Mask of Zeguy (1997)
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars
"Mask of Zeguy" was originally made as a two-part animated series, although here it is contained on one disc. It features a solid storyline about Miki, a teenaged dscendent of a powerful priestess who is is drawn into the World of the Clouds, a magical realm where she becomes embroiled in a battle to save both it and Earth.
This is a low-priced DVD, with good animations quality, interesting ideas, and plenty of action and twists and turns within a story that should appeal to both girls and boys.
One of the things that I found most appealing was the design of the World in the Clouds... it was a fascinating "what if Leonardo DaVinchi's more offbeat creations actually worked"/magic steam-punk kind of place.
The only caveat to "Mask of Zeguy" is that its storyline assumes alot of knowledge of Japanese history and classic poetry. Some of the figures that Miki meets are well-known Japanese historical/mythical figures, and some of the villians' plans are likewise probably only fully understood with some grounding in Japanese culture. That said, I don't think I have much more knowledge of Japanese history and culture than most Americans, and I enjoyed "Mask of Zeguy," so I'm sure others will, too.
On a note that isn't related so much to the cartoon as it is to its marketing, "Mask of Zeguy" was originally released in the U.S. as simply "Zeguy" (back in 1997). That title makes alot more sense than that given to the current edition--"Zeguy" is a Japanese word that translates, roughly, into "Wow!" or "Amazing!" There is no character in the show named Zeguy, nor is there any "Mask of Wow" anywhere in the program. It looks to me like someone in the marketing department decided the title needed to be punched up, and that he was making his decisions based solely on promo art for the product.