The King’s Avatar 全职高手 is an answered prayer to all gaming enthusiasts looking for a nice drama to binge watch and for fans of the anime or the novel or both (like me), the long wait is finally over now that the drama has started airing.
I’m going to be completely honest here, when I first heard that The King’s Avatar will have a live action version, I was hesitant. After watching the anime, it became my favorite gaming-themed anime beating Overlord. To put it simply, I was afraid they were going to screw it up. Yang Yang who also starred in another gaming-themed drama, Love O2O, takes up the role of Ye Qiu whose real name is Ye Xiu, the man known as the Glory textbook and quite elusive to the public eye. Alongside him and portraying Glory’s number one beauty is Lai Yumeng.
Let me start by saying that the intro song very coolly showed off the different characters with their respective avatars. The opening of the drama caught me by surprise since both the novel and the anime started with the same scene: Ye Xiu leaving Excellent Era. But in the live action, we are given a sweet treat by having our first Glory match. We see Ye Xiu in his natural state: the determined yet calm captain of his team instructing his comrades to secure a victory.
Beside him is Glory’s femme fatale, Su Mucheng who offers destruction to whoever goes against her team. I love how well their chemistry works in the game just like how it was portrayed in the anime.
And since I’m completely geeking out here, I love the gaming world effects. I thought it was going to be a bit, er corny, but no, they actually made it look good. It’s very much like a virtual-reality game and not just something that’s been pulled out from a fantasy book. I mean, I loved Love O2O but I was really hoping that the effects won’t be like that. I guess spending money on the motion capture and special effects has paid off.
Despite having a bit of a problem since one teammate became greedy and decided to fight alone, Ye Qiu’s team manage to win. Also, Wang Jiexi, played by Gu Yifeng, from the opposing team has also been introduced earlier than expected. We see him as the opponent’s captain and leading the team, Tiny Herb. Hmm, I find the actor a bit underwhelming or maybe I just expected too much since his looks are a bit more rough than Wang Jiexi in the anime and novel. I feel like they should have a casted a male actor who has soft features as that’s what the character is. Anyway, I hardly seen him so maybe I should just save my judgement for later.
The next scene (although a bit different from the anime and novel) shows one of the most difficult scenes to watch for an e-sports fanatic. Ye Xiu is summoned by their club manager and forced to give up the account card for his One Autumn Leaf character, the very character he had used for a decade of playing Glory and is known as one of Glory’s Battle God. Ye Xiu gives it to the arrogant newcomer, Sun Xiang, played by Liang Yimu. Ye Xiu then chooses to break his contract with the club, the very place that he had contributed his heart and soul to make a name for in the e-sports industry, and retires from the gaming scene for at least a year. (Or so they thought)
Perhaps the one scene I like the most in the live action that was a change from the original is the way Ye Xiu breaks the news to Su Mucheng. Su Mucheng was in the middle of the revolving door and Ye Xiu was outside when he tells her and it’s an emotional moment.
Ye Xiu then proceeds to the cafe in front of their club and meets the cafe owner Chen Guo, played by Jiang Shuying. This is where his new journey will start as he creates a new character in Glory’s 10th server and I can’t wait to see how close the following episodes will be to the original version!
Casting wise, I’m satisfied with the leads. Yang Yang is rocking Ye Xiu’s cool demeanor. Lai Yumeng exhibits Su Mucheng’s bright and caring personality. Lastly, I’m loving Chen Guo’s actress. She is as fun to watch as she is in the anime. And in the gaming word…
I also noticed that they stuck with the black armor suit that Ye Xiu’s former character, One Autumn Leaf had in the anime but not with his new character, Lord Grim. But I have only seen the first episode so I’m not sure if they’re going to change Lord Grim’s attire from black to the correct one which is white with a touch of crimson.
What I’m looking forward to is seeing how they’ll manage to pull off the self-made weapon of Ye Xiu in the new server called Myriad Manifestation Umbrella.
All in all, if there was ever any doubt that a live action cannot do justice to the action-packed sequences in the gaming world, I can definitely say that it did not disappoint! Adding a glimpse into the characters lives and seeing them humanized has given me yet another reason to rewatch the story all over again.