Gude Crest – The Emblem of Gude (Onna Senshi Efe & Jīra: Gūde no Monshō) 1990
Gude Crest is a JC Staff one-shot OVA. It’s based on the high fantasy novels of Hikawa Reiko’s (Onna senshi Efera & Jiriora, 1989 -) and at 45 mins it really zooms through the story, so that’s a plus if you want something fairly old-school and fast-paced.
On the other hand, Gude Crest wasn’t blessed by a big budget. You’ll get a fair few pans across stills to establish the location and even a few repeated shots, though overall it’s not miles behind the studio’s Ellcia (released couple of years after). To my eye, care has mostly gone into character design and some of the fight sequences.
What I found most enjoyable was the characters and the world itself, since everything is presented pretty boldly, which makes sense given the running time. In a way, the heroines Efe and Jīra aren’t too far removed from say Charlies Angels or even the Dirty Pair, since their dynamic is pretty similar. You can see that mismatched partners/buddy-cop feel to their interactions at times, though the bickering isn’t always funny so much as just ‘on-screen’.
Elsewhere the dialogue can be exposition-heavy and I suspect that’s partly because the adaptation starts more ‘in the middle’ of a book. Instantly, the characters are already well-defined but in contrast, there’s a lot of contextual info that seemed to be missing.
Still, it’s a short, fun fantasy story. And somehow, though it is less complex than say Ellcia, I think I enjoyed Gude Crest a little more. Even with a fairly anti-climactic finish in some ways, it just had more exuberance overall.