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MXTX Novels (Mo Dao Zu Shi, Scum Villain, Heaven Official's Blessing)

Discussion in 'Fan Town' started by ZeroEsper, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. ZeroEsper

    ZeroEsper Well-Known Member

    I'm very into MXTX's novels right now, so I thought I'd start a thread!

    For people who aren't familiar with MXTX, she's a danmei (Chinese gay novel) writer! She's written three works - Mo Dao Zu Shi (in English it's called The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation), Scum Villain's Self Saving System, and Tian Guan Ci Fu (Heaven Official's Blessing). Of these three, Mo Dao Zu Shi is probably the most popular. It currently has a donghua (like a Chinese anime), an audio drama, a TV drama where they no-homo'd the main pairing because of Chinese censorship laws, and a comic adaptation! So there's lots of ways to see it. The live-action adaptation is called The Untamed and it's very different from the novels but again, due to censorship laws certain things HAD to be changed.

    I think my favorite is probably Scum Villain. Scum Villain is MXTX's first work, and it's getting a donghua adaptation... I think they're saying in 2020? I'm curious to see how they'll no homo this one because like, the main plot point is that a modern man from our world transmigrates (basically dimension hops) into the world of a novel he hates and the protagonist goes from being a 'stallion' with over 600 wives to falling in love with him. So it's a 'help, I bent the protagonist!' danmei. It's the first one with this trope that I ever read and I'm kind of obsessed now lmao. But either way, taking out the 'the protagonist fell in love with me!!' trope is gonna be. Complicated. Cause that's like. A huge chunk of the plot.

    Heaven Official's Blessing is also really good and I've heard rumors of a TV adaption but I'm gonna be honest I don't know how true those are. It'd be super cool if they were true but I'm tempering my expectations.

    So if anyone would like to chime in, which one is your favorite?
     
    • Like x 2
  2. WolffyLuna

    WolffyLuna Active Member

    I've heard good things about MXTX, but I haven't read/watched any of her stuff yet. But it sounds interesting.

    Do you have any recommendations for a good starting point? (I'm more of a novel person than a TV person, if that helps)
     
    • Agree x 1
  3. ZeroEsper

    ZeroEsper Well-Known Member

    I do! They're kind of contingent on how you like to consume content, though. If you like to start with a creator's earlier work, it goes Scum Villain > Mo Dao Zu Shi > Heaven Official's Blessing.

    Otherwise, I think that Mo Dao Zu Shi's novel might be a good starting point, and here's why:

    MXTX writes her novels in the fictional world called Xianxia. This is very popular in Chinese Danmei novels, but there isn't an English-language equivalent. As such, some of the concepts she discusses might be confusing at first. If you read the Exiled Rebels translation, they do a really good job explaining the concepts that come with this world. Last I checked they had an entire page that was just the mods explaining like 'okay, so in Xianxia, things work like this.' Mo Dao Zu Shi kind of gives the best explanations about the Xianxia world, I think, so it might be an easier starting point to help familiarize yourself. I think that because MXTX's novels are becoming more popular, if you have a question that isn't answered to your satisfaction, you might be able to Google it and find a good result, whereas before they became popular I think it might've been hit or miss.

    I know it might seem a little annoying to have to learn this new world and the rules, but I found once I understood the basic principles I was fine. Thankfully while at first Xianxia might seem to have a lot of rules and concepts attached A) some of them you don't really have to keep at the forefront of your mind because they don't apply most of the time/are not relevant except in a few cases and the translator's notes will often remind you about them and B) it's totally okay to not understand everything perfectly because so long as you have the basic idea, you should be able to follow what's going on pretty easily.
     
    • Agree x 1
    • Informative x 1
  4. WolffyLuna

    WolffyLuna Active Member

    Thank you! I'm personally a fan on worldbuilding that dumps me in first and expects me to work it out, so Xianxia sounds like it's up my alley!
     
    • Like x 1
  5. garden

    garden lucid dreamer

    yooo MXTX thread! :D i absolutely loved MDZS, bc god dang did i love wei wuxian and the wangxian ship. i read a good chunk of Scum Villain but didn’t connect to the characters as much? i might give it another shot though. and TGCF is interesting, i think i read a handful of chapters and then got distracted.

    so i’ll have to give the other two another shot at some point, but i really like MDZS! haven’t seen The Untamed myself but i follow enough MDZS people on twitter that i have absorbed some of it by osmosis & can recognize the Untamed actors by now. i also watched a bit of the donghua? MDZS is really the “a zillion different adaptations” mood, good lord.
     
  6. ZeroEsper

    ZeroEsper Well-Known Member

    Oh my god yeah, MDZS was kind of the first one that got really big, I think. TGCF is really heavy and Scum Villain is very, very gay, which poses censorship issues, so MDZS was, I think, one of the more appealing ones to adapt.

    I'm going to be honest I love Scum Villain a whole lot but I certainly wouldn't say I connected to these characters, more like I had positive feelings about them? I think they're kind of hard to relate to. Like I've found that people who relate hardcore to Binghe are... they're probably not people with whom I'm compatible. And as for Shen Yuan, well, I think pretty much the entire fandom was like 'oh my god he's so DUMB.' Like I love him, but objectively he's dumb. So I totally get what you mean about not connecting to the characters - I think it's the sort of thing you kind of have to read where you're not really establishing a fictional bond with these characters, you're just kinda watching them fuck up a lot and then occasionally get something right and then you clap from the sidelines.

    TGCF actually starts off kinda slowly, I think? Like I didn't super into it until about chapter 50. I think MXTX was trying to do some worldbuilding, and that's cool and all, but it didn't end up being something I was really personally entertained by until we actually started meeting more of the recurring cast.
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. garden

    garden lucid dreamer

    lmao half my timeline is going bananas because the first episode(s?) of MDZS donghua season two drops tonight
     
  8. ZeroEsper

    ZeroEsper Well-Known Member

    Lmao same, my entire timeline was pretty much screenshots and 'please murder me, sir' captions. The donghua's animation does look super good and just... the way Lan Wangji looks at Wei Wuxian... I feel it and it hurts
     
    • Like x 1
  9. WolffyLuna

    WolffyLuna Active Member

    I've started watching The Untamed, and have just got through the first three episodes. I've been really enjoying it so far! Wei Wuxian manages to just ride the line between charming and annoying. (Also I love the donkey, but that is unsurprising considering me.)

    It's a very fun show to shout at the television at/make your own commentary for. (Mostly along the lines of "Does learning magic make you forget normal methods of conflict resolution? Apparently so.")
     
    • Like x 2
  10. ZeroEsper

    ZeroEsper Well-Known Member

    Yeah from what i’ve seen of it, it has a lot of typical funny Cdrama tropes, which seems to include a good bit of ‘character forgets everything they knew’
     
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