The King's Avatar

Alt titles: Full-Time Expert, Quanzhi Gaoshou

Web (12 eps x 23 min)
4.132 out of 5 from 10,769 votes
Rank #481
The King's Avatar

In the multiplayer online game Glory, Ye Xiu, is well known as the Textbook level expert and a top-tier player. Due to a series of circumstances, he was forcefully expelled out of his professional team. After leaving the pro gaming scene, he resides at an Internet Café employed as one of the managers. When Glory launches the tenth server, he throws himself into the game once more, equipped with ten years of gaming experience, memories of the past and an incomplete self-made weapon. His journey back to the top begins. After plotting and scheming, who took away my glory? Under the influence of the storm, my hopes will never be shattered. In its magnificence, the path will not be lost, for I, will return!

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As another entrant in 2017's list of "I don't understand why this is as popular as it is", Quan Zhi Gao Shou (The King's Avatar) seems to have garnered a fair amount of praise despite (as far as I can tell) committing many of the cardinal sins by which many of its fellow anime series are regularly condemned. At the risk of making claims with no evidence to back them up, I can only conclude that QZGS's appeal stems mostly from an intersection between fans of anime and fans of MMORPG-style gaming; ergo, the appeal of a series which (however superficially) explores the online gaming and e-sport communities outweighs consideration of plot, characterisation and many of the other traits which, I posit, would make up a good series. QZGS follows Ye Xiu, a pro in the online experience 'Glory' who is ousted by his team after a dip in their performance is blamed on his captaincy. Ye Xiu takes up a job at an internet cafe, which gives him plenty of time to build up a new account and start taking regular players and even pros to task, making the name 'Lord Grim' a new and terrifying entity on the 10th server. Too bad the series as a whole can be summarised effectively in seven words: "Ye Xiu is very good at Glory". That's basically the whole show. There's very little to recommend this series on, other than its focus on gaming communities rather than the concept of living in a virtual game world, which does at least set it apart from the likes of Sword Art Online and Overlord. There are SO many characters introduced across 12 episodes and yet so little of interest; a few of them are presented as funny (though I didn't personally click with the show's sense of humour) or given just enough screen time that you can maybe fool yourself into thinking that they're important, but I got to the end without forming any attachments. Ye Xiu himself is a fairly cookie-cutter super-competent male protagonist, who engages in enough smug low-effort trash talk than he's not even particularly likeable in his humdrummery. Half of his in-game opponents appear and disappear at the drop of the hat (we even get introduced to one or two in the latter half of the final episode, which is in itself bizarre) and many look extremely similar, meaning that you'll constantly be asking yourself whether grey-haired anime boy A is the same grey-haired anime boy who we got last episode, or a different one. The 'plot' is extremely repetitive and mostly consists of Ye and friends going to train, speedrun a dungeon or fight a new and tedious foe, and every time Ye wins effortlessly with animations that, though flashy, are similar enough each time that they become unimpressive through saturation. The fact that this is all happening in a non-pro, low-stakes virtual space removes much of the tension that might otherwise be experienced in such encounters, and any which is left is destroyed by a complete lack of belief that Ye will ever come even close to losing. There IS no tension, is what I'm basically intimating. In an attempt to accrue interest, the series occasionally gives weird filler scenes like a girlfriend calling her pro-gamer icon boyfriend as he sits at a faux-McDonalds shoot, some of which might be intended as world-building but are simply unnecessary. Other than plot or characters, what's there to celebrate? The series itself doesn't look bad, produced as it is by Tencent, but there's a lot of CGI and it can only sometimes works in context; there are lots of odd shots of fully-cgi chairs spinning around and crowds of janky-looking computer generated men at computers. The voice acting ranges from competent to pretty dull; some lines are delivered with admitted gusto and effort, others as if the VAs themselves can't grasp any salient character traits or emotions and are just submitting words like one would submit their tax returns. The MMO aesthetic is, again, the only real draw, lots of contrasting neon and dark colours, virtual landscapes of sand and graveyards, and colourful enemy designs. But unless that grips you to the extent that you can forgive all other shortcomings, and an ending which establishes nothing that wasn't obvious six episodes prior, then it possibly won't. TL;DR; while I wish not to take away the enjoyment that some people CLEARLY have had from QZGS, I have to conclude by saying that I found very little. Unless the thought of watching a boring protagonist endlessly school dozens of paper-thin and visually-similar opponents in a virtual world appeals greatly to you, I'd try something else.


Overall: 10/10 So let me start off by explaining my overall rating, why I think this show is worthy of a 10/10. I personally am a competitive gamer. I recently bought both a car and build a new computer, and I spent more on the computer than the car. I wouldn't say I'm professional or even close, but I also can't say I wouldn't love to go for that, or at least hit that level of skill. The reason that relates to my rating for this anime is simple: it does exactly what it intends to do. Every gamer wants to be the crazy awesome solo-carry for their team, and every player wants to be recognized just by their name. It's like Leroy Jenkins for World of Warcraft or Seagull for Overwatch; that's what we all aspire to be...! This show is about being a professional gamer and the satisfaction you can get from being the best at what you do. There is the excitement of outplaying top players with noobs just because you know exactly what to do. There is going against the meta and playing the class no one wants to, the class that is "too weak" or "unviable" in the competitive scene. That's what this anime set out to tell, and that's what it did, exactly as intended. That's why this is a 10/10. Story: 9/10 Of course many of us would love to see more beyond the simple number-smashing of an MMO, and yeah, it certainly could have been put in, but in all reality this IS reality. Playing a Beast Mastery hunter in the Draenor expansion of WoW was completely rediculous, but by practicing and holding onto my own simple pride, really, I personally was able to hit in the top 2% of all BM hunters, and therefore was perfectly able to run mythic difficulty raids. Yes, it's repetitive to run the same raid with the same class over and over again. Yes, there are a massive amount of tiny adjustments to make in order to max out your potential. And yes, you do get a lot of hate for playing a "sub-meta" class, or hate when you outdamage other regular players, but that is the reality of competitive gaming. Throughout the show, as other reviews will mention, many characters are introduced, and for the most part many of them only hang around for an episode or two, if that. When you're looking for a team, you pick up and drop players pretty quickly, and you have to because you can't afford to lose any time; the tighter knit your team, the better made your teamwork. The focus was on the characters, not the players. Even with that focus of the anime, there was actually quite a bit of backstory, you just had to be paying attention to the details, because the references were quite small for a majority of them, such as the main character losing his job because he refused to play purely for commercial gain, and instead played for fun. He couldn't afford the early termination fee because he had given everything he'd earned to those gamers who were screwed over in their contracts or couldn't make the cuts. Details like that give the character a lot of depth, and make the entire experience more relatable and deep. Animation: 10/10 Very pretty. Yeah, I noticed reused animations once or twice, but all-in-all it was extremely entertaining to watch, as you'd get both the weight and power of the fight, the full intensity of the control required by these players, and at the same time you'd feel relaxed and calm, like you could really see and feel how much these players were enjoying themselves. Just looking at the main characters eyes you could see the laughter in almost every fight. Sound: 10/10 To be honest, I don't often pay much attention to sound quality in anime. Of course, as this was Chinese it threw me off quite often, but I felt every character was voiced extremely well and their personalities came out immediately and very clearly. The music went right along with the feel of mixing that relaxed yet intense enjoyment of competitive gaming. Characters: 8/10 As I've mentioned, the characters have a lot more depth than a lot of people give this show credit for. They don't go into backstory, and I believe that's where people believe character building comes from, but in all reality the feelings of the main character, the people devastated by his retirement, the growth from depression into the joy of gaming, from there the desire to begin again the right way, it was all there. Every character had growth, individually, but more importantly as a team unit. TL:DR This anime sets out to tell the story of professional gaming, and does so perfectly. If you find that interesting or play competitively yourself, I recomend it. If you're looking for lovey-dovey emotional rom-com fantasy swordfighting, this isn't the place for you, but try it out anyways! You might like it more than you'd expect!

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