Legend of Crystania: The Motion Picture

The Legend of Crystania is a spin-off of Record of Lodoss War. After finding this out, I quickly sought out this title. Only two Lodoss characters, Ashram and Pirotess, actually show up in this movie, and everything else is brand new. Following the events that occurred in Record of Lodoss War, Ashram and Pirotess find themselves stranded with a fleet of ships at sea. Encountering a strange island, a mysterious voice offers Ashram salvation on the island. 300 years later, people have prospered on the island, but part of the island is guarded by a huge stone cliff known as "the God's Wall". A young man, Redon, is forced to flee his home following his parents murder. Redon and his companions travel through the God's Wall and into the mysterious and dangerous land of Crystania. The first thing that hit me when I starting watching were the awful visuals. The colors were rather washed-out and dull, and the art was rather plain-looking. There were the occasional moments where it looked good, but most of the times it was pretty poor by anime standards. The characters were rather nondescript and uninteresting. The lousy art ruined the appearance of Ashram and Pirotess. In Lodoss War, they were the two sharpest looking villains next to Karla. Here they look comical in comparison and not at all as menacing as they used to be. Redon bears resemblance to Parn, another Lodoss character, in both design and physical appearance. The rest of the cast is very dull and boring. Crystania suffers from the "too many characters with no depth" flaw. A lot of characters seem thrown in for no real reason, and when some of them die, there is no remorse because you weren't attached to them. The voice acting ranged in quality. Some was decent, but a lot was pretty poor, particularly in the case of Pirotess. And as for the story, let's just say this is where Crystania really falls apart. The whole mess begins with Redon's parents being murdered in some plot to overthrow the nobility. This is where the irritating inconsistencies start occurring. Redon's mother dies by a single arrow, yet his father takes about twenty (all in the back, too) and somehow survives for about a minute. All the early events end up being forgotten about ten minutes later. I *thought* I knew where this way going, but evidently I was wrong. It takes until about halfway into the movie before the real story is revealed, involving Pirotess trying to free Ashram from the evil god Barbas. More inconsistencies continually show up. Redon reveals early on that his father never let him hold a real sword. Yet somehow he is perfectly adept at taking on trained soldiers. Redon's horse seems to be part mountain goat as it demonstrates an uncanny ability to descend near-vertical cliffs. It must lack the ability to perceive depths, though, for it proceeds to leap off a cliff and plunge over a hundred feet to its death. I'm not sure why it didn't splatter on impact, nor how its two riders remained unharmed. I'm also still wondering how Redon knew his friends had been kidnapped when he was trapped underground. And why were the only floors to collapse the ones with people on them? As you can probably guess, this whole movie reeked of sloppiness. The only thing this anime had going for it were a couple of half-decent battle scenes. Mind you, it could have simply been the exciting music which led me to feel this way. Some of the music was pretty good, but at other times it wasn't really noticeable. I'm bewildered how The Legend of Crystania could have anything in common with Record of Lodoss War. If you're a Lodoss fan, don't be fooled into thinking this shares the same legacy of excellence. The Legend of Crystania is a complete waste of time and money. The Verdict: * 1/2 (very poor)

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