Title: Jiangshi x Daoshi
Genre: Action, Comedy
Developer: Dendou Denki Dou
Length: 2-3 hours (Episodes 1-3)
It goes without too much consideration to say that 2020 has been a crazy and chaotic year. With many unsettling and near-catastrophic events happening in tandem on a global scale, the sheer level of it all can sometimes feel too insurmountable to deal with daily. For myself, it hasn’t been too hard to find or take solace in the entertainment of the same kind – just with more levity and insanity and less doom and gloom. One such example is the visual novel Jiangshi x Daoshi, an episodic medley throwing together assassins, Chinese-based magic and philosophy, supernatural happenings, and a whole lot of carnage. If that doesn’t sum up crazy it does at least bode for a rousing read, right?
The gist of the story details the unexpected meeting of Luan (former assassin and titled Jiangshi) and Ling Ling (titled Daoshi) and their bid to obtain a mysterious elixir that promises the power of life. Of course, such a journey will have them cross ruthless hitmen, criminal organizations, and otherworldly forces to get to it. As aforementioned, the story (at the time of writing this) is divided across 3 episodes: Episodes 1 and 2 acting as the introduction and Episode 3 Lady Hexers – as a continuation introducing two new characters, the returning cast, and the possible main antagonist of the series. Episodes 1 and 2 are also short, with the 3rd being the length of both combined. So this is easily a read that can be completed well within 2 hours depending on your pace.
Without giving away too much, Jiangshi x Daoshi is a very typical mix of comedy and action that manages to prove engaging. While that loaded statement means and informs anyone of anything useful, it is an accurate description of what readers can expect to get out of it. From over the top characters and action sequences to weird gags, both the story and the content going into it makes for a read that is hard to put down. The overall writing and translation is a huge part of this since the latter does tend to use terminology related to various aspects of Daoism that isn’t exactly hard to understand but integrated so well into the story that the in-game resource is just an afterthought. Much of this thanks to the famed translator Conjueror, known for his work on various other projects such as MangaGamer’s release Tokyo Babel and Fruitbat Factory’s ENIGMA and SeaBed releases. Being the last English translation from someone of their caliber makes the experience one where the quality and accuracy are assured as much as possible.
Even without mentioning things like the impressive aforementioned visuals and soundtrack, Jiangshi x Daoshi is just one of those types of media projects that have to be experienced yourself for the fullest effect. With it being painless short and seeming to have room for more story to come (as it ends off on a bit of a “to be continued” note), I am interested to see where things go. Of course, best of all, the price for Episodes 1 and 2 happens to be the very best price: Free. So you can at least see if your curiosity is peaked before committing to Episode 3. However, as someone that went in expecting very little, I can say for certain that you will probably get a lot of out Jiangshi x Daoshi.
Disclaimer: Jiangshi x Daoshi is available both on itchi.io and on Steam. However, due to the nature of some of the visuals, many images for the Steam version had to be edited. The itchi.io remains unaltered. If you choose the Steam version, there is an uncensored patch for Episodes I, II, III on the official site found HERE.