Thunderbolt Fantasy currently airs on Crunchyroll Fridays at 12:00 pm EDT. Each episode runs for 23 minutes. New episodes air for Premium users first and free users one week later. The series is preceded by a behind the scenes special.
This.... is... eye candy!!
If you're a fan of feudal era Asian drama, you will love this new series from Nitroplus, Pili International and Good Smile.
Set in a fantasy version of the past, the story follows a group of vagabonds and outcasts trying to take down the evil Xuán Guǐ Zōng clan. The action is frequent and intense and blows out of the water previous puppet shows.
The show begins with the bloody defeat of Dān Héng, older brother to lead character Dān Fěi. In a battle featuring blood spurts and dazzling special effects, he dies, protecting the Tiān Xíng Jiàn, a legendary sword that the evil Xuán Guǐ Zōng clan is after. Fěi escapes with the sword, and ends up being rescued by wandering swordsman Shāng Bù Huàn, who reluctantly agrees to help her on her mission.
He is joined by Guǐ Niǎo, a beautiful young man with flowing silver locks, a gorgeous pipe and a laundry list of people who hate his pretty little guts. As of this writing, we're six episodes in with no sign of his full back story yet, but more is to be revealed before the 13th episode.
Along the way, they are joined by Xíng Hài, a demon woman on the laundry list of people who hate Guǐ Niǎo, who is putting aside her evil ways for now to tend to the mission of taking down the Xuán Guǐ Zōng clan, and by sworn brothers Shòu Yún Xiāo and Juǎn Cán Yún.
The story is simple enough for new fans of this genre to grab onto, but offers depth in it's characters. But nothing I could write here properly captures the elegance of the visuals. Each doll graces the screen in long, elaborate costumes and life-like expression, while the animation harmonizes the doll bodies with breathtaking CGI. Computer effects are used properly, to a minimal effect and with as much delicate grace as was put into the costumes. You can feel the love the developers have put into this show with each detail.
Thunderbolt Fantasy is action packed with vivid colors and an expansive story. This is the best stop-motion animation series in decades and delivers must-see viewing!