|Category||Anime||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 3 - 1.33:1, not 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0|
|Rating||Other Trailer(s)||Yes, 11 - ADV Film releases preview trailers|
|Year Released||1996 (Japanese version)
1998 (English version)
(not 85 minutes as stated on packaging)
|Other Extras||Character Biographies
Menu Audio and Animation
Scene Selection Audio and Animation
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||No||Dolby Digital||2.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/s)
Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, during credits|
The story of Legend Of Crystania: The Motion Picture begins with King Ashram, seeking a home for his people, being confronted by The Wall of The Gods with no way through - until Barbas, the Dark God, makes him an offer he cannot refuse: give Barbas his body and his people will have want he wants. The deal is done. We then skip forward 300 years and his people still revere the king as he sits on his throne in silent stupor. His faithful aide, Pirotesse, is dedicated to releasing Ashram's soul from the grip of Barbas so that Ashram may return to once again rule his people. Meanwhile, a young prince named Redon has been privy to the murder of his parents, and is seeking the power to avenge his parents' death. Accompanied by a bunch of friends, as well as the man who was partly responsible for his father's death, Redon is drawn to The Wall of The Gods by Barbas' promise of the power he needs in order to gain vengeance. Allowed through The Wall of The Gods by Barbas, Redon and his group find themselves in the legendary land of Crystania, home of the Gods, and unwelcome they are too, as all manner of Gods' armies seem to attack them, especially daunting as each person can take on the animal traits of the god to whom they have sworn allegiance. Redon and Pirotesse eventually team up and seek out the ruthless Barbas in order to banish him once and for all from Crystania.
There are no lack of clichés here, but overall the film moves along at a decent enough pace, with plenty of action tossed in to keep the interest level reasonably high. The story is not exactly obvious as you watch the film and I found myself at times having difficulty keeping track of who was doing what. Still, it all seemed to gel at the right time. I have certainly seen better, but I have also seen a lot worse. As long as you don't want serious character development (which is not possible here in the time available) nor any substantive plot development, this is an enjoyable enough way to spend seventy eight minutes.
It would seem that this is a made-for-video effort and the transfer is presented Full Frame, and not 16x9 enhanced.
The overall transfer is in general quite sharp and well-defined throughout, subject to the inherent lack of resolution as a result of the NTSC format. This is most easily seen in the lack of solid edges to the animation, but never really gets anything too distracting: it does make me wonder, however, how annoying it would be to spend my entire viewing life watching this poor format. There were a number of sequences where there was a noticeable softness to the image, which was a little distracting. The worst example is between 14:30 and 15:45. This may of course be an intended use of a diffuse image, but I did find it most jarring compared to the bulk of the film. This is a quite clear transfer and there did not appear to be any problems at all with low level noise in the transfer.
The colours are very nicely rendered, with lots of nice, bright, vibrant colours to counterpoint the relative drabness of certain sections of the film. There were a few minor hints of oversaturation, as well as a couple of instances where colour bleed seemed to be a problem. The animation style on offer here does allow for a degree of variability in the presentation of colours, but this is entirely intended and is not a problem with the DVD transfer. There is a distinct depth to the blacks here and the overall tone of the transfer is quite rich, other than where it was intended to be otherwise. Certainly, ADV Films high standards in this area to date are by no means diminished.
Another thing that ADV releases seem to have in common is the virtually complete lack of technical problems in the transfer. There are once again no indications of any MPEG artefacts in the transfer, although there were just a few hints of film-to-video artefacts in the form of aliasing here. It may be of course that these were simply extensions of the inherent resolution issues of the NTSC format. There were a few more film artefacts here than we have previously seen in an ADV Films release, but even those that were present were by no means intrusive and really were not distracting to the film at all.
For those who find the information important, the subtitles are yellow in colour, and come up very well against the film being quite easy to read.
There are two audio tracks on the DVD: an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. Since my Japanese remains virtually non-existent, I listened to both it and the English soundtrack, although obviously the Japanese soundtrack needed the English dubtitles on as well. As always, the dubtitles are so uncorrelated to the English soundtrack that they really cannot be considered subtitles.
The dialogue was always clear and easy to understand.
Naturally, the animation suffers from the usual "audio sync" problems.
The original musical contribution comes from Ootori Michiru and Sahashi Toshihiko, and in keeping with my general thoughts on the musical accompaniment to anime titles, is nothing especially memorable.
As is also very usual for the DVDs from this source, the soundtracks are quite nice efforts, with nothing really too dynamic happening in the sound picture and obviously with nothing from the bass channel, and not too much from the surround channels. I would have to say however that there is some action in the surrounds, which belies the notion that this is not a surround-encoded soundtrack. It is mainly really subtle support stuff, but has the effect of making you wish that there was a full blown 5.1 soundtrack on offer here. Some might think that there is some background hiss in the soundtrack at times, as I at first did, but this is actually a fairly poor representation of running water. Everything is free from distortion and the overall resultant sound picture is generally quite decent for what is almost a straight stereo effort.
A pretty good video transfer.
A good audio transfer.
A decent extras package.
© Ian Morris (have a
laugh, check out the bio)
5th June 2000
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|