Whenever we talked about donghua, Chinese martial arts elements usually come along with it, after all, it has become one of the mainstream and major genres in Chinese animation nowadays. While Immortal Heroes’ journey (xinxia) had been the most popular genre which was reflected in many Chinese anime in recent years, Martial Heroes (wuxia) adventures are still relevant and visible, albeit, it was often shown together with the former.
Chinese martial arts anime often explores the youthful adventures of aspiring heroes who wish to start a journey, make a name for themselves, and acquired honor and glory, while still staying grounded in reality to a certain degree.
And whenever we talked about Chinese wuxia anime, the first things that comes into my head are those works from Zhou Munan, the author behind some of the most exciting and unique donghua we had recently. He created some of the most recognizable shows that brought spectacular stories of youthful adventure with plenty of actions and the usual Chinese humor as it highlights genuine interactions between young men as they built a friendship and special bonds through their intertwining fates.
In this post, I will be sharing 4 donghua that were adapted from Zhou Munan novels that you guys should start adding to your watchlist now if you’re looking for an exciting adventure in the martial arts world and explore how gorgeous yet dangerous the world of men could be.
4 Chinese Donghua Adapted From Zhou Munan Novels
Great Journey of Teenagers (Shao Nian Ge Xing)
The first novel by Zhou Munan that was adapted into donghua is the Song of Adolescence, stylized as Shaonian Gexing in Chinese). It was known by other titles such as The Great Journey of Teenagers, Juvenile Song, and Youths and Golden Coffin among Chinese anime fans.
The donghua was first released in 2018 which spawned several seasons afterward, with the latest having been the 2nd season’s part 2 this 2022. With its season finale, it was unveiled that Great Journey of Teenagers Season 3 had been green-lit, and further reconfirm the adaptation of its prequel spin-off novel which we will discuss later on.
Great Journey of Teenagers follows the story of youths traveling in the martial world for the first time. Along the journey, they met both new friends and foes, establish connections with them, and eventually, made their respective names among their peers and the vast world of men.
The donghua was animated by CG Year and produced by both iQIYI and Bilibili, it highlights beautifully designs characters (which I think the same can be said for all the donghua inspired by Zhou Munan novels). The novel was also adapted into a manhua which you may read on Bilibili Comics for free.
If you wish to watch the Great Journey of Teenagers, you may check its official outlets below:
The Young Brewmaster’s Adventure (Shao Nian Bai Ma Zui Chun Feng)
This is the prequel to the Great Journey of Teenagers which took place roughly 20 years before the start of the story in the main series. Some of the characters and established individuals from the Great Journey of Teenagers are shown in this prequel such as Sikong Changfeng, Su Muyu, Su Changhe, and Lei Mengsha. The donghua is adapted from Zhou Munan’s novel Youth on White Horse, Drunk on Spring Breeze.
However, The Young Brewmaster’s Adventure revolves around the journey of Baili Dongjun, a young lad whose passion is all about brewing the best liquor but his fate takes a drastic change when he got entangled in the conflict in the martial arts world. Here, we follow how he made a name for himself as a martial artist along with the older generation of the martial arts world from the main series.
The Young Brewmaster’s Adventure was animated by CG Year, the studio behind the Great Journey of Teenagers, and it was produced by Youku and Mango TV. With the same production team behind it, this new donghua which was released in the summer of 2022 highlights beautiful animation and fights with absolutely gorgeous character designs befitting of a world created from the mind of Zhou Munan.
You can watch the donghua in its official outlets below:
Word of Honor (Jun You Yun)
The third novel of Zhou Munan is Jun You Yun, translated as A Gentleman Says and with the official title of Word of Honor is a donghua from Bilibili 2022 lineup which was released from the spring lineup.
Jun You Yun is not directly connected to the Shao Nian series of Zhou Munan, however, it was set in the same universe, thus, we can expect similarities in the terminology and the ecosystem where the story takes place. Furthermore, the story in this donghua was set hundreds of years before the event in the Shao Nian series.
The donghua follows the adventure of Su Baiyi along with new friends he met along the way as he embarks on a journey of discovering the truth, unraveling the mystery and conspiracies of the martial arts world, and searching for his origin and lineage. He was joined by both his friends, as well as enemies who wish to steal forbidden martial art hidden deep within him.
The 3DCG donghua was animated by Passion Paint Animation and viewers who wish to watch it can check its official channels on Bilibili and YouTube:
Legend of Assassin (An He Zhuan)
Officially titled Legend of Assassin, this upcoming donghua is also known as Legend of the Hidden River which revolves around the mysterious assassin organization called Dark River. The organization appeared in the Shao Nian series and seems to have an active role in The Young Brewmaster’s Adventure. It seems that An He Zhuan’s storyline takes place in between the Shao Nian series and particularly features Su Muyu and Su Changhe from the Dark River organization.
Just like The Young Brewmaster’s Adventure, the Legend of Assassin is a collaboration between Mango TV and Youku, and it is slated for release this 2022 with 36 episodes. The donghua is adapted from the 4th novel of Zhou Munan and is currently still in progress where it also features other characters from the Shao Nian series.
Last Updated on September 18, 2022 by Yu Alexius