Japanese tv series (1975). NTV Tokyo. Dir Toshio Masuda, Michael Bakewell (for English dubbing). Writer David Weir (English adaptation). Starring Hajine Hana (Wu Sung), Yoshiyo Matuso (Hsiao Lan), Atsuo Nakamura (Lin Chung), Kei Sato (Kao Chia), Sanae Tschida (Hu San-niang). 10 45min episodes. Colour.
Based on the 14th-century Chinese novel Shui Hu Chuan (trans Pearl Buck as All Men Are Brothers 1933 US 2 vols), this is credited to an otherwise unknown author, Shih Nai-an, whose 70-chapter recension of traditional tales is a masterpiece of adventure. A band of 108 reborn Companions gather in the unmapped and essentially undefinable borderland regions surrounding the central empire, Lian Shan Po; from these "water margins" the companions wage guerrilla warfare against the corrupt central government. The series translates them into supernatural figures whose Talents are various and spectacular. The empire becomes a vast beleaguered Polder protected by bad Magic and the emperor a kind of Dark Lord. Episodes were exuberant and eventful. [JC]
see also: Water Margins.