Shiguang Dailiren: Journey Through Time and Animation – Series Review

Movie Bunker Score:

The Hidden Gem: Link Click

A Quirky and Underrated Crime Thriller

Who would have thought that in a season as strong as Spring 2021, one of the most outstanding shows would go unnoticed by anime fans? Surprisingly, it was a quirky and non-traditional crime thriller that had been largely ignored before the season began. However, alongside this unexpected gem, another series called Odd Taxi also stood out. While I seldom write series reviews these days, Link Click unquestionably deserves attention, especially considering its second season announcement after a fiendish cliffhanger ending. As a subject-matter expert, I’ll explore why this show is deserving of recognition and why it became a personal favorite of mine.

A Reluctant Start

I must admit, I hesitated initially to cover this season. However, a few episodes into Link Click, I realized it was a truly exceptional series. The decision not to write about it stemmed from my desire to fully immerse myself in the experience of following an anime, or rather an “anime-like” show, without the task of analyzing and dissecting it. Little did I know that this decision would lead me on a captivating journey through the world of Donghua, Chinese animation.

Superiority Shines Through

While Shiguang Dailiren (the original Chinese title of Link Click) was not the first Donghua I had watched, it undoubtedly overshadowed all previous experiences. Its brilliance extended to various aspects of the show, including its cast, a feature that does not always resonate with me in Donghua productions. Although the visuals may not be on par with the extravagance often seen in anime, they are comparable to those of more modestly budgeted series. Moreover, the direction of the show is first-rate, leading to an immersive and visually appealing experience.

The Neglected Masterpiece

Despite its undeniable quality, Link Click remains relatively ignored by the anime community. Although those who have watched it highly regard the show (it currently ranks #21 all-time on MAL), it fails to attract a large following within the usual anime fan circles. Personally, I was initially skeptical due to my lukewarm feelings towards Donghua. Nevertheless, Link Click managed to win me over. While explaining the intricate plot in its entirety may undermine its impact, I can offer a brief overview. The series revolves around two guys in their early twenties who possess the unique ability to travel into the past through photographs. Lu Guang, a sober and responsible individual, shares this extraordinary power with Cheng Xiaoshi, an emotionally volatile and impulsive character.

A Serious Exploration of Time Travel

One aspect of Link Click that captivated me as a fan of hard science fiction from my early childhood is its meticulous approach to time travel mechanics. The show takes this concept seriously and explores it to its fullest extent. Moreover, the character development within the series is captivating. Starting with the main protagonists, such as Cheng Xiaoshi, whose troubled past adds depth to his character, the series extends its focus to the individuals appearing in each arc. These arcs, varying in length from one to several episodes, effectively tug at the viewers’ heartstrings. Personally, the arc dealing with the Great Sichuan Earthquake resonated with me the most, although each story delivers a powerful emotional impact. As the series progresses, it becomes increasingly apparent that the consistently excellent writing culminates in a truly remarkable finale.

Masterful Creation

As an original series, Shiguang Dailiren has managed to intrigue audiences, despite a lack of information regarding the individuals responsible for its creation. Nevertheless, the writer’s prowess is undeniable. The show encompasses a range of elements, including strong protagonists (such as the beloved Cheng Xiaoshi), compelling recurring storylines, thrilling action sequences, and even lighthearted comedic moments. One of the standout features of Link Click is its portrayal of parent-child relationships, which it depicts brilliantly. Additionally, the series fearlessly dives into the modern economic divide between urban and rural China, highlighting social issues and inviting contemplation. The animated format allows the show to address these topics more openly than it might be able to in a live-action production.

The Hidden Gem Revealed

In summary, it is without reservation that I call Link Click a fantastic show. It genuinely took me by surprise, even more so than Odd Taxi (another standout series which found a receptive audience). Link Click possesses an undeniable quality that makes it a compelling sleeper hit. It could have easily slipped through the cracks and gone completely unnoticed. Fortunately, I gave it a chance based on a few positive comments, and Funimation’s streaming availability sealed the deal. Looking ahead, the second season of Link Click will undoubtedly be one of my most-anticipated series—a sentiment I would never have believed a few months ago.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Link Click an anime or a Donghua series?

Link Click is a Donghua series, which refers to Chinese animated shows. Although there may be debates about the definition of anime, the fact that Link Click is written and performed in Mandarin Chinese sets it apart from traditional Japanese anime.

2. How does Link Click handle time travel differently from other shows?

Link Click takes a meticulous and serious approach to time travel mechanics, catering to fans of hard science fiction. The series dives into the complexities of altering the past through photographs, offering a fresh perspective on this popular concept.

3. Does Link Click focus on character development?

Absolutely. Link Click dedicates considerable attention to developing its characters, beginning with the leads, Lu Guang and Cheng Xiaoshi. Their intricate backstories enhance the narrative, while the individual arcs within the series provide opportunities for further character exploration.

4. What makes Link Click standout among other Donghua series?

Link Click offers a unique blend of elements that sets it apart within the Donghua landscape. From its strong protagonists, engaging storylines, dynamic action scenes, and occasional comedic moments, to its thought-provoking portrayal of parent-child relationships and socio-economic issues, this series offers a multifaceted viewing experience.

5. Can Link Click be enjoyed by both anime enthusiasts and Donghua fans?

Absolutely! While Link Click may have initially flown under the radar for anime enthusiasts, its quality and storytelling prowess make it highly enjoyable for both anime and Donghua fans. Its blend of intriguing plotlines, well-developed characters, and captivating visuals transcends boundaries, ensuring an immersive experience for a wide range of viewers.