Published by Shueisha
First episode date April 2004
Director Akitaro Daichi
Networks Fuji Television, Animax
Illustrated by Makoto Haruno
English publisher Viz Media
Magazine Monthly Shōnen Jump
Number of episodes 50
Written by Rin Hirai
|Genre Fantasy, Action Adventure, Science Fiction|
Cast Kazuhiko Inoue, Akemi Okamura, Masami Suzuki, Omi Minami, Yuri Amano
Similar Dragon Drive, Onmyō Taisenki, Bomberman Jetters, Dennō Bōkenki Webdiver, Animal Yokochō
Legendz (レジェンズ, Rejenzu) is a Media Franchise series created by Bandai and WiZ in 2003. The franchise began with a manga created by Rin Hirai and illustrated by Makoto Haruno, first serialized in Shueisha's Monthly Shōnen Jump in Japan, and the manga is published in English by Viz Media in 2005. The manga had to be cut short due to the complete shutdown of Monthly Shōnen Jump. The anime, Legendz: Yomigaeru Ryūō Densetsu (レジェンズ 甦る竜王伝説, Rejenzu Yomigaeru Ryūō Densetsu, Legendz: Tale of the Dragon Kings) is animated by Studio Gallop, directed by Akitaro Daichi, and aired on Fuji TV from April 4, 2004 to March 27, 2005. A pilot for an English dub of the series was produced for Hasbro, but hasn't yet been picked up.
Plot and setting
The Legendz anime moves away from the Pokémon-esque "gotta catch em all" theme and monster training aspects and deals more with the overall background of the monster characters and their story. The Legendz anime opens with the discovery of the "Soul Dolls" which contain legendary creatures of incredible power within them. The Dark Wiz company (DWC) wants access to all of them for unknown reasons, but four of the Soul Dolls go missing. The majority of the anime takes place in Brooklyn, New York City, with the Brooklyn Bridge as a much-featured landmark.
The Legendz manga was written by Rin Hirai and illustrated by Makoto Haruno. The manga was originally published in Shueisha's Monthly Shonen Jump from 2003 – 2005. The series was translated and adapted into English by Viz Media and released in four volumes with the first release in March 2005.
The story is about Ken Kazaki, a boy who attends Ryudo Elementary School. Together with Shiron, his faithful Windragon, fights with other people who like him breed monsters. Ken later participates in the Legendz Carnival.
The anime was directed by Akitaro Daichi with character designs by Nagisa Miyazaki. The animation was produced by Studio Gallop. The sound director was Kazuya Tanaka. The anime had only one opening theme, "Legendz of The Wind" (風のレジェンズ, Kaze no Legendz) by Kyoko. The two ending themes are "Dounimo Tomaranai~Nonstop" by Brenda Vaughn, from episode 1 through 37 and another version performed by Linda Yamamoto from 38-49. The anime ran on Fuji TV and Animax in Japan. The final episode aired on Fuji TV on March 27, 2005.
レジェンズ甦る試練の島 (Legendz: Island of Ordeal) is a Game Boy Advance game that was produced by Bandai Co., Ltd. and released on July 29, 2004. The video game includes a unique accessory to "Reborn" the Legendz with a link cable connected to the "Soul Doll". Using the dedicated adapter, the Legendz can adventure automatically and the player can view these events as flashbacks. The game also provided growth of the Legendz through sharing with other players.
The video game, レジェンズ 激闘!サーガバトル (Legends fierce fight! Saga Battle) is an action game for the PlayStation 2, originally released on December 16, 2004. Produced by Bandai Co., Ltd., it has a CERO rating for "All ages" and supports two player play. The game features more than 60 Legendz that the player uses to battle.
The third Legendz game to be released is レジェンズ サイン オブ ネクロムLegendz:Sign of Nekuromu, a Game Boy Advance game that was produced by Bandai Co., Ltd. and released on February 17, 2005. The game requires the "Soul Doll" adapter, two versions were sold; one for players who already have the "Legendz: Island of Ordeal" and one which included the Soul Doll adapter. The game included the ability to "rewrite the IC data" to allow the player to create their own Legendz.
The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917 makes note of the similarities to Dragon Drive in the introduction of Shu and Shiron. It also notes the similarities to Pokémon except with dragons and director Daichi's "stylistic similarities" to Grrl Power. The manga review compendium Manga: The Complete Guide praised the "elaborate universe" and "quirky artwork", but noted that the creatures were "bland".