"Since time began the Gods have ruled in the heavens with the almighty Tentai controlling Earth. All was peaceful until TAISHAKUTEN the treacherous general rose up, slaughtering Tentei and thrusting the world into darkness."
"Only six warriors can stop him, the six points of a shimmering star: YASHA, ASHURA, RYUOH, KARURA, SOHMA and a mysterious sixth member."
"But each have to face their own tests of endurance before they can fulfil the prophecies of KUYOH. And the warriors super-human powers are pushed to the limit in their relentless rampage against ice skeletons, sea serpents and deadly butterflies..."
"Can the six points ever be united or will evil triumph?"
"R G VEDA is a historical legacy that teaches us the virtue of honour, the power of love and that we should never trust butterflies..."
Creator: Mitsuhisa Hida, Yutaka Takahashi, Megumu Sugiyama Director: Hiroyuki Ebata, Yoshimasa Ikegami Music: Nick Wood Copyright: CLAMP/Shinoshokan/ Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc./MOVIC Language Format: English Language Running time: 78 mins Certificate: PG Label: Manga Video Catalogue no: MANV 1014 Price: £12.99 Release Date: 1993
An epic fantasy, in the Dungeons and Dragons vein. Caught in the midst of a war between the armies of demigods Taishakuten and Tentei are four companions, Yasha, who wields the devastating Yama Sword, Ashura, a little girl with mystical powers, Karuma, a lady who can magically summon Garuda the war bird, and Ryu, a war-like young boy who wields an oversize sword which creates serpents whenever near water. There is a fair amount of plot and fantastic combats.
This little-known anime is another discovery by Manga Video. RG VEDA is a high-fantasy swords & sorcery adventure where most of the characters possess magical powers. The title refers to the Indian Rig-Veda, but which mythological characters (if any) the ianimei characters represent is unclear. Five heroes are set against the victorious general Taishakuten, who has conquered the Earth. They can only defeat Taishakuten if they find a sixth warrior and unite to form a shimmering star. Yasha, the tall male warrior, and Ashura, the devastatingly cute small princess, get most of the action.
The storyline starts with an ambush in a pre-credit sequence, and goes on with danger, magical battles and narrow escapes. It drags in a fair number of rather emotional plot tokens: true friendship, an abandoned girl, a child hated by her mother, and some wonderful conceits, such as the flock of malign but beautiful butterflies. The magic is quite spectacular, the backgrounds are pretty, the character designs are good and there are some quite lovely looking scenes. The background music is good too.
This video was made by an all-woman collective, CLAMP, and a female outlook can be discerned in it: more style and feeling, less blood. On a first viewing, the video has quite an emotional impact. True the plot is a bit corny, the dialogue is sometimes a bit dumb, and delivered in a rather wooden manner, but it doesn't really matter. Those scenes work, and it just looks so wonderful.
I should warn prospective buyers that the end of the video is NOT the end of the story: it ends abruptly with nothing resolved. Altogether one has the impression that this is part of a longer work, and that some prior knowledge was expected. There was a Japanese original comic, which Japanese viewers would have read.
If you have any liking for magical fantasy, go forth and buy RG VEDA. At least, you'll have trouble finding anything else as pretty for £12.99 [Geoff Cowie]