Through the years there has been debate as to what constitutes as an “anime”, specifically a discord regarding that it must be a product of Japan. However, other cultures have challenged this, including China, though it hasn’t been as popular as Japan’s media or the American contenders. In 2021, BilliBilli released a new anime “Link Click”, which helps put China on foreign audience’s radar for media consumption.
The series is originally recorded in Chinese audio, but offers English subtitles. It is currently one season comprising eleven episodes with a second season in the works. Crunchyroll offers a series of shorts as well as an English and French dub with a Japanese dub currently TBA.
The three main characters are the owner, landlord, and an associate of Time Photo Studio, each with their own personal reasons for being there. Xiaoshi and Lu Guang have the unique power that together they can enter photographs and travel back in time to the moment when they were created. Their abilities rely on each other and they have their own unique aspects. Xiaoshi possesses the person who took the photograph, and Lu Guang gains the ability to retrace a moment in time from a snapshot taken.
With the rise of the superhero genre, Link Click takes a human approach to having special abilities. Xiaoshi’s power reflects his empathetic nature. However, he is also hot headed and prone to deviate from the rules he and Lu Guang set up showing his emotional immaturity due to childhood trauma and his tendency to be empathetic but also inconsiderate of the reality surrounding him. Lu Guang’s cold, perceptive nature, on the other hand, manifests in his ability to be hyper aware of these surrounding elements albeit outside of the emotional scope of the people inhabiting them.
Instead of focusing on the mechanics of time travel, Link Clink gives a simple method of transport yet a finely detailed dive into who the travelers are as people. Rather than being about their adventures and the people they meet, Link Click is about relationships, how we are all connected to one another, and how our choices impact our future and the people around us.
In a day and age where we focus on snapshots of moments and forget to enjoy them and the people we share them with, we need stories like Link Click more than ever.
Photo Credits: Funimation, Link Click