Fire Emblem Anime Review
US Release By
2 30-minute episodes
1996-01-26 - 1996-04-26
In the time before legend, an evil dragon has risen up to enslave the land. A young prince whose father was killed battling the forces of evil now leads a nomadic band of knights. Enchanted sword in hand, he and his displaced countrymen fight to drive back the darkness and bring peace to the world.
Record of Lodoss War with a higher budget. Actually, Fire Emblem is based on the classic Nintendo video game series (not available outside Japan until relatively recently), but for all practical purposes it's basically a cross between the other two old-school fantasy OAV series, Record of Lodoss War and The Heroic Legend of Arslan.
The plot (prince leading an army) is closer to Arslan's, but the style, feel, and characters are much more like Lodoss War, and it's more light-hearted than either. Unlike Lodoss War, however, Fire Emblem actually has the budget it was written for, so it comes off a little better visually. The art, character designs, and animation are all acceptable, if not particularly noteworthy.
In fact, Fire Emblem falls comfortably into average in just about every category--average story, average art, average characters, average fantasy. It's not a bad series, it just isn't particularly good, either. Given time to develop it might have been pulled out of mediocrity by the scope of the story, but cut short after only two episodes, it's really little more than a teaser unless you're a fan of the games.
Fire Emblem is acceptable technically, and fun enough to watch, but is definitely no fantasy masterpiece. If you like light-hearted fantasy (or the games), you'll probably enjoy it, but it's otherwise unremarkable.
Notes and Trivia
Based on one of the earliest entries in a long-running series of games from Nintendo, although outside of the characters' appearances in the Super Smash Brothers series, they have only recently been translated for North American release.