Since the 2020 anime series ‘Heaven Official’s Blessing’ is now on Netflix, here’s a quick belated review of the series to help you decide if you should watch it or not.
The story follows the adventures of a Chinese deity called Xie Lian, who doesn’t have a lot of worshipers and spends his time in the mortal realm trying to gain more followers. Xie Lian soon begins to encounter one strange event after the other and his fate seems to be intertwined with a powerful ghost king.
The series has been adapted from a novel by the same by name by author Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. She is the author of ‘Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation’, and if you’ve seen and liked that series, you’ll most definitely like this one too.
For those who are not used to watching/reading Chinese anime, it might be slightly confusing at first, but things get easier, fun and entertaining. There’s something amusing about watching a “God” live like a pauper, while fighting demons with a mysterious young man on his side.
Animated by the Haoliners Animation League, this series is visually quite stunning to look at. Some scenes look like water-paintings in motion. The animation makes this fantasy fiction story even more intriguing to watch. Don’t go in looking for romance, because it’s more about gods, demons, wars, generals and vengeance. Eleven episodes long, the protagonists in the show take on some might opponents, each with their own unique back-story. For example, in the first few episodes, Xie Lian tries to crack the mystery of a ‘ghost groom’, who keeps kidnapping brides. There’s plenty of subtle comic-relief in between.
While the show explores some dark themes, has a lot of blood and deaths, the overall mood is light; perhaps because of the overtly-optimistic hero Xie Lian. He is a balanced character, level-headed, calm and endearing. The banter between the lead pair is playful throughout, without being emotional or cringe-y at any point.
By the time I was done watching this series, I felt completely cheated because I wanted at least 10 more episodes. As a viewer you feel like you’ve only been half-way through a film and were evicted out of the theater mid-movie. Cannot wait for a season two. Don’t have a choice. It’s a 8/10 from me.
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