The Yin Yang Master is a 2021 film adaptation of the acclaimed role-play mobile game Onmyoji: Master of Yin and Yang. It premieres in cinemas today and should not be mistaken for Deng Lun and Mark Chao’s version that aired last year. That one was a first part adaptation of the novel series titled Onmyoji by Yumemakura Baku. The stories have similarities, but this new movie is from a different director, production company, and cast.
Synopsis – The world is on the verge of a devastating war with monsters trying to retrieve the Scaling Stone. Yin Yang Master Qing Ming’s life is in danger, which leads him on a journey to different worlds in preparation for the upcoming assaults. During his voyage, Qing Ming finds that the key to stopping all the calamities is embracing his human and monster hybrid identity (source – Netflix).
Now here’s a more detailed summary provided on imdb.com – Captain of the City Guard, Yuan Boya, is stripped of his rank after failing to guard an imperial tribute. Unwilling to let things lie, he searches for the thieves that stole the tribute, only to end up entering a mystical world of demons. Along the way, he becomes mixed up in a feud between the Yin Yang Master Qing Ming, humans and the demon worlds. Yuan Boya and Qing Ming’s relationship grows from mutual distaste to grudging respect, and eventually, they establish an unbreakable bond of master and familiar. The two work together to solve an old mystery and prove Qing Ming’s innocence while also unravelling a conspiracy to bring the Demon King back from the dead. (I’m not too confident of this summary’s accuracy since anyone can edit the imdb.com site.)
Main cast list for The Yin Yang Master:
We have one of my favourite Chinese actors ever, Chen Kun as Qin Ming, the yin yang master/Seimei –
Zhou Xun as Bai Ni/Yao Bikuni –
William Chan as Ci Mu –
Claudia Wang as the Peach blossom fairy –
Shen Yue as Shen Le/Kagura –
Cici Wang as the Snow lady –
Wang Yue Yi as the Butterfly monster –
And finally, Shaw Qu as Yuan Bo Ya/Hiromasa.
This stellar cast for The Yin Yang Master truly excites me, and I’m equally eager to get more insight into the world of Onmyoji. I’ve never played the game, but I have seen the 2020 animated series. Sadly, the anime episodes were too short; hence I’m very thankful for these live-actions that allow me to dive more into this intriguing fantasy world. Since Netflix also picked up the international distribution for this version, I’ll wait to watch both the 2020 and 2021 adaptation together. As of now, there’s no official date for the international release since this film just started airing in China.
Update: This film is now available on Netflix.
To close this post, here are all the teasers/trailers for The Yin Yang Master. I saved them for last just in case anyone prefers to go into a movie without knowing what sort of visuals to expect, so watch at your discretion –