Tencent had unveiled the Chinese anime (donghua) adaptation of The Smiling, Proud Wander (Xiao Ao Jianghu) which will be adapted from the classic Wuxia novel of Louis Cha (Jin Yong) and was first published in 1967. A story about living a carefree life in the mundane world filled with strife, hunger and lust for power, and the craving for earthly desires. There’s more to this story than what meets the eye, as it also thrives in hidden messages that can be considered a reflection of Chinese society and even the whole world from different eras, the same elements of greed and politics will be among the highlights of this exciting Wuxia story, a creation from one of the most popular Chinese novelist of the 20th Century.
The Smiling, Proud Wanderer (Xiao Ao Jianghu) Donghua Announcement
During the Tencent Video Animation 2021 Conference, The Smiling, Proud Wanderer is among the upcoming donghua for the 2021-2022 lineup of Tencent. It is one of the many adapted works to be animated from various genres. One thing that I’ve noticed from this recently released lineup of upcoming Chinese anime from Tencent, they had started to adapt those novels which were published several decades ago. Aside from The Smiling, Proud Wander; there’s also The Legendary Twins which was written by Gu Long in 1966.
The Smiling, Proud Wanderer is based on a 1967 novel by Jin Yong, who is known for writing several popular Wuxia novels such as Demi-Gods, Semi Devil, The Deer and the Cauldron, and my favorite Condor Hero trilogy (The Legend of the Condor Heroes, The Return of the Condor Heroes, Heavenly Sword & Dragon Saber). In fact, The Condor Hero which was a 2002 anime from Taiwan was based on the 2nd book of the Condor Heroes trilogy.
The novel follows a historical setting with martial arts and the usual Chinese storytelling which is rich with its authentic and unique comedy, cultural drama, and politics that hides behind martial art sects and their members.
It was also adapted into manhua in 2018 with the title Xiao Ao Jianghu (The Smiling, Proud Wander); which is also known by various names such as Laughing in the WindState of Divinity, The Peerless Gallant Errant, The Proud and Gallant Wanderer. The original story was credited to Jin Yong, while Phoenix Entertainment (also known for Tian Long Ba Bu, Yin Shan Meng Tan) provided the story and art for the manhua.
Based on the series of novels by acclaimed wuxia author, Jin Yong, the comic’s initial part of the story revolves around a highly coveted manual containing a powerful martial arts technique known as the “Bixie Swordplay Manual”. The manual is an heirloom of the Lin family, who run the Fuwei Agency, a private security service, in Fuzhou. Yu Canghai, the leader of the Qingcheng Sect, leads his followers to massacre the Lins and attempts to seize the manual for himself but does not find it. Lin Pingzhi, the sole survivor from the Lin family, is saved by Yue Buqun, the head of the Mount Hua Sect, which is a member of the Five Mountains Sword Sects Alliance. Yue Buqun accepts Lin Pingzhi as an apprentice and trains him in swordplay. Meanwhile, Yue Buqun’s most senior student, Linghu Chong, an orphaned, happy-go-lucky but honorable swordsman who has a penchant for alcoholic drinks finds himself befriending the notorious bandit Tian Boguang and saves Yilin, a nun from the (North) Mount Heng Sect, from Tian’s lecherous advances. However, that is just the beginning of a series of escalating conflicts as various individuals take to extreme measures to attain the manual as well as achieve their personal goals. (Source: Manga Updates, MyAnimeList)
Animation Studio & Release Date
So far, what we only have for The Smiling, Proud Wanderer donghua adaptation is the concept art poster. The animation studio and release date hasn’t been unveiled by Tencent yet. Nevertheless, we shall keep you posted in this article about it.
Trailers & PVs
Here, we have the first available concept art trailer for The Smiling, Proud Wanderer donghua adaptation from Tencent:
Where to Watch The Smiling, Proud Wander Donghua?
The donghua had been listed as one of Tencent’s Chinese anime lineup for 2021-2022, so we can expect it to be released between those years but it might also get some delays which had been the norm in Chinese animation I think. I just can’t count how many times some of my favorite donghua were delayed before. Nevertheless, we can always check its official outlets and profiles as follows:
If you wish to read The Smiling, Proud Wanderer novel and manhua, you may check the following links to get a glimpse of its fantastic and hilarious story. I believed this is a huge threat to many fans of Wuxia that revolves around traditional storytelling that involves drama, friendship, and bonds in Chinese culture through different ages, general politics that existed no matter what the era is, and the usual Chinese antics that we often see through their humor.