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Anime / Legend of Lemnear

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Legend of Lemnear (originally titled Wings of Absolute Darkness: Valquisas) is a 1989 Heroic Fantasy OVA produced by AIC. It was created by Satoshi Urushihara and Kinji Yoshimoto in their first collaboration.

A young, silver-haired warrior girl named Lemnear is on a quest to avenge the murder of her parents and her entire hometown. While trying to find Gardin, the evil sorcerer who committed the deed, she discovers she is part of an ancient prophecy predicting the downfall of the supreme overlord Varohl, who has their world on his clutches. The young warrior will have to hack her way through (even) more evil sorcerers, slave harems, sinister dungeons and the mighty Castle of Valquisas in order to unveil the mystery and save the world.

The OVA had a manga adaptation by the same creators, though featuring a greatly different plot. It was published between 1991 and 1993.

The original OVA provides examples of:

  • Big Bad: Varohl is the leader of the forces aiming to destroy the world.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Lemnear's outfit.
  • Expy: Lemnear is an obvious one of Taarna from Heavy Metal, including hair color, attire, sword and mount.
  • Fat Bastard: Vuan, the perverted slaver working for Varohl.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: In Spain, the OVA received the western title with a shortened form of the original added as a subtitle, making it The Legend of Lemnear: The Dark Wings of Valquisas.
  • Groin Attack: During the Bar Brawl at the beginning of the OVA, Lemnear kicks one of the attacking thugs in the groin which makes him fall down in excruciating pain.
  • Kill All Humans: When Lemnear and Messhu defy Varohl, he elects to destroy the world that rejected him as a child if he can't rule it.
  • Martial Artists Are Always Barefoot: Wearing only footguards seems to be a warrior custom on the setting, given than Lemnear, Mesh and other fighters follow it, while villagers (and Lemnear in her child flashbacks) don't, instead wearing regular shoes and boots.

The manga provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass: In the OVA, Lian was a petite, timid young girl imprisoned in Vuan's harem whom Lemnear saves. In the manga, however, Lian is a veteran bandit with superhuman skills that leads a gang of monsters, and is taller, older and wiser than Lemnear. Really, the only common aspect of their characters is their name and some kind of connection to Vuan.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The manga is 18 chapters as opposed to the 45-minute original OVA, giving time for more detail about the backstory and covering more of Lemnear's travels as she fights to stop Varohl, going to multiple towns instead of just one before his castle. Additionally, the character dynamics are shifted, with Lian now being Vuan's daughter instead of just his slave and Lemnear being Varohl's.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the manga both Varohl and Vuan were forced into their villainous roles after the former was corrupted by the gods and the latter forced to make a pact with demons to bring his dead daughter back to life, unlike their willingly monstrous original counterparts.
  • Anti-Villain: Varohl was corrupted by the gods for using a power to save his people and has ensured Lemnear's birth and training to kill him and stop their plan.
  • Big Bad: Varohl, although he has been actually corrupted by the dark gods who play as The Man Behind the Man.
  • Clothing Damage: Lemnear spends more time exposing her chest than fully dressed. At some point, her top even explodes due to her inner power.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: Multiple characters have inconsistencies in the spelling of their names, with Lemnear being just about the only one to actually have her name spelled the same way all the time:
    • The Big Bad is referred to at different times as Varohl, Varol and Barol.
    • The slaver under him is called Vuan, Vuon, Buan and Buon.
    • Lemnear's brother/companion is referred to as Mesh, Mess, Meshu and Mashu.
  • Kill All Humans: In the manga, this is the desire of the evil gods who despise humanity for their sins and corrupted Varohl to destroy them.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: As Lemnear and Varohl finally confront each other, it's revealed he's her father, who had her before he was corrupted to evil to one day stop him.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Varohl had Lemnear so she would one day kill and stop him from fulfilling the gods' desire to destroy all humans, eventually dying with his hopes fulfilled and happy to have saved mankind.