The thing about Quan Zhi Gao Shou is, it’s a story that really seems to get what playing an action-based mmorpg/moba is like. Sword Art Online is neat in concept but mechanically weak, getting weaker every iteration; Log Horizon is pretty generic and economy-based rather than combat-based; and as much as I love the original .hack// series, it explains zero on the gaming side of things, veering more on the side of eerie philosophy.
On top of that, those three I just mentioned are all under the conceit of ‘trapped in a video game, so the game is reality now, so no limitations on experience’ - which is great and all, but those kind of high stakes really lose the ‘game’ aspect of the story.
So, even though I’m just a casual gamer, I really appreciate how QZGS manages to capture and convey how playing a really good game feels to a player. I can even backtrack, mentally re-translating everything in-game on the show into what actual game visuals might look like and how it might feel to see that as a player. That’s neat, and I’m loving it.
Also, it’s an engaging character-driven story, and I can appreciate that. I like how the protagonist is an adult and how the story has humorous moments without going over-the-top with comedy, like ½ Prince does. Though, that’s not fair - they may both be mmorpg settings, but they’re targeting different demographics.
What I’m really appreciating is the absence of fanservice though. A game anime without fanservice but with skilled female gamers. Well-appreciated, I hope it keeps it up.