CLAMP's record as manga authors is impeccable. By now, most fans have heard of the all-female team that's created comic book hits ranging from Angelic Layer to Tokyo Babylon and everything in-between. The anime based on their work, however, is totally hit and miss. It's interesting to look at RG Veda, a 1991 entry, and see how similar in tone it is to the more recent film by Rintaro, X. Unfortunately, both works are marred by their inability to translate prophetic nonsense and epic stories into something relatable in a short period of time. RG Veda succeeds on one level that X doesn't, however--a couple of characters are vaguely developed, giving the audience just slightly less reason to walk out early.
As the story begins, we are told that the Heavenly Emperor has been defeated and beheaded by Taishaku-Ten, who has usurped the throne. Prophecy states that six "stars" are destined to bring down the heavens...and Taishaku-Ten who stole the throne knows that if the prophecy is true, he will go down as well. Therefore, he has his nasties go after our small party of heroes who are foretold to be his doom. We get to know two of them here, a strange pair known as Yasha-Oh and Ashura-Oh, who are inseparable despite something vague in their past that pitted them against one another. When one of them is taken by a butterfly demon (no joke), the other has to face the creature's lair, an ice castle that has stood impervious throughout the centuries, to attempt a rescue.
Very loosely based on the Hindu scriptures of the same name, RG Veda is a dud. Although the artwork is fantastic, for an action-adventure show, the pacing is horrendous. Characters talk about prophecies and who's who, but they don't reveal a thing about themselves. Although Yasha and Ashura are the leads, we have barely enough information to care about them. They're only interesting by their circumstances. By the time any action actually occurs, we're bored. If there was some humor or lightness, that might help, but it's not there either. The only redeeming quality is that the OVA manages to get somewhere near the end, at least resolving the basic plot it had created while leaving itself wide open for sequels.
Only 2 OVAs of this series were ever made. I would assume that the viewing public in Japan didn't care much for it either. Thankfully, its short length helps us not get into the stupor that the movie adaptation of X left behind. Still, a show cannot be considered good just because it doesn't make you catatonic. Although this is going to wind up being one of my shortest "long" reviews, there's not that much to say...it's not interesting enough to keep babbling about.
RG Veda OVA 1 -- violence -- C-