The Battle Through the Heavens Season 2 special SONG OF DESERT had finished airing and it has been an exciting adventure to follow, even giving me goosebumps at some points of the story. The Song of Desert is a prequel story to the main Battle through the Heavens timeline showing the chronicles of how the Ice Emperor Hai Bo Dong first met the fierce and beautiful Queen Medusa of the Snake-people tribe.
So, let’s talk first about the plot of Battle Through the Heavens – Song of Desert which premiered last April 13, 2019. The story revolves around the Ice Emperor Hai Bo Dong as a young mercenary at the top of Jia Ma Empire. One of the empire’s 10 strongest of that era, a Dou Huang from the Miteer Family. He got himself entangled with the snake-people tribe in one of his mission. He was tasked to take a captured snake-woman from slave trader on which he successfully did only to be assaulted by a masked assassin from snake-people tribe. Eversince, he had been on the run together with the snake-woman as they were pursued by snake-people tribe in order to capture the snake-woman who was said to be a traitor. Joining them is Queen Medusa – the newly crowned ruler of snake-people tribe and the persona behind the masked assassin that Ice Emperor met. The question now is that who is this snake-woman that the Ice Emperor took and why does the snake-people tribe are going haywire just to get her back. This is where the entire plot of Song of Desert revolves, the identity of that snake-woman and how her existence leads to Ice Emperor and Queen Medusa’s ultimate clashed which resulted to Hai Bo Dong’s current state in Battle through the Heavens main story timeline.
First of all, I would like to introduce our main characters in the story as follows:
Table of Contents
Ice Emperor: Hai Bo Dong
Ice Emperor: Hai Bo Dong in BTTH Song of Desert
A member of the Miteer clan from Jia Ma Empire, as the leader of one of the 3 great clans of the empire, he is a person with so much power and influence. However, knowing his personality in the main story of Battle Through the Heavens, Hai Bo Dong is quite the peculiar one. In the Song of Desert, I could say that I have seen a different side of Hai Bo Dong. Yeah, in the anime he is still quite scary despite him being demoted to to Dou Ling level, all thanks to his bloodbath against Queen Medusa. However, he had shown a pretty badass fighting skill and overwhelming strength in the Song of Desert even obliterating a group of a mercenary with Dou Wang members. He also showed strong resistance to injury that he is still capable of defeating opponents despite being poisoned. Personally, it really feels great to see the Ice Emperor at his peak in the Song of Desert as I always thought that he had been an underrated character throughout the novel regardless of how important his role is during the early years of Xiao Yan’s journey in the Jia Ma Empire.
Queen Medusa in BTTH – Song of Desert
The newly crowned queen of the Snake-people tribe and a powerful entity in the eastern region of Jia Ma Empire. She alone was able to withstand fighting the three Dou Huang of Jia Ma Empire: Jia Xing Tian, Yun Yun, and Fa Ma (in reference of the future war between the Snake-people tribe & the empire). However, in the Song of Desert, we had been a vulnerable side of Queen Medusa that was never portrayed in the novel. She had always been portrayed as the cold-hearted, fierce but stunning gorgeous queen in the novel, therefore it is quite refreshing to see in a different light which shows at one of point of her life, she had been fragile, she had a warm hearth to show to everyone. Back in the story, Queen Medusa had exhibited a frightening power which could even overwhelm the Ice Emperor himself on certain occasions. I am also happy to learn a little more about the background of Queen Medusa though I believe that this couldn’t be acknowledged as canon as this thing details weren’t unveiled in the original novel but what’s even amazing is that Song of Desert shown a story perfectly detached from the main Battle through the Heavens plot but still remains faithful on its world.
Shi Ziyou Die & Hai Bo Dong in BTTH – Song of Desert
Alright, so it is time to talk about the snake-woman and why is the snake-people tribe are calling her traitor and why they are after her. Shi Ziyou Die’s name was only revealed at the latter part of the Song of Desert. I’ll now drop a major spoiler for people who weren’t able to watch Battle Through the Heavens – Song of Desert yet. Shi Ziyou Die is the current Queen Medusa’s sister and supposed to be the real queen of the Snake-people tribe but she chose freedom over her responsibility. Between the sisters, there should only be one Queen Medusa and thus, the other one must die in the hands of another. Shi Ziyou Die is the chosen one but she abandoned her crown and left, she has been treated by her people then as a traitor eversince, leaving the throne to her sister – the current Queen Medusa who is soft-heartened and kind that time.
Animation, Music & Sound
The animation sequence of Song of Desert is actually pretty good and personally, I thought it’s better than the first 2 anime seasons of Battle through the Heavens. On my end, I am captivated with those scenes where Hai Bo Dong fights Queen Medusa. Those were simply epic, stunning and fierce. The visuals were good, though there are some confusing scenes especially the backstory of Queen Medusa and Shi Ziyou Die on their tribe’s council.
Hai Bo Dong vs Queen Medusa
Music-wise, BTTH Song of Desertis pretty catchy and I actually had goosebumps when I first heard its opening theme. Though, I think the voice acting for the show is still quite boring as the entire Battle through the Heavens anime. Well, that should be acceptable knowing that Chinese dub sometimes lacks some kind of emotion or it is quite hard to differentiate different emotions in it. In fact, it is still funny on my end that despite watching Chinese anime of almost 2 years, I’m still not accustomed to its sound especially the voice acting most of the time.
Queen Medusa shedding tears for her dear sister
Shi Ziyou Die dying on Hai Bo Dong
To wrapped up my review for Battle through the Heavens – Song of Desert, I strongly believed that animation-wise, the anime sits atop the entire BTTH anime franchise for now. The quality of animation put into it is truly admirable and plausible. In general, Song of Desert is an action-packed anime specials with dramatic touch and independent approach to BTTH world. It can be watched by viewers who didn’t see the main anime.
On my end, I couldn’t wait anymore to see Xiao Yan’s encounter with Queen Medusa and his journey on the Tageer Desert as this had been one of the most important & remarkable parts of his adventure in the novel.
Code name: Yu Alexius is an ambiguous entity who loves to talk about anime and Chinese animation in general. An insatiable soul from the Pearl of the Orient, a frustrated writer and a Houtarou Oreki wanna-be. He is a piece of a lunatic and everything crazy.