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Reign The Conqueror, Vol. 1: Ascension (2003)

*  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Reign The Conqueror, Vol. 1: Ascension + Aeon Flux - The Complete Animated Collection
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Product Details

  • Actors: *
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Tokyopop
  • DVD Release Date: May 27, 2003
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007K00O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,057 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Reign The Conqueror, Vol. 1: Ascension" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This bizarre reworking of the story of Alexander the Great features character designs by Peter Chung (Aeon Flux). It's a singularly weird mixture of anime conventions, sci-fi and fantasy elements, special effects, and muddled ancient history. Alexander's comrades and future generals, including Hephaestion and Ptolemy, have been recast as effete courtiers. Bucephalus ("Ox-head"), his steed, is a flesh-eating monster. His mother is a Medea-esque sorceress, and his tutor Aristotle has the inevitably spunky niece, Cassandra. The magician-disciples of Pythagoras appear and disappear, searching for the "Platohedron." The elongated, mannerist figures bear Chung's distinctive stamp. The women wear revealing robes; the men run around in bits of armor and codpieces. Reign is slated for the Adult Swim bloc on the Cartoon Network, but editing this violent series to American broadcast standards will pose real challenges. (Unrated; suitable for ages 17 and older: violence, nudity, alcohol use, grotesque imagery, sexual situations) --Charles Solomon

Product Description

First installment of the "Reign the Conqueror" series for dvd.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
As other reviewers have said, if you didn't like Aeon Flux then you may not like the artwork of Reign. My wife couldn't get beyond the character styling until I forced her to sit through an entire episode. Now she's hooked! Although different, the styling has its moments where the quality shines through. The English voice track is excellent, and fits both the characters and adult mood.
Yes, this is very much an adult-oriented anime; for reasons other than the nudity, etc. Although obviously based on several factual/historical elements of Alexander's life, it deviates in many ways that I'll leave for the viewer to discover. This imaginative reworking and time-forwarding of Alexander's life is still completely captivating. It manages to place all of the elements that made Alexander the larger-than-life historical figure into a completely different context, yet still preserves the essence of his life that has drawn readers to the story of "Alexander the Great" for centuries.
Reign is another beautiful facet in the growing collection of world-class anime on DVD that should rank favorably among the other greats like Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, Hellsing, Vampire Hunter D. It's a highly imaginative and inspiring anime!!!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gorgeous anime February 28, 2003
I don't have the DVD yet, and like the last reviewer I am basing my review on the episodes which have aired on Cartoon Network (unusually for anime, the show has had its US premiere on television, rather than video).
This is not stereotypical anime. It's closely based on the story of Alexander the Great, who was tutored by Aristotle, and deals with a prophecy that he will "destroy the world." The usual big-eye style is not in evidence, because characters and general designs have been done by Peter Chung, who did the gorgeous and strange AEON FLUX in the 1990s. His art resembles that of the great fantasy illustrators of the early 20th century, such as Kay Nielsen, as well as more recent illustrators like Michael William Kaluta who were influenced by the earlier greats. Figures tend to have a lush facial beauty and an elongated form. Costumes in REIGN will be familiar to AF devotees, as they are a slightly ancient Grecian take on the cyber-fetishistic-armor clothes worn by characters in the earlier series.
But all the visual awe in the world can't save a series with a weak plot or a lack of dramatic tension, and fortunately, REIGN doesn't suffer from those problems. The story involves the attempts of the Pythagorean Cult, supreme mathematicians, to assassinate Alexander before he can "destroy the world," the reasons for this prophecy (which have to do with a secret ritual attended by Alexander's parents on the island of Samotrace), a lost jewel of unimaginable power called the Platohedron, the evil plans of Alexander's witchy mother Olympias, plotting among courtiers, and Alexander's rivalry with Persia's great king Darius. There is excellent tension and drama, and some fantastic combat scenes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first volume is the best of the series October 12, 2005
Verified Purchase
A bit about my background. I like some anime, but I'm no otaku. Fact is, I rented this because I am getting a PhD in Egyptology, and at the time I saw this, was heavily studying Alexander the Great and his successors.

That said, I liked this movie. I liked how it took the story of Alexander and tried to make a fantasy space-opera out of it. It works a lot of the time. They didn't even have to exaggerate too much. I laughed when they got things wrong and laughed harder when they got things right. It rewarded my scholarship and entertained me. The art direction and character design are ridiculous, I got used to it. Besides, don't tell me that androgyny and flexible sexuality has no place in an Alexander story.

The later volumes of the series are not as entertaining, and they waver from what I like about the historical character too much for me to ignore, and I was dissapointed in the ending. But if I find this volume on sale for a discount somewhere, I probably will pick it up.

I can't recommend this to anime fans. They might hate it, they might like it, but I just don't have enough background. And I can't recommend it to the casual observer, because the plot is kooky even for someone with graduate-level knowledge of the subject.

I will recommend it to anyone who knows a thing or two about Alexander the Great and has an open mind to see what Chung and his associates did with the story. Listen with the Japanese-language track and sing along to the ludicrous J-pop love song theme, or use the English track with its slightly more appropriate theme song. Either way, rent this at your local video store before you buy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars O-M-G July 14, 2010
This series can be best summed up as a train wreck, you know you shouldn't watch but you just can't bring yourself to look away. I would, honestly, have given this show a negative rating if it weren't for the fact that: while the plot is full of liberties taken with the life of Alexander the Great, the characters are all hermaphroditic in appearance, the voice acting is grating, and it's generally isn't horrid. The plot is coherent though twisted, loosely historically based, and at times nothing more than an attempt to reach the heights of vulgarity. The art is while not my style in the least (men in thongs, strange sexually charged scenes, overuse of purposeful body morphing) still artistic and well drawn. The voice acting is annoying but the voices fit the characters.

This is one of those anime that is probably going to be "make or break" based on your taste. I liked Aeon Flux (also Peter Chung's work) but despised Reign the Conqueror. I am not going to go into the plot because you can find it on Wikipedia, ANN, or most of these reviews. It is unique, I will give it that! At times the plot is even engaging it's just whether or not you can pay attention to the plot while you suffer through the rest of the goings on.

I felt like this entire series was reaching for greatness and tried to take on too much, it was like watching a teenager attempt to be edgy which always fails miserably. There was so much shock value that sitting there I just felt like I was waiting for the next over the top, ridiculous liberty to be taken with the characters, storyline, or the visual presentation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, Bloody, and I loved every minute of it...
This is far from your usual anime, and it's certainly not for everyone. However, as bizarre as it is, I still loved every minute of it. Read more
Published on June 7, 2012 by Gia_Sesshoumaru
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst $0.9999 cents spent ever!!!
I found this last night at the 0.99 cent store (well the $0.9999 round up to a dollar store). The part that suckered me in was the Director of Metropolis, and the Creator of Aeon... Read more
Published on February 1, 2011 by Benjamin Spider
5.0 out of 5 stars Good find
this is part of a vary thought provoking aneme series and i am glad to own for real.
Published on May 3, 2010 by James R. Benzik
5.0 out of 5 stars Did you like Aeon Flux?
If you liked Aeon Flux (either the Liquid TV shorts or the longer episodes), then you'll like Reign. Read more
Published on December 10, 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars I can't belive it, I don't believe it. You people are MAD!
I read some 5-star reviews saying how great this anime is. Great? It's awful. The worst anime next to Beyblade. "Oh it has gorgeous animation and character designs..." WTF?! Read more
Published on August 20, 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars What Can I Say???MORE MORE MORE
This IS My First Review. But I Own More Anima, Cartoons, And Movies. ON DVD Than Block Buster Video Has Tapes, I Think I can Make A Good Call! THIS REIGN IS THE BEST!! Read more
Published on April 23, 2003 by American at Large
2.0 out of 5 stars Watch it on the tube, before even thinking of purchasing
The subject says it all. I'm a great fan of animation and always looking for something new to watch. As already said, Reign is the work of the fellow responsible for Aeon Flux. Read more
Published on March 24, 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Aeon Flux Fans will Enjoy This Drivel
I watched this and found myself wondering "Why did I waste my time?" This is just your basic MTV ..., just like "Aeon Flux" was. Read more
Published on March 16, 2003 by Beowulf
2.0 out of 5 stars You wouldnt want your friends knowing you watch this...
First off, I am a HUGE fan of anime and animation. I also find historical pieces interesting and Alexander is as good as any for subject matter. Read more
Published on March 12, 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars I hate to doo-doo in everyone's Easter basket, but....
I hadn't intended to write a review, thinking that the series would be written off as a misfire, but I was dead wrong. Read more
Published on March 11, 2003 by skytwo
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