Legend of Crystania

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Movie

  • length : Feature
  • release: 1995
  • viewed : 20060214
  • Rating : 4/10

Legend of Crystania is based on the novel of the same name, the sequel to Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight. (Not a direct sequel to Record of Lodoss War.) It tells us what happens to Ashram and Pirotess after they leave Lodoss. (Which is rather confusing, since Crystania came out before Heroic Knight... So, as of the existing material, Ashram and Pirotess are dead... which is why Heroic Knight had to overwright the end of Lodoss to keep them alive, ao more correctly, Heroic Knight is the prequel to this... )

I just have to say, Ashram just can't get a break. He gets killed in the original Lodoss, essentially exiled in Heroic Knight, and now he gets taken over by a dark god and killed in Crystania. Sheesh! However, I guess they had to do something to keep him alive for 300 years when this story is set. (Sure, whatever.) Ashram was one of my favorite characters in Lodoss, his character had a lot more depth and character development than a villain of other fantasy stories. (Of course, that's what the whole Dark Knight mythos tends to lend to a character.)

So why is this rating so low? Well, I had high expectations for it, since the original Lodoss is one of my favorite anime series of all time. (Hey, I came onto it when I was interested in DND stuff.) However, I suppose I should have set my expectations lower after Heroic Knight, but hey. So again, you ask me, why is this one so low? Part of the problem is that the epic story arc you found in Lodoss and Heroic Knight just doesn't come across when it's a single-shot movie. Not necessarily a bad thing, but for a universe that was basically born from a DND campaign, it really shows its weakness in a single-shot.

Secondly, the artwork is light years behind the previous series. I had the feeling I was watching storyboards at a few times and they just forgot to do the final movie. Also, the character designs fell short of Lodoss. The visual redesign of Ashram and Pirotess just left the Lodoss fan crying.

The characters also felt as flat as the artwork. Pirotess had none of the strength of character and depth of the Lodoss stories. Ashram was just a puppet for the most part. (A&P being essentially secondary characters just didn't feel right either.) The main characters were not gripping at all. The little girl was as annoying as .. well, as Gwen in Guild Wars. (I think they used the same model in fact.) Don't get me wrong, I like Gwen. I want to find out what happened to her after the Searing. However, she is a bit annoying saying the same things over and over and dancing over your dead corpse because she apparently didn't bother to pick up a resurection signet even though she stands by the guy who hands them out just for teaming up with someone.

Finally, the music was... well, bland to say the least compared to the Lodoss score.

I would definitely not recommend this one unless you just really want to know what happened to them after Heroic Knight, and even then I'd probably recommend reading the manga over watching this.

--Tometheus 12:19, 14 February 2006 (PST)

OVA

  • length : 3 episodes, ~1 hour apiece
  • release: 1995
  • viewed : 20060218
  • Rating : 5/4

A note on the ratings: My ratings are based on a flexible scale, with 10 being 'really good'. The rating itself is given with a <received>/<expected> scale, so a rating of 5/4 indicates 'I give it a 5, but I expected a 4', meaning it passed expectations, but I wouldn't say it was great. Something that I expect to be really good (10) but truly blows me away can achieve a rating higher than 10.

The OVA isn't a whole lot better than the feature movie, but this time I didn't have a high expectation. The animation for the most part was a bit better than the feature, but there were still times when it was as bad or worse.

Music was still bla.

The story did a better job of captivating me, with a few exceptions below.

OK, so I didn't like the annoying girl in the first one. Well, she's back again. And this time they add two more annoying kids on top of it! I was glad when <X> happened to them and they were effectively gone. And what's the deal with the preteen and teen girl nudity?? For that matter, why does the original annoying girl wear modern clothing (shorts, etc) in this supposedly ancient setting?

Anyways, the story is better, but 3 episodes is still too short to truly get involved in so many characters.

And what's the deal with Pirotess going by the name Sheru except around Ashram?

Poor Ashram. Just when you thought he could die finally, his soul is shuffled off to the Chaos dimension and some meddling interlopers decide to drag him back to reality again.

--Tometheus 19:45, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

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