Despite liberal doses of Dune thrown in for good measure, Green Legend Ran manages to carve out its own sense of future culture and mythology. The earth is in climatic and social decline after six huge probes from space crash into the Earth's surface and draw out all its water and goodness, turning cast areas into desert. The masses are unaware that the alien lifeforms inside the probes are readying the climate of the planet to suit themselves. One such probe, labelled 'Mother', lands not far from the home of a young boy named Ran. A fascist elite called Rodoists protect Mother, the only source of water for thousands of miles, from attack by the people so desperate for the precious liquid. Young Ran accidentally becomes involved with the Hazzard - covert rebel forces intent on destroying the Rodo and the alien probe they protect. It is while working with the Hazzard that Ran meets Aria - a young girl whose destiny seems to hold the key vital to defeating the Rodoists and the alien forces.
Created by director Saga Satoshi, this three part OAV combines acute attention to both the rich cultural detail within the storyline and technical detail in the production. The sketchy background painting of natural, softer hues and shades contrasting with the characters who are rendered in brighter, solid block of colour. It's clear that much planning went into the design of Green Legend Ran but these visual aspects are not at the expense of the plot or characters which have received equal attention. Built around the epic quest-adventure so popular in fantasy fiction, Green Legend Ran uses this familiar framework and turns in an eco-friendly warning and first-rate tale all in one.
The dub and voice acting (like all of Pioneer's releases to date) is faultless. The story of Ran has mystical/religious overtones and this, combined with the medieval/industrial setting often brings one back to comparisons with Dune - the novel and the film. But above and beyond these valid comparisons, Green Legend Ran stands on its own merits as memorable and dazzling anime. In Pioneers terms this is second only to their Kishin Heidan series. In comparison with the rest of the UK market, it's better than most and as such comes highly recommended.
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