Something seems kind of familiar…

Posted by DiGiKerot in One shots, R1 DVDs at February 16, 2010 on 8:46 pm

I can’t help but think there’s something astonishingly familiar about this screencap from, of all things, Halo Legends, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…

Well, OK, it is quite obviously a visual reference to the Pretty Cure OP sequence, which would probably be have been staggeringly bizarre if I didn’t know that particular short had been directed Daisuke Nishio.

These anthology works are kind of a guilty pleasure for me. There’s something massively nostalgic about about productions where anime studios are basically given a bunch of money to throw together something of a visual quality they’d normally be unable to obtain. It takes me back to watching all those 80’s productions which were clearly the result of investors having more money than sense, where more often than not the only redeeming feature was the gorgeous animation.

Yet, Halo Legends is kind of disappointing. The first half of the production, in terms of it’s visual quality, veers from the bland to, in the case of The Duel, headache-inducing. The writing isn’t all that much better – The Homecoming was, at least, interesting in terms of plot, but it’s brevity robs it of any real weight, whilst the two-part look back into the history of the Halo universe just kind of proves that the Halo universe isn’t actually very interesting.

It’s kind of hilarious, then, that the Toei piece that I’d fully expected to be the worse part of the work ended up being the turning point where things get, if not interesting, than at least rather pretty looking. The fact that Odd One Out is essentially the stylistic and tonal bastard-child of Pretty Cure and Dragonball Z, probably helps it a great deal, as does the fact that it’s been set completely adrift from the series canon.

The other three shorts are, at least, rather pretty. The Bones piece isn’t really anything more than an excuse to have a lavishly animated robot suit blow things up for ten minutes. The piece by the staff of the Appleseed CG movie doesn’t even really have much of an excuse – it’s just things blowing up for ten minutes, but it does at least side-step the old Resident Evil D-Generation problem of looking worse than the games that spawn it (or at least in RE:D’s case, the game that was being trailed on the DVD) by stepping stylistically far enough away from it to make direct comparison pointless. Studio 4°Cs’ The Babysitter, in which a bunch of ODST’s accompany a Spartan on a sniper mission, was mostly pretty good, as you’d probably expect from a studio which predominantly produces short films. A shame, then, that the endings not only eye-rolling cliche, but also has an ending reveal that had already been used as an opening to one of the other pieces.

So, yeah, Halo Legends. Kind of lame. Shame, that.

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