Based on a popular video game, Arc the Lad is a curious amalgam of contemporary and medieval elements. Teenage Elk is a Hunter, a member of the guild of bounty hunters, who perform daring deeds for cash rewards. As a child... more », Elk saw his parents killed and his village burned; he believes Arc was responsible for those crimes--and for the experiments at "White House" that transform kids with special powers into grotesque, shape-shifting chimeras. (Elk has the power to summon fire to destroy his enemies.) When he rescues the passengers on a hijacked blimp, he meets Lieza, a sniveling girl who can communicate with the monster, Pandit. With the aid of his mentor, Shu, Elk protects Lieza, both from his cloddish fellow-bounty hunters and the grisly chimeras that stalk the city--perhaps at Arc's command. Although they wear costumes that recall the Middle Ages, Elk and Shu pass through the modern city of Prodias. The Mayor and his assistant Mr. Clive are plotting against Lieza, and their sinister henchmen are sure to provide Elk with adversaries in future episodes. The characters may be stock anime types, but Arc the Lad offers plenty of swashbuckling adventure. Parental guidance suggested: suitable for ages 13 and up for violence, grisly imagery, minor profanity, and nudity. --Charles Solomon« less
errorfound482 | Walla, walla Washington | 07/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These days, movies that are Action/Adventure tend to focus more on the "Action" and leaves out the "Adventure". What I really liked about this anime is that it has both -- along with a solid story. In terms of storytelling and pacing, it's a mix between a PRINCESS MONONOKE, NADIA: SECRET OF THE BLUE WATER, and BATTLE ANGEL. The pace is not as action-oriented in the first few episodes, and the series itself is not wall-to-wall NINJA SCROLL action, but there's enough excitement and of different types -- supernatural powers, swordfights, guns, and aerial dogfighting. It's not the most romantic movie or the most deep, but what's great about it is that it has a little of everything all throughout, which really touches your heart. ARC THE LAD numbers among COWBOY BEBOP, GASARAKI, and NEON GENESIS EVANGELION as one of the few anime series that I have to get the COMPLETE set."
Arc the Lad is a very good show! I highly recommend it!
Janelle Bruggeman | Taberg, NY USA | 06/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This show is very good. I suggest you read up on it before you buy anything so you know all the facts. I really like it, I bought all six volumes on video. It is rated for ages 15+ so it's not anything for your little brother. There is some gore but it doesn't bother me ( I watched it with my mom, she's not that into anime but she says she likes this show). At a point in the story the main character Elk will seem to go crazy (volumes 4 to 5) but I still suggest that you buy them. I don't blame him as everyone important in his life is dead. Don't worry though, he snaps out of it just in time to help his friends defeat the evil threatening the fate of the world. The last tape is the best of the set. There are some familiar voices (the character Clive is voiced by Ethan Murray, the guy who does the American Express commercials). The other voice actors are very good. The intro is almost classical music (trumpets, etc.) and the ending song "Happy Tomorrow" is very good. It changes to "Rest In Peace" as you get towards the end of the season and will change back to "Happy Tomorrow" for the last episode. The story is a little gloomy as the world where the characters live is full of violence and the fate of the world is on their shoulders. If evil can open the arc then all is doomed. The show is great and I would like to spread the word!"
Based on the Playstation games, "Arc" has a lot of potential
nogana_naishi | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 05/06/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Arc the Lad, the animated series follows the story line of the first two Playstation RPGs, which will soon be released in the US in one huge collection. Until then, ADV gives us this first volume of the anime series, and while it didn't draw me in, it's certainly a step above most anime series based on video games.Arc the Lad follows Elk, a young "Hunter" (apperantly short for Bounty Hunter) and his master, Shu, who saved Elk's life at a young age. Elk vows to one day hunt down Arc, a mysterious man with a huge bounty on his head who supposedly killed Elk's parents. The first episode starts with Arc and another Hunter trying to save an Airship from a hijacker. In my opinion, the first episode could've easily been turned into 10 minutes. Instead, the first 15 minutes start out pretty slowly, and then suddenly during the last 5 minutes, things start to speed up.A major complain of mine would be the episode length, 21 minutes. This is absolutely awful. With only three episodes on the disc, this DVD barely lasts an hour... for 60 minutes of video was fine a few years ago, but now it's just insulting.Animation & Video: Absolutely excellent. This series is only a few years old, so it looks excellent in both animation and video quality. While the quality certainly isn't that of an OVA series, the animation is fluid with a lot of cels used. The transfer is mostly excellent; In fact, I noticed virtually no problems. This is simply a great looking DVD.Music & Audio: The opening and ending themes sound absolutely great, as does all dialogue and music inside the show. I noticed no problems here either. I'd also like to mention the English dub, which I must say is by far one of ADV's best jobs. All the voices fit very well with the characters, and I congratulate them on a job well done. The dub is very enjoyable to listen to with none of the ADV-type extras with annoying voices.Extras: What extras?The Good: Great Video and Animation; Superb dubThe Bad: First volume is a bit boring; Only 3 episodes on the first disc, instead of the standard 4; ... the episodes are only 21 minutes in length each.This series has a lot of potential to be great, but the first volume of "Arc" might disappoint a lot of people unless it starts to improve quickly, and ADV puts more of it on each DVD."
Wonderful animation for a game based anime
Hyung Kim | Laurel, Maryland USA | 04/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This anime is based on a popular Japanes RPG, Arc the Lad 1 and 2. From the three episodes seen in volume one, it is interested enough to continue purchasing the rest of the volumes. It is suppose to be romantic and dramatic, but none like it is revealed yet. Arc the Lad is similar to Final Fantasy in use of magic casting and fighting monsters. The world is exactly like the world you see in Final Fantasy, like vast trees and forest areas yet there are urban and modern cities. Not much of the plot is revealed so far, but I think it's really going to be good. I can't sy much because I may ruin it, so try this Anime. Although the title is Arc the Lad, Arc may not be the main character. The story seems to revolve aroud Elk, a bounty hunter after Arc. If your into Final Fantasy or Fantasy RPG, then this is an Anime for you. This DVD is rated for ages 15+, but there are some gross scenes of Chimera monsters."
Slow start, but could become quite good.
Hyung Kim | 04/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Arc the Lad is based on a video game series of the same name. I think it is based pretty much on Arc the Lad II, but Working Designs has yet to release the games in the U.S., so I'm not sure. The story begins with a woman named Kukuru praying to the 5 elements that the Ark will not be opened. She, by the way, begins every episode by saying somthing similar. As the actual story begins, a boy named Elk is assigned by the hunters guild to check out a blimp with the president on it which may be under attack. On board, he encounters a girl named Lieza who has the power to communicate with a wolf-like monster (who resembles a similar creature from Monster Rancher). On the blimp, a man mutates into a creature and attacks Elk. It turns out that the man is an experiment from a horrific lab called White House. Because Elk has the power to control the element of fire, he has been running from White House all of his life, and now they are after Lieza. With the help of Shu, an extremely powerful warrior who is also from the hunters guild, Elk vows to protect Lieza and her little wolf monster.Now for the details. The animation itself is pretty nice. The image quality is okay, with nice, clean artwork. The characters are mostly well drawn, however, I think Elk looks kinda stupid. Shu, Lieza, and her wolfie look nice, though. The plot is off to a slow start, but these first three episodes show a lot of random flashbacks of Elk's childhood, when the bandit Arc the Lad destroyed his village. This, with Kukuru's little prologues in each episode, hints a deeper story.Sound quality is good. Music is nice in some areas, but nothing special. I'm actually annoyed by the opening and closing songs. Voice acting is mixed. The Japanese tracks are okay, but the voice work in the dub can sound good at times, and just plain bad at others. If you hate subtitles, you should still be able to live with the English version.DVD menus are nice. The title screen shows the complex opening animation in the lower right portion of the sceen, with the title in the upper right corner. You can choose an episode to start with, or select a scene from a certain episode. However, the sections in each episode are only split in half (with the prologue, opening, and credits seperate as well), But hey, it's a TV series. The ads for ADV's upcoming shows are nice, but the scenes are somewhat random. Also, take note that there is no scene list in the package's inner cover.Overall, the series had a ho-hum start, but I'm expecting a pretty good story. There is a bit of blood, profanity, disturbing transformations, and a bit of sex at the end of episode 3, so take caution of who's viewing. Based on the character pics on Working Design's web page, it looks like a lot of characters from the Arc the Lad I and II video games are present, so RPG fans should be happy. The three games are supposed to be linked together, so this anime series may spoil them. Working Designs should release the games for PSX in June, so watch for them as well!"