Discovery of the year: Chinese anime about e-sports The King's Avatar12 July 2017
Animated series The King's Avatar was running on Chinese screens from April to June of 2017. Moreover, it has been translated to Russian language recently. The rankings of the Chinese anime are amazingly high on the Russian Internet. The novelty has conquered the hearts of people living in CIS countries with its origin, high-quality images, original storyline, and what is more important – themes.
What is The King's Avatar about?
Once upon a time, there lived a professional e-sportsman known as Ye Xiu. He was famous worldwide. The MMORPG Glory, which he was playing since it was launched (for 10 years), was considered the most popular and top-class: it was on everyone's lips and its professional players were more popular than actors and singers.
However, in 7 years of play for the e-sports team Excellent Era, Ye Xiu never participated in advertisements, arranged press conferences, or gave interviews and even autographs to fans. Moreover, only the other members of the professional league knew the legend of Glory by sight. Simply said, he refused to earn money for the team.
His account One Autumn Leaf was one of the strongest in Glory. It was even awarded one of four iconic game statuses – Battle God. At the start of his career, Ye Xiu brought Excellent Era the title of world champion for three times, as well as many other awards, but with time his progress started to decrease.
When the team was on the verge of being kicked out of the professional league due to low results, management decided to replace the veteran with a beginner that showed great potential. Apart from losing the position of team captain, Ye Xiu had to part with One Autumn Leaf account and leave the team without any chance to return to the professional stage of Glory in the nearest future.
As he was 25 years old at the time of those events, everyone though that his bright e-sports career was over. However, Ye Xiu was not fond of such a scenario. He started to work as a manager at Internet café and devoted all his time to mastering the game from the start, leveling up a new account and training young players.
To avoid spoilers, we will stop describing the plot now. Viewers can learn everything mentioned above from the beginning of the first episode. The start of narration is quite confusing, but starting from the second episode, the plot entirely captivates viewers.
Specifics of storyline
There are not many movies about e-sports. They are mainly documental films. The animation series, described here, is the highest quality artistic presentation of the story about professional e-sports in video format.
By the way, this anime has sources of other formats such as light novel and manhua (Chinese analogue of Japanese manga comics).
The novel was written by Butterfly Blue. It has been almost completely translated into the Russian language. As for manhua, they are still being released in partnership with Chang Pan Yong Zhe. The first tankoubon is almost ready; translations from Chinese appear rather fast.
We recommend that you begin with anime, then shift to manhua and finish with reading the novel if you are not afraid of spoilers.
Positive features of The King's Avatar that distinguish it from popular Japanese anime about video games:
- that’s a story about adults 20+ rather than pupils;
- nobody “gets lost” in the MMORPG, the story tells about professional e-sports;
- characters are not annoying (in most cases). The main hero is neither a waffler, nor a macho man. He is calm, reasonable and ready to take responsibility;
- no tedious love stories or harem scenarios;
- the graphics is as good as in most modern Japanese anime, or perhaps even better;
Disadvantages include the fact that sometimes the game play of Glory looks not quite realistic. However, here we should factor in the right for author’s fantasy as well as the fact that Glory combines the specifics of many popular e-sports games and not only MMORPG.
Below you will find a trailer in English.
Tencent company, which among other things owns Riot Games (developers of League of Legends), participated in the creation of the animation series. By the way, last month this media giant announced plans to invest $14.6 billion in the Chinese e-sports in the next 5 years.
It is unknown yet how it will affect The King's Avatar project, but if there were intentions to recreate the game Glory in real life, nobody would do it better. Tencent has the required financial and human resources as well as a possibility to correctly present the final product.
The second season (careful: spoiler!)
In the end of the first season, Ye Xiu decides to create his own e-sports club from his talented pupils. Whereas the first season was mainly about ordinary gaming (the hero was improving his skills and training others), the second season will be dedicated to the issues of professional e-sports.
The release date of the second season in China is scheduled for April 11, 2018.