Steampunk Taichi, Anyone?

So there’s this movie coming out soon called Taichi O . . .

From IMDB: Young genius Yang Luchan travels to Chen Village to learn the forbidden secrets of martial arts, but quickly learns that the village is menaced by a formidable battalion of Steampunk soldiers. The villagers realize that in order to save their home, they must trust this strange outsider with their knowledge of Tai Chi.

I love that the hero of this movie, Yang_Lu-ch’an, was a real person, an influential martial artist who lived from 1799-1872. For me, steampunk works better when wrapped around historical people, places, and events. I’m trying to work out exactly why I feel this way. (Maybe because technofantasy tends to drift off into isn’t-this-cool gadgetry unless grounded in the gnarly power relations and other unpleasant realities of the 19th century, or something.)

Anyway, steampunk soldiers versus soft-style martial arts FTW!

Click here to watch the trailer bigger, better, steampunkier.

PS This is not the first steampunk martial arts movie, by any means. That might be K-20, WHICH HAS A BIG-ASS TESLA CANNON IN IT. But there are no doubt earlier ones, depending on how much you’re willing to stretch the definition of steampunk.

31 thoughts on “Steampunk Taichi, Anyone?

  1. @Katelyn-la: Because it’s awesome? Just maybe? Duh? I’m trying to figure out how a steampunk wuxia movie could possibly NOT be of interest to Scott Westerfeld’s readers, and I’m coming up blank.

  2. Holy cow! My mind, it is blown. Thanks for the trailer, now just have to spring for the airfare to China to see it 🙂

  3. I agree that steampunk is better grounded in history. One of the cool things about Leviathan is that it could almost have happened in the real WW1.

    I think it helps the cool Darwinist/Clanker tech stay in its role of drawing in the reader and keeping them interested during the early stages, and doesn’t replace the characters as the real content of the story.

  4. Oh man, I’ve seen that trailer here in Hong Kong and when I found out it’s has a steampunk-esque theme and Martial Arts I was SOLD!

  5. Katelyn-la,
    The reason this triler is relevant is because of its stempunk style which ties into Scott’s Leviathan series. It is apparent by your name that you have read his Uglies series, but you should definitely check out his Leviathan series as well. (-:

  6. Totally awesome. But I think steampunk soldiers would easily win. Apparently Tai Chi is just that powerful (whatever it is).

  7. looks great. does anyone read Chinese or whatever Asian language that was? not trying to be racist, but if it’s not good ol’ English there’s no comprehension. i hope i can see that movie…somehow

  8. oh, thanks Ivie. I trithfully don’t even jknow what this is about, and not to be mean, but I don’t really care. And actually, I just finished Leviathan. I requested Behemoth from the library. I seriously LOVE the uglies serie though. It’s in my top 3 for books. Leviathan is one of my favorites also. My friend told me about the Uglies series, and I was hooke within the firl 10 pages! I just like Westerfeld’s writting style. Anybody who hasn’t read his books should!!!!!! Scott, your books are JUST as good as the Hunger Games. Both trilogiesz ROCK!!!! Also, you guys on here should read Divergent. It is also a trilogy, and takes place in the future, with people rebelling from the government, same as the Uglies series. It’s really good!

  9. Sorry for the spelling errors. I have so much to type, I am not even looking ar the keyboard, or looking at what i typed. Now I’m reading it, and I’m like….. wow i accidentally spellt trilogies wrong? and know, and truthfully? I better go to bed.

  10. Here’s a translation of the words that show up on the screen:

    How can a weirdo knock out the martial art master?

    Watch me as I flirt with my junior and fight villains, Westerners, and monsters.

    Then names of the cast are shown, followed by the release date.

  11. SCOTT!!!!!!!!
    I just got back from Alpha, which was awesome by the way, and I’ve decided you have to be a guest author next year! YOU HAVE TO!!!! It would only be the most awesome thing ever! PLEASE…?!?

  12. what’s Alpha? is it something in the Eastern United States? cuz then i can actually go to a Scott-involved event!

  13. @Scorpio-Ferret
    Alpha is a 10-day workshop for fantasy/sci-fi/horror writers between the ages of 14 and 19 held at the University of Greensburg, in Pennsylvania. You can check out the website:
    Anyway, there are a few guest authors every year and SCOTT NEEDS TO BE ONE OF THEM!

  14. Scott, PUH-LEEZE COME TO MN! or even Wisconcin! YOU SHOULD COME TO MOA! (Mall of America.) I live close to it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are such a good author. I would love it so much if you came. ANd BTW, why did you go to Mounds Park Academy earlier this year? did you? I hadn’t read your books then, but when I was telling my friends that goes to MPA (A private school) she said you were a guest authur erlier this year. I was SO mad!!!!!!!!!!! (Not at you, just that I couldn’t see you.) Anyone here that goes there? (It’s in MN)

  15. I love how when the cast names are popping up it’s like, random Chinese symbols, Angelababy, more Chinese symbols. I’m always amazed as to why Chinese (and Japanese and maybe other Asian languages) has some English in it. Like in songs and stuff especially, they just have random English lyrics (that usually don’t make much sense) mixed in. And like in Sailor Moon (don’t judge me), all the attacks and transformations were said in English. Why???

  16. to Roxanne: you crush my dreams! so, (1) it’s not like i’m going to Pennsylvania anytime soon sadly. and (2) i’m probably one of the youngest Steampunk fans out there. i take pride in this, but not being 14 for another few years does have its limitations.

  17. Okay I know this is totally random, but I was just flipping through uglies and reading my favorite parts when i was all like tally just attacked someone wig spices!! AND DERYN DID THAT TOO!
    Sorry just had to say that.

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