Sunday, July 21, 2002

Green Legend Ran

Green Legend Ran

4/5 Stars

Director: Satoshi Saga
Running Time: 120min. or 150min. (depending on version)
Released: 1992

Green Legend Ran presents a stark vision of Earth's future. Plants and animals are gone, the oceans have evaporated. Earth is a barren desert, with only a few remote settlements have water, with the exception of the mysterious "Greens". The Greens are the home of the Rodoists, bizarre cultists who worship Rodo, the alien who turned Earth into a wasteland as punishment for Mankind's mistreatment of the Earth's environment.

Thrown into this world is Ran, a young boy from a small town who wants more in life. Orphaned at an early aged when his mother was killed by a mysterious man with a scar on his chest, Ran want's nothing more than to join Hazzard, a terrorist group trying to overthrow the Rodoists. While trying to join Hazzard, Ran meets a young girl named Iria, who the Rodoists are searching for. Iria is the "silver haired maiden" (her hair may look blue to *you*, but trust me, it's silver) who the Rodoist bishops want to fulfill a prophecy, and will do anything to obtain her.

When Iria is captured by the Rodoists, Ran joins up with Hazzard in hopes of rescuing her. After joining, he becomes part of Hazzard's plan to rid the world of Rodo once and for all, and bring the waters back.

On the surface, Green Legend Ran may seem like a simple adventure with environmentalist overtones, but it runs much deeper than that. There are many twists to the plot, and all of the characters are well developed. The Rodoists in particular are well written, and they are one of the oddest groups I've seen in anime yet. The movie ultimately asks us to consider the question of how we treat our planet and eachother. Rather than just condemning humanity for ravishing the planet, Green Legend Ran questions the motives and goals of those who would protected it, personified by the Rodoists and their god.

Green Legend Ran is an excellent anime, with well written characters, humor, action, and deep enough plot to make you think about it afterwards. The animation and art is good, with some very inventive character designs. On the downside, the dubbing quality isn't topnotch. Also be careful which version you watch, the VHS is an edited 120min version that aired on the SciFi Channel. The full 150 minute version is available as a three VHS set, or a single DVD. The DVD is a good quality transfer, but lacks a menu or any extras that are now standard on most DVDs.

Green Legend Ran (DVD)

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