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Orphen: The Perfect Collection [Import]
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A must-have for fans of anime and magic alike, Orphen is the exciting and adventurous quest of a young sorcerer as he desperately tries to rescue a beautiful enchantress from a curse that has transformed her into a fierce, vengeful dragon. Together with his apprentice Majic and the spoiled heiress Cleao, Orphen must battle his treacherous instructors from the magical university the Tower of Fang, armies of stone golems, swarms of giant insects, rogue masked avengers, renegade robots, and two dastardly little trolls.
Orphen is an adventure like no other! And now you can have all the thrilling swordplay, captivating spells, wicked humor, and charming characters in one action-packed collection!
Based on a series of fantasy novels by Yoshinobu Akita, Majutsushi Orphen (literally Sorcerer Stabber Orphen, 1998) is a rambling but entertaining saga of a pure heart triumphing over seemingly insurmountable challenges. Orphen is the adopted name of Krylancelo, a promising young sorcerer. Azalie, an older girl who was like a sister to him during their training, tried to use magic that was too powerful for her--and was transformed into the dragon Bloody August. When their wise instructor, Childman seemed bent on destroying the dragon, Orphen left his tutelage in the Tower of Fangs, vowing to save Azalie himself. Six years later, he's still on that quest, joined by his apprentice Majic and feisty blonde Cleao, plus the comic brothers Volcan and Dortin. As they wander through cities and enchanted ruins, Orphen's story is recounted in flashbacks. The world they wander througn is a decidedly odd one that mixes elements of feudal kingdoms, the American West, and Europe during the Industrial Revolution.
The translation is problematic, with the English dub differing substantially from the subtitles: the blue puppy Cleao adopts is called a "Deep Dragon" in the subtitles, but a "Wolfen" in the spoken dialogue. The animation is erratic, and the design of Orphen's face changes noticeably in the last few episodes. But Orphen remains such a likable character, the viewer willingly overlook any flaws. Note: the plastic case comes apart easily. (Rated 12 and older: violence, grotesque imagery, nudity) --Charles Solomon
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The story is the highlight here; it's interesting and mysterious from the get-go and unfolds excellently throughout the series. One of my favorite aspects about this series is that it sort of begins in the middle of the story, and it unfolds not just forwards, but backwards as well, slowly piecing the past together via flashbacks and revelations.
I found the characters to be interesting and enjoyable. They made me laugh when I needed to, and made me sympathetic at just the right moments. Most interesting is the way things are turned on their head halfway through the series; you'll find yourself wondering who's an enemy and who isn't.
In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed this series. It was funny, intruiging, and dramatic. This is a title that definitely gets overlooked far too much; take my advice and check it out. I highly recommend it.
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