The violence meter goes through the roof with this episode as everyone decides to behead someone.
What They Say
Fifty Estabul Magic Knights ambush Sion and Ryner's school troop. Ryner uses his forbidden power, the Alpha Stigma, to defeat them - until his power goes out of control. Meanwhile, Ferris's brother Lucile wonders if Sion has what it takes to be king.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Legend of Legendary Heroes is rolling right along after a couple of less than thrilling fantasy-ish episodes so far. The previous episode spent a good bit of time introducing us to Ryner and Sion in their military academy days while also introducing a love interest for Ryner in the form of Kiefer. Amusingly, Ryner can't believe that she actually likes him and views the whole thing as a joke when she reveals her feelings as the troop they're now part of are out in a military exercise. When the threat of war becomes a reality and you find yourself in it, you often find the ability to be honest about your feelings. Others may not realize it though.
What is surprising is just how violent of a turn the show takes all of a sudden. With the group out in the fields at the moment, a large number of them are quickly taken down while relaxing before pitching the tents for the night. The Magic Knights from Estabul have found them and they're brutal in how they kill the student-warriors, ripping bodies in half, slicing heads off with the greatest of ease and inspiring a whole lot of fear. Sion's able to get some of the students back into the safety of the woods, but that only helps for so long since the Magic Knights are reveling in their activities and want more bodies to play with.
The brutality of the Magic Knights is very striking, but they've found themselves something unexpected as Ryner has the Alpha Stigma ability that essentially unleashes quite a lot of power and violence on its own. As brutal as the Magic Knights were, it pales a bit to what Ryner does in vengeance, vengeance that he's not entirely conscious of as the thing seems to overpower his mind. What's odd is how the episode plays out afterwards as the surviving trio is taken back and Sion is treated as a hero while Ryner and Kiefer are thrown into prisoner, interrogated and so forth. Ryner is far too calm about things as it plays out and something about the way it all slowly gets dealt with really feels like it's haphazard or almost nonsensical. There's dramatic dialogue about war and what it means, but like the first two episodes something about the show comes across as though it's being done in a way that just doesn't click.
Three episodes in and I still can't quite figure out what this show really wants to be. It has some interesting ideas and there is a potentially fascinating relationship to be had between Sion and Ryner here, but the time spent in the flashback to when the two were young has an awkward execution about it, as if it's just doing a greatest highlights reel where you miss the real connections that binds it all together. With the way the characters are portrayed in the first episode compared to the second and third, it's almost like we're getting different characters in each episode that doesn't quite add up yet. There's certainly potential here, but it comes across as a big of an undefined mess at the moment that hasn't quite solidified as a concept.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitle
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.