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Mo Dao Zu Shi Episode 5 [REPACK]

Well I have to be honest that was one intense episode of Mo Dao Zu Shi. We got to see some amazing fighting, another step for Wei WuXian down the demonic cultivation path and most important of all THAT FANSERVICE! And no I'm not talking about the bathing scene, I mean the very exploitable voicework!

Mo Dao Zu Shi Episode 5


Let's all try to block that from our memory and jump into this review. The first scene that was very powerful to me in this episode was the fight between Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi in the rain. The animation was as beautiful as ever as this dance in the moonlight took place. The choreography was very smooth, especially when it came to Wei WuXian using fancy footwork and quick thinking to his advantage. The scene of him throwing up the emperor's smile and then vaulting up the building is one of the coolest parts of the episode to me. I also love how much emotion they managed to get across from the two characters within this fight. It's a perfect example of how opposite WuXian and WangJi are as Wei WuXian starts with a huge disadvantage of being unarmed and carrying wine, yet manages to goad Lan WangJi to sheathe his sword. On the other hand, WangJi shows just how much his honour means to him in two ways in this fight. First by happilly fighting unarmed once WuXian makes the point and secondly by consistently keeping hold of his umbrella with one hand and keeping his Gusu Lan sect robes dry and spotless. He makes this fight as fair as possible for Wei WuXian despite it being more of an arrest for punishment than a duel. WuXian on the other hand, even once all the goading works, uses his wits to end the fight without truly having to battle by simply dragging Lan WangJi off of the roof with him and making it so that he technically but not really broke the curfew too. Lan WangJi's decision to accept the outcome that Wei WuXian presented him with, yet make sure they both truly received an equal punishment is yet more proof of just how much he feels the need to prove himself, not just to those around him, but seemingly also to himself.

That leads me to another interesting note: About him taking the punishment along side Wei WuXian. I have a feeling that the scene right at the beginning leading into the rainy fight offers a good deal of insight on Lan WangJi's mental state right now and his feelings towards Wei Wuxian. While doing his usual work, sitting all alone in his room, we hear Lan WangJi's narration relating to the water-borne abyss from episode 4. While he is clearly speaking about that foul creature, the lines he finishes with are very interesting. He says that "once something like that exists it's hard to be rid of it. You have to work your hardest to fight it off." It's at this point that we see Wei WuXian in the background with his wine and hear, thanks to the fantastic voice work of Bian Jiang a very sharp, shocked inhalation of air. For a***********ways calm character like Lan WangJi that's a pretty big deal. It wasn't just the short "hmm?" you'd expect if he noticed something odd outside but rather seemed much more emotional. I think the reason this quiet gasp felt so emotional was because the second half of his narration was only partly about the waterborne abyss itself and largely had him thinking about Wei WuXian and the complicated feelings he has summoned within Lan WangJi. Like his uncle and the abyss, Lan WangJi is giving his all, day and night to battle against the feelings which now "exist." and are "hard to rid himself of." This is probably the other reason that he takes the punishment. He is trying desperately at this point to cure himself of feelings that he believes to be impure, and he's doing it the only way he knows how: Focusing on his work and reinforcing his discipline with punishment.

That beating was also an incredibly emotional moment in the episode despite the joke I used it for at the beginning of this review. The way the music swelled up into a crescendo of force right as Lan WangJi swept his robes back and revealed he would be going through with the punishme*********f was amazing. Followed by some great voice action from both Ajie and Bian Jiang as the slow almost sorrowful guqin notes are strummed during their beating. I also love seeing just how much it freaks out Wei WuXian to have caused so much pain to someone else simply by the pranks he was pulling. It was a strong moment for Wei WuXian's development to realize that his actions have consequences and despite him corrupting Lan Wang Ji a little and winning the previous day's battle, Lan WangJi was still holding firm to his core beliefs and came out on top in the war.

And that leads us pretty well into the scene that made every fangirl -and boy smile: The cold bath! This part of the episode was pretty damn cute to be sure. I mean first things first, I did not expect that either Lan WangJi or Wei WuXian secretly had such definition to their bodies. Like god damn those robes end up covering it up pretty well. Lan WangJi clearly showed off himself as the seme here with those big old broad shoulders and delts. Even Wei WuXian couldn't help but comment on his body. WuXian as well turned out to be rocking a decent set of abs and showed off why everyone loves him. From the cuteness of his pouty faces, to the sexiness of his playful grins there was a little something for everyone in this scene. It seemed to be a bit of a growing moment for Wei WuXian especially with him seeing the damage Lan WangJi had taken because of his actions and clearly feeling bad. Despite his mocking nature there was some real empathy there that he showed by telling Lan WangJi how much he should want to be his friend, despite clearly the case being that he wished to be closer, himself.

Whatever the case, there was a clear sign within this episode that Wei WuXian was actually born to be the Yiling patriarch. As he gets his first taste of resentful energy we are shown an internal view of his body and witness the igniting of his golden core, something that Nie HuaiSang had mentioned a few episodes ago. It seemed almost as though his golden core came into being because of the resentful energy and his ability to then control it both within and without. This may have been a sign that up until this point Wei WuXian had not really been working hard to develop his cultivation skills but due to the bad luck of his two run-ins with the dead, ended up being forced into working hard just to survive. I actually kind of wish that Lan WangJi hadn't shown up for a moment later too, as I'm still not sure if Wei WuXian was in full control of the one corpse and if it was dashing forward to intercept the other and defend Jiang Cheng or if he had lost all control of it and almost got his brother killed.

On a lighter note there were several other cute happy moments in this episode that were beautiful. The art especially during the scene of Lan Qiren and XiChen enjoying some tea was beautiful. It really stood out as a gentle reminder of how gorgeous the cloud recesses are during an episode otherwise mainly taking place at night time. It was also hilarious that as usual big brother XiChen was sending Wei WuXian after his brother to try and progress their relationship. The earlier cute moments with Wei WuXian, Jiang Cheng and Nie HuaiSang were amazing too. Wei WuXian was so spoiled by Jiang Cheng who didn't even believe he was truly that injured. It was super sweet to see him freak out and for the first time snap out that Lan WangJi had gone too far when he discovered how hurt his brother really was. Nie HuaiSang was just adorable as usual fanning Wei WuXian's injuries to help him feel better. Finally the bunny rabbit easter egg was just hillarious and I can totally see why they became such a big mascot for the series. I love how their colours not only match to the main characters but also have markings that create a yin yang as they circle and wrestle one another, a cute metaphor for the balance that can come from opposites such as Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi coming to a sort of harmony. It was a great choice animating their entrance like a home video shot with them knocking over the non-existant camera. More than that though I loved how freaked out Wei WuXian was once he realized what was going on in the end while Lan WangJi seemed more knowledgable for once.

  • Wei Wuxian discovers an interesting side-effect of playing a certain magical song in reverse. Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Each time Wei Wuxian plays the soul soothing song backwards, he's actually playing a different instrumental song from the main Animated Adaptation's soundtrack.

  • Fast-Forward Gag: The episode speeds through most of Wei Wuxian's reversed soul soothing song against Lan Wangji, who remains unaffected throughout the entire thing thanks to his shield. While the song is played as normal, other sounds are sped up for comedic effect.

  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Wei Wuxian becomes the victim of his own reverse music, thanks to Lan Wangji using a shield to deflect one of the music notes which then hits him right in the head.

  • No-Sell: Wei Wuxian tries to play the reversed song on Lan Wangji when the latter catches him red-handed, but the latter easily deflects the music with a barrier.

  • No Sense of Personal Space: Listening to the soul soothing song played backwards appears to make the aloof Jin Zixuan overly chummy. After suffering the effects, he approaches Wei Wuxian and puts his hands on him while exclaiming his praise, much to the latter's confusion and discomfort.

  • Out-of-Character Moment: Invoked when Wei Wuxian plays a soul soothing song backwards. With the effects of the revised song being anything but soothing for the soul, anyone who hears it becomes the exact opposite of their usual selves: Jin Zixuan's attitude towards Wei Wuxian turns from scornful to admiring.

  • Nie Huaisang's behavior shifts from lazy and unmotivated to hardworking and studious.

  • Lan Qiren turns from a strict rule-abider to a nonchalant slacker.

  • Wei Wuxian loses his rebellious and mischievous side in exchange for a serious and obedient personality.

  • Please Kill Me if It Satisfies You: Downplayed. Under the effects of the reversed spell, the unusually dutiful Wei Wuxian admits to his prank and readily asks Lan Wangji to punish him, telling him that he won't resist.

  • Pyrrhic Victory: Played for laughs. Lan Wangji finally succeeds in taming Wei Wuxian during his pranks and turning him into a model student, but only because the latter is acting compliantly under the influence of a spell that Lan Wangji deflected onto him. The Lan clansman doesn't look satisfied whatsoever.

  • Wingding Eyes: Everyone who listens to the soul soothing song played in reverse briefly gains spiral eyes due to the song's effects putting them in a daze.

  • After falling under the effects of the reversed song, Jin Zixuan becomes starry-eyed as he starts worshipping Wei Wuxian.



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