Cultivation novels are popular in web novel

Xianxia (Genre) - Xianxia (genre)

Chinese fantasy genre

Xianxia (Simplified Chinese: 仙 侠; Traditional Chinese: 仙 俠) is a genre of Chinese fantasy influenced by Chinese mythology, Taoism, Buddhism, Chinese martial arts, traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese folk religion, and other traditional Chinese elements becomes.


Xianxia Novels were popularized in the time of the Republic of China, but it was the novel Legend of the Swordsmen of the Mountains of Shu by 1932, which sparked the genre's modern popularity. In the 21st century, the genre saw new life with the advent of online publishing. Sites like,, and provide writers with a platform to reach a wide audience with high-volume, serialized content. It was popularized outside of China primarily through fan translation in the early 2000s. Novels like Stellar transformations , Coiling Dragon , Martial God Asura and I Shall Seal the Heavens led to a boom in such fan translations. Official licensed translations were later published by websites such as and This genre is also a staple food for Chinese TV shows, movies, Manhua and games.


Protagonists are usually "cultivators" (修 者 xiūzhě , 修士 xiūshì or 修仙 者 xiūxiānzhě ) trying to become immortal beings xian . Along the way, they achieve eternal life, supernatural powers, and incredible strength. In the Xianxia fictional cultivation practiced is based heavily on real meditation practice Qigong .

The stories usually contain elements such as gods, immortals, Yaoguai , Ghosts, monsters, magical treasures, immortal items, medicinal pills and the like. They often take place in a "cultivation world" where cultivators wage violent and usually fatal battles to obtain the resources they need to become stronger. Often times the initial setting is reminiscent of ancient China, but the stories usually become cosmic in nature, with the protagonists gaining god-like abilities and sometimes creating their own planets, galaxies or universes. While the main focus is on action and adventure, there are also romantic stories.

Movies and television

Perhaps one of the earliest successful ones Xianxia Films was the 1983 Hong Kong film To Warriors from the Magic Mountain , the 2001 film The Legend of Zu followed . Other film adaptations of novels were well received, such as the romantic one Xianxia Movie It was once 2017 and the Jade dynasty 2019 .

Overall, television shows are more numerous than movies when it comes to Xianxia Adjustments goes.

Some of the most popular and successful Chinese television series of recent times belong to the Xianxia Genre like Ashes of Love , Eternal love , The Journey of Flower and The Untamed . It is worth noting that all four dramas are from popular novels published in Jinjiang Literature City. In addition there is Swords of legends , Noble aspirations , Love for a thousand years , Love and redemption and other films and television series. The pre-existing fandom of Xianxia and other fantasy novels has resulted in most new television and movie titles being adaptations and their warm reception from fans, along with increased awareness and anticipation.


The characters that xianxia are "xian" (仙) and "xia" (侠). Xian literally means immortal, not in the sense of immortality, but in the sense of the transcendent being from Chinese mythology. Xia Usually translated as hero, but specifically implies a person who is brave, chivalrous and righteous.

Confusion with other genres

During the initial explosion in the popularity of Chinese fantasy novels among English-speaking audiences, WuxiaWorld was one of the most popular translation websites. Due to the use of "wuxia" on the website's name, many readers began to use the term to describe all genres of Chinese fantasy novels. Although Xianxia many properties with Wuxia they are really separate genres. Later, as more readers know the difference between Wuxia and Xianxia understood they started Xianxia to use to refer to all kinds of Chinese cultivation novels, although there are actually some unique genres that aren't Xianxia are , how Xuanhuan , Qihuan etc.

See also