Nothing sets the tone for the last few episodes of a series like a party which turns into conflict.
What They Say:
Ryner works his fingers to the bone for Sion's birthday celebration. As the party dies down, Sion and Ryner share a moment of reflection'"but the nostalgia turns into fiery conflict.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After all that's happened and all the violence and adventure and adversity, the Legend of Legendary Heroes decides to go for something a bit lighter and more amusing for a good part of it. With Ryner and Ferris back with Sion, Ryner finds himself under the gun to do a whole lot of paperwork for him. Ryner of course wants nothing to do with it but Sion is pretty insistent that it must be done and in time for him to be able to have his birthday celebration. Ryner's doing his best to get out of it of course and he manages to sneak out, but it causes him to get into a whole lot more trouble until he can hook up with Ferris for some food.
Much of the episode is about this kind of light silliness that's kind of pleasant to watch in its own way, simply because the show has been fairly dark and murky lately. There are some uplifting moments to be had and even Ryner shines nicely when it comes to the fireworks scene. The vocal music that plays out during the celebration is very nice as well, though it's unfortunate that the vocals themselves couldn't be subtitled. When the Legend of Legendary Heroes wants to set a mood, it does do it very well. Bringing out these lighter moments and then shifting into something darker in the midst of the song is very appropriate, especially as it has Sion riding out in his coach into the rain with Ryner in tow. It's so richly atmospheric that I can almost forget how awful the show can be at times with telling its story.
Naturally, things can't stay all light and fluffy and once it starts to hit the darker moments, you know it's going to go badly. There's some interesting dialogue to be had between the two men at first, showing just how good of friends they are even after all that's happened. Sion's way of manipulating him is admittedly fun when it's allowed to flow naturally like this. What's interesting is that the episode wants to build on the mood of the ending sequence with how the two men talk by using the credits period to take things to the next level. So much is built up here and it actually works well in how they decide to mix things into the ending itself.
It's episodes like this that make me hate this show all the more. It has shown so much potential throughout the run with the way episodes are crafted and the characters themselves but it fails to capitalize on it for so many reasons. This episode is light and airy for much of it but there's a dark undercurrent to all of it as well which comes out at the end. The two main characters of Ryner and Sion really make this series what it is, not to dismiss Ferris, but it's the last few minutes here that really cements that it's truly all about them and their friendship. And because it's done so well, so earnestly and honestly, that you can become all the more frustrated with how so much of the series has been handled. As it edges closer to the end, it's at least giving us some potentially great material.
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.