Chinese elements shine at the cartoon and games exhibition


Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Two Cosers mimic the postures of martial arts fighters from a video shown on screen at the 17th China International Cartoon & Game Expo in Shanghai.

At the 17th China International Cartoon & Game Expo (CCG Expo) in Shanghai, Ma and Guo, 13-year-old college girls, were busy taking photos in front of two screens showing “The Heaven Officials Blessing.”

The Chinese animated series, adapted from a novel written by author Mo Xiang Tong Xiu, was released in the section of the Bilibili video-sharing site.

Now, Chinese original ACG works (animation, comics and games) are incredibly popular in domestic and overseas markets.

“It’s great to have our own artwork, which we can find in our history books,” Guo told the Shanghai Daily. And the scenes are as well done and beautiful as those in Japan and South Korea, she added.

In the past, ACG enthusiasts often visited exhibitions like CCG to research the latest in their favorite Japanese animations or foreign games. Now, original works and Chinese elements are found throughout the exhibition, and are sought after by young people, mainly Generation Z, referring to those born between 1996 and 2010.

Chinese elements shine in cartoon & game expo

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Young fans with Kuaikan gift bags in their arms at CCG Expo

In the section of Kuaikan Comics, one of the largest comic book websites in China, comics drawn by domestic cartoonists have been turned into short videos and are shown on screens.

According to Zhao Ziru, head of branding at Kuaikan, the 7-year-old platform has more than 5,000 cartoonists, more than 8,000 comics and a total of 200 million users.

“We started in 2014, when most Chinese comic book fans loved Japanese manga,” Zhao said.

“Kuaikan is the number one platform for Chinese cartoonists. Now the comics on our platform are widely accepted by readers in countries like Japan and South Korea. Some of the works are even gaining popularity and occupying a prominent place on South Korean comic book platforms. “

To meet the growing needs of users, Kuaikan began adapting popular novels into comics, such as “The Founder of Diabolism,” another work by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. Meanwhile, they are trying to make the comics more understandable in the form of short video series, with famous actors dubbing the characters, as more and more internet users prefer to watch videos.

Chinese elements shine in cartoon & game expo

Ti Gong

Last year’s “Sweet Bite” comic on Kuaikan Comics grossed the platform 1 million yuan.

Chinese elements shine in cartoon & game expo

Ti Gong

Last year’s comic book “Fall in Love”

Each short video is about three minutes long and each series has 10-20 episodes.

“We have started to promote Chinese comics overseas,” Zhao said. “Currently, we have users in countries like Japan, South Korea, the United States and East Asia. This year we have launched a new ‘Columbus’ project to enable more Chinese works to be seen abroad. “

Zhao said he has cooperated with many overseas translation and promotion organizations to make their work adaptable to different cultures.

So far, Kuaikan has promoted more than 100 Chinese comics overseas in 11 languages. Last year, two comics “Sweet Bite” and “Fall in Love” each grossed the platform over one million yuan ($ 154,400) in revenue.

Chinese elements shine in cartoon & game expo

Ti Gong

“Nine Songs of the Changing Skies”

Sparkly Key Animation Studio is a Hangzhou based producer who creates original Chinese animation. He brought five of his works – “The Legend of Qin”, “Nine Songs of Heaven in Motion”, “Wu Geng Ji”, “Soul Land” and “Legend of Exorcism” – to the CCG exhibition with themed products , a stage shows and interactive games on site.

These works all feature the decor of ancient China.

A Sparkly Key staff member told the Shanghai Daily that they chose the “Chinoiserie” animation as a starting point because they believed that historical stories and martial arts would be more appealing to a foreign audience as well as to Chinese viewers.

“The chinoiserie animation will give the audience a different understanding of certain historical figures,” he explained.

“The Legend of Qin” has been promoted in more than one hundred overseas countries and regions and won numerous international awards.

“We hope that more companies can create original Chinese animations so that the market can develop,” the staff member said.

Chinese elements shine in cartoon & game expo

Ti Gong

A 3D Chinoiserie game “Xuan Zhong Ji”, developed by Kingnet and published by Tencent, will be released later this year.

In recent years, Chinese original games have become popular with foreign players.

At CCG, local game producer Kingnet Network Co presented their latest mobile game “Xuan Zhong Ji”.

The Chinoiserie 3D game, developed by Kingnet and published by Tencent, will go live later this year.

Against the backdrop of Chinese myth, players will meet various gods, elves, and monsters, catch them, and train them as their own pets. Players can fight against enemies with these magical animals.

“Figure Story”, another original game from Kingnet shown at the exhibition, is developed by its subsidiary Sheng He Game with ideas derived from trendy figurines and toys that are popular among young people.

Chinese elements shine in cartoon & game expo

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A visitor in a Lolita dress takes a selfie with a Coser in the legendary Monkey King costume at CCG.

Most of the Chinese cartoon fans and cosers at CCG expo are teenagers; a Coser is a person in a costume posing as a cartoon or game character.

Eighteen-year-old Zhao, wearing Hanfu, the traditional costume of the Han Chinese people, visited the exhibition for the first time.

“I’m a little anxious,” Zhao said. “But seeing so many compatible friends excites me too. I hope I can meet more Cosers.”

When talking about Chinese cartoons, Zhao couldn’t contain his enthusiasm. He recommended “Blessing of the Heavenly Official” and “Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation”.

“They have a lot of our Chinese elements,” he said. “We can learn more about the essence of our own culture.”

Zhao also shared his expectations for the future development of Chinese cartoons.

“We have a good start,” he said. “But there is still a long way to go. I hope Chinese cartoons can be with us all the way.”

Chinese elements shine in cartoon & game expo

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Two visitors take a picture of a doll, a character from Chinese cartoons, in front of original works of Chinese cartoons.

Yang, 15, attended CCG with his mother. She plays the role of Xielian in “Heaven Official’s Blessing”.

In her daily life, she sometimes wears Hanfu, being addicted to Chinese cartoons.

“I think there have been a lot of Chinese cartoon fans already,” Yang said. “And there will be more, as Chinese animation becomes more and more international. For example, ‘Heaven Official’s Blessing’ has released various versions such as Thai.”

This year, the CCG also attempted to cross the boundaries between different industries.

AVIC Universal Culture Diffusion (Beijing) Co, a company of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, participated in the CCG and launched its self-developed Mecha Tun Shan (Mountain Swallower) to promote aviation among young people.

The Mecha can be an airplane or a robot.

AVIC also brought its “AVIC FASCINATING 20 ERA” mystery toy box series that transforms different planes into cartoon characters.

Chinese elements shine in cartoon & game expo

Ti Gong

Two cartoon characters from Aerokids, the AVIC Universal Culture Diffusion brand for children

Its Aerokids brand uses cartoons to introduce the country’s aviation history and industry to children.

Bank of China built an ancient Chinese style qianzhuang, or private bank, on the premises and displays the currency used in different periods of history with cartoon elements.

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