In 2015, Nexon, a Korean animation and video game company announced the release that would feature a project of 3 major Korean animated productions. This was noteworthy because the production was receiving a larger budget than animation projects usually get in Korea, so the outcome was expected to be impressive.
This time on Korean Animation Spotlight we are delving into Elsword: El Lady, one of the three projects released in late 2016. The animation is based on the game of the same name, and consists of 12 episodes lasting 12 minutes each.
The Story follows several heroes of the Elsword world,as they try to save several priestesses kidnapped and possessed by the evil Demon Lord Scar. Pretty standard RPG story. They face peril, strengthen their friendship, and encounter frightening monsters! The story is pretty linear and easy to follow, but it does have the merit of being interesting enough to watch through all the episodes.
The story develops in quire a predictable way, and the fights almost always favor the heroes. Of course, this is to be expected from the subject matter and genre. This does not mean that the fighting or story isn’t interesting, it just isn’t groundbreaking. The personalities of the character too, are somewhat stereotypical both of RPG’s and anime in general. In particular, I thought the villains were more interesting.
The character design is really creative and everyone has an interesting look. The outfits are vibrant nd have many textures and it is very stimulating to watch. The art style, quite reminiscent of the game itself, is very nice, and I especially liked everyone’s eyes. Although the character’s faces and expressions don’t vary a great deal, it is still very thoroughly put together and I really enjoyed watching the characters themselves.
Animation wise, considering its budget, I would say is excellent. Some fighting scenes can look a little bit robotic and awkward, but for the most part the movements are fluid, and the fights exciting. Especially if you are watching in HD, the quality of the image is quite impressive to say the least. It was a good call on the production to make shorter episodes and be able to deliver better quality that way. I feel like Korean anime always get s a bad reputation for having animation that isn’t “fluid”, but this is honestly better than many Japanese anime out now.
The voice acting too, is quite good. Voice acting is one of the areas where I do agree Korean animation is a little weak, however, for the most part, the actors in this series do a great job. Sometimes the dialogue is a little bit awkward, and quite…cringey, but there are some good moments and some real talent! The music too I think is very good. The opening is a little bit generic, but I quite like ending, not to mention that crisp, crisp, HD quality.
Overall, I think this is quite a good short series, that really really showcases the potential held in Korean animation. Of course, DR Movie is a very well known studio that has participated in countless Japanese and American productions, so it is to be expected. I hope that in the future more feature length action anime will be given budget, because I quite like what I have seen so far.
Do you play Elsword or have watched the animation? Comment below I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, check out the first episode of the series, which is available in its entirety in the Nexon YouTube channel (possibly available in Korea only)