tl;dr a gag comedy goes serious, to it's own determent
minor spoilers below~
The first season was really entertaining. Despite choppy animation(a common problem with chinese series) it had a colorful cast of memorable characters, and made me laugh on several occasions with it's funny gags, 4th wall breaks and general randomness. It also had a pretty catchy op and ed song, that I listen to occasionally on it's own on bilibili.
Now then. Dawang Bu Gaoxing(the king isn't eager, for some reason translated as the furuious yama) is an adaptation of a chinese webcomic. I haven't read it due to my chinese not being good
enough to understand it without english translation, so I dunno how much content was cut. I will review and share my thoughts based on cartoon alone.
The premise is simple-the lord of the underworld is a young (actually like a 1000 year old) girl afraid of ghosts and zombies. Over the course of her reign during season one, among various mishaps and misunderstandings, she eventually acquires various tools, allies and gadgets, including a magic minigun, infinitely extending 50 ton stick, a loli necromancer and a combat maid...schoolgirl zombie ghost...wielding double handguns. Their arch-nemesis are evil western demons who want to extend their dominion on the Eastern Underworld and human world.
So it's like heroes of might and magic necropolis vs inferno basically. When it was all funny and self aware, the randomness of it all served a series of quite a few laughs and was quite entertaining.
But then the story started taking itself seriously, and the charm was lost.
All the random stuff can be forgiven with the power of suspension of disbelief, as long as the series is comedic. Why is said schoolgirl suddenly supper confident double gun wielding, sniper rifle shooting pro after becoming Yama's personal assistant? No need to think about it if it's just played for the laughs. Why is Yama capable of pulling every imaginable power out of her ear(literally) and save the day just when she seems to be in a pitch? Well, cause it's crazy random, that's why.
But then imagine these elements in a series that's trying to create serious drama of some sort and make you care about events and characters beyond most superficial "what crazy shit is going to happen next, lmao"? Well exactly, two terms come to mind. First is "plot armor" second is "mary sue".
And oh boi, the mc does become a mary sue. Once her quirky cowardice trait is no longer relevant, she's just annoying. Her persistent habit of starting every episode with "You won't believe it but im a new Yama of the Underworld" doesn't help, because now that she's no longer pants pissing incompetent there is nothing unbelievable about that.
There are some good parts too, like Xiaogui meeting her "best friend" in human world, or Jiang grandma's pretty much every scarce but precious moment of being on screen, but it all drowns in a sea of mediocre, predictable, and not very well animated fights and (sometimes literal) deus ex machinas.
Oh and there is also yuri subplot. Xiaogui Zhan and Xiaoluo Yan kiss twice on screen. I guess I should give the series a thumbs up for having this kind of theme-to my understanding chinese if not society than at last government isnt very lgbt friendly, so animated series exploring these themes openly deserves a praise. Nevermind that in first season there wasn't much going on between them to warrant that, beyond a devoted servant-lord relationship. And one is like 17(ghost) the other is several thousand year old yama. But since they are both looking like teens, it's probably appropriate...kinda...whatever, suspension of disbelief should kick in just about now.
All in all, it was only kinda enjoyable and I wish the second season stayed funny and random like the first.