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Green Legend Ran

Entry updated 19 September 2022. Tagged: TV.

Japanese Original Video Animation (OVA) (1992-1993; vt The Green Legend). AIC. Directed by Satoshi Saga. Written by Yu Yamamoto. Voice cast includes Takeshi Aono, Michio Hazama, Hidehiro Kikuchi and Mitsuki Yayoi. Three 45-51 minute films. Colour.

The Earth, brought to the brink of Disaster by Pollution, is visited by the Rodo, Aliens whose Technology sucks up most of the planet's air, water and wildlife, leaving it a dry wasteland (see Ruined Earth). Now, a hundred years later, there are six relative oases, each lying around a Rodo monolith which towers over the landscape. The Rodoists, a militaristic Religious cult, controls these areas: five have a bishop and the main monolith, called the Holy Mother, an archbishop. All are Mutants, changed by their proximity to the monoliths. The rest of humanity eke out their existence in the hinterlands, as the Rodoists keep most of the remaining water for themselves. A revolutionary organization, the Hazzard, led by Kiba (Aono), plan to destroy the Holy Mother; though the more pacifistic Jeke (Hazama), an ex-member and the group's founder, wishes to talk to the archbishop in the hope of reaching an agreement.

As a child, teenager Ran (Kikuchi) saw his mother caught in the crossfire between Hazzard and Rodoist forces: he never saw the face of the man who fired the fatal shots, but would recognize the scars on their chest and vows revenge. He joins the local Hazzard group, befriending a silver-haired girl, Aira (Yayoi). However, Kiba arrives and forcibly takes her for questioning, as she is connected to the Holy Mother; Ran, recognizing the scars on Kiba, vows to rescue Aira and punish his mother's killer. He meets Jeke's team (we learn that Jeke is his father), who – like Hazzard – are on their way to Green 5, the settlement built around the Holy Mother. During a battle with Hazzard the Rodoist forces abduct Aira and take her to the bishops. Though the archbishop is decent, the five bishops prove to be unpleasant, their behaviour triggering Aira's powers. This leads to her being summoned by the Holy Mother, who explains that Aira is her missing twelfth silver-haired maiden: now she has the set she can turn the Earth green again ... turning humanity into plants in the process. Despite Aira's protests and Hazzard's attack – foiled by a Force Field – the Terraforming begins. However, Rodo makes his way into the Holy Mother's inner landscape (see Dimensions) and begins calling Aira's name: she hears and reacts – causing the harmony of the maidens to be broken, the operation falling apart. Earth is now green, but only some humans have become plants.

Though good, with some nicely animated sf aspects, the Anime is hindered by its title character: the standard headstrong and impetuous teenage male lead, having remarkably little effect on the plot and certainly achieving nothing remotely legendary; he does not even achieve his revenge on Kiba. Ran's actions do indirectly lead to the Holy Mother's plan failing, but only because he is forlornly running around yelling Aira's name, rather than as a result of any design on his part. Both Jeke's and Kiba's plans also fail. Whether the failure of the three main male characters to achieve their ends is intended as a statement, or their actions were simply to provide some fireworks for the plot, is unclear – though their different perspectives do give the slightly Clichéd story more depth. It might be argued that their role is to hide the fact that the film's lead character is Aira, with Ran simply her love interest. [SP]


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