Green Legend Ran (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, February 16, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, March 31, 1998
On another world aliens have taken control of all the water and vegetation after the humans have nearly destroyed the environment. These aliens, known as the Rodoists ration out the water to the people. A group called the Hazard has started to attack the Rodoists in an attempt to wrest the control of water away from them. When young Ran joins their ranks he meets the silver-haired Aira, who seems to hold a mysterious link between Rodoists and an entity known as the green mother. When she is spirited away by the Hazard leader Ran begins his search for her and in the process discovers many of the dangerous secrets of his world. The search sends him to the very heart of the Rodoists capitol and to the very heart of the green mother itself.
Acting: Japanese: 4
I bought this film on a whim and after I had read Chris' review and talked with my sister who caught most of it on the Sci-fi Channel last year. I was not disappointed. The animation is a little stylized and not quite what I prefer, but in a lot of ways it reflected the story. This film has a lot of warm, dry colors. When you see water or any blue at all it is usually in stark contrast to the rest of the world. This adds to the bleakness of the film. So I realize that the style was there for a reason. This is not a flashy anime, but more earthy and it is highly effective in that aspect. The sound fit the film is all ways. I especially like the way things sounded in the illusion scenes. Very dream-like. This movie has a very familiar plot. A young man on a desert world seeks adventure from his boring old life at home. He is soon catapulted into a dangerous world of terrorists, rogues and militaristic government. Sounds a little like Star Wars, and it is in a way. But Green Legend Ran does throw in a few curveballs. Aira's connections to the Green Mother and dangerous plots of the Hazard make things interesting. All in all I found the story entertaining. (of course I am a huge Star Wars fan :-) The acting was good on all counts; both the English and Japanese cast did an admirable job. Again nothing too flashy, but it worked with the film. The music was also sparse and added to the film. I would recommend this anime to anyone looking for a good story and a different twist in their typical anime of choice.
Now on to the disc. The sound was pretty good, although I have one slight cut out in one scene. The picture looked great. I was able to see many of the subtle nuances of the backgrounds in many scenes, nice clear picture. As you know by now, there is no menu on this disc. There are chapter stops but no menu to speak of. Now, this film is two hours and twenty minutes, and you may not be able to see it all in one viewing, so a menu would have been helpful. This is also a duel-layered disc so I don't understand the lack of a menu. Oh well. The presentation of this disc is pretty bad. First of all the cover art is horrible. It doesn't tell you a thing about the film and it doesn't get your attention. The disc is in a jewel case, which I don't like. Yes, I too prefer the keepcase. The cover in the jewel-case does contain the chapter stops so that's good. The art on the DVD itself is kinda bland as well. I know Pioneer can do better than this. Seems like they were also skimping on the goodies here as well. We have a very short interview with the director and a music video (basically the end credit scene without the end credits). Come on! I'm sure there was plenty of interesting stuff to put on this disc. This world looked very well thought out and planned. I would have loved to see some concept drawings or storyboards. And where are the trailers? Jeez. In short, this disc is not for everyone. If you're looking for fun and flashy, you won't find it here. But if you're looking for thoughtful and serious anime this is a great disc.
Mania Grade: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: All
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 140
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Green Legend