"I'm only human" — CMV/AMV Saturday 1/11/20

Christina Perri’s song Human can be applied to few characters as well as it is here applied to Wei Ying/Wei Wuxian of “The Untamed”.* I haven’t been this excited about an entry for the CMV/AMV Saturday series in such a long time.

Wei Ying gives everything he has and IS for those he cares about, often times without them even knowing, and he receives only pain in return. This song says it all; he can take the pain, he can put it away, he can be what they need, he can carry the weight of the world, but eventually… well, as the song says, “I can take so much, ’til I’ve had enough.” Spoilers are contained ahead for the show’s long flashback sequence. Even if you don’t read further, I highly suggest watching the video at the end of the post, because I think it’s going to impact you and perhaps convince you to watch this excellent piece of media.

Wei Ying bites his tongue and holds in his pain while living with the Jiang family, where he’s put on a pedestal by Fengmian (much to Cheng’s detriment) and abused by Madam Yu. While his adopted siblings mourn their parents, he holds his breath. He himself grieves, yes, but he puts it aside to protect Yanli and Cheng at all costs. He saves Cheng from the Wens, but Cheng–mourning for his lost core–pushes him away. He “can stay awake for days” in that he works tirelessly day and night to come up with a solution to help Cheng, and when he realizes what must be done, he does it without reservation over the cost to himself.

He fakes smiles when he returns from torment, having lost his own core and with no hope to aid his siblings without demonic cultivation. He pretends everything is fine even as it eats away at him, and no one knows what he has done for Cheng. He fakes smiles for Yanli. He’s derided at every turn by people who don’t know why he’s made the choices he’s made. He plays the part of his carefree former self, and gives everything he is to his adopted siblings.

He’s strong, capable, and HE CAN DO IT. But, in the end, he really is only human. So many unkind words have been thrown at him, so much hate. There are so many knives in Wei Ying’s heart, and yet he carries on almost mechanically. He’s holding the weight of worlds as he supports the Wen victims because they NEED him; his siblings will be okay now, but he is all the Wen’s have.

He’s turning against a hypocritical cultivation society, and now he’s hated. But he’ll get through it, even though he’s bleeding inside and out. He’s weaker now, but he carries on even as he’s sacrificed everything, including his closest relationships. It’s destroying him.

And in the end, he can take SO MUCH before he’s had enough. With Yanli’s death…

He’s lost the will to go on, even as Lan Zhan–who has desperately tried to be there for Wei Ying–begs him to stay.

(Lan Zhan regrets not doing more to stand by him for the next 13 years, bringing us to where we are as “The Untamed” begins.)

Link if video embed doesn’t work: https://youtu.be/hB2VZfA6hl0

‘Cause I’m only human

And I bleed when I fall down

I’m only human

And I crash and I break down

Your words in my head, knives in my heart

You build me up and then I fall apart

‘Cause I’m only human, yeah

-“Human,” Christina Perri

Have you watched “The Untamed?” I’m obsessed.

-Shoujo

*”The Untamed” is the live-action adaptation of MCZS, or “The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation,” as written about here.

Why aren’t we talking about Mo Dao Zu Shi? (A take on 魔道祖师, or “Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation”)

People aren’t talking nearly enough about Mo Dao Zu Shi (魔道祖师, AKA “Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation”). I saw pretty art on Twitter and went hunting, only to find this GORGEOUS work that had me first reading 75 chapters of the manga before marathon watching a full season of donghua (Chinese animation) in one day. One day. Then I started on what I could find of season two.

So, what is it?

Watch me!

Just so beautiful I could cry.

Oh, and it’s boys love.

No, I’m kidding. Well, I mean, I’m not kidding, but let’s just get that out of the way right now. It’s BL. But is more than that alone.

From what I gather, it originates from a novel I’ve never read and spawned a whole bunch of additional media including audio dramas, manga, a two season donghua (both the latter aforementioned, of course), and even a live-action adaptation! The manga is admittedly a bit hard to understand when you’re first jumping in (especially because of all the “formal name/birth name” stuff), but if you hold out it begins to make more sense, and the donghua really clears things up on its end. The animation is also SO BEAUTIFUL that I am obsessed.

wei

OBSESSED.

It’s about this guy named Wei Ying who is kind of a troublemaker, but he’s got a very good heart. This kid lives in a time and place that attempts to cultivate Xain (spirituality, guys) and keep things at peace by balancing forces. To get more specific, there are these “cultivators” who strive to control spiritual power in moral ways to help people and keep them safe from demons, ghosts, spirits, and the like. Well, getting into very minor spoilers, stuff goes down, and this kid falls off the straight and narrow cultivation path for all the right reasons. GUY. BECOMES. INFAMOUS.

After several years, circumstances dictate his death, and he’s reincarnated after several more by a random guy who lost his mind due to familial abuse. (Yeah, not kidding.) That guy dies, and Ying takes over his body, not that he has a choice in the matter. Things get even more complicated when he stumbles upon people he knew in his previous life, including the epitome of straight and narrow himself, Lan Zhan.

Lan Zhan is a man from a very strict and proper cultivation clan who knew Ying from childhood. They spent some time learning together as teens and, consequently…

Well, to avoid further spoilers, I’ll just say that Lan Zhan did doth protest too much, but even he knew that after a while.

That, my readers, is just where the story BEGINS. There’s so much to unpack in this tale of love, morality, and betrayal. The show (and manga, but I’m focusing on this STUNNING show) examines ways in which things aren’t always as black and white as they seem when it comes to right and wrong. It also shows how people grow, change, and adapt to their circumstances for good or ill. So much pressure and motivation go into the choices people make, and family relationships are complicated, to say the least. Friendships fall together and apart. Do the ends justify the means?

There’s not enough self-restraint in the world that would allow me to further sing its praises without getting into heavy spoilerific content, so instead, I’ll tell you how to watch this unlicensed gem.

You CAN watch the first 13-15 episodes (season one) on YouTube thanks to Tencent, but some of those episodes may be region-locked depending on where you live. In that case (and also in order to watch season 2), I must admit… I pirated. Sort of.

I’m ALL ABOUT supporting the official release when possible; I am fortunate enough that I’m even in a financial situation that I subscribe to both HIDIVE and Funimation Now. But this is one of those shows that doesn’t (and probably will never) give a western company a license, so, in order to watch it, I had to stream it on one of the many free-to-watch pirate sites. Keeping in mind that I will ABSOLUTELY support the legal release and buy it because I love it so much, I recommend you check out one of the safer sites to watch. And then, you know, fangirl with me about it.

The show is somewhat obscure, but I can’t figure out why because it’s frankly incredible. Have you seen it? Do you love it? Let me know in the comments below! (Which I always read, guys! And I love them! My brain is just bad at letting me respond right nowwwwww <3)

~Shoujo 🌸

UPDATE: TENCENT IS UPLOADING THE CURRENT SEASON 2 CONTENT TO YOUTUBE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES AVAILABLE. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. GO WATCH IT LEGALLY, FOLKS!!