Hey guys, it’s been a year since The King’s Avatar live-action adaptation had ended and it has been one of the most refreshing Chinese dramas I’ve seen so far. However, there are still so many debates or even casual conversations about it and the Chinese anime adaptation of Butterfly Blue’s popular e-sports novel. What’s the difference between The King’s Avatar anime and the live-action drama? Is The King’s Avatar live-action good? And so many questions that left fans of both adaptations arguing in some ways.
In this post, I would like to highlight the major key differences between the two. I don’t actually want to compare the anime against the live-action because both have their own strengths and weaknesses. Nevertheless, it will always be easy for The King’s Avatar fans to decide whether they want to check the other medium of the novel, thus, it is important to highlight their differences at this moment.
The King’s Avatar Anime vs Live-Action
Alright, so let’s start our discussion of The King’s Avatar anime vs drama by the following criteria:
Story & Setting
Let’s talk about the story. The King’s Avatar anime adaptation only reached the All-Star Competition from the 8th season of Glory. Thus, we have a total of 15 episodes dedicated from the start of the novel until the All-Star Competition which was animated in the 3-episode OVA of the anime last 2018.
Meanwhile, The King’s Avatar live-action series had a total of 40 episodes and reached the conclusion of the Challengers League and marked Ye Xiu’s return in Glory’s professional arena. In line with this, the live-action had become an expansive story.
If I have to compare the anime’s adaptation in this regard, the live-action had given us so much delight. Even the first 12 episodes of the anime, its live-action counterpart had offered more or maybe it’s the emotional impact it had on the viewers that give more essence to it. Furthermore, the anime had been quite rushed which left out some scenes from the novel.
However, I believed that we will get more from it once The King’s Avatar anime season 2 returns which are slated for release this 2020. Nonetheless, one of the drawbacks of the live-action is the fact that they made several changes to the story, making it less faithful to the novel. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the highlight they put in the backstory of Ye Xiu, Su Mucheng, and Su Muqiu; and the emotional experience that comes with it, making the story humane and relatable.
Since the live-action had longer episodes, character development was explored extensively on almost every character from the story. We had seen Ye Xiu’s backstory with his family and his encounter with the Su siblings. We also get to see some more humane side of Chen Guo instead of her annoying counterpart in the anime. Team Happy members such as Tang Rou, Qiao Yifan, Wei Chen, and Mo Fan were highlighted on various occasions. However, I don’t like the changes they made on the character of An Wenyi (my favorite character from the novel), as well as on Wei Chen (whose character was merged with Sun Zheping in the live-action).
From the other team, I love the portrayal we’ve got from Sun Xiang and Xiao Shiqin. Alright, live-action made me fall in love with Sun Xiang’s character despite how annoying he was in the novel. The live-action also gives more light to the character of Yu Wenzhou and Huang Shaotian from Team Blue Rain. Their characters had been expanded tremendously.
Graphics & Cinematography
I believed that the live-action did a pretty good job overall in the production side of the series despite people complaining about the in-game side of the story. Nevertheless, The King’s Avatar truly did give us a spectacular experience on this side albeit some scenes had been redundant and some fans also complained about it. The anime truly captured the essence of the in-game world and the professional e-sports arena. For shounen fans, with this kind of animation and a badass main character; we can settle with it.
Highlights & Key Points
Here we have some highlights and key points about The King’s Avatar anime vs live action as well as from the novel to remember:
- The King’s Avatar live-action did minor revisions in the story, making the series revolves more around the real-world and humane side of the players and characters.
- The extensive backstory for Ye Xiu, Su Muqiu, and Su Mucheng was unveiled in the live-action.
- In live-action, Ye Xiu is Yu Wenzhou’s mentor but in the novel, it’s Wei Chen that Yu Wenzhou defeated; one of the reasons why Wei Chen retired early as a pro-player.
- In the novel, Sun Zheping was injured due to an accident, however, they include that backstory to Wei Chen in the live-action.
- While Chen Guo in the anime is annoying, she resembles her counterpart in the novel compared to the adorable and childish portrayal of Chen Guo we had from the live-action.
- Ye Xiu in anime and novel is a heavy smoker, such is not the case with the live-action as I doubt Yang Yang (Ye Xiu’s actor) can smoke, and it is not allowed due to Chinese censorship.
- Qiao Yifan is Team Happy’s vice-captain in the Challengers League in the live-action only. The novel didn’t mention such a scenario.
- The live-action didn’t include the Heavenly Sword in the story, they had been an ally of Team Happy in the novel before they enter the Challengers League.
- The live-action skipped some scenes from the novel including the contents from the upcoming The King’s Avatar anime season 2 detailing Ye Xiu’s journey of recruiting the future members of Team Happy such as An Wenyi and Mo Fan.
- While Luo Ji is among team Happy’s brilliant players, he was never the tactician of the team compared to his character in the live-action.
- An Wenyi is not a scam as opposed to what the live-action did.
- The live-action opened the story with the clash between Team Excellent Era and Team Tiny Herb, the anime opened with Ye Xiu’s forced eviction from his team.
Alright, in the end, I just couldn’t compare the two despite all the debates on which one is better than the other. One thing I am sure though, fans can keep up with the argument of The King’s Avatar anime vs drama; however, it always comes down to the personal preferences of the viewers.
I shall end this post inviting everyone to watch the upcoming season 2 of The King’s Avatar anime which premieres on September 25, while also keeping an eye on the 2nd season of The King’s Avatar live-action as it has been previously announced during the 2019 Tencent Video Conference Event. Meanwhile, if you haven’t watched the series yet, you can still catch up to it before its 2nd season of the drama will begin airing. The King’s Avatar live drama is now available on WeTV.
If you wish to read more about The King’s Avatar, you may check our various posts about it such as the following:
Last Updated on November 14, 2021 by Yu Alexius
As always, there is no point in comparing two different adaptations (especially since the live action went with their own script) that loosely foollow orginal source too lol. But we could compare TKA drama with other TV dramas of the same genre, same with the donghua. If we’re talking about adaptations, then for me b&w comic adaptation was the best (they followed original novel but the comic was slow paced and maybe that’s why it was discontinued; was of high quality too)