Sharp Arrow Operation: World War II Kung Fu

How does a Chinese television producer please viewers and censors alike? How many “Anti-Japanese War” shows can the Chinese public take before they decide to tune out for good? How much patriotic programming can a channel drop before SARFT chafes?

Sharp Arrow Operation (利箭行动) has something for everyone: it is just the latest in a decades-long line of World War II TV dramas, but with a martial arts kick. Shot at Hengdian World Studios in Zhejiang Province, Sharp Arrow’s 35 episodes cost RMB 50,000,000 (US$8 million). It is the big-budget, action-packed answer to the demands of state and public.

And so a new genre is born: the World War II kung fu show.

As this gif makes the rounds online, netizens chuckle at the fictional bloodbath:

@hesnet: A Japanese man came to visit China. His first stop was Zhejiang. He found a local guide and gave her 3000 yuan, telling her his grandfather had died fighting in China. He wanted her to take him to the location of the worst Japanese casualties to pay his respects. With money in hand, the guide had him spend 300 yuan on a car, and off they drove. An hour later, she announced that they had arrived. As soon as he stepped out of the car, he saw the sign: Hengdian World Studios.


Poster for Sharp Arrow Operation.

@avb001: Q: During the Anti-Japanese War, which Chinese military unit finished off the most devils? A: Bayi Film Studio.


Via CDT Chinese.