English: Legend of Lemnear
Japanese: Legend of Lemnear 極黒の翼 バルキサス
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 25, 1989
45 min. per episode
R+ - Mild Nudity
L represents licensing company
Score: 5.731 (scored by 1174 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
SynopsisThe young and beautiful Lemnear's home village is destroyed and her brother is taken away. Lemnear swears to kill the evil wizard Gardin who is responsible for the disaster. With her allies Lemnear goes on a journey to take her revenge. She doesn't know, though, that there is someone above Gardin...
Related AnimeAdaptation: Legend of Lemnear
Characters & Voice Actors
For most of us in the western world the Legend of Lemnear first appeared as yet another 1990s pulp produced OVA however it was actually from the mid-1980s with the delay simply being the product of waiting for a decent localisation to reach our shores in the days before fan-subbing and the internet made almost all releases available in a matter of days after they were released in their native language. The Legend of Lemnear certainly holds its own appeal despite the era it comes from being associated with large numbers of dubious quality OVAs arriving due to it having a rather dark tone and a strong female protagonist who has ties to another female character featured in the far better known animation Heavy Metal. That is not to say however that this is a classic that has flown under the radar for most.
The story starts off appearing to be a fairly basic revenge story with a warrior seeking out the people who were responsible for the murder of her family in a high fantasy setting with plenty of swords and magic on display from the get go with the opening scenes definitely paying more than a passing resemblance to the opening episode of Berserk. From there the story develops into a matter of prophesies and a set heroes of legend in a rather clichéd manner which has been done before and better. What set this apart from the myriad of other OVAs of this period are its slightly darker undertones than most OVAs of this era; an early antagonist being a slave trader for example, its avoidance of over the top violence which was such a staple of this era and the aforementioned female protagonist. However sadly what could have been a very refreshingly different OVA falls rather rapidly into many of the tropes which gave this era of OVA such a bad reputation. Despite its relatively short running time at just under 45 minutes there is a decent slab of fairly pointless nudity crowbarred in and even an attempted rape which serves no real point in the story beyond establishing that these people are the bad guys in the crudest manner possible. It also suffers a complete lack of character development and all but the simplest plot exposition but due to its relatively short running time the paper thin plot does not feel like it out stay its welcome or is particularly harmed by its lack of meaningful development.
The artwork has not aged well compared to things such as Black Lion which I reviewed recently but it is not terrible and looks far more like a western cartoon from this era than an OVA which may be a plus for those who are put off by the stereotypical view of this period of anime release. It does make the world feel rather gritty and oppressed which is the ultimate aesthetic that is attempting to be conveyed and it has to be said that the character detail is quite solid throughout. The soundtrack is actually pretty good considering the time period Lemnear comes from with a decent if a little tacky synth, electric guitar and drum machine beat running through out keeping the action moving without ever feeling intrusive. I wouldn’t say that either the art or the soundtrack are particular selling points but they are of a standard which doesn’t either impede on the viewing experience or make the OVA feel like the straight to video release it actually is. Sadly the same cannot be said of the English dub which is, as to be expected of this era, utterly terrible. Thankfully you can get it in a subbed version these days which definitely would be the recommend way to watch the Legend of Lemnear unless you want the true 90s OVA experience for some reason.
In summary the Legend of Lemnear isn’t a quite lost gem from the 1990s / 1980s but with its short running time the throwaway plot can be overlooked and someone wanting a definitely watchable high fantasy adventure which rather pleasingly doesn’t suffer from terrible animation or sound quality should consider getting hold of a copy. However for those out there who are not prepared to forgive an OVA such as this for its 1980s quirks then avoid it like the plague as you’ll just find yourself getting ever more irritated with the whole thing.
Notable works of Urushihara Satoshi with the same art stylization. The genres do differ as well as the stories in their own ways, but the character designs are similar.
If you were wondering why Legend of Lemnear was such a piece of crap even though it has a top notch character designs by Satoshi Urushihara and wanted a better anime with the same look then you should watch Plastic Little. It's has better animation, more lovely women, more T&A, and a mediocre but passable story. And yes a mediocre story is a huge leap up from horrible travesty that is Legend of Lemnear.
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