Mania Grade: B
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- Audio Rating: A-
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 85
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Legend of Crystania
Legend of Crystania
By Chris Beveridge
February 08, 2000
Release Date: February 08, 2000
Legend of Crystania
What They Say
© ADV Films
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 accursed 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!The Review!
The Legend of Crystania, the theatrical movie, is presented in what appears to be it's original 1.33:1 framing. It looks as if it was originally intended this way, as scene compositions seemed to be set for it and there looked to be useful information in the top and bottom areas that would have otherwise been cut off. The video presentation is very clear and with hardly any line noise at all. Similar to Slayers: The Motion Picture, Crystania is rich with many dark colors and blacks. This is a very good video presentation.
The audio on the disc is a basic stereo mix though there are a few throws to the rear speakers during some of the more action packed sequences. Dialogue for both languages is clean and clear with no distortion. The front soundstage is used fairly well but the majority of dialogue is through the center channel.
My only gripe with the packaging is with the cover image. While it's not uncommon to use different styles of art, the characters drawn on the cover don't represent the style of character designs used within the show itself. The back cover does give a better image of this, but you can add to the fact that almost all of the characters pictured on the front cover don't wear the outfits they're drawn in on the disc at all. The back cover gives the generous amount of information that most ADV titles have produced to date, though as others have pointed out their trailer count is too high by one, but that's negligible in the end.
The menus are quite nice. The opening image of the priestess with the flowing clouds behind her looks wonderful and is definitely a great main menu picture. The menu selections are accessed quickly and accurately.
The only thing missing from the disc, and is a known error that's being corrected with other discs (since this title has been long in production, changes are locked out, shall we say) , is the lack of Japanese voice actor credits. The end credits sequence is the English language version that lists those actors and then the creative teams behind the show itself and then the English production team. Thankfully this oversight is being corrected for other releases and shouldn't be an issue any more.
As for the show itself? There are a couple of really vocal camps who despise what the show is and how it looks. Since it is a side story/continuation piece to the Record of Lodoss War novels, it has little to no bearing on the OVA series from earlier in the 90's or the more recent TV series. The only characters that will be familiar to fans of those shows is Ashram and Pirotesse, though they're quite different than how they were before.
And with the large number of fans of both characters, you can imagine their dislike of how things are written and drawn here. The character designs are very different from the OVA series with both characters retaining little of their original look. A close idea, for those who've followed American comics, is that the animation style looks like a mix of Mike Mignola and anime. We found the designs to be different and while not among our favorites, not something we hated. And keeping in mind that it's unrelated to the OVA's, just sat down to enjoy what it was presented as.
With the young prince heading off to avenge his parents, Redon and his comrades end up crossing over to the land of Crystania, a place where many Gods ran and hid from during the time of war among each other. This gives it a similar impression to the Lodoss island itself in its being cut off from the rest of the world. The twist with this version is the human inhabitants take on transformation traits of the various gods that they live under.
For the most part, this is a basic formula fantasy movie, which gives you enough reason to know why many fantasy shows don't get brought over. There's little original or surprising in the plot itself and it follows most of the standard fantasy ideas. With the lack of fantasy titles beyond Lodoss and Slayers, fans of the genre will likely take a try at anything that comes out. This title won't disappoint for most, but the Lodoss die hards have long made their opinion known on it. I won't mind seeing the OVA's someday, but there are a lot more titles that ADV has that should be in the queue first.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Spanish Subtitles,Slideshow,Character Bios
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.