review by Bobby Blakey
Well Go USA is the premiere distribution for Asian cinema and while most of it is focused on horror and martial arts they have so much more in their library. In 2019 Well Go USA brought the first animated film in the Fengshen Cinematic Universe, Nezha with the second film Jiang Ziya was due to be released in early 2020, but delayed due to Covid. Finally Jiang Ziya is here, but does it deliver another great entry into this franchise or will it fail to be worthy of the gods?
Jiang Ziya follows a top commander in the divine Kunlun army, Jiang Ziya, who is ordered to eliminate the menacing Nine-Tailed Fox Demon who poses a grave threat to humankind and Jiang Ziya's rightful place amongst the Gods. Upon discovering the Fox Demon is inhabited by an innocent young girl, Jiang Ziya faces a moral dilemma between choosing to protect one or to protect all.
After really digging Nezha I was really looking forward to this one so pretty bummed it got delayed. Thankfully it’s here now and I can say it delivers yet another big epic animated piece that I really enjoyed. The story is pretty simple, but features enough twists, turns and complexity to keep you invested as it unfolds and leads into a bigger world. There is plenty of action throughout to keep you satisfied between the character building that is very important to where this story is going.
The supernatural elements really add to the tone and visual feast of the film complete with varying great creatures and action pieces that will no doubt entertain. The animation style is similar to Nezha with just enough of its own vibe to stand on its own, but still allows the other character to intertwine if need be. Knowing they are a shared universe is not initially important to the main feature, but the multiple after credit sequences will make little sense if you have not seen Nezha.
This was a pleasant twist that just added to the fun and possibilities of the next entry that is also teased in an after credits stinger. I loved this film as much as Nezha nad think it is absolutely beautiful to look at. There are so many types of landscapes and worlds they deal with they become characters all their own.
I am eager to dive into the next chapter of the Fengshen Cinematic Universe so hope we won’t have to wait to long, but until then you can check out Jiang Ziya when it hits digital, Blu-ray and DVD on February 9th from Well Go USA.
Also be sure to grab your copy of Nezha as well available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Well Go USA.