Critic’s Log - Earthdate: November 30, 2013. Review #71: Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals
I have played Final Fantasy V before and I didn’t really enjoy that game as much even though many fans of the series thought the fifth installment was a bit underappreciated. What I didn’t like about Final Fantasy V was its story, it just seemed a little disappointing which makes me wonder why there was a continuation of the story in anime form. Which brings me to Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals
200 years after Bartz and his friends saved two worlds from the threat of Exdeath, a threat arises and seeks to take the Crystals for itself. Linaly, a descendant of Bartz, and her friend/protector Pretz journey to the Temple Of Wind to seek the source of this new imminent threat.
To be technical, this is a Studio Madhouse production which means this OVA has high production values, right? Fuck no! The animation looks lackluster and disappointing. But to give the OVA some credit, some of the designs are actually okay. except for the Chocobo design. It looks nothing from the game and the Chocobo in this OVA is pink…FUCKING PINK!!! To be fair, there were colored chocobos in some games, but the only one in this OVA was a fucking pink Chocobo. A normal Chocobo is yellow and THEY COULDN’T STAY TRUE TO THAT. did Rintaro and the staff of this OVA ever do THEIR RESEARCH! The animation looks bad at times and some of the backgrounds make this OVA look uninspired. At least some of the visuals are decent. But the animation is mostly a mess. And this OVA even has a few panty shots which I swear wasn’t needed at all. What was also not needed was some of the juvenile sexual humor in parts of the OVA, it made no sense. This is one of the few failures by Madhouse but their resume still holds strong today.
The music by Masahiko Sato may not be all that great, but at least there were a few cues to some themes from Final Fantasy V which was originally composed by Nobuo Uematsu. That is not necessarily a bad thing. But this soundtrack really isn’t all that noteworthy and it is pretty generic. and this is unfortunate because Masahiko Sato is best known for the music in the anime film Grave of the Fireflies which complimented that movie well. Masahiko Sato has not done much music compositions in his career but I really don’t know why he was picked to do the music in this OVA, it’s not listenable outside the show but at least the music’s not done by some amatuer.
When voice acting is concerned, the Subtitled Version is not superbly casted. Rica Matsumoto was a decent choice for Prettz, but it will take a little getting used to if you’re watching this Subbed because the voice is a bit annoying. Yuko Minaguchi is a fitting voice for Linaly but the performance is only decent. The same goes to Shigeru Chiba as Valkus and Fumi Hirano as Rouge. The casting is pretty much decent. Now there does exist an English Dub but since it’s one of those “Old Dubs”, I had to prepare for really bad dubbing… So I gave the dub a try and… the dub is terrible. Matt Miller was way too old to play Prettz since he looks like a 13 year old. Sherry Lynn sounds off as Linaly. John Demita is cheesy as Valkus and Kate T. Vogt is not all that great as Rouge. Jack Fletcher has done the ADR direction for some of Miyazaki’s movies such as Kiki’s Delivery Service (until it was re-dubbed) and even Princess Mononoke. This is one of the worst ADR directions that he has made in his career and he’s not really a well-regarded ADR director. Stick with the Subtitled Version on this one even though both versions don’t really stand out.
The characters in this OVA fortunately show emotion in this OVA but none of the characters are developed anyway. Prettz is a very energetic character but he is reckless and he does not develop as much beyond that. Linaly fortunately isn’t reduced to fanservice even though there’s some panty shots from her, but she is not well developed except she develops a little bit near the end, but that’s too little too late. Valkus is okay, but he actually is developed a bit more than the others. As for the scantily-clothed Rouge, she’s pretty much in this OVA for fanservice and she develops a little but not too much. The characters are pretty bland in this OVA. Oh, but if that wasn’t enough. The main antagonist, Ra Devil… is a fucking joke. His goal is to gain the power of the void (explained in Final Fantasy V) for his own goals and ambitions and become Deathgyunos and what the fuck kind of name is Deathgyunos. And what makes this whole villain a complete joke is that how he ends up getting defeated, That whole moment was bullshit.
The biggest problem is the story, if you’re one of those Final Fantasy fans that didn’t like the story in Final Fantasy V, that plot’s successor is much MUCH WORSE. The writing is bad and I don’t even care about the plot to this OVA or its characters. There could’ve been some character development but the characters are not relatable because of the sloppy writing, what makes it worse is that the plot does advance decently, but the characters are sometimes boring and don’t develop much. But with the way the story was wrapping up, I just could not distance my disbelief on this one. Final Fantasy V may have been underappreciated and I sure as hell know that the story did not need a follow up and it somehow did and it is technically the first sequel to a Final Fantasy game, and what a piece of shit it is
Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals was available by Urban Vision Entertainment. and it was only released on VHS since its release in America. It is Out of Print and there hasn’t been a DVD release since.
With all that said, Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals has sloppy writing, underdeveloped characters, a generic soundtrack with some cues of the themes from Final Fantasy V, and lackluster animation. This OVA is a mess of a follow up to a game that may have not been big but at least it was okay. Go play Final Fantasy V if it interests you, but after you complete that game, avoid this OVA follow-up if you want to know how downhill the story got according to this OVA.
I give Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals a 2.9 out of 10, it is BAD!
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