The Untamed & 5 More Chinese Fantasy Dramas on Netflix in December 2023
Chinese fantasy skillfully combines religious motifs, mythology, and exciting romantic adventures.
The modern Chinese television industry is largely based not only on copycatting its neighbors, Japan and South Korea, by creating countless rom-coms, but also on original fantasy stories inspired by traditional literary fiction.
Chinese fantasy can be divided into three subgenres: shenmo, devoted to tales of gods and demons; wuxia, featuring the adventures of martial prodigies; and xianxia, which tells of the ascension of mere mortals to the rank of immortal beings and often their love affairs (itself part of the danmei genre, which focuses on love between male characters).
For example, the Heaven's Official's Blessing series of novels, which was adapted into an animated show, became world famous. No less popular is the Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation novel, on which the popular The Untamed series is based. Today we're going to talk about the latter and five other equally great Chinese fantasy shows available on Netflix this December.
6. Word of Honor (2021, 37 episodes)
Word of Honor is based on the Danmei novel Faraway Wanderers by Priest and follows the journey to redemption of two kindred spirits. One is a former assassin who became disillusioned with the brutal methods that resulted in the deaths of many innocent people. The other wants to avenge the death of his parents. The two newfound friends find themselves embroiled in conspiracies and martial adventures. It is noteworthy that the novel does not hide the love between the two protagonists, although it is shown more subtly in the TV series.
5. Handsome Siblings (2020, 44 episodes)
Based on the wuxia novel The Peerless Proud Twins by Gu Long, Handsome Siblings is a high-octane martial arts fantasy that follows the adventures of two twin brothers who were separated as children and grew up to become martial arts masters. One grew up in a royal palace, the other grew up among villains. Although their experiences are similar only in their identical appearance, they become good friends and fight against the forces of evil.
4. The Longest Promise (2023, 40 episodes)
The Longest Promise is based on the Xianxia novels by Cang Yue. The plot revolves around a crown prince who is exiled to Jiu Yi Mountain after a political coup. There he practices self-cultivation to transcend his mortality and achieve superpowers for the good of his homeland. His apprentice becomes a princess, and they begin to develop romantic feelings for each other.
3. Who Rules the World (2022, 40 episodes)
Based on the wuxia romance novel Let's Try The World by Qing Lengyue, Who Rules the World tells the story of a prince and princess from two warring states. Both are incomparable in intelligence, talent, and martial skills, and despite political intrigue and bloodshed, both are attracted to each other.
2. Love Between Fairy and Devil (2022, 38 episodes)
Like all the other series on this list, Love Between Fairy and Devil is based on the novel of the same name by Jiu Lu Fei Xiang. The story tells of the unlikely love between an immortal fairy who accidentally frees the powerful Lord Devil, who once brought turmoil to the realm of the gods. Now they share a curse that binds their souls and senses.
1. The Untamed (2019, 50 episodes)
Finally, we come to one of the most important works of Chinese fantasy. Based on the novel by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu, The Untamed tells the story of the mischievous but kind-hearted Wei Wuxian, who is resurrected after a mysterious death 16 years later. He is reunited with his friend, the cold but equally kind Lan Wangji, with whom he tries to investigate the causes of his death and stop the darkness that has come over the land.