A great evil is sweeping over the realm; an evil that the young swordsman Roan and his life-long companion, the acolyte Yufa, must face head on! For these two travel toward their destiny, from the highest towers to the depths of the underworld, through forest and desert alike. With an ever-growing cast of fellow heroes, fate will grasp these travelers by their very souls and propel the band of skilled adventurers towards a noble end. Or ignoble, if they don't watch their step!
Monsters are afoot and the way rife with danger and magic, the path forward may be unclear... But where will is strong, there is a way! Lessons wait in the depths of darkness, and good must prevail. The journey starts now!
Fantasy anime is a bit of an odd genre at times. One would think that, with all the great ideas and influences out there, the fantasy genre of anime would be exceptionally strong and, most importantly, original, and would turn out some cracking shows season after season.
Unfortunately this isn't the case, and more often than not the viewer is subjected to episode after episode of mediocrity, genericism, and poor storytelling.
One such example is Ragnarok: The Animation.
Based on the MMORPG, Ragnarok Online, which itself is based on the Korean manwha Ragnarok by Lee Myung-Jin (who also took on the role of chief director for the anime
adaptation), the series follows the exploits of a young band of adventurers as they travel through the world of Rune-Midgard, the same world in which the game takes place.
On the surface the story seems remarkably similar to that of Slayers and several other fantasy anime already available (i.e. save the world from the demon lord), however one's early expectations are rapidly scuppered as the anime gets into it's stride. The plot develops in a rather haphazard manner, partly because there was an effort made to merge the manga with the game and turn it all into a TV series. Unfortunately, the approach taken to mesh everything together into a new shining whole failed miserably, and both the plot and story are, at best, only slightly above par.
One of the other reasons for the lacklustre plot development is purely based on the fact that unlike many other game adaptations, Ragnarok was adapted from a game that essentially has no real story, and the lack of anything coherent meant that the writers had to rely heavily on Lee Myung-Jin's manwha for inspiration. Add to that the fact that Myung-Jin was effectively in charge of the anime (although the series was really directed by Kishi Seiji, of Seto no Hanayome fame), and one has a recipe for confusion at the very least.
In truth, the lack of an in-game storyline should have proven a boon for the anime adaptation, as it would have given the writers a great deal of freedom in an already developed imaginary world, however this was not to be, and the story absolutely reeks of genericism and formula because of the attempt to tie it into the manwha.
In terms of looks and sound, the series isn't bad, however it's also not that great. The characters are designed with the MMORPG in mind, and athough there is some individuality in certain aspects of their design, one must remember that they were made to appeal to fans of the game, rather than to the average anime viewer. In terms of animation the series works fairly well, however while the characters move in a decent manner, there is a certain "woodenness" and repetition to their actions.
The backgrounds and settings are also on the formulaic side, and no real effort has been made to make the world of Rune-Midgard more "real". This also, unfortunately, counts for the sound effects, many of which are reasonably executed but lack any real depth.
The series also drops points for its choice and execution of music, as quite often the atmosphere of a scene is thrown off by the track playing, whilst on other occasion one is subjected to a barrage of sound as speech, music and effects clash to produce a veritable cacophony.
That said, it should be noted that the majority of seiyuu performed reasonably well, but in an effort to further sabotage itself, the series, like many others, resorts to using strange or high pitched voices for its bad guys, especially in scenes that are supposed to be filled with tension and action.
As far as the characters go, Raganrok: The Animation proves once more that genericism isn't the best option when it comes to fantasy anime.The two lead characters, Roan and Yufa, are, at the very least, two of the most annoyingly juvenile leads in fantasy anime. Roan, for example, is a ponce of the first order, whilst Yufa is glibly stupid. The series charts their growth through the course of several "adventures", however their, and the other characters, development is overblown and overly dramatic, so much so in fact, that any growth that occurs is overshadowed by the inane, stupid and downright idiotic events that lead up to it.
In truth, the only character who actually develops in any meaningful way is Maya, and while her story is suitably over dramatic, she is far less annnoying as a character later on in the series because of the changes in her personality (unlike Roan and Yufa).
While I can understand, and even appreciate, the reasoning behind Ragnarok: The Animation, in particular the where and whyfor of the plot and characters, I have to say that this series is way down on the list of what I would recommend with regards to fantasy anime. The series has several major flaws that no amount of plausible deniability can hide, and many of these stem from the fact that the creators didn't treat this adaptation as a completely new tale.
In all honesty, if you want a good fantasy anime, then watch Slayers, Kemono no Souja Erin, Guin Saga, Tears to Tiara (which is also a game adaptation), Seirei no Moribito, or shows of that calibre. Whilst Ragnarok isn't a bad show, it also isn't a shining example of the genre either, and even though it does have it's good points, these only serve to highlight the problems.
Given that the world of Rune-Midgard was already developed to quite a large degree thanks to the manwha and MMORPG, I can only consider this series to be wasted opportunity.
Many people thinks because this anime is base of a game so it naturally suck and that might be true for another one, but this one is really good.
some people watch a little of the beginning and saw that it was not game related and then say is not worth watching. well, i think those people watch the anime because of the game's brand name. this anime got a really good plots that come with a good ending. this story also included some romance in it, which makes it even better.if only the game is more like the anime.
the art was ok since is kinda
hard to make tiny figures into full size monsters
the characters all got a very unique relationship with each other, as the story develop, they begin to find their own feeling
this story is very enjoyable, when i am watching this anime, time seem to fly by.
some people say is not very enjoyable because is totally different from the game, but that because they play the game to much and watch the anime because of it's brand name.
this is a pretty good anime consider is an anime made from a game, but even thought is base of a game, it has a really great plot. also, this is an ANIME, NOT A GAME. a game is restricted by rules to keep it's balance, but how the anime develop is not restricted so dont compare the game to an anime, which is completely 2 different things.
If you are watching this anime because you love the game and expect something very game related, then i suggest you DON"T watch it
However if you are watching this anime because of it's plot and interested in their adventure, then i greatly suggest you watch it.
This review is mainly aimed at those who have played the game Ragnarok Online, and are tempted to watch this anime as an additional bonus. All I can say... It was an extremely disappointing and generic fanservice based fantasy show.
You would think that with the game, there would be countless of possabilities in making the anime good based on the potential surrondings. But instead we get given two extremely annoying characters that don't seem to have a clue about what they're doing and where they are going. The romance in this is extremely forced, in fact, it was more focused on perversing on the female
characters than developing the romance.
For those who believe there can be no real decent story adaptation from a game. The reason I claim this is wrong, is due to the countless amount of fanfiction and fan-comics that have developed over the years on the internet. Most of them have better plot lines than the one presented in this.
Save your time if you are wanting to watch a decent anime. Otherwise, watch it if you're curious about how bad, or how unfairly I've rated it.
First of all, maybe it sounds weird but I think you can enjoy the animation more if you have never played the Ragnarok game like me, or just leave the fact that this is an adaption from a game away. I read some of the reviews from frustrated game players complaining that the animation isn't quiet the same as game, they certainly have reasons to do so but as someone who never have the opportunity to play it, I find it enjoyable with well-designed background and proper(kinda) story line.
The story about Ragnarok is like any other fantasy animation. Young hero travels all over the world,
getting some strong friends and finally kills the boss to save the day, those things never change since Lodoss-tou senki. As for this animation, the first half is funny with bright color and small jokes everywhere, however, stories suddenly become extremely heavy at the beginning of #17 and just keep dark till the end. The change of the atmosphere can be too sudden but it does have many good episodes. Episode 19 is the best IMO, really touching.
Not much to complain, although it seems not impressive now, it was quiet good at that time, some characters like Maya and Judia can still make a shoot now.
Good, I watched Japanese version so I don't know about the American voice actors' performance, and as far as I can see, the Japanese seiyuus did their job quiet well, also the soundtrack is solid and close to the situation.
Mediocre, there are characters that I love like Maya, Judia or Takius, but I have to admit I never like Yufa or Roan, and this part is where they fail and(I guess) where most fans criticized. Roan is a young, naive and sometimes childish swordsman and all of a sudden he becomes a responsible leader and a caring person who would devoted himself to helping others, this sharp change is rough in the animation. As for Yufa, well I have to say she is one of the least likable heroine I have ever seen throughout all these years of animation. Meanwhile, they do have other characters like Maya and Takius whose stories are well-organized and interesting to watch.
It is a good animation by my standard, and I think if you are a fan of fantasy animation and not care too much about the original game, it is certainly a enjoyment deserved 10 hours of your life to watch.
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