Title: Rune Soldier aka Louie the Rune Soldier aka Mahou Senshi Riui aka Rune Soldier Louie
Company: J.C. Staff
Format: 24 episodes
Dates: 3 Apr 2001 – 18 Sep 2001
Synopsis: Louie is a wizard who frequently neglects his studies to hang around in bars and start fist-fights with whomever will take him on, much to his father, the head of the mage’s guild’s chagrin. Despite his upbringing, Louie displays next to no magical ability and even less brain power. Meanwhile, a group of all-female adventurers desperately needs a wizard to open a magical door and find that the only one available is Louie. Stuck with the hapless Louie as their wizard, the party sets out on an adventure. Will Louie ever become a competent wizard? Or will Melissa, Jeanie, and Meryl kill him first?
Comedy: Hilarious character antics.
Character Designs: Good.
Plot: Waits too long and utterly fails to develop one.
Watch out Slayers and Dragon Half, you’ve got some competition in the form of Rune Soldier. The character antics in Rune Soldier rival both of the aforementioned titles in hilarity and the characters themselves are just as fun to watch. I don’t know if the characters and setting are based off of someone’s Dungeons and Dragons adventures or not, but it sure felt like they were. Even the main characters fit the roles of Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, and Wizard almost to a “T.” I had fun comparing the characters to D&D characters of my friends and mine from campaigns long past.
The character designs and artwork also deserve mention as both are above average. Iwakura Kazunori did an excellent job of adapting for anime Mizuno Ryo‘s detailed and wonderful character designs from the original manga. The background art provides a nice backdrop for all the goings-on of Louie and company. If there was one word to describe Rune Soldier‘s art and animation, it would be “colorful.”
Regrettably, Rune Soldier fails to do one of the most important things an anime can do, develop a plot. The stories of the individual episodes are good enough, but there is no continuing plot to tie them all together. The creators tried to work on a plot in the last three episodes by introducing conspiracies and by making the show far more serious, but it feels as out of place as a nun at a Marilyn Manson concert. Rune Soldier is good enough without a plot to tie everything together, but it could have been far more than it was if it had said plot.
Anyone who is a fan of Fantasy/Comedy will want to check out Rune Soldier. The comedy, the vivid colors, the action, and the D&D-esque feel are a combination sure to please a wide variety of audiences. Show you have more brains than Louie by giving Rune Soldier a chance. It’s just too bad that the creators couldn’t come up with an overlying plot that Gary Gygax himself would have been proud to have created.
The Rating: 6
Reviewed by: Kuma