Reign: The Conqueror
Type: TV series (13 episodes)
Genre: Action
Version: Region 1 DVD


Reign is painful to watch. Not because of any gripping, emotional story, but because the animation is simply wretched. One really must see it to believe it. Everyone appears to be about 7 ft. tall with a 20-inch waist and lanky legs. Even worse, very few of the men in the show like to wear pants, which most male viewers will not appreciate. While you do grow somewhat used to it as the series goes on, I was almost sick to my stomach for a good portion of Reign. Take a glance at the packaging that can give yourself an idea, but it’s ten times worse in the show.

The plot takes the legend of Alexander the Great, and gives it a sci-fi twist that I can only call “stupid.” There is so much crap that doesn’t even make sense. There’s always just undead this, and mutated that, and poorly animated Angry-at-You-for-Absolutely-No-Reason Man coming out of nowhere, hell-bent on taking out Alexander. What the hell do these guys have to do with the plot? Nothing. On the upside to this, these scenarios often lead to respectable battle scenes–cleary the show’s strength. Perhaps that is what the creators had in mind all along.

Adding to previous gripes, Reign: The Conqueror is genuinely gross at times. I’m all in support of blood and gore when it is necessary, but do I NEED to see a horse biting someone’s head off and crushing it between his teeth while it chews the big, gooey mess? The answer is no. Also in this “nasty department” is Alexander’s mom. In the 1st episode, she’s in a scene in which she’s giving birth while hanging out with a snake that is wrapped around her pale, pregnant body. That’s just uncalled for. At first, I thought that because of her orgasmic moaning that she and the snake were getting it on. This leads me to discuss to poor acting…

Alexander, when not in battle, is a piece of cardboard. His voice matches him well, but his character is so flat. And while other characters may be better established, their acting is just horrible–not believable for a minute.

The good points of Reign are, as briefly mentioned above, decent battle scenes, and the overall originality. While it may kinda suck, it is a very unique anime experience, that for some reason or other, I couldn’t help but keep watching at certain times. I don’t know what it was, but it was able to hold my attention most of the time, which may say something about the plot not being all bad (not all good, but not all bad, at least). Capping off the pros, each episode begins with an interesting little bit of ancient Greek theology or a good quote. That’s a unique bit that is very welcome.

All in all, Reign is a very untraditional anime that could’ve been much better. Check it out if you have an addiction to Alexander fan-fiction, or have nothing better to check out. Peter Chung fails at anime.

-Heath Hindman