An airy Japanese animated fantasy of a high school girl propelled into another dimension where she transforms into a scantily-clad super warrior, LEDA: THE FANTASTIC ADVENTURES OF YOHKO is clean, imaginative, and action-packed, if somewhat soft-edged. This 1985 feature, made for Japanese
video, made its official US debut on home video in 1997.
As she walks along a park road, high school girl Yohko Asagiri (voice of Hiromi Tsuru) listens on her walkman to a taped piano composition she wrote for the boy she secretly loves. As she wordlessly passes the boy on the road, she is suddenly drawn into the parallel world of Ashanti, where she is
attacked by the minions of the conqueror Lord Zell (voice of Shuuichi Ikeda). She escapes capture by magically transforming into a super-powered warrior and fighting off her opponents, although they manage to steal her walkman.
She allies herself first with Lingam (voice of Kei Tomiyama), a talking dog, and then with the diminutive Yoni (voice of Chinatsu Sakamoto), the last of the shrine maidens of Leda, an ancient goddess of Ashanti whose dormant power is sought after by Lord Zell. Yohko's song matched the pattern of
the "Leda Energy," and Zell needs the song to open the dimensional pathway to earth so that his Floating Fortress can fly there and conquer it.
After several confrontations, Yohko is captured by Zell and put in a dream state to get her to trigger the Leda Energy contained in her music. She realizes, however, that the happy dream imagery is false and wakes up to fight and kill Zell. She returns to her own world and this time stops to talk
with the boy she loves.
LEDA was an early treatment of the now common theme in anime of a teen taken from Earth to alternate dimensions. Although the girls, Yohko and Yoni, are scantily clad, the film is quite free of the sex and violence found in so much Japanese animation. The overall result is colorful, bright, and
charming, if short on the complexity found in later, similarly-themed works. The subtext of Yohko's halting attempt at romance is touching but would have been more effective if the viewer got to see and hear the object of her affections.
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- Released: 1985
- Rating: NR
- Review: An airy Japanese animated fantasy of a high school girl propelled into another dimension where she transforms into a scantily-clad super warrior, LEDA: THE FANTASTIC ADVENTURES OF YOHKO is clean, imaginative, and action-packed, if somewhat soft-edged. This… (more)