Review: Ragnarok the Animation (2004) Anime | My Reviews 05 JUL 2007

Ragnarok the AnimationFinished watching Ragnarok The Animation the other day. The anime is based on the popular Korean online RPG, Ragnarok Online, which itself is based on Ragnarok, a manhwa by Myung-Jin Lee. So anyone familiar with the MMORPG will no doubt relish seeing many familiar faces from the game make it to the silver screen. I’m unfortunately not one of these, so Ill talk about the anime from an outsiders perspective.

The show goes like this: Having recovered emotionally from the death of her brother Keough, Yufa, an acolyte, and her childhood friend, the swordsman Roan, set out for a new journey across the Rune-Midgard Kingdom. They are joined by the merchant Maya, the magician Takius, the hunter Judia and their old companion, the assassin Iruga. However it seems all is not well in this world, especially since Keough, who was believed to be dead, starts appearing to them once again…

Ragnarok The Animation is a 26 episode long series which chronicles the journey of Roan and Yufa, together with their party as they attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding the rampaging monsters and the return of Yufas deceased brother. As the show progresses you watch as Yufa and Roan slowly mature and in doing so gain more and more power.

The show comes across as standard fantasy travelling party fair, and to be honest, doesnt quite know where to position itself. For much of the first half of the series, the story comes across as a childish show, complete with cute stupid monsters, ala pokemon style, and idiotic humour. At the same time it tries to inject drama into the proceedings which simply doesnt work very well and to be honest makes the show quite difficult to watch. There were more than a few times I just wanted to drop the show there and then.

Luckily I didnt because in its defence, the latter half of the series picks up the pace nicely and delivers a grand finale which for a change is a brilliant ending to an anime series. It would have been nice if the cohesion and storytelling level from the last couple of episodes could have been applied to the rest of the show.

The animation is very bright and colourful and the stupid looking monsters makes this title really seem as if it is aimed at a younger audience. The spellcasting is very nicely done though, but take your time getting used to it youre going to see the same rehashed animations throughout the show. The soundtrack to the show is pretty decent and special mention must be made of the pleasingly gratuitous use of sound effects throughout all the shows varied environments. The voice acting is also pretty decent without anyone sounding too out of place, though some characters voices will annoy you from the get go.

Ragnarok is a fairly polished and mainstream release, and as such I cant really fault it on anything. It doesn’t try to be special it is just main stream fodder. So if you are a fan of the game or perhaps enjoy these fantasy themed shows, then you might as well pick up Ragnarok the Animation (though you might want to skip the first half of it :D).

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.