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Green Snake and White Snake are two female serpent-spirits. Aged 500 and 1000 years respectively, they have trained for centuries in order to take up a human appearance and eventually become fully human. This would raise their status on the karmic scale and bring them closer to the Enlightenment promised by Buddha to all living beings.
White Snake, in her guise as a beautiful young maiden, seduces a scholar and intends to bear his child in order to complete her passage in the human realm. But her young sister Green Snake isn't nearly as good, and occasionally allows her serpent nature to slip through--she still has a taste for bugs and sometimes finds crawling on the floor easier than walking. Both need to hide from a fanatical exorcist who considers shapeshifting creatures to be an offense to the natural order.
Contains examples of:
- Fantastic Racism: ANY proposition to Fa-Hai the monk that love between humans and demons may be pure and decent WILL fall on deaf ears.
- Heel Face Turn: The exorcist finally realizes the errors of his ways.
- Interspecies Romance: White Snake and the scholar.
- Outdoor Bath Peeping
- Really Seven Hundred Years Old
- Shapeshifting Lover: White Snake. The story belongs to an entire genre of Chinese folk tales that depict love affairs between a man and a shapeshifting creature (usually a fox or a snake) who has assumed the guise of a beautiful woman.
- Rather unusually, this time she's not a pure evil temptress out to eat his essence. Refreshing, really.
- Snakes Are Sexy
- To Become Human: Both sisters' ambition.
- Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Fa-Hai is the definitive Eastern perpetrator of this trope.
- Inspector Javert: This one, too.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The exorcist considers himself a defender of the natural order.