Modao Zushi, otherwise known as Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, is an animated series that recently made a grand debut online with its spectacular animation, art, and graceful portrayal of Chinese lore.
The setting takes place in a world where martial artists, known as cultivators, embark on adventures to train themselves. The story follows the death of Wei Wuxian, an infamous cultivator despised by many for his necromantic ways of conjuring the dead to fight. Many years later, his spirit is summoned into the body of a boy, where he begins his life anew. Soon after, however, he encounters his arch nemesis from his previous life, Lan Wangji. Through a series of twists and turns, they end up investigating the whereabouts of a possessed dismembered arm together and reminisce about the memories they shared together in Wei Wuxian’s previous life.
The art style of the hand drawn characters resemble that of Japanese anime, but the backgrounds distinctly resemble Tang dynasty landscape paintings, featuring props such as incense burners, a zither, and a bamboo flute. The animation itself combines 2D and 3D elements to provide dynamic angles during the fight scenes, and the soundtrack, accompanied by both traditional and modern instruments, add a distinct Chinese flavor to the setting of the show.
In the animation world, Modao Zushi brings a piece of China’s history, mythology, and culture to its audiences. The series currently has 15 episodes and will be expecting a second season in 2019. It is available on websites including Tencent Video.