The influence of Japanese anime is spreading, even into China. Heaven Officialís Blessing is a Chinese animated series, which is obviously strongly influenced by Japanese anime. The story is taken out of mythology, and could be taken as Japanese if the dialog was not in Mandarin.

Crown Prince Xie Lian is also a god, only heís been tossed out of heaven three times causing him to lose most of his power. Still he manages to involve himself with the problems of others. He is assisted by two deputy gods, and a friend named Hua Cheng Ė although the implied attraction hints at more than just friendship.

The artwork is a bit different than the Japanese anime style, and the animation itself shows a greater effort than what you would find in the average Japanese series.

Unfortunately, though the action sequences are quite good, the story itself drags at times with endless conversations, with the story development happening at a snailís pace. Most of the episodes are quite good, but there are others where you just wish it would end. You need quite a bit of patience to get through this one.

If you are curious about Chinese animation, check it out. If not, forget Heaven Officialís Blessing. A second season is due out this year, but quite frankly I lost interest.