My friends are generally younger than me, which is why my ego sometimes takes a beating when talking to them as I’m inevitably confronted with my encroaching decrepitude. Not too long ago, I was chatting with Doretta and Justina about Nezha Conquers the Dragon King, which neither of them had seen. I was a little surprised but then when I looked the film up, I found out that it’s the film’s 40th anniversary this year, and I remember seeing it not long after it was released. Whoo, I am old!
However, one of the benefits of being old is being able to share things that I enjoyed as a child with an entirely new generation of people and watch their minds get blown. So in that spirit, I’m extremely pleased to introduce Nezha Conquers the Dragon King to those of you who haven’t seen it.
Nezha is a mythological figure who has roots in ancient Indian mythology, and some of you may have encountered him in video games, especially Warframe, or seen a version of him in Investiture of the Gods. If you’ve seen my Website, you’ll also notice that he’s one of my floating graphic images because I really like his story.
I’ve embedded Nezha Conquers the Dragon King below but just as a quick summary: Nezha’s story is that his mother was pregnant with him for three and a half years, he came out as a ball of flesh and popped out as a human later. He was given a cosmic ring and a magic sash by a Daoist immortal, and things were cool until he got into a fight with one of the sons of the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea and killed the dragon. The Dragon King threatened to destroy Nezha’s village and Nezha killed himself to appease the Dragon King. Later, he was reborn with his wheels of fire, extra arms, and a spear of fire.
Nezha Conquers the Dragon King is one version of this story, and despite being a little crude, the animation is so full of life. The dragons move like real lizards, and there’s a lovely grace in how Nezha dances around and fights. I have to say though, as a kid, I wondered why he wore a dudou (ie. a Chinese bra) and nothing else because…it doesn’t make sense?? He’s running around ass out but he’s wearing an article of clothing that a seven-year-old boy doesn’t need?? For why?
Now, after having a child, I just chalk it up to kids and their weird fashion tastes because for the longest time, all my kid wanted to wear were rain boots and nothing else.
Anyway, it’s particularly timely for me to share this because a new animated Nezha movie just came out in China called Nezha: Birth of a Demon (the English title might be Nezha: New God of the Sea so don’t quote me on my translation) and is such a massive hit that it has broken all sorts of records. From the trailer below, it seems like they’ve changed the story with Nezha becoming a bad guy at some point. I’m a little surprised and definitely intrigued, although it seems like they’ve done away with the dudou, which is a choice.
Anyway, the trailer for Nezha: Birth of a Demon is below and below that, I’ve embedded the video for Nezha Conquers the Dragon King. Now get off my lawn.