The Anime Cafe - Your complete source for anime reviews


[ go to homepage ]
[ what's new - editorials, calendar, to-do list, news articles, mailbag and archives ]
[ episode-by-episode anime reviews, how we review ]
[ a parent's guide to anime, title list, titles by category ]
[ the anime encyclopædia ]
[ café trivia - anime trivia ]
[ anime humour, the laws of anime, light articles, etc ]
[ serious articles, essays, anime guides, etc. ]
[ message forum for the discussion of anime, manga, reviews, etc. ]
[ faq about the café and contributors, awards given to the café, etc. ]
[ feedback forms, error reports, or e-mail the café ]
[ links to other resources on the internet ]
[ site map ]


[ café reviews ]

Green Legend Ran

Episode 1: Departure

[ production info ]

Copyright: © 1992 AIC / Pioneer LDC, Inc.
Length: 45 minutes
Rating: NR, parental guidance suggested
Format: English Subtitled (VHS)

Director: Saga Satoshi Screenplay: Yamamoto Yu Music: Yoshikawa Yoichiro Produced by: M.T.V.

[ plot summary ]

VHS jacket

Ran is a young boy, orphaned early in his life. As the guerilla war between the Rodoists and the Hazzards continued to escalate, casualties continued to mount... Among them, his mother, caught in the cross-fire -- and killed by 'friendly fire', by a faceless man with a most distinctive scar upon his chest.

Ran yearns for adventure, but is chided by his grandfather. But his destiny is impossible to ignore, as the war pervades everyday life in the village... until Ran finds himself part of the Hazzard resistance movement itself.

Among the rebels is a young silver-blue haired girl, one which Ran has chanced upon before. A young girl with a heart unhardened by the war... and with a mysterious link to the 'Holy Mothers' themselves.

[ capsule review ]

The first thing that popped into my head when I started watching this series was, "I've seen this stuff before!" Characters, designs, even mannerisms -- everything seemed strangely familiar. And then, as you keep watching the series, you begin to realise why: you have seem a lot of this before, only in different movies. The desert lands, the Holy Mothers, and even the hideously mis-shapen forms of the Bishops are obviously influenced by David Lynch's 1984 box-office flop, Dune.

Put all the familiarity aside, and what are we left with? Well, the animation is most curious. Character designs are very simplified in both detail and colour, and overly expressive -- somewhat akin to watching a Saturday morning cartoon version of a stage play. This contrasts heavily to the rough, almost unfinished quality given to the backgrounds. I found that the end result was distracting, somewhat reminicent of the effect achieved by Ralph Bakshi's use of animated figures against live-action backdrops. The foreground animation became too prominant against the sketchy washes of the background. Acting, like the character's expressions, are way 'over-the-top,' especially Kikuchi Hidehiro's character, Ran. Bear in mind, however, that this series is aimed at a younger audience.

The English subtitled version (which we are reviewing) suffers somewhat from some loose translations, but more from the size of the subtitles themselves -- plus the fact that they're done in all-caps, so it seems that the characters are always "shouting" at you. (Well, as a matter of fact, the characters in this series are almost always yelling anyways... but that's not the point.) The music does stand out, however. Sometimes very moving, and at other times very down and dirty synthesizers are used, it's well composed, though a bit too forward for my tastes.

The story itself appears to have some depth. Despite its somewhat familiar and derivative origins, the first episode lays down some interesting groundwork. We know what the "Holy Mothers" have been doing, but we don't know why. We find out that Kiba, the man who shot down Ran's mother in a fire-fight, is now the leader of the Hazzards... but why does Aira have the stranges visions of the Holy Mother, and why is Kiba so interested in Aira? Despite shortcomings in other areas, Green Legend Ran does open with some promise.
- AN, 98.11.06

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 3 stars N/A
Direction: N/A 3 stars N/A
Acting: N/A 2 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 3 stars N/A
Music: N/A 4 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 3 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/A 3 stars N/A

[ café trivia ]

[ << prev ] [ top ] [ next >> ]

[ home ] [ what's new ] [ café contest ] [ café reviews ] [ parent's guide ] [ encyclopædia ]
[ café trivia ] [ café latté ] [ café espresso ] [ about the café ] [ feedback ] [ links ] [ site map ]

© 1997-2000. All rights reserved. The Animé Café logo and the Crystal Kyoko award are original creations of the Animé Café. Please do not use any of the materials on this site without the expressed written permission of the Animé Café.

Page last modified 1998.11.11