Grandmaster of the Demonic Cultivation The Comic Vol. 1 Review

Grandmaster of the Demonic Cultivation The Comic is the manhua adaptation of Mo Xiang Tong Xiu’s popular historical fantasy danmei novel series. Often referred to as MDZS by the fandom, the series is a HIT in China (and abroad), spawning a popular animated series as well as a live-action series, The Untamed (which is not as widely loved). The story follows the story of two powerful men who find each other through life and death—and has zombies… I wasn’t expecting the zombies.

Feared and hated for his sinister abilities, Wei Wuxian–the grandmaster of demonic cultivation–was driven to his death when the most powerful clans united to destroy him.

Thirteen years later, Wei Wuxian is reborn. Summoned by a young man who sacrificed his soul in a forbidden ritual, Wei Wuxian is now bound to seek vengeance on the stranger’s behalf or risk the destruction of his own soul. But when an evil entity emerges, a familiar face from Wei Wuxian’s past suddenly appears amidst the chaos–a powerful cultivator who will help shine a light on the dark truths that surround them.

Manga Details

  • Genre: Historical | Manhua | Fantasy
  • Author: Mo Xiang Tong Xiu | Art by: Lou Di Cheng Qiu
  • Publisher: Seven Seas
  • Price: $19.99 USD
  • Length: 1 Volume (Ongoing)

Grandmaster of the Demonic Cultivation The Comic Vol. 1 Review

If you haven’t heard of Mo Dao Zu Shi (MDZS), or as it’s referred to in English, Grandmaster of the Demonic Cultivation, you’re not hanging out in the right places. I kid! To be honest, before Seven Seas announced last year that they’d picked up the English license, I’d never heard of MDZS, let alone read or seen a danmei series. So the jubilation of the fandom for the English release was I’m sad to say, lost on me. But, seeing many of my mutuals so hyped for the series, got me curious and after asking around I decided to pick up the first volume of the Grandmaster novel series at Barnes and Noble.

I was assured that it was the easiest of Mo Xiang Tong Xiu’s series to get into, so as soon as I got home I cracked open my copy eager to see what all the fuss was about and… I just couldn’t get into it (sorry). The novel is dense and maybe it’s just me, but the text was extremely rigid (it was like reading a history book) and I didn’t get more than a few pages in before I gave up and tucked the book away on my shelves in defeat. I felt bad, because it’s a much beloved series that spawned an anime series and a (questionable) live action—they don’t do all that for just any old thing.

So, when the comic adaptation was announced, I was hesitant to jump back into the series again. But, at the insistence of a friend I gave it a go and… I actually liked this version. Maybe the pretty pictures helped, because I was actually able to follow the story in a way I wasn’t with the novel.

Wei Wuxian, an infamous cultivator is killed in a climactic battle. Feared for using a “taboo” technique, his death is a welcome event in the cultivation world. Years after his passing Mo Xuanyu, a young man who is shunned by his family, performs a forbidden summoning ritual and sacrifices his soul to bring Wei Wuxian to life to exact revenge on his behalf. Now bound by the contract of the ritual Wei Wuxian must avenge Mo Xuanyu. But, as he explores the Mo household on his quest for revenge, he discovers that an evil force is at work that may pose a greater threat than anyone could have anticipated. The resulting journey leads Wei Wuxian toward familiar faces from his past, including Lan Wangji.

There’s a lot going on in this first volume; deaths, revivals, Wei Wuxian being a troll in Mo Xuanyu’s body, the Mo family, zombies, mysterious murders, and hot magical boys. It’s kind of intense and the volume blazes through everything at a rapid pace, never really settling on one thing for too long as if it’s relying on you being familiar with the major plot beats of the novel. Which as someone new to MDZS, can be a bit daunting, because I’m not as familiar with the story or the characters, so it was a bit confusing at first (I had a friend and diehard MDZS fan on the phone with me the whole time).

But, even still having the visuals of a manhua as opposed to the wall of text in the novel does go a long way towards making this iteration much more palatable as a first time reader. And trust the visuals are gorgeous! Grandmaster of the Demonic Cultivation The Comic is a full color print, so it’s a bit pricier than your usual manga, but it is well worth it! The volume is full of lush color that brings the world and characters of MDZS to life on that super nice glossy paper.

Now, I was promised a boys love experience, so I was expecting some hanky panky, a kiss, hell, I’d have settled for some intense hand holding. Sadly this volume is devoid of all that, I have been assured that it is coming, but if you are expecting “romance” you’ll have to wait for later volumes. Though, I suppose the characters and story are interesting enough on their own. Wei Wuxian is hilarious, he is the biggest troll, bouncing around teasing folks causing mayhem wherever he goes, it’s great. The supporting cast is equally entertaining, most being connected in some way to Wei Wuxian and his previous life.

This just the first volume so there’s a lot of worldbuilding and intros to get through, with just a hint at what’s to come in the future. We do get a glimpse of Lan Wangji and in just one panel, I could feel the sexual tension between him and Wei Wuxian. So I am READY for that to pay off in a big way later on in the story. But, overall I really liked volume 1 of Grandmaster of the Demonic Cultivation The Comic. For fans of the series this is an automatic buy, but for newbies to MDZS and danmei, this is probably the best starting point if you’re looking to get your toes wet.

An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review purposes

Where to Read Grandmaster of the Demonic Cultivation The Comic

Amazon | Seven Seas Manga | Right Stuf Anime

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3 thoughts on “Grandmaster of the Demonic Cultivation The Comic Vol. 1 Review

  1. Thank you for giving The Best Boys another shot! The story can definitely be a lot to get into (I was checking the wiki A Lot when reading the fan translations before it was officially picked up) but I appreciate the effort!!

    1. YES! You were INSISTANT about it, so I had to give em another go. And you were right, this is such a fun story (I may give the novel another go now that I know what’s going on). You are def my go to MDZS expert!! 💖

  2. I thought you knew MDZS 😮 that’s a surprise haha
    I haven’t read the manhua yet. It’ll be licensed here(in my country). The novels are great. There’s a slight difference tho.
    I’m glad you like the manhua

Gush about cute otome boys~