Gude Crest: The Emblem of Gude box cover

Info

Available on VHS from A.D. Vision.
OAV
50 minutes
Fantasy
Version I Watched: Subtitled in English
Objectionable Content: Violence

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Gude Crest: The Emblem of Gude

Always on the look out for new fantasy anime to watch, I ended up renting this on a whim, thinking, "This looks like it could be decent". Well, it wasn't. All I can say is I'm glad I didn't buy it.

Visually, Gude Crest isn't anything special. The backgrounds are all nicely painted, something common to most anime. The animation wasn't so good, though. Sometimes it was downright jerky in appearance. If I was going to animate someone's head turning around I think I'd use more than three frames of animation.

The main problem with Gude Crest is the pacing. When I first started watching, I felt like I had jumped into a movie half-way through. The story begins with Efera and Jiliora, two free-wheeling adventurers, who accidentally wind up on slave ship. During their escape they come into the possession of a strange jewel, the Gude Crest. They then attempt to return the jewel and end up in a very typical "save the princess" plot line. The pace is quite quick, with little time for explanations of what is going on. And even worse is the atrocious ending. The final dispatching of the main villain was very anti-climatic and a big disappointment.

since it's so rushed, there isn't much time for proper character development. Efera and Jiliora are about the only two characters with any depth to them. We get to see a couple flashbacks giving insights into their relationship and also get to hear a lot of banter between the two. It's too bad they didn't have a decent supporting cast. Everyone else, including the villains, were very shallow and uninspired.

It's a shame this anime turned out so poorly. Had it been longer, with a more complex plot and detailed characters, then it could have been a winner. If you're looking for a good fantasy anime then go watch The Vision of Escaflowne or Record of Lodoss War instead. Gude Crest isn't worth the time or money.

The Verdict: * * (poor)