In this trying times that Covid-19 had struck and the whole world is at the edge fighting this pandemic and the most that we can do is to stay at home, for anime viewers like me; watching anime and related shows had been my refuge. If you had been an avid reader of my blog, you might have come here looking for Chinese anime recommendations since I’ve been talking non-stop about Chinese animations or donghua since 2017 when The King’s Avatar had captivated me. As a means of helping my fellow anime fans of having additional anime titles to be added in their watchlist, I’ve come up with a short recommendation of Chinese anime series & movies that everyone may enjoy.
I have divided this recommended list of Chinese anime in two (2) parts. The first is for the Chinese anime series, and the second is for theChinese anime movies. I have included almost all the donghua that I have seen so far in this recommendation since I do believe in the statement “the more, the merrier”. However, I have only provided a short description of each Chinese anime in order not to spoil too much about its story.
I have provided a bit of a detailed overview of several Chinese anime that I have listed in those posts. And now, I would like to begin this list with my recommended Chinese anime series that viewers out there may enjoy.
The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation
Mo Dao Zu Shi — This may sound basic since the Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation or The Founder of Diabolism is one of the most popular Chinese anime in recent years. This donghua had been listed as our best Chinese anime of 2018, and definitely among the best anime that I have ever seen on that year. If you love Chinese elements such as martial arts and its supernatural beliefs paired with a great screenplay and interesting characters, the Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation is a must-watch for you.
The King’s Avatar
Quan Zhi Gao Shou — I have here my favorite Chinese anime of all time, and it is the reason why I fell in love with Chinese animations. If you love anime such as Sword Art Online, Log Horizon, BOFURI, and similar online games anime series, you should add The King’s Avatar to your watchlist. This is the most popular e-sports anime out there. Aside from the anime series, The King’s Avatar was also adapted into a manhua, and live-action series starring Yang Yang. You may read our review of the live-drama here: The King’s Avatar Live-Action Drama Series Review. The King’s Avatar also received a prequel anime movie that was released last year titledThe King’s Avatar: For the Glory.
Douluo Dalu — We have here the most popular Chinese anime in the whole world as of writing. Soul Land is among the few Chinese animations that became popular in the west while also holding the title of the most-watched anime in the Tencent Video platform. One of my personal favorites, Soul Land is a 3DCG anime with isekai (transmigration to another world) elements with plenty of actions and romantic vibes in its story. Soul Land also gets a live-action drama called Douluo Continent in 2020 starring Chinese actor Xiao Zhan.
Tong Ling Fei — Oh, dear! Here’s my favorite shoujo anime from China. Psychic Princess is both funny and romantic. There are also a considerable amount of actions in the anime since the Psychic Princess has supernatural elements. It’s about an abandoned princess who was summoned to replace her sister as a wife of a ruthless prince. In the end, the crazy set up had turned to be a hilarious ride with our strong independent funny princess spreading so much positivity and laughter throughout the whole run of the anime.
Action and drama, Rakshasa Street had been among the most astounding Chinese anime in recent years. Its 2nd season also aired last December as part of bilibili2020 Chinese anime lineup.
Adorable Food Goddess
A bit of action, a bit of romance, and a little more on foodgasm; the entire experience of Adorable Food Goddess is a real visual aesthetic. The animation quality is beautiful; it reminded me of Makoto Shinkai works, and those anime from Kyoto Animation such as Violet Evergarden. Story-wise, the Adorable Food Goddess is pretty decent.
The Legend of Qin / Qin’s Moon
A real classic I must say, The Legend of Qin had been one of the revolutionary Chinese anime in the 21 stcentury, being given as the defining anime of Chinese 3DCG from Sparkly Key Animation Studio. If you want a Chinese anime that runs deeper than the rest, The Legend of Qin is your first choice as it currently has 5 seasons and over hundreds of episodes out there. The story is set in the warring-states of Ancient China and a boy whose destiny is to challenge the power of the Qin Empire. Interesting and unique characters, great fight scenes, and god-tier music — this donghua is seriously on a league of its own.
Qin’s Moon: Nine Songs of the Moving Heavens
This anime is a spin-off series to the main The Legend of Qin series. I have Nine Songs of the Moving Heavens as my 3 rdfavorite Chinese anime of all time, just behind The King’s Avatar & Mo Dao Zu Shi. The story took place almost 10 years before The Legend of Qin’s timeline took place in the Ancient Kingdom of Han and the growing tension between the other warring states. Some of the characters from The Legend of Qin appeared inNine Songs of the Moving Heavens. Quicksand (the villain group from The Legend of Qin) is the main protagonist in this prequel series. There are tons of amazing and interesting characters; the fight scenes are absurdly beautiful, while the story is more on political and military intrigue as opposed to the carefree and adventurous vibes of The Legend of Qin.
Fox Spirit Matchmaker
One of the most popular and longest-running Chinese anime in recent years with over a hundred episodes in its belt — Fox Spirit Matchmaker is a delightful combination of drama, romance, and action with various themes and topics all weaved together. This Chinese anime is among the most famous work from the Haoliners Animation League which animated Spiritpact, Flavors of Youth, and Hundred Demon Manual.
Hitori no Shita: The Outcast
Originally a co-production between Chinese and Japanese animation companies, Hitori no Shita is a fun, hilarious and action-packed donghua. The most defining aspect of this anime is its amazing fight scenes. It currently has 3 seasons in its belt with Hitori no Shita anime season 3 premiered last April.
The Legend of Luo Xiao Hei
The Legend of Luo Xiao He is an independent and one of the most beloved Chinese short anime web series in recent years. With its popularity among Chinese fans, it received a prequel movie titled The Legend of Hei which was released in China and Japan last 2019. If you love Studio Ghibli works, I am pretty sure that you’ll find this donghua interesting and entertaining.
Listed among the personal favorites of all time, I’m Joybo is the mother of all plot twists when I am gradually falling in love with Chinese animation. The whole experience of watching this donghua had been intense and sentimental. The animation quality is quite mediocre but anybody can tolerate it. The background images are beautiful though. I sincerely believe that the most striking feature of I’m Joybo is the fact that it could soften the viewer’s heart. It made me feel the pain, the drama, the heartbreak, the losses, etc. Furthermore, the soundtracks are pretty catchy.
Quanzhi Fashi — Oh dear, who wouldn’t fall in love with this one? Full-Time Magister aired almost in the same period as The King’s Avatar and anime fans had it among their earliest Chinese anime when donghua is rapidly gaining attention in recent years. The animation quality is average but, the story is like any shounen anime out there that people will surely bite. I love our main character Mo Fan here and his gang. The story could’ve been better but, amazingly, the anime was able to build that great connection between the characters and the audience which I believe is commendable.