Another one of those works you could easily misplace for cartoon. Legend of Sirius is an oldie most don’t remember, yet it packs a lot of magic and artistic expression despite its years. In fact, for a family movie it is quite unorthodox as it is not cheery and easygoing.
As most who have watched and commented it, I also see it as a crossbreed between the fairy tale of The Little Mermaid and Shakespeare’s novel of Romeo and Juliet. The visuals are quite close to those of Walt Disney’s version of the Little Mermaid. Everything looks full of life and movement, with vivid motions, and perky grimaces. The Sea World in particular is amazing with its set of unique house features, sea creatures and underwater temple. The Fire Land is not shown as much and lacks the focus of the sea but it is still quite unique at its presentation as well.
I must point out that it could look a lot better than it does. The animators preferred a very stylish and simple way of depicting the characters, yet you see in the ending credits the original sketches. Frankly, the movie is wonderful to look but it is not exotic enough as you may expect for an otherworld setting. The original imagery was much closer to Norse mythology than central Europe modern cartoons, so it kind of looks inferior to the original.
Still, for what it shows it feels quite epic and inspiring, with worlds colliding, tsunamis and huge fireballs and eclipses, heavenly sunrays, and omnipresent elemental Gods, accompanied by orchestra music pieces, full of angst and raw power, conveying feelings in a flash. And they do so in a lot more successful way than most modern series and movies do.
Still, don’t be fooled to think that the movie is just like Walt Disney’s Little Mermaid. If you didn’t know, the normal ending of the fairy tale is not a happy one. Several characters die in it, despite looking cheery enough to believe they do not deserve to die. And in the Japanese fashion, there are lesbian tendencies in one of the characters. Plus, although the story features a bad guy, he is never shown doing anything. He is already defeated by the beginning of the film. In fact, all the conflict in the movie revolves around the aftereffects of his scheme, and not a scheme that can be avoided by defeating him. So, yeah, it feels quite original to have a story where two sides are not separated in good and evil and don’t even try to defeat the big bad as an objective for a good ending. The bad guy is gone, yet the two sides refuse to forgive one another.
Just in the case of Romeo and Juliet, it is about selfishness and egoism and not some clear-cut ideal of righteousness. Still, the ending is not a complete tragedy just like in the case of Romeo and Juliet. It is very sad but has its spark of hope.
In all, this movie is almost a must for all retro lovers and people who can still appreciate an animated drama. To be honest, it is a lot better to see it as art and on an emotional level and not as a complete story on a logical level. The scenario is quite simple in all and has an almost dualistic approach to everything. Plus, the ending is a bit forced, with unknown powerful magic doing all the work and love breaking the fabric of reality just like that. Still, if you don’t try to reason everything it is a wonderful family movie, far better than most of Walt Disney’s classics, as it is not politically correct and does not pass the idea that evil is external to the heroes and personified enough to be killed and get rid of that easily.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 8/10
General Artwork 2/2 (artsy)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (simple but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 2/2 (artsy)
SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 3/3 (artsy)
STORY SECTION: 6/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 2/2 (felt ok)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 6/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 2/2 (rather cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 6/10
Historical Value 1/3 (still remembered by some as an interesting retro title)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of the simplistic context)
Memorability 4/4 (artsy to the point of forever remembering it)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 6/10
It is good but would be better with better production values and less magic panacea.