Rune Soldier is perhaps about as formulaic as they come. This is a swords and sorcery anime with a strong comedic flavour. To start with, there is the trio of female adventurers who, when not engaged in, well…adventures, are sat in the local tavern downing pints of ale. There is the standard pint sized flat chested thief, the buxom warrior bulging with muscle and aggressiveness and the demure warrior priestess of Mylee (god of battle). All that is missing it turns out is a magician who can defuse magical seals and traps and be generally useful.
What they get however, is the generally useless Louie. Most of the other magicians prefer reading to dangerous ruins and are unwilling to leave the confines of the magician’s guild. Louie however is willing to leave his studies behind and embark on a few adventures. He is loud, he is brash, and he loves brawling but the girls have no choice so they swallow their pride and grudgingly accept the macho idiot into their group. Cue much comedy as Louie turns out to be less than useful with magic but strangely impressive with his fists and attracts more trouble than that which he was brought along to solve.
But, against the will of the warrior priestess, her religion decrees that she must serve a hero, so when she receives her divine commandment to follow her valiant champion, who just happens to be the useless Louie she is not only mortified, but forced to adhere to the divine decree, and try and turn the inept Louie into the valiant hero he is supposed to become
Rune Soldier is an action comedy, with much in common with the older but incredibly successful ‘Slayers’ series. The comedy is slapstick and very much genre defined with all of the hallmark smutty jokes and blatant fan service that litter the ever so successful ‘one guy surrounded by girls’ genre. This however, is not such a bad thing since the series is funny with a decent plots linked very loosely together. Most episodes are stand alone, but there is the running theme of the character development, and the gradual metamorphosis of Louie from walking disaster magnet, to hero.
The DVD I was given to look at was the fourth volume, but I have made sure to watch the ENITRE series before writing this review, I liked it that much. The DVD contains both the original Japanese language version, and the English dub, with the English cast being made up of several familiar voices. Extras wide, there is an amusing little fishing game that only lasts about a minute until you have exhausted all the possible outcomes and ‘clean’ versions of the opening and closing titles without the text of the credits. Aside from the standard ‘also available from ADV’ fare, that is pretty much it.
While nothing special, the production values are high throughout and the decent blend of action and comedy works to make Rune Soldier entertaining and watchable. This series has already managed to sneak its way into my collection, and if you are after a light hearted fantasy show with no heavy sub-plots or moral high ground, Rune Soldier is definitely worth your while.