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Halo Legends [Blu-ray]

3.7 out of 5 stars 232 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Halo Legends (Blu-Ray)

This 8 episode anthology of 10-15 minute length each, explores the origin and historical events of the HALO universe, and various characters inhabiting the world. Like Animatrix and Batman Gotham Knight, each of the 8 episodes will be created by a separate prominent Japanese anime producer.



For Halo Legends, various anime directors made eight short films that explore the universe of the popular video game franchise, just as the shorts in Animatrix expanded on the Matrix features. Although Halo ranks among the top first-person shooter games, the AI narrator of Hideki Futamura's two-part introductory episode complains about humanity's violent tendencies: "Like a virus, war is always with you." "The Duel," which pits two Covenant warriors in a samurai-like battle over honor, has a watercolor look that recalls Gankutsuou: Count of Monte Cristo. Unfortunately, the effect is applied too evenly, and the characters get lost in the backgrounds. Daisuke Nishio's "Odd Man Out" injects a welcome note of comedy, as warrior Spartan 337 copes with three difficult children and their pet tyrannosaur. Other Spartans in single fighters attack the flagship of the Covenant fleet in "The Package," by Shinji Aramaki. The elaborately choreographed space battle is obviously modeled on the attack on the Death Star in Star Wars, but the sequence packs more visual punch than the other films in the anthology. Dr. Catherine Halsey ends this segment with the line, "Something tells me this is just the beginning," so additional films may be in the works. Halo Legends was clearly intended to expand the audience for the already-popular franchise, but the shorts aren't strong enough as films to win many viewers who aren't currently members of the "Halo Nation." The disc comes loaded with extras, including a standard making-of mini-documentary about each segment. Although the cover bears the warning "Parents strongly cautioned: Violent Content Throughout," the action in Halo Legends is surprisingly tame. (Rated PG-13: violence, violence against women) --Charles Solomon

Special Features

Blu-ray exclusive: Halo: Gaming Evolved: Explaining the Halo phenomenon from its inception as an Xbox video game to a present-day entertainment franchise
The Making of Halo Legends: An introduction followed by a making-of segment for each episode
Halo: The Story So Far: Overview of Halo universe up until the end of Halo 3 (narrated by Frank O'Connor)
Commentary by directors Frank O'Connor and Joseph Chou

Product Details

  • Actors: James Faulkner, Shelley Calene-Black, Luci Christian, David Matranga, Deke Anderson
  • Directors: Toshiyuki Kanno, Hiroshi Yamazaki, Shinji Aramaki, Hideki Futamura, Koichi Mashimo
  • Producers: Koichi Mashimo, Eiko Tanaka, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Japanese
  • Dubbed: French, Japanese, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 16, 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002WCLG3O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,052 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Halo Legends [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
I'm going to try to give as spoiler-free of a review as possible.

I've been apprehensive of Halo Legends since it was announced, and was nervous with the crazy Japanese getting a hold of the franchise. When a few stories were put up on Waypoint, however, my concerns were diminished. Seeing that Frankie (Frank O'Connor) had control over what was being done in Legends, it led me to give credence to what I was once doubtful of. And I've read all novels, blogs, BWUs, and played each game so much that there is little I don't know.

Yes, there are quivering eyes, men with jaws too wide open, cheesy mid-action posing shots, and a couple other cliched anime items that slipped in, but if you look past these and accept them as artistic interpretation, you can see what is underneath and really appreciate the stories. Elite's losing a pair of mandibles and seeing a female elite in the context of 'the Duel' chuckling like a school girl was probably the worst moment of this entire DVD. With that said, this has given me MORE food to chew on than sinking feelings of Microsoft milking us all out of $20.

-The entire episode of Origins (Part 1 & 2) are pure gold. We get our first glimpse of Forerunners, and witness the true power of the Flood, not constricted by the hardware of the 360 and polygon counts. And they are scary. This is easily the best offering of the entire DVD, and all of Cortana's monologue was written by Frankie himself. Great stuff.

-Babysitter, Prototype, and Homecoming all feature similar-styled animation and actually decent storylines. There are a few canonical things that I am curious of, but I'm sure have explanations. One thing I am getting tired of is all of the suicide missions that these side stories keep telling.
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Format: DVD
Several other reviewers have gone through and related their thoughts on each of the shorts contained in Halo: Legends. This is certainly a valid method, and helpful to the practical buyer who simply wishes to get a general idea of whether or not the product suits him/her. I would like to take a different approach. I will divide the episodes into thematically similar groupings, and analyze them from that standpoint.

Origins, parts I and II, is historical. It is essentially a condensed version of the history of the Halo Universe.

Odd One Out is an attempt at comedy, plain and simple. Whether you as the viewer find it humorous or not will likely depend on your...sense of humor. Not being averse to the Japanese penchant for the ridiculous, I did find portions of it to be funny, though it's not comedic genius in the least.

The Package, and The Duel are both what I would consider to be action-oriented shorts, and in that way will likely appeal more to the fanbase of the Halo Series than any of the others. The Package fills this role far better than The Duel, as The Duel contains many canonical errors that will bother serious fans of the series (from kimono-clad Elites to the number of mandibles). The Package best captures the feel of frenetic action that has embodied the Halo Series from the first game. In it, a team of Spartans attacks a Covenant fleet in order to recover a...well...package. The short uses a CG-animation hybrid style (this is the only short to do so), which also lends the short more of a Western feel than the other shorts in general.

The final three episodes: "The Babysitter," "Homecoming," and "The Prototype" fall into what I would call heroic tragedy.
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Format: DVD
Halo Legends is a film that follows in the footsteps of the Batman: Gotham Knight film that was recently released. It is a compilation of sub-stories created within an overall film, but with each sub-story or section being created by a different artist. This can create a great viewing experience, seeing how it allows the viewer to see different artists' rendering of beloved characters such as Batman and Master Chief. Did Halo Legends pull it off as well as Batman: Gotham Knight did? Not really. It had some excellent sections, while others left a lot to be desired.

Halo Legends is a compilation of seven short stories, created by various artists throughout the anime/cartoon world. Some of these sections are done beautifully, truly resembling the anime that the original creator is associated with, but with a Halo twist thrown in.

-Origins: Origins is a great way to open up the film. These sections talk about the Forerunners who originally fought off the Flood upon their initial invasion of the galaxy. The Forerunners had no choice but to create a final resort weapon, known as Halo, that would wipe out the entire galaxy. Before doing so, the Forerunners had collected data of specimens from the entire galaxy. These specimen would multiply once the Flood was no longer in existence, allowing the galaxy to once again re-populate itself to its former state.

-The Duel: Produced by Mituhisa Ishikawa, best known for his work on the Ghost in the Shell films as well as Immortal Grand Prix, this section feels out of place. The art style resembles a painting, except that it moves. Whenever the visuals are stationary, this art style looks amazing, resembling something one may find in a museum.
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