Upon the release of Ranma 1/2 on Bluray, Mike takes a stroll through the world of Rumiko Takahashi.
Reviewby Maral Agnerian, Jan 27th 2002
Fortune Quest (TV)
DVD 1 - Journey to Terrason
Wide eyed heroes Pastel, Clay, Rumy and Trapp are no strangers to adventure. With a mix of lightning fast steel, subtle stealth and elven wizardry, they are the perfect team.
This time, a strange magical crystal drops into their hands, and it looks as if it may be linked to the power of dragonkind. When a quest like this calls, these heroes have no choice but to answer. They belt on their swords and begin a perilous journey to Mount Terrason in search of answers.
Apparently the OVA and manga were popular enough to warrant making this TV series. Made considerably more recently than the OVA, the production and animation quality are greatly improved, which is nice, but they forgot one thing--the funny. Where the 4-episode OVA was a hilarious parody of role-playing games, with the TV series it seems they decided to scrap all that and turn it into your average fantasy adventure series. If that was their goal, they succeeded brilliantly--Fortune Quest TV is indeed very average, in almost every way. Most of it is just straightforward fantasy stuff that we've seen before many, many times, and the few lame attempts at humour are terribly forced slapstick crap involving dumb Wile E. Coyote-esque henchmen and whatnot. Some of the in-jokes have been carried over from the OVA, but they've had all the life and humour sucked out of them and just fall completely flat. I don't think I even giggled once throughout the entire 5 episodes.
The first episode dragged intolerably, with most of the episode taken up with Pastel introducing the characters via internal monologue. Get ON with it already! Speaking of which, the characters are just ridiculous. It didn't really bug me in the OVA (probably because the whole thing was a parody and made no pretensions to seriousness), but the choices of party members are questionable to say the least. Pastel is supposedly the Bard (she writes about their adventures) and Navigator, but she herself admits that she has no sense of direction. Pretty much all she does is wander around in a very short skirt and emanate that "I'll do my best!" genki-ness typical of anime heroines. Sorry, but to be in MY adventuring party you need to offer something more than a cheerful outlook on life. Then there's Rumy, the 2-year-old elf kid in a clown suit that's supposed to be the magic user. She can do a couple of spells, but who in their right mind would take a toddler adventuring through a dangerous wilderness? And of course, there are the white dragons, which look more like big flying hairy dogs with unicorn horns. Riiight.
To top it all off, the subtitling job is full of typos and very strange translations ("Digesting your thoughts will push open the door of mystery"). The dub voices are kind of annoying, but the dub script itself is pretty good, with some liberties taken to make the dialogue flow better in English. The music's about average, with a your typical genki-pop opening and a slower ending song.
All in all, Fortune Quest TV is so formula it almost put me to sleep. A somewhat tedious and very ordinary fantasy series, it doesn't have much to set it apart from the rest of the dreck out there. Not really recommended.
Overall (dub) : C
Overall (sub) : C-
Animation : B-
Art : B-
Music : C
+ Nice clean animation, cute characters
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