Halo Legends was a short miniseries (2 hours, 40 minutes total) that was released by 343 Industries in 2010. Many of the episodes were featured on Halo Waypoint (Xbox 360) but some of them weren’t released until the BluRay hit store shelves. The 8 episodes were designed by 4 different animation studios, all of which show case their own original art styles. This is where the show gets a little weird, considering every episode looks and feels completely different from the next.
Although the animation is done in a primarily Japanese “anime” style, the handful of story lines is a must for any Halo lore fan. Lately, I’ve been trying to consume as much lore as possible to prepare myself for the release of the upcoming Master Chief Collection (Xbox One) and I have to say that Halo Legends reminds more of the graphic novel then it does of any of the games. Origin (1 episode, 2 parts) is the only story arc to follow Master Chief and Cortana and the closest we get to our stars besides that is the episode staying Spartan 1337. a member of Master Chief’s unit.
Granted, a lot of people these days lack the attention span for reading even a graphical novel, and that’s where Halo Legends come in to promote some of the side stories that are known so well to the extreme novelists (even I have yet to read an actual Halo book). The series itself is not an action packed massacre, and depending on the style, you may even be left with a still animation to dictate an epic Arbiter energy sword fight. Action or not, everything happening in the Halo universe is always exciting. The games put Master Chief on a pedestal ignoring the rest of the galaxy all fighting for their safety.
343 Studios’ “Franchise Development Director” Frankie O’Connor oversaw the production of Halo Legends; which should mean the world to any Halo fan. He was one of the few people who stayed with Microsoft through the Bungie departure, he was their “Content Manager” through the release of Halo 2, Halo 3 and has even overseen the graphic novels, the literal novels, and everything else Halo he could get his hands on. He’s made sure all of the lore and makes sense, and stays up to Halo’s standards.
If you’re thinking of watching this show because you love anime, you’re probably barking up the tree. The animation is good, but it’s great. There’s no characters to get attached to, or primary story lines to become engulfed in. However, if you’re considering this series because you love Halo and Halo accessories, then I demand you eat it all up right away. Like me, you might want to consider at least reading the graphical novel, and maybe a handful of other Halo comics.