- Legend of Lemnear (1989: AIC) 1/1 ep.
Sometimes I find something which I’ve never heard of, and seemingly few others have heard of, that has spectacular animation that one would have thought people would mention from time to time. Lemnear is just such an anime. Sure, most everything outside of the visuals is piss poor but by God does it have some jaw dropping animation and art design. As I said, sadly that is all that Lemnear really has to offer, though if this were a 26 episode series things may have been different.
The plot of this OAV is really simple. You have an evil king who raids a village in order to kill the Champion of Bronze and Silver. Bronze is captured but Silver evades detection. Years/months/days later (it is never actually specified) we follow silver as she travels around. She gets in a bar fight, is arrested, and initiates a slave revolt all in the first 15 minutes! Then she goes off to face the final baddy, whom she engages in combat for roughly 20 minutes of the total run time.
As you might expect from reading that synopsis everything was very rushed. There is a solid, if basic, story there with plenty of room for side characters, side plots, and one-off adventures. But of course, this was only 45 minutes so we go from the beginning to the final fight in seemingly no time at all. As a longer series there would have been room for that extra content; this would have given us a greater depth of knowledge about the characters and the world they inhabit, giving us a reason to care about any of it. As I’ve just inferred the characters are all bland as anything. The lead character, Lemnear, is so painfully dull that I was begging for any villains to turn up just so we could have one of the excellent fight scenes instead of having to watch her boring existence. The villains themselves were both the high and the low point of the OAV. The first villain was a fat slaver with hypnotism powers who at all times was surrounded by lots of young women with their baps out, yay for OAVs and their constant exploitation! Not much more needs to be said about him other than the fact that the director of this OAV was Kinji Yoshimoto (Various Queen’s Blade shows, Plastic Little, and Seven Mortal Sins) and the original creator was Satoshi Urushihara (Plastic Little and Another Lady innocent) so we all know why this character is the way he is. The other two bad guys are a lot better though: the is a cool wizard bloke and then the main bad guy who has a fun, though quite predictable, back story that actually gives him some depth. Oh, and the main bad guy has like 3 different forms which makes for a varied final fight.
As I’ve previously mentioned the animation is really good at times, the flying sequences in particular are an absolute highlight. Though of course this animation is used for the inevitable boob grope shot too, because what is an OAV without a bit of groping? The art design is fairly average overall, just your standard fantasy stuff for the most part. However, some of the main characters, Lemnear included, look suspiciously like the characters from Saint Seiya. I’m not saying that they stole the designs from Saint Seiya but it definitely seems like it was a big inspiration. On the audio front the dub is awful the sub passable, and the music annoyingly bad. The reason why it is annoying is that the soundtrack would be decent if it didn’t bizarrely off-key notes spread throughout the, it is kind of like when people do faux VHS nowadays and have the sound go all wonky from time to time. It was just a weird choice to make and one that did not work at all.
Overall this was a fairly disappointing show. The animation was really nice and there were some absolutely terrific action scenes but everything was just so rushed that it was all a bit jarring and I didn’t care for anything. Given that this was an anime original project, there was a later manga adaptation done by Yoshimoto and Urushihara, one would have hoped that they’d create a story that would fit the runtime but as is the case here, and in so many other OAVs I’ve watched, this simply isn’t the case.
Final score: 3E