Thunderbolt Fantasy – 01 (First Impressions)

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The Gist: twins contain two parts of an important holy sword that an evil demon warlord wants because he’s super evil. One twin dies and his somewhat hapless sister falls off a cliff only to be rescued by the beginnings of a odd-ball troop of master warriors.

And yes, it’s done in a perfect blend of traditional Chinese live action martial arts cinema AND the thunder birds puppet style. It’s a little choppy but the articulation of the puppets is top notch. (no mouth movement but eyes can blink — even cry or spurt blood)

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Hard rock hair, almost as hard core as the guitar banging away in the background.

You may enjoy Thunderbolt Fantasy for its novelty, for its dedication to over the top action, if you enjoy classic Chinese Warriors with swords movies, or if you can down enough Adderol to actually process all that action without caring about the cliche (and bluntly idiotic) plot.

You should watch the first episode even though you may not like it because, lets face it, the plot is paint by numbers and the characters are pure cliche. Additionally, despite being ‘generally coherent,’ the nature of puppets doing complex acrobatics in the rain and lighting with CGI energy attacks/magic wooshing around limits the viewers ability to really follow whats going on.

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The verdict: Thunderbolt Fantasy deserves several points of credit for trying something very unusual in its presentation. It also deserves props for using the aesthetic successfully to boot.

However… the plot and blandness of the characters are not for me. Even if it’s awesome to see them periodically explode into a bloom of blood, cloth and practical effects.

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