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Title:
  The Legend of Lemnear

UK Distributor:  N/A (US release reviewed)

BBFC Certificate:  N/A

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  $19.99 (around 14)

Running Time:  45mins (approx.)

Audio Options:  English 2.0, Japanese 2.0

Subtitles:  English

Reviewer:  Rich (Webmaster)

 

Sometimes checking out old anime DVDs can uncover a lost gem, a classic title that had passed you by or you had simply forgotten about.  Other times that gem turns out to be little more than costume jewellery.  Three guesses which category this title falls into...

Legend of Lemnear is a slice of straightforward old-school swords and sorcery action.  The story focuses on the titular Lemnear, a beautiful and highly skilled swordswoman who is seeking revenge after her people were wiped out by the evil wizard Gardein.  Her plan doesn't

quite go as expected though and she is quickly captured by her nemesis.  Once in custody she learns that she is in fact the prophesised Champion of Silver, after which she somehow escapes and teams up with the similarly captured Champion of Bronze to battle Gardein and his master.  Errrr, and that's it.

What little plot exposition there is in the Legend of Lemnear is rattled off in about 30 seconds at the start, after which increasingly implausible plot points are crowbarred in every ten minutes or so.  None of this goes any way near to papering over the cavernous holes in

the narrative, whilst character development is not so much downplayed as ignored completely. The story is mind-numbingly simplistic and frequently ludicrous, doing little more than attempt to set up a big showpiece battle with the main villain.  Both heroes are captured hilariously easily, and then Lemnear is left largely to her own devices and allowed by her captors to talk to a wise old man who helps her unlock her hidden powers.  Her dragon turns up from nowhere!  She seems to know the Champion of Bronze despite never meeting him previously!  She somehow gets her sword back and escapes with ludicrous ease!  The villain inexplicably withdraws his 'right hand man' Gardein despite the fact that he can easily defeat both of the Champions!

Legend of Lemnear is risible in the extreme, full of confusing moments that mean that you pretty much cease caring about the story after just a few minutes.  In fact it only has one

redeeming feature - it looks fantastic.  Despite its age Legend of Lemnear boasts some breathtaking design and superb animation well above the quality of the show itself.  The stone giant our heroes face at the end looks great, and the character design - from Plastic Little designer Satoshi Urushihara - is impressive too.  As with most Urushihara works there's plenty of nubile (and very well drawn) young women in various states of undress, and some impressive action set-pieces.  From a technical standpoint Legend of Lemnear is marvellous, but looking good isn't always enough.  You have to have something to back it up.


...And Legend of Lemnear doesn't.  It's anime costume jewellery, sure it looks impressive at a glance, but in reality it has no substance or value.  It's as if the animators and designers wanted to showcase their skills, creating an impressive series of set pieces around a single theme.  The problem is that this doesn't necessarily make for a good show, particularly when they just throw a story at them in an attempt to tie them together.  Legend of Lemnear is a classic example of style over substance, and also of a wasted opportunity.  If the animation had been married to a story of a similar quality then it could have been a classic, but instead we're left with an impressive looking mess that is neither entertaining or interesting.  A real shame.

Extras:

Trailers, character biographies.

Ratings

Feature:   Extras:
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