Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ragnarok The Animation vol. 1 Impression

Ragnarok, the end of the world. This is actually the case with the MMORPG Ragnarok Online as gamers spend time adventuring online in a game based on the manhwa by Lee Myung-Jin. Now fans of the Korean property will have something to watch in between their playing and reading times. FUNimation has released Ragnarok The Animation on DVD and while it shares a name with the game and manga it’s a unique beast all by itself.

The story is standard dungeon crawling fare. You’ve got main characters Roan, a Swordsman and Yufa, an Acolyte, out looking for adventure, to gain treasure and experience. As they journey they are joined by Takius (Mage), Maya (Merchant), Iruga (Assassin) and Judia (Hunter). The storyline begins to develop as we learn about the death of Yufa’s brother and his possible return as an ultra, mega bad guy. Viewers are treated to a look at Roan and Yufa’s youth, their ties to Iruga, Maya’s childhood and a peek at Takius background all mixed in with monster and ghost fighting.

Ragnarok delivers solid character designs and animation, but that’s to be expected from a Studo Gonzo property. What is delicious is seeing designs that fall right in line with those of the game, making it easily identifiable to players. Having not played the game myself that’s about the extent I can speak about it. The storyline is, as I said, standard fare for a dungeon crawler, but that’s not a bad thing. Ragnarok reminds me so much of Slayers, and that my friends is one of the greatest compliments I can pay. Time will tell if Ragnarok lives up the the memorable settings found in Slayers, but when FUNimation packs in 9 uncut episodes you can’t miss. With great character design, smooth animation, great action and storytelling the future for Ragnarok The Animation looks really bright. I’ll get back to you on that soon, as soon as I finish volume 2, good times. Pick up Ragnarok now.

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