Almanac Master (Huang Li Shi) Review: Donghua with Action & BL Vibes!

Hey there, fellow donghua enthusiasts! Are you looking for something fresh and exciting in the world of Chinese animation? Then buckle up, because I’m here to introduce you to a show that might just become your next obsession: “Almanac Master” (also known as “Secret Archives of Unscientific Materialism,” “Li Shi,” or “Huang Li Shi”).

Almanac Master donghua

Now, I know what you might be thinking. Another action mystery with a supernatural twist? Haven’t we seen it all before? Well, Almanac Master takes that familiar formula and injects it with a unique blend of Chinese folklore and a dash of potential boys’ love (BL) for danmei fans to appreciate.

About Almanac Master (Huang Li Shi)

Almanac Master donghua

Let me tell you why I absolutely loved this show. First off, the premise is intriguing. The story revolves around the concept of the “Huangli Shi,” a legendary figure who can manipulate the effects of seasonal changes and festivals, essentially becoming a master of fortune-telling. Our protagonist, Xiao Nanzhu, inherits this role from his family, but unlike the responsibility that comes with it, all he wants to do is…well, call the police (“call 110” as the show humorously emphasizes).

But duty calls, and Nanzhu finds himself thrust into a world of bizarre events and supernatural occurrences. Here’s where the animation shines. Studio B.CMAY Pictures delivers some stunning visuals, from intricate character designs to breathtaking action sequences. The fight scenes are particularly well-choreographed, with a blend of traditional martial arts and fantastical elements that kept me glued to the screen.

Now, the story might not be fully fleshed out in the 16 episodes, leaving some room for interpretation. But that’s part of the show’s charm! It throws you into the deep end, forcing you to piece together the mysteries alongside Nanzhu and his friends. There are hidden agendas, cryptic messages, and a looming sense of danger that keeps the suspense high throughout.

Speaking of friends, Nanzhu’s relationship with his childhood friend Chuxi is one of the highlights of the show. Their dynamic is a delightful mix of playful banter and unwavering loyalty. Now, here’s where the BL fans might perk up their ears. While the show doesn’t explicitly confirm a romantic relationship, there’s a definite undercurrent of something more between Nanzhu and Chuxi. Their interactions are filled with subtle touches and longing glances that fuel the imagination (and let’s be honest, the internet is already buzzing with fan theories!).

However, there’s a caveat I have to mention. Unfortunately, the show never received a complete English subtitling. This is a huge bummer for non-Chinese speakers, and it might prevent some viewers from experiencing the full story. There’s a glimmer of hope with fan-made subtitles popping up online, but it’s not a perfect solution.

Despite this obstacle, I still highly recommend checking out Almanac Master if you’re up for the challenge. The animation is fantastic, the story is engaging, and the potential BL elements add a fun layer of interpretation for danmei fans. It’s a show that deserves more recognition, and maybe, just maybe, with enough buzz, we can get that complete English sub one day!

So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the world of Almanac Master and discover the secrets hidden within the calendar. You might just find yourself pleasantly surprised by this unique and captivating donghua based on the web novel by the talented Shitou Yang and produced by the team at B.CMAY Pictures and Tencent Penguin Pictures.