Hi, I'm the Eclectic Dude and I review it for the lolz.
Well, after 2 weeks of me praising Ah My Goddess (which it deserves), I feel it's necessary to return back to the comfort zone: obscure OVAs from the 90s. So, in keeping with this month's theme of Romance and Relationships, this weekend's OVA is Legend of the Last Labyrinth.
Alternate titles include Princess Rouge and Princess Rouge: The Legend of the Last Labyrinth.
Never heard of it? I am not surprised. This 1997 OVA was produced by JC Staff, though much of the work was done by Japan Narration and Acting School. It was originally slated for 6 episodes, but only two got made. The creator of this OVA is Aoi Takeuchi, the same guy behind Voogie's Angel (see my review of that piece of crud back in November). This and Voogie's Angel are the only series that Mr. Takeuchi was involved, so you know that this will be good /sarc. AnimeWorks released the OVA back in 2000. SO, is this any good? Let's find out.
Episode 1 is simply the exposition episode. Yusuke (the main male lead) was riding his bicycle one day when a girl falls from the sky. Somehow, he ends up in a creek with this girl. She (a rather pretty girl with green eyes/hair) turns out to have amnesia. Yusuke takes her home, where during the night, she has weird dreams involving the death of her mother and chaotic war. The, it cuts to some unnamed villain who sends a female minion named Vega to seek and capture 'someone' out (a coincidence eh?). So far, so good. This is followed by a montage of Yusuke and Rouge (thats her name, seriously) going out on the town and getting clothes and other things. Rouge, she is not a good cook but feels safe with Yusuke, since she got amnesia. Yusuke is a high school boy who's out on his own, with money problems that follow.
So, essentially, their relationship is based off of a need to be with each other. Rather basic, if I do say so myself. Then, later that day, Yusuke comes back to his house and finds Rouge's two sisters. Kaige is a fiery redhead with some sword skills, while Meige is a blue-haired calm, smarter one who is a mage. They are here looking for their sister, of course. But, then Vega shows up, saying she has captured Rouge and holding her hostage.
The last part of this episode is a rather confusing but the gist of it is that Rouge is the Princess of the Underworld (yeah seriously) whose king has been recently disposed and her mother killed during the revolution brought upon by the unnamed villain. A Battle commences and Vega is killed. The group of Rouge, Yusuke and her 2 sisters return to the real world. It ends with Rouge's 2 sisters decinding to stay with Yusuke in order to protect Rouge.
Episode 2 starts off with the unnamed villain (now named Raiga) sending Regulus (Vega's sister) to complete his sister's mission. It is more or the less the same formula that was done in the first episode. Minion comes, tries to take Rouge away, they fight and Regulus is killed. And when it just gets good, it ends on a fecking cliffhanger. The final scene is Raiga preparing to send another minion off to do the same freaking mission again. Third time's the charm, eh?
Now, this OVA doesn't have much good or bad about it, just a mixed bag. The only good thing about it is the blooper reel of the English dub voice cast fudging their lines up and improvising a bit. It is quite a riot.
The mixed bag lies in the animation and English dub voice acting. The animation is rather good in some parts, but at times it has the look and feel of an animation school project. The dub is rather OK. Juliet Cesario and Scott Simpson have the roles of the main couple, and they seem to try and recapture the greatness they had in the Oh My Goddess OVA, and failing, not for lack of trying.
This leads to the bad part of this OVA, and that is the story. Aoi Takeuchi can write a romance story in the way he wrote a sci-fi invasion story (Voogie's Angel), which is to say not very good. He seems to borrow a lot from other supernatural romance series, like Oh My Goddess.
It is so cliched in some parts that I am surprised this got made at all, much less 2 out of supposed 6 episodes. That's the other thing, not only it is unoriginal, it is unfinished. Of course, some guy named 'Nick' decided to write a fanfiction that continues the story;
Here's the link: http://theanimegarden.tripod.com/princessrouge/fanfic.html (though, read it only if you have seen the OVA otherwise you will be confused a bit)
So, Final Word: An unoriginal and unfinished story of romance between a human and a supernatural being. I would watch it only if you are curious. But, if you avoid it, you lose nothing, which is a very sad thing to say about an anime.
Next weekend concludes Romance and Relationships Month with My Dear Marie.