The Untamed

Wei Wuxian is part of the Jiang clan, who encourages their disciples to be true to themselves. And Wei Wuxian sure is true to himself. When he visits the Cloud Recesses of the Lan clan, he causes nothing but trouble, and Lan Wangji becomes his main target for his mischief.

However, troubles much bigger than the ones Wei Wuxian creates are stirring the air of the cultivation world, and he, together with Lan Wangji, goes to put together pieces of a puzzle.


“Anny! Aren’t you getting tired of all this gay stuff?”
“What about Mo Dao Zu Shi, then?”
Bigger nope.

I know I said I would review books, but life got in the way and so I reviewed this instead. Because, naturally, I haven’t let my Wei Wuxian obsession die yet.

The Untamed is a live-action adaptation of the novel Mo Dao Zu Shi, with the two main characters being played by Xiao Zhan (as Wei Wuxian) and Wang Yibo (as Lan Wangji). And this is actually the first live-action review I’ve done. So we got another first this year. It’s 50 episodes of 45 minutes, so it totals to 37 hours and 30 minutes. Don’t binge-watch this without breaks. It’s really bad for you.

I expected changes because of how Chinese media works and Mo Dao Zu Shi is very gay. Very gay. But I was surprised they took the “present” plot and applied it to the past, and somehow managed to put it together with the “past” plot with WWX’s and LWJ’s bond as a centre. It did feel like they forgot the plot half-way through in the flashback though and then just barely put the pieces together.

And then they essentially repeated the plot.

It’s somewhat laughable, to be honest. I just saw the plot for half the show but with the “yin iron” instead of parts of a body, and then it’s basically the same darn plot, only now they’re having a sword and find clues. I just… Why?

I understand they needed to get the gayness out of it. Most of it anyway. No kisses or sex. Instead, there was some intense staring and some scenes that made me go “Aaaw, they have a crush on each other”. I don’t mind the brotherly bond thing, because I relate more to a strong platonic bond than a romantic one and there is plenty of stuff for fujoshi and fudanshi work with if they want to have romantic and/or sexy ship between WWX and LWJ. (Which isn’t wrong, since that’s the source material anyway.)

But there was a lot to work with without putting present plot into flashback and then repeating it, right?

Nonetheless, I had my laughs and cries. Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo were really good as WWX and LWJ. It also made me lol because it’s some of it is super silly, but somehow I was less embarrassed by this than some Japanese live-action shows I’ve tried which are less silly. I wasn’t even embarrassed by it. You’d think someone like me who wants kind of serious stuff would facepalm at the ridiculous flying and jumping, but all I felt was that I was impressed by how well it was made.

That’s an achievement.

Before my final thoughts, I’ll be super superficial though. DAMN LWJ’s actor was pretty. Like his face. I can’t. So pretty. I just felt it was the most perfect face I’ve seen. Wen Qing’s actress was also really pretty. But Wang Yibo’s like the epitome of beauty for me.

Yeah. So perfect visually for LWJ.

I know I usually don’t do two separate sections, but you know… I felt it was appropriate. I might try this out later for other reviews, I don’t know.

So, final thoughts. This post summed up, I supposed I’d say: this is a good adaptation. A few strange choices about the changes, I guess, but I suppose that happens. They did throw around the timeline quite a bit. Some iffy graphics with the green screen as well, but overall really pleasant to watch, in terms of effects. The costuming was nice and the acting overall good. The story has its silly things and hence some really silly acting, but that’s expected.

I thought I would have said “I don’t recommend this to people like me”, but because the story is well-made, the graphics pleasant and the acting good, I can’t not recommend it. However, tread carefully. I can’t guarantee just anyone will like it, but it’s a good alternative to the very gay and not child-friendly source material. It’s also officially available on Youtube and I know it’s available in some countries on Netflix, and likely other places, so it’s not as difficult to get your hands on as some other adaptations.

I was still pretty bummed about the ending. It was really unsatisfying after reading the novel. I know others want to watch the show again, but I just sat for a while and then just thought that maybe I should re-read the novel. I mean, I planned to for reasons, but I might just end up doing a third read for the original reason.

So! If you’re interested but don’t want the full-on gayness and don’t mind the silliness of flying on swords and characters being idiots, sure, go ahead and watch it. It’s a really good show. Just don’t watch it if you don’t like violence, because there are a lot of sword fights and fake blood.

Oh, and while I did mention it before… Don’t binge-watch this without breaks. It’ll get you sick. Eat, sleep, drink water, do chores between episodes and go on a walk outside if it’s safe.

What would you like to see a review of next? Let me know in a comment!

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3 thoughts on “The Untamed

  1. “You’d think someone like me who wants kind of serious stuff would facepalm at the ridiculous flying and jumping, but all I felt was that I was impressed by how well it was made.”

    Wait, is this a wuxia show?

    _some wikipedia research later_

    OMG so this is apparently a xianxia show which is a subgenre of wuxia! Now I’m interested. xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could have told you that while reading the novel in January. xD I mean, xianxia is technically the lit version of wuxia, and it’s adapted from the novel, so… There’s an animated adaptation as well (2 seasons so far) and Tian Guan Ci Fu is getting an animated adaptation this year, which also is xianxia by the same author.

      Hope you look forward to being dragged into MDZS hell with me.


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