TV Tokyo/Amuse Video, 1999 U.S. Manga Corps., 2002 Directed by Ayumi Tomobuki. Rated 13-Up for violence, mature situations and strong language. by areaseven - http://areaseven.net/ Based on a popular role-playing game on the Sony PlayStation. Hundreds of years ago, a kingdom was preparing to crown a new queen when an evil force invaded it. Amidst the chaos, the queen candidates were sent away from the burning kingdom, along with the infant of the Bokka (Sacred Fire). Himiko Himejima, a beautiful high school girl, knows nothing about her past other than the pendant she wears. Then, without warning, she and her friend Masahiko Kutani are teleported into another world where they must join forces with the queen candidates and eliminate the tyranny of the Kune clan once and for all. Story: B Very slow-paced at first, it takes at least three episodes to get into this series. It borrows a lot of elements from Escaflowne and some RPGs. Animation: B- Himiko-Den has some great artwork on the opening sequence, but the series animation needs some improvement. Soundtrack: A- Kuniaki Haishima (Macross Zero, Gasaraki) supplies a remarkable score for this series. The opening theme, "Pure Snow" by Yuko Sasaki, is a wonderful composition. Sub vs. Dub Himiko-Den features Tomokazu Seki (Van in Escaflowne, Sosuke in Full Metal Panic!) as Kutani, Tsubasa Otomiya as Himiko, Omi Minami (Hyatt in Excel Saga, Ruri in Nadesico) as Kyo, Yuko Mizutani (The Great Will of the Macrocosm in Excel Saga, Mihoshi in Tenchi Muyo!) as Imari, Yumi Takada (Ayeka in Tenchi Muyo! Saori in Mahoromatic) as Seika, Atsuko Tanaka (Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) as Fujina, Akiko Hiramatsu (Yukari-sensei in Azumanga Daioh, Bloodberry in Saber Marionette R/J/J Again/J to X) as Shino, Etsuko Kozakura (Megane in Gate Keepers, Ryo-Ohki in Tenchi Muyo!) as Tadami, Kyoko Hikami (Wedding Peach, Doujima in Witch Hunter Robin) as Kouran, Koji Ishii (Kimura-sensei in Azumanga Daioh, Mitsutake in Fushigi Yuugi) as Iga, Toshiyuki Morikawa (Cosmo Warrior Zero, Kagewaki in Inu-Yasha) as Shikara, Norio Wakamoto (Coach in Gunbuster, Vicious in Cowboy Bebop) as the Amatama Master and Jaketsu, Hitoshi Horikawa as Enki, and Rika Fukami (Myung in Macross Plus, Minako/Sailor Venus in Sailor Moon) as Iyo. I'm not gonna bother with the English dub since this is a Central Park Media release. And they have a very bad reputation with dubs. DVD Extras: A- Like most of Central Park Media's DVD titles, you get a Meet the Cast section and some trailers. Legend of Himiko, however, comes with other bonuses like an art gallery, production sketches, original Japanese commercials and textless opening and ending sequences. You can also access more images and the script in the disc using a DVD-ROM drive. The Bottom Line Legend of Himiko looks good at first, but takes a long time to get into. Strictly a rental for now.