Legend Of Crystania (1995) Review

Synopsis

Following the Lodoss Wars, Ashram is tricked into selling his soul to the evil god Barbas in exchange for a homeland for his people. Barbas uses Ashram’s body to gain unbelievable power and wage war against the other gods on the holy island of Crystania. Now, 300 years later, a young prince named Redon and his companions find themselves on the secret island and begin their search for the source of this evil.

Review

The story of Crystania is fairly standard fantasy fare, and although the story is set after the Record of the Lodoss Wars series ends, there is no apparent connection to that storyline. The catalyst for all of this is the murder of Redon’s parents, which sets him out on a quest for revenge.

The god Barbas, seeking to use Redon’s blind hatred to gain control of his body as well, leads them into Crystania. The band finds that the land is ruled by animal gods, who each have armies of shapeshifting humans that follow them. Several of these groups have allied against Barbas, who has gained more power than any of the other gods and declared himself the god’s king. Barbas has been attempting to capture the dark elf Pirotesse (Sheru), a servant of Ashram that has been trying to rescue her king from Barbas? control for the last 300 years. Pirotesse joins forces with Redon in the struggle to defeat Barbas.

The characters in the movie are all unremarkable, especially the main character, Redon. While most of the cast is devoid of any personality, he seems to suffer from a personality disorder, raging with anger one moment and crying like a baby the next. The rest of the time he is either yelling something childish or pouting. His demeanor is entirely immature and annoying, not traits you want for a protagonist. The only mildly interesting characters I found were Obier and Meira, who were secondary characters.

Part of the problem is there is very little background given on any of the characters or any insight into their personalities when they are not fighting. As a result, you feel almost no empathy for them. Somehow, I doubt more information would have helped to make these characters more endearing, however.

The action in the movie is pretty frequent, and occasionally has some rather brutal sequences that were mediocre. Unfortunately, the rest of the time, the animation is stiff and the combat unrealistic. The shape-shifting element could have added some excitement, but it was not utilized very effectively.

The animation in general was poor, especially for a feature film production. The characters were fairly well-drawn, but the colors throughout the film were extremely washed out, and there was almost no shading whatsoever. Everything appeared flat and two-dimensional. It was as if the movie were a coloring book filled in with watercolors. As mentioned earlier, the character animation was wooden, and the action was unexciting.

The audio was no better, with the voiceovers all being either melodramatic or just irritating. Redon was among the worst, with a high-pitched drone that was used almost exclusively for screaming or sobbing. Meira, the young spiritualist, had a rather cute voice, but she also had fewer lines than almost any other character.

Conclusion

Legend of Crystania falls flat on almost all accounts. The story is uninspiring, the characters are dull and one-dimensional, and the audio and video are of poor quality. This would be bad enough if it were a TV series, but for a movie only 85 minutes long it’s inexcusable.

  • Audio: Poor voiceovers, effects, quality…
  • Video: Drab colors with no shading, stiff animation
  • Plot: Simple plot with a little backstory
  • Style: Drab characters and dark, boring environments
  • Characters: Shrill, annoying hero with a lifeless cast
  • Violence: Moderate (blood, etc.)
  • Language: Mild
  • Nudity: None
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Episodes: 1
  • Rating: 1.5 of 5

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