The Yinyang Master (2021)
1h 53min

Adaption of the phenomenon-level mobile game "Onmyoji" - film version with the same name that will bring the magnificent oriental fantasy world to life.

Currently trending on my Netflix feed, I opted for the English audio to spare myself from reading subtitles. Initially, the movie's legend/story was a bit confusing to me as I wasn't familiar with it, but as the plot unraveled, my interest grew immensely. Intrigued to fully grasp the movie's depth, I decided to re-watch it, and I must admit, I didn't mind at all since I thoroughly enjoyed the crystal-clear VFX and CGI.

Throughout the viewing, a fantastic idea took root in my mind – this captivating tale would make an incredible theme for a mobile game. Imagine embarking on an in-game adventure, collecting Shikigami, leveling them up, and engaging in battles like a card game or chess-like strategy. My excitement soared even higher when the animated QingMing appeared at the ending, and a quick Google search revealed that it was based on the mobile game "Onmyoji" (which, by the way, I'm currently addicted to :P), which in turn drew inspiration from the Onmyoji series. It turns out, the creative process was the other way around :P.

Thanks to AsiaOne, I learned that another YinYang Master movie predated this one, and fortunately, it's also available on Netflix. I found the story to be captivating, reminiscent of the likes of "Monkey King" or "Journey to the West" (both of which I hold dear as favorites). The movie's lesson, not to judge a book by its cover, resonated deeply – sometimes, those we least expect to be malevolent are the very ones concealing darkness within.

All in all, I'm adding this masterpiece to my list of favorite movies, titles, and legends. I can't help but hope for sequels to further explore this enchanting world. Fingers crossed! :)

The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity (2020)
Yin-Yang Master I (original title)
PG-13 | 2h 12min

Qing Ming, the Yin-Yang Master, took his master's last wish and went to the Captial Tiandu City to attend the heaven ceremony.

I couldn't help but notice the differences in the storyline compared to the previous version I had seen. It appears that this adaptation is more closely tied to the Onmyoji series, which might explain the variations.

While the character of QingMing was not as bad-ass in this rendition, he took on a different persona resembling a priest, akin to figures in "The Journey to the West" or "Monkey King." Surprisingly, it was Boya who stole the spotlight this time, presenting a stark contrast to the other film. I pondered whether these differences were a result of the actors' performances or a portrayal consistent with the original novel or series.

Nonetheless, the movie's plot remained compelling, keeping me engaged throughout. Yet, I must confess that the VFX's dark presentation made it challenging for me to fully appreciate compared to the previous film's brighter and more vivid visuals—especially now that I have a 40" Sony Android TV, which I must admit, accentuates my preference for brighter aesthetics :P. Despite this, the captivating storyline managed to leave an impression, making the viewing experience enjoyable in its own unique way.