Reviews

Aug 27, 2018
Karhu (All reviews)
Preliminary
Short anime series tend to try new things there where full length tv series are too afraid to, and moreover, shorts more consistently succeed at these attempts than any other anime format.

Intro:

Fei Ren Zai is a Chinese anime series produced by the most famous Chinese backer/funder Tencent Penguin Pictures, whose most famous anime to this date is King's Avatar. Typical to Chinese production, Fei Ren Zai promotes Chinese culture - which I have found also typically to be rather uninteresting excuse for content. However, Fei Ren Zai focuses on older folklore that shares similarities with other Asian cultures, such as Japan's, and this idea alone seems more interesting than, let's say, the recent Netflix release 'Flavors of Youth'.

Story:

Super simple setup. 5 minute long episodes that center around the daily life of mythical creatures, deities and demi-gods who live in modern society in the human form, or a form that mildly reminds humans. The entire series consists of around 1 minute-long gags that show us fractions of the daily lives of our main characters. These follow the overall story line in a manner that makes the overall structure seem closer to continuity than episodic.

The events vary greatly from our characters building snowmen in winter scenery to office parties and character specific problems that can only be solved with the help of friends. Most of the events are rather cute and heartwarming while the atmosphere is consistently comforting. That's pretty much the only noteworthy side of the story, and those who don't find this to sound interesting at all, most likely won't find any beauty from it.

Characters:

The anime is filled with bunch of original characters. We have dog and rabbit persons who form this 2cute4this world romance because apparently, dogs tend to chase rabbits for the reason that they love them. There is also a dude whose stomach is an ocean and a guy who doesn't have a head so instead, has eyeballs in the place of nipples. The real main character is a ninetailed fox much like seen in Naruto and the video game Okami. She, like everyone else, is based to real creatures from old folklore.

The core feature behind every character is, of course, their shapeshifting ability because otherwise they wouldn't look/resemble humans. One of the strongest part of the series is how damn cute and happy everyone in it, is.

Sounds:

The series being so short, not much music was produced for it. The opening and ending songs are the most visible tracks, and both so good I skipped them not once. These are rather uplifting, traditional Chinese music. Catchy stuff that serves the overall atmosphere of the show itself.

Typically, I find Chinese language dubs to be annoying as I don't like how the tongue sounds, and moreover, can't tell if the subtitles are accurate in any way or form. This time, I didn't have much problems with the voice acting. Ideally, there would be Japanese dubs to this, but I find it unlikely to happen due to the nature of the series. Moreover, it was officially subbed in Japanese already.

Art:

Best for last, they say. Art is the main reason why the originality lacking anime industry produces so many shows that are not memorable the least. Fei Ren Zai offers uniqueness and simplicity that I cannot but appreciate. Rather than looking like an anime, the series reminds me of an indie game which has been produced under love and care, polishing those things that matter and can be polished.

Our characters are the same color as the backgrounds. Mainly, their figures has been separated from the backgrounds with simple outlines. Yet, things like their hair remain never still, but instead, always showing movement and life. The color pallet is subdued and almost tender. Practically every color contains shades of grey in soft and patient sense. "Less is more" is a sentence I say to myself every day. Fei Ren Zai's art truly gives glory to this philosophy.

Conclusion:

The entire series is around an hour long as of currently. More is rumored to be released. There is not much you can lose by giving it a go. Not everyone will find the series so beautiful as I did, but those who especially seek beauty, should check it out.