Hey guys, I have finished Stellar Transformations Season 2 yesterday, also known as the Legend of Immortal, a donghua adaptation of the popular web novel of the same title by the author I Eat Tomatoes (also wrote Swallowed Star and Snow Eagle Lord). Just like any other 3D Chinese anime out there, Stellar Transformations is a martial-arts or cultivation donghua, a xinxia, and one that remains true to its genre.
Before I proceed with my review of Stellar Transformations Season 2, I would like to share a short overview of the series as a whole. The donghua first premiered in December of 2018 and since then became one of my favorite 3D Chinese anime from Tencent. Its second season premiered last May as part of the spring 2020 lineup.
In a galaxy far away, there is a kid without innate ability to practice internal techniques. So, in order to gain the respect of his father, he resolutely chooses to follow the more difficult and painful path of practicing external techniques. As the years go by, he grows up, but what really changes his life is a mysterious meteoric crystal stone – the Meteoric Tear. This stone fuses with the young man’s body unnoticed, and he seems to undergo drastic transformations as a result. After that, everything is changed. Eventually his father knows that the son for whom he hasn’t really shown a lot of consideration possesses astonishing abilities. And there’s a lot more to come. (Source: Novel Updates)
The first season of Stellar Transformations had shown us the background of the protagonist Qin Yu and his family. It also introduced key information about where he came from, his struggles and ambitions, the people that truly matter to him, and his source of power. The first season actually left in such a cliffhanger and I am one of those viewers who had been left craving for more and wants to know what happened to Qin Yu as we all thought that he died in the season 1 finale.
|Qin Yu at the start of Stellar Transformations Season 2|
[NOTE: I might drop major spoilers in the succeeding paragraphs if you haven’t watched the 2nd season yet, or spoilers do bother you; proceed at your own risk.]
It was a good thing that Stellar Transformations 2 picked up the story right after the first season’s conclusion. Now, our questions had been answered right away, it seemed that Qin Yu died from the first season but was actually saved by Master Li, the original cultivator of Stellar Transformations.
Cultivation, Vengeance & Family Affairs
While his family is grieving and swear to avenge his death on the Xiang Family from their rival kingdom, Qin Yu put all his time and effort into getting stronger and learning the Stellar Transformations along with his partner Xiao Hei, the black hawk monster that he raised from his childhood days. They practiced their cultivation and gotten stronger in seclusion while his family is raging a bloody war.
|Xiang Yang, the main villain in the first half of the season|
In the enemy’s lair, Xiang Yang, the ancestor of their rival Xiang Family resurface and personally lead the war against the Qin’s family forces. As someone from a higher level of cultivation, Qin Yu’s father Qin De could only retreat in the face of Xiang Yang but that’s after giving the old cultivator a lethal threat. However, the temporary truce didn’t last as Xiang Yang once again attacked the Qin’s forces, leaving Qin De and his allies the shorter end of the stick. That’s when Qin Yu arrived and revealed his fate as he became a stronger cultivator than his father and older brothers.
|Qin Yu reunited with his brothers|
Qin Yu then set his sight on Xiang Yang as he wants to protect his family and redeemed their honor from all the maltreatment they received from the Xiang family through various generations. He worked together with Xiao Hei in defeating Xiang Yang, despite being weaker than the Xiang family’s ancestor. With the help of his unorthodox method of cultivation and Xiao Hei’s secret technique; they can defeat Xiang Yang and eventually bring forth the downfall of the Xiang family, and the rise of the Qin’s family as a leading power in the Qianlong mainland.
|Qin De & his other 2 sons|
This story covered the first half of Stellar Transformations Season 2 and I think that it was narrated pretty well. Although, the donghua simply highlights the fight scenes and the cultivation’s progress of Qin Yu and Xiao Hei. The rest of the narrative was told beautifully but a bit confusing as it was narrated in fast pacing. However, I think that it wrapped everything about Qin Yu’s backstory as he now set his eyes on bigger goals and that is to enter the world of the cultivators. This set up actually reminds me of Battle Through the Heavens, and Martial Universe; both Chinese anime is on the same genre with Stellar Transformations and uses the main character’s family as his motivation to become stronger, wiser, and insurmountable.
On Taking the Path of Cultivation and Bigger Adventure
After the downfall of the Xiang family, Qin Yu decided to start his new adventure and enter the dangerous world of the immortal cultivators. He left his family while settling the scores with his father and brothers, where Qin De eventually give his blessing to his son’s desire to become a true cultivator as he still regrets as he felt that he didn’t become a good father during Qin Yu’s childhood.
Qin Yu then explored the Boundless Sea where the cultivators reside. There’s the Immortal Cultivators and Demonic Cultivators, but his first adventure took place with his encounter with Beast Cultivators. Qin Yu and Xiao Hei had killed a beast cultivator from the Sang clan, a group of octopus-type monsters that lived in the Blood Red Cave Domain in the seabed. As he and Xiao Hei tries to escape from the wrath of the Sang clan, Qin Yu had faced off various beast monsters including stronger cultivators that he defeated one by one.
When he was wounded during a fight with the Vice-Cave Master of the domain, he was saved by the Jiang Li (spoiler: who will be his wife someday). It’s great to have the Meteoric Tear as the source of his healing ability, and during his stay at the underwater Divine Realm (a secret place in the seabed hidden by a powerful immortal cultivator), he practiced to get stronger and that’s where he had mastered the art of hiding his aura. Deep in my mind, I just told myself that Qin Yu eventually became a ninja on top of being a cultivator in regards to his newly acquired power.
|Jiang Li, the Lady of the Divine Realm under the sea|
The divine beast Hou Fei, an aquatic monkey joined him when he gets back outside to settle the score with the beasts of Blood Red Cave Domain. Due to Hou Fei’s playful nature, they easily gained the attention of the domain’s guard and get into fights with them. Due to Qin Yu’s new skill of hiding his aura, the guards didn’t notice that he was the immortal cultivator they’d been chasing all this time. They even invited Qin Yu to joined Blood Red Cave Domain’s force. This is the moment when Qin Yu slowly destroyed the domain from within as he killed some of the guards, conspired to get the trust of the other guards, and sneakily gets inside the secret room where the leader Cha Hong is retreating to unseal the legendary Jade Sword. When Cha Hong was attacked by Di Tong, a dragon-type beast from the Nine Demon Hall, Qin Yu sneakily observed and eventually help Cha Hong against Di Tong. However, Cha Hong gets killed in the process, and Qin Yu won against Di Tong with his wits and unorthodox cultivation tricks.
|Qin Yu disguising as Liu Xing|
In the end, he eventually became the new leader of the Blood Red Cave Domain and became its protector against the threat of the Nine Demon Hall. He became stronger while gaining powerful allies, and also horde a lot of powerful souls and weapons to refine and fuel his cultivation.
|Qin Yu as Liu Xing becomes the new leader of Blood Red Cave Domain|
Unoriginal but Well-Executed
The bottom line is that Stellar Transformations’ story is nothing original, however, that same thing can be said to thousands of literary and animated works out there. What I love about it though is the fact that the animation was executed well and the story never gets boring along the way. Its casual narrative and storytelling were told in a way that makes the viewers crave for more despite how ordinary and common the development is. As I have mentioned earlier, Stellar Transformations shares the same concept as other cultivation Chinese anime such as Battle Through the Heavens, Martial Universe, Tales of Demons and Gods, The Legend and the Hero, and many more; the viewers will always compare it in one way or another, as almost every scene remind us of many similarities among xinxia donghua. However, as long as the entertainment is there and it was animated well, any donghua can always thrive on their own, and such is the case with Stellar Transformations.
|Qin Yu becomes a loose immortal (Stellar Transformations – Nebula stage)|
No matter how cliche the story, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Stellar Transformations as someone who loves cultivation stories. Furthermore, the character development is as progressive as the story and moving at the same pace as any other good xinxia donghua out there. Any anime viewers who love shounen will have no problem with this kind of character development as this has been rampant and widely used in various anime whether it’s from Japan or China.
Animation & Character Designs
Stellar Transformations Season 2 did have ups and downs in animation quality but I must say that it has been consistent with its first season. As someone who loves action stuff, I can enjoy the fight scenes in Stellar Transformations and some scenes are just as flashy as it could get.
|Qin Yu, the main protagonist of the series|
The character designs were also beautiful, especially for the immortal cultivators. Qin Yu is definitely one of the most handsome Chinese anime main characters; those pretty face, well-built body, and beautiful smile, who wouldn’t fall for that. My main complaint would be, why Qin Yu is hotter than the other main protagonists? I mean, his character design is pretty that his arms and biceps turn me on. Furthermore, Jiang Li is such a beauty. The humans were also drawn beautifully especially those from Qin Yu’s family.
Albeit, the beast cultivators look a bit ugly at some point, especially Sang Mo. Even the beast form of Cha Hong and his siblings looks horrible. Even Xiang Yang’s design isn’t pleasing in the eye. Maybe, they just made it to make a clear difference between the main protagonist and his allies against their foes.
Stellar Transformations Season 3
As the 2nd season concluded, a preview of the following event featuring the fight of Qin Yu against the Nine Demon Hall was shown and the announcement of Stellar Transformation Anime Season 3. The announcement was also unveiled during the 2020 Tencent Video Animation Conference on which a key visual for the donghua has been revealed.
No further details yet had been revealed including the Stellar Transformations Season 3 release date, however, fans are speculating that it will premiere on 2021 and with Shanghai Motion Magic returning as its animation studio. For more updates about Stellar Transformations 3, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter as we bring the latest news right in your inbox at your own convenience.
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.