving their all to portray love, hate, power, and misgiving in the Forbidden City.

The translated English title for Bu Bu Jing Xin that's being widely used is "Startling by Each Step". A more fitting translation for the four-character expression though would be "Startling surprises at every step" or "Every step startles the heart", alluding to the unpredictable dangers of palace life and matters of the heart. Bu Bu Jing Xin makes every emotional and political step matter over 35 exciting, heartrending episodes that feel far too short. Inspiring a fervent online following during its broadcast, Bu Bu Jing Xin is one of those rare dramas - up there with Chinese Paladin, Condor Hero, and Princess Returning Pearls - that can bring new and jaded audiences to the Chinese period genre. It certainly brought me back: Bu Bu Jing Xin stands as my favorite TV drama of 2011 in any language.

This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Customer Review of "Startling By Each Step (DVD) (End) (China Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.2 out of 10 (8)
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8.9 out of 10 (13)

See all my reviews

October 2, 2019

This customer review refers to Startling By Each Step (DVD) (Ep. 1-35) (End) (English Subtitled) (HD Version) (Malaysia Version)
SCARLET HEART Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
SCARLET HEART (Bu Bu Jing Xin / Startling by Each Step) was such a great show. Once I got sucked in, I could not stop. I really liked the concept of traveling back in time from modern day times to the historical Qing Dynasty era via an accident. Such a great plot and I’m now dying to read the novel which inspired it. There was some truly brilliant acting in this series. Everyone was so interesting and extremely well-casted. Unforgettable.

Actress Lui Shi Shi a.k.a. Cecilia Liu was really great as the spunky modern heroine Ma'ertai Ruo Xi (Zhang Xiao) and her wit, charm and personality really brings her character to life. Even when I disagreed with some of her choices, I couldn’t help but love her and admire her strength and heart. She is just a character that one can relate with and feel for. Imperfect and sometimes reckless but lovable and well-meaning.

4th Prince (Yinzhen) fascinated me from the very beginning, because he’s just that kinda guy, but I did not expect to LOVE LOVE him so much by the end. 4th Prince was so dynamic a character, cold and aloof yet somehow so very expressive; cunning and pragmatic, yet loyal and sincere. Such an intense character. Yes, 4th Prince slayed me. Nicky Wu is such an amazing actor. He rocks and was totally awesome in this role, completely captivating and compelling.

The onscreen chemistry between Ruo Xi and 4th Prince was electric and yet so very tragic. (So sweet to learn the two actors married in real life. The love was visibly real. <3 ) An unforgettable pair, and a truly haunting tragic love...TEAM 4th PRINCE!!!!!!!!!!!

Among my other favorite characters were 13th Prince (Yinxiang), 14th Prince (Yinti), 10th Prince (Yin’e), Emperor Kangxi and Eunuch Li. Many of the female characters were outstanding as well, such as Ma'ertai Ruolan, Lüwu, Gogoro Minghui, Gororo Mingyu, Princess Suwan Guwalgiya-Minmin, Qiao Hui and even Yutan. Even though there were a few characters I did not personally care for, I enjoyed how diverse and unique each character was. Not a single character felt 2D. In my book, that is great writing and character development. And although the plot is a bit slow at the start it really picks up. Scarlet Heart is so addictive. <3

The whole series was very well done, beautiful sets, intriguing plot, gorgeous costumes, interesting historical portrayals, and amazing , heart-wrenching music. While there is comedy and heavy elements of romance, it is never as heavy as the drama, political intrigue and the ultimate tragedy. This show ripped out my my heart, and then fed it to me, multiple times. The ending, although haunting and moving was very painful. I sincerely loved it though... <3
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July 3, 2013

This customer review refers to Startling By Each Step (DVD) (End) (Deluxe Limited Edition) (China Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Intricate and beautiful Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
“Not since 2003's 孝莊 and 2004's 金枝 has any Qing-era period drama been this stunning. All other Qing dramas will now have to answer to this one for screen-writing and sheer attention to detail.”

“Fantastic production values, beautiful editing, talented direction, an emotional soundtrack, a convincing cast playing dynamic characters and an intriguing plot-line that aligns quite closely to historical records, a stunningly detailed set, and breathtakingly intricate costumes. It's official. We are addicted.”

These were my very words when I raved and raved about this drama to my friends. After watching the show for a second time, I continue to stand by these words.

I went into the show expecting another disappointing idol drama a la Gong. I was given one of the most heart-breaking interpretations of the infamous power struggle among Kangxi's sons for the throne. This drama was based on the novels by Tong Hua, whose beautiful prose was transferred with stunning results onto the screen. What touched me the most was the dynamicism of the characters -- each one of them had very distinct internal conflicts and every single one left a lasting impression. The characters only get better with repeat viewings.

This drama is also one of the better ones in terms of portraying the power struggle -- often the Eighth Prince and the Crown Prince are portrayed as useless, and the struggle unrealistic, but the production team for this drama was very meticulous in making sure that the tension and the political battles are believable. What also touched me was the human-ness of all the characters -- something that is often overlooked in political dramas.

All-in-all, if you are looking for a pure political story, this is not one of them. What it is instead is an incredibly well-presented story of the infamous Kangxi-era power struggle wrapped in a heart-wrenching love story.

If you are a fan of period dramas this one cannot be missed.
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March 19, 2012

This customer review refers to Startling By Each Step (2011) (H-DVD) (Ep. 1-35) (End) (China Version)
3 people found this review helpful

Love it step by step Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
From my first review in Oct, 2011 till now, I've already rewatched this 4 times. :))

If you're looking for kungfu action, this is not it. Or if you wish to compare this to Palace Lockhart (Gong Part 1 with Yang Mi, Mickey He and William Feng) there is definitely differences. The only common thread are siblings rivalry because Kangxi did indeed have these princes and 4th Prince did eventually become Emperor Yong Zheng.
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January 17, 2012

This customer review refers to Startling By Each Step (2011) (DVD) (Ep. 1-35) (End) (Taiwan Version)
4 people found this review helpful

Eng Sub PLEASE Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
may be should wait several years more wait for its us version or whatever to have it english sub.
well, i like the ending, at least she back to where she should belong to :D
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November 29, 2011

5 people found this review helpful

Nothing quite like it. Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
After bemoaning the horrible script in Gong and looking for a better alternative to wipe my tainted palette, my friend convinced me to give this series a try (along with her narration because I can only understand a few words in Chinese). I was rather suspicious at first because the plot seemed similar to Gong, but a few episodes in, and I was sold. I have to say that this beats most of the other costume dramas I have seen from any country that year.

The rich and dramatic visuals, the muted color palette, and the detailed costumes were a feast for the eyes, and I found myself reviewing back certain scenes just to get in all the details. Dialogue, from what was translated for me, was poignant and meaningful and can sometimes be very sweet. I also loved the way the camera sometimes panned from one character to the next in a scene so that we could read each of their varying expressions, and though I’m not familiar with any of the actors except for Kevin Cheng (Ghetto Justice), the cast had such wonderful chemistry and camaraderie, that I felt like these people were really the characters they embodied.

It would be easier to have watched it understanding everything being said, so I do hope that the creators will consider having this series out with English Subtitles, even if it must come in a simple box to cut costs, so that those of us who are not Chinese can more thoroughly enjoy this work of art.

But until then, I’ll just keep my fingers crossed.
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