Ys Book 1 & 2: Released in 1989. Produced by Nihon Falcom Co. and King Records. Animation by Tokyo Kids and Urban Product.
Ys II: Released in 1992. Produced by Kadokawa Shoten, Nihon Falcom Co., and King Records. Animation by Tokyo Kids.
Ys Book 1 & 2 Series Plot Summary
Adol Christin, a young man from the mainland, sails to the besieged land of Esteria in search of adventure. Esteria is being overrun by beasts under the control of the evil priest Dark Fact, and the people of the land are running out of time. However, there is a prophecy that tells of a hero from another land who will come to save Esteria -- and his name would be Adol Christen.
Ys II: Castle in the Heavens Series Plot Summary
Now that Adol Christen has saved the land of Esteria from the evil priest Dark Fact, Adol and the two priestesses travel to the floating land of Ys, where evil has an even greater influence on the people and no one has hope. The future of Ys falls to Adol, heir to the powers of the priests, and the only one who can show the people of Ys the truth about their world. But, as Adol's power grows, he may be the one who will save Ys -- or destroy it.
My Thoughts on the Series
As a big-time classic RPG fan, anime like this based on a popular RPG series (action RPG to be exact) is always welcome! The Ys (pronounced 'ees') game series is not as popular as Final Fantasy and such, but it has a strong fan following. Falcom (its developer) had recognized the demand and has released many re-releases and remakes of the classic Ys games for a variety of systems. Such a demand gave birth to the Ys anime!
The Ys anime follows the story of Ys Book 1 & 2, which are the first games of the series. Even the music reminisces from the game. In a traditional RPG fashion, Adol seeks out relics and vanquishes evil. The Ys Book anime is your average fantasy anime. The quality/style looks very 80s, and the pace is rather slow (lots of talking). You need to be a fan of the Ys series to truly appreciate it, or be someone like me who really loves classic anime. Also, it's important to note that the US-released DVD of the Ys Book series is called Ys Legacy.
Now, Ys II takes things to a whole new level! This was made years after Ys Book and by a different animation company. The animation quality looks modern. It's darker and bloodier. The story is deeper. They massively improved in every area. The Ys II anime loyally begins right after the Ys Book anime. While Ys Book was more on the wholesome side, Ys II is bloodier and darker. It's less about relic-searching and more about Adol going around engaging in exciting battles, slaughtering monsters. What I like about Ys II is that you get a sense of how the Black Pearl (the source of everyone's problems) has brought pain and suffering to the people of Ys. I recommend this anime!
Ys Book 1, Episode 1
Adol arrives in Esteria and seeks the fortune teller to learn about his fate.
Ys Book 1, Episode 2
Adol seeks the shrine of Solomom to claim the first book of Ys.
Ys Book 1, Episode 3
Two dark wizards invade Minea. Sarah is in great danger!
Ys Book 1, Episode 4
Dogi accompanies Adol into the Mines of Rastin for the next book of Ys.
Ys Book 2, Episode 1
The great tree, Roda, passes on the memories of the goddesses to Adol.
Ys Book 2, Episode 2
Adol, Goban, and Dogi enter Darm Tower to challenge Dark Fact.
Ys Book 2, Episode 3
The final battle between Adol and Dark Fact! The goddesses attempt to seal the pearl.
Ys II, Episode 1
Adol arrives at Ys and the people there persecute him for opposing the monsters.
Ys II, Episode 2
Adol escapes the village with Lilian and ventures to the forbidden (frozen) land.
Ys II, Episode 3
Adol goes to the Shrine of Soloman to fight the evil wizard, Demeris.
Ys II, Episode 4
Adol faces the source of all evil in Ys, but he can't do it alone!
This is a special variety soundtrack from Falcom that includes select tracks from popular classic Falcom games. I have it here because it also includes 7 tracks from the Ys Book 1 anime. The Ys anime consists of beautiful, relaxing instrumental music. It's very nostalgic of late 80s anime.