Anime Review: Legend of Legendary Heroes Episodes 7, 8, and 9

(Originally published on Livejournal on 10/9/10)

Anime Review:
Legend of Legendary Heroes Episodes 7, 8, and 9

About The Series: Ryner Lute seems to be lazy, listless and unwilling to lift a finger, but he also hides a secret: He alone is a magical wielder of the Alpha Stigma, making him unique in the Roland Empire. His companion, Ferris Eris, is a brash, energetic, and an incredibly skilled swordswoman. When the young, charismatic King Sion Astal rose to the throne of the Roland Empire, he had his work cut out for him, trying to prevent war with the neighboring countries will dealing with corruption and cutthroat internal politics. To help him, the King sends a reluctant Ryner and Ferris on a secret mission to collect ancient magical relics left over from the age of ‘Legendary Heroes’.

ep.7 tl;dr review: Milk Callaud and her taboo breaker squad chases after Ryner; Fumble-fingers Ryner unleashes a dragon from a relic.

Episode 7 Synopsis: When they were little children, Ryner saved Milk Callaud — and ever since then Milk has had a not-so-secret crush on him. But now she leads a small troop of soldiers who are tasked by Sion Astal to chase after Ryner, the Taboo Breaker. Ryner and Ferris now find themselves in Nelpha, ransacking a castle in search of a rumored relic; but all they find are tax receipts and the brother sister team of Kuu and Siu. Following some clues, they return to a spot in the woods where Ryner digs up the sought-after relic, a short sword that doesn’t seem to do anything. Milk’s squadron decides to ambush them, but Ryner and Ferris easily handle them, tying them up in the woods. When another passing army squad approaches, Milk cries out to draw them away from Ryner (in her own attempt to save him), but ultimately it is Milk who must be saved from the enemy army by Ryner. Unable to get the relic to do anything, Ryner throws it away in disgust; when it strikes the ground it brings forth a massive dragon. Going over their options, Ryner and Ferris decide it’s time to make a hasty retreat.

ep.8 tl;dr review: A revolt reveals just how much of a puppet Sion Astal really is; Miran Froaude pulls his strings.

Episode 8 Synopsis: There’s a revolt in the neighboring kingdom of Estabul, and Sion Astal calls his top advisers to figure out what to do. Sion decides to send his top commander, the ‘Crimson Fingered’ Claugh, to suppress the rebellion. With his special powers and tactics he is able to clean up the opposition with as little bloodshed as possible. Ultimately it ends up with the last of the ringleaders trapped in their palace, including the princess Noa Ehn. Without Claugh’s approval, Miran Froaude attacks from the side, setting in motion a bloody end. In the end it turns out that he was responsible for starting the revolt in the first place as a short-cut to strengthen Sion’s position, and swoops in to clean up what’s left. Everyone in the rebellion dies except for Noa Ehn, who is saved at the last minute by Claugh. But it is revealed just how much Sion Astal has been played, and how little actual control he really wields, and the fine line he must walk to avoid his downfall.

ep.9 tl;dr review: Ryner and Ferris come across not one, not two, but three relics; the taboo is broken and suddenly the shit’s about to get real.

Episode 9 Synopsis: Through Iris, Sion sends a message to Ryner and Ferris not to investigate the discarded relic further; but the message gets lost and they go in search of the dragon and relic. They find massive death and destruction, but they also find the duo of Sio and Kuu, who it turns out were secretly in search of the relic as well. With the dragon-producing relic in their hands, Siu and Kuu battle Ryner and Ferris, who in their overconfidence get their asses handed to them. In addition to the discarded relic, they actually have two other relics, and more importantly know how to use them. Wishing to obtain Ryner’s Alpha Stigma as well, Siu activates the stigma, causing Ryner to lose control. Thinking he can easily capture that power with a special crystal, using one of the relics for defense, Siu grossly underestimates the Alpha Stigma’s power and nearly gets disintegrated. With Ryner completely out of control bent on mindless destruction of everything, no one can stop him.

My Thoughts: Either the show is being silly with stupid jokes about Ryner’s supposed lecherous activities, Ferris’ obsession with dumplings, or other such nonsense — or, the show is serious with blood and death and gore and political infighting. For me, the less of the yuk-hyuk humor, and the more of the serious drama, the better. However, I think I finally got a handle on the give-and-take relationship between Ryner and Ferris, and more importantly Ryner does as well. At least he is now able to easily parry her blunt-tongued barbs with ease.

A few quick thoughts:

– I still don’t get the whole purpose behind the Taboo Breaker squad and their annoying-as-shit leader, Milk Callaud. What’s their purpose for even existing?
– Sion Astal really is just a figurehead, and most importantly he knows it only too well. Not only does Lucile Eris essentially have the knife’s edge at his throat at all times, but he’s played like a fiddle by Miran Froaude as well. Or rather, Sion Astal is *letting* himself be played, leveraging his extremely weak position to the best of his abilities. He has to play the board very carefully, sometimes swallowing his pride, keeping his ultimate goal in mind.
– Miran Froaude, on the other hand, is *not* the clear-cut enemy, nor the obedient ally. There’s no black and white, all the characters are shades of grey.
– We had a taste of Ryner’s hidden power back in episode three, but now it’s unleashed with thermonuclear effect. Cripes, how is *anything* going to stand in opposition to that?
– As if you couldn’t figure it out already, Ryner sure has self-esteem issues, sees himself as nothing but a monster based on rejection from his past. It’s made him the (non)-man he is today.
– Despite the eye-rollingly bad humor bits, this show has quite a complex storyline, and I am especially pleasantly surprised at the depth of the backroom politics as well (something you don’t usually see in fantasy anime). While not the best show in the world, I think this one’s a keeper.

The Verdict:

Up Next: Shukufuku no Campanella (second chance), Kuttsukiboshi, Aki Sora: Yume no Naka, MonHun Diary: Felyne Village in Danger, Armored Trooper Votoms: Phantom Arc, Hen Zemi, Kaichou wa Maid-sama, Ookami-sam (finale)

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