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Web Animation / ENA

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What conspiracies are we cooking on the menu today?

"Some weird sh*t that don't make sense"
— Official Newgrounds description

ENA is a series of animated videos created by Joel Guerra. They center around the life of ENA, a girl with an asymmetrical body and two different personalities. The only other recurring character besides ENA herself is Moony; ENA's friend who happens to have a body reminiscent of a crescent moon.

ENA's world is very surreal and dreamlike, and the videos reflect this, presenting itself as a sort of fake "game" that is being played, inspired by and frequently compared to LSD: Dream Emulator and other games from The '90s.

The first season of the series has four videos: "Auction Day", "Extinction Party", "Temptation Stairway", and "Power of Potluck". Two offshoot videos also exist: "ENA", a 33-second demo animation for the character, and "ENA Day", a 36-second looped animation celebrating ENA's birthday.

Days after "Temptation Stairway" was uploaded on YouTube, Joel announced that ENA will continue in the future, but it will take a different direction with its main cast after Season 1. As of Mar 25, 2021, a teaser has been released for the first episode of season 2, to be entitled "Dream BBQ". On September 22, 2021, Joel announced that "Dream BBQ" will not actually be a cartoon at all, but a free Adventure Game for PC. A trailer can be seen here. The game was set to release in 2023, but has since been delayed as of October 20th, 2023 to allow their small team more time to achieve their vision for the game without overexerting themselves or compromising its quality. On February 2024, it was announced that the game will be released in an episodic format. The first episode Lonely Door will be released soon.

Salutations, tropes relating to ENA! May I please enter?

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     Season 1: Auction Day, Extinction Party, Temptation Stairway, Power of Potluck 
  • Absurdly Long Wait: When speaking to Ulysses, ENA asks how long it will be until the next celebration occurs, to which he responds with a number of years quantified by an electronic gurgle. The closed captions reveal that this is binary, which when converted to a decimal value gives the wait time in years as 10,000!
  • Accidental Misnaming: At the beginning of "Temptation Stairway", Moony misnames ENA as INA, ENNA and JENA.
  • All There in the Script: Multiple characters are named in the credits.
  • Art Shift: The faux video game operates differently in "Power of Potluck" than the previous two episodes. Instead of a first-person game from ENA's perspective with cutscenes that have characters projected onto whatever the current background is, the game is now isometric and the dialogue scenes are fully pre-rendered in windowed boxes. Also, the final scene drops the video game veneer entirely for the first time since "Auction Day".
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The Shepherd initially doesn't want anything to do with ENA, but after ENA gives her the turrón that she picked up from the merchant, she pays her back with a blood ID and instructions on where to go next.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • In "Extinction Party", Merci and Robert speak Korean and Japanese (respectively) to ENA, with subtitles underneath explaining what they are saying. However, the subtitles are blatantly incorrect. They're actually trying to tell ENA to leave, and warning her that the 3D Maze is dangerous.
    • This trend continues in "Temptation Stairway", where the Merchant speaks Spanish and the Shepherd speaks a mixture of Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian. Their subtitles are accurate this time around.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • "Temptation Stairway" ends with ENA winning the race, also getting rid of her blue side, and Moony getting her wish, but they're stuck inside The Great Runas' residence for over ten thousand years with no way for them to return home until then.
    • At the end of "Power of Potluck", ENA destroys the happy but parasite-like mask that replaced her sad side, but her depressive mood swings come back.
  • Body of Bodies: "The Therapist", the being seen emerging from the shadows in Act V of "Power of Potluck", is a talking skull made of many stylized skulls. A hand, also made of skulls, is the only other part of him that can be seen.
  • Brick Joke: "Power of Potluck" begins with ENA ringing a doorbell as a distorted voice tells her to run. At the end of the short, it's revealed that the voice was Moony reminding her to complete the "ditch" part of a Ding-Dong-Ditch Distraction.
  • Captain Oblivious: At the beginning of "Temptation Stairway", Moony somehow does not notice ENA visibly suffering a breakdown in front of her.
  • Cover Version:
  • Creepy Good: A lot of characters that ENA encounters on her journeys (particularly in Power of Potluck) are rather unnerving in both their mannerisms and appearance. Yet all of them are completely harmless, and some are even quite helpful towards ENA.
  • Darker and Edgier: "Power of Potluck" features a slightly darker aesthetic, characters that are clearly dead (or undead) and very few overtly comedic moments.
  • Defensive "What?": Moony's final line in "Power of Potluck" is one of these, in response to ENA's baffled reaction to a sock puppet dinosaur puking out a crying man.
  • Deranged Animation: The entire thing, like the looping clips as people talk and the random encounters and surreal imagery, resembles a fever dream more than anything.
  • Ding-Dong-Ditch Distraction: Apparently, this is what ENA was supposed to be doing in "Power of Potluck" (or rather as Moony calls it, "Ring Rung Run"), instead of going into the building like she does.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In "Power of Potluck", ENA's sad side is connected to a floating mask that's more enthusiastic than her happy side. It's a considerable distance from her face, and while it appears to understand the different ways the people inside the house have fun, ENA's happy side is just confused and disoriented. Only when she talks about it to the Therapist does she reach some kind of understanding and allow herself to emote naturally, which destroys the mask. This mirrors the neurodivergent practice of detachment and masking emotions, where one imitates certain mannerisms despite not understanding them the way allistic people would, as well as masking depression.
  • Duality Motif: A few characters have a type of dual-colored appearance, such as with ENA (Yellow/Blue; Black/White, Orange/Green, and White/Purple for her other forms), Moony (White/Gray), The Shepherd (White/Red), and the mask ENA wears (Blue/Teal).
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: ENA's design in the demo animation has a few differences compared to the final version. The blue half's hair is slightly longer, her outfit is black and white instead of black and beige and is slightly different in the upper torso, her entire body minus skirt and hair is smooth (in contrast to the blocky torso, blue arm, and leg of the final design), the neck hole of her outfit has yellow instead of blue, and she has a black bracelet on her blue arm, which is absent in the final design.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: While "Auction Day" features the same aesthetic and style of comedy as the rest of the series, it has some substantial differences from later entries in the series.
    • The short doesn't have the "fake video game" format that the other episodes have, where ENA travels through various Eldritch Locations while meeting a cast of equally bizarre characters; instead it features a (relatively) mundane and down-to-earth story about ENA and Moony going to an auction.
    • The short only features five distinct characters total: ENA, Moony, the Auctioneer, the Headtombs, and the Hourglass Dogs. Both "Extinction Party" and especially "Temptation Stairway" would feature a larger cast.
    • It's more overtly comedic than its successors, lacking anything significant in the way of Surreal Horror (this is compounded by its more everyday title compared to the more unsettling and surreal names of its follow-ups), and doesn't feature any gratuitous foreign language dialogue.
    • Happy ENA has a different voice actor in "Auction Day", who uses a higher-pitched voice than the one Gabe V. would use in the next two installments or Griffin Puatu would use in the fourth.
    • Lastly, the short is about 80 percent 2D animation, with the only noticeable 3D animation being the Hourglass Dog and some background elements. The other shorts, having established the aforementioned "fake video game" format, would feature 3D animation for most of its scenery, with some of the characters and even ENA herself at times, also being computer animated.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Sad ENA's r's are switched with w's, to accentuate her sad nature; notably, even when her feminine voice is speaking for her happy side and vice-versa, happy ENA speaks with clear r's and w's while sad ENA still speaks with the r's replaced.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In "Auction Day", ENA establishes herself to the audience quite well, cheerily talking about the auction only to suddenly flip to whining about it turning out awful.
    Happy ENA: Ah, Auction Day. These are the utmost grand of days! This is going to be so, so—
    [ENA's body begins to spasm before spinning around, revealing her face has changed from blue and yellow to black and white]
    Sad ENA: Awful! I think this is going to be the worst day of my life!
  • Everyone Has Standards: At the end of "Temptation Stairway", the normally-unflappable ENA is outright disturbed by Moony's body bursting open to reveal a thin person in a bodysuit. She then shakes her head disapprovingly when Moony begrudgingly admits she wished to be thinner.
  • Gainax Ending: All four videos end this way: "Auction Day" ends with ENA suddenly throwing up, with the puke inexplicably reforming into the Hourglass Dog that was being sold, "Extinction Party" ends with ENA showing up apparently drunk, then giving Moony herself as a gift, "Temptation Stairway" ends with Moony bursting open to reveal a humanoid in a skintight bodysuit, which even ENA expresses shock at with an astonished "cheese and rice", and "Power of Potluck" ends with Moony's unnamed friend vomiting out a crying man, who Moony proceeds to stuff in her square hole while giving a Defensive "What?".
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: The closest the series ever gets to English-language profanity is with ENA's astonished "cheese and rice" in response to Moony splitting open at the end of "Temptation Stairway".
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Both "Extinction Party" and "Temptation Stairway" feature characters who talk exclusively in non-English languages: the former has Merci and Robert (whose dialogue is directly opposite in both content and tone to their subtitles), while the latter has The Merchant, The Shepherd, and Mariya. Despite this, ENA still seems to be able to understand them (or at least their subtitles) without a hitch.
  • Heroic BSoD: For reasons unexplained- though most likely related to Moony getting trampled by the crowd- ENA briefly experiences a mental breakdown at the beginning of "Temptation Stairway". However, the Brick Frog helps her snap out of it, returning her back to normal. As normal as ENA gets, anyway.
  • Inconsistent Episode Lengths: The three episodes that make up its first part all vary in length, coinciding with their focus on more detailed plots. "Auction Day'' is 2 minutes, "Extinction Party" lasts over 5 minutes, while "Temptation Stairway" is over 17. "Power of Potluck" inverts the tendency and lasts slightly less than 10 minutes.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: As seen in "Temptation Stairway", ENA's name is written as "ƎNA", with a backwards E.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: Compared to the fluent Japanese Mariya uses, Gabo speaks in broken English non-sequiturs (which Mariya calls them out on) with a thick Japanese accent, purely for comedic effect.
  • Intoxication Ensues: At the end of "Extinction Party", ENA is suddenly "drunk" (presumably from the green gas in the 3d labyrinth) and Moony calls her out on it. The fact that she is suddenly sober right afterwards, as well as the demon she was morphing into, is left unexplained.
  • Living Shadow: Two characters seen in Act III & IV of "Power of Potluck" are two shadowy beings or ghosts, apparently a boy and a girl in a witch outfit, with light dots for eyes. These shadows take control of their own fossilized skeletons and make them move... or is it the other way around?
  • Local Reference: Joel G is from Peru, so he inserted a few references to Peruvian culture among the various apparently nonsensical details.
    • ENA dons the uniform worn by girls in Peruvian public schools.
    • The demonic face that appears in ENA's "drunk" form at the end of "Extinction Party" is designed after a mask used in Peruvian Diablada (Dance of the Devils) festivals.
    • The Turrón seen in "Temptation Stairway" is a real-life Peruvian dessert; the series specifically uses a Turrón de Doña Pepa.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness:
    • In "Auction Day" and "Extinction Party", ENA's voices were separated, with her Happy form speaking with the masculine voice and her Sad form with the feminine one. "Temptation Stairway", however, has both forms speak with both voices at multiple points, possibly foreshadowing her getting rid of her blue side and becoming fully yellow at the conclusion.
    • "Power of Potluck" features no foreign languages, all dialogues are written in English, the spoken parts are all in English and other characters either don't make sounds or talk with Voice Grunting. It also features an isometeric third-person perspective for whenever ENA is shown traveling, instead of the first-person perspective of both "Extinction Party" and "Temptation Stairway".
  • Medium Blending: 2D and 3D animation styles are frequently included in the same medium together. Most of the time the environments are 3D while the characters are 2D, but there are exceptions to this— Ulysses, the Shepherd and Phindoll are all animated in 3D.
  • Mind Screw: Much of ENA's world is, to put it simply, nonsensical. But that's a part of its charm, isn't it?
  • Mood-Swinger: ENA almost literally changes her mood every minute, bouncing from mental breakdowns to jovial chats to self-hating doom spirals, sometimes even mid-conversation or mid-sentence.
  • Mood Whiplash: The series constantly switches from Surreal Horror to Surreal Humor at any moment, leading to constant changes in tone. For instance, the ending to "Temptation Stairway" has Moony transform into a disturbing being, only for ENA to react by yelling the goofy phrase "Cheese and rice, Moony!", making the scene suddenly comedic.
  • Nice Guy: Phindoll from "Temptation Stairway" is the only unambiguously friendly character in the episode, introducing himself by trying to cheer up ENA with a joke, directly responding to her instead of talking past her, and expressing concern when a playful bop from him ends up causing her to have an emotional outburst.
  • Odd Name Out: "Power of Potluck" doesn't adhere to the naming convention of other episodes that are all titled "(X)tion (Y)y" (Auction Day, Extinction Party and Temptation Stairway).
  • Orphaned Setup: Phindoll begins telling a joke in "Temptation Stairway" about why camel aren't pro-wrestlers, but he suddenly spasms and yells, missing the punchline... until he reveals that was the punchline.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Merci calls ENA a "stuffy fuck," although the subtitles don't include this. Anyone that doesn't speak Korean wouldn't realize she cursed in a series with otherwise tame language.
    • Combined with Gosh Dang It to Heck! for comedic purposes at the end of "Temptation Stairway", where ENA's immediate reaction to Moony splitting in half is an astonished "cheese and rice," the closest the series ever gets to actual English-language profanity.
  • Random Events Plot: The goal of every episode is very simplistic and straightforward — "Auction Day" with watching an auction, "Extinction Party" with finding Moony, and "Temptation Stairway" with meeting a godlike entity to get a wish granted — but the events and people ENA meets along the way, and how much she clings to said goal, is up in the air.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic:
    • ENA has been shown stuttering, stammering and spouting non sequiturs.
    • Brick Frog from "Temptation Stairway" is also an aversion, often wheezing and suddenly dropping in tone in the middle of a sentence alongside his stuttering. Ulysses from the same episode has an Electronic Speech Impediment.
  • Retraux: The vocal compression, aliased spritework, low-poly renders, and other video game-like elements contribute to this aesthetic, giving it the feeling of an adventure game from the mid-90s.
  • Rule of Three: In Auction Day, three Headtombs place bids before the rock rain postpones the auction.
  • Running Gag: Almost every video has an object sticking out of Moony's slot. In "Auction Day", it's a gem. In "Temptation Stairway", it's a mannequin's limb and the Shepherd's cane. At the end of "Power of Potluck", Moony puts a piece of the scenery inside it and then stuffs a little crying person (?) that just came out of the zipper mouth of a bizarre shapeshifting weirdo inside it. Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
  • Serial Escalation: Each episode gets exponentially longer than the last (going from just under three minutes to well over 17) and features a markedly greater amount of Surreal Horror, culminating in the ending to "Temptation Stairway".
  • Series Fauxnale: "Temptation Stairway" is considered the finale of the webseries by Joel, but not the end of ENA as a whole; the tweet announcing the video's publishing even describes it as "the great (NOT) finale." A few days later, Joel confirmed that the episode serves as the season finale of the series, announcing a Season 2. Even then, "Power of Potluck" was added to Season 1 afterwards as an apology for Dream BBQ getting delayed.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Split Personality: ENA has multiple voice actors, often representing extreme shifts in her mood or personality, and also often accompanied by a shift in her character design, whether it's a Palette Swap like Sad ENA or her seeming to be possessed by a demonic entity while she's "drunk".
  • Squashed Flat: In "Temptation Stairway" a horde of mannequins suddenly appear and leave Moony trampled, with visible shoeprints on her.
  • Stealth Pun: At the end of "Temptation Stairway", ENA finally rids herself of her blue side and becomes entirely yellow. So, what better song to play during the credits than "Simoon" by Yellow Magic Orchestra?
    • Brick Frog was named for the indentation on the side of a brick or the tool used to make it.
  • Surreal Horror: The series is filled with surreal and disturbing moments that are never explained, such as the creepy faceless girl next to the pile of manikins. The lack of context to these events make them even scarier.
  • Surreal Humor: ENA has a very bizarre and abstract sense of humor that comes from the nonsensicality of dialogue and events. The jokes characters make are usually non-sequiturs or nonsensical.
  • Swiss-Army Appendage: Seems to be the case with whatever's inserted in the slot on the left side of Moony's body. Over the three episodes, she alternately has some sort of gem, a limb (it's impossible to tell whether it's an arm or a foot), a cane, or nothing. At least, it's that way until she transforms to be "thinner."
  • Synthetic Voice Actor: The text-to-speech program Microsoft Sam is used to voice the Guardian Entity at the start of "Extinction Party".
  • Talking Is a Free Action: When ENA is talking to the Merchant and the Brick Frog, the timer freezes. When she's talking to the Merchant it is at 00:02 seconds, yet the whole exchange lasts for at least 30.
  • Timed Mission: At the beginning of "Temptation Stairway", ENA is given 48 seconds to get to the top of The Great Runas. She fails this mission, and Runas is... sucked into the body of a mannequin with no face, kicking off the plot.
  • Translation with an Agenda: Specifically, to mess with the audience in "Extinction Party"; the subtitles don't match up with what's being said. Merci and Robert's subtitles are simple instructions are where to go, but what they're telling ENA is a warning in Korean and Japanese respectively about the building being horrifically dangerous.
  • Uncanny Valley: Ulysses is intentionally uncanny and creepy. He has a human-like, low-poly rendered face, not helped by his erratic body movement and stilted, constantly shifting speech.
  • Vague Age: No character has any indication of their age. ENA wears an outfit based on a Peruvian school uniform, but it is never stated whether she is a teenager or an adult.
  • Ventriloquism: A really weird example: The Auctioneer in "Auction Day" is a giant Compact Cassette that uses a puppet to communicate.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: ENA moves off-screen to throw up at the end of "Auction Day", which is then immediately subverted by cutting to her lying down in her own puke, some of it still leaking out of her mouth. That said, the fact that it's all made of white noise mitigates the grosser elements of it.
  • Visual Pun: When the Toei Company logo appears in ENA's place during her mental breakdown in "Temptation Stairway", she makes vomiting noises. Waves of vomit, as it were.
  • Wham Line: "Temptation Stairway" all but outright states there are multiple ENAs.
    The Shepherd: Argh... another ENA troublemaker.
  • Wham Shot: And then, after the line above, we get to see a bunch of dead ENAs at the bottom of the Holy Code, glitching into the blank mannequins that were outside The Great Runas at the beginning of the episode.
  • Yellow/Purple Contrast: ENA's base design includes a yellow half and a blue half, representing the duality of her various personalities. At the end of "Temptation Stairway", the blue side is gone, though it returns at the end of "Power of Potluck".

     Season 2: Dream BBQ 
  • You Don't Look Like You: A variation: since Season 2 has planned a new direction with the main protagonists, the teaser for "Dream BBQ" features ENA with a multi-color body of red/pale blue/pale yellow motif instead of her usual dual blue/yellow one, with concept art this tweet by Joel showcasing a "jagged/webbed" duality instead of "blocky/smooth". Since "Temptation Stairway" confirms the existence of multiple ENAs, it's implied that this one is not the same ENA from Season 1.


Video Example(s):


Power of Potluck ending

"Power of Potluck" ends with an unnamed character opening its mouth to reveal a crying man, who Moony proceeds to jam into her square hole. Even ENA doesn't understand what's happening.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / GainaxEnding

Media sources: