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Learn Chinese from Chinese animation

Jan. 26, 2021

Chinese 漫画 (màn huà) manhua, or Mandarin-language comic books, have been in the spotlight for a while now but lately Chinese animations “动画 (dònghuà)” are gaining the popularity they deserve. Not long ago if you wanted to watch an animated series in Chinese it was a laborious task to find one that was interesting and subtitled. This is especially true for beginner-level Chinese language learners since it’s not easy to do a Baidu search and to find anything efficiently. Yet due to the demand for more, there are more and more new “动画 (dònghuà)” every year!

HSK 3 quiz

Watching “动画 (dònghuà)” is a great way to improve both listening and reading skills. They often use repetitive language and easy to understand sentences. Give it a try next time you are feeling burnt out from conventional study methods or as a supplemental study resource. You never know, you might become hooked.

Popular sites to watch Chinese animations include kissanime.ru, crunchroll, and v2anime.com.

But choosing one to begin may be the time consuming part. Here is a list of new, old and upcoming donghua if you want to search for anime on your own, and here are some popular recommendations that you can easily watch on YouTube.

●罗小黑战记 (The Legend of Luo Xiaohei) [there's also a movie]
Genre: Supernatural/comedy. Short episodes about monsters (妖精) with special abilities. The main character is a cat, the animation style is really adorable, and the plot is marvelous!

●魔道祖师 (The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation)
Genre: Adventure/supernatural. The music and the animation are excellent even though the plot is all over the place at first.

●镇魂街 (Rakshasa street)
Genre: Action/supernatural. The story is about two brothers, superpowers, and protecting your family and friends.

Chinese animations “动画 (dònghuà)”

Example sentences

tài chūsè le!dònghuà de shèjì hěn yǒu zhuānyè shuǐzhǔn。
太出色了!动画的设计很有专业水准。
Excellent! The design of the animation is very professional.

wǒ bú tèbié xǐhuan dònghuà piàn。kǎtōng búshì gěi xiǎohái kàn de ma?
我不特别喜欢动画片。卡通不是给小孩看的吗?
I am not particularly interested in animation films. Aren’t cartoons for children?

lián àosīkǎ dōu shè le dònghuà jiǎng,nǐ bù néng shuō nàxiē píngshěn dōu shì háizi ba?
连奥斯卡都设了动画奖,你不能说那些评审都是孩子吧?
Even the Oscars has an animation prize. You’re surely not saying that the judges are all children?

HSK 3 quiz

●小绿和小蓝 (Beryl and Sapphire)
Genre: Slice of life/romance. There are 70 really short episodes that are great for practice. It is sometimes heartwarming and charming while other times it’s emotional and sad.

●全职高手 (King’s Avatar)
Genre: Gaming/action. About an MMO professional player. The anime isn’t exceptionally striking but it’s fun to watch.

●汉化日记 (God Troubles Me)
Genre: Slice of life/supernatural. This one is about a girl who suddenly finds herself in a new “situation” which makes it really funny and easy to watch.

●一人之下 (The Outcast)
Genre: Action/supernatural. This anime has a lot of characters! The plot is interesting, and if you decide to watch more than one episode, you will be rewarded with many new characters and not enough screen time for each one of them.

There are many genres of “动画 (dònghuà)” to suit your particular style and taste in entertainment. The most popular genre seems to be “fantasy 幻想 (huànxiǎng)”.

Fantasy 幻想 (huànxiǎng)

Example sentences

ō!nǐ shuō zhè ge,duìa!shì hěn xuèxīng,tā yě shì yí gè“móhuàn xiǎoshuō”,chúle yǒu mófǎ,háiyǒu wǒ zuì xǐhuan de lóng!
喔!你说这个,对啊!是很血腥,它也是一个“魔幻小说”,除了有魔法,还有我最喜欢的龙!
Oh! That’s what you were talking about? Yeah, it’s super bloody. It’s also a fantasy novel, so apart from magic, there’s also my favourite creature – the dragon.

●非人哉 (Non-Human)
Genre: Supernatural/slice of life/comedy. This is about the everyday lives of ancient deities and mythical creatures in the modern world.

●萌妻食神 (Cinderella Chef)
Genre: Historical/romance. A girl who is a master-chef from the 21st century dies and wakes up in the past. The premise is outstanding, but the anime constantly switches.

●中国唱诗班 (Choir of Chinese Poems)
Genre: Artistic/slice of life. Like its title it is quite poetic and worth introducing yourself to.

Here are honorable mentions that can be found on other sites.

●伍六七 (Scissor Seven) Genre: Comedy/superpowers. It can be found on Netflix currently and is an adventure in its self.

●双生灵探 (Shuangsheng Lingtan) Twin Detective Genre: Mystery/psychological. An intriguing anime with a lot of plot twists and is more serious in tone.

●肆式青春 (Flavors of Youth) Genre: Drama/slice of life. Chinese-Japanese co-production with an anthology-style heartwarming drama around the lives of 3 millennials from different parts of China.

●斗罗大陆 (Soul Land) Genre: Fantasy. This is said to be one of the most famous Chinese anime of all time.

●狐妖小红娘 (Fox Spirit Matchmaker) Genre: Supernatural/romance. A quality show and a wild ride every season which also teaches you a lot of ways to call someone a terrible person.

●迷域行者 (Uncharted Walker) Genre: Mystery/thriller. Fantastic pick, but the ending doesn’t explain anything and just leaves you there without closure which is absolutely soul-crushing so think twice before commiting to this one.

You May Want to Learn More: :
“A Clever Chinese Fable About A “Foolish” Man”
“IB Exam in Chinese: Let’s Dive into the Chinese Poem《秋》”
“Did She Earn Love? Take This Chinese Quiz to Find out Now!”

HSK 1 quiz

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