Gestalt

Gestalt is another fantasy/comedy offering from Anime Works, and it comes as no coincidence that I find myself reviewing it shortly after Elf Princess Rane. While Elf Princess Rane was completely off-the-wall in terms of silliness, Gestalt is a somewhat more traditional offering with many of the requisite fantasy elements. Gestalt is probably best compared with The Slayers, the best known fantasy/comedy series there is. Heck, Ohri is somewhat similar, if older, to Lina Inverse (now *there's* a duel I'd like to see). Gestalt is also rife with silly gags ranging from exaggerated expressions to pure slapstick. As a matter of fact, it includes one of the funniest sight gags I've seen in a fantasy anime yet: console RPG dialog. Now those that have never played a console RPG before won't be able to fully appreciate the joke, but I found it simply priceless. Regarding the characters, Ohri is a rather energetic sorceress with a slightly mysterious past and ability to whip around some seriously devastating magic. She's teamed up with the somewhat passive Father Olivier, who is undertaking a quest to reach the forbidden land of Gestalt. Alone the way they run afoul of various not-so-nice folks (including a couple dark elves) and the result is mass destruction on a grand scale. It's somewhat mindless fantasy fluff, but the makes up for it with a good dose of old-fashioned fun. Unfortunately, Gestalt befalls the same fate as other anime like Elf Princess Rane, Dragon Half, and RG Veda. Only two episodes were produced which contain the beginning of an epic tale, but not the full story line. I'm disappointed that many fantasy anime seem to befall this fate, because there are so few full-length epics to choose from. On a technical scale, Gestalt has all the goodies. Animation and art is well done with nice colors, backgrounds and some nifty CG effects. The music is decent as well, but nowhere near as good as fantasy epics like Record of Lodoss War or The Vision of Escaflowne. For those who like fantasy anime, Gestalt is worth consideration. The lack of a complete story is a detraction, but the two episodes themselves are moderately entertaining. It's probably not worth purchasing, but makes a good rental for an hour's worth of fantasy fun. The Verdict: * * * 1/2 (above average)

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