Green Legend Ran

Volume 1 sleeve Volume 2 sleeve Volume 3 sleeve

Official Blurb:

"An all action, futuristic adventure series with an "eco" message, GREEN LEGEND RAN was created by director Saga Satoshi, the pioneering animator responsible for series such as "Fivestar Stories" and "Makyu-Sengyo 2". The scenes are all painted in a three dimendional perspective to create what Satoshi calls "an explosive energy" and give the series a very "real" atmosphere. The result is a poignant, dynamic and hard hitting tale reminiscent of classic stories like "1984", where the survival of mankind as we know it relies on the strength and bravery of just a few."

"It tells the story of a teenage boy named Ran, living in a world where water no longer falls from the sky and the air is barely breathable. What were once oceans are now undulating deserts filled with red hot sand and the only water source is provided by six large mysterious aliens who have fallen from space. The worshipped gigantic life form is know as "Mother" and is controlled and protected by the elitist class "Rodo". These "Rodoists" are constantly battling with the revolutionary "Hazzard" faction, who use extreme measures to try to once again distribute the treasured water to the masses who so desperately need it."

"This series is like nothing you've seen before - wholly original with a whole host of memorable characters. At once a futuristic adventure, love story and cautionary tale, GREEN LEGEND RAN will change you preconceptions about Japanese animation once and for all - and is guaranteed to entertain, A vital part to any collection or perfect for the anime "novice" - GREEN LEGEND RAN is sure to become a classic, Don't miss it!"

Director:        Satoshi Saga
Screenplay:      Yu Yamamoto
Copyright:       AIC/Pioneer LDC Inc.

Language Format: English Language
Running time:    45 mins each
Certificate:     PG/12/12
Catalogue no:    PIO 10005/PIO 10006/PIO 10011
Label:           Pioneer
Price:           £12.99 each
Release Date:    13th Feb/13th Feb/22nd May 1995


This is Pioneer's third title to be released after Tenchi Muyo and Moldiver. In contrast to the comedy of the first two, GLR is a drama set in an alternate world whose surface has been drained of all water by six mysterious aliens that have fallen from space. The aliens provide the only source of water for the population, and this source is monopolised by a cult-like group called the 'Rodoists' who battle against the 'Hazzard' faction who wish to free the water supply for the masses. The main character is a teenage orphan boy named Ran who longs to join Hazzard so he can avenge his mother's death at the hands of the Rodoists.

The production values of GLR are not quite up to the standards of Pioneer's previous releases, but this is made up for by its excellent design and attention to detail. Despite the odd plot cliché, this is solid drama with plenty to recommend it. [Jonathan Weeks]

Green Legend Ran is somewhat more serious (although not wholly so) than Pioneer's earlier titles, being set in a post-apocalyptic future where the majority of the earth's water has been drained away, leaving seas of silt. Only a few scattered pockets of life remain, either around the aliens that created the desolation, or around a handful of undiscovered wells.

An oppressive religious group - the Rodoists - hold sway over the areas of 'Holy Green' around each of the alien machines (called Holy Mothers), and like all good oppressive regimes, are engaged in a guerrilla war against a group of brave freedom fighters - the Hazzard.

The main character of the series is Ran, an orphan boy who lost his mother when he was very young. He longs to join the Hazzard to avenge his mothers death, and indeed does become associated with them, but during his adventures he learns that it may not be the Rodoists who killed his mother. Ran meets and befriends Aira, a mysterious young girl who shows signs of mysterious powers, but she is taken away by one of the Hazzard commanders, and Ran sets off in pursuit.

Stranded in the ocean of silt, Ran is rescued by the water trader Jeke and his crew. However, there is more to Jeke than first appears - he knows a lot more about the factions and people involved than he is letting on! To make matters more complicated, the Rodoist fleet captures Aira, prompting all factions to head for the centre of Rodo power, Green 5.

As Jonathan has commented previously, I don't think Green Legend Ran is as well produced as Tenchi or Moldiver. There are times when the voice actors are somewhat flat, although the technical quality of the dubbing is quite good. Similarly, the plot is rather clichéd, owing a lot to Frank Herbert's Dune series. Although not my favourite anime by any stretch of the imagination, I did enjoy these OAVs, and am looking forward to part 3. [Chris Hartford]

Comment from newsgroups:
i didn't really like it.
the whole thing with the holy green was way to bizarre for me..
plus i never really like ocean dubbs so maybe that another reason.
overall plot was decent, but it could use some more cuz i felt the
animation was poor and well, nothing else pulled it up unless you like
to laugh at bad dubbs

Enrique Conty:
Future Boy Conan on acid.  If you like that sort of thing, by all means
get it.  But it seemed to be a bit too weird for most people here.

Personally, I liked quite a bit of the imagery in it,
even if the ending was somewhat rushed.

Todd Showalter:
    Yeah, that's more or less the way I felt about it.  It was a good
story, and I liked it.  The ending came up at a rather fast pace for
what the rest of the story had been like.  I was also expecting a
little more of the history of Ran's father (saw this about 7 months
ago and can't really remember anyone's names).

    It was good.  If you don't mind paying attention to the dialogue,
you won't regret seeing it.  If you're looking for fast action, look
elsewhere.  It's not a heavy plot story, but you won't enjoy it if you
ignore the dialogue.

Lee Randall:
I'd say the animation is very good.  It's Pioneer OAV animation, with
some of the stylistic similarities that seem to be in all Pioneer
animation (or is it just me?).  The animators paid a lot of attention
to facial expression and body language in a way I haven't seen too much
in anime, and the results are very pleasing.  There's some good
conceptual design work, too.  The world "feels" like it works.

There are some truly great and trippy surreal scenes in this series,
especially when Kiba sees the leaf on his thumb... animation is great
for these kinds of things, and Ran shows that.