The Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Does Their Quest Prove To Be an Epic One?

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It is sometimes tough to find a show that balances seriously sweet action and depth with the ability to not take itself too seriously. Sure, many shows will have jokes or jabs here or there, but many of them end up making the show a farce or are too far apart to really matter. However, The Legend of the Legendary Heroes does a fantastic job at balancing both awesome and hilarity in every episode. But that doesn’t make it a perfect series by far. So my main question is this: Does their quest prove to be an epic one? Or does is start off strong only to flounder at the last second?

 

Synopsis

Ryner Lute is a lazy student who enjoys chicken on the beach of the Roland Empire Royal Magician’s Academy. The Roland Empire goes to war against their neighboring country Estabul, and Ryner loses his classmates in the war. After the war, Ryner sets out on a journey to search for the relics of a “Legendary Hero” at King Sion Astal’s command and finds out that a deadly curse is spreading throughout the continent.

The anime series is based on of a series of light novels with the same name and originally aired back in 2010. The series consists of 24 episodes and is licensed in the U.S. by Funimation.

Thoughts

This series really surprised me. I wasn’t sure what to expect but this series really exceeded my expectations. The story was great and the characters were quite likable and deep particularly Ryner, Ferris and Sion.

The first character I’ll discuss in Ryner. Ryner Lute is a rare example of a male character in an anime series who is actually likeable. He was born with the Alpha Stigma, a powerful yet dangerous type of magic. The stigma he possesses is one of many types, but his allows him to analyze and copy the magic of other people.  However, that power comes with a cost. If a stigma user loses control of their emotions or experience trauma, they lose control their sanity and control of their powers. They then only crave destruction and the death of others.  Because of this Ryner and others like him are feared and hated. Ryner even dreads the power himself because he is afraid of what he can do.  He puts the danger that he could present before his own self interests  because of what he has done in the past.

Ryner is not your typical hero with power. He is actually quite lazy and would prefer to live in a world where he could have afternoon naps. He needs to be dragged (sometimes literally) to the missions that he is sent on. He does however have a huge sense of justice and will put in an effort when someone is in danger particularly his friends.  He is a character which experiences tremendous growth throughout the series as he discovers that he has something to fight for. He also realizes that he has people who do care about him despite his powers and don’t care about the risk he presents.

The second main character is Ferris. She comes the Eris family., the family who traditionally had served as the royal guard. She has a dark past as well with her family being abusive in her training. Her parents died while she was young, so the head of the clan is her brother.  She is a master of the sword and even seems to possess superhuman speed. While she is a tough individual, she also has a softer side particularly for dongo. If dongo is involved she will do anything.  Many of series most comedic moments involve her bullying Ryner and telling everyone outrageous claims about Ryner’s supposed sexual exploits. Ferris changes as the series progresses as well. Her tough exterior starts to fade a bit and she does show kindness to Ryner by the end of the series even being there for him when things get difficult.  While she does grow and develop it is not to the extent of the other characters. That is OK actually as she was a great character to start with.

The third and final main character is Sion Astal. King of the kingdom of Roland, he strives for a peaceful world without bloodshed. After leading a revolt to become king, he strives to remove the corruption of the nobility. His deeds have him viewed as a hero among the people. Sion undergoes great character progression. In the beginning he is a kind and gracious king only seeking to do good for his kingdom. However, he discovers that his dream is in fact not so easy and ends up slipping down a dark path to try to achieve it. He doesn’t become evil per say, he just gets so caught up in his dreams that he actually ends up sacrificing part of himself to try to achieve it. His intentions are good, however the means in which he ends up striving to achieve are not in some cases. This series is full of other fascinating characters as well, however it would take too long to discuss them all.

The story and themes of this series are also an entertaining venture. The series contains many action sequences especially when dealing with the quest for the relics. These sequences are entertaining to watch and well written. However, this series also focuses on the political dealings in the Kingdom of Roland and the politics and corruption which Sion has to deal with. The political intrigue is a very interesting aspect of the show. Sion wants to handle things peacefully, however there are others who don’t believe in such things. You also get the exploration of Ryner’s place in the world and his deep desire to find acceptance and live in a world that fears him. I really got the sense that this was an intelligent series which brought the some great philosophical discussions to light. Is it worth sacrificing your morals to achieve a noble goal? Is it fair to judge someone before they have committed any crime? These are just some of the questions the series presents.
Mixed in with drama and action is a good bit of comedy as well. As I mentioned before the Ferris and Ryner interactions provide the most comedy. I have rarely watched a series where I laugh for half of an episode and watched a drama filled story in the other half.

While the story is epic in scale, there is one problem with it. The ending of the series is a bit open-ended. Most of the major plot points are resolved. However it feels like they were hoping to do a second season of this series because they open it up for another major story to occur and the series just ends. The last episode starts them on another journey which we will never see the outcome. It was a bit disappointing because the ending was shaping up to lead to another epic story which we probably never see.

maxresdefaultThe animation was quite pleasing to look at. The action scenes were quite well done. The scenery and backdrops looked gorgeous. The action sequences were nice and fluid and the characters were drawn really well. The animation really helped me with the mood of the scene. The music in the series was good but not particularly memorable. The music did it’s job but did not stand out for me. That is ok though because there were many cases where I was so engrossed in the action that I didn’t notice the music anyway.  I watched the English dub of this series and I thought the voice actors did a superb job with the characters. The voices really added to the emotions of the scenes.

So in summary, The Legend of the Legendary Heroes is a great deep characters and a complicated yet not confusing story. The series combines action, comedy and drama and does it well. While not perfect with it’s ending, this series is one not to be underestimated and has my recommendation for those who love fantasy.

So that’s my review for The Legend of the Legendary Heroes. Hope you enjoyed it! Please if you have any comments please leave them below.  You can always see more of my posts of all things in Geek here!

The Legend of the Legendary Heroes can be found on Netflix, Hulu Plus and on the Funimation Website and App. The entire series is also available on DVD through Funimation.

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