Well, at my new job, things are going slow. The training is boring and I'm not looking forward to when we start working (I don't know why I picked swing shift!). And when school starts, things are only gonna get crazier. I say all of this to let you know how long its gonna take to postpone the making of the videos. I'll still be able to post reviews on the things I've seen, but the videos are gonna have to wait for a while, when I have a lot more time on my hands.
But enough about me, its time to start talking anime!
RG Veda (2 Episodes)
RG Veda was the original manga that put CLAMP on the map, the same way Dr. Slump did it for Akira Toriyama before he did Dragonball. When you look at the manga, you can see the essential precursurs for the sweeping, epic art that fills the more successful Magic Knight Rayearth and X/1999 (wish they'd finish that!).
The story of RG Veda is a good, fantasy adventure. The current emperor, Taishakuten, is scum, having killed the peaceful emperor, Ashura, himself to start his own kingdom. His best general, Yasha, hears about a prophecy concerning the end of the tyranny and a forgotten child. Yasha goes and finds this child Ashura, starting a massive chain reaction of events. Soon, other heroes get involved with the quest to defeat the emperor, and they learn more and more about this child, who is a direct decendant of the late peaceful emperor I mentioned earlier. However, they starting to get scared as Ashura grows creepier and more violent.
And that's about as far as I am in the manga. Tokyopop is releasing the last one later this year. I won't say much more about the story, the spoilers are pretty big.
So why am I focusing so much on the manga when this is a review of the anime? RG Veda comes to us as two mere OVAs, both smack in the middle of the story. In order to really understand what's going on, you have to have read the manga. They really don't bother explaining much of anything.
The two episodes are interesting. The first is a retelling of one of the adventures from the manga, and it is pretty neat. The second episode has its own story, set at the end of their adventure, but not really based on the manga, and it doesn't really offer much more to the basic plot. It seems like the writers decided to speculate some of the ending bits as if the manga wasn't quite finished yet. And its apparent because when you get to that part of the manga, things are very different.
I gave most of everything three stars because it was all pretty good. The animation is good, making great use of the prevelant magic and fighting. The story is well done, too, feeling like they literally ripped it from the pages of the manga. You forget, in the middle of the deep epic, that CLAMP was in charge, and they can get kinda silly! And that makes it fun.
The music is particularly interesting. Nick Wood (definetly not Japanese) gives us a synthesizer heavy soundtrack that's just bizarre enough to make you keep listening, but it never really stands out. 3 stars for strangeness, but not much more.
However, the hurdle of not understanding the episodes without having read the manga forces me to give this an overall of two stars. It sees this was geared more toward the fans the comic already had as opposed to introducing a new series to the whole audience.
So basically, if you're a fan of CLAMP and have read the manga already, such as me, then check it out. But otherwise, you'll most likely be lost, having better spent your time on other shows.
And that's that. I don't know when I'll post next, but I'll get to it as soon as I can. Please let me know what you think! POST COMMENTS!