Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Reign The Conqueror Vol 1 Ascension|
Genres: Action & Adventure, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Funimation Prod Inc Release Date: 02/25/2003 Run time: 120 minutes
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The first volume is the best of the series
Jessica Levai | MA, USA | 10/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A bit about my background. I like some anime, but I'm no otaku. Fact is, I rented this because I am getting a PhD in Egyptology, and at the time I saw this, was heavily studying Alexander the Great and his successors.
That said, I liked this movie. I liked how it took the story of Alexander and tried to make a fantasy space-opera out of it. It works a lot of the time. They didn't even have to exaggerate too much. I laughed when they got things wrong and laughed harder when they got things right. It rewarded my scholarship and entertained me. The art direction and character design are ridiculous, I got used to it. Besides, don't tell me that androgyny and flexible sexuality has no place in an Alexander story.
The later volumes of the series are not as entertaining, and they waver from what I like about the historical character too much for me to ignore, and I was dissapointed in the ending. But if I find this volume on sale for a discount somewhere, I probably will pick it up.
I can't recommend this to anime fans. They might hate it, they might like it, but I just don't have enough background. And I can't recommend it to the casual observer, because the plot is kooky even for someone with graduate-level knowledge of the subject.
I will recommend it to anyone who knows a thing or two about Alexander the Great and has an open mind to see what Chung and his associates did with the story. Listen with the Japanese-language track and sing along to the ludicrous J-pop love song theme, or use the English track with its slightly more appropriate theme song. Either way, rent this at your local video store before you buy."
Did you like Aeon Flux?
Jessica Levai | 12/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you liked Aeon Flux (either the Liquid TV shorts or the longer episodes), then you'll like Reign. If you have no idea what Aeon Flux is, then you should watch it or an ep of Reign before committing to buying the DVD. The animation style is very unique, and not everyone likes it. It doesn't look like what people have come to expect from "anime." It's really sort of a post-anime style. I'm not sure why there are all those other people's names in the credits, because this show has Peter Chung's fingerprints all over it.The plot is decent and makes the viewer pay attention. The show actually makes you think about what is going on. In fact, some of the plot is *gasp* ambiguous. So if Trigun's plot taxed your noggin, maybe Reign is too far in the deep end for you. The one improvement over Aeon Flux is that the plot makes a heck of a lot more sense and hangs together throughout the series. As others have mentioned, the clothing choices are somewhat bizarre (similar to Aeon Flux), and the sexual persuasion of some of the characters is ambiguous (not sure what someone who has a sexual preference for snakes is called), so if you're not comfortable with that, maybe you should move on.A unique and cutting-edge animated series."
M. Zveris | 07/14/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This series can be best summed up as a train wreck, you know you shouldn't watch but you just can't bring yourself to look away. I would, honestly, have given this show a negative rating if it weren't for the fact that: while the plot is full of liberties taken with the life of Alexander the Great, the characters are all hermaphroditic in appearance, the voice acting is grating, and it's generally tripe...it isn't horrid. The plot is coherent though twisted, loosely historically based, and at times nothing more than an attempt to reach the heights of vulgarity. The art is while not my style in the least (men in thongs, strange sexually charged scenes, overuse of purposeful body morphing) still artistic and well drawn. The voice acting is annoying but the voices fit the characters.
This is one of those anime that is probably going to be "make or break" based on your taste. I liked Aeon Flux (also Peter Chung's work) but despised Reign the Conqueror. I am not going to go into the plot because you can find it on Wikipedia, ANN, or most of these reviews. It is unique, I will give it that! At times the plot is even engaging it's just whether or not you can pay attention to the plot while you suffer through the rest of the goings on.
I felt like this entire series was reaching for greatness and tried to take on too much, it was like watching a teenager attempt to be edgy which always fails miserably. There was so much shock value that sitting there I just felt like I was waiting for the next over the top, ridiculous liberty to be taken with the characters, storyline, or the visual presentation. I would recommend this series to a pre-teen or teenage boy, I think they would find it entertaining and while it is absolutely a mature (rated R or higher) series it isn't really worse than what children watch on television these days.
I was incredibly disappointed in Peter Chung in regard to this project because I do believe it could have been fantastic, and he was very close to making it there. I am not sure what happened to Reign the Conqueror, and I'm not sure I want to know, but I was disappointed. In the end it was just too much for me to swallow and too badly pulled together for me to appreciate even though it is outside the realm of my usual taste in anime. There were good elements that just ended up being lost in the muddle of this overly ambitious series.
As I said earlier this is one of those series I believe you will either love or hate, and because there seems to be no real middle ground I highly suggest you watch some of the episodes before you commit to purchasing this show. Or, if you want to see how much your stomach can handle pick up the whole show you may even be able to show it to some friends as an example of what they should never, ever, buy."