Sep 6, 2020
Legend of Lemnear is a fantasy manga illustrated by Urushihara Satoshi and Yoshimoto Kinji (who contributed with the story). It was serialized from 1991 till 1992 and adapts the OVA with the same name from 1989. The story is stretched out so that the fans would enjoy more Lemnear, but it works for manga readers-only too. Structured into 18 chapters, fit into 3 volumes, all resulting in a complete story. (It's a bit different than the OVA).
The term "Swords and Sorcery" describes the manga best, we have action, magic, a medieval-like world, evil slave traders and brave knights who fight monsters. You could imagine this
story as a Star Wars set in a medieval magical world, for we have the chosen one (Lemnear) who has to defeat an evil antagonist (Darth Vader) with her latent "Power" (kinda like the Force), joined in her travels by some interesting people. At the start of volume 1 the reader gets some background about the world and how did it become like that, all the stuff regarding the chosen ones and the good vs evil constant fight. It was a nice piece of information and you get the sense of urgency in wanting to defeat the villains, I think it set the right atmosphere.
Now, you can forget all that, the plot is cool and all but this manga's appeal is somewhere else, the potential reader should not read it for the epic story but for the cool and mindless action fights, blood and violence, chicks with swords, tragic deaths and beautiful sexy shots. I do not exaggerate when I say that every chapter has at least one fight and one panel where we see our main heroine half naked, and it's a delight.
It's a very easy read, one volume may take one hour to finish, it would've been faster if the reader wouldn't pay attention to the boobs and ass of Lemnear, but what can you do, Lemnear is hot (yes, we get to see her nipples too). It's pretty fast-paced too, one chapter we're in a town relaxing with the locals, then by the end of it we're fighting monsters, even some henchman comes to fight, Lemnear suffers heavy injuries only to recover by the next chapter and start over (she has some sorta regenerative powers because she's a chosen one though). I don't think it needed a slower pace, it works as it is, our party only have to reach some place where the big evil guy has his Head Quarters and beat him, along the way they fight some small fries and get though traps, they tie friendships and reunite with things from their past. Straight forward and easy to follow.
The art style is gorgeous, kinda like 80s anime style with the detailed background, you get the sense of location, every town is nicely drawn and it looks like a medieval Europe town. The nature is beautifully drawn too, forests, ponds, rivers, mountain crosses, that's the world of Lemnear.
The character designs look good too, the girls have the big 80s hair, the boys are tall and have muscles, their armors are cool. Urushihara Satoshi is not called "The Master of Boobs" for nothing, the female anatomy is superbly drawn, a feast for the eyes for the readers who like manga with sexy scenes and characters, and the action scenes are nice too with an energetic battle choreography, mostly sword fights and energy beams shooting. The only downside of the art style that I didn't like is that there are too many close-ups with the characters, almost all panels have close-ups (even when they are just talking), it looks good but I wouldn't mind if I could see two people in the same panel for once (I exaggerate but after a few chapters anyone would notice that).
What can I say about our main heroine Lemnear is that she's a nice girl, gentle and kind, very beautiful too yet she is thrown into this madness against her wishes. She has to fight for the sake of the world and she has the power to do so, she is the "Chosen One", the female version of Luke Skywalker, but she's cool. She has dreams and she even loves someone, she makes a friend while journeying, she puts feelings into whatever she's doing. I think she's very interesting and a likable character, you may argue that she's over powered (Mary Sue) but it's not the case, she's not a true knight, she can barely fight with a sword and during the fights she always gets heavy injuries, she manages to win because of her "Power", but why not? it's a cool gimmick and it's the base of this manga, how else could the warriors of Good defeat Evil? (who are extremely over powered).
The other characters are interesting too, each one of them has a nice story to tell, be it Lian (who has a small character arc), Lunagu or Mesch and they really help Lemnear towards her goal. Lunagu is a powerful magic user, Lian has some tricks and Mesch is an honorable and very skilled knight (and Lemnear's childhood friend).
I don't think this manga is for everyone, like I said above, we get lots of sexy shots and the girls are naked in almost all chapters, lots of out of the blue fights and weird developments, tragic deaths that may look over sentimental and exaggerated, pompous speeches about good vs evil. It is by no means a parody of the battle fantasy genre, it is serious as it gets but it has that cheesy feeling. I read it because I really enjoyed the anime and I wanted more Lemnear and the manga did its job, I got exactly what I wished for. Characters like Lian and Mesch are expanded more, which is good, because in the OVA they had little screen time. In this format their journey is longer and they fight more monsters, the end fight was really great, the final villain was one dimensional at the beginning but he was more than it looked like (not that it matter but it was another little thing that made the manga better).
In conclusion, read it if you like 80s OVAs with violence and nudity or if you enjoyed Legend of Lemnear OVA and you want more developed and coherent story, the art style is superb and it's very easy to follow. Or, if you wanna see naked chicks with swords, be sure to check this one out.
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