ABSTRACT Canglanjue, a xianxia web series about the forbidden love between a fairy and a devil, attracted widespread media attention during the summer of 2022. This series offers a therapeutic space about ideal romance for female audiences by incorporating fantastical elements with the burgeoning ethos of ideal masculinity and female empowerment. Through the conceptual lens of neo/non-liberal China, this article examines how Canglanjue’s therapeutic value is intertwined with both “Confucian structures of feeling” as well as contemporary China’s emotional authoritarianism. It is argued that xianxia romance is not merely a utopian ideal distinct from materialistic romance but rather a cultural production that contributes to contemporary China’s therapeutic governance.

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