Feb 3, 2021
This was an easy donghua to watch, but difficult to understand. Shen Shuang, our hero is a top echelon military operative (like Seals, SAS, Special Forces) whose unit tasked with apprehending drug dealers with the help of their fat undercover operative Sun Desheng. Everything goes wrong when they are lured into a cave containing the Kunlun Pagoda, which is a conduit between realms and stores energy from otherworldly entities - Demons, spirits or aliens, depending on your take. The Pagoda is destroyed and in the ensuing blast the dark energy grounds itself in our hero. Rather than killing him, the top person Wu Hao recruits
him to join the Bureau of Paranormal Investigation.
Most viewers were made aware of this from its trailer as it is made by Studio B.C. May, who also did Mo Dao Zu Shi and The King's Avatar so expectations were high. The animation is freaking gorgeous and the action scenes are fast paced, well choreographed and exciting. Visually and sound wise, you couldn't ask for more.
The story and characters are were things start to fall apart, because the series is way too short to do either any justice. I probably enjoyed this more since I just finished watching all the Candle In The Tomb live action dramas, there are 4 series (20ish episodes each) and 7 movies that have been made from Zhang Muye's Ghost Blows Out the Light novels. If you've watched or read the source material, then you'll know exactly what the Shrine is, why one character is looking for a way to break the "curse" and pretty much all the backstory, what the energy represents etc.
Unfortunately none of this is explained in the donghua, which leaves the viewer "guessing" at many unknown elements and turns the story into one of those trite James Bond meets X Files shows. You know the formula - new recruits to secret agency get to meet new agents with special powers and get super cool equipment from a 'Q' like character then go on missions to solve strange happenings.
Honestly, given how GREAT the art is, I'm pretty disappointed with how full of holes the story is. This should have been Awesome, but it's just good and that's only because the action and animation is so good, I can't really rate it any lower.
Note: Eng Subs available for episodes 1-11, I ended up giving in and watched episode 12 Raw but have some Mandarin so could figure stuff out. Not sure when Eng Subs will be available for the last episode, it wasn't on my usual sites as at February 2021.
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