13 years after his tragic death, the reviled Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, Wei WuXian, is summoned back to life by the sacrifice of a desperate young man. The appearance of a restless spirit sends him and his former enemy, Lan WangJi, on a quest that may well lead to unexpected answers regarding the chain of events that ultimately led to his death.
There comes a day in any reviewer’s life when they fall so deeply in love with a show that they can’t even explain why it happened in a coherent manner. Ladies and Gents, may I introduce Mo Dao Zu Shi, aka Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation.
Vibrant Characters, Gorgeous Visuals
I thought I’d managed to get myself out of Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù hell, but the unexpected July release of The Untamed, the drama adaptation of Mo Dao Zu Shi, had me pulled back under without a warning whatsoever. And here I am now, drowning anew in the feelings from this talented writer’s well-rounded universe, innumerable tragedies, complex plot lines and lovable characters.
It’s been weeks since I started working on this review and I still sadly can’t put words on everything I love about this show, so I’ll keep this short.
What you can expect to find in Mo Dao Zu Shi are a vibrant, well-constructed world in which multi-faceted characters live their own complex individual stories. The sheer amount of plots and subplots here should be pointed out, especially considering the fact that while they do intersect in places, they never get tangled to the point of confusion.
But what you’ll also find here are stellar animation, jaw-dropping visuals and a stunning soundtrack, all of which contribute to the overall poetry of this world. Plus, this entire story is made of horrific tragedies and moments of quiet gentleness the likes of which you will find in real life, carried throughout by characters who feel very, very human.
The Boy Next Door
It’s just… so hard not to get attached to Wei WuXian straight off the bat. He’s so full of life, enthusiastic, clever and loyal, and the smug cynicism with which he tricks people into underestimating him only makes you root for him more. Second-hand embarrassment doesn’t happen here, if only because you can clearly see the mischief in his eyes as he pulls off the craziest antics.
So started my love affair with the Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation. I found myself laughing with him, grinning at his antics, grieving alongside him. He’s such a good protagonist because he feels so much and so deeply. He’s relatable, insofar as he feels just like we do: joy, amusement, anger, yes. But also impotent rage, heart-wrenching grief, blood-curdling terror.
All in All
Get your tissues ready and check it out. All of it! Be it the novel, the donghua, the drama, the audio drama… You won’t regret it. Fly, you fools!
Title: Mo Dao Zu Shi/Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation
Aired: 07/09/2018 to 10/06/2018
Studio: G.CMay Animation & Film
Read the Novel: Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation
Drama: Chen Qing Li /The Untamed
My grade: ★★★★★