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13 March 2015 @ 11:26 pm
秦时明月 Qin's Moon (Legend of Qin) Review  


The good thing about watching this anime 7 years after it's release is I get 5 seasons to consume all at once. It's been so long since I've watched any anime, the last one being Pokemon I think? Ever since I got into dramas, my tv-watching has been strictly off the anime territory. There was just never enough of the anime/manga fangirl in me to keep that alive but now I am back and I think it is just for this one special one. The title of this animated series is Qin's Moon or Legend of Qin 秦时明月. I've heard of this title for a million years already so it's not unfamiliar, but I had the misunderstanding that it was an rpg game like 古剑奇谭 and Chinese Paladin 仙剑奇侠传 etc.. all those familiar names. It is actually an anime, China's only 3D anime and a very famous one at that. How I got tempted into watching this was thanks to Tangren's newest drama. Yes, it is being remade in live-action. I saw a trailer and immediately fell head over heels for it. It seemed to promise a hell of a story and for the novel-addict in me, the story is what reels me in. Did some research and found out that it is an animated drama, read the general synopsis, and then my impatience pushed me off the edge. I can't wait to save my life so here I am eating it all up like cookie monster. I'm on the 4th season already and I think I am already feeling the impending withdrawal when it's all going to come crashing into a wall. There's still 2 seasons but who knows when they will be released. I can feel the torturous wait already but I really can't get myself to slow down.

There is something really beautiful about this drama. The characters are made in 3D and although it gave me the feeling of watching a game recorded when I first started, that feeling faded away really quickly. It looks like a painting. I can feel the immense amount of work that went into the drama and it shows through; it's in the environment and the composition of the scene. It's just so friggen pretty! The fighting scenes are beautifully choreagraphed and each character has very realistic body language and facial expressions. It takes a little getting used to at first, but at some point, you will start to forget that these characters are rendered and just admire how beautiful they are. Also the story is orginally a novel so there is a very strong plot as the backbone. The story is very loyal to history with tons of actual historical characters and schools of thoughts with room for fantasy and wuxia elements that make this very easy to appreciate for any guy or girl young or old (like me). Something that came up in english reviews of this drama is the term "Steampunk" and "Rip-off" of Japanese and Korean anime series like Naruto or Avatar which I find is actually pretty sad to see for me. Steampunk is a western fictional element and what "Ji Guan" is here should actually be interpretted as an exageration of booby-trap technology, ie. in Chinese ancient tombs, not rip-off of western fiction elements. That is like saying boxing is karate or that tissue is actually Kleenex, technology is technology. There is no need to compare Qin's Moon to Naruto or Avatar because they all have their independant plots and characters, I don't see why. Won't it just take away from the experience if you watch it that way?

Alright, I have a lot to say. I don't want to bore anyone out with my slow moving review. Without giving away the plot, I'll just say there is a lot of heart in it. It not about fighting monsters and saving the world. Every character will grow on you, I've cried multiple times watching this. My favorite character is Ge Nie. I adore him as much as Tian Ming does, nobody compares with him! Nobody! Everybody wants his head but he is cool with that, he answers to nobody and does what he feels is right. He has the guts to betray the emperor, be chased by all of Qin and protect a bunch of people who also want to kill him. But it's ok, Tian Ming says Ge Nie is a good person, he'll always be a hero in the eyes of the people he protects. No one should care about the life and death of Tian Ming, but there is a person willing to betray an entire kingdom to protect him. Does that sound like my future husband? Yes it does. Too bad he is not real. Aside from Ge Nie, there are also a slew of heroic charactors and villains that seem to cross the lines all the time, because the story dedicates a lot of time and background to them. The good people are really awesome, but the bad guys aren't so hateable. I am really curious of Bai Feng's background and how he got recruited as one of Wei Zhuang's asassins. The half man, half machine Wu Xuang also managed to put a soft spot in my heart. Wei Zhuang as one of the main villains is always managing to elude understanding but somehow gives you the hope that he is not all evil, maybe he is just twisted. Just want to spend a few sentences giving these villains their credit, because they make the story interesting too. I really love how Qin's Moon takes it's time building up the suspense and spinning out the story. Every season makes the picture a little bigger, a little more complex, and a load more addicting. I am just really happy I did not catch on after season 3 just finished. I would not live through the cliff-hanger.

All in all, I can't believe I love this drama as much as I do. I totally did not see it coming, but seeing that it's gotten so much love from Chinese viewers throughout the years, it's not a surprise. It's really a gem and now I just hope the live action will live up to this masterpiece of an anime, and I especially worry that they will slaughter my perfect image of Ge Nie. It'll really hurt.

Here are a few pictures to lure you.