New anime country with an ancient story: My first Chinese anime

For the first time ever, I watched an anime styled animation from China, Sometimes referred to as a Donghua, and I was happily surprised. The anime Heaven Official’s Blessing is definitely a more subtle, unique, and enchanting story than I ever expected to watch.

Ancient Chinese kingdom
This is basically what the heavenly realm looks like

Though this is the first donghua I’ve ever watched, I did know that China produced some anime like animation. For a few years now I’ve been hearing about the animation production of China, but I honestly never considered watching any of them. I don’t know, they just seemed like they were mimicking anime from Japan without contributing anything new or original or any trace of the culture of China. I thought that they would be low budget, B-movie style anime and a waste of my time. I’m not even sure why I chose to watch Heaven Official’s Blessing. I read the description on Funimation and there was just something that sounded really unique and interesting about it. There was also quite a few positive reviews. So, with some reservations, I gave it a try. And I’m really glad I did.

ancient Chinese estate
Lovely house that was never featured in the donghua, but it could have been!

If you haven’t already seen Heaven Official’s Blessing, here’s a quick summery. It’s about an ancient king that has ascended to heaven to become a minor god and then gotten himself kicked out again multiple times. Well he’s back again and this time he kind of wrecked the place when he ascended to heaven. As in, he caused a bunch of other gods’ palaces to collapse and now he owes quite a bit of money (in the form of heavenly credits) to the higher ranking gods to pay for the damages. And how do you get these heavenly monies? With followers and prays of course. So now he has to go back down to the mortal realm to drum up some followers and prayers to help pay off his debt. A quick way to get some much needed followers and prayers is by dealing with troublesome ghosts that are harassing villagers. So that’s what he does!

Ancient Chinese court having tea
I don’t know what this is from, but it looked fitting

Like I mentioned earlier, I was really impressed by this anime, both with the quality of the story and the subtle themes. I was also really surprised with the animation of this donghua. It wasn’t just the quality of the animation but also the style that had me taking notice. It looked less like the anime from Japan that I’m used to and more like the American anime of like Avatar the Last Air Bender. It still had the big expressive eyes of traditional anime, but the faces tended to be rounder and the chins were less angular. Also the noses tended to be longer and less pointed while the hair was animated with simple curves and less detail. The simple elegant style of anime went well with the style of the story.

ancient Chinese noble lady painting a castle
nice painting!

So, in the end I really enjoyed Heaven Official’s Blessing and I’m a little embarrassed that it took me so long to try out a different kind of anime. I guess I just had my own little comfy rut I was in and at some point I stopped trying to get out of it and find some new experiences. This anime was probably one of the most pleasant ways to learn that I was wrong and to be reminded that it’s always important to continue to try new things, change, and grow no matter what your age.

ancient Chinese warrior fighting a dragon
A dwagon! Warrrr!

Check out my podcast!

The anime exclamation of the week is: Hentai! meaning Pervert!

I’m currently watching:

  • My Hero Academia
  • Welcome to demon school, Iruma-kun
  • Tokyo Revengers
  • Backflip
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (re-watch)
  • Peach boy Riverside
  • My next life as a Villainess
  • The Great Jahy will not be defeated
  • D. Gray-man
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
  • The case study of Vanitas
  • Heaven Official’s Blessing
  • Inari Kon Kon
  • Kageki shojo
  • Level E
  • Life lessons with Uramichi Oniisan
  • Rampo Kitan

2 thoughts on “New anime country with an ancient story: My first Chinese anime

  1. Those are some breathtaking arts! If you’re into some more Chinese anime, I’d recommend Wan Sheng Jie / All Saints Street, which is quite a light-hearted slice of life type anime, with some quirky interactions between the characters. It only has about 4 minutes per episode, 12 episodes as a whole, but is definitely a great change of pace if you need one!

    Liked by 1 person

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