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[Eternal Return Esports] Eternal Return Anime Review 2023

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Eternal Return Anime Review 2023

[Image: eternal_return-7.jpg]
Figure 1. Eternal Return

I am sure many of you reading this are somewhat aware of the massive popularity of anime as a medium and the sheer stranglehold it has on modern consumers. This is exactly why many franchises from different mediums have started to adapt their series into anime, which not only promises them a larger target audience but also may lead to the development of a dedicated community that could then funnel people from one medium to another. A prime example of this can be seen in the recent expansion of the League of Legends universe and how the multitude of games and animated projects have saved it from becoming redundant in the modern media landscape. With the massive success of shows like Arcane, it seems Riot has finally cracked the code to expand the player base. This is why games like Eternal Return which is shaping itself as a direct competitor of League should also try to create an anime series.

Many will argue that it is an unfair comparison as League has decades to not only establish its characters and its world but also to make these worlds feel lived in. But this is where I interject as it is not an unfair comparison at all since no matter how much Riot has spent on side material and the world it still has not been in use for decades meaning that Eternal Return is battling on fairgrounds. Fact the developers of Nimble Neuron seem to know all too much since it has increased its efforts to expand the world of the game and to flush out the pre-existing characters even more.

Figure 2. Eternal Return Trailer Animation Emma, Teaming With Yuki and Hyunwoo in the Short Anime

A feat that is easily achievable as shown with the animated short video for the official 1.0 release of the game. It acts as a great introduction to the main test subject and the island of Lumine as a whole, while also showcasing the different powers wielded by said test subjects through the power of the VF. Now to understand the lore of the game a bit more we need to recognize the fact that the game is a sort of sequel to Nimble Neuron’s previous game Black Survivor which was a mobile game that was later adapted for Windows. And this game is the source of the game's lore because as compared to the other franchises the game only focuses on the characters and their interactions instead of the bigger picture. This is why the demand for an anime series of the game is present as it would help players understand the secrets of the world from the emergence of VF to the Immortal Board and their machinations for the human race. It will also be able to help the developers foreshadow or hint at upcoming game mechanics and even characters.

[Image: eternal_return-gameplay-5.jpg]
Figure 3. Eternal Return Gameplay

Aside from tapping a whole new target market the anime adaptation can also serve to bring more people to the esports of the game. The countries it is most popular in like China, Korea, and Japan have well-established anime fan bases which are also loyal to a fault. But it will be not an easy feat as the developers will have to strike a balance between the new fans and the old fans who were drawn to the game based solely on the highly unique merger of genres. One only needs to see the 1.0 trailer animation to see the dichotomy at work. Because for me as an anime fan first and foremost the animation is a solid 2 minutes of pure action and solid character storytelling with the show don’t tell method, such as the nefarious nature of Alex. But from the perspective of a long-time fan, it might seem counterintuitive as the animation doesn’t even touch upon the basics of the gameplay. But alas until Nimble Neuron produces an anime series of the game we will not know the answers to our speculations and only time will tell the rest.

[Image: eternal_return-anime-2.jpg]
Figure 4. Eternal Return 1.0 Trailer Animation Test Subject Alex, Haze and Irem


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