Chinese fantasy drama debuts globally
Showcases richness of Eastern aesthetics through mythology
Published: Jun 05, 2024 10:46 PM
A promotional material for Chinese fantasy TV series Fox Spirit Matchmaker : Red-Moon Pact Photo: Courtesy of Fox Spirit Matchmaker : Red-Moon Pact

A promotional material for Chinese fantasy TV series Fox Spirit Matchmaker : Red-Moon Pact Photo: Courtesy of Fox Spirit Matchmaker : Red-Moon Pact

The new series Fox Spirit Matchmaker: Red-Moon Pact, the first live-action adaptation of the popular Chinese anime Fox Spirit Matchmaker, premiered recently on streaming platform iQIYI domestically and globally, has become one of the popular fantasy TV series in 2024, showcasing Eastern aesthetics and the richness of Chinese culture with an innovative portrayal of Chinese mythology.          

"Fantasy and historical dramas have been central to the global expansion of Chinese television. They are celebrated for their unique aesthetics, narratives and philosophical wisdom," executive producer of the series Wang Xu told the Global Times.

On May 23, the series was simultaneously launched on iQIYI's domestic and international platforms, reaching over 190 countries and regions. 

It has been translated into 11 languages, including English, Malay, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese, with additional dubbed versions in Thai, Vietnamese, and Cantonese to follow. 

After its debut, the series ranked first in the ratings on iQIYI's international platform, while it earned an 8.2/10 rating in IMDB and MyDramaList. 

Domestically, it became iQIYI's fastest show to reach a heat index of 9,000 this year.

"Fox Spirit Matchmaker: Red-Moon Pact incorporates elements of intangible cultural heritage in its costumes and set design, alongside innovative uses of traditional Chinese colors. This approach aims to showcase the beauty of Eastern aesthetics and promote traditional Chinese culture to a global audience," Wang noted.

Directed by Mai Guanzhi and Du Lin, the drama stars Yang Mi and Gong Jun, with special appearances by Guo Xiaoting, Wei Zheming, Hu Lianxin, and Wen Zhengrong. 

Set in a world where humans and spirits are in constant conflict, the series follows Tushan Honghong (Yang), the leader of the Tushan fox clan who dreams of peace and equality between the two realms. 

Alongside Dongfang Yuechu (Gong), a human orphan, Honghong embarks on a mission to forge bonds between humans and spirits, combating the dark forces that threaten to disrupt their harmony.

Fox Spirit Matchmaker was originally created as a comic by Tuo Xiaoxin in 2012. 

"In every adaptation, whether it's the original comic, the animated series, or the live-action drama, the story explores the conflicts and eventual harmony between humans and spirits amidst different perspectives, races, and lifespans," said executive producer Dai Ying. 

"We have created a brand-new Chinese fantasy world in the series, where both humans and spirits have good and bad qualities," said Dai. 

Led by the Tushan sisters, the Tushan spirits display kindness, unity, and love, showing that the spirit world can also be cute, harmonious, and beautiful. 

They also hold universal values and engage in everyday activities like earning money and working, adding a touch of realism.

In addition to its narrative depth, the drama boasts stunning visual effects. 

Executive producer Zhang Yucheng revealed that extended reality technology was used in it. 

According to Zhang, they drew inspiration from China's famous landscapes and landmarks, aiming to "maximize the dissemination of Eastern aesthetics through innovative interpretations."

The intricate makeup and costumes also employ multiple traditional Chinese colors - red, green, gray, white, and black - each representing different characters and conveying deeper cultural meanings. 

"These elements not only have a visual impact but also embody our understanding and expression of traditional cultural values," Zhang said.