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Mercy
topic
07:22:18 PM Jun 20th 2014
Is The Matrix an example of Wuxia? I've previously suggested that simply including Wire Fu does not make a movie a wuxia work, but this does not seem to satisfy a recent editor but they included no indication of the criteria that *would* make a film wuxia. The Matrix includes martial-arts and wire-work certainly, but are we saying that every film that does is wuxia?
DragonQuestZ
07:51:45 PM Jun 20th 2014
You are assuming that wire fu is the only such element in the film, without stating details to back it up.
Mercy
08:43:38 PM Jun 20th 2014
That is because it is my opinion that the wire-fu is the only vaguely wuxia element in The Matrix, and I don't think that is enough. If it were, then every film with wire-work would be wuxia, like Peter Pan for example. How can one give details of something that is not there? I think it is for anyone who *does* think that The Matrix *is* a definite example of a wuxia film to give details to back *that* up, which nobody has, I think.
Mercy
09:07:18 PM Jun 20th 2014
I suppose the question I'm asking is what, in the absence of any Chinese, or even East Asian, cultural background for the work, are the criteria for deciding that The Matrix is wuxia cinema? Wire Fu? Martial Arts? If so, does that mean that *any* action film that includes such elements is wuxia?
SeptimusHeap
moderator
11:05:44 PM Jun 20th 2014
I have never seen The Matrix being called Wuxia so I am thinking no.
DragonQuestZ
07:14:55 PM Jun 21st 2014
^ We can't use personal accounts for discussing an objective trope. We have to look at the work and the trope.
SeptimusHeap
moderator
11:30:18 PM Jun 21st 2014
Huh-nuh. Not everyone can look at a work for that. Sometimes, second-hand accounts work and are necessary. If The Matrix was Wuxia it would have been mentioned somewhere already.
Mercy
05:35:30 AM Jun 22nd 2014
edited by 211.30.200.127
Well, Dragon Quest Z, what do you think makes The Matrix a wuxia work? You say we should look at objective factors that would make it one, and you obviously believe they exist, because you put The Matrix back as "definitely" an example. Could you please list them for us?
DragonQuestZ
07:12:31 AM Jun 23rd 2014
edited by 71.108.75.39
^^ Well sometimes people don't notice something immediately. I, for one, find that the Transformers films are not loaded with as many racial stereotypes as people think (what kind of stereotype are a used car salesman or a bored white collar worker? no simply being unfunny comic relief doesn't count; that's merely bad writing). That's why Common Knowledge needs to be watched out for.

^ Okay. Well I see more of the elements that fit these movies in the wikipedia description of the genre than the page here. So far, I see:
  • "Typically, the heroes in wuxia fiction do not serve a lord, wield military power or belong to the aristocratic class." Although "They are often from the lower social classes of ancient Chinese society." doesn't apply, that doesn't disqualify Star Wars.
  • "Wuxia heroes are usually bound by a code of chivalry that requires them to right wrongs, fight for righteousness, remove an oppressor, redress wrongs and bring retribution for past misdeeds." Some of those apply to the resistance in these movies.
  • "Fantasy elements, ranging from fantastic martial arts to ghosts and monsters, are common elements of a wuxia story but not a prerequisite. However, the martial arts element is a definite part of a wuxia tale, as its characters must know some form of martial arts. Themes of romance are also strongly featured in some wuxia tales." We have the martial arts, we have romance (although not well realized in the sequels), and we even have some fantastic elements in the form of the Oracle.
  • "A typical wuxia story features a young male protagonist who experiences a tragedy, such as losing his loved ones, and goes on to undertake several trials and tribulations throughout his adventures in order to learn several forms of martial arts from various fighters. At the end of the story, the protagonist emerges as a powerful fighter whom few can equal." Okay, minus the tragedy, this describes Neo in the first movie.
  • "He uses his abilities to follow the code of xia and mends the ills of the jianghu." What Neo is meant to do for Xion.
  • "Some stories feature a mature hero with powerful martial arts abilities confronting an equally powerful antagonist as his nemesis. The plot will gradually meander to a final dramatic showdown between the protagonist and his nemesis" Neo and Smith in the sequels.
  • "Eight common attributes of the xia are listed as benevolence, justice, individualism, loyalty, courage, truthfulness, disregard for wealth and desire for glory." Most of those seem to apply to the resistance, particularly the main characters.
Mercy
06:18:20 AM Jun 24th 2014
First of all, I don't think Star Wars is an example of wuxia either. Star Wars doesn't even have martial-arts other than lightsaber combat, and that is hardly distinctive. Japanese samurai films or western tales of knights and chivalry feature it too. It seems to me that your Wikipedia list is simply made up of generic features from "heroic fiction" generally, and not specific to wuxia.

Heroes following chivalric codes? Stories about Western knights have that. So do Japanese samurai films.

Heroes not serving a lord or wielding military power? Is Robin Hood a wuxia hero? If the story took place in a Chinese cultural background, he'd be a good example, but without it?

Fantasy elements and romance? Are those specific to wuxia? Hardly.

Your fourth point about the young male protagonist's journey is true of The Black Shield Of Falworth, set in mediaeval England, including the tragedy.

The code of the Xia, or any similar code, is not mentioned in The Matrix, and I do not see many similarities between Xion and the Jianghu, since the latter is not a hidden resistance movement, but a world that exists alongside, and regularly interacting with everyday society.

As for the mature hero and his nemesis, would that not apply to most Jason Statham movies? To Westerns where the hero and villain have a gunfight in the final reel?

The "eight common attributes of the xia" are common to the characters in heroic fiction generally.

To me, for a work to be "definitely" a wuxia work requires it to have a Chinese cultural background. If we are only going to call Kill Bill "influenced" by wuxia (correctly in my view) despite its deliberate, self-conscious and self-aware use of tropes lifted from wuxia, and elements of Chinese culture (the master/pupil relationship between Pai Mei and the Bride, for example), I don't think it is correct to call The Matrix "definitely" a wuxia work.

It is, of course, true that wuxia works have many features in common with heroic literature, films etc. from other cultures, but that does not make every piece of heroic fiction wuxia, and we should not shoe-horn them in.

DragonQuestZ
12:00:17 PM Jun 24th 2014
"First of all, I don't think Star Wars is an example of wuxia either. Star Wars doesn't even have martial-arts other than lightsaber combat, and that is hardly distinctive."

Apparently people from Japan and China have called those films Wuxia in a sci fi setting.

"Japanese samurai films or western tales of knights and chivalry feature it too. It seems to me that your Wikipedia list is simply made up of generic features from "heroic fiction" generally, and not specific to wuxia."

Wuxia isn't about what no other stories do. It's about how elements fit into that genre.
Mercy
05:17:34 PM Jun 30th 2014
"Wuxia isn't about what no other stories do. It's about how elements fit into that genre."

That sounds like a circular argument or one that begs the question. You have to have a definition of what a genre is before you can decided which elements fit into it. What specifically is it about "how elements fit into that genre" that makes The Matrix or Star Wars wuxia, but, for example, The Lord of the Rings not wuxia?

Perhaps we should look at this the other way round, and consider what disqualifies a work that appears to have many features in common with wuxia works from actually being wuxia? Take The Lord of the Rings, for example. There are plenty of swordplay, improbable martial-arts, heroic journeys, beautiful princesses, honourable warriors, galloping horses, magic, romance and many other features of wuxia depicted in Tolkien's books and the films derived from them. If you replaced the vaguely Nordic landscapes and cultural references of Lot R with Chinese ones, it would be a classic example, wouldn't it? So, if we say that Lot R is not wuxia, why do we say that?

It seems to me that we're in danger of making wuxia a nearly meaningless term on TV Tropes, in much the same way that cyberpunk has become. On the cyberpunk page, people insist on listing every science-fiction dystopia ever as an example. Here, we seem well on the way to saying that every piece of heroic fiction from any culture ever is wuxia.
DragonQuestZ
10:21:03 AM Jul 2nd 2014
"That sounds like a circular argument or one that begs the question."

Well look at other genres. Slashers don't have murder and blood as exclusive elements, but those are still elements that people identify with the genre.

But if there is one element largely exclusive to Wuxia, it's the fantastic martial arts, which you claim isn't enough. That's like saying magic isn't enough to count as fantasy.
SeptimusHeap
moderator
10:25:37 AM Jul 2nd 2014
Wuxia also has Chinese cultural aspects associated with them.
Mercy
03:14:54 PM Jul 2nd 2014
"But if there is one element largely exclusive to Wuxia, it's the fantastic martial arts, which you claim isn't enough."

I said that it is not enough by itself. Like Septimus Heap, I think the distinctive feature of wuxia is a Chinese cultural background, which The Matrix completely lacks.
bluefungi
topic
05:11:15 AM Oct 30th 2011
Journey to the West isn't really considered Wuxia is it? Its in one of the example.
68.147.5.172
topic
09:24:12 AM Feb 13th 2011
Don't Naruto and Avatar: TLA have heavy wuxia elements as well?
66.31.26.241
12:44:48 AM Apr 11th 2011
Pssht, Ranma 1/2 *drips* wuxia tropes.

Roofslepttroper
05:43:47 AM Jun 6th 2011
I think it really need more love. There whole rich genre of Wuxia. And Manhua.
Mercy
topic
04:25:27 PM Mar 27th 2010
edited by Mercy
Romanisation of Chinese in wiki entries.

1. Please don't mess with the formatting of Pinyin if you don't know to type letters with tone-marks, or your system doesn't support them.

2. Don't introduce capitalisation in the middle of words to show syllable boundaries. It is obsolete, and, more importantly, it will create false links within the wiki. e.g. Type jiānghú, or jianghu, but not Jiang Hu.
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