In the war, fierce warrior Jiang Ziya’s mission is to take down the fox spirit clan leader who instigated it, but before he can execute that nine-tailed fox demon, he finds an innocent child possessed by the fox spirit and won’t let her be killed. As punishment, the Grand Master banishes Jiang Ziya to the mortal world, because everyone knows gods shouldn’t show kindness, they’re all about the greater good. In the mortal realm, Jiang Ziya spends ten years despondent, because ugh: Earth. Major bummer. Anyway, he makes friends with the little amnesiac fox spirit girl, and a Tiger God, and together they go on an adventure to figure out how to save the kid’s mortal soul.
The nine-tailed fox demon, though, threatens the very fabric of humanity. Ooooh. Tough decision, folks. Should he follow the will of heaven, killing the demon thus condemning the girl, or find his own path to redemption. Any bets?
The animation in Jiang Ziya (also called Legend of Deification) is pretty stellar, with excellent world-building. It’s almost reminiscent of a video game, all spastic violence and not a lot of character development. That’s not necessarily a problem if you love big thunderous punches though.
Jiang Ziya is a popular Chinese mythological figure; the plot is loosely based on the novel Investiture of the Gods by Xu Zhonglin. It is a follow-up to 2019’s Ne Zha (but don’t worry, it’s nowhere near as complex) and the second installment of the Fengshen Cinematic Universe, which have been pretty consistent so far, a nice way to celebrate Chinese culture, and a cool exploration of what makes a true hero.
Fans of this style of animation will certainly be pleased. Jiang Ziya gives non-stop action and stunning visuals, and a story you just won’t get anywhere else.