Light Chaser Animation’s next production, New Gods Yang Jian will be out in North America just in time for Chinese New Year 2023!
Anyone keeping track of Light Chaser Animation’s next production New Gods Yang Jian will be glad it’s getting a global release just in time for Chinese New Year 2023! It originally debuted in China back in August, to steller reviews and beating out Minions: Rise of Gru.
GKIDS released an American-side trailer yesterday, and it puts the focus back on the titular hero when compared to the other teasers offered so far.
People who read Creation of the Gods or Journey to the West (Amazon USA links) know this hero is named Erlang Shen, a god of justice. This immortal has superhuman strength and a third eye, which allows him to see the truth. This includes seeing through the deception made by magic and outright verbal lies. In this film, it looks like he’s chosen to seal away his gift than to use it. That’s because, like Superman, he can use it emit a ray of fire (laser) at his enemies! It’s too powerful and quite often, he’s been holding back. This immortal knows when to pull his punches, and as for how he feels when serving the will of others, his superiors, it seems he has reservations.
When he used his abilities in a huge battle to bury Lotus Peak under more than one mountains worth of rock, perhaps he became even more aware of the dreaded power he wields, and thus decided to leave heaven.
The release of Nezha Reborn in America may well be late, since the debut doesn’t coincide with any national holiday. In China, it hit theatres for Chinese New Year, and just how it fared was reasonable, raking in approximately 21 million in US dollars according to reports. This post-modern take is confusing. The visual elements are not altogether steampunk and not fully cyberpunk either. Had it been one than the other, I’d be more intrigued with the world building going on.
Li Yunxiang (Yang Tianxiang) is a reincarnation of the god, and when compared to the other version from the Fengshen Cinematic Universe, I prefer the spunky miscreant child over this young adult. I kept on wanting to shout Kaneda! The dystopian vibe is straight out of Akira, and the plot deals with how a mega-corporation wants to control everything in Donghai city.
This film is reverent for any year because of its themes about renewal. Though delayed from release last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been excited for this film for a long time. It finally screened in the fall of 2020. While it’s hard to say if the post-credits scene was made to update the work so it’d fit for the Autumn season, it certainly worked to keep the story current. My review and examination of the Mandarin language presentation can be found here.
Christopher Sabat‘s vocal performance is on par with Zheng Xi ’s own in the titular role, and the actresses are just as equally notable. The English voice actress (unlisted in the information I’ve obtained) for Daji is sweet, reminiscent of Zach Tyler Eisen‘s Ang from Avatar: The Last Airbender. In contrast, Morgan Garrett gives viewers a very sentai-style performance as Juiwei (Nine Tail). The purpose is no better or worse than in what viewers expect from watching an episode of Power Rangers, for example.
It’s hard to say how the original dialogue and translated version holds as I couldn’t flip between tracks currently available and having a third, namely Cantonese (which I know). Thankfully this home release has both tracks available. The screener I saw only had the English track. I found most of the variation comes from what Ziya said when he was creating magik, and a little with his internal monologue and book-ending the tale.
In the animated front, the films I’m really excited for are from China. Getting the news from this country is tough, and the studios are mum about what’s next in the Fengshen Cinematic Universe! I tried contacting a Vancouver studio supposedly involved and they never responded.
Because of the pandemic, a lot of production work shifted to either finishing at home or was put on hiatus. The workflow may well have slowed down too. Thankfully, there’s some good news: one particular Japanese animated title is coming very soon.
I’m hopeful the international release is not too much later.
Thrice Upon a Time
Jan 23 (Japan)
The Rebuild tetralogy was on infinite hold when Hideaki Anno was off building Shin Godzilla. Anyone who has seen the original anime will know the general premise–young teens saving the Earth from a holy battle–but with the Illuminati like conspiracies going on, they are locked in an even different secret war. However, this reboot is huge, and it’s one I’m refusing to see one by one over several years. The wait is finally over so fans can see this re-imaging in its entirety.
The book Investiture of the Gods where the idea of Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification takes inspiration from is not in verbatim.
Although American studios aren’t giving Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification (姜子牙) the fanfare it needs for an Autumn 2020 release, word of mouth is barely enough to announce to the world that the sequel to Ne Zha is as colourful and visually spectacular. (2023Update: Well GO USA has this film available across various streaming channels, like Amazon Prime).
Eventually, fans of this shared universe will see the heroes we are being introduced to embark on a combined adventure. Here, this former general of the celestial army was banished from Kunlan, a city in the clouds which represents one of several heavens, because he disobeyed his lord’s order to kill Su Dajin, who is possessed by Nine-Tailed (Ji Guanlin), a fox demon. But before he could execute her, she showed how her supernatural life connects to a mortal, Xiao Jiu (Yang Ning), a young girl. He can’t destroy a soul at the cost of another. Continue reading “Too Fast and Not As Furious? On Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification”