Fire Emblem – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Fire Emblem

 

Similar: Orphen

Vision of Escaflowne

Scrapped Princess

 

Watched in: Japanese

Genre: Fantasy Action Adventure

Length: 2 episodes

 

Positives:

  • Faithful to the game.
  • It isn’t necessarily bad…

Negatives:

  • …but it isn’t good either.
  • Too short and rushed.
  • Requires knowledge of the Fire Emblem game’s story to feel any investment.

As a big fan of the Fire Emblem game series, I had to watch this anime version, more out of curiosity than anything. And, it was better than I expected. Wait, don’t jump the gun – I didn’t say it was good. I had assumptions of an atrocious mess, but I instead found a nice, retro meh. Oh so retro – that hair!

Fire Emblem the anime is a shortened version of the original NES Fire Emblem game (remade for the DS under the title Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon) – two episodes to cover a thirty-hour game. As you would expect, the anime’s short length results in a rushed plot. We start with Prince Marth and his getaway from the kingdom after enemies invade, losing his sister in the process. He now lives a peaceful life with Princess Sheeda of allied kingdom Talys; however, he cannot leave his kingdom conquered forever. The base game didn’t have the quality plotting and characterisation of the modern games in the franchise, yet this still is rather barebones. This could have warranted a full season – half-season at least. Also, it’s a bit too silly for the serious tone found in the source. Arrow to the butt? Biting the arm like a kid to escape the bind?

Fire Emblem is faithful to the game in some ways. They included all the classes like armoured knights, swordmasters, Pegasus knights, clerics, dark mages, etc. in Marth’s army and even the brigands with giant axes for most enemies. I must admit that this does come across as more of a high production advertisement for the game’s classes.

If you haven’t played the game to fill the details and characters (including the protagonists), I doubt even a mere two episodes could hold your interest.

Art – Medium

Fire Emblem may look old, but it has a good art style that matches the retro games and has a decent amount of animation – spells in particular. Beautiful backgrounds. Good luck finding a sharp copy.

Sound – Medium

The voice work is better than expected for a video game tie-in, yet I found nothing special. Has the iconic Fire Emblem theme.

Story – Low

A very rushed version of the original Fire Emblem game with Marth, of Super Smash Brothers fame, and his quest to retake his kingdom.

Overall Quality – Low

Recommendation: Only for Fire Emblem fans interested in seeing an ancient piece of anime history.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)

 

Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive: None

Negative:

Hollow World BuildingPoor Pacing

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