Friday, October 5, 2001

Legend of Crystania

Genre: Romance / Adventure
Parental Guidance Recommended
1996 Mizuno Ryo & Group SNE / Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co., Ltd. - Marubeni Corporation - Victor Entertainment, Inc. - Television Tokyo Channel 12, Ltd.

All Legend of Crystania Items (limited availability)
Cover Description:
From the pen of Ryo Mizuno, comes an all new adventure set in the aftermath of the Lodoss Wars! When the fleet carrying the exiled Ashram, Pirotesse and their followers runs aground on the accurse shores of the Beast Island of Crystania, Ashram is possessed by the Dark God, Barbas! Pirotesse escapes, but it is three hundred years before she can find a group of adventurers daring enough to enter the land of the were-beasts! Only when a new group of humans arrives in Crystania does Pirotesse find her champions. Now, a new quest is born: to recover the lost 'Fangs of the Beast' and banish the dark god back to the oblivion from which he came!

Try not to think of Lodoss... >>> by skysenshi

It's easily understandable how many people have compared this title with Record of Lodoss War. After all, they were from the pen of the same creator, and their setting is inside one genre: fantasy. To be more specific, fantasy anime that role playing gamers can relate to. However, the many similarities that both titles have seem to be superficial once you look closely at them. Comparing them somehow begins to sound like a gamer is comparing Final Fantasy to Lunar: The Silver Star Story. The atmosphere just isn't the same. Sure there are warring gods...and magic...and sword fights...but aren't just about every RPG set in the medieval time have all these elements?

The art itself sparks the difference. It already screams modernism in a world of magic and surrealism. I like the art -- in a non-conventional way. It's not your typical fantasy flick where most characters, no matter how hard their lives might be, are softly drawn and almost dreamy. The lines here are characterized by sharpness, even in the curves of the eyes and the chin. It almost gives you that Batman Beyond feel to it. It actually took me a while to get used to this kind of work. When I did, I found it to be extremely unique, especially as the sharp lines are in stark contrast with the backgrounds that look to be hand-painted.

The character design here falls just a tad short of my expectations. There isn't one person here who has that oomph that could bring zest into an otherwise dreary situation, except perhaps for the villain. It's a bit saddening because many of the characters have a lot of potential. At least they don't skimp on the action, nor do they irritate you with scenes that jump back and forth, which is something that's very important for me.

The story is pretty straightforward, which is also okay by me, since I wasn't expecting too many twists anyway. The conceptualization is excellent though, coupled with an excellent set of background music. The idea of Animal Gods, reincarnation, and nature empowerment is something that actually appeals to my set of beliefs.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 8; Story 7; Characters 7; Sounds 9

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