Fairies Albums 3rd Season - Reviews

Alt titles: Bai Yao Pu 3rd Season, Hundred Demon Spectrum 3rd Season

krofire's avatar
Dec 12, 2022

Astonishingly this Chinese gem from studio Haoliners Animation League doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry despite being in its fourth season. It is a delight to see anime in the Chinese language, it’s fresh, different. Season 3 arrived in 2022 with twelve new episodes yet Crunchyroll was only showing this single season in Europe. Heaven only knows where you have to go to see the first two seasons as it looks like they are spread over the internet streaming sites in random fashion. This is quite the pity as this show impresses right from the opening sequence when the song “Not to say” (sung by Su Yunying) kicks in. We have not seen or heard something so special or emotive since True kicked off “Violet Evergarden” (Season One 2018 Kyoto Animation) with the song “Sincerely”. Hypnotic. Wonderful. It really sets the mood for the fantasy drama that follows. As we have not seen seasons one and two then we are missing a lot of backstory here but the principal protagonist is teenage girl Tao Yao in an era we guess is some 500 years ago (but its place in history is anyone’s guess). Tao has a special ability to see and commune with supernatural spirits. She helps them with their problems and is well known in the spirit world. She has one big weakness - gambling. Her travelling companions are a demon Liugonzi and young monk Mo Ya.

Together they travel around China encountering spirits who need her help. The supernatural is deeply entwined with the lives of humans such that every story we encounter is rich in our own lived experience. It is all here: romance, drama, curses, warfare, violence, intrigue, jealousy, regret, tragedy, horror. The drama is profound, even sophisticated. The show is driven by it star character – Tao Yao – she steals every scene she is in and the show is always a little less appealing if she is not on screen. Her portrayal is quite sensual - her look unique. Wise beyond her tender years she is self-assured, street smart, sassy and dominant - her presence beguiling and bewitching. She is the driving force behind this show and she leaves the audience enthralled at her performance. Seldom do we get characters quite this strong and beautiful. Honestly, we could watch her all day – such a powerful character. The title “Fairies Albums” is a weak point and its choice over the original interpretation of “Manual of a Hundred Demons” is questionable. The animation itself is occasionally quite spectacular but mostly just average. The ending plays out with no titles showing whatsoever which is OK if visuals are supplied - however two episodes play out with just a black screen and music. This can be a bit disorientating (your TV/computer screen is not on the blink!) Everything about this show is just a little bit special. It deserves more recognition than it is getting. Simply fantastic.

10/10 story
7/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall