So, simple opinion here. Irelia is my favorite champ even though she used to be completely generic and forgettable pre-rework (at least aesthetically, outside her Order of the Lotus skin, whose splash actually *didn't* change much), and then, well, Jessica Oyhenart on her classic splash came along, along with Jana Schirmer on her new aviator splash and, welp, one of the best glow-ups in video game/splash art history, ever. Now despite the fact that Riot is godawful at balance and left Irelia in a horrid state for solo queue play (and also basically clinging by a thread in pro play relevance), when it comes to her aesthetics, the team did an absolutely phenomenal job.
So, of course, it was unsettling for me to see how the Awaken animation just completely ruined Irelia's face by throwing out her wide, expressive eyes, and instead replacing them with these eyes that just looked far too narrow to be Irelia's, and that were also spaced too far apart that made her look really, **really** awkward (to put it kindly). And it isn't like "stereotypical" Asian eyes are bad--they work extremely well on Yasuo and Akali in the video (or in general), and it'd probably look equally as awkward if Yasuo suddenly got extremely wide, expressive eyes like Irelia has.
But in the Phoenix video, Irelia has her eyes from her splash art (or much, much closer to them anyway), and looks far more like the Irelia we're all accustomed to from her splash arts and in-game models, with her more expressive eyes. Not to mention that her hair also had the additional volume that we're accustomed to in game. And at the end of the day, it was a real pleasure watching this more accurate Irelia dance around and, well, conquer her demons (at least for now). Also, a slight aside, considering it's Ionia we're talking about, maybe she and Karma might *literally* manifest their dark sides down the road and have to fight them Phoenix style? That'd be awesome if it were canon =P. So yeah, I really, **really** liked this more accurate-to-the-game-and-splash Irelia in Phoenix much, MUCH more than the Awaken one.
So here's to hoping when she gets another cinematic, that she looks like the Irelia we all know and love that's the one we're used to everywhere outside that blasted Awaken CG.
(Oh, and I hope Awaken also becomes non-canon, because that means Riven gets ripped away from her loving family. And that's awful.)