Master of diabolism

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mr friendly guy
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Master of diabolism

Post by mr friendly guy » 2018-10-06 08:47am

The final episode of season one will most likely be translated by next week, and you can watch the first 14 episodes on the following link.

Now let me see if I can advertise this show. This a Chinese cartoon adapted from the Light Novel Mo Da Zu Shi which is translated as either Master of diabolism or master of demonic cultivation. It tells the story of Wei Wuxian, his rebirth and also his life as the previous Yiling Patriach, and how he walked down the "dark" path of demonic cultivation. Now this is not a Saturday morning cartoon, and it is more akin to dark anime WITHOUT going down the route of hentai.

Characters are impaled and die. Zombies feed on a person while they are still conscious. Oh, and the lead character is either gay or bisexual. So definitely not going to necessary Saturday morning cartoon material by American standards.


This is beautifully animated and well worth watching in high definition. We have nice battle scenes. Picture this, cultivators are flying on their swords, hovering above the wall city they are about to assault. Their leader gives the order to fire arrows, and a flood of arrows rain down on the rebels. One character uses sound waves from his instrument to knock out a lot of arrows. The defenders then put up shields, only for the attackers to put up their own shields and ram their magical shields against each other.

Where the series excel, is the HtH combat. Wei Wuxian dodges swords in a masterful display of acrobatics.

The story

The first episode starts with a boy by the name of Mo Xuanyu using a forbidden ritual to summon the spirit of the dead Yiling Patriach to possess his body. What drives him to sacrifice his soul to let it be inhabited by someone who people consider "evil", is not revealed yet, but one must imagine the suffering he felt to have his body inhabited by Wei Wuxian for revenge. And revenge is the name of the game as Wei Wuxian figures out he must enact revenge on behalf of Mo Xuanyu against family members or else be wracked by pain.

Wei Wuxian soon discovers, something or someone is causing more undead to come up, not since... while not since when he was last alive. During that time he encounters two men who he knew in his previous life. Lan Wangji and Jiang Cheng (the man who killed him in his previous life). However before the story in the present is advanced, we are treated to the story of Wei Wuxian's youth, which tells the story of how he became the master of diabolism (most of the first season is dedicated to this).

So back in the days of Wei Wuxian's youth, the dominant Cultivator clan was the Wen clan, who didn't hesitate to throw their weight around against the smaller clan and sects. Wei Wuxian eventually angers the concubine of Wen Chao (young son of the Wen clan) after he stops her harassing a servant girl who Wen Chao takes a liking to. One insult leads to another and will eventually lead to the Wen clan massacring several clans and sects to keep them in line, and the rebellion of the smaller clans culminating in what is known as the Sunshot campaign (the symbol of the Wen clan is the sun). It also leads to Wei Wuxian's path down the darkside into becoming the master of demonic cultivation and his own revenge against the Wen clan. Oh, and his revenge is kind of brutal. Its kind of poetic and brutal at the same time, but I won't spoil it.

Magic system

Cultivators - this is a term that comes up a lot in Chinese fantasy novels. If I borrow DnD terminology from the second edition, they are like Fighter Mages. They are split into clans and sects, and the Wen clan being the most powerful among them during Wei Wuxian's youth, and in the time of his rebirth, its the smaller cultivator clans who vanquished the Wen Clan being the superpowers.

They have some nice magical abilities such as flying on swords, magically enhanced blows, putting up giant hemispheric shields over their fortresses etc. Their power is drawn from a "core." Not everyone is born with a core inside of them, however it can be destroyed rendering a cultivator like a normal person. In fact, some cultivators have special skills to destroy the core of their enemies.

Exorcism - at the time of Wei Wuxian's youth the principles of how zombies or resentful spirits arise are generally known, as well as the means to vanquish them. Its due to "resentful energy." We can see people expose to high amounts of resentful energy die quickly, and its known cultivators may be able to withstand it for a short time depending on how much resentful energy there is, but not forever, since its known you can kill cultivators by dumping them into the place with the highest known amount of resentful energy - the Yiling burial mounds.

What Wei Wuxian does is come to the very scientific conclusion, and I am paraphrasing here, energy is energy. We may as well use resentful energy as well. This is a big taboo because its bad, mkay. Alright, it does appear to have corrupting influence on your personality even if you can manipulate it, although Wei Wuxian seems to be able to resist it to some extent from what we do see.

Wei Wuxian also makes a few innovations which become the norm in the modern times. Such as inverting a talisman which is designed to ward off evil spirits to instead draw evil spirits (its used in modern times to lure them into a trap). He also figure out how to breach such warding talismans quite easily and turn them against the user.


Wei Wuxian - a happy go lucky kid. The kid who smuggles alcohol into the dorm. Until he gets caught up in the war with the Wen Clan, but they were trying to kill him first. This is not much of a spoiler because the opening minutes of the first episode mention the war with the Wen Clan and how he distinguished himself in that conflict.

Lan Wangji - if Wei Wuxian is the mischievous kid who likes drinking, Lan Wangji is the stoic kid who is a stickler for rules. You can see the um, tension between him and Wei Wuxian very early in the series due to their different personalities.

Jiang Cheng - Wei Wuxian's "brother". Wei Wuxian is really is adopted brother. He is under a lot of pressure since its suspected Wei Wuxian is really his father's bastard (you can google the wikia to find out if this is true or not, because the series hasn't revealed it yet). Despite being the biological son of the head of his clan and his lawful wife, his skills are inferior to Wei Wuxian's (even before the latter became the master of diabolism).

His need for revenge against the Wen Clan turns him another person.

Quote - I don't care whether he is a heretic of demon, as long he kills the Wen dogs. (In reference to the mysterious cultivator killing members of the Wen clan in ahem, demonic ways).

Yu Ziyuan and Jiang Fengmian - the heads of the Yunmeng Jiang Sect and parents to Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian. Given that Madam Yu suspects Wei Wuxian is really her husband's bastard you can only imagine the feeling she has towards Wei Wuxian. But despite treating them harshly, she does so fairly and she ultimately makes the right decision. Their relationship is kind of tragic, because its obvious they love each other, but the question of "why did you adopt Wei Wuxian and treat him better than your own son," is always there, a barrier between them.

Wen Chao - what can I say. Rich snob with an overblown sense of entitlement and magical powers. Dial the sense of entitlement to 11, add in a dose of sadism and you have this guy.

Now I am going to point out not all the members of the Wen Clan are bad, and there are sympathetic characters there.


Chinese animation has been making a big splash within the anime scene garnering praise even among Japanese animators. This is one of the newer releases and if they can keep animation and storytelling to this level, they have a bright future.
Never apologise for being a geek, because they won't apologise to you for being an arsehole. John Barrowman - 22 June 2014 Perth Supernova.

Countries I have been to - 14.
Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Germany, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, USA.
Always on the lookout for more nice places to visit.

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