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Anime: Halo Legends

Halo Legends is an anime-styled series of seven short stories set in the Halo universe. What The Animatrix did for the The Matrix films and Batman Gotham Knight did for The Dark Knight Saga, Halo Legends does for the Halo Expanded Universe. It was produced by Microsoft's internal Halo entertainment team, 343 Industries. It is under six production houses, namely Bee Train, Studio Bones, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G, Studio 4C, and Toei Animation.

The stories shown in this movie are:
  • The Babysitter (Studio 4C): A story about the rivalry between the SPARTAN-IIs and the ODSTs as they're sent to a Covenant-controlled world to assassinate a Covenant Prophet.
  • The Duel (Production I.G): Taking place long before the Human-Covenant War, this short tells the story of an Arbiter, Fal 'Chavamee, who refuses to accept the Covenant religion.
  • The Package (Casio Entertainment): A CGI-film about a SPARTAN-II raid on a Covenant Assault Carrier.
  • Origins (Studio 4C): An expansive history of the 100,000 year long Halo universe narrated by Cortana in between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4 (which was released 2 years after the compilation was released). It is comprised of two parts.
  • Homecoming (Production I.G / Bee Train): Focuses on the tragedies caused by the SPARTAN-II program's means of recruitment, and the Spartans coming to terms with their new life.
  • Prototype (Studio Bones): The story of a Marine nicknamed "Ghost" who, despite orders to destroy an advanced prototype armor, uses the suit to buy time for civilians evacuating from the planet.
  • Odd One Out (Toei Animation): A non-canon, Affectionate Parody involving a Hot-Blooded spartan only known as SPARTAN-1337 getting stranded on an unknown dinosaur-inhabited planet.

This series features examples of:

  • Action Girl: Kelly-087, Daisy-023 and Cal-141.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Many examples. Dutch has blonde hair in The Babysitter while in Halo 3: ODST, he had brown hair. Dr. Halsey has blonde hair in The Package and Homecoming, while in the books and Reach, she has black, graying hair. Fred-104 has brown hair instead of black, etc.
  • Alien Invasion: Of the "All-Out Attack" variety. The Flood do this out of instinct, the Covenant because humans are a personal affront to their religious beliefs.
  • Alien Sky: All planets the shorts take place on.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: The T-Rex in Odd One Out.
  • All There in the Manual: The shorts are an interesting mix of being the manual and referencing the manual at the same time.
  • An Axe to Grind: The Brute Chieftain and his Gravity Hammer.
  • The Anime of the Game - A rare case of this being literal for a Western franchise; all other adaptation of Western video game series being Western Animation.
  • Anime Hair: Not surprising, considering this is an anime. In the commentary track of "The Babysitter" it's noted that real life Marines would pretty much all have buzz cuts and look like each other, but Anime Hair and different body types were used to visually distinguish them. They're also not the only ones to do this in-universe, since in the ODST series ODST troops can and do have long hair, such as Buck (given that Buck is Nathan Fillion AND a Mal Expy, you don't tell him what to do).
  • Arm Cannon: The Prototype (Type I) and Pluton (Type II.)
  • Armor-Piercing Question: The ODST's ponder who was babysitting whom (the ODSTs or the SPARTAN) in "The Babysitter".
  • Artistic License: The Hunters and Spartans are often shown as towering far above other characters, more so than in the original games (Hunters in The Duel are larger than Wraiths.) It's an acceptable break justified by Rule of Scary (Hunters) and Rule of Cool (Spartans.)
    • Justified: Players often underestimate exactly HOW tall Hunters and Spartans are. Hunters are 12 feet tall.
    • Also, Scarabs (which dwarf normal Hunters) can be considered humongous, slightly more mechanized Hunters, so it is possible that the Lekgolo worms are able to super-combine into a giant Hunter form; the comparatively smaller ones in-game are permanent colonies, while the giant ones were a special multi-colony coalition for the purpose of eliminating the Arbiter.
  • Art Shift: Since all the stories are done by different people, they all have varying styles, but two are of special note. The first being The Duel where the artwork is put through a filter to resemble a watercolor painting. The other one being The Package, which is an All-CGI Cartoon and thus most resembled the games.
  • Ascended Meme: SPARTAN-1337.
  • The Atoner: Ghost.
  • Bad Ass: The Arbiter in The Duel. He takes down a whole army. Single handed.
  • Badass Normal: Orbital Drop Shock Troopers.
  • Battleship Raid: The Package.
  • Beehive Barrier: Naturally, due to extensive use of Bubble Shields.
  • Big Bulky Bomb: The Elites use one in The Package.
  • BFS: Harka's sword in The Duel, unusual in a setting dominated by Laser Blades.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The SPARTAN squad in The Package, as well as the ONI Prowler that rescues them when they're being pursued by Seraphs.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Package ( The Spartans successfully save Halsey, but at the cost of two Spartans), Babysitter (The ODST/Spartan squad succeed in taking out the Prophet but the Spartan dies saving one of the ODSTs) and Prototype (Sgt. "Ghost" sacrifices himself to save evacuees who were escaping).
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: That's a female Elite?!
    • Canonically, female Sangheili are actually physically nearly indistinguishable from males (slightly shorter with wider hips); Word Of God is that the animators simply felt that making her too "alien" would, well, alienate audiences, with Frankie O'Connor even admitting around the time of release that a canon-compliant visual depiction of her would be a lot more "alien and gross".
  • Black Dude Dies First: Both Solomon 069 from "The Package" and Checkman from "The Babysitter" are the first to die.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Prototype especially, to the point of including dismemberment.
  • Breather Episode: Odd One Out.
  • Breath Weapon: Pluton has one.
  • Broad Strokes: The shorts take a number of liberties with previously established canon. This quickly became contested among the fans, though later sources managed to reconcile some of the discrepancies.
  • Call Forward: From The Package
  • Canon Discontinuity: Unlike the rest of the shorts, Odd One Out is explicitly stated to be "out of canon" in the commentary.
  • Captain Ersatz: SPARTAN-1337 seems to be hammy and confident enough to be an Ersatz of Might Guy or Dan Hibiki
    • Cal-141 looks like Sheryl Nome from Macross Frontier to some people.
    • The teenagers in Odd One Out act exactly like, and fight exactly like, Gohan and Videl.
  • Clone Degeneration: Daisy-023 finds her own clone in what used to be her house, in a wheelchair.
    • Also subverted, as normally the SPARTANs clones had already died years before then.
  • Cloning Blues: The inferior clones of the SPARTAN recruits.
  • Colour Coded Characters: In episodes that feature multiple SPARTANS, they usually are wearing differently colored armor from each other so we can tell which one is which.
    • This was previously unlike the main canon, where The Fall Of Reach mentioned each SPARTAN looking identical with no visual markers, just their trackers to tell them apart. However, later media like Halo: Reach decided too it was unfair to keep the player guessing every time, so they too began featuring more customization.
  • Compressed Hair: How does Cal manage to fit that into her helmet?
    • Daisy also averts this in that she's shown with a pretty spartan (har har) bob cut that would be able to fit into her helmet.
  • Conspicuous CGI: Pops up in many of the episodes.
  • Continuity Nod: Master Chief's promise to Dr. Halsey.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Cortana to Master Chief in Origins I and II.
  • Cool Ship: The stealth carrier and Booster Frames in The Package.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The children of Odd One Out.
  • A Death in the Limelight: All but two of the shorts, including Origins (which is this for the Forerunners).
  • Deconstruction: The movies are deconstructions of the whole Halo series, putting the emotional parts of the characters in focus, and things like war and the famous The Stoic character.
  • Defector from Decadence: The Halo Legends short The Duel reveals that the first Arbiter was also this, thus leading to the rank of Arbiter intended to be a position of shame for Elites.
  • Deployable Cover
  • Determinator: Spartans, by their very nature. SPARTAN-1337 explicitly states this:
    SPARTAN-1337: No one else would say it, so I will: the fact that I never give up is one of my good points!
  • Distant Reaction Shot: The self-destruct flash in Prototype can be seen from outer space.
  • Downer Ending: Homecoming and The Duel; the former in particular borders on Shoot the Shaggy Dog.
  • Dual Wielding: During the large battle in The Duel the Arbiter's Energy Sword runs out of power, so he punches two enemy Elites and grabs both their Swords.
  • Dubtitle: Did they record the Japanese or the English dub first? In any case, the English release captions the English track on both audio tracks, making watching the Japanese track rather distracting due to inconsistent scripts (wildly different, in some cases), timing that's fine for English but horribly distracting to a regular viewer of subtitled Japanese, and very noticeable Lull Destruction.
  • Dull Surprise: Evident in a lot of the voice-acting in the English dub. Especially in Homecoming, where UNSC Marines who are supposedly surrounded, outnumbered and outgunned, strung-out and fighting for their lives, sound bored and uninterested.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: While it does mostly follow characters not seen before, pretty much all the main characters are either Spartans, ODSTs, or Sangheili (who are actually referred to by humans as "Elites").
  • Empathy Doll Shot: a recurring image in Homecoming.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Odd One Out.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The T-Rex in Odd One Out.
  • The Faceless: In keeping with the tradition of the games, we never see Master Chief's face.
  • Fanservice The first part of the Halo Legends short The Package ends with a back shot of three Spartans, John-117, Frederic-104 and Kelly-087 crouched and bent forward ready to sprint toward a large group of Covenant soldiers. Guess whose butt we have the best view of?
  • Final Speech: Female marine to Ghost in Prototype.
  • Flashback: There are a great many in Homecoming and The Duel, and a few in Prototype as well.
  • Foreshadowing : The "alien" ruins in the Heian planet. When you see it, you can clearly see the elements of ancient human architecture in them. It seems the producers were lazy, right? Wrong! Both Halo: Cryptum and the Halo: Evolutions short story "From the Office of Dr. William Arthur Iqbal" revealed that those ruins could be the last remnants of the prehistoric human civilization that once rivaled the Forerunners.
  • Gatling Good: The Prototype comes equipped with one. Awesomely, but improbably, Booster Frames have a deployable turret as well.
  • Ghibli Hills: The dinosaur planet from Odd One Out.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Cortana is not doing well four years after the end of Halo 3
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Two of the Spartan trainees who find their Replacement Goldfish clones in Homecoming commit suicide offscreen.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Frederic-104, being a good guy, sports several attractive facial scars.
  • Guns Akimbo: Master Chief and Kelly-087 in The Package.
    • Also Frederic-104, for one short cut. Notable in that he's using a BFG Spartan Laser and an smg.
  • Gunship Rescue: The last-second arrival of the stealth carrier in The Package. Also horribly subverted in Homecoming, when the gunship gets blown up because the Marines won't listen to Daisy and leave her behind.
  • The Hero Dies: Is the case for no less than half of the shorts, with Fal in The Duel, Daisy-023 in Homecoming, "Ghost" in Prototype and Cal-141 in "The Babysitter" all dying shortly before each of their conclusions.
  • Happily Married: The Arbiter and Han in The Duel.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Many.
    • Subverted when Frederic-104 remains behind to hold off seeming overwhelming numbers of covenant while armed only with two knives...And survives. This first since Fred is practically Mr. Knives in the novels. Anyone who read the books first knew what was gonna happen when Fred busted out the knives. Knife to see you, indeed.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Goodness, The Duel's outcome...
  • Honor Before Reason: The Arbiter's conundrum in The Duel.
    • The Red Elite in the Package...tossing MC an Energy Sword, when MC's out of bullets. Though he does beat him easily almost immediately after, and John is only spared by the Ship Master disconnecting part of the ship, then beaming him out.
  • Hope Spot: Homecoming.
  • Hot-Blooded: SPARTAN-1337.
  • Hot Scientist — Played fully straight with Dr. Catherine Halsey herself in the Halo Legends short The Package. You'd want to check her package out.
    • Especially amusing considering the fact that she's supposed to be 52 at the time... and how she looks in Reach. The producers have admitted that they let her design stray from canon for a little fanservice.
    • The Halsey in "Homecoming" is arguably more attractive then "The Package" version; apart from the Adaptation Dye-Job, it's at least justified by the fact that "Homecoming" Halsey is still in her early 30s.
  • Humanoid Aliens: In order of human resemblance, the Forerunners who speculate the Precursors influenced their common designs, the Brutes (who are ape-bears), the Grunts (who are little monkey-looking creatures), the Jackals (who have beak/maws for bitin'), and the Elites (who have a distinctive split jaw).
  • Human Popsicle: Master Chief and Dr. Halsey.
  • Humans Are Warriors: Deconstructed in Origins. Cortana laments that humanity will never be rid of war, and the only thing keeping us from killing each other is uniting against a common foe.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Fal 'Chavamee, who is able to take on (and destroy) an entire ARMY of Covenant soldiers. Alone.
    • Four Words: He is an Arbiter. Suicide missions are what he's there for.
      • Strictly speaking, at the point in Elite history when The Duel takes place, the Arbiter was a station of respect and military authority. It wasn't until these very events that the title was twisted into a mark of shame, with a level of occupational hazard as sure as a death sentence. That said, Fal wouldn't have been made an Arbiter if he wasn't the baddest dude on the planet.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Covenant battalion in The Duel, outrageously so.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Throughout The Package, the SPARTAN-IIs practically LIVE in bullet time. Flips and spins and Guns Akimbo galore!
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: The Package features fighter jet/motorcycle hybrids weaving in and out of Covenant fire.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: The Prototype is a scaled-up MJOLNIR suit with heavy weapons and full-blown Bubble Shields. It's able to be piloted by humans, too.
  • International Co Production: Being produced with 343 Industries and the Japanese anime studios mentioned. Even more if you count outsourced work.
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Odd One Out", of both shonen anime AND the entire Halo franchise.
  • Laser Blade: The signature weapon of the Elites.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The SPARTANs, The Prototype, and everyone in Odd One Out.
  • Lip Lock: The Japanese dub of "The Package", since it's CGI and was animated based on the English track.
  • Lull Destruction: There's a bit going from Japanese to English in "The Babysitter". Kelly-087 also throws a Pre-Mortem One-Liner along with her grenades in the Japanese version of "The Package".
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Quite prominently in The Package.
  • Made of Iron: ODSTs and Spartans, of course. But SPARTAN-1337 takes the cake.
  • Megaton Punch: Dropped left and right in Odd One Out as part of the shounen-anime-style parody.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Homecoming.
  • Mini-Mecha: The Prototype straddles the line between power armor and mecha. A pity that Strong Flesh, Weak Steel is in effect..
  • Mistaken Identity: The Prophet of Truth sends out Pluton to crush Master Chief. SPARTAN-1337 is clad in the same iconic colors as John-117. Oops.
  • Mood Whiplash: On the DVD, Odd One Out comes immediately after Homecoming. It makes for a rocky transition.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Cortana
    • Also the reason that they made Dr. Halsey look rather youthful for her age (~52 by the events of The Package), according to the commentary.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Pluton takes truly insane damage and is still alive in space at the end of the short after getting blasted through a Slipspace rupture.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The Elite fleet master Luro 'Taralumee pulls Thel away on a gravity lift to retrieve him while their fleet escapes into Slipspace. Unfortunately, Thel was just about to kill John, but now's been pulled away at the last minute.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: The reason Ghost defies creatively interprets orders in Prototype.
    • And with horrific consequences in Homecoming.
  • One-Man Army: The general idea behind the SPARTAN-II program.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Done in The Package.
  • Out of Character: While Dr. Halsey has previously been depicted as a cold, stoic character who the Spartans see as a motherly figure of sorts, in The Package, she was put in a role of a typical Action Girl and was close to flirting with John (which adds an unfortunate bit of Incest Subtext due to the aforementioned motherly role). Not to mention that she looks far too young for her age compared with the Halsey seen in the novels and games.
  • The Password Is Always Swordfish: The password to confirm the Self-Destruct Mechanism in the Prototype just happens to be the last words of the female marine who died in Ghost's arms.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Notably by the ODST's in The Package, but then, pistol whipping is one of Halo's iconic elements.
  • Powered Armor: The SPARTAN's Mjolnir Armor... but of course.
  • Power Levels: Pluton in Odd One Out can increase his "power level."
  • Pre Asskicking Oneliner: Frederic-104 in The Package.
    "Alright, the Great Journey ends here."
  • Proud Warrior Race: The Elites.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Spartan 1337 In the Odd One Out "I am Spartan!"
  • Quivering Eyes
  • Ramming Always Works: In Odd One Out, Mama disposes of Pluton by launching a space pod at him, pushing him through the slipspace portal.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Cal-141.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Ghost in Prototype.
  • Replacement Goldfish: As per series' canon, children abducted by the SPARTAN-II project are quietly replaced with faulty clones that die young, so the families never look for the real ones.
  • The Reveal: When Cal-141's helmet comes off...
  • Roboteching: Prototype and The Package.
  • Samus is a Girl: The SPARTAN in the first episode of Halo Legends is female. She never speaks except when her helmet is torn off, and as she seemed to have been mortally wounded, the trope seems played more so the bigoted squad member realizes that there are actual humans underneath the armor than any particular importance on femininity.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The Covenant.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The Prototype has one.
  • Shoulder Cannon: The Prototype.
  • Shout-Out: "Odd One Out" was done by Toei Animation. The 'secret weapon' of the covenant is called Pluton. Do the math.
    • The art style, and the dinosaurs, and Pluton's Chunky Updraft, and the baseball-shaped space pod (which unfolds to become Pluton's armor) are also explicit references to Dragon Ball.
    • Cal is sent to a squad of normal human beings and is a Super Soldier badass who is believe to be male. She is an amazing shot and her gender is only discovered after being injured. She also dies. Who else could we be talking about?
    • The slip-space cannon in the downed frigate resembles the Macross Gun, moreso than in the source material.
    • The titular mech in "Prototype" bears more than a passing resemblance to a Jagd Doga. Notably, the shoulders are identical, except for the lack of funnels.
    • The Booster Frames used by the SPARTAN-IIs in The Package are expies of the GP03 Dendrobrium Orchis.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: The Duel
  • Space Is Noisy: Most notably seen in The Package.
  • Space Marines: Well, obviously.
  • Sphere of Destruction: The Prototype's self-destruct.
  • The Squad: The ODST's in The Babysitter and the SPARTAN squad in The Package.
  • Start of Darkness - Kinda sorta in the Legends episode The Duel, which shows exactly how the position of Arbiter became something handed off as a suicide gig to disgraced Elite Commanders.
  • The Stoic: Ghost in Prototype, after his squad was annihilated. Is misunderstood by other troopers as lack of empathy.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Forerunners.
  • Super Prototype: The Prototype in Prototype, the SPARTAN-IIs as a whole, and especially Pluton in Odd One Out.
  • Super Soldier: The SPARTAN-II's, though the shorts have a fondness for showing how their numbers got thinned out.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: The Prototype, a veritable walking arsenal.
  • Taking the Bullet: The Babysitter and Homecoming.
  • Taking You with Me: The self-destruct mechanism in Prototype generates an explosion large enough to take out any nearby enemies in a very, very large area.
  • Team Mom: A rampant AI in Odd One Out.
  • Time Dissonance: Cortana experiences time quite differently from organic creatures.
  • Tomboyish Name: Cal which serves to further set up the Samus is a Girl reveal.
  • War Is Hell: It should be obvious.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The shoot-you-into-slipspace probe launcher in the crashed frigate from Odd One Out.
  • We Have Reserves: The Elite Commander in The Package. But knowing Elites, he may have sincerely believed his troops died honorably.
    • Though his second-in-command isn't too happy with his commander not letting him kill John, due to him shouting "A thousand hells await you!" as he's pulled away from where he has John beaten.
  • Worf Effect: Lots of Spartans die in Legends, Daisy, Cal, Solomon, Arthur, Ralph, etc, and not heroically either.

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alternative title(s): Halo Legends
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