The planet Libertia was once known as “the planet of death”, until humanity built three giant mirrors and created what seemed like an ideal land. It is on this planet that Professor Grace and his granddaughter Alcia live peacefully… until their home is attacked by Guild soldiers looking for the professor and for Legaciam – a special Armor that can resist extreme heat, allowing it to go to areas where humans would not survive normally. Alcia, who was at the time piloting Legaciam in order to help her grandfather with the testing, manages to get away… barely. But the Guild is determined to get Legaciam by any means necessary…
If Legaciam has only a fair story, poor sound and average characters, how come I give it a 7 overall?
Because it's fun but flawed. The plot is very slight and the cliffhanger end, were it to be resolved, would instantly push it up a few notches.
Taken on its own, it's one of many mecha OVAs produced around the same time, with an odd mix of serious attempts at a plot and light comedy of the sort Madox-01 uses. The mechanical designs are reminiscent of Dunbine, or the much later Brain Powered, and the combat sequences are, while formulaic, still exciting due to some interesting choreography.
however, you bear all this in mind, Legaciam becomes a quite enjoyable one-off OVA. The futuristic society the creators designed is interesting, mixing Miyazaki-esque fantasy with a pulp-y sci-fi city which could be straight out of Mass Effect. This mix of styles works in the same way Turn-A Gundam's retro-future stuff did - it alienates the viewer. (Legaciam's character and costume designs also reminded me of Turn-A's Moonrace.)
Ultimately, though, it is wasted potential. The setting that has been created is interesting, the mech designs are good but ultimately underused and the plot, unfinished as it is, is too slight to stand alone.
A kinda fun 80s mech anime OVA. Style over substance, but only sorta.
The story, as you can tell from the synopsis of the plot, takes place on a fairly interesting world where radiation from the sun is a constant threat, giving the whole movie a bit of a Mad Max vibe.
As the plot continues we learn more and more about the world, along with backstories of quite a few character. By the end I found myself actually caring about a few of them and, though most remain fairly one dimensional (the main brother and sister in particular have nothing interesting going for them) some
have surprising depth that I didn't expect.
I was quite surprised to find myself actually interested in the concept of the mysterious "tower" as the movie went on. In fact, by the end of the movie I actually found myself rather frustrated by the cliffhanger.
The art style is very of it's era. Going into this no one should expect stunning visuals or jaw dropping vistas, but for what it is it's presented quite well, easily on par with shows like Macross and Gundam.
The mechs themselves (whilst few in number) are quite well designed. The main mech, the Legaciam, in particular had a really cool designed that looked like a combination of Onslaught (the Marvel villain) and Shredder from the Ninja Turtles (but, obviously, as a mech).
As for sound there was nothing that particularly stood out to me, though there were one or two songs (the credits song being a great example) that absolutely nailed the 80s feel, with synth-driven pop numbers with occasional wailing guitars. That may not be to everyone's taste but I personally loved it.
Side Note: There's also one scene there the first few bars of the instrumental track playing sounds like the start of Anakin's theme from Star Wars. It has no relation, of course, but I thought it was funny.
As stated in the Story section, the characters within Relic Armor Legaciam are certainly not going to be on anyone's list for Top Ten Mech Anime Heroes, but they certainly become fleshed out enough for the audience to care about at least three of them. The pilot of the Legaciam, Alicia, was quite an interesting character. While the whole "mentally unstable mech pilot" trope isn't exactly new, it still added a nice addition to making Alicia more than just a boring teenage mech pilot.
The overall feel of the movie is one of slight tension. The threat of the sun's radiation always feels like it's present throughout, whilst not taking too much attention that the threat seems obvious. The same can be said of the Tower. Whilst mentioned throughout the movie it does genuinely take on an air of mystery, with only snippets seen or heard here and there.
Overall the movie does a fairly good job of having a plot and world that feel fairly well developed, especially given the OVA's 50 minute run time.
This is where the movie shines for me. It's certainly not perfect, and there are one or two scenes that seem either unnecessary or just there to pad a little, but overall it's a fun OVA that moves pretty fast. Your enjoyment will obviously depends on how much you enjoy a). anime from the 80s and b). mech related things, but even if neither of those are your thing you may still find enjoyment in this OVA.
Overall I'm gonna give Relic Armor Legaciam a 7.
I certainly recommend it to fans of 80s anime and those looking for a maybe more obscure mech anime to watch. At only 50 minutes there really is no reason not to at least give it a watch for the first 10 minutes if anything I've mentioned in this review interests you.
It's definitely not perfect, and it's unlikely to ever be remembered as a classic, but if you just wanna see a bunch of cool mechs fight and experience a story that can surprise you with subtlety at points, then this is the OVA you're looking for.