Set against the backdrop of larger than life legends, young men and women of the day set out to create their own legends, with a dash of humor.
What They Say
While searching the ruins of Nelpha for relics, Ryner and Ferris are pursued by Lieutenant Milk of the Taboo-Breaker Pursuit Squadron. The trouble compounds when one of the relics is inadvertently activated.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the various light novels/manga created by Takaya Kagami, The Legend of the Legendary Heroes is a twenty-six episode series animated by studio Zexcs. The original novel series began back in 2002 and ran for four years with eleven volumes total in it along with some parallel works going on and a couple of smaller ones as well as one that's run longer than the original. Just looking at the various novels and manga, as well as the video game, and it's a pretty interesting if confusing property in terms of what goes where and how it all falls together. Thankfully, the anime has to stand on its own and you don't need to know any of it, though you may get more out of the anime if you do, so seeing how the show builds the universe in its own way under the guiding hand of Itsuro Kawasaki. Kawasaki has a pretty good series of show behind him, including Sengoku Basara and Rental Magic, so it's certainly a potentially intriguing property to get him into it.
The Legend of Legendary Heroes gives us a standard fantasy setting from the start as we learn of the legends from ages ago where a group of people came together with immense power to take down the demons and devils that were rampaging all over the lands, causing massive destruction. Details are minimal but the legends of these heroes are firmly etched in history now which can inspire those of the present day fantasy world. In that present, we're following the team of Ryner and Ferris, two warrior types who are searching out for relics of the legendary heroes in the ruins of a place called Nelpha. The two are an amusing pair as Ferris continually beats the snot out of Ryner because of his attitude and the way he shares way too much information sometimes. Her methods tend to cause more problems though as her aggression can even send a squad of warriors away which only draws more attention to them.
On the flip side, there's some background and story given on the kingdom side of the show as we see Sion doing his best to handle the affairs of the country while trying to return things to the way they should be. After too many rulers spending their time essentially pillaging the country for their own greed and ambitions, it's a new ruler that comes along who wants to return things to a more harmonious dynamic. Doing so is tough though and it has an effect on his health where his advisors are concerned that he may be overdoing things. Though he has a very strong pretty boy look with his hair and attire, Sion has that kind of presence about him that's rather engaging since he goes out and about into the country to see what's going on and is definitely an involved person in all of it, though there's always that wonder as to whether some of it is a charade or not.
There's a nice little bit of background that's brought into the show about halfway through that explains why Ryner is doing the relic hunt. His meeting the Hero King Sion was an event that changed his life where he turns him from the course he was on and instead sends him on a new one involving finding the relics. The relics are things that unsurprisingly cause a lot of trouble and destruction if poorly used, as we see when the duo finds something later on in this episode. It gives the show a mild kind of Slayers feel where widespread destruction may be somewhat regular at times, but it plays it all a good bit more serious while still keeping in some good dashes of situational humor to all of it.
The look and feel of the show is pretty standard fantasy fare. I've liked what Zexcs has done in the past but not too much about this one really stands out all that much. The character designs are good though fairly generic in their own way while the backgrounds and locations are straightforward out of the kind of fantasy pieces I've seen since I started playing Dungeon's & Dragon's back in the late 70's. There's something to be said for that though as it keeps the focus fairly grounded in a fantasy/real-world mode where there isn't anything outlandish that could dominate, but it reduces the show from having anything that's really unique for a hook to draw you in when it comes to either the characters or the locations.
The opening episode of the series is pretty good but it hasn't managed to set itself apart too well from numerous other fantasy oriented shows, both in anime, manga and comic books. The show has a solid design to it but doesn't stand out too strong one way or another. There's definitely a hook in here of having one them drawn in to do the relic hunting through the commission of the Hero King and I liked that aspect of it as it put an interesting turn for Sion to play and for Ryner to take on. This first episode didn't knock it out of the park but it definitely got a first base run going here as I'm interesting to see where it may go as it starts to show more of its larger narrative and plot since they have twenty-six episodes to run with and a whole lot of source material as well. And even a mediocre fantasy show is better than no fantasy show at all considering how few decent ones there are overall.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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.