I have recently discovered Wuxia and Xianxia dramas and have binge watched my way through quite a few of those.
Let’s see what I have been watching in the last few weeks (I will refer to the running list I keep on my phone or else I forget )
- Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms
- The Journey of Flower
- The Four
- The Legend of Zu (Midway)
- General and I
- Legend of Chusen (Midway)
- Boss and Me (Re-watching)
- Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
- Love O2O (Re-watching)
- Prince of Wolf (Just starting)
- Nirvana in Fire (Midway)
Be still my heart after watching my very first Wuxia drama (which happened to be a Xianxia as well, Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. Watching the first 30 episodes of Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms was pretty eye opening to me about how delicious a Wuxia or Xianxia drama could be. The costumes, the cinematography, the interesting characters, I AM IN LOVE!! Seeing this drama has really inspired me to check out more Chinese dramas and I have binge watched a few really great ones since then and found a few that were not AS amazing (cough, The Four, cough).
I have not watched many historical Kdramas because I tend to dislike the palace intrigue story lines. I don’t mind some of that but when the palace intrigue, backstabbing and scheming by official and courtiers is most of the plot it gets tiring pretty quickly for me. Same with modern day palace intrigue which happens within the chaebol conglomerate fighting for control stories, I tend to want to use the fast forward button.
So the Chinese Wuxia dramas have been a really pleasant surprise for me. I have found them not focusing so much on palace intrigue and have more adventuring story lines. Though to be fair this may be based on my selection because there definitely seem to be many Cdramas that do focus on so-and-so becoming king, etc. I have found the whole idea of the martial arts sects and Taoism to be quite interesting & unique from anything in the Western world that I am familiar with. The idea of cultivation seems to be prevalent in many of the Cdramas I have been checking out and seems like such a fascinating way to gain status, powers, magic and intelligence.
Fantasy elements seem to be really prevalent in the Wuxia world, anything from anti-gravity flying while fighting powers to being actual gods and goddesses with straight up magical abilities. Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms is an example of the latter with a mortal world and a god/magic world that consists of many different kingdoms and types of magical beings (nine tailed foxes, ghost kingdom, celestial realm, etc.) Nirvana in Fire and General and I are excellent examples of extraordinary fighting skills but no actual magical powers exist in these worlds. This may be due to the difference between Wuxia and Xianxia genres. I am a total newbie to these types of stories but my basic understanding is that Wuxia are mainly historical martial arts focused dramas/movies/books. While Xianxia, a subset of Wuxia, has the elements of Wuxia but also builds on these original themes with strong fantasy elements and often have Taoism/cultivating as main objectives for characters.
If you have any thoughts of Wuxia or Xianxia dramas please leave me a comment and suggest any dramas that I should check out!
I will be posting about each drama that are on my currently watching/just watched list above so if you are wondering about any of these dramas I will share my opinions, thanks!