Anime Review: Legend of Legendary Heroes Episodes 16, 17, and 18

(Originally published on Livejournal on 12/20/10)

Anime Review:
Legend of Legendary Heroes Episodes 16, 17 and 18

Series Premise: 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.16 tl;dr review: Ferris’ past is explained; Ryner reads his own death warrant.

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Episode 16 Summary: Four years ago, Ferris was undergoing grueling training by her parents to become a warrior befitting of the Eris household, but is deemed to be unworthy. By continually cross-breeding siblings for generations, the Eris family has become fierce fighters, but now her parents have decided to toss Ferris aside and begin conditioning little Iris instead. In an absolute denunciation of their plans, Lucile executes their parents, breaking the chain of incest and giving his younger sisters a chance of semblance of a normal life. Fast-forward to the present, and Ferris is once again taunting Ryner as they prepare to unwillingly escort Sion to another land. They visit the the Eris household, where Ryner meets with Lucile who gives him the smack-down and threatens him if he should ever lay a finger on Ferris. Milk Callaud happily invites Ryner to her birthday party, but the invitation letter was prepared by Luke Stokkart, which actually contains a secret order by Sion to execute Ryner in the event his Alpha Stigma goes out of control while in a foreign land. Milk subsequently goes missing.

ep.17 tl;dr review: Ryner and Milk are missing; An unstoppable monster makes mince meat of Klom.

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Episode 17 Summary: Both Ryner and Milk have gone missing overnight, and the search is on to find them. But Sion has bigger problems at hand, when reports of a monster is wreaking havoc with the Alpha Stigma in Estabul. He sends Admiral Klom to investigate, and his squadron soon finds the dark-haired monster, busily at work killing more people. Klom is bent on revenge, since this was the same person that has destroyed his entire squadron in the past, and launches an immediate attack; however Klom is summarily defeated, his powerful arm removed and destroyed in battle, and they are forced to retreat under devastating losses. Elsewhere, Kiefer Knolles is researching the Alpha Stigma and learns that there are many different powerful types and that Ryner does not fit the pattern set by previous Stigma bearers; Kiefer is also heavily wooed by Refal Edia, head of the Gastark Empire. Back in Roland, Luke Stokkart is still searching for Milk Callaud and finds her captor is actually Miran Froaude; unexpectedly Luke manages to easily defeat Miran.

ep.18 tl;dr review: Ryner stares at his shoes and gazes at his navel; Tiir steals him away from Sion.

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Episode 18 Summary: Noa Ehn tends to a gravely wounded and disarmed Klom, while Sion heads out to confront the rogue Alpha Bearer himself. Elsewhere, Ferris is searching high and low for Ryner, and finds him hiding away at a country inn, where she gives him a piece of her mind (and sword). But their quarrel is interrupted by the insatiable rogue bearer of the ‘Cursed Eyes’, Tiir Rumibul, who has so easily defeated Klom, and a battle ensues. At the same time, Sion and his army of archers attack from the outside, surprising and almost defeating Tiir. But he turns on them and unleashes his awesome powers, then turns to Ryner as a ‘comrade’ and offers to take him away where he can be with others like themselves. Ryner, disillusioned by how society views a monster like him, and stinging from the written order from Sion, takes him up on the offer and the two of them disappear, leaving a stunned Sion and Ferris behind.

My Thoughts: Building to the climax of the series, these three episodes are really more of the same. And I have pretty much the same complaints that I have had all along, such as:
– The uneven mix of serious drama and wacky humor.
– The softly glowing “painter of light” style of fuzzy artwork.
– The continued existence of Milk Callaud.
There’s no need to rehash them in detail, but I will now add one more complaint to the list: Brand new critical plot elements and characters never once mentioned before popping suddenly into the middle of the story even though they’ve never been mentioned *once* earlier. In particular, I present you with Tiir Rumibul, an all-powerful monster roaming the countryside causing all sorts of destruction with his special eyes. Not only has he never been mentioned a single time in the previous dozen-plus episodes, or even hinted that he might exist (even though he appears to be an important part of Klom’s past), the idea of different types of Stigmas hasn’t really been broached until Kiefer started hitting the books. Almost like the writers needed to move the story forward and invented Mr. Plot Device to get it moving along.

Oh, by the way…whatever happened to Ferris and Ryner’s main mission? Remember the whole point of the show (…supposedly…) was they were going to travel around everywhere picking up Heroes relics? So, has that very idea been tossed by the wayside? Well, to be perfectly honest, I’m not really complaining if that is the case, because the whole find-a-relic-per-episode concept I imagined this show would be at the very beginning was not an appealing concept to begin with. Rather, the introspective examination of the anti-hero Ryner and the fragile internecine machinations of Sion is significantly more interesting.

A few quick thoughts:
– I always know that Luke Stokkart character was more devious than he seems. After all, he has the ‘squinty eyes’, which is anime shorthand for someone who cannot be trusted.
– The whole Milk disappearance at the hands of Miran is a bit of a head-scratcher, and I’m still at a loss to understand why she’s an important character in the slightest.
– The courting of Kiefer by the ruler of the Gastark Empire continues apace, but still remains little more than the merest of side-stories. No doubt they’ll play an important role before this is all over.
– Does anyone get the feeling that all of this is little more than a big game for Lucile Eris? He is so powerful it is almost god-like; and he’s another ‘squinty-eye’ that can’t be trusted as far as you could throw him. As if you could lay a finger on him to begin with, that is.
– Perhaps I am reading too much into this, but Ryner running off with Tiir seems a bit disingenuous to me. After all, he’s trusted Sion for many years, as if a single letter would dissuade him from that? Instead, I have a theory: Perhaps Ryner realized that going along with Tiir at this moment was the only way out that would not result in everyone’s death. I’m sure I’ll found out for sure soon enough.

The Verdict:

Coming up next: Shiki (16-18), Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru (4-6), My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute (4-6), Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (4-6), Psychic Detective Yakumo (4-6), Shinryaku Ika Musume (4-6), Letter Bee Reverse (4-6), Bakuman (4-6), Kuragehime (4-6)

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