Rune Soldier - Volume 2: Adventure for Dummies Review
The magician, thief, warrior and priestess continue on their merry, if not dangerous path toward fortune and glory.
So we find our friends learning to adjust to each others’ quirks which still isn’t easy, due to constant bickering amongst themselves. Louie is still trying to prove his worth and the girls won’t take him seriously. In fact, as if that wasn’t bad enough Melissa has recruited three trainee priestesses and they have already begun to have issues with the so called “hero”.
So now Louie has six, travelling, female companions to belittle him and only his best friend, Ila seems to look out for him. But it’s not all bad for Louie as his thirst for adventure keeps him going, with Melissa praying for good luck for him..and herself. Despite her fears she finds herself needing Louie and through the course of these episodes we see their relationship begin to develop.
With more characters introduced the comedy has heightened and the episodes in this volume are a joy. The stand outs are Louie’s Golem in Merrill's Jar and Melissa’s old fiancé, Conrad in Die for Love?. These standalone episodes work tremendously well, however that is all they seem to be at this point.
While we are seeing Louie and Melissa get to know each other better and certain character flaws in the likes of Merrill, with her obsession for money we don’t have any story arc as such, or nothing major as yet. For the time being it is about the group adjusting and adventuring.
Often with any show you would expect a major villain to intrude during its run but here it seems the makers want to take it easy and just let us have fun with the characters. So far developments are slow but on the plus side we are seeing highly enjoyable standalone episodes, laced with humour and a healthy dose of action.
Watching Volume 2 I am finding myself liking the characters even more. Louie has a sense of charm despite his fluctuating personality and he’s the guy you keep rooting for. It’s his personality that keeps him so interesting because you have no idea where it is going to take him next. There is surely much more to learn about Louie and in due course I hope we will.
The most underdeveloped character so far is Genie, the warrior. All we really know is that she is a protector and a woman that the girls look toward for guidance. Aside form that there is not much else and again I hope we learn more about her past in future episodes.
I continue to praise the writers for coming up with consistently entertaining episodes. The show never relies on vulgarity but does sway toward adult humour at times. All I shall say though with regards to the humour is that you must watch it with the original Japanese track as the English version just doesn’t deliver the jokes so well and often you find that certain jokes and lines are changed.
ADV present Rune Soldier on a nicely produced DVD with another gorgeous, reversible cover and some neat packaging extras that includes temporary tattoos and two puzzle cards that when put together with future cards will form a large illustration.
The animated menus are very colourful and each one features a character from the series.
Volume 2 includes the following episodes:
Episode 5 - Inexperienced Extracurricular Lessons
Melissa takes on three new, young recruits who are training to become warrior priestesses. For their first adventure they are taken to an ancient ruin that is infested with zombies. Melissa still struggles with the fact that Louie is her chosen hero and doesn’t wish to tell her new friends the news, due to embarrassment.
Louie, Merrill, Genie, Melissa and the young girls enter the ruin but it starts to cave in. Louie and Melissa become separated from their group and find themselves facing a horde of zombies. Time for Louie to show what he’s made of.
Episode 6 - Die for Love?
Melissa gets a surprise visit at the Mylee shrine from her old fiancé, Conrad. Melissa tells Conrad that if he can defeat Louie in a duel then she will return with him to Ramliearth, should he lose then he must never see her again. Once again, Louie is put into an unavoidable situation but this time is he fighting for love?
Episode 7 - Merrill's Jar
Merrill makes a fortune after betting on the underdog, Louie to win from his duel with Conrad. Her happiness soon turns to despair when the inn she is staying at burns down and she rescues her “darling jar”. Becoming increasingly more paranoid she takes the jar and tries to keep it safe from everyone, even her friends.
Louie soon finds her and she convinces him to help her bury the treasure. Using his magical powers, Louie summons a clay golem to act as a guardian and Merrill instructs it to let nobody lay a finger on it - forgetting to exclude herself. The pair must now try to stop the golem before it drops Merrill’s jar in the bottomless spa.
Episode 8 - A Tearful Festival of Mylee
The town of Ohfun is preparing for the Mylee Appreciation Festival, which comes around once every five years. As the townspeople prepare, Louie’s instructor tells him that he is grounded and must not go outside until he completes his homework. Having been caught up in adventuring, Louie had forgotten all about his studies.
During the five days, Louie works hard on his tasks and manages to finish just in time for the festival but is now too tired to be able to enjoy it. Meanwhile, Melissa’s young recruits plot to embarrass Louie in front of the priestess but their plans are soon foiled.
Trouble soon erupts and Louie must prove his worth as a champion once more.
The transfer for this looks excellent. Colours are brilliant and detail is strong. There is the occasional softness in background shots and some slight rainbows to match but this happens rarely and overall the look is as good as you’d expect from a show this recent.
First up is the Japanese audio. Presented in the original 2.0 track the dialogue, music and sound effects are crisp, there are no problems whatsoever.
The English track on the other hand sounds a little different, aside from the obvious language change the dialogue and effects have a heavier sound. At times the dialogue sounds tinny, not as natural as the Japanese dub and has too much bass.
Clean Opening and Close
The opening and close sequences, sans overlaying credits. It’s always nice to get these as you can appreciate the quality animation on offer.
Trailers for Saiyuki, You're Under Arrest: Mini-Specials, Zone of the Enders: Dolores, i, The Original Dirty Pair: Project Eden, Full Metal Panic and Noir.
Rune Soldier continues to entertain, as it should. It may not have any indication just yet as to where it is going but in all honesty it matters little. The series features plenty of humour, action and lovable characters set in an interesting world. Volume 3 isn’t far off and I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.