Ashram, desperate to find a home for his people, is tricked into selling his soul. 300 years later, Pirotesse's devotion to her king remains unshaken. In the sacred world of Crystania, amidst a civil war waged by shape-changing warriors, she searches for her beloved Ashram. She meets Redon, a young prince obsessed with avenging his murdered parents. Together, they confront Ashram's captor -- the bloodthirsty Barbas, who aspires to rule Crystania as "The God's King".
May include minor spoilers. Alright, since there's no review here, I decided to write one and try and keep it short. Try. Legend of Crystania is a rather average movie overall, but even with all it's flaws I still managed to enjoy it, because I went into it expecting it to be almost exactly as it is: average.
Flaws - First and foremost, LoC suffers greatly from it's short length; there's dozens of loose ends and plot-holes and just general shortcuts/skip. Someone is locked in a room and can't bust out? Next scene they're rejoining the main group with no real explanation as to how they
got out. And that's not nearly the worst of it; the anime is incomplete, possibly needing the OVAs eps for conclusion, though I've yet to see them, so I can't tell for sure (judging by the description of the OVA, I'd put my money on them not completing this story)
The characters are very bland, mostly due to the length so none of them really have any depth or backstory, with only a few exceptions with the minor characters that I personally wished would have had more time because they were somewhat interesting.
I'm really not one to care about art, but I've met enough anime fans to know that the art and animation will definitely bother some folks who only want smooth, pretty art, so there's that.
Merits - The action was good, the story was comprehensible and decent, even if it was incomplete and full of holes, and a few of the characters were interesting, even without any depth. And, as I said before, I did still enjoy it. That's honestly all I can say in favor of this anime movie.
Conclusion - Watch it, but do not expect to be wowed. This is definitely a "bubblegum" movie; something to watch on a rainy day, when you have nothing else on your plate, and need something to pass the time.
**WARNING: FOR THE FOLLOWING REVIEW, THERE WILL BE MINOR SPOILERS HERE AND THERE ON HOW THE WORLD CRYSTANIA RUNS AND HOW IT'S CREATED! IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED, WATCH THE FILM AND OVA SERIES BEFORE VIEWING THIS REVIEW! IF YOU ARE REBELLIOUS AND YOU DON'T CARE (RESPECT) GO ON RIGHT AHEAD BECAUSE I AM NOT PULLING ANY PUNCHES!**
I LOVE Medieval type stories. Gives me inspiration to write and finish my own personal fictional world.......
Aaanyway, here is another classic anime review compared to my other previous work. Here, I am going to review "Legend of Crystania".
So, what IS
Crystania? Why is this world is so..... "legendary"?
I am going to tell you all about so, let's venture right in!
Since the beginning of time, Gods of Light and Darkness went to war with at each other. During the midst of battle, legendary dragons appeared whom are called "God Killers". When some of the Gods have heard of this, went neutral and fled from the war then created a world of their own, which is known as Crystania.
The Animal Gods (Beast Gods) have placed their souls to the people and giving them the power of their according animal God.
"Furries" if you will.
After that, The Animal Gods created a lifted the entire world (or island) so high and placed a snake way- um WALL! A snake-looking wall to protect and keep outsiders who tries to enter Crystania.
Crystania is peaceful....
Until everything changed, when a man named Ashram who came with his people, searching for a place to migrate.
Barbas, The Tiger God was there and made a deal with Ashram and later he let them in.
Sounds reasonable right? However, you'll know more once you've dive in a little into the movie.
Okay, enough about Barbas and Christopher Columbus searching for India, I mean Crystania.
Enter Redon/Raydan/Reidong, however this movie tries to name him. Y'know what, I'll call him Raymond, yeah that's it, Raymond. A young prince who doesn't know just yet who would help change Crystania for the better along with his party of "friends".
Gretta – Rogue Class: Loyal to Raymond's royal family and his only purpose to serve and protect Raymond, even if it cost his own life.
Ovierre – Swordsman Class: A mercenary who would kill and/or follow orders where the money is.
Rifan – Beginner Mage Class: Young little girl whos mesmerized by Maddam Amerisia and likes hangs around with Ovierre.
Nasser – Sorcerer Class: Friend to the royal family and close to Raymond.
Lady Amerisia – Advance Mage Class: Priestess and firm believer who believes that everyone should get along..... basically.
Well then, down to the nitty gritty.
The story itself is very intriguing but leaves with so many plot holes that will leave you going "huh?" Yet, it's enough to get really immersed in. Furry or not. Perhaps all this could work if you maybe try to connect with "Record of Lodoss War" then maybe?
The director's style for this 'Crystania' is jumping from character to character just to have everyone follow along. It's hard to explain. Kinda like, you pick a character from RPG video game and you're following that character's story that connects to other main character's story.
May be old, but for this kind of animation quality to release back in the late 90's is way ahead of it's time. It's the same animation that worked on "Record of Lodoss War".
I can say, it could still hold up to this very day, for it has that timeless feel to it.
Let me put it this way: The main song that plays from the trailer and at the end of the movie, is the BEST SONG EVER!!!
I couldn't imagine that no one wouldn't ever bobbing their skulls on how good the song is. Best choice they ever picked.
The OST for Crystania is not bad either. Actually, it’s pretty darn good on which scene is appropriate for use.
This is the part where I get REALLY sour.
The English Dub are okayish but the majority of it but It gets pretty to listen to them talk. The most of the actors are fine for portraying the the character really well. The Original Jap Dub is slightly better and is lesser annoying but I wouldn't they would make 'Crystania' anymore good.
The whoever the actor who portraid as Rifan, should be booted. Her acting is so cringeworthy, I just thought she should die somewhere.
I would say the same thing for the main character for this movie too.
Raymond was really nice from the beginning but as he goes through the whole story, he's such a whiny little bastard who so much wanted revenge. There is some character development and he got lesser whining. Of course he does held up on his own in battle.
Rifan is godawful annoying. She's a child, sure but should be less exaggerated throughout the entire movie.
Yeah, I did enjoyed some. Despite myself power horsing through the acting, I really loved the battle action scenes. Pretty damn brutal when you two furry clans fighting each other and everyone working for the same cause on defeating the final boss (God's King Barbas) then bringing peace.
I could REALLY see this as a good RPG if there ever is one.
It's a pretty well drawn anime that would have anyone interested and be immersed in a beautiful, yet chaotic world like Crystania. The thing is, "Legend Of Crystania" is just an OPENING of the OVA series that comes right after. Despite for all the plot holes and cringeworthy acting, I would give this a solid recommendation for anyone who enjoys the "Record of Lodoss War" series. I wouldn't say it's the kind for someone who would enjoy this on a rainy day but it would be fun to look at.
VERDICT: 6/10 - Legend? Eh!
BUY: Solid keeper for anyone who enjoys the Record of Lodoss War series and for those who like Fantasy Stories.
The first thing you must know about this movie is that, while it may stand on it's own, it's really not intended for that purpose.
Legend of Crystania is a high-fantasy entry into Ryo Mizuno's fictional Lodoss universe. It is set in the Sword World RPG universe which takes place in the world of Forceria/Forcelia. Or to be more explicit, it is a spin-off of Mizuno's (originally) very popular "Record of Lodoss War" novel/manga/anime series.
Chronologically, the movie was released in 1995, after the 1991 Lodoss War OVA but prior to the 1998 Chronicles of the Heroic Knigt TV series. From a purely anime perspective, the only
way the Crystania story makes any sense in 1995 within the Lodoss universe is if you're Japanese and you've been keeping up with the Lodoss War novels. However, fortunately, as you'll read below, you can prep for this movie without learning Japanese and reading the novels.
/!\ RELATED ANIME SPOILER ALERT /!\
To set the stage for this movie, one must spoil the ending of the "Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight" saga which plays out in a Light Novel series, a Manga adaptation and a TV Animation adaptation (the one from 1998) -- which for most non-Japanese the TV Anime is likely the most obtainable CHK story medium; i.e. "you might have seen or heard of that".
Therefore if you have not seen the Lodoss War Anime it may be advisable to stop reading this review and look into viewing the Lodoss War Anime (both the 1991 OVA and the aforementioned 1998 TV Series in that order) which this reviewer highly recommends.
The basic premise of Legend of Crystania (LoC) is the fate of the Marmo people after the events of the "Chronicles of the Heroic Knight" (CHK) story-line in the Lodoss continuum. At the end of CHK, the Lodoss heroes have successfully stopped the sorcerer Vagnado/Wagnard from resurrecting Kardis, the Goddess of Destruction. Given the amount of destruction and devastation the Marmo have caused to Lodoss and in particular their own island, there's little left for them in Lodoss. The Dark Knight Ashram, now King/Emperor of the Marmo, loads the surviving Marmo people onto the remnants of the their naval fleet and leaves Lodoss in search of a new land.
Instead of heading north to the continent of Alecrast, the Marmo fleet heads out into the open seas. Where they end up is Crystania. Now, looking up some of the Sword World RPG reference materials, there aren't any very good maps of the world of Forceria showing much other than Alecrast and Lodoss. However we do know Crystania is a kind of "teardrop" shaped island, generally thought to be fairly far from either Lodoss or Alecrast; probably south and east of Lodoss. The southern part of the island is inhabited by a human colony/kingodm. The northern part of the island towers above the seas and is surrounded by what is known as the "God's Wall" inhabited by magical beings.
This is where the movie begins, it's been some time after the Marmo defeat in Lodoss (it's unclear just how long but one assumes perhaps less than a year or just long enough for the Marmo to be suffering aboard their ships from a long voyage). The Marmo Fleet has come upon the Land of Crystania, but has arrived somewhere around it's northern coast. With his fleet in tatters, his people on the brink of death, and no obvious spot to land (the God's Wall is too high) we see Ashram make a deal with the God's King Barbas in order to save them all, including the loyal Dark Elf, Pirotess.
At this point the Movie might begin to become confusing because this sequence is actually a prologue whereafter the title sequence proper begins. Thereafter we are fast-forwarded chronologically, many years into the future, to events that take place in the southern part of Crystania and the humans that inhabit it.
The rest of the movie involves, at it's most basic and spoiler-free description; an attempt by some of the humans from Crystania to aid Pirotess and the magical beings beyond the Gods Wall in saving Ashram and the Marmo from Barbas' control. And really, that's all the more spoiler-free story worth exposing here. The movie itself does a pretty good job of explaining what the God's Wall is, what the Gods of Crystania are, how the Marmo and Ashram are "trapped". To tie up the Lodoss War universe connection; the magical beings (Gods) of Crystania are linked to the War of the Gods which is described in the 1991 Lodoss War OVA anime. In addition the "greater" Gods of the Forceria world referenced in Lodoss are also referenced in Crystaina by the humans there. For example the Cleric Aderishia worhips Rhada, the god of Wisdom. This god is at one point mentioned in the Lodoss Manga and is on par with the Gods established in Lodoss such as Myree, Marfa, Pharis, Falaris, etc. Aderishia calls upon Rhada's power much like in the Lodoss anime Etoh of the "Parn Party" invokes Pharis and Neece of the "Spark Party" invokes Marfa.
Audio. One of the first items to cover is the English Dub versus the Japanese + Subtitles. You definitely want to go subbed here. It's an older ADV dub from the early 2000's. It uses none of the common (now veteran) voice actors of the day, and it's a bit phoned in. Also the dub doesn't really convey the story properly (probably from script editing to the animation) and it makes the movie a bit more confusing than it really needs to be. It's one of those releases that made sub-snobs out of older American anime otakus. Regardless, the overall soundtrack is appropriate to the movie and it's themes though it is somewhat dated to the time period and general popular trends of the mid-90's in Japan. Two notable pieces, the opening theme "Haruka na Inori" a very atmospheric fantasy-sounding tune and the closing song "Hikari no Chizu" (Map of Light) an 80's-ish hard rocker, both performed by industry veteran Hitomi Mieno are quite good. "Hikari no Chizu" is personally one of my favorite anime songs and JRock tunes in general.
Animation. The animation style in LoC diverges a bit from what is used for other Lodoss-universe shows in both the 1991 Lodoss OVA and later in the 1998 CHK TV series and even 2001's "Louie the Rune Soldier". It's a bit simpler and probably more suitable for the higher frame rates and animated action the movie format and budget offers over the OVA and TV formats.
Production. As of this writing, for those of us in the US or outside Japan, the old ADV DVD release has gone out of print with that entity going defunct. The last, most recent release being in 2008 as a combo release called "Legend of Crystania - Complete Collection" as it contained this movie and the "Legend of Crystania: The Chaos Ring" OVA sequel. However there were stand alone DVD releases of the LoC movie, first released in 2000 and then later on ADV's "Essential Anime" label in 2004; both long out of print. If you have to have this on your shelf try to find that 2008 release and get both the movie and OVA (the DVD's are identical to the stand alone releases of both, in a single DVD case). However I wouldn't pay exorbinant prices for this; it's easily somthing you can find online somewere. The old retail DVD is not a very high-quality transfer either, and might even be from a VHS master as was often the case at the time. If there is a blu-ray or HD version, it's not yet commercially available outside Japan.
I scored this movie a solid "7" because, well, I'm a high-fantasy fan and especially a fan of the Lodoss War universe. Although a spin-off, LoC is a welcome part of that universe for me. However for more casual veiwers, and especially as far removed as we now are from the time in which this movie was produced, it's likely to be lower for most. To get the most mileage out of it I strongly encourage familiarizing yourself with, at least, the Lodoss War Anime prior to viewing this movie. You'll have a bit more investment in, at least, the plight of the Marmo and Pirotess. That and taking the trip through Lodoss War to get back here isn't a waste either, especially if you like high fantasy fiction.