Legend of the Legendary Heroes Episode #19 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Friday, November 12, 2010
Release Date: Friday, November 12, 2010

Quiet and atmospheric are the phrases that highlight this episode as the characters engage in exposition and mild info dumps.

What They Say:
Tiir takes Ryner to a refuge for people and children who possess what he calls the eyes of God. Tiir swears vengeance against the heartless humans who murder their kind. In Gastark, King Riphal is blunt about his plans for Kiefer.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Legend of Legendary Heroes continues to have little in the way of legends or heroes, or even much dealing with the search for hero relics which was seemingly the premise behind the show at first. After that heavy back story episodes, it looked like we'd get back to that but instead it wanted to focus on politics and intrigue, which is definitely interesting, while alternating it with instances of Ryner and Ferris going off on adventures, getting into trouble and then dealing with the politics and intrigue themselves. Toss in some good Alpha Stigma scenes and you had highlights, but they were few and far between. As the show gets closer to the end of its run, it's shifted more politics and international intrigue into it with nations coming together for war against each other, manipulations behind the scenes and the splitting of Ryner and Ferris.

And unfortunately, that split is probably the worst thing they can do. As a pair, they definitely have a whole lot of appeal as they play well off of each other both in terms of action and dialogue, with healthy doses of humor mixed into all of it. With Ferris ostensibly off to find him, we get a mixture of scenes with her unsure whether she and Ryner are actually friends and Ryner going through the motions with Tiir about the situation he's been placed into. What proves even more unhelpful to the show is that we're getting an extended piece on Gastark itself where Kiefer now is and she's finding herself being setup for a marriage there, which proves to be even more of a distraction overall. Especially since it's a marriage to royalty she's finding herself being involved with which makes it all the more hard to believe.

While action has saved some previous episodes in terms of salvaging it from being too wordy or lethargic, nothing seems like it can save it at this point. There's so much dialogue here and so much of the progress to date seemingly pointless that it's hard to tell what's actually relevant. When looking back earlier in the series, finding the key elements that resonated then and seem to have no point now is easy. A lot of back story has been added overall but the way it's being drawn together into a cohesive whole simply doesn't seem to be happening. The many disparate elements of the Legend of Legendary Heroes aren't mixing together and when a few of them do, it feels force and not really coming together well. This episode just paints more of that picture with lots of moody and atmospheric elements to it, but it's just washing over you.

In Summary:
Out of all the shows every week, this is one of two that really leaves me wondering what kind of scripting and plotting process it goes through. There's so much potential here, and you can feel it just under the surface, but it's just not happening. The great moments we do have, typically with the action, is the draw that gets me back, but it was also the intrigue for quite awhile. But as it moved into the second half of the series, it's been even more disjointed in telling its tale and the way it's shifted the characters around, introduced others and merged plots, it feels like nothing is working. Every week this show now chips away heavily at my enthusiasm, and I know it's largely inertia at this point, but I keep hoping they can suddenly tie it all together beautifully and make it epic.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.



Mania Grade: C-
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Legend of the Legendary Heroes