Anime Review: Legend of Legendary Heroes Episode 1

(Originally published on Livejournal on 8/8/10)

Anime Review in a Minute:
Legend of Legendary Heroes Episode 1

Anime Review in a Minute: What this is all about.

tl;dr review: Reluctant heroes on a quest to find Legendary Hero relics; Newly-minted king on a quest to improve his kingdom.

The Skinny: Ryner, who is a practitioner of the arcane arts of Nelphian Magic, and the alpha-female swordsman Ellis are traveling through unwelcome lands on a quest to seek out artifacts from the age of Legendary Heroes. But the quest is not of their own choosing – pressed into service very reluctantly by the new King Sion Astal. Young and charismatic, the idealistic king has vowed to improve his land after years of corruption and failure, and seems all-too-aware of how much of an uphill battle he faces. Meanwhile, Ryner and Ellis uncover an unfathomably-powerful artifact in the neighboring Roland Empire, in the process running across the diminutive Lieutenant Milk, who has a crush on Ryner while also ineffectually trying to prevent him from his task. In the end, the artifact proves too much and they end up running for their lives in the face of its awesome wrath.

My Thoughts: I really wanted to like this show. I mean, I really, really, really wanted to settle in for a good, straightforward swords-and-sorcery fantasy, and based on the preview I thought I had a chance. But this first episode just leaves me very disappointed — it jumps all over the place from Epic Fantasy, to Slapstick Comedy, to RPG-by-the-numbers Fantasy, Political Drama, back to Slapstick Comedy, Sober Fantasy then Comedy again. Schizophrenic Anime is schizophrenic – I wish it would settle on a theme and stick to it. Frankly, I was hoping for more Lodoss and less Slayers (as if I have any say in the matter, right?). I think I lost all hope when the duo comes across a rune-protected doorway as massive and solid as the West Gate of Moria; Ryner is working hard with his magic to solve the key, when Ellis just blithely slashes her sword and CUTS THE FOOT-THICK STONE DOOR IN HALF. Insert face-palm moment here.

Oh, and what sort of character can seriously be named Milk? Even if she’s just thrown in for comic relief, hearing it is like throwing a little bit of ice-water on the brain.

Out of SHEER FORCE OF WILL I’m going to give this a passing grade and see how the next couple episodes play out, because I *want* to watch a fantasy series. (After all, has there been a *single* decent swords-and-sorcery anime show within the past five years? Anyone?) But if they keep pouring on The Stupid, even my limits can be surpassed.

For more info:

Random Curiosity Anime review: http://randomc.net/2010/07/01/the-legend-of-the-legendary-heroes-01/
Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Legend_of_the_Legendary_Heroes
Official video trailer: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcqppq_the-legend-of-the-legendary-heroes_creation

The Verdict:

The tally for Summer 2010 season first episodes so far:
Passing Grade: Ookami-san, Highschool of the Dead, Mitsudomoe, The Occult Academy, Black Butler II, Kurenai OVA, Nurarihyon no Mago, Shiki, Legend of Legendary Heroes
Failing grade: Amagami SS, Sekirei: Pure Engagement, Seitokai Yakuindomo, Strike Witches 2, Shukufuku no Campanella, Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail, Digimon Xros Wars, Black Rock Shooter OVA, Asobi ni Iku Yo, Sengoku Basara Two

Up Next (not necessarily in this order): Cat Shit One, Kaichu, Break Blade, Bungaku Shoujo Memoire, Zettai Karen Children OVA, Kyou Koi wo Hajimemasu, Tono to Issho

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