Amon's parents have been murdered by an evil overlord who's kidnapped the princess of a benevolent king because he wants some treasure somewhere. And that's why Amon wants revenge, so he infiltrates the evil guy's fortress in an effort to exact said revenge.
And that's all you really need to know to see this one, or, more likely, to dismiss it. As you probably can guess, I wasn't impressed with this title at all. I know it's old, but that's not really an excuse. Hell, the Galaxy Express 999 movies are old, but that doesn't stop them from being some of the most beautiful movies I know of.
Fantasy Rule No. 1: The hero's parents are ALWAYS murdered by the movie's bad guy. And revenge is ALWAYS the path of choice.
The biggest problem this title had is that it seemed to play itself out STRICTLY by "The Big Fantasy Scriptwriting Rulebook". And it would also have been the most predictable movie in the world if not for the fact that it's so unevenly paced. Plus, this movie is all about SCENES. Not plot, but scenes. Plot is ... unnecessary, because it answers questions you might have. Questions like: What's the treasure, and why is it hidden? Who was Amon's mentor and why didn't he like Amon's agenda? And last but not least; Who gives a crap anyway? Turn that thing off and put something INTERESTING on.
Fantasy Rule No. 2: The princess, who ALWAYS gets kidnapped, is VERY beautiful, and the hero WILL fall in love with her.
The artwork and design was done by a certain well-known Yoshitaka Amano, and it's not like it's bad or anything, but did it manage to save this movie? No, not really. At least it's somewhat pleasant to look at.
Fantasy Rule No. 3: Apparently, no castles have any internal bathing areas, so even the princess has to bathe in a nearby lake. And when you're taking the princess bathing, it's important to parade her through the areas where the lowest-ranking soldiers are housed, so they can appreciate her beauty, often with loud and obnoxious signs of approval.
The music itself was nothing to write home about. In fact, I can't really remember if there was any music, so that should speak volumes. The voice actors were at least doing a decent, if not great, job. This being Manga Entertainment, there might very well be different dubs in Europe and the US. Mine is based on the European version.
Fantasy Rule No. 4: When the princess IS bathing, she will always be attacked by either bandits or a monster. But the hero is always nearby to rescue her and get a glimpse of her naked body.
Can you tell by now that I'm finding the plot (if you can call it that) to be rather stereotypical and preposterous? That would be because this fantasy feature has it all. The dashing hero, the beautiful and very kidnapped princess, the evil overlord with face-concealing mask, the bar brawls, the benevolent king ... the works. Just add one evil overlord's fortress on a giant turtle, and you have the entire thing. I swear, it's almost a carbon copy of Ralph Bakshi's Fire and Ice, except that I find Fire and Ice entertaining in a campy, Heavy Metal Magazine sort of a way. And I do not find Amon Saga to be likewise. It's just a mishmash of typical fantasy scenes that looks like they're taken from various fantasy movies and then had Amon's face painted over it.
Fantasy Rule No. 5: The hero always comes upon a wandering mentor-type character who teaches him how to fight.
Well, actually, that rule is just halfway true, and marks the only part of Amon Saga that I liked. The mentor taught him to fight, true, but didn't really approve of his little journey of revenge. He was also the source of the tiny bit of mystery this movie had, so it was a shame that his scenes were short and non-consequential. That was wasted potential right there.
Fantasy Rule No. 6: The hero and the evil overlord WILL duke it out at the end. Who wins? Take a wild, stinkin' guess!
And there you have it. Seventy-five minutes of wasted time you can ill afford to lose. I suggest you give this one a wide berth.
Joins the 'not quite the bomb of Violence Jack-like proportions, but not really worth your time either' pile. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: Teens. The violence in this one wasn't all that bad, and the deaths were relatively bloodless and mostly contained to redshirts anyway.
Version(s) Viewed: R2 DVD from Manga Entertainment
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Amon Saga © 1986 Yumemakura Baku / Ten Production / Tokuma Shoten
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