Kings Avatar, (Quanzhi Gaoshou) Background for Season 2 and Live-Action Series
There is a lot of excitement about the amazing animated tv show called: The King’s Avatar (Chinese: 全职高手; pinyin: Quánzhí Gāoshǒu) aka Quan Zhi Gao Shou, aka Chwan Zee Gow Chew …… erm, I made the last one up, sorry, I couldn’t resist). This news post follows on from the Kings Avatar Rumours Post a couple of days ago and the Live Action News Post last week This post provides background information to the saga in preparation for the huge amount of stuff being shown in the next few weeks!
It is most famous for being a Chinese anime (commonly called donghua) although it was originally adapted from a web novel written by Butterfly Blue (蝴蝶 蓝). This original story was first released on the great Qidian website (https://www.qidian.com/) in 2011 and concluded in 2014. At the story’s close it had over 1700 chapters! There is an English version of the web novel that is currently in the works though we haven’t seen anything yet.
Eventually, the animation studio, G.CMAY Animation & Film produced 13 episodes with Yuewen.com and the Internet tech company Tencent. This was probably the best collaboration possible since Tencent actually own League of Legends (originally owned by Riot Games but was bought out by Tencent) the hugely popular Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) Role Playing Game (RPG). Such a collaboration enabled the animation company to introduce a better sense of realism into the show at a time when MMO RPG’s were becoming very popular and the whole concept of eSports was taking off. In the days of the web comic, such professional players were only a dream, but everyone knew that eventually eSports and professional game players would be a thing.
Some have said that the game (called Glory in the series) is League of Legends – it isn’t by the way, but there are certainly many similarities (also with World of Warcraft and lots of others). The pro scene is also similar. At the time of writing, League of Legends and World of Warcraft are the world’s most popular MMO’s and this is another reason why the show has become so popular – it’s very easy to relate to this if you are a player yourself and if you aren’t, it’s still fun to watch intrigue in the new and exciting eSports scene.
eSports as a concept has gradually been developing and becoming popular over the last seven or eight years. Much more so in China that anywhere else it seems. The CEO of Tencent has gone on record as saying that the last 5 years have been a great start in the development of eSports and that Tencent is committed to developing and funding eSporting events in the future.
Of course there were exhibition players and professionals previously, but not many. Now, it’s so big and so serious that it has become a legitimate business, sport and profession for those talented and skilled enough. There’s even a school in the Philippines that teaches game theory! The Kings Avatar couldn’t have come at a better time!
So how does this relate to Sword Art Online? It absolutely doesn’t and there is little or no similarity though SAO too is a very good anime and hugely popular with game players. There are many people are comparing SAO with The Kings Avatar (some have actually produced youtube videos claiming that Kings Avatar is a Chinese rip-off of SAO?!! Clearly, this is ludicrous as the two stories and the way they are portrayed is so very different.
There is also a manga (known as manhua in China) which is still produced and continues to be popular today.
The popularity of the first animated series was almost immediately realized and an OAV series of three episodes were later produced and distributed in 2018 by Colored-Pencil Animation Design studio.
There has been much discussion on the internet about the Second Animated season. Some think it will be 24 episodes and others think it will still only be 12. I haven’t been able to see any confirmation yet on either the number of episodes or the actual date in July 2019 that it will start showing. We believe that it is being animated by the same studio that produced the first series.
Amazingly, there is also a TV Live action show that is also due to start airing in July 2019. To have the anime and the live-action show airing simultaneously is almost unheard of but it seems to be the case. The TV shows will be directed by Shi Yiyue and the popular Chinese actor Yang Yang will play the lead role. Personally, I think he looks too pretty to be a credible God Ye. The show is being produced by Yang Xiaopei as well as Fang Fang and the executive producer is reported as Teng Huatao (but to be honest, I’ve only ever seen him listed as a director) with Linmon Pictures, Phoenix Entertainment, and Tencent Penguin Pictures.
A film, titled Quan Zhi Gao Shou: For the Glory, is also expected for an 8th August 2019 release.
For those of you who haven’t seen the animated series or read the novel or manhua: The King’s Avatar is about an eSports player of the popular online game called Glory. He is a proffessional and lives and plays in Hangzhou in China. He is by far the best player in the game and his name is Ye Xiu. In the very first episode, we see him topple from the glory of captaining the best professional team in the game (called Excellent Era) and being thrown out on the street without a game account or his in-game gear, mounts, money, etc. This simply wouldn’t happen now and seems irritatingtly implausible. It wasn’t until I re-watched the series that I learned that his original contract was produced at a time when pro-gamers didn’t earn much money or fame and it was easy to write very hefty clauses into their contracts, It was therefore possible to get them to sign away their gaming career if the guild decided that they didn’t want them anymore.
Ye Xiu is actually quite calm about it but not in a ‘hey it’s only a game’ sort of way. He seems to have a sorty of inner confidence that he can get it all back. Most actual gamers of course woudl be pulling their hair out and throwing hissy fits all over the palce. Ye Xiu soon gets a job as a night shift manager at the Happy Internet Café and becomes friendly with the owner. He decides to set up a gaming team and gradually work his way up to the top again – from scratch.
If you are new to gaming (noob) or a hardcore gamer (with no life outside gaming!) or a fanboy or fangirl, you need to see the show, the idea of giving life another shot even if it means starting over is an inspiring story and this show tells it well.