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The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf review: Essential non-required viewing

Premieres on August 23

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Whenever a piece of fiction gets adapted to either the small or big screen, one of the biggest worries that fans have is how much the adaptation strays from the original work. For some, like Fight Club and The Shining, adaptations can become an independent work of art on their own. For another group, like the highly controversial Game of Thrones, adaptations can sour how fans perceive the original work.

When Netflix’s The Witcher came out, fans from the book series and the games held their breath at the Henry Cavill-led series. Fortunately, the series took off and created more fans for the dark fantasy series.

Now that the first season proved how popular the series can be, showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich is pushing the series to even greater heights. Besides the second season, the series is also getting a spinoff anime film, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, featuring series main character Geralt of Rivia’s father figure Vesemir. Of course, spinoffs tend to raise the most eyebrows since they are usually made from their own original stories.

Given that Nightmare of the Wolf is a spin-off, will it expand the series further or end up as non-required viewing for fans?

What happened before The Witcher?

The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf follows the adventures of a young witcher named Vesemir. As old fans of the series might have deduced, Vesemir was the older witcher who raised Geralt in their fortress Kaer Morhen.

The film is set well before Geralt’s time as a witcher. It shows how Vesemir became a witcher and how witchers were perceived in the past. By nature, witchers are monster hunters who work for coin. However, because of a strange new monster, Vesemir has to reevaluate how he hunts monsters amid political strife between human, monsters, sorceresses, and witchers.

Witcher’s got a brand-new style

As opposed to the previous titles (books and games included), Nightmare of the Wolf is done in an anime style. The franchise is often known for its realistic dark fantasy themes. Anime is a new frontier for the franchise.

Of course, anime might not be the first thing you’d associate with the franchise. It was certainly an eyebrow-raiser when they announced the style.

Nonetheless, the film’s animation brings out the horrors of the world potentially more than what the live action series can bring out. Anime allows the film to exceed the usual constraints of 3D visual effects. Nightmare of the Wolf is deliciously bloody. It’s what you would expect a Witcher title to look like.

A clever take on the lore

Despite creating a new story for the film, Nightmare of the Wolf is an excellent addition to the series’ lore. It adds to the story without changing any of the main canonical lore. If anything, the film adds more character to Vesemir beyond what we know from the books and the games.

Besides the story, the film adds in a lot of new elements and monsters to the world. For one, it introduces a grappling hook device that Vesemir uses to either get around or fight monsters with. Without spoiling how they came to be, the film’s clever take on introducing new monsters goes beyond the Conjunction of the Spheres or the in-world event that describes how monsters took over the world.

Figuring out the why

Undoubtedly, Nightmare of the Wolf is a very capable title able to hold its own amid the sprawling Witcher universe. However, it’s still important to figure out why the film exists in the first place. Was it made to be its own thing or to drum up hype for the second season of the live-action series?

It’s safe to say that it’s both. The anime film isn’t exactly required viewing if you’re a fan of the series. However, it does add a lot of worldbuilding to the lore. Nightmare of the Wolf fleshes out the world of the witchers to an amazing extent. Even if the film stands on its own right now, the producers can effectively use the new concepts from this film into future titles.

Though you might want to skip it, it’s probably best to watch it especially if you’re a Witcher fan.

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The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf premieres globally on Netflix on August 23.

Entertainment

Korean TV series Island hits Prime Video

Exploring the legends of Jeju Island

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Island

Korean TV series “Island” is coming to Prime Video in December 2022, the streaming service announced today.

This means the one-of-a-kind fantasy action series will be shown to audiences in Southeast Asia and more than 240 countries and territories as Prime Video continues to promote Korean content offerings outside of the country.

The development follows the global launch of romantic comedy “Love in Contract” last September.

Jeju Island legends, folklore explored

“Island” is based on the comic/webtoon of the same name by Yoon In-wan and Yang Kyung-il, which was first published in 1997. In 2016, on its 25th year, Island was uploaded to Naver Webtoon and gained even more popularity.

Directed by Bae Jong (Welcome to Dongmakgol, Fabricated City), the fantasy action series features Kim Nam-gil, Lee Da-hee, Cha Eun-woo, and Sung-joon in lead roles.

The live-action adaptation is set in the beautiful Jeju Island and portrays the journey of the characters fighting the evil force that is trying to destroy the world – in the process tapping into the legends and folklore of the famous tourist destination.

The show will be available on TVING in South Korea, and on Prime Video globally.

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Park Seo-jun, Han So-hee headline newest Netflix series

Titled Gyeongseong Creature

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So much star power. Netflix’s newest upcoming series Gyeongseong Creature is being headlined by Park Seo-jun (Itaewon Class, What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim) and Han So-hee (Nevertheless, My Name).

The series is set in the spring of 1945, in the city of Gyeongseong. It follows individuals going up against monstrous creatures that were born out of human greed.

Park Seo-jun plays Jang Tae-sang. He is the head of merchant marketplace Golden Jade House who is the wealthiest, most well-connected person in Gyeongseong. Tae-sang puts money before justice. But all that changes when he crosses paths with Yun Chae-ok while investigating a series of missing person cases.

Han So-hee plays Yun Chae-ok. She is a famous bounty hunter who can track down missing people, even ones who are dead. Chae-ok possesses a sharp eye and agile survival skills learned from her rough childhood roaming across Manchuria and Shanghai with her father.

Also starring Claudi Kim and Wi Ha-jun

Joining the main leads are Claudia Kim and Wi Ha-jun who have both received international spotlight for their roles.

Claudia Kim plays Maeda, who is the wife of a powerful official in Gyeongseong during the colonial period. The actress has been active on the global stage through the films Avengers: Age of Ultron and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and the Netflix Series Marco Polo.

Wi Ha-jun, who made a lasting impression on worldwide audiences with his role in Squid Game and is currently winning over viewers in Little Women, plays Gwon Jun-taek, Tae-sang’s best friend. He joins Tae-sang’s dangerous plan in rescuing the people who have gone missing.

The production team, meanwhile, is led by screenwriter Kang Eun K and director Chung Dong-yoon. The former has penned dramas across various genres such as Dr. Romantic and Kang Chi, the Beginning while the latter is known as a creator in Hot Stove League.

Gyeongseong Creature will be released globally only on Netflix.

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Genshin Concert 2022 set on October 2

Celebrating 2 years of adventure

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Genshin Concert

HoYoverse has announced that the Genshin Concert 2022: Melodies of an Endless Journey event will officially commence on October 2, 2022, celebrating two years of Genshin Impact adventure.

Music producer Shiro Sagisu has been invited to be the music director of the global online concert that will last for about 75 minutes.

Known arranging the Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale soundtrack, Sagisu will be joined by the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra on top of other talented musicians around the world.

The trailer for the upcoming concert is now live, and may be watched below:

Sagisu and his team will recreate beloved Genshin Impact soundtracks for the concert, taking fans on a journey as they reminisce their adventures in the world of Teyvat.

It was announced recently that Genshin Impact Version 3.1 will release on September 28, 2022, so the concert is a fitting incentive for fans as the open-world adventure RPG enters its third year.

The patch update includes Cyno and Nilou’s release, the Desert area, new weapons, and anniversary events.

 

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