Heroes of Anwell review: an unashamedly domestic animated video game series

Societal attitudes towards video games have always been contradictory. Especially among the older generation. Even though more than hundreds of billions of dollars are poured into the industry, and even people far from this world, who have never held a gamepad in their hands, know about some games, there is still a large part of society, which considers video games if not evil, then at least a pernicious habit. This opinion exists not only in our country, but all over the world. And when you know, that there will be a new animated series devoted to video games and gamers' life, you are far from happy feelings.

It's no secret that modern domestic animation is going through not the best of times. Good projects can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and most of them are aimed at very young people. In the domestic market there is a full domination animation "Moonshine" and "Masha and the Bears", so adolescent and adult audience wholly switched to foreign projects. In my humble opinion, in the domestic animation reigns the same older generation, is fully convinced that the cartoons should be made only for children. And the "cartoons" themselves should be as refined as possible lean, so that God forbid, children do not have too many questions, and their fragile children's psyche is not compromised. So when you hear about a domestic animated series dedicated to video games, you expect a project that will have the moral "Videogames are Evil. GO TAKE A WALK OUTSIDE AND KICK A BALL". But even if the authors will be as loyal to the games as possible, still their complete lack of understanding of how they work and complete ignorance of the terms and concepts that the authors will try to insert here and there to make the animated series look as "gamer-ish" as possible will only cause a great Spanish shame and rejection to their product.

What a pleasant surprise for me "Enwell's Heroes" turned out to be, you have no idea.

This animation project is handled by the animation studio "Steam Locomotive", which in my humble opinion is one of the best, and most importantly a very promising domestic studio. Quite a few people are familiar with this studio (thanks, Syenduk) on their first project "Arkady Parovozov rushes to duty. This animated series taught young children basic life safety lessons, which probably served parents and emergency workers well. But the very way of presentation, and how it all looked, caused only laughter in an adult. So the project was repeatedly knocked down and even became a meme. But as they say, the first pancake is always a pancake (which, judging by the further "Steam Locomotive" projects is the unofficial motto of the studio).

Some more projects of the studio:

The teddy bears is an animated series that works with the same audience and in the same category as the same "Luntik" and "Masha and the Bear." But in contrast to the terribly dull "Luntik" and rolled into tatters "Masha," the series has breathed new life into this "genre" and aroused enthusiasm among children. Ask any child and they will tell you how much they love this cartoon.

Fairy Patrol - purely domestic and "orthodox" maho-sedze based on Russian fairy tales. After the first series, animated series lambasted on the Internet for borrowing ideas "Gravity Falls," but soon the project obsolete original lor, storyline, and eventually only the first series and remind where the authors drew their inspiration. Despite the seeming decline in demand for the genre of girl wizards, the series has gained some popularity among its audience (the girls who grew up with "Teddy Bears") and even got its own spin-off and a small fandom.

Steamroller also has a few other projects of varying degrees of validity. Judging by the frequent release of content, the studio is making good money, which of course can not but rejoice.

But back to the main subject of the article: "Enwell's Heroes.

What the show was unlucky about in particular was its promotion. I have big questions for the studio's marketers. If the advertising of "Fairy Patrol" was broadcasting from almost every open slot on "Carousel", and the announcement of "Leo and Tig" on the channel announced long before the show, then why "Heroes of Enwell" was limited to a small announcement and a small ad on the channel, and they somehow went unnoticed? This explains why the Internet community knew and knows almost nothing about this series. On YouTube there are only a few reviews from guys with a few thousand subscribers, made against the background of grandmother's carpet, but that's about it.

My first acquaintance with the series was not a good one. I happened to see the first episode on Carousel from that very moment:

Of course, I first thought of what I mentioned above. A typical animated series, throwing in gaming terms to entice an audience of people who play video games and making a joke out of it. There's also that same morality that's already starting to be asked for. So I ignored this series and didn't return to it until some time later. The first episode, in my humble opinion, is the weakest in the series. The writers just don't seem to know what they want yet. The studio's unofficial steamroller motto in action.
And so some long time has passed, Disney is on TV and suddenly they start showing Enwell's Heroes. I was of course surprised, on Disney showing domestic animation, especially non-classical is a rarity. But remembering the past experience, I was immersed in leafing through the tape and did not pay much attention to the animated series. In addition, they showed an episode that was already in the middle of the season and a lot, of course, I did not understand. And then I flipped through the tape and hear the familiar motifs, wrapped up in my trailer of a famous shooter:

A character, apparently a teacher, playing White Stripes?! Seriously?! This particular moment was the hook, the hook that had all of my attention on the TV. Of course, that was already the end of the episode, but it was followed by the next one. After watching it, I decided on the unprecedented step: I opened YouTube, where all the episodes of the animated series on the Internet and decided to watch for a whole day all the episodes of this cartoon series (which at that point was already ending and the last series left). Yes, I'm a mature, confident guy, I have every right to spend my time watching a children's cartoon.

And I liked the animated series! Yes it's not convoluted, certainly not intended for an older audience, but it's good. Starting with the fact that the domestic cartoon itself is completely saturated with references to completely different video games: from the banal "Mario" to just released at the time "Detroit", ending with adequate speech characters, similar to the real conversation of ordinary teenagers now into games. All the concepts and terms are spot on, and none of it is Spanish shameful. The main characters are not voiced by forty year old voice actresses, but by real teenagers who most likely know what they're talking about (and characteristically play off perfectly, despite the sore subject of young actors acting).

The show spends a lot of time on video game mechanics, mostly MMORPGs. It also lambasts grind like mechanics, and explains how devkit works, and more. Video games are not shown here as some incomprehensible mishmash of incomprehensible terms. Here the game is close to the real one, and it is much more believable.

The animation is not bad, "average", as in the whole "Steam Locomotive". Can not say that it shocks its beauty, but does not make the blood flow from the eyes, as the studio "100 kilowatts" (oh, how I hate their animation, honestly). One of the main locations - St. Petersburg (for once, not Moscow) - is well, sweetly and cozily rendered and makes the viewer believe that the action takes place in the Capital of Culture. The world of Anwell itself looks like a typical fantasy, and it is drawn at a certain level as well.

And the humor in the series is good. Yes, it's worth remarking that this is not an adult series, but some of the jokes, I literally screamed my head off.

Russian superheroics in the Russian animated series. from Semyon Gordienko on Vimeo.

As I said before, the animated series is uncomplicated. The plot is typical and simple as a two kopecks, and in some moments the series is really getting stuck in the cliches and cliches. Well, what do you expect, it is still a domestic children's animated series. So you must not wait for something really cool from the plot, "Steam Locomotives" up to the same Gravity Falls (which was even mentioned in the series) still to grow and grow. But still, just in case, I'm putting the plot under a spoiler.

A group of four teens (Art, Kira, Phil and Vic) accidentally find a laptop with a fantasy MMORPG installed on it unknown to the guys. But instead of a typical Korean grindylki, the guys are sucked into the laptop, where in fact they find themselves in the same "Enwell," a game that spits on all your VR and gives a completely immersive, allowing you to even save the artifacts and weapons in the real world. Having completed the tutorial and gotten out of the game, the guys were already ready to send her away and give the laptop to their teacher Marya Stepanovna, but something went wrong, the teacher became the fifth player in the game where she immediately gets killed and imprisoned by the boss of this rocking game, Morgart (killing in this game is freezing for a few seconds, but something went wrong and players end up being frozen for ever). Eventually bringing in another geography teacher who came out as a substitute (yes, the same one played by the White Stripes), the guys go to rescue Marya Stepanovna, running into problems throughout the series due to both game mechanics and typical teenage issues. In the end, everything ends with a relative but very ordinary happy ending, with the team defeating Morgarth, who got out of his laptop and prevented him from turning all of St. Petersburg into zombies and trapping him in a quest from which he could not get away. The teacher, by the way, still hasn't been rescued and the game is still unknown.

Speaking of characters:
Art (Artem Meshcheryakov) - war, a typical leader with all the implications
Over time, he, as a typical leader began a relationship with the only girl in the team.
Kira Smenkina - horns, a typical girl with all that goes with it. Sister Vika. About the relationship I've already saidFil
(Philip Chernykh) is a mage, the same type of character who will piss you off throughout the series
He has an overconfident, cunning, greedy, and over-the-top personality. Streamer.
Vic (Viktor Smenkin) - an engineer, a typical dweeb and nerd. Nevertheless, over time, he builds his relationship with NPCs and gains his wyfu. Alas, not for long (she gets killed, which is rare for a 6+ animated series).

Phil, Kira, Vic, and Art:

Since this is a five-slot game, the fifth here are the teachers, who play the roles of bards


There's not much to say about them other than that the second, Elena Viktorovna, turns out to be a spy and traitor with her backstory at the end.

As we have already realized, the main characters are not the strong point of the series, but there are two characters that can bring a smile to the adult viewer, namely Bakwit and Art's father.

Bakwit is the sidekick and essentially the interface that accompanies the players. He often takes on the role of a reference, introducing himself to players as famous game characters. Nevertheless, he himself is a reference, being voiced by none other than Boris Repetour himself - the voice of many games of the noughties.

Well Art's father is my favorite character that represents the whole retrogaming thing. A poor father trying to fit in with his son, remembering how he once played third Heroes, Quake or Castlevania and being misunderstood by his son, he quickly won my heart. So what's the bottom line? Sure Heroes of Anwell is still no match for the popular foreign animated series. But the series can not be called bad. Yes, its plot and characters are simple, but still they can not be called bad, because the series does not have any noticeable plot holes, silly and inconsistencies. It also looks cute on the surface, and the references, humor and good revealing of video game themes can please the person connected with game themes. If you wanted to watch something unstressful and short-lived in the last days of quarantine, the series may well be right for you. You won't experience any bad emotions, but the series is strong enough to give you some good ones. Well, I personally am glad that in the domestic popular culture and in children's animation in particular, at least something came out not shameful and not bad on the subject of video games. I really hope that over time, the games will cease to be the evil it is portrayed to us now. Someday we'll get to that point. cartoon series, cartoons, envel heroes, fairy patrol, steam train Write a comment Total comments: 5