Hey guys, how are you all? As you can see in the post title, I will discuss the live-action adaptation of The King’s Avatar and honestly, I have so many things to say but I don’t know where to start because I felt like I am having an emotional outburst due to the excitement, goosebumps, and amusement about it. Well, I am actually thankful for the live-action series as I think it actually prepares me for the upcoming 2nd season of the anime and the prequel movie For the Glory which is due for release on August 16, 2019.
I am actually a little bit late in the fun since as of writing I only reached the 14thepisode of the series which exactly covers all the chapters from the novel which were adapted into anime (donghua). So, I think it is a good point on my end to discuss my first impression of the show. Though, I have to admit that I’m still on cloud nine sometimes and the release of the series last July 24 had caught me off guard. I think I have to seriously commence Tencent for always dropping major bombs and surprising us this year because they also did the same thing with the Grandmasterof Demonic Cultivation Season 2 on which they premiered the show the exact day the announcement was made.
Alright, despite having so many thoughts to say I think most of it was only jargons so I will only talk about few kinds of stuff in this post after all this is only my first reaction post to the series. However, to readers who are not familiar with The King’s Avatar, it is a popular e-sports anime from China which called Quan Zhi Gao Shou. It first aired on 2017 and became a popular face of Chinese animation ever since, and based on my observation every time people talk about donghua (Chinese animation), The King’s Avatar definitely comes along with it. Originally, the anime is adapted from the popular e-sports novel by Blue Butterfly, and in this post, I will discuss its live-action adaptation which aired last July 24 which had been in production for almost 2 years and stars some of the most popular Chinese actors led by Yang Yang.
Here’s the official synopsis of The King’s Avatar from WebNovel as follows:
In the online game Glory, Ye Xiu is regarded as a textbook and a top-tier pro-player. However, due to a myriad reasons, he is kicked from the team. After leaving the professional scene, he finds work in an Internet Cafe as a manager. When Glory launches its tenth server, he who possesses ten years of gaming experience once again throws himself into the game. Bringing with him the memories of his past and an incomplete, self-made weapon, his return along the road to the summit begins! After fighting and scheming, who snatched away my glory? Under the tossing of the wind and rain, my dreams shall still appear as though they had never been shattered. In all its splendor, the path shall never be lost. Before the gazes of millions, this is where I return! [Source: WebNovel]
Now, let’s talk about the live-action series and I know that my fellow readers of the novel have so many things to say too about it so I think I’ll share some of their sentiments here.
MY FIRST IMPRESSION
When I heard that The King’s Avatar is getting a live-action, I couldn’t help but thought that it’s amazing but also thinking at the back of the mind that it may be too ambitious and the graphics or the series might disappoint me especially with how the reception of most of the live-action adaption of any anime goes nowadays. So, I did have this kind of hesitation to be 100% happy of this news; that is until I get a glimpse of its cast members which announced Yang Yang as the lead character Ye Xiu. To be honest, I am not a big fan of Yang Yang and I only heard about him from my co-worker who is fond of his handsome appearance from the Chinese TV show Love 020. So I did watch the show too and I think he’s pretty decent there as an actor and I also watch another movie of his Once Upon a Time on which he starred with my Chinese crush Liu Yi Fei.
At that moment, my expectation goes a little bit high and then Tencent keeps on dropping occasional image stills about the series which makes me excited. The big reveal caught us all by surprise last December when Tencent revealed the first trailer for the series and it is really making the hype even higher. There are some constructive criticisms about it though just like how the actors hit the keyboard is quite funny and doesn’t look like an e-sports player kind of thing which I agree. I am actually relieved to see that they’re able to fix it and I could only see minimal scenes about it in the actual show.
Now, for the actual show – I really loved how the story is portrayed in a light, an adorable yet dramatic way which gave me the same feeling as when reading the novel. Though the novel gives its reader more freedom on imagining how things were happening, the live-action series so far is on par with the anime adaptation I dare say. Obviously, major revisions on its plot were made compared to the original novel and even the anime adaptation, the point is the spirit of the story is still there and I loved how the production team was able to pull off such a good revision in the story of The King’s Avatar. Though, of course, as a novel reader, there will always be that struggle of expectation versus perception in regards to how the adaptation is done. Story-wise, I am pretty satisfied.
I am really happy too with the production’s choice of the casts as they seriously did a good (if not excellent) portrayal of some of the most vital characters in The King’s Avatar. I’ll discuss more the cast members’ portrayal below in a detailed way, but in general, the live-action show is giving us a light-hearted yet youthful drama. I am more than delighted with it and though they combined some characters from the novel into one in this live-action such as removing Liu Hao and put his character in the persona of Chen Yehui which I think is done neatly.
If there is something that I truly adore aside from the beautiful casts of the series, it is definitely the soundtrack. I only thought that the anime only have good music but the live-action series did give us an amazing set of energetic yet dramatic songs which I seriously enjoy. The opening theme is quite cliché but definitely a good insert song when something epic is happening in the e-sports arena. The ending song is a great one I think and it’s my favorite of them all, perfectly suits to be used in the gaming world of Glory and for triumph scenes of Team Happy for me. Other insert songs were heartfelt to the core and energetic to a fault that makes me crave to see The King’s Avatar anime season 2 as soon as possible.
Happy Internet Cafe – the base of Team Happy
The progress of the story in the first 12 episode is almost the same with the first season of the anime adaptation, which the 13th and 14th episode did give us the All-Star Competition which was shown in the 2018 OVA of The King’s Avatar anime from Colored Pencil Animation (the new studio for the upcoming 2ndseason of the anime).
When it comes to the setup, I must say that The King’s Avatar live-action adaptation is pretty impressive with their production. It doesn’t look cheap at all and they definitely invest so much for the series. From the Xing Xin (Happy) Internet Café which looks so futuristic and stylish and beyond luxurious. I wish all of the internet cafés could be like that but that’s just wishful thinking of me. Even the headquarters of each team in the alliance looks pretty insanely beautiful and high-end, even the team Jiashi (Excellent Era) is looking like a futuristic space station according to Cuchallain from Donghua Reviews which I seriously agree with.
The lightings are pretty good which makes the entire experiencing watching the show, clear and eye-catching though there are scenes which are so fast especially in the in-game world where I felt like I have to adjust my player in order to take a look at it again.
Nonetheless, the entire experience of watching the series so far is pretty good on my end.
DIFFERENCES FROM THE NOVEL AND ANIME
There are major changes in the plot of The King’s Avatar live-action series compared to its original novel and even to the anime adaptation. Well, that’s obvious especially that the show will run for only 40 episodes, it’s quite hard to cover the entire 1600 + chapters of the novel in that span of episodes.
The King’s Avatar Novel Cover
SPOILER ALERT (For anime-only viewers, some details may potentially spoil you!)
Furthermore, I have talked this already earlier, they did change some of the character’s bio and even the teams in the league. For example, Samsara isn’t a main team in the series despite having it as the biggest hindrance to Ye Xiu’s comeback in getting the championship once again. In the live-action, we have Excellent Era as Ye Xiu’s biggest rival which I have to agree but not entirely. I simply loved that they keep Tyranny, Blue Rain, and Tiny Herb as major teams in the story as I have to admit, these 3 together with Excellent Era were among the foundation of the Glory Professional Alliance and stories that revolve around it.
It may be minor changes, but the way Ye Xiu introduced to his new team members were quite different but almost similar. I am quite annoyed but also impressed by Little Moon here, though the reporter is a different character. Even the members of the pro-team also share the same role as the normal guild members when dealing with Ye Xiu and company in the gaming world which I think seldom happened in the novel.
Obviously, some scenes were cut and removed from the story but I think it is fine as long as the main essence of the story is there, I think that’s what truly matters. As of now, I can’t tell yet what some other differences that they made are but I think they might remove the time frame when Excellent Era got relegated and battle against Team Happy in the Challengers Round. Instead, we will have Team Happy directly barged into the Glory Professional Alliance and force its way to the top. However, these were subject to a fault since I am currently at the 14thepisode of the live-action series and I am only basing my speculations on the progress of the story on each episode. Nonetheless, I am excited to see Team Happy formally begin their journey in the alliance.
THE CAST MEMBERS AND THEIR CHARACTERS
Personally, I really think that the cast members of The King’s Avatar live-action series done a great job so far. They give a new flavor and color to the characters that we loved so much from the novel and it’s even more amazing to see these characters filled with emotions and life. Some of them may not be as exactly the same as what we imagined them, but I sincerely appreciate all the portrayal that the casts have done so far.
I think it will be good to discuss this on a one on one basis on which I have to talk about each of the cast members and their respective characters, and what I thought about their portrayal.
Yang Yang as Ye Xiu / Ye Qiu
I am not surprised by how good Yang Yang portrayed Master Ye, but sometimes I still can’t believe how awesome and adorable it is. He definitely re-defines the description of Ye Xiu that I had in my mind all this time. The Ye Xiu that I got in my head is the shameless tactician who will do everything for the sake of Glory, for the sake of his passion. I could even call him my dear little master devil of The King’s Avatar. Now, with Yang Yang portrayal – I felt like I had seen Ye Xiu in a light-hearted version. Of course, the shamelessness is there but I am more on considering it as mindless carelessness than being shameful or maybe it’s just the natural aura of Yang Yang that makes the difference. Nonetheless, I really love that we got a bit a new perspective of Ye Xiu in the live-action though seriously, I have to admit that nobody else could ever replace the Ye Xiu in the novel. But I sincerely give Yang Yang a great approval on his portrayal of Ye Xiu.
Lai Yumeng as Su Mucheng
Now, we have a kind of haughty and ferocious Su Mucheng as early as the series started. Of course, novel readers know just how fearsome and aggressive Su Mucheng is in the novel at the latter part of the story, we all love this cute yet fierce aura that Lai Yumeng exudes as our dear Mumu in series.
Jiang Shuying as Chen Gou
To be honest, we do have both an annoying and adorable Guo Guo in the live-action series and I am not complaining seriously. I seriously love how Jiang Shuying could exude such a bright and radiant aura in every scene she’s in and able to give us funny moments without too much effort from her end. Well, she’s a very charming lady here and I wish I could have her as a friend because I really felt she’ll be an amazing one.
Li Yujie as Tang Rou
Just like in the anime, we’ve got a silent-type Tang Rou in the live-action series and I felt like she really suits my definition of our future Best Rookie. Strong-willed, determine, kind of stubborn, and motivated – Li Yujie is really doing a great job with her portrayal and now, we even get to see Tang Rou’s cute facial expressions too. What I really love about Li Yujie’s portrayal of Tang Rou though is the fact that we could see the eagerness, the determination, and crave to win, and that competitive trait of Tang Rou had been thoroughly emphasized in the show due to Li Yuhao’s great acting.
Jiang Long as Huang Shaotian
Oh my gosh! One of the best things that the live-action has done is to cast Jiang Long as our chatterbox in the league. I know that I am not the only one who is thinking about how cute and funny our Huang Shaotian is in the series. I also have to give praise to the actor for being able to cope up with the speed of the Huang Shaotian chitchat though I have to admit that the audio of the dub isn’t perfectly synced in some occasions. Now, I became an even bigger fan of Huang Shaotian because of Jiang Long portrayal of the Sword Saint.
Gao Hanyu as Yu Wenzhou
One of my favorite captains from the alliance is Yu Wenzhou and I am delighted with how well he is portrayed in the live-action series. Furthermore, I am grateful to see a different side of him here and those moments where he smiles or smirks were truly priceless to watch. At least the team captains in the series were quite positive and friendly with Ye Xiu which is really shown in their faces rather than in the novel or anime where sometimes I felt like the way they talked with each other lacks some emotions, or maybe it’s the human facial expressions and reactions give some twist with these characters.
Fan Jinwei as Qiao Yifan
I have to admit this one here, The King’s Avatar novel is among the novel where I have found so many cinnamon rolls on which I felt like I have to protect them at any cause. And that includes Qiao Yifan and I am really happy because the live-action actor Fan Jinwei didn’t let go of that characteristic and showed us a vulnerable yet determined character.
Liu Qiushi as Xu Boyuan
My dear Blue River is definitely having a different portrayal this time compared to the anime. I actually love our Blue River from the anime, and the Xu Boyuan from the novel is among my cinnamon rolls in the whole series. He is just someone that I badly want to protect above everything else and the live-action give us not a cinnamon roll but a total entertainer. Liu Qiushi did give us an independent variable, a Blue River which could be funny, reliable, kind-hearted, friendly, and more. I just really love how the live-action highlightsBlue River’s affection to Ye Xiu, and yes, our Blue River had become one of the best comic relief in the show and sometimes, I don’t know if I could call it good news or bad news.
Jiang Xueming as Bound Boat
Bound Boat is among the characters that I almost forgot from the novel but he definitely is among the most logical people during Lord Grim days in the in-game world of Glory. I am so thankful that he’s always there for Blue River in the novel and seeingJiang Xueminggiving life to Bound Boat is kind of making me grateful.
Zhao Chulun as Tao Xuan
I can’t say that much yet about Zhao Chulun portrayal of Tao Xuan but the character is definitely among my least favorite or possibly disliked one from the novel. I felt good though that the live-action give us a nostalgic ride especially when they showed some flashback of Ye Xiu, Su Muqiu, and Tao Xuan beginning before the start of the Glory Professional League. It really shows how deep the rift is between Ye Xiu and Tao Xuan despite how good and inspiring their past relationship is.
Hao Shuai as Chen Yehui
Disgusting! Hao Shuai is truly doing well with giving life to Chen Yehui (one of my most hated characters from the novel) and at the same time playing the other role of Liu Hao – the vice-captain of Excellent Era (Team Jia Shi) who’s character was merged with Chen Yehui in the live-action. There’s no effing moment where I couldn’t feel a single ounce of hatred towards the character and the actor is surely portraying the character nonchalantly great.
Gu Yufeng as Wang Jiexi
The Wang Jiexi of the live-action is quite less aggressive and more stoic but I think I like how friendly he is at some point compared to the super-serious captain that we had from the anime. Oh, the eyes, did you see it how it perfectly suits Wang Jiexi’s description in the novel? Nonetheless, I still think that Wang Jiexi is among the most admirable team captains from The King’s Avatar.
Chen Hongzheng as Gao Yingjie
Alright, so we do have a really handsome Gao Yingjie here who really looks lame and timid but I think that is how Yingjie is defined in the novel so I might accept Chen Hongzheng portrayal of our Kind Tree player in the live-action.
Gu Youming as Han Wenqing
Why the anime version does say that Han Wenqing is far from being a model compared to Zhou Zekai? I think Wenqing could be a model, a fitness one based on what I perceived him from the novel and I am so glad the series gives us a smoking hot daddy with Gu Youming as our God of Fighting – Han Wenqing. I couldn’t see some special traits from Gu Youming portrayal of Han Wenqing though aside from the fact that he is more easy to read and he exudes that positive aura compared to the Han Wenqing from the anime and novel. Nonetheless, I love this version of Wenqing and though unlike with the other media, I can’t ship him with Yang Yang’s Ye Xiu. Haha, I’m sorry guys.
Lai Yi as Bao Rongxing
I have to say this here once and for all, I was never a fan of Steamed Bun Invasion but Lai Yi had changed my opinion about the character. So, I may like Steamed Bun now, but just a little bit and our actor here perfectly gives us a funny real-life brawler just like Bao Rongxing.
Sun Ning as Luo Ji
Sun Ning’s Luo Ji horrifies me with his mathematical equation of almost everything and that makes me really happy no matter how absurd it may be. Yeah, I like genius guys like Luo Ji and an adorable one.
Liang Yimu as Sun Xiang
I really think that Liang Yimu could be the real Sun Xiang in the real world. Almost everything exactly matched my own perception of the young new captain of Jia Shi (Excellent Era). Proud, arrogant, good player and the vibes Liang Yimu really exude it all. The youthful energy of arrogance I may say and here’s more, Liang Yimu is as hot as Sun Xiang too. I think what he lacks here some more boastful shenanigans as I felt he’s a little bit soft than our real Sun Xiang.
In general, I really love how the cast members of the series were able to give life to the characters differently. However, I believe there’s still more that we need to see before we finally jump into conclusion whether the cast did a great job but so far, I believe that everything is good and doing well with their portrayal of The King’s Avatar characters.
POPULARITY AND IMPACT
There are no doubts that The King’s Avatar live-action series will get popular especially knowing how widely accepted by the anime fans that anime adaptation is. The anime viewers is definitely having the show in their watchlist though I have to say that at one point, some of them may have hesitation about its outcome just like me and I felt like the live-action didn’t disappoint us as I also keep an eye on some of the feedbacks of the anime community about it. Furthermore, I think that Tencent seriously raised the bar for the live-action adaptation of any anime this time. I hope that any other future plan for an anime live-action series could take some inspiration from this one just like how they’d been market to the community and how they’re done. If they could do this, I think we could have more pretty decent live-action shows coming in the next few years.
Another huge factor that I must say about the series’ popularity is the fanbase of Yang Yang and his co-stars. As a viewer from Southeast Asia, Yang Yang is among those Chinese actors who could directly compete against the popularity of Korean waves in my country. I’m not a K-pop hater, but I’m not a big fan either, yet I am more inclined to watch Chinese actors than them so I have more positive feedback on the show. And as of now,Yang Yang is among the most popular Chinese actor from mainland China out there and that fact alone is enough for the show to gain significant followers even though they didn’t have any idea what The King’s Avatar originally is. Aside from Yang Yang, other cast members of the show also have their decent among of following which contributed a lot to its popularity in both East and Southeast Asia.
Impact-wise, I have said earlier that The King’s Avatar live-action series had raised the bar for an anime live-action series. Now, fans standard could either increased even more and I think it’s a good challenge to the production team who are making live-action shows to exert further effort as sometimes, I think that they gave us mediocre output most of the time and even tarnish the reputation of the original source material by doing so.
One of The King’s Avatar saving graces is definitely its oh-so-amazing soundtrack. The music was truly exceptional and if there’s anything that I praised more about the show other than its emotional impact of giving real-life appeals to the characters of the novel, then it’s definitely soundtrack. The opening theme and ending theme were inspiring and I had the last song syndrome (LSS) with the Glory Battlefield by R1SE, it is the ending theme for The King’s Avatar live-action series.
The opening theme song Light From The Ashes by Cai Weize is truly epic to listen to. Furthermore, the other soundtrack Standing on the Peak, and The Best of You were both emotional and good.
Personally, my biggest turn on among the soundtrack of The King’s Avatar is its ending theme song Glory Battlefield by Chinese idol boy band R1SE.
You may check these songs on Chinese streaming website Bilibili:
Overall, is pretty decent for a Chinese drama out there and I think it could even compete with the quality of the soundtrack from the anime.
Now let’s talk about what the anime community or the viewers think about the show? I have some screenshots here from some Twitter users who share their thoughts about the series, I’ll share it later below together with some screenshots of reviews from the DramaList page of The King’s Avatar live-action series. However, I will share first the First Impression Review of my favorite Chinese anime YouTuber – Cuchallain or popular known with his YouTube channel – DonghuaReviews.
Please watch his commentaries below.
As you had heard from him, I personally share most of his sentiments about the series. I really believed that The King’s Avatar live-action is doing well so far without any major flaws. If there will be some complains I think it will be on a subjective level on which viewers may have something about their preferences or personal standard that the show may not suffice just like the 3D CGI, the language (some people still not accustomed with Chinese especially anime viewers), or the audio. However, as what Cuchallain said, The King’s Avatar is pretty, funny, and interesting which I sincerely believed to be true and it should be a simple yet sufficient reason for people to check it out especially if you love video games, or if you’re already a fan of the donghua or the novel, and most absolutely if you’re a fan of the cast especially Yang Yang whom I was quite surprised to have a huge following in my country which is quite invaded by K-pop.
Alright, so here I’ve got some tweets from Twitter users which I captured earlier. Some of them are obviously fans of Yang Yang while some are definitely either readers or viewers of the anime while I think I could consider myself both (not the fangirl type for Yang Yang though, that’s another story, haha). So, let’s check out what’s the Twitter community thinks about The King’s Avatar live-actionseries.
Then, that’s it and now, I would like to share these 2 reviews from MyDramaList.com (a site that we could compare to MyAnimeList, though it’s more focus on Asian dramas). The reviews were taken from the official page of The King’s Avatar live-drama from MyDramaList.com and their opinions are as follows:
So, in general – The King’s Avatar live-action series is well-received by fans. And I think just like what Cuchallain said in his video, if you watch the series without too many expectations because you know how excellent the novel, and the anime is and the realization that it is quite hard to make a decent live-action shows, it will be an easy one to accept and love the show. After all, it is always better not to expect too much and eventually surprised how great it is, than having high expectations only to have it burn in the ground when you actually see the show. In The King’s Avatar case, it’s the positive one which I think no other live-action shows could easily surpass it in its respective genre.
MY INITIAL VERDICT
To be honest, it is still too early to give a verdict about whether The King’s Avatar live-action series is doing well with its job or simply disappointed the anime community. However, I do think that we are heading in the right track with the live-action adaptation and I felt like having Yang Yang as Ye Xiu give a new flavor to the persona of the Glory’s Textbook. Of course, novel readers or even anime viewers always have something to say when a live-action had been green-lit and released. However, I seriously thought and that we should be thankful to the production team with their effort on giving us a quality adaptation and despite the revisions, and some flaws, it is still able to give us the title of The King’s Avatar a decent representation to the world of non-novel readers and non-anime viewers. At this point, I am simply thankful and ingratitude that even people outside of the anime community could appreciate the story of The King’s Avatar and I do hope that with this appreciation, comes understanding which will enable us to respect the interest of each and everyone both anime and non-anime viewers.
On my end, I am quite having my fingers-crossed to see where the adaptation could take us. In my own language, I could describe the experience so far with a word “KIROT” means ache, because the whole ride so far is an aching quest for glory filled with nostalgia, comedy, e-sports drama and more that gave us the feeling and satisfaction the even pro-gamers were also humans just like us.
And this I shall end my first impression review of The King’s Avatar live-action series. Upon writing my draft for this I am only at episode 14, now I’ve finished this draft and I got to see 3 more episodes and I am seriously satisfied and glad about the first 17 episodes that I had seen from the show so far.
I shall repeat this again, if you want to see some amazing anime live-action series, then I highly advised The King’s Avatar to you. On my end, while I am enjoying the series, I will also prepare myself because I felt like that anytime soon, Tencent may simply drop the news for The King’s Avatar anime season 2 which is said to air this 2019. I have previously thought that it will premiere last July but it is the live-action series that was released instead. Furthermore, the news of Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation airing the exact day its final trailer had been announced is another big surprise from Tencent. So, I am quite hopeful that the same thing may happen with the anime’s 2nd season.
Alright guys, have you watch the live-action already? If yes, please let us know of your thoughts about it by leaving a comment below. If no, then what are you waiting for? I swear, this is one of those few live-action shows that really stimulate my picky heart and I think its charm may work on you too. And this is the end of my post; don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest news and weird random anime discussions from our team here at Yu Alexius Anime Portal.
Code name: Yu Alexius is an ambiguous entity who loves to talk about anime and Chinese animation in general. An insatiable soul from the Pearl of the Orient, a frustrated writer and a Houtarou Oreki wanna-be. He is a piece of a lunatic and everything crazy.