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REVIEW: Thunderbolt Fantasy: The Sword of Life and Death




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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:23 pm Reply with quote
That was just terrific! I'm so happy to get more of this, and I couldn't ask for more than having it be about Phoenix's backstory. Poor baby. Literally, poor baby. Crying or Very sad

I think I'd been sort of neutral or pro Gale, but after this I think I really don't like him much. He proved to be much more of a sadist than I originally had him pegged as. It's one thing for him to enjoy the shock or surprise when his victims realize they'd been had, but how he played Phoenix was viciously cruel, especially since he didn't really have any reason to go after him.

Somehow it felt like the production was either a bit more sloppy or a bit more over-produced than the series. Many of the fight scenes I had real trouble following, though Shang Bu Huan's fight was just right. And the story was hilarious.

Can't wait for the next season to start! And scale figures when, please?
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Merida
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:42 pm Reply with quote
I didn't realize how starved i was of cool puppet action until i watched this movie! I loved everything about it, even though the different parts felt a bit disjointed.

And Enigmatic Gale definitely went to far with Phoenix Killer, he basically destroyed a life just for his own amusement. That goes way beyond being a loveable jerk (though i'm biased since Phoenix was my favourite character from s1)...

So excited for the second season! Very Happy
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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 5222
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:28 pm Reply with quote
Is there a reason why this movie doesn't have an encyclopedia entry?

Quote:
its actual narrative material is not that compelling. [...] Both side stories lack in dramatic appeal


Oh wow, I didn't know Nick Creamer watched a completely different movie

Merida wrote:
And Enigmatic Gale definitely went to far with Phoenix Killer, he basically destroyed a life just for his own amusement. That goes way beyond being a loveable jerk (though i'm biased since Phoenix was my favourite character from s1)...


Agreed 100%. Phoenix Killer is my favorite character too and I was really happy we got to see that story, even if that made me lose some sympathy for Enigmatic Gale. I completely disagree with Nick about the story being unnecessary or unwanted. Honestly since the first minute in which Enigmatic Gale introduced Phoenix Killer as his bodyguard me and the friend I was watching with were bouncing with excitement. And the second half, while not very substantial, was a buttload of fun. I loved the whole thing thoroughly and I couldn't be more stoked about the second season
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meronichan



Joined: 30 Jun 2014
Posts: 63
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, it's better to go into this film expecting more or less two special "episodes" kind of mushed together rather than one flowing narrative. As a bridge between season 1 and 2 it's an entertaining distraction. I'm still a little disappointed Xing Hai's backstory will never be filmed, as I would have really liked to see how Lin put the moves on the woman everyone else is so afraid of, but alas,...
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LaytonPuzzle27



Joined: 05 Sep 2017
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Question I wondered what would Gerry Anderson would think of this series had he lived long enough to see this?
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:51 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, in the first season Gale came off as sort of a rascally Robin Hood type, in that his targets were pure evil or really deserved their comeuppance. Now you might argue that an assassin is hardly an icon of good, but Phoenix was pretty much doing the best he could with the rotten hand he'd been dealt. He wasn't evil to be evil, and wasn't gleeful about killing people. But Gale actually was kind of gleeful about the bloodbath he'd just manipulated into being, and that was just collateral damage to him.

Tsk, Gale, I am disappoint. You're not the man I thought you were. And dude, what was up with that jester's cap? I thought you at least had some fashion sense.
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meronichan



Joined: 30 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:45 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Yeah, in the first season Gale came off as sort of a rascally Robin Hood type, in that his targets were pure evil or really deserved their comeuppance. Now you might argue that an assassin is hardly an icon of good, but Phoenix was pretty much doing the best he could with the rotten hand he'd been dealt. He wasn't evil to be evil, and wasn't gleeful about killing people. But Gale actually was kind of gleeful about the bloodbath he'd just manipulated into being, and that was just collateral damage to him.

Tsk, Gale, I am disappoint. You're not the man I thought you were. And dude, what was up with that jester's cap? I thought you at least had some fashion sense.


It shows that Lin doesn't manipulate evil-doers out of some sense of justice, but rather because villainous types are typically the most cunning and full of pride in themselves, so it's much more amusing to tear them down than it is to ruin someone like say, Shang, who is humble and straightforward. He admits it himself, that it's "no fun to manipulate good people" and that he doesn't want evil to disappear, only to mock the people that embody it. As the audience, we come to the conclusion that Lin is doing this to clean up the world, albeit in a unique way, which we see plainly isn't the case. Lin could use his intellect for good and to change "evil" people's lives for the better, but that isn't fun. Shang wants to change people's perceptions to help them, and Lin couldn't care either way. In fact, if everyone were noble like Shang, he would have no one to ruin and his life would lose meaning.

Additionally, Wu Sheng was someone that clearly believed in fate. He was certain that because he'd been given a certain name and that his life was so terrible, there was no possibility that he could change. Both Lin and Shang essentially taught two people the same lesson, that there's no such thing as fate, but Lin's "lesson" resulted in Wu Sheng's ultimate ruin, whereas Shang taught fake!Shang something that would more or less save him from forever wallowing in despair, a la Phoenix Killer.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:50 am Reply with quote
I didn't mean to imply that he was ever motivated by seeking justice, just that from an outside perspective, he kinda got a pass because his targets were the worst people.

That wasn't the case though with Phoenix. I don't even really understand why Gale targeted him, since he was neither cunning nor prideful. Yes, he was proud of his sword skills, but it was the only thing he ever had in his life, and he didn't sink to being boastful or bullying about it. Leave him be and he'd leave you be unless someone paid him to assassinate you. He was so guileless it was hardly any challenge to con him. The only thing in it for him was the sadistic pleasure of yanking his chain at the moment he believed he was free of his fate. So kinda the opposite lesson about fate than Shang was handing out.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:13 am Reply with quote
Just rememebr that he was alrady an infamous mass murderer then; the film plays with us by not showing that directly so we also feel betrayed.
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Merida
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:21 am Reply with quote
maximilianjenus wrote:
Just rememebr that he was alrady an infamous mass murderer then; the film plays with us by not showing that directly so we also feel betrayed.


And Gale made sure he had no choice but to remain a mass murderer which achieved what exactly, apart from adding to his own amusement? Also i'm pretty sure that everybody who watched the first season an/or paid attention to what's being told about his past in the movie knew what Phoenix was...
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meronichan



Joined: 30 Jun 2014
Posts: 63
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:21 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I didn't mean to imply that he was ever motivated by seeking justice, just that from an outside perspective, he kinda got a pass because his targets were the worst people.

That wasn't the case though with Phoenix. I don't even really understand why Gale targeted him, since he was neither cunning nor prideful. Yes, he was proud of his sword skills, but it was the only thing he ever had in his life, and he didn't sink to being boastful or bullying about it. Leave him be and he'd leave you be unless someone paid him to assassinate you. He was so guileless it was hardly any challenge to con him. The only thing in it for him was the sadistic pleasure of yanking his chain at the moment he believed he was free of his fate. So kinda the opposite lesson about fate than Shang was handing out.


Clearly he is at least partly sadistic, that's obvious. He stole his belief in fate, and yeah, gave it right back, for reasons we're not entirely certain of yet. He and Wu Sheng were partners for quite some time, until Lin learned what his weakness was. He'd offered him a way out of his cruel destiny, and a supposed friend who understood him, when he intended to give neither. There was also the fact that Lin hated the pretentiousness of a tournament that determined whether someone was worthy of a title, he might have just been using Wu Sheng as a tool to tear down that establishment as well.

I really don't have all the answers for this particular instance, because Wu Sheng was likely one of the only "targets" that actually wanted to be a good person at the end of the day, making Lin's "mockery of evil" motivation lack meaning here. Wu Sheng really didn't entirely fit into the mold of his other victims, so his ultimate betrayal really seems left field. I believe that the end of season 1, where Lin spoiler[caught Wu Sheng before he hit the floor as he was dying] showed a glimmer of regret on Lin's part. We don't really see him showing that type of affection for any other person he's betrayed.
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BlueAlf



Joined: 02 Jan 2017
Posts: 640
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:20 am Reply with quote
It's Urobuchi we're talking about here. I don't think he's the type of person who writes an interlude just for the sake of it. My guess is the mysteries behind Gale's motives will be brought up in the second season.

I really like both segments by the way. The first segment was a nice callback to the tournament arcs in those old wuxia novels. Didn't expect that many old faces to make an appearance. Really solid work.
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Felicity dash



Joined: 31 May 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:04 am Reply with quote
Is the movie on Crunchyroll?
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FilthyCasual



Joined: 01 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:55 pm Reply with quote
Felicity dash wrote:
Is the movie on Crunchyroll?

Yes.
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