Why Do Time Travel Stories in China Follow a Certain Recipe?
Too busy to get your daily dose of RADII? We got you every Tuesday with a summary of all the freshest takes on China’s youth culture in the last week.
- New look, new features — some great RADII storytelling and insights. Our new mobile-friendly site's infinite-scroll function offers an endless selection of hot content from center of Chinese youth culture — now curated across five fresh categories.
- Discover two unique traits that distinguish Chinese time travel stories from their Western counterparts.
- Video game Stray's whiskered protagonist looks so realistic that one gamer’s cat supposedly tried to attack the virtual character.
- Crime drama ‘The Fallen Bridge’ lacks Suspense, say Chinese viewers.
- Chinese American designer Alexander Wang has teamed up with the four qipao influencers behind @Simeizi, a viral account on Douyin.
Why Do Chinese Time Travel Stories Follow a Certain Recipe?
Towards the end of 2019, the Chinese television series Joy of Life took audiences by storm. The series’ popularity earned it a green light for a second season, which is still in production.
The TV program was an adaptation of writer Mao Ni’s online novel of the same name, initially serialized on qidian.com, a hub for Chinese web novels, beginning in 2007. The book comprises seven volumes and follows the life of Fan Xian, who travels back in time and finds himself in the body of a newborn.
A fiction genre imported from the West, the concept of time travel has become a wildly popular genre of storytelling in China, especially in recent years.
However, two unique traits distinguish Chinese narratives from their Western counterparts.
This is in stark contrast to classic Western films like Back to the Future (1985) and literature such as H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine, where the protagonists are transported through time in their natural form with the aid of a device.
Discover two unique traits that distinguish Chinese time travel stories from their Western counterparts.
To promote his pre-fall 2022 collection, fashion powerhouse and Chinese American designer Alexander Wang has teamed up with the four qipao influencers behind @Simeizi, a viral account on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok.
A famous foursome from China starred in three campaign videos for Wang’s pre-fall 2022 collection.
The influencers, who have over 4.4 million followers on Douyin, are known for their short videos in which they carry out highly staged activities, from playing mahjong to dancing to traditional Chinese songs, all while wearing figure-hugging qipaos and high heels.
Despite their popularity in China, the fashion campaign has received mixed reactions. While amassing more than 200,000 likes on Instagram and TikTok, the three videos have scored a dismal 200 likes each on Douyin. That said, it is fair to note that Wang has a larger following on Western social media.
Traditional Chinese fashion and beauty have experienced a surge of popularity in the West, where hanfu influencers like Mochihanfu and makeup brand Florasis have gained millions of views for their content.
While some netizens have praised the Simeizi ladies for their beauty and for promoting traditional Chinese aesthetics, others find the campaign cheesy and have labeled them tu (土) or tuwei (土味), meaning ‘uncool’ or ‘unfashionable.’
- Dystopian third-person adventure game Stray, which allows gamers to experience the world through the eyes of a stray tabby cat, has captivated the hearts of youth in China.
- Best-known in the West for starring in Disney’s ‘Mulan,’ the Wuhan-born actress Liu Yifei has accomplished an astounding amount in little time.
- Set in an unnamed countryside in the thick of winter, Jigme Trinley’s 2021 film One and Four (一个和四个) is a ‘daytime noir’ that revolves around an eventful day in the life of a Tibetan forest ranger.
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