TV Series Review: Your Highness (2017)

I’m giving Your Highness a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars, despite the horrendous quality of the available English subtitles and a bit too much bathroom humor for my preference.

(Yes, seriously horrendous. “Double repair” when the actual translation should be “dual cultivation”, for example. If you’re familiar with wuxia and xianxia at all… facepalm time, indeed.)

Two reasons I’m sold on this series anyway, and will rewatch. First – it’s an isekai into what was a wuxia MMORPG, what’s not to like? Second, and even more important – the main character Qin Zhan is a bona fide, dyed-in-the-black-silk Good Guy. Despite being shoved into the role of a Demon Lord.

He is a very relatable Good Guy. Game nerd, been playing the same character in New Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils for 10 years, leveled up to the max, really not good with people. (As seen when he has an awkward interaction with a cute newbie, Yuchen, including bringing her to a cherry blossom forest.) But this server’s going to be closing down soon, he just wanted to have a reunion with his guild… and only one person shows up, briefly, mostly to tell him to get a life. He’s lonely.

And then a thunderstorm hits when he meant to log off….

He is very surprised to wake up and realize things have turned real. And he appears to have been the only one transferred over. (Later he finds Yuchen, and much later someone who is… a problem.) But the moment it sinks in, with all the demonic power at his command, he switches to mostly using nonlethal strikes.

(Mostly. There are some real nasty Bad Guys he doesn’t hold back on.)

This is the key thing that cements him as Good Guy and a loveable character. Once he knows NPCs are real, he treats them as real people. He has near-unstoppable demon powers, he could be an overlord of the whole world if he wanted… but he doesn’t want to. He wanted friends. The NPC guards of his guildhall are now real, breathing people; he works to befriend them, protect them, and figure out as much as possible of what’s going on. He’s awkward at it, he’s still a socially inept nerd, but he’s trying very hard.

…He’s also kind of accidentally-on-purpose taking over pieces of the world near his Evil Sect’s headquarters, because the local soldiers and officials were robbing and murdering people. And he wanted them to quit that. In one of the first encounters, he tried to order his subordinates to take one alive… and ended up ordering, “Leave none alive!” As you do, when whatever power makes a game real shoves you into the role of Demon Lord.

(Poor Yuchen ended up as a Hero, with similar problems, and part of the humor is watching those two swear to duel to the death when what they actually mean is, “OMG so glad you’re alive here too.”)

It’s cracky, it’s melodramatic, it’s loaded with tropes and poking fun at same. But it’s great fun, and I’ll take all the nice Good Guy characters I can get my hands on!

ENG SUB【Your Highness Season1 | 拜見宮主大人2017

10 thoughts on “TV Series Review: Your Highness (2017)

  1. So Overlord, but if the main character decided to fight to be a good person instead of leaning into the “invincible villian” role full stop. Cool! I’ll have to check this out!
    (Ah, Overlord. Such a pity. There were some interesting ideas and characters there, but a little to heavy on the fanservice and WAY too heavy on the power fantasy. The MC is allowed to struggle sometimes, people!)

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Momonga’s actions didn’t make much sense to me until I caught a fanfic crossover that led me to do a little research.

      Dude didn’t come from some analog to our present day world.

      Momonga’s world is apparently sometimes referred to as “the world of pollution” and his timeframe is more than a century ahead. The world is so hopelessly polluted that the entire human species is pretty much the only lifeform remaining. Thick black smog layers blanket the world, making the appearance of even the slightest hint of sunlight a rare thing on the ground.

      People outside of buildings (and maybe in them also, I’m not entirely clear on that) have to use breathing apparatus or they’ll choke to death.

      Governments have basically dissolved away, and business corporations pretty much rule the entire world.

      The only place to find clean air / living plants is in VR like the game Momonga was playing with his friends.

      He’s still a monster, completely lacking any sort of empathy or compassion for those he can’t make use of from a position of power.

      Your Highness looks like I might actually enjoy it, unlike Overlord that made me want to wall the entire series not long after I got into it.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That’s an entire mood.

        I mean, if I had an empire, I would want to enjoy it. Art, theater, luxuries from all over the place – and you can’t have that if everyone is miserably scrambling around in the dirt.

        Not to mention, those are my minions now. They will definitely work better if they are enjoying things. And be less likely to start a rebellion.

        The show sounds interesting, I think I am going to watch it. Thank you for the recommendation, crossovercreativechaos!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My idea of a “power fantasy” would be as one of those “wizard in an isolated tower” types, powerful enough to keep the average busybody away without necessarily attracting attention from more-than-average busybodies. Using power to rule an empire? _Way_ too much paperwork. I’d be too busy getting used to finally getting a handle on running my own life to want anything to do with running other people’s lives.

        Give me enough power to smite trespassers, and I’d be happy.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. That’s what I found fun about Reincarnated As A Slime– the guy didn’t *want* power. He’s a little annoyed by the work. But…. work needs to be done, so….

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah, some of these empire/domain power fantasies are a hard knock to my WSoD.

    The improvement/change that isn’t largely dependent on the culture of the population tends to have very slow returns. The inspired by games stuff of substantial rapid changes based on the ‘wise management’ of the MC often comes off as author blatantly cheating, and the MC being a blind idiot technocrat that I would not enjoy being around.

    ‘Your Highness’ seems to be much more my speed. Have only watched first episode so far.

    Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The first ep gave me a random thought: “The secret lives of NPCs”, in the vein of “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Toy Story.” Plus some TRON and Reboot for flavor.

    Just what *do* all those NPCs in your games do when you’re not playing? Especially if you leave your Power Gaming Rig turned on?

    …aaaand, since my Power Gaming Rig is running Folding@Home as a background process, I’m now seeing my NPCs cosplaying “Cells At Work”….

    Liked by 4 people

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