Hello, and welcome to another rendition of Why You Should Be Watching, where I tell you what anime you shouldn’t miss this season, since I watch too many anime and want to share them all with you. Today I’ll be talking about something a little different from usual with Quan Zhi Gao Shou, or The King’s Avatar, a show that actually isn’t an anime, but a genuine Chinese cartoon inspired by the anime artstyle!
Sound interesting? Of course it does, so go check down below the break to read more!
To start off, Xiu Ye, the main character of The King’s Avatar, is a stellar raider and PvPer at the top of the bracket in the popular game Glory. Though his skills are fantastic, however, the money-grubbing people in charge would rather have someone younger and more community focused taking the lead position and character Xiu Ye currently occupies.
This is, of course, because our main character is both older than most of the game’s players as well as less concerned with the public that the marketers work so hard to impress for those big bucks. So Xiu Ye is forced to retire, and he does so with little drama like a real adult.
He decides to take up residence and employment at a local internet cafe, and with the love of Glory still burning in his heart despite being kicked off the team and forbidden from playing his home server, he decides to start over on the recently opened 10th server for the game. Thus begins the new reign of “Lord Grim”, as he calls himself, on a warpath to reach the top spot in both raids and PvP.
But what makes this anime unique in the MMO space is having Xiu Ye not be super overpowered, since he’s just started the game as a new character. Only his APM, or actions per minute, and reflexes keep him above the people around him in skill level, and with those skills he can do quite a lot, up to and including nearly soloing small minibosses in the game.
However, and this is the important part, he still requires help to combat the more vicious encounters in the game, such as raids, bosses, and the time trial-style race against the clock to beat the fastest times for the new server’s dungeons.
To help him do this, lesser anime might include people that we’ve already been established with earlier to help Xiu Ye out, but The King’s Avatar instead shows Xiu Ye working with random people that he meets online. While he does later recruit a good friend from the team he was forced to quit, as well as a couple other pro players that he’s familiar with from playing with and against, most of the people in his party are new both to him and the game.
Another part of this anime, which reminds me a lot about Log Horizon, is how good Xiu Ye is at coordinating the people around him, often understanding the needs of what’s required to beat the obstacle in front of him in the least amount of time. He gets how this MMO works at the deepest level, just like Shiroe does in Log Horizon, and thus perfectly nullifies whatever mechanic he needs to by recruiting people who would be perfect for the job.
Unfortunately, the characters aside from Xiu Ye are rather shallow, though the main character teeters on the edge of blandness as a person from the outside looking in, since his motivations and reasons for playing haven’t really been put on display very often.
Still, there is a deep yearning to be the best and play a game he loves, and his friendliness both in making allies out of enemies and with his confident corrections to how his newfound allies play make him a far more compelling character than most of the people in this show.
So while Xiu Ye is appropriately solidified as a character, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect and be disappointed by the others around him. This is going to be a point that can make or break the anime for a lot of people, since it’s hard for one character to carry an entire show. However, the personalities that make up those Xiu Ye surrounds himself with are interesting in why and how they came into his orbit.
To continue down negatives for the show, the first episode especially feels extremely overdramatic, as if every sentence is a death knell for someone. And to be fair, it kind of is, at least for Xiu Ye’s career on the team and the character he’s put so much time into. But ultimately it feels like a soap opera to watch the first half of the show. I recommend sticking through it, though, because the show looks good a lot of the time when we delve into the MMO part.
However looking good is something that The King’s Avatar manages to do with only moderate amounts of success. There is a lot of CGI in this anime, and it can be extremely distracting in a lot of areas. From the horrific animations of people in panning shots across the internet cafe to even the goblins in-game, there is some truly unfortunate animation.
And in addition to this, the way Xiu Ye’s weapon transforms is shown every single episode, sometimes multiple times, in a similar way to how Voltron or Power Rangers constantly reuse their Lions and Zords fusing together cinematics to fill out the runtime.
In the end, there’s a lot of good and a lot of bad in The King’s Avatar, but if you can look past the glaring errors that are definitely there, you might find the glint of something interesting underneath it all. It might be a little strange to be hearing Chinese instead of Japanese coming out of anime characters, but you get past it pretty quick.
So why should you be watching Quan Zhi Gao Shou? Because it’s an impressive effort at animation and it has a surprisingly realistic take on the camaraderie and bonds you have to forge in MMOs to be the best on the server. Speaking of bonds and camaraderie, if you want to let me know what you thought of this article or just to talk about the anime, leave a comment down below and I’ll definitely answer you to the best of my ability.
And remember, enjoy the way you watch anime, because as long as you’re having fun, that’s all that really matters.
See you next time!