Ne Zha

Alt title: Ne Zha Zhi Mo Tong Jiang Shi

Movie (1 ep x 110 min)
4.08 out of 5 from 725 votes
Rank #685
Ne Zha

A young boy, Nezha, is birthed from a heavenly pearl by the Primeval Lord of Heaven. Born with unique powers, Nezha finds himself as an outcast who is hated and feared. Destined by prophecy to bring destruction to the world, the young boy must choose between good and evil in order to break the shackles of fate and become the hero.

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If you like dope CGI action sequences, then this movie could be for you. But if you hate crude jokes - particularly ones about bodily fluids - well… just prepare yourself.  The story centers around two young boys fighting against their fates. The antagonist Ao Bing possesses the good spirit pearl but is raised by an “evil” father and our protagonist Ne Zha has the demon spirit pearl but raised by “good” parents. So the story isn’t anything groundbreaking.  The strength of this anime is in the visuals. The fantastical magical animations and action sequences made this anime really fun and exciting to watch. For example, at one point, the characters enter into a magical book that can create anything through a magical paintbrush. The creators fully took advantage of this device by reusing it in an imaginative way. Similarly, they re-imagine uses for Ne Zha’s ribbon-like weapon and Ao Bing’s dragon armor. The magic by itself looked really dope, but it was also kept fresh by creative applications. As for the characters, Ne Zha possesses flaws clearly ifor the purpose of development, but the movie doesn’t shy away from his immoral deeds. His initial hardness is due to constant treatment as a demon, and he learns righteous actions by costly failures and witnessing good examples. I found Ne Zha refreshingly and humorously crass, nicely contrasting his upstanding and mild-mannered parents. Ao Bing, also an opposing personality to Ne Zha, forms a compelling friendship with him, even though a bit shallow. While the story is a tale as old as time, the humor certainly smells of 2019. Bizarrely, they make jokes relying on current references such as a smartphone. The movie attempts to veil such anachronistic references with magic but they were still direct enough to distract me. The crude humor did not land for me either. I have no issue with crude humor in concept, but when all the momentum of a life-or-death action scene is halted due to a “oh, look he peed!” joke, I find myself incapable of laughter. This movie certainly isn't perfect but if it can be enjoyable for the engaging visuals and a simplistic story. It would be a nice group watch since you could simply 1) hype up over the action parts and 2) make fun of how stupid the jokes are.

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