King’s Avatar Anime Review

지난달

Disclaimer: This review is a share of my opinion about the anime adaptation of King’s Avatar. I have not read the manga version. The review is limited only to the anime adaptation. Spoilers will be present. Image Source

The King’s Avatar comes somewhat of a novel series in this era of anime where new animation companies enter the scene. I’ve been used to watching anime from a Japanese story telling perspective. This one was produced by Tencent, a Chinese company.

I’m just going to do you a favor for the limited attention span you might have. This is a bad show and I don’t recommend watching. It has it’s own redeeming qualities but not enough to convince me a good impression.

Summary of the Post:

The Plot
The Characters
The Strengths
The Flaws
The Conclusion


The Plot

I’m just going to drop a link to wikipedia’s version of the plot

My Version:

The gamer God Ye Xiu was forced to retire out of inside politics. Calling it as forced retirement may be the wrong term as he was offered a position as a training partner for the main team which he has been booted out of. That means he still gets to work but on the background. He was also not in the position to negotiate the deal as it’s implied that having him resign is a better course of action than quit and have his contract bite him.

Ye Xiu spent most of his days playing games and winning for the team. It’s also implied that he supported his fellow gamers who are no longer in the competitive scene financially. It’s difficult to get a formal job if you placed eSports gamer in your resume while approaching above age of prime. That’s a reality these athletes face.

He does get a job as a manager on a local shop and intends to build a strong team to come back to the competitive scene once more. The show makes a small comedic relief at his secret identity being a God in the game of glory. Not that he intentionally keeps it a secret to his boss. It’s just that he doesn’t go through extensive lengths to prove it is him. The consequence of a famed gamer being hidden all the time from public eyes.


The Characters

Ye Xiu, the God of Fighting is the only one you will most likely remember among all characters. The show did not spare any opportunity it could to put this character up to a pedestal. He has everything, skills, looks, and infamy in the game of Glory. Little to no character development just like the other characters in the story.

These writers probably relied too much on good looking drawn males and female characters, smooth animation, and flashy fight scenes to carry their characters for them. We, the audience are left with characters intentionally painted perfect from the start and this is already poor story telling. I’m not going to discuss other characters because the main protagonist is the biggest reflection of what this show really lacks.

Ye Xiu is too perfect to be a protagonist. We have a protagonist that is a skilled tactician and constantly winning at every challenge he faces. He is the sole driver of the show that proves there is no conflict in this story that he does not allow to happen. The show doesn’t show mistakes he couldn’t recover from.

Whenever he would require some assistance from the other members of his party, you can expect some small screen time but it would be an inevitable reason to build up his character for the audience to adore. He isn’t a jerk of a character, there’s nothing to be hated about him being a chill dude. But damn, he’s so perfect that watching a challenge he takes on becomes boring because you would likely know the end before it begins.

The supporting cast of characters play the stereotypes. We occasionally see some personality here and there but guess who takes the spotlight afterwards? Almost each episode introduces a new character having interested in this mysterious new gamer in the server. The show never did give much justice to each supporting character as far as I can tell. We are left with a loud mouth happy go lucky player, the skilled prodigy newbie, the terribly written antagonist that can’t even do evil right.

The show robbed its characters a lot of potential to be liked by their audience at a deeper level. It's difficult to connect to a protagonist who lives a life like an eSports player. Heck, that's a dream to most people just playing games casually.

This show suffers from a lack of personality.


The Strengths

This shows fight scenes are the closest if not on level with Fate Series’ Unlimited Blade Works which is a major accomplishment. The studio spent their budget well on the visual aspect of the the show. I’ve watched the fight scenes and compared it to some movements from fighting games and mmorpg and it captures the intensity of what it would be like if these moves were translated to anime.

The show explores a fresh area where few have yet to tap into. That is trying to capture what the competitive eSports are like. We occasionally see some of the lifestyle of eSports athletes have. They are not all about playing games all day and the pressure to win is real. There are real politics involved in the gaming industry and some topics that are still taboo to most audiences. I think this is a saving grace for the show if portrayed right in the future.


The Flaws

I’ve already shed the show’s most fatal flaw above. But other notable mentions include the lack of engaging soundtrack. Nothing really prompts me to have LSS even on the scenes where it’s supposed to be sentimental. The soundtrack during fights were ok but not that great enough to make me want to play it outside the show.

This show rushed so many important details that made the story less sense. I came across the manga version but never taken the story in depth yet. What I do know from the responses I got about some friends fond of the show was that most minor details that held the story together were cut out from the anime. They too shared my experience about the show being rushed with 13 episodes to build from.

I would really appreciate some down to earth explanation of what motivates these people to play the game. Because the eSports/Gaming Genre is somewhat new, it has a lot of potential for tapping into areas no other genre can accomplish. We can anchor some real motivations on why some people would want to pursue a career where they can be easily replaced by younger and skilled gamers.

We, as an audience can get educated about the eSports beyond what professional gaming is all about, what goes on behind the curtains when players are training, the psychology, the mindset, and what each player has to sacrifice to achieve a goal they want and not necessarily winning for the team.


The Conclusion

It just feels that this show was a wasted potential during it’s season 1. I’m waiting for season 2 to end so I can binge watch it again and see if my opinion about it differs. But don’t take my bias as your guide. You might want to try the anime out and maybe you can see something I didn’t. The King’s Avatar isn’t something I would recommend for viewers that have high focus on character development and dynamics of story telling. But I’m hoping it can redeem itself on Season 2.

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Haven't watched the anime version yet but I have read the manhua of this one last month and I actually enjoyed it. I wouldn't go far and say that I love it though as I also have some issues about the 'perfectness' of the MC but it was definitely a fine read. :)

What I do know from the responses I got about some friends fond of the show was that most minor details that held the story together were cut out from the anime. They too shared my experience about the show being rushed with 13 episodes to build from.

I would have to agree with your friends here. I suspect that the anime version has left a lot of material making the anime version felt likely rushed.

The Esports feels will probably happen after a year or so and after he finishes leveling up his new character to a certain level and has his self-made weapon (the umbrella thingy) completed.

That time I guess most of his enemies will now be 'pro' players instead of the clown guild leaders in the 10th server. XD

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I can't say how great the manga when I haven't read it in depth. I skimmed a few chapters and saw some scenes omitted and could understand why production for the anime was rushed. The anime is more of a commercial thing rather than an art. Everyone else is only a Ye Xiu pawn to make him look good. One Punch man carried the OP character right. The story doesn't necessarily have to focus on the MC to make the MC connect and look good. Chinese cinematic production suffers these lack of story telling especially on live action. Still commendable is their level of animation for the intense fight scenes.

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Wow, @adamada! Really awesome review <3 I had wanted to watch some eSports anime, and this is a pretty sobering review so I won't set my expectations high... but thanks ! :D :D :D

Are there other eSports animes you like better? :O

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Unfortunately this is the only one I've come across that tackles the topic. No japanese anime in the mainstream found. I'm hoping for a Japanese animation on the genre just for comparison and it's really surprising that they haven't taken on this topic yet. They usually have an anime for almost anything. Saw an anime dedicated to stockings and another about highschool students falling in love with their teachers. Anything.

Amazingly wrote, I don't know much about the Kings avatar, but the review was clear to know what its about. My favorite anime is Pokemon, ok don't judge me please. But I like it still even when I have turned 25.

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I fell out of love for Pokemon after Generation 3 came out. Not that I didn't like it for where it was going. I just didn't have time to watch it until I grew out of it. What other anime do you watch?

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Ohhh, the other one is see DOREMON
I love Nobitaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :):)

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Very good review.
Judging by the trailer the show looks at least visually attractive. Your review made me want to check Unlimited Blade Works too.

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What anime are you into?

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Holy, what a letdown, some people said to me that this had really good potential, but after reading your review I think they fell for the bait of esport anime, I'm glad you gave me the heads up with this one lol

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It did show promise to me but as soon after episode three, things started to go down. Ye Xiu's perfection and lack of challenge to any conflict in front of him killed the season 1. Maybe we'll get to see him actually have a challenged in season 2. The animations are superb but the whole story can't carry it. Still, I think you should give it a try, maybe you'll like it.

its very nice from you that you've mentioned in one of the first lines that this Anime is not worth to watch. It saved me few minutes of reading :p I am not a big fan of this genre but I am searching for something addicting, interesting, creative and with a crazy multi-layered story. could you please recommend something for a newbie ? :)

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@cubapl I can't make any recommendations with those hints to work with. There are plenty of genres that actually fit in the category you may want. Do you like horror? comedy? action? slice of life? or psychological anime? there's a lot of genres to cover. The one I reviewed is a new genre emerging and totally unexplored.

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I prefer to stay away from the horrors or comedies (I consider those both movie genres as pathetic). psychological anime sounds very interesting for me.

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There's Death Parade and Psycho Pass :D