Posted by SuperMario on 21 May 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, World Animation

This part we explore one Chinese animation studio’s works. I choose Haoliners partly because they are independent studio, and their works are not hard to find. Just established in 2013, Haoliners is an indie studio but gathered more reputation in the last few years in their homeland. My experience with them through those titles below have been hit or miss, but even me can say that their production is quite great and they are a creative bunch. Their shows, while mostly anime style-wise, cover many genres: from comedy, romantic to thriller. Their climax action scenes are quite impressive as well. Here are the 6 shows in no particular order:

Yaoguai Mingdan – Monster List (妖怪名单)

 Yaoguai Mingdan

The story started on the campus of a university. The poor university student Feng Xi can occasionally see demons, but he didn’t trust his marvelous senses. An unexpected snooping allowed him to find out that the school beauty was a demon fox? What should he do during the date with a demon fox? The beautiful demon fox gave him a small present, and then he realized his university was full of monsters. This is by far their most popular show but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Here we have the most ecchi show of the whole bunch, which is quite fitting seems those monsters are girls seducing their prey (horny young boys). I had to say the final fighting scene is very entertaining, but this is not my type of show.

More after the jump

Fox Spirit Matchmaker (狐妖小红娘)

Fox Spirit Matchmaker

The story of Demon Fox Matchmaker is about love between human and demon. Humans and demons coexist and may fall in love with each other in classic novels, and demons are immortal, which allows them to stay alive after the death of humans. Humans reincarnate for another life, but lose their memories about their lovers in their previous incarnations after reincarnation. If a demon is crazy about the love, it will ‘purchase’ a service from demon fox, which allows human to remember the love in his or her previous incarnation after reincarnation. In this first episode we eventually got introduced to 2 main characters: the fox spirit girl, who is an outcast of her own type, and a human boy, who charming but has a terrible quirk. For the first episode they didn’t talk to each other so I don’t know about their chemistry, but if they can hit it off, it could be a decent show here.

The Totem of Comic (aka The Totem Warrior) (神明之胄)

The Totem Warrior

It’s a mysterious ancient land in a time of totem worship, where different creatures and primitive tribes lived. Totem warrior was the most distinguished occupation in that world. Totem warriors, who were in possession of extraordinary strength, wisdom and faith, protected their tribes in their own ways. The main character ‘Xiaoyu’ grew up in such environment. Xiaoyu beat a saber-toothed bear by accident, and he began his journey to become a totem warrior with such luck. This hand drawn animation looks an awful lot like an anime. The first episode is unconvincing, it features our annoying main character Xiaoyu, who uses his wit rather than fist to take down a saber-toothed bear and then was called up to participate the Totem Warrior tribe because of that. As you can tell the plot is very cliché. We just get a hint of main storyline when the young kid was selected to train as a Totem warrior. But from what I see here, it’s not going to be compelling. I will give it a pass.

Die Now (端腦 )

Die Now 

It started with an unsolved murder case which looks ordinary but full of unbelievable facts. Main characters were deeply involved in it, the only way out is to be aggressive and find the truth. They gradually unveiled a big secret hidden in the whole universe during their untiring investigation. Adapted from comic artist Bi Shuiyu’s work of the same name, this is the most intriguing and solid work out of what I’ve watched here. We first see the very surreal maze and people who try to escape from it. That seems to be a parallel world with the “real world”, where we learn that the main protagonist and his girl had been falling out and it still baffles him. The show handles the atmosphere nicely; you can feel the mysterious air all around this episode. Sadly, the comedy is weak here. Out of all Haoliners works, I would recommend you to check out this one.

Chinese Man of Surprises (中国惊奇先生)

Chinese Man of Surprises

Horrible murder cases happened at alley entrances of different streets happened one after another, the weird stumps along and female corpses with their vitalities sucked out all showed the savagery of murderer. While people were at loss about the pending cases, a poor young migrant worker Wang Xiaoer helped the police in solving different tricky cases without notice. Haoliners sure likes to handle the more erotic scenes. The first half of this episode focuses on the last murder, which we can pick up that the murderer is some kind of ghost. The second half introduces our young migrant worker and newbie female cop at work. I don’t mind the two leads and their interaction so far, but I’m not interest at all about the cases.

2B HERO (变英雄)

2B Hero

It’s a story about handsome Yashu, who was divorced and raised his daughter all by himself, was sucked into the closestool when using the bathroom in his 40s. He time traveled to Yawusanxi Planet, and accidentally became a member of Hero Committee of Universal Piece Republics endowed with superpower to save the earth. However, the superpower had certain impact on his body, and the handsome uncle turned into a super ugly man. The life of Yashu was already so miserable, but it’s just the beginning. This is a dialogue-heavy episode, which is no good for me since I had to watch it raw, so I can’t really comment on the humor here. But from what I watch this is quite an interesting show. The character design is a bit mixed here, while I enjoy majority of the designs, the daughter seems more like anime-quese and doesn’t fit in with the rest. Its mash up of Super Mario (yeah!) is a plus of course.

~SuperMario~

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