Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Let's Talk Anime : Halo Legends

Halo Legends recently came out and has mixed opinions about it, Halo fans especially. This weeks Let's Talk Anime is going to be on Halo Legends, which is one of a couple anime movies that is an American IP taken to Japan to get the anime treatment. It's 7 shorts from some of the biggest anime companies.

The box says on the back. This sweeping science-fiction saga delves into the rich Halo universe with seven exciting stories(told in 8 parts) focused on Master Chief's mysterious origins, the Spartans' advanced combat capabilities and the tense rivalry between Spartans and Orbital Drop Shock Troopers(ODSTs). Created in collaboration with some of the world's leading animators from Japan, Halo Legends draws you into the center of humankind's ongoing battles with the Covenant, dynamically depicted in cutting-edge animation styles that deliver breathtaking visuals and gripping adventure. Go beyond the game - and join the roll call of Halo Legends.

Sounds interesting huh? Well let me start by saying that this really is meant for Halo fans, so if you aren't one the stories will not be as significant to you but you may still enjoy it since it is designed for those who haven't played Halo to try and get them into the games.... but that may not work. I've talked with some Halo fans about this movie and they had mixed feelings. Some of my friends loved it because it gave them more understanding of the universe and a couple were Japanophoic about it before they saw if and hated it after watching it. I honestly liked it. The Halo legends first story is 'Origin 1 & 2'. This is both an introduction to the Halo universe and history lesson so people can understand how the games idea came out. This part is good because it sets the theme of the movie and tries to bring the viewer into the story. The second part is 'The Duel' which is a water coloured dabbed looking short that looks better in standard definition then HD. It looks at the Covenant elites culture, which looks very Japanese and is the origin of the Arbiter as a heretic in the Covenant ranks. It's a good short that will make people who like a samurai action film excited during the fight scenes and it's definitely made for action fans. The third part is 'Homecoming' which is one of the best ones on the DVD and the story focuses on the Spartans' origins and on a female Spartan who goes home to find a clone taking her place and receives a little bear from the clone that was originally hers. This part has the Halo shooty stuff in it but focuses more on the flashback of the Spartan in the firefight. The story is well told and I honestly wish they would have made it longer. The mid point part is the not so serious short 'Odd One Out' This one is a short that breaks the seriousness of the rest of the movie with a story about Spartan 1337... yeah, anyone who is fluent in cyberspeak, gamer talk or idiot should have worked out that it's Leet which is idiot/cyberspeak/gamer talk for elite. It's story is of Spartan 1337 falling off the back of a ship to land on a planet colonised by humans. He gets attacked by some kids pet dinosaur and he fights a cyber-brute in a over the top DBZ kind of fight with a couple of teens who look like the were designed by an Akira Toriyama fanboy. It's good because it throws the seriousness to the side to give a short enjoyable laugh. The fifth part is 'Prototype' which is about a soldier known as 'Ghost' who has a problem with showing emotions and fights to save a small unit from a Covenant attack in a prototype mobile armor. It's action packed and the story isn't in focus that much but it looks good. Part six is 'The Babysitter' which is about a squad of ODST who are given the task of sniping a 'Prophet' and teaming with a Spartan who will take the shot and the teams sniper doesn't like it. The story is ok in this, but it's one of the weaker parts in the story department. The final act is 'The Package' which is just a high octane CGI short that appeals more to the Halo fanboys more then the rest of it. What little story there is, is a squad of Spartans lead by Master Chief are tasked with rescuing a scientist from the Covenant fleet in the sector. The crowning moments in this are the First person perspective scenes with the Halo 3 HUD and it's all action with no substance. Like I said this will appeal to Halo fanboys more because of the CG and lack of story. Overall all the parts make a good movie, but it's hit and miss depending on the viewer.

To be completely honest if you are a Halo fan you will get this for collection and you'll probably like it. If however you have never played Halo, you may still enjoy this but there is a lot better things to watch.

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