Rune Soldier Louie

(Mahou Senshi Riui)

Rating: 3½ Rampages

Episodes seen: 4 of ?

In a Dungeons & Dragons style fantasy world, a group of no-nonsense female adventurers find themselves stuck with an incompetent male sorcerer. Louie is trained as a sorceror, since his dad's the head of the sorceror college, but he just doesn't have it in him. In D&D terms, imagine a guy with an 18 strength and a 9 intelligence trying to make it as a wizard. Created by Ryo Mizuno who is also responsible for Record of Lodoss War. Mahou Senshi Riui is also set in the Lodoss universe, but unlike Lodoss, Rune Soldier Louie is more of a comedy series with fanservice.

Herself the Elf sez: This show was a lot of fun. It's nice to see a group of independent and experienced female adventurers, particularly the musclebound fighter/paladin. Yeah, she isn't wearing much, but she can kick your ass. Louie is the newbie of the group, and is a delightful cross between Gourry and Male Maze. He's very cute and full of himself, and not *quite* as dumb as Gourry, but tends to accidentally blow things up an awful lot. He *really* sucks at magic. It's not all silliness, though, and the characters have some depth to them which should prove interesting in future episodes.

The animation is very nice and clean, obviously done on computers but without the artificiality that plagues the lower-budget CG shows. The music is okay but not anything really notable. As for the story, it's fun to see a party having to deal with those relatively minor problems that at early levels can stop you cold, like not being able to unlock a magically sealed door. ^_^;

The only real downer is the character Melissa, who's supposed to be a priestess of the war god Myrii and the cleric of the party. Myrii must be a pretty pathetic war god, because Melissa is a whining, prissy, bitchy, annoying little git who is almost completely useless to the party. You'd think the priestess of a war god would have a bit more in the way of guts. Thankfully, the other characters make up for Melissa's obnoxiousness.

In all, RSL is a fun fantasy comedy with a lot of promise. It'll be very interesting and entertaining to watch this low-level group slog their way through adventures and dungeons and whatnot, as well as watching the character interaction (none of the girls are particularly impressed by Louie). I definitely want to see more of this series.

Will be released by ADV sometime in 2003.

Updated 25-01-03