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Anime adaptation of CLAMP's manga.
the Lord of Heaven is betrayed by his wife and murdered by her lover,
his chief general. The usurper rules for 300 years, until the day when
the prophesied band of six warriors arrives to defeat him. But there are
only five of them, so they wander around a bit looking for the missing
slowpoke, while various people go on about "things that shall be" and
"that which is written." By the time they find the latecomer, it's time
for the credits to roll.
Based on a manga by the CLAMP artistic
collective who gave us CardCaptors, RV is one of many of their works
that has been poorly served in anime form. Like many anime designed as
ads for much longer manga (e.g., Compiler), RV finishes before it's even
begun, with the band of heroes heading off to do great deeds,
frustrating English-speaking fans who want to know how the story ends
but cannot read the original.
The English dub uses genuinely
British accents with mixed success; plummy goddesses ordering around
minions sound rather good, but the iconoclastic gang of farting,
bickering heroes seem like the Famous Five on safari. Although George
Roubicek's script is fine, Rg Veda suffers (like many anime) from being
transliterated instead of translated. The fact that we're watching a
Japanese fantasy retelling of Hindu myth is interesting, but the script
keeps names in their Japanese form, so we never find out that
Taishakuten is really Indra, Karura is Garuda (see Karula Dances),
Kujaku is Mahamayuri Vidyarajni (see Peacock King), Kendappa is
Gandharva, and Yasha is Yaksha. There are a few nice moments of fantasy,
like the butterflies who are "messengers of darkness," and the mad
Princess Aizen Myoo (Ragaraja, a red-skinned, three-eyed, six-armed male
demon in the original), who imprisons Yasha in a castle of ice, but
it's all been done better elsewhere-chiefly in the pious Indian
The production company pretentiously used
Sanskrit orthography to write the title, not expecting the English
distributors to mistake the opening two letters for initials-it's thus
pronounced "Rig Veda" not "Argie Veda."
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