The Legend of the Legendary Heroes
Alex: Ugh, there’s a huge problem with this series. And that’s the fact that it only just starts to get really good at the last episode, and leaves a huge cliffhanger which will probably never get animated.You could say that the whole series was just building up to those last ten minutes…yet we’ll never get to see the payoff from it. That makes it really hard to recommend…who would want to read a book that’s only been half written?
I have to hand it to DenYuDen for being the best magical fantasy anime I’ve seen so far, though. It’s packed with ambition, and there are a few episodes where it really shows that it knows how to use that ambition to create absoloutly stunning episodes.And it doesn’t just do stunning episodes, it developed some very strong characters in Ferris, Ryner and Sion.
Hell, even the annoying side characters turn out really awesome and pleasant to watch in the end. They’ve also got some side characters full of potential (Tiia), yet…well…he remains a barrel of unused potential even by the end. And thats a crying shame for the second season will never be animated reason (Note: delete this in the unlikely event of a S2)
But the problem is the overall balance in this series. Putting the issue of another season aside, how can I justify this series spending almost all of its time building up? I can’t. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an amazingly strong fantasy series, and pulls off some amazing episodes here and there.
Mimi’s Score: 7 Meeps out of 10 (Good)
A Distant Day’s Promise
Alex: The episode was a bit of a confusing one, but when it finished and I wrapped my head around what i’d just seen, I realised how brilliant this episode was. It knew that it wouldn’t be able to pull of the epic ending it had promised, yet it didn’t throw that ending away, it just focused on Ryner, Sion and Ferris. It wrapped up the whole Legendary Hero tale, Sion is the hero and Ryner is the Satan Of Lonlieness, and because the Black Hero consumed him, Ryner is also the Solver of All Equations, whilst Ferris’s brother is the Weaver of All Equations and is using the Legendary Hero (Sion) to unite the world under one ruler. Man…the way it all came together was pure brilliance in the script-writing
I didn’t talk about the final ten minutes, though, because i’m saving that for the review that’s to come shortly…
The Last Day
Summary: Sion has a birthday party.
Alex:So the next episode is actually the last one and everywhere got it wrong. Doesn’t that mean that the epic ending will be Sion killing Ryner instead of some big political conflict?
Anyway, this episode acted like there was no plot. It was completly focused on Sion’s birthday party and everyone having a fun time…i’d guess Ryner or Sion’s last day since one of them is going to get killed next episode judging on previous events and the preview.
It was a really wonderful episode, though. Really…beautiful. It would have been a perfect closing episode for a series which has no chance at finishing the story it wanted to tell.Now…if next episode is the conclusion…it better tie up as much as it can without feeling rushed.
The Beast Called Alpha
Summary: Ryner has a strange dream
Alex: Uh.I think this was the calm before the storm episode…alot of things slotted into place nicely with this episode. Anyway, I have an issue here. It’s amusing and all to watch Sion argue with Sion in that stained glass hall, but uh.What did it achieve that wasn’t already pretty obvious?Same for that dream Ryner had. What did it achieve that wasn’t already obvious? If they’re gonna use time like that, they shouldn’t leave it up in the air, either. It was never made clear if Ryner is The Solver Of All Equations or if he’s something with another long title or whatever. That scene with the human experiment was also slightly..out there. It just came from nowhere and ended with nothing major happening.
I’m not gonna say it was a bad episode persay, but…it was a bit of a waste. It all looks to kick off next week, though, as in the last 3 minutes Gastark declared war on Roland and started marching upon them, the prince let redhead go to save Ryner from Sion, and they wasn’t a preview for the next episode =o The music played with a scene of Sion’s empty office, and Ryner saying thank you to Sion.
Summary: Sion becomes interesting
Alex: Woooow, this show really has improved. With what seemed like a meaningless filler actually held some very crucial details. Namely, Sion’s development. I mean, eek. That scene at the end with Miran and Sion was a very “what the hell” moment. It’s almost like Sion is a skitzophrenic…or Sion is a vessel for something greater than his human personality. The majority of the episode was spent on Ryner x Sion scenes, with Ryner resolving to help Sion…before he got stabbed by an unknown blond assailant who matches the man from Ryner’s childhood (his father). It may just be me, but didn’t he sound a little like Ferris’s older brother?
Things over in Gastark don’t look too good, either, as hordes of zombie-like creatures are attacking, and they’re all in the belief that Kiefer is a spy and she’s behind it. And just to add to the chaos, there’s a situation brewing on Captain Milk’s side of things, too. Man, this thing writes itself~:3
A Mind Not Filled With Despair
Summary: Gastark goes after the Alpha Stigma children
Alex:If there’s one thing that can be said for DenYuDen, it’s that it keeps improving on itself.The relationship between Ferris and Ryner really grew here, and it was amazingly soft and bittersweet to hear her yelling kind words instead of calling Ryner names and insulting him.
This series toes a line, though. It doesn’t want to make anyone out to be good or anyone out to be evil, but after this episode, it’s pretty obvious that the pink haired dude from Gastark is a stuck up bastard who enjoys making people suffer, especially poor children.This is where the “alpha stigma users are miserable” arc really paid off, it won’t be going over the top to say that you could feel the pain of the children and Tiia as everything they worked for got torn to shreds in front of them.
The only thing that leaves me with concern is how this series will end. It’s got 5 or 6 episodes left. How is it going to pull off an ending on the scale it’s been aiming for the whole time; or will it leave the ending open for a sequel. (Which I support nonchalantly)
The Directionless Ingrate
Summary:Ryner finds out about Tiia’s true goal
Alex:I love how, in a decent fantasy, there’s never good or bad. There’s always good and bad, but one person is never purely one of them. It was a very melancholic episode for DenYuDen, and as such, i’m at a loss of what to say.It was…awesome, moving, touching, grabbing, engaging, thrilling and saddening, but I don’t know how to express that or phrase it so that it gives this episode the justice it deserves. It’s set the stage for the EndGame though, and it looks to be an awesome one…
Alex: …holy omgwtfepicshit.Just OH.MY.FUCKING.GOD. This was one of the best single episodes of anime i’ve seen for a FUCKING LONG TIME.I think this itself redeems the whole series and then some.It may not have been the most action packed episode, but holy damn. Anyway, enough getting excited here…
This episode shows Sion take to the battlefield, Ferris confront Ryner and leave Sion, and Tiia RECRUIT Ryner to his team. The character development in this episode was almost unsurpassed by anything possible- Ferris’s emotions, Ryner’s feelings, Sion’s struggles; they all felt real and painful in this episode.The way it all wrapped up was perfect, too. You can see that Ferris is leaving everything to be by Ryner’s side, and Sion’s going to continue on like nothing’s happened.
The animation in this episode was probably enough to set this episode apart from everything else, too. The scene with the army, the fight between Ferris and Ryner, and then Ferris, Ryner and Tiia was so amazingly animated it felt like an honest to god work of art. They really threw all the reservati0ns away with this show and went all out, and i’m loving it, and anyone who wants a decent anime should also be loving it. There’s almost no reason to dislike this show after everything it’s pulled off. Tiia is no longer a generic badguy, Ryner’s angst for several episodes was actually used perfectly, Ferris’s subtle development, the whole setting of the series, it’s all perfect. And knowing that this show still has 8 episodes left is enough for me to keep living…┐(-｡ｰ;)┌
Also, forgive me for the wild screenshot obsession ;A I couldn’t decide what scenes to keep o 3o
Summary: Epic stuff went down.And Ferris x Ryner is no more D:
Alex:Oh..wow. I wanted to just leave my post with an O.O face to show what face I had throughout the whole episode, but apparently that’s not allowed.But I don’t actually think i’d be able to write words which does this justice.
The guy from the OP makes his debut, “Tiia”. At first glance he is an over-the-top badguy, but he does it so well that I don’t really mind @_@ Miran meets someone who can fight toe to toe with him, and it turns out to be none other than that happy freak from Milk’s comedy brigade.Never saw that coming…
But okay, seriously. This episode made up for all those annoying moments, all those moments where I was rolling my eyes, everything. I said last week that it pushed the awesome switch, this week it cranked it all the way up to top and even further. Its not often I can admit to being glued to a screen holding my breath with modern anime, but i’ll happily say that this episode was perfect.And judging from the preview for next week…
“The Goddess Who Doesn`t Smile”
Alex:Okay, so by my logic which is perfect and always makes sense, the fact that they put a recap last week marks the end of the first half of the show and the start of the second.Because this week really did pick up the pace.Alot happened, and alot became much much better.
Starting with some background information on Ferris, it makes it veeeerry clear that that “brother” of hers is dangerous and well…freaky.He definitely got made into some big endboss, for lack of a better term. But you know, when DenYuDen takes a step back from the politics it tries so hard to make, and fits into the fantasy genre, it really becomes awesome.Before, I was actually starting to doubt that this show had it left to pull itself out the rut its made and finish the tale its worked so hard to write..but man, it did it. Milk wasn’t annoying, Ferris and Ryner’s antics didn’t feel worn down at all..even Miran seemed bearable in that final minute or so.Yeah, it’s got ALOT of work left to do..but the path of the story is becoming pretty clear now.
On another note, did I mention how annoying Iris is? A whole episode devoted to her recapping the series was the WORST 24 minutes of my life last week. Hearing her go on and on with her ratty chipmunk voice about how Ryner’s harassing her wonderful sister got REALLY annoying.Who’s idea was it to put her in charge of the recap? He should get fired for such an evil episode…especially considering that it delayed this episode, which was fantastic and almost a perfect episode for DenYuDen.