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sterfish's Majutsushi Orphen Tv Review

Majutsushi Orphen

Majutsushi Orphen tv Review

Story & Characters

In the first season of this fantasy/action series, Orphen is a rogue sorcerer who is trying to find the legendary monster Bloody August. The monster killed many but disappeared suddenly and stayed away for five years. Now, Orphen is trying to save the monster from destruction by his mentor, Childman, and the elders of the sorcery school called The Tower of Fang. His apprentice Majic and Cleao, an heiress, join him on his quest to find information on the Sword of Baltanders, an artifact which created Bloody August.

The main story of this show is actually a bit better than it sounds. There are surprises and twists along the way as you find out the connections between Orphen, Childman, and Bloody August. The characters develop nicely as Majic tries to become a better sorcerer, Orphen tries to become stronger to save Bloody August, and Cleao deals with being on the various adventures (and a potential interest in Orphen). The filler stories are okay, but one in particular (involving a vicious life-sized doll) is kind of lame.

Rating: 6

Art

The character designs are appealing but not great. The characters are more realistic, with only Cleao having incredibly large eyes. Overall, the show color palette is dark and murky with lots of black, brown, and dark blue. The animation is average, with the magic scenes looking the best. There are also some brief uses of 3D computer animation that have not aged well at all. One episode also features a wavy effect that is easily the most annoying visual effect I’ve ever seen in an anime (apart from seizure-inducing flashes).

Rating: 5

Sound

Two things drop down this score: the music and the dub. While the OPs and EDs are not bad, the background music is awful. It consists of simple, repetitive synthesizer pieces that you will grow to hate after hearing them for the 10th time. They don't enrich any of the situations and they stand out when they shouldn't. While the English voices are not bad, the dub of this show makes so many unnecessary changes that it’s almost another show entirely. If you watch this show, pick one language and stick to it...otherwise you might end up being very confused.

Rating: 2

Presentation

Despite its shortcomings, the show is actually pretty fun to watch. There is a lot of comic relief, mostly from the characters Vulcan and Dortin. The two dwarf-like siblings always get into mischief that always seems to also affect Orphen and the gang. There is a running joke as to whether or not Dortin is a girl or a boy. Sometimes these two are important to the storyline (like when they take the Sword of Baltanders) but most of the time they are there solely for entertainment purposes. Other comic relief comes courtesy of The Black Tiger, a masked man who attempts to warn Orphen. His ridiculously cheesy introduction and the weird animals he rides (hint: there's not a horse to be found) make for some big laughs. Also, check out the middle two DVDs for hilarious English omake.

Orphen is not terribly original or the best anime ever made, but it’s a fun fantasy show that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you don't have high expectations, you should be able to enjoy this show. It's more serious than The Slayers, but it doesn't aspire to be high art.

Rating: 6

Final Verdict

5.17 (moderate)

Reviewed by sterfish, Nov 19, 2004

Comments

  1. Kukuru Dec 07, 2007

    A nice short review that pretty much sums up how I felt about this series. :)

    While I enjoyed watching it, there are much better animes out there plus I thought the storyline dropped a little towards the end of the series. It's still fun to watch if you love the sort of 'dark magic' feel.

  2. nainoi Oct 02, 2009

    Thank you for review.

  3. rukasu44 Jan 09, 2011

    I think this series could be better, maybe if I watch again I'll can see something else

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