Animated My Own Swordsman to hit small screen

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In 2006, a martial arts TV sitcom, "Wu Lin Wai Zhuan" or "My Own Swordsman", swept across China. Its hilarious scripts and contemporary-style plots helped it win a solid fan base across the country and brought fame to its stars.

Built on the success of the TV series, a cartoon version of the show has just been completed and will be released on May 1st.

The 300-episode cartoon version will stay faithful to the original, retaining all the major characters. However, thanks to the advanced technology available and a creative team of graphic designers, this animated version will show viewers more of the kung fu action that took place in renowned screenwriter Ning Caishen's original work, which cannot be reproduced in a live action setting.

Ray Qi, director of the cartoon series said: "In the TV series, audiences cannot see the panorama of the Qi Xia Zhen and the Tong Fu Ke Zhan due to various limitations. In the cartoon version, we spent a lot of time and effort on scene creation, using 3D technology for example to fully capture the environment of the story."

Apart from the original storyline, the cartoon version also mixes in some elements from popular contemporary hits such as "Avatar". Ray Qi says that he hopes his version can fully reflect Ning Caishen's imagination and go even further in catching the attention of more young viewers.

"My Own Swordsman" tells a kung fu story that happened in ancient China. The actors were all dressed in traditional costumes and named after many of the famous kung fu swordsmen in Chinese history. Though the story was set in ancient times, all the characters speak like today's young people. They make fun of the Jianghu, or martial arts society, while parodying all sorts of cultural and social trends of today.

The success of the TV sitcom "My Own Swordsman" has led to a whole host of related merchandise. The eponymous internet game mushroomed in 2006, drawing as many as half a million players online at the same time. In 2007 a stage prequel to the TV series started its nationwide tour, and has seen over 200 performances throughout the country. A big-screen version is currently filming, and according to its investor Hao Yaning, the film is slated to hit screens before Christmas.

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