Friday, January 3, 2020
"Xianxia" Web Drama Series - "The Untamed"
[Snippets with English subtitles (in closed captions)]
With Jin Yong's wuxia novels in translation (notably the initial three translated volumes of the Condor Heroes trilogy) gaining a world-wide audience, "wuxia novel" (武俠小說) seems on track to become a prominent subgenre under the historical fantasy umbrella.
I recently learned that another related subgenre called "xianxia novel" (仙俠小說) has become a rising star among younger readers in Mainland China. Then by chance I stumbled on a web tv drama series titled "The Untamed" (陳情令) with 50 episodes. The drama series were adapted from a popular "xianxia" web novel series titled 魔道祖師. My own interpretation of "xianxia" is something like a Chinese martial arts (中式武俠) version of "Twilight Zone" (a hugely popular Western tv series with supernatural themes targeting a young adult audience), with a mix of martial arts heroes (武俠英雄) and immortal beings endowed with supernatural powers (仙俠) as main characters. An interesting subgenre!
I love the theme song of "The Untamed" and the choreography of xianxia-in-action (see below). There are other soundtracks that are just as beautiful. In the soundtrack "醉夢", the guqin (古琴) (a seven-string zither) represents Lan Wangji (藍忘機) and the flute (橫笛) represents Wei Wuxian (魏無羨) - perfect combination!