Yes, even swamped with books, I can make time to watch Chinese cartoons. If only half an hour a day.
This one is really good. I had it recommended to me based on the popularity of Sword Art Online combined with how much I cannot get into that anime. The pitch focused on their similarities while stressing that The King’s Avatar is the better show. Which actually does it a disservice.
All TKA has in common with SAO is that there’s a pro gamer who plays an online game. No stupid Battle Royale mashed together with .hack//SIGN and every other anime or manga with an MMO in it. There isn’t even any of 1/2 Prince’s bullhonky with a game world that is depicted exactly like a straight-up fantasy world but occasionally pretends to be a game. Glory looks and behaves like a fantasy MMO game, with the only (believable) conceit that professional players work a bit like actors or dancers. Youth is key, the company you work for is evil, and the level of celebrity you can attain is on par with athletes and pop stars.
The main character, Ye Xiu, is not like whats-his-face from SAO. He’s twenty-five, and acts like it. And while he’s quiet and not the most socially adept person ever, he’s not emotionally cut off or even standoffish. He is a bit mercurial in a noncommunicative way, but he always just seems like an introvert to me. Also, his boss, one of the people, that he interacts with on a regular basis, is extroverted and openly antagonistic. She also chooses what she will and won’t believe, facts be damned. He doesn’t waste time correcting her.
The premise is nice and simple. After ten years working for Excellent Era as a Battle Mage called One Autumn Leaf and the professional name of Ye Qiu (dubbed God Ye Qiu by his fans), Ye Xiu is canned and forced to hand over his character to a newer, younger guy who will be more willing to work with sponsors. He’s blamed for the lapse of success the company has had in recent years, and offered an insulting demotion that the boss knows he won’t take. But retiring means that Ye Xiu can’t take another job playing the game professionally for a year. When he’s 26, he’ll be considered out of date and probably won’t have a prayer at another job.
Why isn’t he rich? one might ask. Apparently he’s been supporting friends who didn’t do as well in the gaming community, and so his only opportunity to support himself after this fall from grace is to take a job on the night shift of a nearby Internet café.
The show’s not over yet, and I’m barely on episode 5, but the original story is available to read in English on Gravity Tales. It should be about twelve episodes, I think. I may read the translated story if I get any kind of opportunity. Something tells me that it’d take a bit longer than my free 30 minutes a day. ^^;