An animated series based on Liu Cixin’s sci-fi trilogy “The Three-Body Problem” has been available on Chinese video streaming platform Bilibili since December 10. However, due to what some have called inferior modeling, poor integration of the original novel’s plot, character adaptation and other reasons, the score of the show on Chinese social media and review site Douban is now only 5.6, with 15.2% of the audience giving a five-star evaluation.
Some viewers think that although the protagonist image in the animated version is very Chinese, their faces are not detailed enough and their expressions are dull. In the video, Luo Ji, an astronomer and sociologist, even has four joints on his index finger.
For animation lovers, the modeling of the animated series of The Three-Body Problem is too rough. For novel lovers, the narrative rhythm gradually derailed after the first episode and the character features are poor. For passers-by, they are confused by the sudden appearance of protagonists and can’t find any attractive spots because the animated series chooses the second part of the novel as the main body of the story.
Recently, some web users found that in the PDC conference of the fourth episode, many facial models were reused. “I finally know why the PDC conference looks so dark. Only the faces of the non-player characters in the front row are unique,” one netizen commented.
The series is being co-presented by Chinese sci-fi company The Three-Body Universe and animation studio YHKT Entertainment. Despite the poor reputation, it is likely to bring a lot of commercial value to Bilibili. The first episode is free, the second to third episodes are free for a limited time, and the fourth episode is exclusive to members, which is expected to increase Bilibili‘s revenue from members.
In addition, it has four sponsors such as automaker Changan Automobile, American information technology company HP, AR glasses maker ROKID and Nanfu Battery, among which Changan Automobile appeared many times in the videos. The series will also be shown on satellite TV channels and overseas video platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, and Disney. It is still unknown how much gain it will bring to Bilibili in the end, and whether it can help Bilibili gain 400 million active users per month and turn losses into profits.
Due to the grand plot of the original work and the depth of scientific theory, most Chinese film and television drama companies’ products were delayed. The film version, which finished in 2015, will be released in 2025, and the producer Yoozoo Games suffered from the sudden death of its founder.
Two trailers of the drama version, jointly produced by Tencent‘s Penguin Pictures, Linghe Media and The Three-Body Universe, were released at the end of last year and in June this year, but the broadcast time has not yet been determined. By contrast, the Netflix version will be released in 2023.