The third season of the Netflix series “Love, Death and Robots” is trending among cosplay fans in China. What does its unexpected appeal say about the local Gen Z?
What happened: On May 20, Netflix dropped its third season of the animated series “Love, Death and Robots” to an excited and welcoming local fanbase. The collection of shorts (known as in China) blends sci-fi, fantasy and supernatural elements, and has so far garnered 120 million views on its Weibo hashtag and over 9,000 Xiaohongshu UGC examples.
The third episode, titled “Jibaro”, featuring a strange romance between a seductive siren and a deaf knight, is a clear winner with netizens. The related hashtag has garnered more than 67 million views on Weibo, while images mimicking the makeup of the siren have garnered Xiaohongshu currently a total of over 15 million views.
Take Jing: The success of Jibro and the “Love, Death and Robots” series among China’s makeup-obsessed, fashion-savvy crowd indicates not only a desire for visual imagination among local youth and Gen Z, but also for storytelling, history and Symbolism in the digital world.
Instead of using traditional Greek mythology, director Alberto Milgo took cues from an amalgamation of folktales from geographic regions such as India, North Africa, and Eastern Europe to create the golden, jewel-clad, alluring beauty of the gibbero sirens. Furthermore, the seductive dance of the sirens and the extraordinary treasure-covered appearance contribute to its otherworldly appeal – an inspiring legacy of imitators. KOL @laobabie wrote: “I spent an entire week recreating the costume and makeup.”
The size of China’s domestic cosplay costume market increased by 20 percent from 2019-2020. In 2021, the number of consumers attracted to the cosplay market was estimated to be 403 million, with further growth expected in the coming years. Well-translated fantasy and creative artistry with over-the-top visuals — even in a short video format — the “Love, Death and Robots” cosplaying appeal is truly astonishing. The dedication of young citizens to carve out a new identity for themselves is well documented. Now, the fake frenzy surrounding the gibbero siren is a good insight into the luxury that Gen Z craves in China: unpredictable and inexplicable but never boring. Continue reading full article Here