For me, this OVA series was in no way terrible… but it just seemed like it included a pretty wide range of ideas that didn’t quite come together by the end, and so missed the mark a little for me.
Green Legend Ran (Gurīn Rejendo Ran) 1992
A lot of folks mention the influence of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind here and it’s definitely clear, though Green Legend Ran is both more violent and less assured in its storytelling, I reckon.
There were some haunting moments and some sharp action sequences in the series but even with a reasonably sympathetic hero and heroine, I still wasn’t enthralled.
I did like the character design from Yoshimitsu Ohashi (who has worked on Millennium Actress and Trigun among others) some of it was really memorable – especially the Bishops, who were both bizarre and creepy, that aspect was pretty great.
Other characters appear bold in a way that maybe evokes something common to kids animation, but this maybe clashes a little with the tone of the story for me.
(In terms of more ‘cross-overs’ from other 1990s series, a minor character is also voiced by Kōichi Yamadera who is easily recognisable as the voice of Spike from Cowboy Bebop.)
Even though it’s not super-detailed, I did enjoy the setting – it had a good mix of dystopian desert and unnerving greenery, though I don’t want to talk too much about those scenes so as to avoid spoilers.
It was nice to be unsure as to who exactly was the bigger threat in this series, as nearly everyone poor Ran and Aira encounter have their own hidden motives.
Still, despite some big themes and some fun connections with other shows, I’d only recommend Green Legend Ran if you had always been curious about the series and perhaps can find it reasonably cheap/can stream it.