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Feng Shen Ji is a manga written by Zheng Jian He, and drawn by Tang Chi Fai. It’s known for its great art and that it’s colored unlike the vast majority of manga.
In a land, eerie reminiscent of old china, called Shang, a messenger appears in order to deliver a divine edict to Shang’s emperor. Basically it goes a little like this: “Go out and plunder the neighboring lands for resources on behalf of the gods”
In face of this heavenly decree the emperor chooses to say; fuck it, and decides to take up arms against the deities he, and his ancestors, worshipped in order for the denizens of Shang not to live under the tyranny of the gods.And so begins the epic adventure of Feng Shen Ji.
Feng Shen Ji contains examples of:
- An Arm and a Leg: When Wu Geng's divine power activates, he can't control it properly, resulting in his left arm being blown off. Since the Time Skip he's learned to make a new one with his Smelting Aura.
- Animal Motifs: Dogs for Wu Geng/Ah Gou.
- Dragons for Tian, and possibly the phoenix for Shi Xing.
- Butterflies for Ah Lan.
- Anti-Magic: Divine Power: Monochrome, used by Tian and Wu Gung
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Most of the gods.
- Bad Ass: Let's count the many ways, shall we?
- Bald of Evil: Shen Yan.
- BFS: Luanwu can enlarge his already huge blade to truly ridiculous levels, as shown here
- Big Bad: Tian the king of the gods, possibly.
- Shen Yen hijacked the role from him.
- Blood from the Mouth: Every time someone gets punched or stabbed in the chest.
- Blood Knight: Shi Xing and QiongXiong Jie.
- Body Surf: Wu Geng acquires the body of a boy killed the exact moment he was in an early chapter, and has been using it ever since.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Xuan Feng, who claims to be the weakest of the Sage Kings, but mostly just can't be bothered to put effort into his fights. When he gets serious, he's as strong as the rest, and an even match for the Phoenix-boosted Shi Xing. This is partly because he believe his power is too deadly to be used, having accidentally killed his master while showing it to him for the first time
- Calling Your Attacks: Played With. Characters rarely shout their attacks, but the moves are labeled for the audience nonetheless.
- Cast from Lifespan: Using the Phoenix drains your life force. Shi Xing, being undead, doesn't really care...
- Chess Master: Shen Yan has had thousands of years to plan and does not waste a single one.
- Combat Commentator: Ubiquitous. Every single battle has at least one character who hangs back and describes exactly what's going on. If no-one's available, the narration will step in and do it for them. With characters that can literally put their all into their weapons and techniques, a single punch can actually warrant the fighter's entire life story.
- Combat Pragmatist: Wu Geng is never afraid to play dirty.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Dark Ones are mostly pretty friendly, despite their reputation as savage barbarians (literally) from Hell. Except for QiongXiong Jie.
- Death World: Hell, unsurprisingly.
- Defeat Means Friendship: How NiTian ErXing united the Dark Ones, who had been at civil war for a decade.
- Defiant to the End: Zi Shou.
- Dissonant Serenity: Zhen Chan takes the cake for this, don't expect him to get revved up against anyone. Unless if you're REALLY REALLY stubborn.
- Divine Ranks: There are “normal” gods, go a level higher and there are great gods, after that comes Sage Kings; gods that have pushed their powers to perfection. Then there's an elder, a sort of chieftain and spiritual leader among the gods, and at the top of the ladder sits Tian, the only old god left.
- The Dreaded: Tian, for good reason.
- Empathic Weapon: The Dark Ones' Soul Gear.
- Fake Defector: Ah Lan, who goes over to the bad guys' side in order to assassinate Tian in his sleep.
- Eats Babies: Gui Mu.
- The Emperor: Zi Shou. Technically also Tian, though he tends more towards Orcus on His Throne.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Shen Yan, towards Tian
- Evil Chancellor: Shen Yen, the leader of the retired head gods, the sage gods, who schemes on Tian's behalf while the King of the Gods slumbers.
- Evil Sorceress: Xin Yue Kui, the Hero's maternal aunt who became a fully realized oracle by stealing her father's eyes, summons the spirits of pure-dissapointment and sorrow, and used Mantra to give a character numb immortality only so they could wish they could die.
- Full-Contact Magic: The typical application of Smelting Aura.
- Especially with Sir Li Jing, who's aura manifests as giant stone fists that mime his strikes and fighting stances.
- Wu Geng left arm is smelting aura and dons a golden gauntlet gyro gauntlet as an ultimate form.
- Wu Geng's uncle, Zi Yu, was an accomplished swordsman before and summons giant swords for his own grip, but also to rain down by scores upon enemies with piercing motions of his hands.
- Gonk: Li Ne Zha, a somewhat oddly-proportioned Bratty Half-Pint in a world of impossibly muscled men. He's still called such after 2 or 3 Time Skip.
- Guile Hero: Several abound but two outstanding ones are Wu Geng and Ni Tian Er Xiang.
- Having a Blast: A Sage God can create spontaneous explosions all around him by slamming his fists together, per his Divine Skill. Tian manages cause spontaneous explosions while throwing his spear; the narration states he's just that unreasonably powerful. Zongheng Tianxia of the Dark Ones has small detonating orbs as his Soul Gear. That is to say: most Dark Ones ignite their soul through an actual weapon and this guy makes spirit-grenades out of thin air.
- Healing Hands: Kong Que. Also Zhen Chan, whose power works from a distance, and is so powerful that it takes decapitation to finally kill the gods he supports.
- The Heart: Bai Cai for the heroes, specifically for Wu Geng and later the entire Dark Ones Nation.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Fu Yi
- Imagination-Based Superpower: Smelting Aura summons matter from another world to create real or imaginary objects. As stated in chapter 80, it is entirely based on the user's imagination. Zi Yu managed to craft a sword that specifically hurts gods and dubbed it Heaven Punisher. Heaven Punisher, when conjured, actually doesn't heavily damage anything but divine power.
- Jack of All Stats: Ah Gou/Wu Geng can use all 3 styles of powers, Divine Powers (Gods), Smelting Aura (Human & Phantom Island citizens) & Soul Ignition (Dark Ones). However, due to several reasons he can't use these powers to their fullest, requiring to mix these abilities & use versatility over raw power.
- Jerkass Gods: The gods extort and enslave humanity, then expect nothing less than boot-licking in return. Even indirectly defying the gods is punished with death, for the outlier, their family, their town, and likely anyone else even remotely associated with them.
- La Résistance: The Lost Ones. Also technically the Dark Ones, who are rebelling against the conditions forced upon their conquered ancestors.
- Large Ham: Absolutely everybody, including the narration. It makes sense, since this world runs on Rule of Cool.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Bai Cai and Sui Feng Qi Wu respectively. Both of them are nice, upright women but Sui Feng is a serious Lady of War while Bai Cai is The Heart.
- Longest Pregnancy Ever: Kong Que, chief of the rebel gods, was pregnant for 18 months.
- Made a Slave: Wu Geng, among everyone (who survived) in his former kingdom is sent to a life working in a mine.
- Meaningful Name: All of the Dark Ones, who take descriptive warrior names. Some of the gods also have these. Often overlaps with Names to Run Away From Really Fast and Awesome Mc Cool Name.
- Examples include: Tian ("heaven"), or his real name, Hei Long ("black dragon"). From the Dark Ones, among others, NiTian ErXing ("act contrary to Tian/heaven") or the previous grand marshal, HaiKuo TianKong ("boundless as the sky and ocean"), and TieXue WuShuang ("Iron Blood").
- Averted by Bai Cai (Bok Choy, literally "white vegetable"), who has a borderline Fail O'Suckyname. Ah Gou ("dog") could be go either way, depending on how you look at it.
- Necromantic / Love Makes You Evil: Hei Long
- Nice Girl: Bai Cai. So much so that some people think it's her super power.
- Ninja: The Dark Ones, more or less.
- Noble Demon: Tian Kui initally appears as The Brute, unquestioningly doing Tian's bidding and utterly cub-stomping anyone who gets in his way. Several flashbacks later, and it turns out he's a pretty decent guy after all. Monst notably, his most heinous act until that point, killing Shi Xing's lover seems more of a Mercy Kill in hindsight.
- The Old Gods: Only one though; Tian. Because he killed all of the rest.
- Poisonous Person: Several gods of the Plague Affiliation, most notably Gui Mu and Bai Lian.
- The Quiet One: Zi Yu, whose little dialogue consists mostly of monosyllabic responses.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Very much the entire theme of the manhua, which comes off a cross between God of War (a man with the aim to destroy the gods) and Exalted (doing so with awesome superpowers). To be fair, the gods started it.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Zi Yu for Da Ji. Also Zhui Ri for Bai Cai and possibly Zi Dian for Ah Lan.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Shi Xing, against Xin Yue Kui and then Shen Yan.
- Seer: Shen Yan.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Wu Geng starts off facing members of the Lost Ones. He then fights his way through several Great Gods, took several levels in badass, and is now fighting Sage Kings. Next up the ladder is Tian himself.
- Subverted a bit considering Tian showed up very early on to curb-stomp the king of Shang, now several arcs later and even after having being supposedly killed, it's being reinforced that he's the top dog all along.
- Spontaneous Weapon Creation: The Smelting Aura allows one to do this, from stone fists (Li Jing) to glowy magic swords (Zi Yu) to a new arm, and a super-strong golden gauntlet to go on it (Wu Geng).
- Taken for Granite: Dark Ones who contract the petrification sickness, most notably NiTian ErXing.
- Take Up My Sword: NiTian ErXing to Wu Geng, by way of SuiFeng QiWu
- Teleporters and Transporters: The Vanishing arts used by the Dark Ones allow them to teleport short distances.
- Teleport Spam: Users of Vanishing arts don't seem to have a cool down period and can even teleport repeatedly in place of flight.
- Top God: Tian, the oldest, and strongest god in the heavens.
- Tragic Monster: Shi Xing. Also, surprisingly enough, Tian himself.
- Villain Decay:
- Bai Lian. While all the other sage kings remained badasses after the time skip, Bai Lian came back more unhinged and was completely humiliated in a rematch with Ah Gou.
- Gui Mu. From dangerous god of pestilence to being locked up by his adopted human son and shedding lonely tears.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: is Shi Xing dead or what?
- White Hair, Black Heart: Tian.
- Wolverine Claws: TieXue WuShuang, who uses his claws as weapons.
- Would Hit a Girl: Wu Geng
- You Gotta Have Green Hair: The Dark Ones' hair is usually a realistic brown, black, or white - except when they activate their Soul Gear, at which point it turns bright green.
- Your Days Are Numbered: NiTian ErXing, who is terminally ill with the petrification sickness. The only thing keeping him alive is his Heroic Willpower.