HALO Legends Reviews
|Keiko A. --Samurai--||
October 9, 2010
Halo Legends is an anime anthology series in a similar vein to "Animatrix" and "Batman: Gotham Knight". It consists of 8(but actually 7 since two of them are just parts 1 and 2 of the same story) short animated stories that explores areas of the rich Halo game universe. Different anime studios and directors worked on each segment as such, the quality of both the stories and the animation varies a lot from one clip to the next. Some for the better, others less so. Overall, the whole production plays the "diversity over quality" card. There is something for everyone to enjoy but at the same time, something that a anime fan might like, a Halo fan might consider it as a great insult to a great game. But people should really know I am not a halo fan I have a Playstation 2 not an Xbox. The only reason I got this is because everyone else was buying it. And it was given very positive reviews.
I'll rank the segments from my favourite to the least favourite
1) Origins 1 and 2 directed by Hideki Futamura with animation produced by Studio 4C. Cortana narrates out the history of Halo from the ancient time of the forerunners to the events of the game. Though it plays out like some slideshow, the animation is richly detailed combined with the best 3D CGI used for backgrounds and vehicles. They even used a older 1980s animation style for the ancient history segments to give it that aged look. With a bus load of fantastic settings and planets Origins is by far my favourite out of all of them.
2) The Package, Directed by Shinji Aramaki. This one is for the fans of the game as it looks just like one of the in-game cinematic cut-scenes. First, an amazing scene of space combat that rivals even Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Then all out Guns-a-blazing action as Master Chief and a team of Spartans attempt to retrieve the titular package John Woo style. So many little easter eggs including a short FPS sequence and an important cameo appearance, easily make this segment a fan favourite for sure.
3) "The Duel". Boasting a graphic style reminiscent of classic Japanese watercolor paintings courtesy of Production I.G, it really is refreshing to see an anime studio try something new. With themes of honour and betrayal, the costumes worn by the characters and even the traditional woodwind music, it is safe to assume that the directors, Hiroshi Yamazaki and Mamoru Oshii intended this to be a homage to traditional Japanese folk tales and art. We follow a tale of an Arbiter named Fal who fears that the covenant's ways are dishonourable. The prophet uses this to accuse him of heresy and has Fal's wife killed in order to lure him to his death. It is action intense while also giving a glimpse into the Covenant's inner workings.
4)"Prototype" by studio bones. Directed by Tomoki Kyoda of "Eureka 7" fame and new comer Yasushi Muraki, it seems that someone got lazy and just edited a story outline of a Gundam episode with new names and Halo terminology. I would have ranked it higher if it weren't so unoriginal. Basically its about a Platoon commander "Ghost" who suppresses his human emotions in battle. He steals a weapon laden mobile suit and attempts to hold off the Covenant forces while the humans can escape. Imagine Gundam Wing's Heero Yui as a Halo marine and you have Ghost. While this was a heart wrenching little anecdote, it suffers thanks to its unoriginality.
5) "Homecoming". Another unoriginal story. The main character is a SPARTAN II soldier. While the story takes place during a mission in present day, flashbacks reveal the sad origin of the SPARTAN program where children are kidnapped to be surgically augmented and trained to be super soldiers. The flashbacks tell the tale of a failed escape attempt by her and some other trainees and how she finally comes to terms with her role in the coming war. Homecoming tries to tug on the heartstrings but ends up a being a boring mess. The flat 2D art and uninspired character designs clash badly with the beautiful backgrounds. What?s more, the tough SPARTAN soldiers are portrayed as angsty emo teenagers. One of the weakest entries in the whole movie.
6) Odd One out. 1 word summarises it = stupidity. The title not only describes the main character SPARTAN 1337 but the entire segment itself. While other clips focus on dark gritty war stories, Odd one Out focuses more on comedy. It is no surprise that director Daisuke Nishio, who also directed the Dragon ball series, would imbue this with all the staples of those long running Shonen action series. Exaggerated hand to hand combat, quirky characters, super powered kids, crap dialog. Even the flaws like repeated scenes and inconsistent animation is present here. A real insult to Halo (If anyone plays it)
7)"the Babysitter". Not only is this little story one of the weakest in terms of narrative but in the animation too. The story does not have the emotional impact of the previous ones and only serves as a reminder for the Halo fans that the production team has not forgotten about the Hell jumpers from "Halo: ODST". Toshiyuki Kanno's animation is flatly colored and clashes with the detailed CGI backgrounds. Character movements are painfully stiff except for one or two shots.
In the closing I guess I really didn?t like this as much as I thought I would buy most segments are okay. I have no Doubt we will see a second anthology series coming very soon. I hope much better then the last.
Keiko?s score 79-100
April 19, 2010
Similar to The Animatrix and Batman: Gotham Knight, Warner Bros Studios again hands the task of creating several stand alone short films to various famous anime directors. For hardcore Halo fans, I'm sure this could be a real treat. For someone like me who is only somewhat familiar with the actual mythology it has some ups and downs. There are some particular solid entries, but the ones that have elements that should seem to resonate with someone more invested in the universe just didn't really for me.
Origins and Origins part II - Didn't really care too much for what was going on here.
Duel - Easily the best entry here. Most interesting and ambitious in terms of its artistic style and story presentation, channeling a number of different elements, including Kurosawa of all things.
Homecoming - an example of one that would appeal to someone more invested in the Halo universe.
Odd One Out - A lot of fun. Nice way to bring in some comic relief to this overly serious set of films.
Prototype - Fairly solid.
The Babysitter - Some quality action gets me past the whiny main character.
The Package - Completely CG, with fun nods to the game, however the quality feels less like Final Flight of the Osiris and more like Beast Wars - Halo Space style.
March 24, 2010
HALO Legends is a tough old story to get into but I found it much easier once I pressed play on the remote control.
March 4, 2010
Much like 'The Animatrix' DVD, a small collection of short stories from both sides of the war and in different artistic styles....only difference is this kicks the snot outta the Matrix release hehe
This is so much more fun and just makes you wanna boot your Xbox up n play haha it starts off with an very interesting and lengthy narration of the Halo story right from the beginning, the universe's history in the Halo universe and its actually pretty cool. As you watch through each segment you will find the animation is crisp and cool in all stories which vary from what looks like rotoscoping to manga and cgi. The best looking in my opinion is the rotoscoping looking episode whilst the final cgi episode is pretty much like a sequence from the Xbox game, nothing too special really, kinda shiny and obvious but it has the best action sequence near the end :)
The hand drawn episodes are lovely to watch and really show how good the Japanese are with animation, the colours and light effects are just superb and it really gets you excited for the future of the Halo franchise. The upcoming film could really be an awesome adult action flick with a sensible adult plot in the vein of 'Aliens', but I guess we all know in the end it will be a kiddie friendly, PG-13 pile of puke :(
This rules though ;)
September 18, 2011
This could be called 'video game propaganda.' Nice animation doesn't make up for lousy story-telling.
May 17, 2010
Sorry guys, this just stunk. Like it was made for a 10 year old that has to wait 3 years to see it because it is PG-13 then watches it and realizes it stinks now but I make have liked it 3 years ago.
August 18, 2010
Not bad, some were good others were painful to watch... Collection of short animated films in various styles and various genres
August 11, 2010
Really love the movie. Especially since I'm a pretty big fan of the Halo franchise. I liked the style that they took with the artwork and the stories weren't bad at all.
June 4, 2010
This was a nice compilation of the HALO universe and how things work. Without spoiling anything you get a=some answers that aren't quite explained in the current video games. Some of the "episodes" were kinda lame, but the majority of them were fun and exciting with a lot of heart.
April 29, 2010
This is not a film your average, everyday movie fan will watch. It has a specific genre and topic driven audience. As it is, I enjoy a variety of different animation movies and familiar with the game (although not a consummate player). The film is a collection of short stories, which are animated by different artists. The animation was both good and fair. There was enough variety to see the style and artistry of the different teams, which each viewer will most like appreciate to their taste of style. The story lines are easy to understand and just as east to get into. This is a must own for the true die hard HALO fans and a nice diversion for the animation fan.
April 28, 2010
I probally wouldn't recommend this to people unfamiler with the video game or don't like anime. But like the animatrix this will be satisfying to people who are a fan of the game. The first two storys are a narated backround which I thought were more informative to the HALO universe than the games themselves. I also like these short story formates for anime because the mix up the art styles and give you a range of stories.
March 29, 2010
Not bad. Very much in the vein of Animatrix and The Gotham Knight. Certain episodes were better than others, and it was nice to see a little back story fleshed out, especially then origins episode. Odd one out was easily my favorite while The Duel was certainly my least.
February 20, 2010
FINISH THE FRANCHISE
ORIGINS I - (2)
Apparently, the animation design for Part 1 of "Origins" is supposed to be similar to the style of Moebius from the Halo Graphic Novels; simple and bare. While this style definitely works for comic book frames, the animation in motion does not work well for me; it almost looks like a fan-made Flash animation. In fact, the style vaguely resembles the cheap look from the infamous "Dead Space: Downfall" animation.
ORIGINS II - (3.5)
"Speed and Distance had done nothing to separate you from your Nature."
Studio 4°C delivers in this second part of the "Origins" episode; the themes and animation aesthetics are wonderfully cohesive. - Awesome blend of anime and computer animation; HALO Legends truly begins here.
"I wonder why humans must continue to fight."
THE DUEL - (4)
I'm already a fan of the Arbiter, so to see his predecessor in the role of a Toshir? Mifune character doubles that pleasure. And the beautiful water-color painting style adds another layer of admiration towards this simple, archetypical back-story.
HOMECOMING - (2.5)
This episode reminded me exactly why I can never seem to take the HALO universe seriously; all of the cartoonish aliens contrasted with the dark, human military elements is too silly. Being a fan of the "Ghost in the Shell" series, I was fairly disappointed with Production I.G.'s delivery of this story. Supposedly, there is huge fan interest with the Spartan training back-story, but nothing is really revealed here. (The cameo doesn't really do anything for me either.)
ODD ONE OUT - (3.5)
"I'll get you at long last, Master Chief!"
This episode is refreshingly awesome; it plays out like a Saturday morning cartoon on par with Mighty Max or Inspector Gadget. In fact, it's made by the same director and designer from the Dragonball series and all the signature fighting animation styles are there. : )
(In the commentary for "Homecoming," the creators said the story was originally much darker, but they toned it down for the sake of episode transitioning... I think if they had stuck with their original story, the contrast with this episode would have made "Odd One Out" that much more awesome!)
"Oh, no! We'll be done for if he reaches full strength!"
PROTOTYPE - (2)
Just another Gundam episode.
THE BABYSITTER - (2.5)
A standard HALO story.
THE PACKAGE - (2.5)
This episode could very easily be an opening/ending cut scene for a HALO video game; all the right aesthetics and nuances are there. - The space dog-fight half of the episode though, I find pretty boring; very reminiscent of the "Appleseed Saga: Ex Machina" movie.
November 18, 2014
7 short stories from the Halo World, different style of animation used in each of them. Some of them were really good, other mediocre.
November 12, 2014
A decent package of short animated films from the Halo universe. With many differing styles and approaches to the subject, this collection does some good for the franchise despite some weak moments in storytelling and ambition.
April 28, 2014
Well that was retarded. Why are the flash clones that replaced the spartans alive? Wtf they changed the entire storyline. They made the female spartans look weak and japanese female-y. This was so bad.
July 9, 2013
HALO Legends is like Batman: Gotham Knight and The Animatrix in that it is a anthology movie that contains eight episodes chronicling the much beloved HALO video game universe.
The tales told include (but are not limited to): A soldier with no emotion fighting off Covenant forces in a badass power armor suit, a group of ODST's and a SPARTAN assassinating a Prophet, the origin of The Flood and The Forerunners, and a SPARTAN down on his luck. All of the episodes are well animated, containing some breathtaking moments, and the many action scenes are pure eye candy. The dialogue is well penned and well voiced, with the strongest episode being the origins of the SPARTAN program. However, the one episode that really sticks out in a "not so god" kind of way is the one about the unlucky SPARTAN, in that it tries to be all jokey and shit. Problem is, not all of the jokes are funny.
But despite the one episode being mediocre, the rest of the episodes are incredible and should be seem by anime fans, and if you are a HALO fan like me this is a must buy.
June 5, 2013
While the quality of the segments are all over the place in "Halo Legends", an animated anthology of stories based or set in the universe of the video, enough of them are entertaining and it's worth a look.
"Origins", the first segment (split into two parts) is the best and the most compelling visually and story-wise. If you're already a fan of the video game series, it will be satisfying to see the whole story laid out clearly and in chronological order and if you're just grabbing this movie as an introduction to the series or as a standalone Sci-fi story the concepts and creatures are quite interesting. There aren't really any characters to speak of because it's a "historical" retelling that tells a story that spans from thousands of years ago up to several hundreds of years in the future when humanity makes contact with alien races. The animation is well done, the story is clever and it's well written. A good start to the film and it gets you excited to see more of the universe explored.
The second segment "Duel" doesn't have a story that's nearly as engaging because you've seen it before. This one takes a lot of its material from feudal Japanese samurai stories. The main character is an expert fighter who refuses to partake in actions he deems dishonorable. The higher-ups brand the "Arbiter" a traitor and sends legions of goons after him in hopes of killing and humiliating him, while a backup plan to slaughter his wife and force him into a duel to the death is also set in motion. The visual style is really unique and is quite striking visually. Every frame looks like an oil pastel piece and this sharp contrast along with the fact that this segment contains no human characters whatsoever makes it quite unique. The nods to feudal japan are interesting, if a bit exaggerated at times (one of the aliens is wearing samurai armor; not something that look like samurai armor but straight up, feudal japan stuff). Unfortunately the originality stopped with the visuals because if you are at all familiar with characters motivated by "honor" or samurai stories you'll easily be able to see where it's all headed.
"Homecoming" is the third story and the one that features the weakest animation. Something about the way the characters are drawn, particularly the faces really look off and it's a distraction. The story itself is ok, you get some insight on how the "Spartans" (the humans' elite fighting force) are chosen and trained but the characters in the story itself are bland. The ending explores how awful it is to be a soldier that has no place outside of war in a "tragic" conclusion you've seen before in any war movie (particularly the science fiction ones where you have super soldiers bred only for war). Aside from a few overly sappy moments, it's not very memorable.
"Odd One Out" certainly lives up to its name. It's a comedic story that parodies the "Halo" Universe and other Japanese animated series (notably "Dragon Ball Z"). The main character "Spartan 1337" is an unlucky goofball that suffers from an over-inflated ego (probably because despite his horrendous luck he is still a part of humanity's last hope). The animation is perfectly suited for the light-hearted and comedic style and helps you adjust from the drastic change of tone. The story is utter nonsense but there are some pretty funny moments and feels pretty fresh after seeing two mostly uninspired chapters in a row.
"Prototype" has some very good and exciting sequences, but as the 6th segment starts to play out you'll realize that a lot of the stories don't have very strong plots. The main character here is a sergeant who's become numb by war and has decided to use a prototype exo-suit to combat invading alien forces while scientists from the facility he is defending escape. You get to see a lot of flashbacks to explore how "deep" his character is because you see, the last member of his previous platoon just wanted him to be able to feel again and "be human" one last time and told him this in a "emotionally moving" speech right before she died. It feels very similar to the previous "Homecoming" story and some of the later ones as well. It's sappy and cheesy, the ending will have you rolling your eyes but the action sequences are very fun and violent.
Chapter 7 is "Babysitter" about a squad member that gets upset when he is bumped down from first to second choice for a sniper assassination. The new soldier is a "Spartan" and we get a bit of the universe fleshed out when the characters discuss among themselves their feelings about these super soldiers. When it comes to the job, there's some decent action sequences, you get to see the "Spartan" ("Cal-141") be a badass while the protagonist whines a lot. Afterwards the the ending is a letdown, with some business about the bonds between soldiers and letting go of your preconceptions about super soldiers and that kind of thing. It often feels like a retread of "Prototype" and "Homecoming".
The final segment is also the only one that isn't traditionally hand animated. The action is pretty thrilling but it also gets extremely ridiculous. There's a booby trapped room that detonates all of the contents, including the people who were tricked into walking inside the room, but just to make sure, the baddies also detonate the entire ship. It makes you wonder how much time, money and effort is required to build a massive space shuttle that the villains in the story can just throw them away willy-nilly. The mooks that are thrown at the 6 "Spartan" soldiers are effortlessly blown away by the dozens but before the action gets tiresome the story ends. The action and space battles are good, the characters are just excuses to bring more guns into the battles, the story is nutty. Overall it's a decent entry.
One of the big faults in all of the stories is well, the stories. Most of them are very simple, take a lot of their material from already established tropes and other, better and longer works or are just excuses to have people shooting at aliens for ten minutes. A few of the stories mix it up, like the "Odd One Out" and "Duel", with mixed results. The animation is average to sub-par and the most interesting tale is easily the first one, which means it pretty much goes downhill from there in terms of writing. Thankfully the stories move quickly and it doesn't feel long despite its nearly 2 hr running time. It's worth a view but unless you're a hardcore fan of the franchise you'll want to rent it before you commit to buying the Dvd/Blu-ray. (Dvd, June 2, 2013)
March 16, 2013
a rather interesting collection of short animated films in the spirit of 'animatrix'
January 2, 2013
Excellent animation and slick action sequences combined with some truly interesting plotlines that tie into and shed light on the Halo multiverse make Halo Legends a treat for fans of animation and the Halo series alike.