‘Gank Your Heart’: All the reasons we love Wang Yibo as Ji Xiang Kong
If you’ve started watching The Untamed, a Chinese BL drama available to stream on Netflix, it’s likely that you’ve contracted Wang Yibo Fever. The good news is, prior to filming The Untamed, the young actor had already completed several other acting projects. Fortunately for us, they’re available to watch through a variety of platforms in Western countries!
Naturally, we dived right in. Among our favorite Wang Yibo shows outside of The Untamed, is Gank Your Heart. A romantic comedy that leans on the side of drama, Gank Your Heart is the story of Ji Xiang Kong (Wang Yibo) & Qui Ying (Wang Zi Xuan). He’s a professional esports gamer & and she’s an aspiring esports commentator. What could go wrong?
Plenty! The pair get off to a very rocky start, and it’s safe to say that this is definitely not one of these ‘love at first sight’ kinds of stories, at least not for Ji Xiang Kong. Ji Xiang Kong is convinced that Qui Ying is trying to use her association with him for her own personal gain. He’s actually quite mean to her at the beginning of the series.
Initially, Ji Xiang Kong seems conceited & even a little vindictive, but his character development is impressive. Where his cockiness positions him as a bit of a jerk in the beginning, it’s really not long at all before Ji Xiang Kong will be metaphorically grabbing you by the neck as you ignite full-blown bingewatch mode.
So what is it about Ji Xiang Kong that will make you want to watch all 35 episodes of Gank Your Heart in one sitting? Come with us and fall in love with Ji Xiang Kong as we outline all the reasons why we stan!
Considering the hostile & aggressive nature in which his character starts out, it’s surprising to learn that Ji Xiang Kong is actually a hopeless romantic. There are many moments throughout the 35 episodes where Ji Xiang Kong made us go aww but our favorite moment happens towards the very end of their series and results in a very public declaration of his love for Qui Ying.
After all the drama that Qui Ying suffers at the hands of Ji Xiang Kong’s ex-girlfriend, Mi Ya (Lu Yangyang), Ji Xiang Kong finally grows a pair and shows the entire world that he loves Qui Ying, not Mi Ya. He’s standing on the stage after a victorious win at the iConquer Championships & insists that Qui Ying come to the stage and share in his victory.
After everything he puts her through with Mi Ya, publicly acknowledging their relationship on stage in front of Mi Ya and everyone else who seems determined to bring them down is the least he can do. While he doesn’t actually say that he loves her during this moment, his actions and his body language make that pretty clear.
This is just one moment on a long list of things Ji Xiang Kong does throughout the course of the series to woo Qui Ying. Let’s not forget about the princess balloons he buys for her at Disneyland, or the fact that he zeros out the settlement amount between the two of them. Then there is the cake he organizes for her at the restaurant & the fireworks he took her to see because he knows she is dazzled by them.
Then finally, how he looks after her while she’s drunk and completely out of control. He puts her in his bed in the privacy of his room, and he takes the couch in the communal room. This moment is particularly sweet as it is clear that he has feelings for her, even if he isn’t able to articulate their depth and complexity just yet.
In episode 1, the Legends are in Vancouver competing in an international iConquer competition. The pressure is on the boys to bring the championship title back home to China with them. On the day of competition though, the team’s captain Gu Fang’s (Goa Tai Yu) hand is acting up. If he can’t get it together, they’ll most certainly lose. Ji Xiang Kong does everything he can to protect his captain.
Ji Xiang Kong suggests to their coach a change of tactic. While this might displease fans and be bad for their image, it’s definitely good for Gu Fung. He put his friend’s wellbeing, and what’s best for the team before his own reputation. When Gu Fang finally leaves the team, Ji Xiang Kong pledges to bring home the Championship title for China if it’s the last thing he does.
The rest of the series is dedicated to watching Ji Xiang Jong go up against adversary after adversary as he attempts to uphold this promise. He’s shuffled between teams & his relationships are tested often before he forms his own team to finally carry out the task. However, he goes through a lot in the process.
Ji Xiang Kong was afforded many opportunities to put himself first, but he never does. Remember when Ji Xiang Kong sells his motorcycle to buy out Lin Yi Xuan’s (Ging Guan Sen) contract? What about when, while working with the second team he joins, Ji Xiang Kong has the opportunity to go back to his former team, but chooses to honor his current contract instead?
Then he is offered a role on the third most successful team in the world and he turns it down. He says, during this moment, that he wants to win the Championship for China. While he doesn’t reiterate the exact words in this particular scene, it’s made clear throughout other episodes: he made a promise and he won’t quit until he fulfills it.
Ji Xiang Kong is self-sacrificing in both the very best & worst ways. Just as things with Ji Xiang Kong & Qui Ying are getting off the ground, Ji Xiang Kong’s ex-girlfriend rolls back into town after being gone for five years. It’s clear from Mi Ya’s dramatic entrance that she was someone very important to him, that he never quite got over.
Mi Ya wants back into Ji Xiang Kong’s life. She does a stand-up job of making sure that he, and everyone else around them, know it. It’s clear he’s impacted by her return, and although he stalls for a moment too long, he continues to pursue Qui Ying. It looks like Qui Ying is about to win the battle for Ji Xiang Kong’s heart, too, when Mi Ya gets badly injured and Ji Xiang Kong rushes to her side.
Ji Xiang Kong makes Mi Ya his priority, because he feels like it’s the decent thing to do. He pays a price, though, and Qui Ying walks away from him and their relationship. It’s clear Ji Xiang Kong is completely torn. Not a single part of him wants to lose Qui Ying, but he doesn’t want to abandon a sick and injured person either. Especially when that person is someone he cared deeply about for a long time.
Let’s get real: no one is #TeamMiYa in this situation. Ji Xiang Kong’s acceptance of the terrible situation he finds himself in is both endearing and infuriating. When everyone around him seems to be engaging in bad human behavior just to get themselves ahead, Ji Xiang Kong lets the girl he loves go to serve another.
It’s his downfall, because he ends up crushing Qui Ying in the process, but his intention is pure. Yet the strength of such an action takes is admirable and rare. This particular storyline of Gank Your Heart will incite quite a lot of emotion. We recommend stress balls, ice-cream, and chocolate to help you through this stressful part of the show!
He is a leader
One of the coolest things about Ji Xiang Kong’s character is his innate ability to lead. His leadership skills are put on full display when he leaves legends and joins the rival team, VNG. His new teammates treat him badly but he works hard to build alliances where he can.
While he isn’t able to win over absolutely everyone, he is able to put his own feelings about individuals aside and recognize the strengths they bring to the table. Although he meets many barriers to his success while he captains VNG, he is able to read his teammates and capitalize on their strengths. Something their former captain wasn’t able to do.
After he is released from VNG, he goes on to form his own team, where his leadership skills clearly take the team to victory. He patiently waits to recruit just the right players. He makes sure that his recruits compliment each other’s skillsets, and he works hard to build a family his teammates want to buy into. He believes in them even when they don’t believe in themselves.
He does all this with humble graciousness. It would be so easy for someone of Ji Xiang Kong’s status & reputation to develop an arrogance about his abilities. He doesn’t, though, and grows throughout the series with humility. As the final episode comes to a close, you’ll find yourself looking around for your very own version of Ji Xiang Kong.
The reality of the situation is, we came for Wang Yibo but we stayed for Ji Xiang Kong. He is so inspiring that he’ll even make you want to contemplate taking up gaming, if you don’t already play! We dare you to watch this show and not fall stupidly in love with this character!
Everything you wrote is absolutely true. And I loved the movie Gank your heart, it was awesome. I fell in love with the characters halfway through the movie. Thanks for writing this……July 9, 2020