Australian Council on Children and the Media

Jiang ZiYa – Legend of Deification

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Not suitable under 10; parental guidance to 13 (violence, dark themes, scary themes and scenes, coarse language; complex story in Mandarin language with English subtitles)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Jiang ZiYa – Legend of Deification
  • a review of Jiang ZiYa – Legend of Deification completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 October 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not suitable due to violence, dark themes, scary themes and scenes, coarse language; complex story in Mandarin language with English subtitles.
Children aged 10–13 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, dark themes, scary themes and scenes, coarse language.
Children over the age of 13 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Jiang ZiYa – Legend of Deification
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild fantasy themes, animated violence and coarse language
Length 110 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Jiang ZiYa (voiced by Zheng Xi), an Immortal who has earned himself the respect of the Gods as a war commander, shall be the leader of all Gods once he proves himself one more time by publicly executing the demon Nine-Tailed of the Fox Clan (Ji Guanlin), who has been bringing evil and destruction to humankind. Just as Jiang ZiYa is about to kill the demon, in a vision, Nine-Tailed shows him that she has tied herself to the soul of an innocent girl, who will also die if she dies. Feeling incapable of harming an innocent spirit, still in the vision, Jiang ZiYa releases Nine-Tailed. Someone else completes the execution, and Jiang ZiYa is banished from the Hall of the Gods until he frees himself of the demon's sorcery and illusions. After 10 years in exile in the Forbidden Land, one day, Jiang ZiYa encounters the girl he saw in the vision, Jiu (voiced by Yang Ning). It turns out that only the body of Nine-Tailed was destroyed and her evil spirit lives on within Jiu. Jiu, under the spell of Nine-Tailed, has forgotten her past and is feared and rejected by humans and haunted by demons. Based on a recurring dream, she is on a mission to find her father who she hopes can prove that she is not the Fox Devil. Jiang ZiYa – who does not believe it is right to sacrifice an innocent, even for the greater good – decides to help Jiu and destroy Nine-Tailed once and for all.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Chinese mythology; Animation; Fantasy Action Adventure.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • War scenes and landscapes destroyed by the Great War.
  • It is implied that a Great War has brought death and destruction to many people.
  • Jiang ZiYa is supposed to publicly execute the demon Nine-Tailed.
  • Numerous fighting scenes of Nine-Tailed attacking Jiang ZiYa, Jiu, Jiang's immortal companion, and spirit animal.
  • Jiu is tortured, haunted and threatened by evil spirits, chained to demons, struck, strangled, eventually dies but gets reincarnated.
  • Jiang ZiYa’s mythical companion, Four-Alike (a sort of spirit animal that usually has the appearance of a lap-dog sized dragon and can transform into a majestic deer with great power), gets injured in the fight with Nine-Tailed and dies.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Nine-Tailed is a very scary-looking creature, with nine fox tails, a dragon-like body, glowing eyes, sharp teeth and claws – the face restrained under a bone-like mask.
  • Numerous dark scenes referring to restless spirits and haunted souls of dead people.
  • Jiu and Jiang ZiYa get attacked by a skeleton monster surrounded by haunted souls (nebulous zombie-like creatures).
  • In one scene, a man is shown in a state of terror and he is disintegrating / going up in flames / evaporating to smoke.
  • Nine-Tailed manages to escape Jiu's body. The scene is very dark and scary: Jiu is screaming, red-glowing light/energy is shooting out from her eyes and her mouth is widened in terror.
  • In the final fight, Jiang ZiYa uses up so much of his energy that he ages from middle-aged to a white-haired old man.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • The above scenes and images are likely to scare or disturb children in this age group.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • The above scenes and images are likely to scare or disturb some children in this age group.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • In a bar, tenants are seen consuming some kind of drink (squeezed from mushroom-like creatures). It is implied that the drink has alcohol/drug-like effects.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Little brat
  • Scum!
  • You little hussy
  • Damn
  • Bastard
  • Idiots
  • Bullshit
  • Shit
  • Crazy bitch.

In a nutshell

Jiang ZiYa – Legend of Deification is the second instalment of the Fengshen Cinematic Universe series, following the 2019 Ne Zha. The story is loosely based on a popular Chinese mythology figure Jiang ZiYa. Deeply rooted in Chinese mythology and showing in original Mandarin language, the movie will most likely appeal to a special-interest audience with some background knowledge and passion for Chinese animation – the visuals are extremely impressive! Doom, gloom, peril, and violence are highly prominent, and mythical/mystical themes like demons, devils, possession of evil spirits, human sacrifice, and reincarnation render the film unsuitable for a young audience under 10 and warrant parental guidance for an audience under 14.

The main messages from this movie are that you should not blindly follow a leader but listen to your own conscience and values.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Determination.
  • Courage.
  • Friendship.
  • Selflessness.
  • High moral standards.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Greed and portrayal: it turns out that one of the Gods has made a foul deal and was misguided by selfishness.

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