It is no doubt that Chinese animation had gained recognition and is making a name for itself in the last few years. This is all thanks to Tencent entering the International arena, China’s biggest media conglomerate; and the popularity of some Chinese anime like the e-Sports hyped The King’s Avatar and the classic Legend of Qin series. Though Chinese animation industry still has a long way to go, it is undeniable that it produced some notable works that could be compared or even surpassed some Japanese anime series and even those animated works from the west.
Chinese Anime Summer 2019 Lineup
Recently, different Chinese animation studios were able to produce decent works that catch the attention of anime viewers from all over the world. Based on personal experience, Chinese anime was getting popularity in some regions of the world rapidly fast especially from the Spanish-speaking world, the Southeast Asia region, and the Western Hemisphere. While, there had been tons of joint project among Chinese anime studios and the giants from other countries, such as those from Japan (i.e. Flavors of Youth, The Record of Unusual Creatures, and The Voice of Fox), as well as one of the most beautiful Chinese anime film in the history which is the White Snake – a collaboration project between China and United States.
So, right now we finally entered the summer 2019 anime season which is burning so hot especially seeing the Japanese anime lineup. However, according to Cuchallain (one of my favorite guys on Twitter who talks about Chinese anime), summer 2019 is the season for Chinese anime. Why is that so? I’ll explain that one by one later; however let’s first watch Cuchallian video below as a short introduction to our topic of the day which is the list of must-watch Chinese anime from summer 2019 lineup.
As you can see, this lineup could be pretty well called the best Chinese anime of 2019 and we’re not bluffing. Though some pretty good titles aired last winter and spring such as Martial Universe, The Demonic King Chases His Wife, and my new favorite Qin’s Moon: Nine Songs of the Moving Heavens; there’s no doubt that summer 2019 lineup of Chinese animation is beyond exciting and beautiful. So, let’s talk about which Chinese anime to watch out for this season. In regards with Cuchallain video, I have shared it here as a reference though I also have some additions which were not included in it as well as some more anime titles that may air this year but not a part of this season as a rough follow up to our previous list of Chinese Anime airing this 2019. So, let’s start our discussion now in no particular order.
Table of Contents
Battle Through The Heavens Season 3
Battle Through The Heavens Season 3 – Xiao Yan & Yao Lao
I have a mixed impression of Battle Through The Heavens anime adaptation especially when I first watched its first season. However, I’ve grown to appreciate it when I finished the 2nd season of the anime and eventually went on binge-reading the source material – a web novel with the same title by Chinese author Heavenly Silkworm Potato who also wrote the source novel for other Chinese anime namely: Martial Universe and the upcoming The Grand Lord (based on The Great Ruler novel).
What I love and excited to see in Battle Through The Heavens Season 3 which is slated to air on July 21 is the fact that it revolves around the Tageer Desert arc of the novel on which the main protagonist Xiao Yan first meet with Queen Medusa who’ll become one of the most important person in his life in the future. I’ll say based on the available trailers and PV for the 3rd season of the anime, the animation quality improved quite a lot. It seems that the studio behind it which is Motion Magic seriously invested a lot of effort in its animation (which I saw in its OVA last April – the Battle Through The Heavens – Song of Desert Specials). I am definitely sure that I’m not the only fans who are hyped for this. Therefore, everyone should grab popcorn or a cup of coffee while waiting for our Xiao Yan, Yao Lao, Queen Medusa, Pill King Gu He, Yun Yun, and many more to spice up our summer with action, drama, and Dou Qi enchantment in the upcoming Battle Through The Heavens 3rd season.
The Record of Unusual Creatures
The Record of Unusual Creatures
This anime is a joint project of Chinese and Japanese companies who also goes with another title called as The Journey of Mysterious Creatures which gave us your typical supernatural cliché anime in the surface with humans, vampires, and werewolves with some kind of interesting conspiracies deep within. The animation quality for this one is average which is quite hard to differentiate from the typical Japanese animation. However, isn’t it a great one since people usually said that Chinese anime is easy to recognize due to its inferior animation quality. I’ll be happy if The Record of Unusual Creatures could prove them wrong, after all, we did have pretty great anime from The King’s Avatar even if we couldn’t call it perfect. Nonetheless, this anime had premiered its pilot episode a few days ago and it seriously delivered a good start though I wasn’t able to watch it yet. But based on available clips on the internet and feedback from the viewers, it seems to be pretty decent and interesting to follow with.
The King’s Avatar Movie: For the Glory
The King’s Avatar Movie: For the Glory – Team Excellent Era
Alright, so we did have one of the biggest Chinese anime movies of 2019 here and it’s no other than the prequel movie to my all-time favorite donghua – The King’s Avatar. For the Glory tells us the story of Glory’s Textbook Ye Xiu during his early years in the professional league and how he started as a player and how he became a legendary figure in the competition with his 3-year consecutive championship. It’s more like peeking at his past when he has all the glory and fame together with his previous team Excellent Era and its original roster. Furthermore, we will also take a glimpse at the youthful days of other old generals of the league such as Han Wenqing of Team Tyranny, Wei Chen of Blue Rain, and Lu Lianing of Royal Style. On a personal level, what I want to see so bad in this movie is Su Muqiu, the person who made the Myriad Manifestation Umbrella for Lord Grim and was supposed to be the original owner of Dancing Rain. Oh my gosh, I just want to learn what kind of a person and a player is Su Mucheng’s older brother who is also Ye Xiu’s best friend and original partner in Glory.
The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation – The Yiling Patriarch
Mo Dao Zu Shi or also known as The Founder of Diabolism is returning for its 2nd season this summer. Though it is originally slated for release on July, I heard that it’s been moved or delayed until August, possibly because its live-action drama The Untamed had premiered a few days ago. However, the trailer for Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation 2 had been released a few months ago and it’s enough to make our blood boil in excitement as we finally enter where the conspiracy started in the story. The timeline might be quite confusing especially with the flashback and present scenario from the previous season (good thing is Zhihua had written some short explanation and briefing about story timeline of Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation in her recent post). So, this season 2 we shall see how Jin Ling parents died on Wei Wuxian’s hand and what truly transpired at that moment shall be revealed. Who is the real culprit, which makes the rift between Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng grows wider, and more will be unveiled. One thing is sure though, Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation Season 2 is going to be a fun-filled ride with drama, action, martial arts, lots of killing, some raging zombies, and more Wei Wuxian x Lan Wanji moments.
The Fog Hill of the Five Elements
The Fog Hill of the Five Elements – Wu Shan Wu Xing (雾山五行)
So this is Cuchallain first place on his list and I don’t see any problem with that especially seeing the awesome quality of animation and visuals invested on it. I could only say that The Fog Hill of the Five Elements is definitely an aesthetic Chinese anime and everybody who loves art and beauty should add this in their watchlist this season. In fact, this anime project was first unveiled 4 years ago and it’s quite overdue already but I am thankful that the production team behind it didn’t compromise the quality and took their time to perfect it. Furthermore, what’s even more amazing is the fact that the team behind The Fog Hill of the Five Elements is made of a small independent group of animators though we should be thankful to Nice Boat Animation for backing up the project. No specific dates yet had been unveiled for the anime but knowing that everything had been set and the production is finished, it should be out any time soon within July or August.
The Grand Lord
The Grand Lord
We have here the anime adaptation of another work from Heavenly Silkworm Potato which is based on his novel The Great Ruler which is the final installment of the novel trilogy along with Martial Universe, and Battle Through the Heavens. I am wondering if I’ll be able to see Xiao Yan here though but that’s quite impossible as he only appeared in the latter part of the novel but we might get a glimpse of his daughter though. The Grand Lord release is revealed to be on August 8 and its trailer looks perfectly dazzling which is a combination of 2D and 3D CGI animation. The character designs too were pretty good and resemble that of the typical Japanese anime characters. However, it all comes down to the animation sequence which I believed to be truly beautiful and may give us an interesting show to follow with this season, I just hope that the story will be well-written though.
The King’s Avatar Season 2
The conceptual trailer for The King’s Avatar Season 2 had been an exciting one watch as it gave us a glimpse of what to expect in the return of the 2017 phenomenal Chinese anime. It is easy to recognize though that the animation and visuals had changed completely compared to its first season, it’s because the anime had changed studio. However, it doesn’t diminish the fact that The King’s Avatar had a very solid story and if the animated sequence for the anime could be done very well, the hype will never fade out at the very least. Though we had seen Colored-Pencil Animation works in the previous OVA for The King’s Avatar last 2018 and it seems to be rather dreamy and beautiful in some way but different from the 1st season. In my own opinion, this will give us a new flavor about The King’s Avatar and could actually make the anime even more solid.
No specific date had been set yet for The King’s Avatar Season 2 release however we do have some key visuals already and the trailer, so it’ll be only a matter of time until the announcement of its premiere will be made. According to the trailer and the story sequence from the novel, The King’s Avatar Season 2 may revolve around those times where Ye Xiu is messing up in the in-game world of Glory while slowly building his own team. One thing is sure though, The King’s Avatar 2nd season will bring new characters into the limelight such as An Wenyi, Mo Fan, Wei Chen – these three characters were met by Ye Xiu in the game except for Wei Chen who is the former team captain of Blue Rain and the founder of Blue Brook Guild. Furthermore, those characters that were previously introduced in the first season will return such as Qiao Yi Fan, Bao Rong Xi, Lu Jie, and the players from other teams and guilds. One thing is sure though, it’s going to be an amazing hoarding and farming in the in-game world of Glory that is never seen in its history with Ye Xiu as the culprit together with his new set of players who will break their way into the Glory Professional Alliance soon.
While waiting for The King’s Avatar Season 2, I believed that it’s good to check live-action series of the anime which stars Chinese actor Yang Yang. The live-drama had premiered last July 24 and run for a total of 40 episodes which finished just few weeks ago. You may read our first impression review about it in the link provided below.
This Chinese anime also goes with the name Spirit Cage: Incarnation or Ling Long: Incarnation which is considered as the most expensive anime project in China so far. Incarnation release date is slated on July 13, 2019, and this action, sci-fi horror drama anime is brought to us by bilibili and YHKT Entertainment. This is rather a very ambitious anime project and by simply looking on its trailer, Incarnation has got what it takes to earn the hyped and its story is interesting which simply makes me crave to see the show as soon as possible.
Wings of the World
“Wings of the World” (万国志)
Wings of the World or also known as WanGuoZhi is a Chinese anime I personally looking forward this year. I’d seen some of its trailers and visuals before which simply proved how ambitious and majestic this anime could be. It is set in a fantasy alternate world in the 17th century where major world powers are battling against each other for supremacy and world domination. The upcoming Chinese anime will premiere on September 23, 2019 in China.
We have here one of the most popular Chinese anime franchise of the decade. It is among the earliest donghua that gained famed in the recent years before The King’s Avatar. No specific date yet had been revealed for Wu Geng Ji Season 3 release other than the fact that it’s coming this 2019 and will continue the story where we left from the previous season.
Jue Ming Xiangying (Deadly Response)
Female fighters in a Ghost in the Shell ambiance, that is what we can expect from this new Chinese anime called Deadly Response that officially premiered few weeks ago. This is a show about A.I. warfare and how artificial intelligence will save the world from imminent danger. If you’re a sucker for an exciting sci-fi Chinese anime, then I have Deadly Response as my top recommendation for you.
So, these were only some of the must-watch Chinese anime that we should look forward to this year. Please let us know which one is your favorite and makes you excited for this premiere?
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.