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Web Animation / Gwain Saga

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"Heaven-sent heroes don't always land well."
— Title of the first episode.

Gwain Saga is an animated series hosted on YouTube and created by artist and animator GeoExe. It chronicles the tale of Geo, a totally normal human dropped into the magical Kingdom of Gwain by unknown means. There he meets Ami, a local princess, and they become fast friends. More characters are introduced and it's slowly revealed that more is going on in Gwain's kingdom than there originally seems.

Notable for its colorful Animesque animation and video-game style, switching between Flash animation and pixel art. Gwain Saga takes a lot of inspiration (and even music) from JRPGs and Visual Novels, creating a unique aesthetic.

While Gwain Saga is the main series, there are many shorts and side-projects that are set in the kingdom of Gwain. Their canonicity is ambiguous, but they do provide extra insight into the characters. Not to be confused with Guin Saga.

You can view the original pilot here, and the first episode here.

Gwain Saga provides examples of:

  • Anime Hair:
    • Subverted with Geo; his current hairstyle is because of his high-speed running.
    • However, Teorans all have colored hair that corresponds to their chosen element.
  • Big Bad: The reclusive scientist Luna, who regularly harasses the kingdom while performing underhanded deeds to rope in more profits for her company.
  • Beady-Eyed Loser: Geo's eyes mark him both as the Token Human and the Token Everyman. It's a plot point as well, as it's what marks him as a different species, much to Gwain's rage and his detriment.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Episode 3 starts with Deva asking Ami to hit her if she ever likes a boy. Guess what happens when she wolf whistles at Geo?
    • At the beginning of episode 5, Marlow mentions that biting the neck looks romantic; at the end of the episode, Ami does just that to Geo.
  • Butt-Monkey: Agni fills this role, considering his lecherous side often earns him a boot to the head. Geo counts as well, and due to his incredible stamina, he takes a ton of crap.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Teoran eyes and hair share colors. Geo's the only exception so far, and that's because he's a human.
  • Elemental Embodiment: Nearly every seen Monster and/or Animal in the series has been related, or are literally made of to one of the Elements.
  • Elemental Hair Colors: The Teorans' powers correlate to their hair colors.
    • Geo, being a Human, has no magic powers, and his originally-black hair is recolored white. In episode 5, Agni demonstrates that the Teorans' hair turns white if they exhaust too much magic energy.
    • Ami has pink hair and uses love magic (including magic arrows that inflict status effects).
    • Electra and Queen Gwain are blonde.
    • Deva has blue hair, which actually turns into a block of ice when she uses her powers. It was later revealed that Deva also has water powers that she can switch between with the help of some device.
    • Agni has red hair.
    • Marlow has green hair.
    • The Elite Captain and Lanney are brunettes.
    • The Delivery Guy and Savien have purple hair.
  • Elemental Powers: Common among Teorans, although characters with more esoteric abilities like Ami, and Various Side Characters exist as well. They're still described as "Elements" however.
  • Enemy Mine: Realizing Geo was scrounging for Luna's robot trap among Electra's gifts, the Elite Captain teams up with him to defeat the mech.
  • Fanservice: While there hasn't been much in the show itself, GeoExe posts pinups of nearly all of the female cast on his Twitter; even Geo himself got one.
  • Fantastic Racism: Queen Gwain really hates humans, and she makes a point to spend as little time around Geo as possible.
    • Justified, due to Humans having caused massive damage to Teoran society in the past.
    • Exaggerated, as the mere existence of a Human in the world of Teora would cause mass hysteria and panic.
  • Farts on Fire: Agni does this it in Episode 5 as to show off what the Fire element can be used for. However, it also serves the dual purpose of showing what happens when a Teoran runs out of magical energy.
  • Foreshadowing: The montage in Episode 1 has Ami showing Geo a nest of cat-like creatures. They smile at Ami, but glare angrily when Geo peers in. Note that this happens before Geo receives the visor. Gwain reacts similarly in Episode 2 upon seeing Geo's eyes.
    • Episode 3's stinger has Ami spying on a her mother and Luna having a meeting. Episode 7 reveals that this interaction had to do with a deal made between the two women in the past.
    • In episode 6, Luna visibly panics when she sees Ami had boarded the train she was going to destroy. Episode seven reveals Gwain lets Luna do as she pleases because she created Ami's life-sustaining headband: if Ami dies, Luna loses her safety net.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In Episode 4, the vampire entry in Marlow's bestiary contains several fictional vampires. Besides those, however, one of the pictures contains Vania, the enigmatic woman from episode 1.
  • Friendship Trinket: In the form of elemental crystals. Ami gives one to Geo after he saved her life in episode 1, and Electra wears one included with Geo and Ami's message after her party.
  • Funny Background Event: Episode 8 has a quick montage of the girls showing off their swimsuits - while an animated fan spins slowly in the background, the words "fan service" circling around it.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Luna's technology is some of the most advanced in the world. Production isn't limited to the robots she employs during her attacks, however, as several different products bearing her logo appear throughout the series.
  • Genius Bruiser: Luna is the progenitor and inventor of most, if not all the futuristic technology in the world. This doesn't stop her from beating the crap out of characters who's skillsets are almost entirely physical, with her bare hands.
  • Healing Shiv: Ami's arrow can wake people up in addition to putting them to sleep.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Throughout the first few episodes, Luna's motives are ambiguous. She at first seems content with testing Geo (by beating him within an inch of his life) and then promptly departing once she is satisfied.
  • Humongous Mecha: Luna has several of these in her arsenal.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: This is Savien's power, which allows him to mind-control anyone who looks at his eyes. It doesn't work on Ami since she is a healer-type and is therefore immune to condition spells.
  • An Ice Person: Deva has been able to control ice since she was a toddler.
  • Immune to Mind Control: It initially appears that Ami got hypnotized into following Savien by his Hypnotic Eyes. However, it's revealed that since Ami is a healer type, she was immune to condition spells including the hypnotization effect — meaning that she followed him on her own accord.
  • Infodump: The story begins with a prologue styled after early RPGs.
  • Light 'em Up: Gwain. Ami's element of love is similar but has different uses.
  • Magitek: Teora very clearly has both magic and highly advanced technology
  • Mecha-Mooks: Luna creates several of them.
  • Mood Whiplash: The episode 6 preview was a comedic fight scene between Luna and members of a local desert gang, the episode 7 preview, however, has most of the main characters (excluding Gwain, Ami and Geo) knocked out in the rain while Lanney stands ominous as lightning creates a fire that casts a shadow over her silhouette her eyes fully white.
  • Mugging the Monster: A bandit gang attempts to attack Luna in a bar. None of the bandits nor their leader fare well at all.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Appearance-wise, at most, characters are fit or toned. This doesn't stop them from being able to throw around building sized monsters and/or machines with simple strikes, though. Somewhat justified with Geo, as he is from a world with much higher gravity.
  • Mysterious Protector: Geo receives his signature equipment from a mysterious woman in episode 1. Said woman was briefly seen in the intro, chained up and subsequently escaping. Supplemental materials call her "Vania."
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Zig-Zagged with Geo. Humans exhibit unusual properties in Teora's universe, so he's much stronger and faster compared to most threats. However, unlike his companions, he can't use magic through natural means. Compounding his combat flaws is his inexperience; actually trained fighters like Gwain can manhandle him with ease.
  • Personality Powers: Played Straight with Ami.
  • Playing with Fire: Agni.
  • Popularity Food Chain: Electra's top of the class, with Marlow coming second, and Deva, Ami, Lanney, and Agni near the bottom. Said bottom is taken up entirely by Geo due to the trouble he attracts.
  • Power Armor: Luna has some gauntlets that function like this.
  • Power Stereotype Flip: In the case of Agni,note  Deva,note  Marlow, note and Lanney. note .
  • The Title Saga: Gwain Saga
  • The Reveal: A couple in Episode 7:
    • News Reporter Joe Tub confirms that Ami is Gwain's adopted daughter. This was a fact that, up until then, was only mentioned on the creator's Twitter page.
    • Ami's life-sustaining headband was developed by Luna, per an agreement between her and Gwain. With her daughter's life in the scientist's hands, Gwain allows her to essentially do what she wants in exchange.
    • Lanney's Element is Earth. She's never used it openly until this episode out of self-consciousness. Still, some flashbacks demonstrate that she's used that power covertly and conservatively to help in fights.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Ami's pet, Noobe, definitely qualifies.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Marlow correctly guesses that Geo is not a Teoran... But she mistakes him for a vampire. Thanks to some quick wit, Gwain plays along with her conclusion to maintain the secret of Geo's identity.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Queen Gwain takes an active role in governing her kingdom - and protecting it from nasty humans. Ami counts as well.
  • Ship Tease: Mainly in regards to Geo:
    • With Ami since the first episode.
    • With Deva since episode 3.
    • A very minor one with Marlow at the end of episode 4.
    • A minor one with Lanney in episode 7.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Twain is more mischievous and light-hearted than her younger sister. She crushes on Geo pretty hard, too.
  • Sudden Video-Game Moment: The series has references to several video games, and very often the presentation or artstyle will shift to that of the video game, often with video game interface/HUD to boot.
  • Summon Everyman Hero: Geo was an everyman, but the differences between Earth and Teora give him superpowers.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Geo licks Gwain across the face, having had enough with her racially-charged threats in episode 5. She doesn't take it well.
  • The Phoenix: Subverted. As opposed to the normal depiction of being fire related, the only Phoenix in the series was instead shown to be some sort of grass/nature theme going on, and spit out some kind of ash or smog.
    • Marlow's wording, however, does allude that there are other types of Phoenixes, including the fire ones.
  • Trapped in Another World: Geo, though he takes it pretty well.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Geo. However, his lack of skill means that he's outmatched against anyone more skilled than he (re: Gwain, Luna, etc.).
  • Unsuspectingly Soused: Ami, having drunk spiked punch during Electra's birthday party. Unfortunately, her intoxication prevents her from contributing much when Luna's squid robot appears.
  • Voice Grunting: Part of the series' charm.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: How Geo beats King Kaditopez in Episode 6. He stands stock still, letting the king unleash hell to no effect until he concedes defeat.
  • Wham Line: To get under his skin, Luna drops a proverbial bombshell on Geo in episode 6:
    Luna: How's my favorite human doing?
  • World of Technicolor Hair: The Kingdom of Gwain is filled with people who have technicolor hair.

"Stupid human!"