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It's my job to torture you with stupidity.
Legend of the Legendary Heroes
“Ryner Lute is a lazy student of the Roland Empire Royal Magician's Academy. One day, 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.”
That is the most misleading description of any anime I’ve ever read. Is it accurate? Yes, but only to a small degree. This series revolves more around the war and how the people involved in it deal with the hands they are dealt, all centered around fights for the crowns of the land. That is, when it’s not throwing slapstick at you. English version today, so this series has no excuse not to appeal to an American audience. I expect every joke to work, every heartfelt moment to make me tear up, and some characters that draw me in would be a nice touch. Thank goodness I picked this series.
There are two intro songs used in this series, but I’ll only be talking about the first one in detail, only lightly touching on the other. If there is one thing I can say about both openings though it’s that neither is good. The first opening is designed more around introducing the cast of the show than about promoting what the show is about. The song has meaningless lyrics, but its tempo gets an audience ready for butt-kicking action; which this anime doesn’t have until around the third or fourth episode, and then not again until a few episodes later. At this point, it’s more of a comedy with gore and violence thrown it. The second opening is more of the same, but it does serve to show that the show will be taking a sudden change. This opening is less about showing the characters and more about showing what they’re doing. Not showing what they’re doing in the plot, more like showing where they are. The song also manages to fail at doing its job. It tells the audience nothing and doesn’t get them pumped. That’s a real shame, because this is where the action picks up.
Remember that slapstick I told you this series likes to throw at you? It’s actually funny and it will get you almost every time. Most drama shows that try to put comedy into their runtime fail because they forget one very important rule. The timing and setting have to work. This anime executes its jokes almost perfectly. It knows that after something dark and dramatic happens, it needs to lighten the mood, and that’s one of the best times to make someone laugh. It also serves to keep the show from getting too dark. It does need to keep up a cheery tone, after all. That’s half of what the show and characters rely on. The other half is violence and absence amounts of gore. This show needs the comedy to bring it back to reality.
This series, unfortunately, has the bad habit of falling into clichés, however. Most of the characters, both the main cast and the side characters, have problems with tragic backgrounds. The main character and a few characters we meet later all have angst-syndrome. Not a one, with the exception of the main character, gets that symptom from their past. It all has to do with what’s happening at that moment. For anyone who wants to tally that up to them being in a war, I’d like to point out that the war has been going on for far longer than most of these people have been alive. It also has incredibly uncomfortable moments. I don’t want to say what those moments are, but, believe me, you will not be able to sit through them without your skin crawling.
I should mention the characters. They are not well developed. Ryner is lazy and filled with angst. Sion is a kind and caring king and filled with angst. Ferris is hilariously abusive and not filled with angst. There’s not much else to say about them. Every character follows that same pattern. They all have one notable feature, some characters sharing that one feature, and may or may not suffer from angst. It’s laughable and infuriating. The strangest part is that these people are still likeable and you want to route for them. I blame it on the kid in all of us that wants clear-cut heroes and villains, and this series’ abnormal ability to appeal to that immature child.
All in all, this series isn’t perfect, far from it in fact, but it is highly enjoyable. The jokes hit nearly every time, and slapstick is an American favorite; the characters, though they need some work, are fun and engaging; the openings are less than perfect, even to the point of being appalling; and the clichés make any sane person want to bash their head against a table. All in all, a bad series. I don’t know what the creators were thinking when they made this show. It’s goofy and violent beyond reason. However, it’s certainly an anime that warrants a once over, even if only for the absurdity of the thing. It has that “so bad it’s good” quality. If it wasn’t for the over-the-top gore, the excellently timed slapstick, and the likeable characters, I feel like this anime would never be something that people should stay away from. Next week, we tie Shiki to a wall a see how it holds up.

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