Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Turkey: From my Animation on DVD Days: Legend of Lemnear

This is a repost of a review that ran (or was this just submitted?) back when I had a very short stint on Animation on DVD right before the site closed down:

The second the closing credits began to roll on US Manga Corps release of Legend of Lemnear I ran as fast as I could to the computer to get the word out, this movie is a to be avoided at all costs. I don't want to over sell this by saying that it isn't the worst animated film I've ever witnessed, but this is a forty minute time waster that really is a time waster.

The plot of the film condensed, no doubt greatly, from a manga, concerns the female warrior Lemnear who is out to avenge the death of her people at the hands of some dark lord. The rest of the plot, or the parts that didn't involve close ups of women's breasts, had something to do with Lemnear being the Champion of Silver who must come together with the Champion of Bronze to defeat the Champion of Gold. You really don't get much more than that except for topless women and acts of violence that may have been exciting in some other movie, but not in this one.

The trouble is that the story is so leisurely that there is no way that the story its seeking to tell could be compressed in to a mere forty minutes, especially when time is taken out for a rape and the fondling of breasts. I assure you that I am not a prude, but there is simply way too much attention on breasts in the second third of this movie for anything other than a porno film. Why its not listed as hentai (adult animation) is beyond me, especially when the amount of nudity seems greater than some hentai titles I've seen. I think my annoyance at the nudity is the result of it all being handled in a second grade manner, the breasts are pushed to the forefront as if they by themselves, mean something. Were the scenes designed by adults or seven year olds? And why is it, that in a story that is told through limited animation,do they take the greatest care to animate the bouncing bosom when everything else remains static?

It boggles the mind.

Despite the over all vapidness of the release there are some really good things in the movie. The Japanese voice cast is fine and I wished that they had been given something better to do. (The English cast is just okay) The designs are mostly wonderful, from the giant stone god, to the flying fortress, to the monsters and Lemnear's birdlike lizard (a steal from Heavy Metal's Tarna?) this is a good looking movie that begs to have had story tellers that matched the visuals. I liked the music as well.

One last bitch,and its one that's directed at the companies that put out animated DVDs. Why is it that this movie, which runs only 40 minutes has 20 chapter stops while other films, both equally short or even longer will have a mere handful? Blood, The Last Vampire runs fifty minutes and has eight stops, Wings of Honneamise which runs over two hours has ten ,as does Garzaey's Wing. Why the lack of stops? With an animation which is a form of art there are times when you want to go back and really look at the art, or a sequence to study just what exactly was done to achieve an effect. Animation, more than live action needs more stops so you can go back and marvel at what has been put up on the screen.

For those who might care there are several previews for other title, a commercial for US Manga's comic like and cast bios, which is nothing more than clips from the show where each character states who they are. The disc is also 40 minutes long not 45 as the back states.

Legend of Lemnear is a release that isn't worth the time or money to watch even as a rental. Even if you should come across the film at a bargain price (I picked it up in specially priced two pack with Garzey's Wings for 15 bucks) you should avoid it unless you are a big fan of the manga or you get it for free. Even then, the leaden pacing and confusing story line will have made you turn this off before the end credits roll.

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