Mo Dao Zu Shi 2: Review

Also known as ‘Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation’, ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi’ is one of those few better known Chinese anime shows that have earned worldwide acclaim. With somewhat of a slow start, ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi’ takes you on a rich historical adventure with the most stunning visuals and unforgettable traditional Chinese soundtracks.

From the very beginning, the anime creates a stark contrast between its flashbacks and present events which gets you all curious about what could have possibly happened in between. The first season leaves with you with a whole lot of flashbacks and unanswered questions and that’s when the second season comes in with its plot twists that keep you at the edge of your seat and at the same time, it also slowly unfolds the mysteries it had previously left behind.

Apart from its dense historical plot and its deep characters, what really stands out about it is its animation style. While the character designs are noticeably similar, it’s the wavering backgrounds of the series that make you fall in love with it. If you look carefully, as you further progress with the show, the weather in the background keeps changing in context with its themes.

It all starts off with foggy and intentionally blurred visuals that portray the uncertainty and the mysteriousness of its story. When it finally brings light on certain aspects of its plot, everything starts to get clearer and even the overall weather becomes brighter. This is followed by a series of dark gloomy variations that represent the chaos that is starting to lurk in its storyline. Weather, quite often, is used as an allegory in many anime shows to sub-consciously break into the mind of a viewer. In the case of ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi’, the entire series relies on this effect to constantly reflect upon its diverse themes.

That being said, like almost every other show out there, ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi’ is not perfect. While it has improved drastically compared to its season 1, there are certain things it can still work on to have an even more impactful season 3. Speaking of which, to know more about its season 3, you can check out our preview on  ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi Season 3’.

Mo Dao Zu Shi 2 Release Date:

‘Mo Dao Zu Shi’ season 1 premiered on July 9, 2018 and with a total of 15 episodes, it ended on October 6, 2018. This was then followed by a season 2 which released on August 3, 2019 and came to an end on Aug 31, 2019.

Mo Dao Zu Shi 2 English Dub:

As of now ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi’ does not have an English dub and since it’s a Chinese anime, it is not available on any well-known anime streaming platforms. You can still watch it on other streaming services with its original Chinese audio and English subtitles.

Mo Dao Zu Shi 2 Plot:

Wei Wuxion, who becomes the grandmaster of the Demonic Sect, is now hated by everyone for his evil deeds and sinister intentions. But eventually, karma catches up with him and he is backstabbed by one of own people. The powerful clans around him take advantage of his Achilles’ heel and brutally murder him. But soon after this, he reincarnates in the body of an abandoned lunatic who was left behind by the people of his own clan. Forced to live under the shadow of his sworn enemy—Lan Wangji, Wei Wuxion sets out on a journey full of mysteries and learnings about one’s redemption. And with time, he also begins to understand Lan Wangji on a personal level which leads him to the realization that Lan might really have a thing for him.

Mo Dao Zu Shi 2 Review:

The plot, though it does involve some typical anime archetypes, it is unusually engrossing. Despite being a BL (Yaoi) novel adaptation, instead of solely focusing on the relationships between its male characters, it actually brings light on the uniqueness of their personalities. The action scenes have been perfectly choreographed but what makes them even more enjoyable is the context that they hold.

Its story also mildly touches upon all the political tension that goes on between various clans which makes everything more believable and realistic. Its pacing can be a bit of a problem at times as it rushes its way through some very important arcs. Also, for someone who is not too familiar with Chinese anime, keeping up with the subtitles can often be a problem.

When it comes to its art, it is the perfect blend of 2D and 3D animation styles that capture the essence of its original story and also perfectly depict its historical themes. With its gorgeous Chinese sceneries and fierce action scenes, ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi’ offers something that you’ll never get to see in most Japanese anime. Even the OSTs hit you right in the feels and with season 2, these have just gotten better.

Overall, it comes as no surprise that the series is already extremely popular in China. If we compare the second season with the first, while most aspects of it have remained the same, it’s the storyline that has become so much better. What started to off as a cliched “Isekai-styled” anime, has now become something that is much deeper than that. From what it looks like, ‘Mo Dao Zu Shi’ is taking one step forward with each of its seasons and so far, it has been easily able to reclaim its reputation as one of the best productions of the Chinese anime industry.

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