Thunderbolt Fantasy

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Thunderbolt Fantasy
Thunderbolt Fantasy Promotion Poster.jpg
Also known as Thunderbolt Fantasy: Sword Travels from the East
Genre Puppetry, Wuxia, Period drama, Action
Written by Gen Urobuchi (Nitro+)
Directed by
  • Chris Huang
  • Jia-Shiang Wang (Pili International Multimedia)
Opening theme Raimei
Composer(s) Hiroyuki Sawano
Country of origin Taiwan, Japan
Original language(s) Japanese, Taiwanese Hokkien, Mandarin
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Liang-Xun Huang (Pili International Multimedia)
Digitarou (Nitro+)
Aki Takanori (Good Smile Company)
Producer(s) Hao-Ming Tseng (Pili International Multimedia)
Cinematography Pili International Multimedia[1]
Running time 23 min.
Production company(s) Pili International Multimedia
Release
Original network AT-X
Tokyo MX
Nippon BS Broadcasting Corporation
Original release July 8 (2016-07-08) – September 30, 2016 (2016-09-30)
External links
Thunderbolt Fantasy
Thunderbolt Fantasy
Manga
Thunderbolt Fantasy: Tōriken Yūki
Written by Gen Urobuchi
Illustrated by Yui Sakuma
Published by Kodansha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Weekly Morning
Original run July 21, 2016April 6, 2017
Volumes 4 (List of volumes)
Manga
Thunderbolt Fantasy: Otome Genyūki
Written by Kairi Shimotsuki
Published by Akita Shoten
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Champion Cross
Original run September 27, 2016February 28, 2017
Volumes 1
Novel
Thunderbolt Fantasy Gaiden
Written by
  • Erika Mitsunori
  • Shotaro Teshirogi
Illustrated by
  • Shinov Mimori
  • Minamoto Satoshi
Published by Nitroplus Books
Published April 7, 2017
Live-action video
Thunderbolt Fantasy: The Sword of Life and Death
Produced by Pili International Multimedia, Nitroplus, Good Smile Company
Written by Gen Urobuchi (Nitro+)
Studio Pili International Multimedia
Released December 2, 2017
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal
東離劍遊紀
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 東離劍遊紀
Simplified Chinese 东离剑游纪
Literal meaning Sword Travels from the East
Japanese name
Kanji 東離劍遊紀

Thunderbolt Fantasy (Thunderbolt Fantasy -東離劍遊紀-, Sandāboruto Fantajī: Tōriken Yūki, lit. Thunderbolt Fantasy: Sword Travels from the East) is a Japanese-Taiwanese glove puppetry television series created and written by Gen Urobuchi and produced as a collaboration between Japanese companies Nitroplus and Good Smile Company and Taiwanese puppet production company Pili International Multimedia.[2] The series began airing in Japan starting July 8, 2016 and is being simulcast by iQiyi Taiwan,[a] and Crunchyroll[3] under 3 official languages: Taiwanese Min-Nan aired in Taiwan, Mandarin Chinese aired in China, and Japanese aired in Japan.[4] A manga adaptation illustrated by Yui Sakuma began serialization in Kodansha's Weekly Morning magazine on July 21, 2016.[5] A second adaption, told from the perspective of Dān Fěi, and illustrated by Kairi Shimotsuki, began serialization in Akita Shoten's Champion Cross online magazine on September 27, 2016.[6] A side novel that focuses on the pasts of Lǐn Xuě Yā, Xíng Hài, and Shā Wú Shēng was released on April 7, 2017.[7] A sequel to the television series is currently in production.[8]

Plot[edit]

Set in an Eastern fantasy setting, Dān Fěi and her brother, guardians of a sword known as the Tiān Xíng Jiàn, are pursued by the evil Xuán Guǐ Zōng clan, who seek to obtain the sword for their master, Miè Tiān Hái. While her brother is defeated, Fěi, who possesses the sword's crossguard, escapes and finds herself in the care of the wandering swordsman, Shāng Bù Huàn, and a mysterious man named Lǐn Xuě Yā, who become her protectors from the pursuing Xuán Guǐ Zōng clan.

Characters[edit]

※ Character names are presented in the format of Chinese Given Name (Chinese Characters Japanese Romanization, English Translation) / Chinese Art name (Chinese Characters Japanese Romanization, English Translation)

Main characters[edit]

Shāng Bù Huàn (殤不患, Shō Fu Kan, Unconcerned with Dying Young) / Rèn Wú Fēng (刃無鋒, Jin Muhō, Edgeless Blade)
Principal Puppeteer: Jia-Chang Hong, Substitute Puppeteer: Jia-Shen Liao
Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe (JP), Huei-Fung Huang (Min-Nan)
The main protagonist of this series, Shāng Bù Huàn is an enigmatic wandering swordsman. He appears to be cynical towards others, but is compassionate at heart. His inadvertent encounter with Lǐn Xuě Yā had him engulfed within the feud of the Xuán Guǐ Zōng pursuing Dān Fěi's crossguard of the Tiān Xíng Jiàn, and reluctantly joins the journey with Lǐn Xuě Yā and Dān Fěi to retrieve the hilt of the Tiān Xíng Jiàn. Hails from Xī Yōu.
Lǐn Xuě Yā (凜雪鴉, Rin Setsu A, Austere Snow Crow) / Lüè Fēng Qiè Chén (掠風竊塵, Ryō Fū Setsujin, Thief of the Wind Dust[b])
Principal Puppeteer: Shen-En Wu[c]
Voiced by: Kōsuke Toriumi (JP), Huei-Fung Huang (Taiwanese Min-Nan)
A major protagonist, also known under the alias as Guǐ Niǎo (鬼鳥, Kichō, Phantom Bird). Lǐn Xuě Yā is a beautiful young man filled with immense mystery. Erudite and adept at the art of strategy, he is shown to be graceful and composed. According to Shòu Yún Xiāo, Lǐn Xuě Yā has used several aliases to conceal his identity. He is considered a master manipulator and thief, and has even been called a villain. His true motives are unclear.
Dān Fěi (丹翡, Tan Hi, Vermillion Kingfisher)
Principal Puppeteer: Jia-Shen Liao
Voiced by: Mai Nakahara (JP), Wei-De Deng (Min-Nan)
One of the Seal Guardians hailing from the Sword Forging Shrine in charge of guarding the Tiān Xíng Jiàn. Dān Fěi takes pride in her heritage as a Seal Guardian, which makes her quite stubborn and tense when it comes to issues regarding the Tiān Xíng Jiàn, but she's also shown to be fairly naïve due to being inexperienced with the world outside of her shrine.

Allies[edit]

Dān Héng (丹衡, Tan Kō, Vermillion Balance)
Voiced by: Daisuke Hirakawa (JP), Huei-Fung Huang (Min-Nan)
The elder brother of Dān Fěi, he is also a Seal Guardian who guards the Tiān Xíng Jiàn along with his sister. Dān Héng is responsible for guarding the hilt of the Tiān Xíng Jiàn, while Dān Fěi protects the crossguard of the sword. Dān Héng lost his life at the hands of Miè Tiān Hái when the Xuán Guǐ Zōng invaded their shrine.
Shòu Yún Xiāo (狩雲霄, Shu Un Shō, Sky Hunter) / Ruì Yǎn Chuān Yáng (鋭眼穿楊, Ei Gan Sen Yō, Keen-eyed Sharpshooter[d])
Voiced by: Rikiya Koyama (JP), Huei-Fung Huang (Min-Nan)
An old acquaintance of Lǐn Xuě Yā, Shòu Yún Xiāo is an archer who made a name for himself for his exceptional marksmanship. He regards Juǎn Cán Yún as his sworn younger brother. He joins the quest of retrieving the hilt of the Tiān Xíng Jiàn at Lǐn Xuě Yā's request.
Juǎn Cán Yún (捲殘雲, Ken San Un, To Furl Scattered Clouds) / Hán Hè (寒赫, Kan Kaku, Frozen Wonder[e])
Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (JP), Huei-Fung Huang (Min-Nan)
The sworn brother of Shòu Yún Xiāo, and a skilled spear wielder. Juǎn Cán Yún looks up to Shòu Yún Xiāo with admiration, and works hard to attain a reputation for himself using his skills. He tagged along with Yún Xiāo on the quest to retrieve the hilt of the Tiān Xíng Jiàn.
Xíng Hài (刑亥, Kei Gai, Final Punishment) / Qì Xiāo (泣宵, Kyū Shō, Weeping Night[f])
Principal Puppeteer: Jia-Shen Liao
Voiced by: Sayaka Ohara (JP), Hsin-Ya Kuo (Min-Nan)
A powerful necromancer who dwells in the Night Devil Forest, and someone Lǐn Xuě Yā wishes to recruit to best the first obstacle of the Demon Spine Mountains. The other party members are wary of her because she is a demon, but Lǐn Xuě Yā assures them she can be trusted. However, Xíng Hài is shown to be hostile towards Lǐn Xuě Yā for unknown reasons.
Shā Wú Shēng (殺無生, Setsu Mu Shō, Eradicator of Life) / Míng Fèng Jué Shā (鳴鳳決殺, Mei Hō Kett Satsu, Screaming Phoenix Execution[g])
Voiced by: Nobuyuki Hiyama (JP), Huei-Fung Huang (Min-Nan)
A notorious and heartless killer, but also a swordsman whose skills are unparalleled. Due to some old enmity, he has set his eye on Lǐn Xuě Yā for revenge, and is obsessed with chasing Lǐn Xuě Yā down. When faced with a strong opponent, he cannot help but step forward in challenge. Thinks very highly of himself. Died after challenging Miè Tiān Hái to a duel.
Lián Qí (廉耆, Ren Ki, Honorable Sage)
Voiced by: Kazuhiro Yamaji (JP), Huei-Fung Huang (Min-Nan)
The mentor of Lǐn Xuě Yā; the original owner of the Soul Echo Flute, he also taught Lǐn Xuě Yā how to create magic items. Died by the blade of Shā Wú Shēng, who then took the Soul Echo Flute.

Antagonists[edit]

Miè Tiān Hái (蔑天骸, Betsu Ten Gai, Skeleton Who Scorns the Heavens) / Sēn Luó Kū Gǔ (森羅枯骨, Shinra Kokotsu, Bones of Creation[h])
Principal Puppeteer: Jia-Shen Liao
Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (JP), Huei-Fung Huang (Min-Nan)
Leader of the Xuán Guǐ Zōng, a group which utilizes the naturally defended mountain fortress, Seven Sins Tower, as its base of operations. He is arrogant and prideful, due to his skill with the sword, and possesses necromantic powers. He is also the foremost antagonist of the story. In order to seize the Tiān Xíng Jiàn protected by the Dān siblings, he uses every means possible to invade the Dān Family's sacred grounds.
Cán Xiōng (殘凶, Zan Kyō, Vicious)
Principal Puppeteer: Jia-Shen Liao
Voiced by: Hiroki Yasumoto (JP), Huei-Fung Huang (Min-Nan)
Subordinate of Miè Tiān Hái. A Xuán Guǐ Zōng swordsman ordered to hunt down Dān Fěi. Died after confusing Shāng Bù Huàn with Dān Fěi due to the machinations of Lǐn Xuě Yā.
Liè Mèi (獵魅, Ryō Mi, Charming Huntress)
Principal Puppeteer: Shen-En Wu
Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu (JP), Hsin-Ya Kuo (Min-Nan)
Subordinate of Miè Tiān Hái. Ambushed Shāng Bù Huàn after he helped Dān Fěi escape, but was driven off by Shòu Yún Xiāo. Died after attacking Shā Wú Shēng.
Diāo Mìng (凋命, Chō Mei, Withered Life)
Voiced by: Tōru Ōkawa (JP), Huei-Fung Huang (Min-Nan)
Subordinate of Miè Tiān Hái. Killed by Shāng Bù Huàn after trying to capture him along with Dān Fěi and Juǎn Cán Yún.

Others[edit]

Narration
Voiced by: Atsuko Tanaka (JP), Huei-Fung Huang (Min-Nan)

Development[edit]

In 2014, Urobuchi came across Pili's exhibition booth within a Taiwanese comic convention while he was invited as the convention's special guest. He was greatly impacted by their execution of the art form, prompting him to take home a full set of Pili's puppet show series to share with his associates within the Japanese ACG industry, and was eager to either plan an original story, or license a couple of series with Pili to dub into Japanese. The news of Urobuchi's interest in Taiwanese puppetry quickly made its way to Pili, which had a decent percentage of staff members who were, according to Nitroplus representative, Digitarou, "anime savvy, Urobuchi fans." Therefore, Pili International were also actively searching for ways to contact Urobuchi. Both parties contacted each other within a day's time frame asking if they wanted to create something fun together; after various discussions from both parties, they decided to create an original story that is, first and foremost, "a straight-forward narrative" easy for first-time puppetry viewers and the anime demographic to process and appreciate. Hence the birth of the Thunderbolt Fantasy Project.[9][10]

Media[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Thunderbolt Fantasy: Tōriken Yūki Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Hiroyuki Sawano
Released August 24, 2016
Genre Soundtrack
Length 76:32
Label Aniplex
Producer
Hiroyuki Sawano Soundtrack albums chronology
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: Original Soundtrack
(2016)Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: Original Soundtrack2016
Thunderbolt Fantasy: Tōriken Yūki Original Soundtrack
(2016)

The soundtrack was composed by Hiroyuki Sawano and released on August 24, 2016.[11]

All lyrics written by Benjamin & mpi; all music composed by Hiroyuki Sawano.

Thunderbolt Fantasy: Tōriken Yūki Original Soundtrack
No.TitleVocalsLength
1."thunderBOLTfantasy" 5:35
2."show-no-feel" 4:37
3."tanh1" 4:05
4."5in4" 5:46
5."tpfp1" 2:57
6."coldsnowcrow" 4:43
7."GKpeople" 4:11
8."⚡bolt-arr1" 4:07
9."from either way" 4:54
10."kill don't 生kill-FUe" 1:03
11."Kguy&kill don't 生kiLL" 5:35
12."thedead" 4:02
13."蔑、guy" 4:36
14."⚡bolt-arr2" 4:15
15."tfpf2" 2:39
16."devigod" 5:28
17."Darkest"
  • Mika Kobayashi
  • mpi
5:17
18."tfpf3" 2:42
Total length:76:32

Television series[edit]

Thunderbolt Fantasy was first announced on February 5, 2016.[2] The series was created and written by Nitroplus' Gen Urobuchi, who used a full year to develop the script closely with Pili.[10] The voices were originally performed in Min-Nan Chinese based on the translated Japanese script for the puppetry performance and broadcast in Taiwan. The episodes were then dubbed into Mandarin Chinese and Japanese for their respective regions' broadcast, with the Japanese version licensed to simulcast outside of Asia by Crunchyroll starting July 8, 2016.[3][12] The opening theme is "Raimei" performed by T.M.Revolution. A sequel was announced at the end of the first season's final episode.[8]

Season 1 (2016)[edit]

No. Official English title[i]
Original Japanese title[13]
Original airdate
1 "Code of Umbrellas"
"Amagasa no Giri" (雨傘の義理) 
July 8, 2016
One stormy night, Dān Fěi and her brother Dān Héng, protectors of the Tiān Xíng Jiàn, are pursued by the evil Xuán Guǐ Zōng clan. Although the clan's leader, Miè Tiān Hái, manages to kill Héng and retrieve the sword's hilt, Fěi manages to escape off a cliff. Meanwhile, a travelling swordsman named Shāng Bù Huàn comes across an umbrella covering a Buddha statue, where a peculiar man informs him that taking the umbrella will require him to do a good favor in return. As Bù Huàn returns on his journey, he encounters Fěi as she escapes from Xuán Guǐ Zōng members, prompting him to step in to protect her. After bringing Fěi back to the man he met earlier, Bù Huàn is confronted by the Xuán Guǐ Zōng's Cán Xiōng, who attacks Bù Huàn after the mysterious man sprays him with smoke making him believe he is actually Fěi. After Bù Huàn defeats him in battle, Xiōng severs his own head and sends it to Tiān Hái, who identifies the mysterious man as Lüè Fēng Qiè Chén. 
2 "Attack of the Xuán Guǐ Zōng!"
"Shūrai! Genkishu" (襲来! 玄鬼宗) 
July 15, 2016
Fěi explains to Bù Huàn and the peculiar man, who calls himself Guǐ Niǎo, that the Xuán Guǐ Zōng need the crossguard she is carrying to draw the Tiān Xíng Jiàn from its sealed pedestal. Not wanting to get involved any further, Bù Huàn takes his leave and goes into a town, where he learns that the Xuán Guǐ Zōng have labelled him as an enemy. He leaves town, passing by a stranger who warns him of an ambush further down the road. Exactly like the man warned him, the Xuán Guǐ Zōng's Liè Mèi confronts Bù Huàn and her lackeys surround him. Just then, Bù Huàn is joined by a warrior named Juǎn Cán Yún, along with the stranger from earlier, Shòu Yún Xiāo, who defeat Mèi's soldiers and force her to retreat. 
3 "The Woman in Night Devil Forest"
"Yoruma no Mori no Onna" (夜魔の森の女) 
July 22, 2016
Yún Xiāo and Cán Yún are revealed to be allies summoned by Guǐ Niǎo to join Fěi and a reluctant Bù Huàn as they journey to the Seven Sins Tower in the Demon Spine Mountains where the Xuán Guǐ Zōng dwell. Guǐ Niǎo explains that in order to get past the barrier surrounding the mountains and reach the tower, they must overcome three different obstacles, one of which requires the assistance of a demon necromancer named Xíng Hài, who resides in the Night Devil Forest. The next day, the group heads into the forest to seek out Hài, who believes them to be trespassers and attacks them with an army of zombies, which Fěi and Cán Yún fend off while the other three press forward. 
4 "The Whereabouts of the Soul Echo Flute"
"Kaireiteki no Yukue" (迴靈笛のゆくえ) 
July 29, 2016
Guǐ Niǎo uses fire to draw Hài out of hiding, managing to persuade her to join his party after bringing up the Tiān Xíng Jiàn. Meanwhile, Lián Qí, Guǐ Niǎo's master who possesses the Soul Echo Flute needed to make it through the labyrinth leading to the Demon Spine Mountain, is attacked and killed by the Screaming Phoenix Killer, Shā Wú Shēng. He steals the flute and awaits Guǐ Niǎo's arrival. Wú Shēng tries to provoke Guǐ Niǎo into fighting, but he refuses to do so. Instead, Yún Xiāo and Cán Yún attempt to fight against Wú Shēng but are both easily outmatched, prompting Guǐ Niǎo to call a retreat. 
5 "The Sword Devil, Shā Wú Shēng"
"Kenoni, Setsu Mu Shō" (剣鬼, 殺無生) 
August 5, 2016
After the group returns to their inn, they talk about confronting the Screaming Phoenix Killer. Cán Yún is determined to fight Wú Shēng in a duel the next morning, because he considers himself expendable and because, if he wins, then he would make a name for himself. Xíng Hài offers her help in the form of spells. Guǐ Niǎo, however, feels that confrontation should only be used as a last resort. Bù Huàn gets tired of the talk and decides to head off on his own. He goes to the Devilwood Flower Garden himself and asks Wú Shēng to hand over the Soul Echo Flute. Wú Shēng refuses and they prepare to battle, but Guǐ Niǎo defuses the situation and asks Wú Shēng the favor of becoming the performer of the Soul Echo Flute; in exchange, Guǐ Niǎo propositions Wú Shēng his head once they have reached the summit of the Demon Spine Mountains. Wú Shēng agrees. Meanwhile, Miè Tiān Hái suspects that Guǐ Niǎo's group will head to him. 
6 "Seven Comrades"
"Nananin Dōshū" (七人同舟) 
August 12, 2016
Bù Huàn is worried that the group cannot work together, as everyone is suspicious of each other. However, he still accompanies them as they ride a boat to the Demon Spine Mountains. Upon arrival to shore, the group encounters the Xuán Guǐ Zōng, led by Liè Mèi and Diāo Mìng. Cán Yún is motivated by Wú Shēng to attack and takes care of the "cannon fodder," while Hài and Yún Xiāo work together to raise the dead created by Cán Yún. Wú Shēng finally attacks after all the soldiers have been taken care of, killing Liè Mèi. Suddenly, Miè Tiān Hái shows up. 
7 "Demon Spine Mountains"
"Masekizan" (魔脊山) 
August 19, 2016
After Miè Tiān Hái shows up, he mocks the group then immediately leaves, along with the rest of the Xuán Guǐ Zōng. The group then arrives at the Demon Spine Mountains, and rest a night before heading in. Dān Fěi is up practicing, when Cán Yún shows up and gives her a few pointers, though angering her in the process. She storms off and the group enters the mountains the next day, encountering the Valley of the Dead, the first trial. Xíng Hài is called upon to put the dead to sleep, but fails a few times; Fěi protects the group with her Hù Yìn Shī skills, except for Bù Huàn who has to fight the dead. Hài finally succeeds in singing the correct tune and the group moves on, arriving at the second trial, the Valley of the Doll. A golem guardian stands there motionless, and Bù Huàn activates it, allowing Yún Xiāo to fire at its weak point. Yún Xiāo misses twice, though, so Bù Huàn takes matters into his own hands and climbs the golem, stabbing the charm himself and deactivating the golem. He then falls off, but is saved by Yún Xiāo's arrow, which pierces through his clothing and nails him to the arm of the now-deactivated golem. The group then moves onto the final trial, the Labyrinth of Darkness. Bù Huàn, however, declares his departure before they can continue. 
8 "The Enigmatic Gale"
"Ryō Fū Setsujin" (掠風竊塵) 
August 26, 2016
After Bù Huàn storms off, Fěi admonishes the groups and runs after him. Guǐ Niǎo also follows her. The remaining four comrades decide to pass through the Labyrinth of Darkness using the Soul Echo Flute. Guǐ Niǎo and Fěi find Bù Huàn spying on some Xuán Guǐ Zōng soldiers, who are trying to catch more demon birds. The three of them ambush the Xuán Guǐ Zōng and use a bone-whistle to call the demon birds and ride them to the Seven Sins Tower. Once they arrive, they find Tiān Hái waiting for them. Fěi immediately attacks him, seeking vengeance for her brother and to obtain the hilt of the Tiān Xíng Jiàn. However, Guǐ Niǎo sprays Fěi with smoke, causing her to attack Bù Huàn instead. Diāo Mìng then knocks out Fěi and arrests Bù Huàn. They are then thrown into cages, where they are found by the other four. Yún Xiāo reveals Guǐ Niǎo's other name, Enigmatic Gale (Lüè Fēng Qiè Chén), while Fěi reveals his real name, Lǐn Xuě Yā. 
9 "The Essence of a Sword"
"Ken no Shinzui" (剣の神髄) 
September 2, 2016
Yún Xiāo and Xíng Hài reveal that their letters from Lǐn Xuě Yā asked them to swindle Fěi of her crossguard. Wú Shēng affirms this with the letter he stole from Xuě Yā's teacher, Lián Qí. Cán Yún is shaken up by this turn of events, but still follows the other three as they leave Bù Huàn and Fěi in their cells. Wú Shēng returns to the Tower, though, seeking Xuě Yā's head as promised. Meanwhile, Xuě Yā and Miè Tiān Hái are having a discussion about the Tiān Xíng Jiàn. Wú Shēng interrupts this discussion, though, and before going after Xuě Yā, challenges Tiān Hái to a duel. Tiān Hái slays Wú Shēng, and explains his swordsmanship to Xuě Yā. While this happens, Bù Huàn breaks out of his cell. 
10 "A Thief's Pride"
"Tōzoku no Kyōji" (盗賊の矜恃) 
September 9, 2016
After Bù Huàn exits his cell, he sees Wú Shēng fighting through endless streams of Xuán Guǐ Zōng fodder. Bù Huàn picks up a sword from a dead soldier and continues searching the Seven Sins Tower for Lǐn Xuě Yā. He then spots Xuě Yā and Diāo Mìng, and hides. Bù Huàn confronts Xuě Yā after Diāo Mìng leaves. Xuě Yā then explains his plan to Bù Huàn, and explains that both Yún Xiāo and Xíng Hài are villains that would take the Tiān Xíng Jiàn for themselves. All Xuě Yā wants to do is make Miè Tiān Hái despair. Xuě Yā also reveals the hiding place of the crossguard—the Limitless Temple. Bù Huàn then meets with Fěi and tells her the plan and to stay in the cell. Meanwhile, Xuě Yā sets up a deal with Tiān Hái. Afterwards, Xuě Yā meets with Bù Huàn again and gives him a hood that changes his appearance to that of Xuě Yā. They then begin to carry out Xuě Yā's plan. At the same time, Cán Yún breaks Fěi out of her cell. 
11 "A Proud Life"
"Hokori Takaki Inochi" (誇り高き命) 
September 16, 2016
Bù Huàn, disguised as Xuě Yā, meets with Tiān Hái, who becomes very suspicious, and together with the Xuán Guǐ Zōng, ride their demon birds to the Limitless Temple. As this happens, Xuě Yā discovers that Yún Xiāo and Xíng Hài also met with Tiān Hái. He then goes to unlock the safe containing the hilt of the Tiān Xíng Jiàn, transforming his pipe into chopsticks. Erstwhile, after Bù Huàn receives the gold agreed upon for the crossguard of the Tiān Xíng Jiàn, he is questioned by Tiān Hái and Diāo Mìng, who have already seen through his disguise. Bù Huàn then acts as bait to allow Xuě Yā to finish his part. However, Tiān Hái had kept the hilt on him the entire time. Meanwhile, Cán Yún and Fěi also head to the Limitless Temple by way of a Spirit Tree. There, they find the crossguard before the others arrive. They were followed by Yún Xiāo and Hài, though, and are forced to fight. Yún Xiāo and Hài obtain the crossguard and force Cán Yún and Fěi to retreat. Xuě Yā, alone again, sets up a trap. 
12 "A Blade That Doesn't Cut"
"Setsuwazaru Ha" (切わざる刃) 
September 23, 2016
After escaping from the Xuán Guǐ Zōng, Bù Huàn happens upon Cán Yún and Fěi. He learns Yún Xiāo and Hài stole the crossguard and intend to sell it to Tiān Hái. Cán Yún also titles Bù Huàn the "Edgeless Sword." Suddenly, Diāo Mìng and the Xuán Guǐ Zōng show up and attack the three of them. Bù Huàn shows his true colors and fights with a wooden branch. After killing Diāo Mìng and the Xuán Guǐ Zōng, Bù Huàn explains his philosophy as the three of them head to the Duàn Jiàn Cí. Meanwhile, Yún Xiāo and Hài meet with Tiān Hái at the Duàn Jiàn Cí. After removing the sword from the pedestal, Yāo Tú Lí is revealed, the lost demon god. Hài then kills Yún Xiāo for trying to prevent the awakening of the demon god. Xuě Yā confronts Tiān Hái outside the Duàn Jiàn Cí after Hài leaves. 
13 "A New Duty"
"Aratanaru Shimei" (新たなる使命) 
September 30, 2016
Xuě Yā duels Tiān Hái, with Xuě Yā crushing Tiān Hái's spirit. Because of this, Tiān Hái destroys the Tiān Xíng Jiàn, releasing Yāo Tú Lí from the binding. Bù Huàn, Cán Yún, and Fěi find Xuě Yā after this happens, and Bù Huàn decides to face Yāo Tú Lí. He defeats the demon god by channeling the power of one of the thirty-six swords he collected from his travels, and banishes the demon god to the far reaches of space, ending the threat once and for all. He leaves the sword in the care of Cán Yún and Fěi, and departs, but not before receiving a parting gift from Xuě Yā. 

Season 2 (2018)[edit]

A second season has been confirmed. Following the credits of the last episode of the first season, a message appears that says "sequel now in production." There are, at the moment, no details as to when it will be released or the overall story.[8][14] It was confirmed at SakuraCon 2017 on April 15, 2017, the second season will premiere on October, 2018.

Home video release[edit]

Japanese[edit]

The Japanese version released both DVD and Blu-Ray editions incorporating Traditional Chinese and Japanese subtitles, audio commentaries featuring the Japanese voice casts and Gen Urobuchi, along with an extra soundtrack disc from Hiroyuki Sawano.

Season 1
Volume Release Date Episodes Features
Volume 1 September 7, 2016 1–3
  • Original script booklet by Gen Urobuchi.
  • Audio commentaries feat. Gen Urobuchi, Kōsuke Toriumi, and Junichi Suwabe.
Volume 2 October 5, 2016 4-6
  • Original script booklet by Gen Urobuchi.
  • Audio commentaries feat. Gen Urobuchi, Rikiya Koyama, Kenichi Suzumura, and Sayaka Ohara.
Volume 3 November 2, 2016 7-9
  • Original script booklet by Gen Urobuchi.
  • Audio commentaries feat. Gen Urobuchi, Nobuyuki Hiyama, and Tomokazu Seki.
Volume 4 December 7, 2016 10-13
  • Original script booklet by Gen Urobuchi.
  • Extra Soundtrack Disc.
  • Audio commentaries feat. Gen Urobuchi, Mai Nakahara, Kenichi Suzumura, Kōsuke Toriumi, and Junichi Suwabe.

Taiwanese[edit]

Season 1
Edition Release Date Episodes Features
Weekly Episode Version July 8-September 30, 2016 01-13

(One disc per episode, sold separately)

  • Taiwanese audio and Traditional Chinese subtitles.
  • Behind-the-scenes production footage, along with interviews from various staff members.
  • One bookmark featuring one character per disc package, with episode 1 having an additional postcard.
Dual Language Box Set Version December, 2016 01-13
  • Taiwanese and Japanese audio.
  • Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and English Subtitles.
  • Same behind-the-scenes production footage and interviews as the Weekly DVD version; only combined.
  • Two random pages featuring excerpts of character backstories written by Gen Urobuchi per box set.
  • The Deluxe Edition features an additional small figurine, and poster of Shāng Bù Huàn; along with a postcard set.

Manga[edit]

Thunderbolt Fantasy[edit]

Two manga adaptations have been released in Japan, the first one under the same title as the television series, written by Urobuchi and illustrated by Yui Sakuma, which began serialization in Kodansha's Weekly Morning magazine on July 21, 2016.[5]

No.Japanese release dateJapanese ISBNEnglish release dateEnglish ISBN
1 September 23, 2016[15]ISBN 978-4063886412
  • 1. 第1話掲載
  • 2. 第2話掲載
  • 3. 第3話掲載
  • 4. 第4話掲載
  • 5. 第5話掲載
  • 6. 第6話掲載
  • 7. 第7話掲載
2 December 22, 2016[16]ISBN 978-4063886757
  • 8. 第8話掲載
  • 9. 第9話掲載
  • 10. 第10話掲載
  • 11. 第11話掲載
  • 12. 第12話掲載
  • 13. 第13話掲載
  • 14. 第14話掲載
  • 15. 第15話掲載
  • 16. 第16話掲載
3 March 23, 2017[17]ISBN 978-4063887068
  • 17. 第17話掲載
  • 18. 第18話掲載
  • 19. 第19話掲載
  • 20. 第20話掲載
  • 21. 第21話掲載
  • 22. 第22話掲載
  • 23. 第23話掲載
  • 24. 第24話掲載
  • 25. 第25話掲載
4 May 23, 2017[18]ISBN 978-4063887266
  • 26. 第26話掲載
  • 27. 第27話掲載
  • 28. 第28話掲載
  • 29. 第29話掲載
  • 30. 第30話掲載
  • 31. 第31話掲載
  • 32. 第32話掲載
  • 33. 第33話掲載
  • 34. 第34話掲載

Thunderbolt Fantasy: Otome Genyūki[edit]

The second manga is a webmanga titled Thunderbolt Fantasy: Otome Genyūki (Eng. Thunderbolt Fantasy: A Maiden's Magical Journey) written by the Thunderbolt Fantasy Project. It is illustrated by Kairi Shimotsuki, creator of Brave 10 and Madness, and presents Dān Fěi's perspective of her journey.[19] Otome Genyūki began serialization under Akita Shoten's Champion Cross web magazine on September 27, 2016.[6]

No.Japanese release dateJapanese ISBNEnglish release dateEnglish ISBN
1 March 16, 2017[20]ISBN 978-4253153171

On January 16, 2017, new chapters were delayed with no information on the next update on the main website, leaving the manga on hiatus until January 30, 2017. However, the main website no longer shows the date of new chapters before February 21, 2017. The final chapter was released in February 28, 2017.

Novel[edit]

The Thunderbolt Fantasy main website announced on December 28, 2016[21] that a side novel of the show was currently in progress.

On January 20, 2017, the Nitroplus website revealed the name of the novel to be Thunderbolt Fantasy Gaiden and that it would mainly focus on Lǐn Xuě Yā, Xíng Hài, and Shā Wú Shēng's pasts. It is written by Erika Mitsunori and Shotaro Teshirogi and illustrated by Shinov Mimori and Minamoto Satoshi, and supervised by Gen Urobuchi. The release date was April 7, 2017.[7]

Side story special[edit]

On March 25, 2017 at AnimeJapan 2017, it was announced that there would be an upcoming special project called Thunderbolt Fantasy: The Sword of Life and Death (Thunderbolt Fantasy: 生死一劍, Sandāboruto Fantajī: Seishi Ikken, Thunderbolt Fantasy: Shēng Sǐ Yī Jiàn). The special has two parts, akin to an omnibus format. Adapted from the "Setsumushō-hen" (Shā Wú Shēng Chapter) story from the side novel Thunderbolt Fantasy: Tōriken Kōki Gaiden, part one is a prequel about Shā Wú Shēng's past. Meanwhile, part two adapts a new story penned by Urobuchi starring Shāng Bù Huàn. This story takes place between season 1 and season 2.[22][23] While Nitroplus did not indicate what format the special would take form at the time (e.g. TV, film, web series, etc.), the release date for the special was originally set as November 2017.[24] However, Thunderbolt Fantasy Project later revealed the special would be aired as a theatrical motion picture film on December 2, 2017 in eight Japanese cinemas,[25] and December 8, 2017 in Taiwan.[26] The film is currently scheduled for a physical disc release on April 4, 2018.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ iQiyi Taiwan streams the Japanese dub version.
  2. ^ "Enigmatic Gale" is Crunchyroll's translation.
  3. ^ Wu passed away in the middle of production due to a disease, therefore he performed his assigned characters only for the first couple of episodes.
  4. ^ "Sharp-Eyed Impaler" is Crunchyroll's translation.
  5. ^ Crunchyroll's translation. Literally "Prominent Coldness."
  6. ^ "Night's Lament" is Crunchyroll's translation.
  7. ^ "Screaming Phoenix Killer" is Crunchyroll's translation.
  8. ^ Crunchyroll's translation. Literally "Mass Array of Dry Bones."
  9. ^ All English titles are taken from Crunchyroll.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Crunchyroll to Stream Japanese / Taiwanese Co-Production, "Thunderbolt Fantasy"!". Crunchyroll. July 1, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  2. ^ a b "Gen Urobuchi, Good Smile Company Launch Thunerbolt Fantasy Puppet TV Series". Anime News Network. 2016-02-05. 
  3. ^ a b "Crunchyroll to Stream Gen Urobuchi's Puppet TV Series Thunderbolt Fantasy". Anime News Network. 2016-07-01. 
  4. ^ "布袋戲跨入日本!台日合作《東離劍遊紀》正式於台公開" (in Chinese). 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2016-07-09. 
  5. ^ a b "Thunderbolt Fantasy Puppet Series Gets Manga by Complex Age's Yui Sakuma". Anime News Network. July 15, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-15. 
  6. ^ a b "Thunderbolt Fantasy 東離劍遊紀 乙女幻遊奇" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  7. ^ a b "Thunderbolt Fantasy Gaiden" (in Japanese). 2017-01-20. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  8. ^ a b c "Gen Urobuchi's Thunderbolt Fantasy Puppet Series Gets Sequel". Anime News Network. September 30, 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-30. 
  9. ^ Thunderbolt Fantasy Episode 0: The Making.
  10. ^ a b Behind-the-scenes bonus interview, Episode 3, Min-Nan Chinese distribution version.
  11. ^ "Thunderbolt Fantasy Touriken Yuuki Original Soundtrack". VGMdb.net. Aniplex. Aug 24, 2016. Retrieved 2016-11-18. 
  12. ^ "Thunderbolt Fantasy Preview". Anime News Network. July 8, 2016. 
  13. ^ "Story" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  14. ^ ""Thunderbolt Fantasy" To Return For More Puppet Wuxia Spectacular". Crunchyroll. September 30, 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-22. 
  15. ^ "Amazon.co.jp:Thunderbolt Fantasy 東離劍遊紀(1):モーニング コミック" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 2016-09-23. 
  16. ^ "Amazon.co.jp:Thunderbolt Fantasy 東離劍遊紀(2):モーニング コミック" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 2016-12-22. 
  17. ^ "Amazon.co.jp:Thunderbolt Fantasy 東離劍遊紀(3): モーニ" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 2017-02-23. 
  18. ^ "Amazon.co.jp:Thunderbolt Fantasy 東離劍遊紀(4): モーニング コミック" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 2017-04-06. 
  19. ^ Chapman, Paul (September 29, 2016). "Heroine of "Thunderbolt Fantasy" Receives Original Web Manga". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 2017-03-13. 
  20. ^ "Thunderbolt Fantasy東離劍遊紀 乙女幻遊奇 (プリンセス・コミックスDX) コミック –" (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 2017-02-23. 
  21. ^ "Thunderbolt Fantasy News" (in Japanese). 2016-12-28. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  22. ^ "Thunderbolt Fantasy: Sword of Life and Death" (in Japanese). 2017-03-25. Retrieved 2017-03-25. 
  23. ^ "Thunderbolt Fantasy's 2nd Season Slated for 2018, Side Story Video Project to Also Launch". Anime News Network. 2017-04-15. Retrieved 2017-04-15. 
  24. ^ "Thunderbolt Fantasy 東離劍遊紀 TW Official Facebook Page" (in Trad. Chinese). 2017-08-04. Retrieved 2017-08-05. 
  25. ^ "Thunderbolt Fantasy Shōshi Ikken Side-Story Project Gets Theatrical Screenings in Japan". Anime News Network. 2017-10-02. Retrieved 2017-10-02. 
  26. ^ "Thunderbolt Fantasy 生死一劍" (in Trad. Chinese). Retrieved 2017-11-14. 

External links[edit]