Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- 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 Scott Call
February 14, 2002
Release Date: February 08, 2000
Presented in clean, sharp full-frame video with either English or Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 sound with optional English or Spanish subtitles. The story is, as I understand, the sequel to the Lodoss Wars books rather than the Lodoss Wars anime. It starts with King Ashram and Pirotas (Sorry ADV, I like that spelling better :) leading their people to a new land. The people are starving and near death, so Ashram gives his body to Barbas in exchange for safety for his people.
300 Years Later, Redon, a prince, and his companions are drawn into Crystania by Barbas, promising Redon power to avenge his parent's murder. Redon and his crew end up confronting Barbas instead....
I enjoyed this film, although it lacked the character development allowed the band of warriors in Lodoss, mostly because it's 1:15 running time. The world and myth of Crystania seem to have the potential to provide as rich an environment as Lodoss, so the OVA's, which I have not seen, might delve into it a bit more than the movie.
The movie follows a very standard fantasy plot, Young, headstrong prince losses parents, seeks revenge. The characters, while good in the story, are also fairly standard stereotypes. The Mage who helps calm the prince, the powerful priestess, the humble servant, and the really large fellow with a big sword and a cute, small sidekick with nominal magic powers.
The animation is good, with a more modern look than Lodoss Wars, the character designs hint at some of our favs from Lodoss, with Redon being a close match for Parn, and Pirotas looking more like Deedlit and Pirotas of Lodoss fame.
The film is presented 1.33:1 full-frame. I do not know if it was made full frame or was pan-and-scanned for video. The sound is clear, at least on the Japanese track. The subtitles are yellow with thin black borders. not the best I've seen, but still very readable. The packaging proclaims both DVD-Video and DVD-Rom content, but the DVD-Rom content seems to consist only of a link to the ADV webpage.
The "extras" include two Crystania trailers (one for the movie, the other for the OVAs), a slide show, and a set of Character bios. This disk did not exhibit any of the past ADV flaws, although it still lacked Japanese voice credits. The packaging claims 15 trailers, but I could only find 14 (12 on the previews screen, 2 on the extra-features screen)
Overall, while this film was well-presented, it was not as engaging as Lodoss Wars. It just was a little too shallow for me.
Scores (out of 5)
Video: 4/5 (3/5 if it's a pan-n-scan)
Audio: 4/5 (2.0 only but nice and clean)
Extras: 4/5 (Actual show-related extras)