Millions of fans around the world celebrate 1st anniversary of hit Chinese web drama 'The Untamed'

By Ji Yuqiao Published: 2020/6/28 21:42:14 Last Updated: 2020/6/28 16:42:14

Promotional material for The Untamed Photo: IC

The influence of hit Chinese web drama The Untamed continues unabated a year after its release, as millions of the show's fans celebrated its first anniversary on Saturday. 

The hashtag "First Anniversary of The Untamed's Release" had earned more than 1.4 billion views as of Sunday afternoon on Sina Weibo, while overseas netizens also took part in the celebrations with the hashtag #TheUntamed1stAnniversary on Twitter.

Period drama The Untamed, which first aired online on June 27, 2019, follows the adventures of two "cultivators' who travel around and use their supernatural powers to solve a series of mysteries. While the stories have won the show praise, it was the close relationship between the two main male characters that really grabbed the attention of audiences and launched actors Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo to superstar status. 

The drama was praised by The People's Daily for its "wonderful presentation of Chinese characteristics," showing traditional cultural elements through exquisite costumes, traditional Chinese music instruments, as well as transmitting positive values such as courage and love for one's country.

Amid the first anniversary on Saturday, video platform Tencent released some behind-the-scene footage from the show and interviews with the main cast, drawing in many fans who recalled the joy they felt watching the show in the summer of 2019.

"When my friend recommended the drama to me last year, I refused to watch it as I was not interested in the setting of the story. But one time I saw a clip of the drama and was deeply drawn in by its costumes, characters and music," one Beijing-based fan surnamed Wan told the Global Times on Sunday.

Wan said that she has watched the released footage numerous times. 

"It feels like I will never tire of this series as I find new interesting details every time I watch," Wan said.

To celebrate the anniversary, many fans edited together short videos of the characters in the drama to show off their most impressive performances. 

"We will never say goodbye to this drama and these attractive characters. We will be here for the next anniversary and those after," one netizen wrote on Sina Weibo, echoing posts from many fans. 

"I once again have to thank The Untamed for not only an amazing experience, but for the friendships that it has given me. I have gotten to know so many amazing people and it's all for this amazing drama," one Twitter user commented. 

There are few Chinese TV dramas that have so many loyal fans who take time out to celebrate a show's first anniversary. "The Untamed is a global phenomenon," Shi Wenxue, a cultural critic based in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Shi explained that the drama's high production quality is one of the main reasons behind the show's lasting popularity, but the star effect has also been a major factor. 

"The series raised two actors, Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo, up and now the huge number of fans of these two celebrities continue to bring the drama popularity."

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