The Sea Prince and the Fire Child a.k.a The Legend of Sirius is a 1981 anime movie made by Sanrio. I watched it in the English dubbed. Watching things that are not in their native language can add some issues. I think over the years dubbing has gotten better but I think some of the issues I had with this movie are the result of the dubbing. A note, I’m going with the English names for this review.
The plot is very much Romeo and Juliet but with the Ocean God and the Fire Goddess being pissed off at each other. The story is Fire and Water used to exist in the same body and were one but also brother and sister. The Wind God, Algorac, grew jealous and told lies about the Ocean God and the Fire Goddess about the other. So pissed were they, that they started a war. Ultimately, Algorac was defeated and lost his power eye and was imprisoned in the Forbidden Zone of the sea. The Ocean God, Oceanus, was given the Algorac’s eye. The Fire Goddess, Hyperia, created the Holy Flame so that the sea will be calm. And thus Water children and Fire children are kept apart.
One day, the Prince of the Sea, Siruis, goes into the Forbidden Zone and meet the Fire child, Princess Malta, who guards the Holy Flame every night. The two fall in love with each other. Sirius tells her that he must leave before dawn as the sun kills children of the water as the water kills children of the fire. They then decide to meet every night at the Holy Flame.
Oceanus gives the Eye of Algorac to Sirius making him the King of the Sea. And some salamander thing wants to be king and causes conflict. Hyperia tells Malta that when the solar ellipse occurs, Malta will be the new Queen of Fire and her duty guarding the Holy Flame will be over thus ending her time with Sirius. Sirius and Malta then learn from a wise sea turtle that during the ellipse a special flowers will bloom for a moment and when they do the blossoms will rises up to a star where Fire and Water live as one. They plan to go there so they can be together.
However a lot of things go down and Malta makes it to the hill but Sirius is too late and the sun kills him. Malta in her grief returns him to the water and dies. Oceanus then retrieves their bodies and lifts them up to the star where they can be one.
I left a lot of plot out the synopsis. Sirius and Malta both have loyal friends who die so they can be together. Siruis has Bibble and Malta has Piale. Bibble, I will just say, is annoying but he does a desperate move for Sirius and loses his life so he redeems himself a little.
After Malta and Sirius learn about the hill and the flowers, the Holy Flame goes and Piale urges them to go and Piale become a replacement for the Holy Flame which kills her. While I find both characters annoying, in their deaths they display more depths than our leads.
Sirius and Malta are flat characters. They don’t have much personality. They love each other and that is it. I will say that I do think they truly love each other but it’s kind like “your attractive and forbidden that makes you cute” kind of love. If love is forbidden then that makes the audience care for the couple even if there is no depth. But it’s fine simplicity isn’t bad. Their love is effective for the story.
I think the main issue with this movie is that something were not explained very well, or at all. Like the water god and the fire goddess were one but the wind god turned them against each other. How does that work? How did the wind god turn them against each other so easily if they were part of each other? What did they look like when they were one? Are Sirius and Malta cousin? Who is Malta’s father and Sirius’ mother? Why doesn’t the Forbidden Zone have any guards but Oceanus’ chamber has two? Who guards the Holy Flame by day or does it just need attending at night? Why can’t Malta and Sirius just live in a dark cave?
The biggest head starcher is why does Malta look more water-like and Sirius looks more fire-like? I have to assume it was intentional to show that Fire and Water were once one but looking at the characters it’s a little confusing.
It’s still weird that Malta is the only fire child with green hair. At least Bibble has red hair. The character designs are also a little weird, Malta’s in nude but the tail-like things are even stranger.
Despite the bad dubbing, the annoying Bibble, the lack of depth of main characters, slow pacing and the general confusing-ness, I liked The Sea Prince and the Fire Child. It’s a classic tale with some great animation and I admit, I do love forbidden love stories every once and awhile.