What is xianxia?
As for Xianxia, the characters forming it are ‘Xian’ and ‘Xia’, which literally means ‘immortal hero’. Xianxia is a newer genre and is essentially a ‘fantasy-fied’ version of Wuxia, with magic, demons, immortals, people who can fly, etc. The biggest contributor to the Xianxia genre is actually not martial arts; rather, it is ‘Taoism’, which is a major part of Chinese history. Taoism is both a philosophical way of life as well as an actual religion. Religious Taoism is often blurred together with Chinese folk mythologies, and is chock-full of stories about demons, ghosts, and people learning how to become immortals through meditation/understanding the ways of heaven, and flying in the air and casting powerful magic spells. The legendary Monkey King, Sun Wukong (whom Son Goku of DBZ is based off of) acquired his power through Taoist practices, and the concept of the Yin-Yang is also from Taoism. Xianxia blends lots of these folk stories and magical Taoist legends into their stories in a way which ‘true’ Wuxia stories almost never do.