Production 10
Direction 8
Characterisation 9
Storyline 9
Acting 10
Fun/Sexy/Cool 9

There was nothing I disliked about the show except possibly Ye Qui’s hardcore team boss attitude which was disappointing as it was too predictable – The graphics of the game were amazing and made me want to play it – the game doesn’t exist of course, it’s just a platform for the show, it still looked real though

Summary 9.2 awesome
Production 8.5
Direction 8
Characterisation 9
Storyline 9.5
Acting 9.5
Fun/Sexy/Cool 10
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Summary 9.1 awesome

The Kings Avatar Live Action (Quanzhi Goushou) Episode 1 Review Awesome!

Kings Avatar Live Action LogoThis is the highly anticipated live action drama of the Chinese Anime (donghua) series and chinese manga (and light novel) series (manhua) called The Kings Avatar (Quanzhi Goushou). The anime was very popular in 2017 and there was even a small OAV series produced in 2018 but the popularity of the show spurned a whole host of productions this being the first, a second anime season (also due to be released this month) and an animated film (a prequel film) is due for release in August. This will be the internet’s first english detailed review of the live action series.

So, first impressions. What an awesome show! Seriously, the anime was groundbreaking but the live action show makes it a little subdued in my opinion. The live action show is fully committed to the genre, storyline, acting talent production and direction values. This is a class show about the glory (excuse the pun) of an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) professional gamer.

So what about the cast of computer gamers?   Well, it seems that we are no longer chubby pasty-faced shut-ins, we are attractive, intelligent, THIN, dynamic cool people with slightly extrovert personalities (yeah I know, that was going too far wasn’t it). Completely different from the hardcore gaming world we know and love today, Perhaps it’s different in China – I wanna be part of their world! I wanna, I wanna! 

So, if you understand this as the backdrop, what is the show actually about?

Well, it starts with a gamer tournament called ‘Glory World’. This is a flashy stage-produced afair with all the pomp and fanfare that you would expect from a large and slightly tacky sporting event.

A Proper Gamer Tournament

Specifically, this was a tournament for players of the computer game, Glory which pits players or groups of players against each other in a battle to the death. This type of battle is called PK (Player Killer) also known as PvP Player versus Player and the match we saw in the opening scene was a match between two of the top Glory guilds (clubs) in the game,

This may start to get a little complicated so I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a list of the key characters.  Hopefully this will help you understand who is playing which character and what team they are part of.

Key Players Appearing In This Episode

The Kings Avatar Live Action Yang Yang as Ye Xiu, Ye Qui and Lord Grim Name:  Ye Xiu
ID:  Ye Qui – Autumn Leaf
Class:  Battlemage
Guild:  Excellent Era (Jiashi).   Team captain, sometimes known as Fighting God Ye Qui.  Undisputed top player in the game Glory.
The Kings Avatar Live Action 'Maggie' Jiang Shuying as Chen GouName:  Chen Guo
ID:  Chasing Haze
Class:  Gunner
Guild:  Unassigned. Manager Happy Internet Cafe (pet name of GuoGuo by Tang Rou).  She is a very enthusiastic supporter and player of Glory but we rarely see Chen Guo win a match.
The Kings Avatar Live Action Zhao Chulun as Tao XuanName:  Tao Zuan
ID: 
N/A
Class: 
N/A
Guild: 
Team Boss of Excellent Era (Jiashi).   Committed to making the guild the best and most profitable.  He is ruthless.
The Kings Avatar Live Action Liang Yimu as Sun XiangName:  Sun Xiang
ID: 
Autumn Leaf
Class: 
Battlemage
Guild: 
Excellent Era (Jiashi).  

Is new to Excellent Era.

The Kings Avatar Live Action Lai Yumeng as Su MuchengName:  Su Mucheng
ID: 
Dancing Rain
Class: 
Gunner
Guild: 
Excellent Era (Jiashi).  

Widely regarded as the best Gunner player in the game of Glory. Close personal friend to Ye Xiu

The Kings Avatar Live Action Hao Shuai as Chen YehuiName:  Chen Yehui
ID: 
The Darkness
Class: 
Spellblade
Guild:
Excellent Era (Jiashi).  Relatively good solo player but tens to play selfishly.
The Kings Avatar Live Action Gu Yufeng as Wang JiexiName:  Wang Jiexi
ID: 
Vaccaria
Class: 
Witch (possibly Warlock or Wizard class since the non-gender use of the word Witch has not been in use in it’s original form since the 16th Century)
Guild:
Tiny Herb (Wei Cao). Wang Jiexi is the very highly respected Captain of Team Tiny Herb. he is famous for unorthodox play style and is often referred to as the Magician.

Excellent Era (Jiashi) Team (Captain: Ye Qui (aka Fighting God Ye Qui), is the only team to have won three consecutive tournaments) are facing the Wei Cao Team (Captain: Wang Jiexi) who are experienced and determined.  Two commentators then take us through the battle explaining the tactics where possible and any little advantageous moves or nuances that give the other team an advantage or opportunity for a win.  Each team is made up of 5 players (and a substitute)  each player has a special skill or ‘class’.  One of them could be a gunner, another could be a magician (both these type of player fight at a distance and are sometimes known as ‘ranged’ players) or close combat swordsman/women and brawlers (sometimes known as melee) type combat player that like to get up-front and personal.

Once the battle starts they must work collectively as a team to outwit and outmaneuver the other players so that they can kill them efficiently.  Much of their skill is in maneuverability and knowledge of their own class and their opponents class abilities.

Players Get Ready to Fight

As the battle developed, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the graphics, it was like watching a live action show seamlessly move into 3d anime, it was very impressive direction and the action elements in live and game were equally riveting.  I won’t go on about it too much other than to say that for me, this was something I was not used to seeing and it really added to the enjoyment of the show! 

The Players mashing keys and maneuvering their avatars….

The Players

The players Avatars.  They have very similar faces which is a nice touch as they are more easily recognisable.

The Players Avatars

The battle starts and each team have 15 minutes to kill as many players as they can,  Both teams are relatively evenly matched at first, but one of the players of the Excellent Era (Jiashi) team (called The Darkness) takes it upon himself to go and attack the other team by himself.  He dies quickly and the Excellent Era team are on the back foot from then on.

The Darkness Gets Clobbered

Only because of the skill of their pretty gunner girly (Su Mucheng) and their captain do they win out in the end.  The battle was actually pretty thrilling and fun.  As Ye Qui wins and the crowd go wild we see the face of the captain of the opposing team and boy that was good acting.  That is truly the look of a gamer who has been defeated.  It’s a mixture of shock, anger and intense disappointment. I looked at the dude and a shudder went down my back.

After the celebrations, the next day, the team meet to dissect what went wrong with their strategy and how they could improve.  Much of the chat was centered on the silly move by ‘The Darkness’ character called Chen Yehui.

It's All About Teamwork

It seems that this was a manoeuvre by the opposing team to get someone to take the bate and impetuously attack one of their players.  Worse still, Ye Xiu (real name of the player avatar called Ye Qui) believed that Chen Yehui went out on his own because he wanted to steal some glory for himself and show-off a little. As the meeting ends, Ye Xiu (Ye Qui) tells Chen Yehui that he need not return and that he is out of the team.  This seemed out of character from the Ye Xiu we had come to know and love in the animated series,  Ye Xiu would not normally have been such a disciplinarian, his approach, normally, is nurture not torture.  It was a bit jarring to be honest.  Those of us who have been in guilds that explored end-game content know how unforgiving team captains (raid leaders etc.) can be and one of the refreshing aspects of the Ye Xiu player in the animated series was that he didn’t need to be a hard-ass, he could tease the best out of the players in his team and lead by example rather than be all shouty and overbearing. 

Later, Ye Xiu is chatting with the guild boss.  He is told that because he does not take part in marketing events and because he is a semi recluse, he is no longer a viable member of the guild and his place will be taken by someone else, Sun Xiang.  I think that the reasoning is that since he hides (behind a mask) from the general public, he is not a public figure in any way, he has no marketable value and the owners/sponsors of the Guild would prefer someone at the helm who can generate money via promotions, events etc. – at least be more visible.

Guys, I have to tell you that I’m making a lot of assumptions here.  In both the live action and the anime series, the reason for Ye Xiu’s expulsion from the Guild seems ambiguous it may seem like a plausible explanation but it may also be incorrect.

Our New Captain is Sun Xiang

Ye Xiu (aka Fighting God Ye Qui) can see the cards of the table.  He is in a very bad situation because if he stays, he will be a lowly sparring partner within the team – someone who the other players can practice with – like say, an intern.  He would not be allowed to represent his guild and take part in tournaments anymore.  If he leaves, he will need to retire (because of a clause in his original contract) and he will not be allowed to take any part of his character with him (no weapons, gear, mounts or achievement points or rewards earned that he has built up over the years). He will have to start the game again from scratch and he will not even be allowed to use his name to promote himself.

The Excellent Era (Jiashi) team has its own building where it can practice and where it’s professional players live. When Ye Qui retired he literally threw himself on the street.  On his way off the premises, he goes to collect his belongings  meets the embittered Chen Yehui.  Chen Yehui tries to taunt Ye Xiu by verbally rubbing his nose in his new misfortune. Ye Xiu didn’t seem too bothered by it.  It’s as though he has recognised that his life has moved on.  Chen Yehui is simply an inconvenience to be tolerated.

He heads off to a store to buy food and things and meets the lovely Su Mu Cheng – as soon as she learns of his retirement and understands the circumstances, she offers to leave too.  Ye Xiu tells her not to, but to stay and fight and develop, he will be ok.  He says goodbye to her and heads off into the snowy night.

Leaves the heroen and goes off into the night

He wonders past a place called the Happy Internet Cafe and boy I wanna live there, it looks awesome – bright, clean, people look happy and excited, all the things normal internet cafes aren’t.

Ye Qui learns that the 10th Glory server is about to open and all the players are starting their characters from scratch.  Everyone is a new player.  This is a great opportunity for Ye Xiu to make his mark and develop his character without being ‘ganked’.  Ganking is when players kill you for the fun of it, usually unfairly and sometimes they can gang up on you and just kill your character for spite, it’s a problem (in fact it’s a problem in all PK/PvP MMO’s).  New players can suffer the most as they aren’t usually very skilled at the start –  but if you have 10 years experience like Ye Xiu’s avatar – he crates a new one called Lord Grim (, and you’re on a server where everyone is the same level, it’s unlikely that anyone will be able to do anything to halt your ability to level up quickly.

Glory Server 10 Opens

By the way, just before the scene in the picture above, a player character skipped across the screen – W-T-actual-F!  I’ve never seen a player avatar skip in a game (maybe I just haven’t played that many MMO’s) it was an amazing cool little bit of extra detail and was a real surprise! Lots of MMO’s have odd thing that your character can do like dance, but I haven’t seen ones where you can skip as you are walking.

He immediately heads out to find an old pal, his ‘1000 machine gun umbrella’.  A semi-unique weapon that he has mastered and which seems a rare find.  He knows where it is though and gets it straight away.

His trusty old weapon that he discovered when he first began playing the game

Meanwhile, the owner of the Internet Cafe is a very awesome pretty woman called, Chen Guo (played by the wonderful Maggie Jiang) and she is playing a gunner character and losing in a player versus player battle. She is distracted by Ye Xiu while playing and he waits patiently while she loses.  She is quickly called out to attend another customer when Ye Qui notices that her account character has started another battle.  He runs round the counter and plays her character for a few moments and wins.  It only took 40 seconds.

Chen Guo squeeks with excitement at having won a battle on the new server. As he moved to the other side of the counter, Ye Xiu notices that there is a job for a manager at the Internet Cafe and although he is very poorly qualified for the role, he asks Chen Guo to be considered.

Fighter God Ye Qui asks for a job as an Internet Cafe Manager

And there the show ends, it was really wonderful and I’ll certainly be following the saga as each episode is released.

The English subtitles were poor but that had nothing to do with the shows production. There was nothing I disliked about this except possibly Ye Xiu’s hardcore team boss attitude which was disappointing as it was too predictable – Ye Xiu isn’t like other hardcore team leads, that’s supposedly one of the reasons he is better. The graphics of the game were amazing and made me want to play it – the game doesn’t exist of course, it’s just a platform for the show, but it still looked real and fun. 

YangYang was really good as the lead role although his voice was dubbed.  I imagined that he would just be all pretty-boy-poses, but he seemed to take the role seriously and was very credible as the venerable Ye Xiu.  Production values are sky high and excellently provisioned and direction was ok except for the story vearing off the established story-line we know from the manga and anime. 

Irritatingly, you often get the impression that the directors change the story in order for them to make their mark on it (whether the changes they make are good or not). The story however, was still very good and the characterisation was ok. I guess they still need to develop which is normal I guess.  I’m nervous about the director and writers making too many changes though. 

I’d give this a massive 9.2 out of 10 for ‘brightness’ (it’s the best one-word I can use to describe the show) and by the way, I took a sneak peak at the next episode and would you believe, it’s better!  

(by the way, you can review this show yourself by clicking on the Users tab in the review block at the top of the page.  You don’t need to register and we’d love to see what you too thought of the show.)

Chat about this is the Kings Avatar thread of the Sci Fi forum

The pictures, story, news details and everything else about the Kings Avatar Live action TV series are copyright Tencent Penguin PicturesLinmon Pictures and Phoenix Entertainment. All rights reserved.

This article is copyright Tony Fawl and not for reproduction without the authors express permission.

Thanks to the very cool Raphael Canaris for the following clarifications in this review:  Chen Yehui plays a Spellblade and not a Battlemage – he played a  Battlemage in other adaptations of the saga.

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