TL;DR First Impression
The King’s Avatar (Chinese: 全职高手; pinyin: Quánzhí Gāoshǒu) is a 2019 Chinese live-action web series based on the web novel of the same name by Hu Dielan.
I was a little hesitant with this series as the live-action is seldom as good as the animated version. There was an animated (donghua) version released two years prior under the same name [The King’s Avatar Web Season 1 (2017)]. I am glad to be proven wrong, though the first episode alone wasn’t enough to win me over. You will see me compare the live-action to the donghua a lot here, as I have never read the web novel both of this series is based on.
The introduction episode was a bit rough with a lot of expositions and a lot of names drop. Once you get past the initial information dump, you’ll appreciate the show better.
The live-action gives a better explanation of our main character (Ye Xiu) fall from grace than the donghua version. His back-story is written better with all the circumstances the animated version left off (it wasn’t revealed until later in the season). The live-action version gives a better sense of why this scenario could realistically happen. Most of the side characters are also better fleshed out compared to the donghua.
The 3D CGI was initially a point of contention for me. The opening used of it with the dragon impose over live actors seems low-budget. Once I get past this and I see the in-game 3D footage, it is actually quite good. Though the quality goes from a video game engine to an almost uncanny valley character rendering can feel a bit eerie. The action is pretty good and there isn’t any reused footage that I can see.
Overall, I can see myself watching all 40 episodes of this series on Netflix and will give a proper review in the future.
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Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.