The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Rune Soldier

Title: Rune Soldier aka Louie the Rune Soldier aka Mahou Senshi Riui aka Rune Soldier Louie
Company: J.C. Staff
Genre: Comedy/Action
Format: 24 episodes
Dates: 3 Apr 2001 – 18 Sep 2001

Synopsis: Adopted son of Guildmaster Carwes, Louie is far from ordinary. A magician by title and warrior at heart, his instinctive urge to act on impulse leads him to resort to fist fighting more often than not. Yet when a mix-in with a group of female adventures turns into a flee for dear life, Louie stumbles into the Mylee temple in midst of a sacred ritual. His mishap places him as the object of Priestess Melissa’s revelation, that Louie shall be her Champion. Though it is against their will, the group will learn through their journey whether Louie can succeed as a magician and an adventurer.

The Highlights
Story: Takes you on a fun adventure… that leads nowhere.
Music: Exhilarating opening theme.
Characters: Add to the fun, but have little substance.

I had the opportunity to sample Rune Soldier at Anime Expo this year, and needless to say it caught my attention enough to give the series a chance. Put simply, it was funny and fun, and I hoped to see more of it in future episodes. While to be fair it did deliver what my initial expectations were, I was given little else.

The most protruding element of Rune Soldier is the premise. A group of adventurers getting into… well, adventures! And who cannot appreciate the charm of swords and magic, damsels and dragons? Each episode was a journey that leads the viewer through some good laughs and an entertaining story. Yet if you are waiting for deep character development or plot elements, then you came to the wrong anime; which is truly a shame, considering that this genre and series had so much potential. While the last couple of episodes dabble in drawing out a more serious plot, it comes as too little too late.

The characters of Rune Soldier follow suit with the plot. Their humorous antics keep you well entertained, but they too lead you nowhere. You would assume that setting a male protagonist in a group of female adventures would lead to some romance; some unraveling of deep, emotional swells of background story, but the viewer is again left hanging to dry. This is another element I feel had much potential, but I was left unsatisfied.

While perhaps not necessarily a treat for the eyes, the series is indeed a treat for the ears. Hearing the opening theme is like turning on a new video game; it sends a chill down your spine, filling you with excitement and anticipation. Although the rest of the soundtrack is not nearly as worth mentioning, this is counter-balanced by an excellent seiyuu cast. This includes the talent of Kikuko Inoue, voice behind the face of such beloved characters as Belldandy (Ah! My Goddess) and Kasumi (Ranma 1/2). Animation on the other hand is so-so. The character designs are nothing to turn a head about, but I felt the backgrounds were done beautifully.

While I had mixed feelings and opinions of Rune Soldier, viewing it was an enjoyable experience. Although it fell short in some areas, it did deliver on my initial premonition. It may not have a solid story or deep characters, but any viewer will appreciate the laughs and entertainment it can provide.

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: Godai

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