Our anime challenge for March is the anime or donghua, Spiritpact. It is based on the Chinese web manhua by Pingzi and published by Tencent on Tencent Comic. The donghua adaptation is written by Reiko Torii and directed by Li Haoling, which was released as a donghua in China in 2016 and an anime in Japan in 2017!
Spiritpact is an action/supernatural anime that follows the adventures of failed exorcist You Keika and the head of a power exorcist family Ki Tanmoku as they take on various challenges in the spirit world, and try to find out more about the bond they share. It all starts with You Keika’s untimely and mysterious death in a junkyard and the pact he makes with exorcist Tanmoku.
Week 1 March 7th – March 13th
Episodes 1 – 3
While we are watching episodes 1 – 3 of Spiritpact, it might be good to chat about the staff who worked on the donghua. In the director’s chair is Li Haoling, who has also directed donghua such as Heaven Official’s Blessing, Reikenzan: Hoshikuzu-tachi no Utage. He was also the director & chief director of Flavors of Youth, and the producer and director of Siritpact: Bond of The Underworld.
He was born in Shanghai, China on the 9th of November 1985 and he is the founder of the Haoliners Animation League.
Week 2 March 14th – March 20th
Episodes 4 – 6
Tang Yunkang is best known for producing Cagaster of an Insect Cage, Flavors of Youth, Evil or Live Recap, Evil or Live, and Spiritpact. It is interesting to note that while Tang Yunkang produced Cagaster of an Insect Cage, Li Haoling that worked with him on Spiritpact was one of the planners of Cagaster of an Insect Cage.
Week 3 March 21th – March 27th
Episodes 7 – 8
Since Spiritpact is a supernatural series our recommendation to you this week is a supernatural anime. Hell Girl (Jigoku Shojo) is an epic anime that some may see as the ultimate anti-bullying anime, but one with high moral lessons. Why? In the anime, we usually meet a person that is tormented or bullied, and that person, tired of being bullied then access the Hell Correspondence website and put in a request with Hell Girl to eliminate the bully tormenting them. Then Hell Girl or AI Enma appears and give the person a doll with a string, and once the string is pulled that person’s bully is sent to hell. There is a catch, the person that hires Hell Girl to take the bully to hell will also go to hell after he or she lives out their life.
Hell Girl’s first television anime series started in 2005, followed by various sequel seasons in 2006, 2008 and 2017. There also was a live-action series adaptation in 2006. The series boast also three anime adaptations and a stage play as well as an alive-action movie.
Week 4 March 28th – April 03th
Episodes 9 – 10
We bring you our last supernatural recommendation of the month, xxxHolic. Kimihiro Watanuki is a high school student that has been able to see supernatural entities his whole life and finds it disturbing. He accidentally finds a house where Yuuko Ichihara lives, a witch that grants wishes but they always have a price. When Watanuki asks her to remove his ability to see the supernatural she agrees but only if he pays by working for her (he becomes a cross between part-time cook, housekeeper and barman because Yuuko loves her sake). He is thrown into an awesome adventure because every day is abnormal in that house because she keeps on sending him on supernatural errands, which is ironic in the sense that to remove his ability he becomes more and more wrapped in the unseen world of ghosts, spirits and demons. He is luckily not alone in most of his quests as Watanuki’s love interest, Himawari Kunogi and also a classmate whom he despises, Shizuka Domeki joins him in these adventures as per Yuuko’s request. XxxHolic is a supernatural drama with slice-of-life elements that draws from various superstitious tales and folklore, especially Japanese lore.