I was more than pleasantly surprised by this. After reading it was based on fantasy books by Emily Rodda I was expecting the quality to be low, aimed purely at a young shounen audience. However, the art quality satisfying and the soundtrack/sound effects were impressive. I read Emily Rodda chose to have it made into an anime as the company was the only one who offered not to change the story. I’m wondering how faithful this end product is to the original, and whether Emily is pleased with the result?
My personal issue is there is nothing new here, and I would rather see more fantastical characters. However, this is not what this anime is about, and if it sticks to old formulas and does it well this will still be enjoyable to watch. The art and music capture the fearful atmosphere people of Deltora find themselves, after the 7 gems have been stolen and placed in different parts of the land by strange winged beasts (cool design). It is sad that the glorious castle is now off limits to the people living in fear of the shadow soldiers. The hero Leif is a likeable lad who doesn’t realize how lucky he is to be protected by the disheveled (disguished) Barda (who later removes his wig to reveal his strengh as Lief’s protector). The Shadow Lands seem scary, and you want Lief to succeed. Some of the background art has this really dappled impression style I like, and the light effects are good. Overall this is a solid piece of animation. If you are over 16 and looking for a nostalgic trip back to those fantasy books you loved as a teenager, then you will love this. I’m looking forward to seeing the 7 different lands he must travel to, what his relationship with Jasmine will be like and whether the story surprises me or not. I imagine this could be made into a film in the future, in the current trend of LOTR, Eragon, that would be cool!
My main niggling criticisms are that the battle at the start was too blury, (cost cutting ?), the OP wasn’t nearly as good as the ED, didn’t like the weird animation short about the belt, I wanted the soldier designs to be scarier, and the woman’s lip movements looked odd sometimes.
OP – Jasmine
The Deltora belt, book and map.
Shadow Land soldiers
The castle, before the gems were stolen.
Evil shadow beasts who stole the gems
Castle burned by the shadow soldiers
16 years later, present day…
The Shadow soldiers tell people not to pick apples from inside the castle grounds (now closed off).
Lief has other plans as he steals an apple, which rolls to a cute little girl.
He is chased by guards but secretly helped by Barda so he survives. I like his angsty look at the shadow symbol.
Anyone would think these guys were evil!
Opening the box to see the glowing belt:
Backstory (pretty art)
The lands Lief must travel to, to discover the gems:
Barda reveals his true self
A secret passage ^_^
Lief is a headstrong young boy but I’m sure we’ll see him develop on his journey.
You get the feeling Barda really cares for him.
Aaaargh, evil flying beasts!
Oh no! What will happen to our heroes *Cliffhanger*…until you see the preview of next episode, I wonder what Jasmine’s seiyuu sounds like.
Overall Enjoyment Level: 7.5/10