King’s Avatar is a show that made a wave before its actual first episode aired, solely because it was chinese, it looked good and it got people nostalgic about the old days of SAO craziness.
To me, the characters were dull, the story was close to nothing and the aesthetic and sound of it were above average but not amazing.
The story of King’s Avatar is straightforward, having no “tricky” plot twists or high stakes to get the viewers riled up and praying for the characters.
The story takes place in a world where people look up to and give great importance to pro gamers. It revolves around the 30-ish pro gamer,Xiu Ye, who gets fired from his pro gaming team although he is considered the best player out there. After suffering this great injustice, Xiu Ye vows to make a come back, by working his way up the latest server of the incredibly popular “Glory” game, and making a name for himself. The story presents Xiu Ye’s everyday life and struggles as he shoots to become the best player… again.
To start off, I’ve seen numerous viewers drawing parallels between Sword Art Online and the King’ Avatar, but these two shows are only similar in their premise, they both feature an MMORPG and an OP main character.
As for dissimilarities, they are everywhere, starting with the goddamn plot: in King’s Avatar we have Xiu Ye getting kicked out of his Esports pro gaming team and vowing to make a comeback within a year, by working his way up the new Glory 10 game server, while in SAO we have a large number of gamers who are trapped in a virtual game and can die at any moment. Besides the word “game” and its word palette, are there any similarities? Nope.
As I watched the first episode and saw how the show portayed the “friendship” and “loyalty” within the gamer team, I thought it was gonna be a nice experience and an overall nice show, but I was wrong. Following Xiu Ye’s departure, the story took a drastic dive into nothingness in my opinion. It started showing Xiu Ye playing Glory on the computer, for the entire duration of the episode, and that was just incredibly boring.
The protagonist goes to different worlds (or whatever they’re called, I’m not a gamer), assembles a specific team with the purpose of beating the time record for clearing that world of monsters, then proceeds to clear that world, sometimes mostly by himself.
Another big issue I had with the show is that it did not explore any of those in-game worlds, it didn’t explain anything about what tactics the game allowed or even how the game worked. It was all a mess.
To me, the plot felt segmented and disjointed. Every new episode consists of Xiu Ye travelling to a new in-game world and beating the time record. The world is not explored, there is no emphasis put on the characters and there is no clear connection between the episodes, they don’t add up to make a series, they are just puzzle pieces forced together. You could easily watch the episodes, except for the first and last ones, in whatever order you pleased, and you wouldn't feel any difference.
With Ye Qiu’s background as the former freaking best pro gamer, even as a low-level player he had absolutely no problems defeating any obstacles the game or other players put in his way, he just defeated everything.
And because the protagonist can defeat anything the show throws at him, any potential tension there was left, dissipated into utter nothingness, therefore all the flashy fight scenes served no purpose and held no meaning any longer, other than proving how awesome the protagonist was.
What really bothered me was the lack of any stakes, there is nothing that the protagonist will lose if he loses in the game. And because of that, and his insane gaming skills, I wasn’t engaged, felt not tension or suspense and overall didn’t care for the show.
As for the characters, they are just for decor, shallow tropes, generic, one-dimensional characters lacking any shadow of personality, except for the protagonist who’s only trait is being good at playing on the computer.
To be honest, none of the characters have any sort of life or goals other than getting better in the game. They don’t interact with each other, they don’t develop and they seem to have no private life or any kind of life outside the game, no jobs, no worries, no nothing. They aren’t even worth mentioning, not even the protagonist.
As for the animation of the show that so many people praise, I personally disliked it. It mixed CGI with regular animation which made the characters look out of place and move in an oddly manner, but I agree that the fight scenes were well done, and a few other more scenes I really liked.
The sound is mediocre, with a pretty good opening theme, an ending theme I don’t remember listening and quite the bland soundtrack, the sound really is nothing memorable or to brag about.
I almost forgot, now I fully know and understand why some people dislike chinese anime, the voice actors are just awful and the language itself is quite unappealing.
Did I hate the show? I can’t say I hated this show but it definitely wasn’t a pleasant or remotely nice watching experience, just boring. Sure, the fight scenes were nice but they held no substance and had no build up so they ended up being just something I fast forwarded over. I can safely say that I would rather start playing on my computer than watch another show like this.
In conclusion, I would not recommend spending your time with this show, it’s just not worth it, but maybe if you are a gamer you will think otherwise, so be sure to check out the first episode or two.