Animated Adaptation of the Spanish comic book trilogy of the same name, based on an original idea by famed Spanish YouTuber Rubén Doblas "ElRubius", with Lolita Aldea, the cartoonist behind the original comic, on board as one of the character designers.
The series follows Rubius (a fictionalized version of ElRubius voiced by himself) after he receives a pair of state-of-the-art virtual reality glasses, the ORV, that transport him into the Game Worlds. He will soon find out that it's a trap: himself and 99 other players are trapped in the Game Worlds as part of an Evil Plan hatched by the mysterious Trollmask, who is obsessed with Rubius and has lured him into the game to defeat and humiliate him. To foil Trollmask's plans, Rubius soon enough recruits a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, including his virtual cat assistant G4T0, Zombirella and Slimmer, and Sacred Huntress Sakura, who is kidnapped by Trollmask's henchmen early on.
The first six episodes of season 1 were released on October 12, 2018 on Movistar+'s on demand service; the remaining six were released weekly between November 23 and December 28, 2018.
Tropes seen on this series:
- Action Girl: Sakura is a skilled archer and an overall dangerous warrior. Trollmask also has two Dark Action Girls among his allies in Demonika and Silueta.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Zombirella is a Fangirl of Rubius and has a major unrequited crush on him... and in turn, Rubius has a major unrequited crush of his own on Sakura.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Slimmer reveals on the fourth episode that he was often laughed at in the AI school because he had no face.
- Animesque: Much like the original comic, the series displays notable anime/manga influences in style and plot.
- As Himself: YouTube stars ElRubius and Mangel Rogel voice fictionalized versions of themselves. In fact, the former is the main character.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: The impeccably-dressed Slimmer can be a serious threat when things get ugly for him and his friends. More on that on Beware the Nice Ones.
- Bad with the Bone: The wood sword with which Rubius starts the game turns into a bone cane after entering Fear World, and he puts it to good use when finding himself in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse-like scenario.
- Berserk Button: The prospect of being paired with an 'asshole player' really makes G4T0 tick.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Slimmer is a polite, refined, blank gentleman. But his screams can literally turn an enemy into stone if he gets mad.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
We haven't even completed five episodes and the system has already frozen twice!
- During the first episode, when Sakura explains to Rubius that Trollmask trapped them in the Game Worlds, he shouts "What kind of cliched anime plot is this!?" and screams for help looking directly at the camera.
- This quote from Trollmask (incidentally, during the fifth episode):
- Rubius tells Zombirella that he's not letting her do the opening prologue again after she makes up parts of the story.
- Butt-Monkey: A Running Gag for Mangel is that some other character will beat him down when he enters the Game Worlds by way of connecting his computer to the ORV glasses... which in turn causes the computer to break down.
- Character Blog: A variation. The show's official Twitter feed is said to be run by G4T0.
- The Chosen Zero: Sakura's first impression of Rubius. She has been told to protect him because he's the player who could free them from the game, but when she meets him, he's getting his ass handed to him by Armadurón and Sakura finds him too incompetent to actually be any help. Of course he'll end up taking a level in badass later on.
- Cute Monster Girl: Zombirella is your average cute zombie girl.
- The Dragon: Demonika is presented as the second-in-command to Trollmask.
- Dramatic Thunder: At one point, Trollmasks requests Guruf to play this effect to go along with his Evil Laugh.
- Enemy Mine: When Ust turns out to be too powerful for Trollmask to control, the villain ends up reluctantly teaming up with Rubius to find a way to stop him.
- Evil Counterpart: Guruf to G4T0, as they both are cat assistants, the former for the villainous Trollmask, the latter for the heroic Rubius.
- Evil Doppelgänger: Ust is a clone of Rubius created by Trollmask. In the second half of the season, it runs amok and ends up becoming a much bigger threat to the Game Worlds than Trollmask ever was.
- Expository Theme Tune: The lyrics of the opening, "El Libro de las Sombras" by Spanish metal band Mägo de Oz, are thematically related to escapism and virtual reality, both things being quite present in the series in a meta way.
- Gag Penis: Rubius builds one in the Mine World to crush an enemy tank with it. Unfortunately, it then gets out of control and starts destroying the rest of the world.
- Gratuitous English: Rubius occasionally drops expressions in English like "Holy shit!".
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Trollmask seems hell-bent on turning Rubius into this, first delivering a "The Reason You Suck" Speech against him with the entire population of the Game Worlds watching, then letting an Evil Doppelgänger of him run amok all over the place in the second half of the season.
- How We Got Here: In some episodes, the opening prologue presents Rubius and the crew already in the middle of the action, then, after the opening credits, we get to know how they got to that point.
- Joke Item: Rubius's first weapon after entering the Game Worlds is... a wood sword. Thankfully, as G4T0 explains later, the weapon adapts to his level and the setting, so it gets upgraded to a bone cane upon entering Fear World.
- Last of His Kind: Sakura is introduced as the last of the Sacred Huntresses.
- Love at First Sight: Rubius falls hard for Sakura pretty much the second he sees her.
- Missing Steps Plan: Trollmask's plan consists in luring 100 players into the Game Worlds, then defeating and humiliating Rubius. But when Demonika and Guruf ask him how he plans to carry out the second part, not even he seems to know it exactly.
- New Rules as the Plot Demands: The rules for raising levels in the Game Worlds are different in each world. Some of them are downright absurd; for instance, in Mine World, Rubius manages to raise his level by peeing.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Zombirella seems to be an actually sentient zombie. A possible justification is that, being introduced as a Fangirl of Rubius's, she's likely a player avatar rather than an AI from the game.
- Percussive Maintenance: When his surveillance system crashes, Trollmask tries to restore it by repeatedly punching the controls.
- Pokémon Speak: Ust, Rubius' Evil Doppelgänger, can only speak by saying "Ust!".
- Potty Emergency: A Running Gag for Rubius during the third episode is being interrupted every time he has to go to the toilet.
- Properly Paranoid: Mangel is suspicious of the ORV glasses after Rubius receives them, because he's the resident tech geek and hadn't even heard of them being in development. His warnings, which Rubius dismisses as mere jealousy, are proven right when Rubius finds out he's stuck in the game.
- Second Episode Introduction: Zombirella and Slimmer are both introduced during Rubius' visit to Fear World in episode 2.
- Shout-Out: The series's plot is almost an Affectionate Parody of Sword Art Online, while Trollmask resembles Kagetane Hiruko from Black Bullet and Slimmer is essentially a parodic, sharp-dressed version of The Slender Man. Also, the Mine World setting is pretty much a spoof of Minecraft.
- Something Completely Different: The prologue of the sixth episode features an apparent Show Within a Show called Virtual Hero Death Match, featuring Sakura and recurring villain Armadurón being interviewed before fighting in a boxing ring. After Sakura easily beats Armadurón, she decides to put an end to the nonsense and demands a cut to the title credits. From there, the regular story resumes.
- Spot of Tea:
- The Starscream: Demonika almost turns into this in the second quarter of the first season. She tries to turn off Trollmask's electric relay (which is what's keeping the players locked in the Game Worlds and giving them electric shocks when they try to take off the ORV glasses) so that she can leave the game momentarily to recover from a headache, but turns out Trollmask protected it with a force field. After this, in the sixth episode, Trollmask locks her away out of fear she'll betray him again.
- Survival Horror: The whole point of Fear World.
- Trapped in TV Land: Rubius and 99 other players are stuck in the Game Worlds courtesy of Trollmask.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: Trollmask plans to keep the players locked in the Game Worlds for six real-life hours, which inside the game will feel like six months.