Sion continues his beat down on Ryner like only a friend can.
What They Say:
A dark spirit consumes Sion as he nearly takes Ryner's life. After Ryner and Ferris narrowly escape peril, Ryner vows to save his friend from the turmoil he endures on the twisted path to achieve his dream.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the shift in the previous episode, Sion and Ryner ended up in quite the fight against each other. The two have an extensive past to be certain, but something had changed with Sion that now has him getting closer and closer to Ryner before he outright attacked him. That half of the episode was wonderfully atmospheric and had some great animation to it as it set the mood and launched into the actual attack itself. While it was a disconnect in why Sion was like this, owing more to events that have been snaking around behind the scenes for awhile, it's definitely not something that has been seamless. But that's been a big way this series has operated for awhile now.
The fight naturally goes badly for Ryner as he's laid out flat, which leads to Sion going through a strong internal confrontation with himself over it as he battles the two sides that are warring in him. It's fairly interesting as it plays out since it runs the emotional gamut a bit with some strong words said on both sides, as well as a bit of flashback material to really highlight the bonds between Sion and Ryner from earlier in their lives. But in the end, it's all about putting Ryner down and he's most definitely that at this point, at least until Ferris comes along later and manages to spirit him away so that they can regroup and figure out what to do.
The opening part of the episode hints more at what to expect as we see some dialogue about the Black Hero and his role in events, which paints things towards what Sion is going through. It's an interesting piece of the past come to light with the All Formulas concept brought into it, but like a lot of the series, if it had been more of a central part of the show from the start, it might not feel like it's being dropped in out of the blue now. Or perhaps it was introduced earlier but in a less than clear way? The nature of this series with its disjointed storytelling has bit it in the rear more than once and this feels like another part. It's a great visual moment that hints at something powerful and epic, but it's so disconnected from events overall that it's hard to get enthused by it.
While not quite as atmospheric as the previous episodes, the Legend of Legendary Heroes has a lot going on here with just a few characters. Unfortunately, it's trying to draw in the larger plot which has not been well managed over the course of it and it doesn't feel like it belongs. The opening to the episode feels like the starting point of a whole other series that comes across as a whole lot more interesting. The animation continues to be the high point and the emotional context of it is strong between Sion and Ryner, and even in Sion's internal debate, but it cannot sustain the show itself, no matter how engaging the action sequences are. And they are engaging. This series continues to feel like a large number of missed opportunities on a regular basis.
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.