I was supposed to publish this one yesterday, titled “legend of Legendary Heroes has deep stufff and fucks it up”, based on my first viewing through the episode. But after thinking it over for an hour and watching it again last night, I’ve decided to simply discuss my thoughts.
(Oh god, in order to let the search engine find this article faster, I came up with such a lame ass title! XD)
Yes, I can hear your screams; “DEEP STUFF? NO, REALLY?” I guess I’m being Captain Obvious and you heard this one coming a mile away. But yes, this show is deep and interesting.
I was skeptical as first regarding the mix of comedy and seriousness, which works well for Gintama. But for this kind of show with fantasy elements, it would be very easy to go over the edge into silly humor, or become way too serious by taking itself too seriously. One of the most successful fantasy shows that I watched was Scrapped Princess (what a title, eh). It was serious, tightly paced with a focused plot that was slowly unraveled. The characters and plots were interesting enough. I don’t remember any of the seiyuu names but I remember they had good chemistry. I enjoyed the show a lot. It did take itself too seriously.
As for this one, it’s certainly got emotional depth. The stuff about exploiting kids is a sure draw for sympathy but it’s not over done. As for the 3 main characters, I find Sion the most interesting of the 3.
As the political center, he needs to master enough trickery to fend off these nobles while keeping himself in power. He’s partially controlled by a clan that eye’s the situation from afar but really holds the most power in the empire – the clan can kill him if he fails to meet its expectations. So there is a sword above his head, which creates tension within him. He’s desperate for good but he has to be crafty and constantly work with evil. He keeps secrets from all his advisors and friends in order to perform his balance act and pretend to be supportive of the nobles. However, as the reality sinks in, he blames himself more and more for any failure, including the death of a trusted servant and friend (that was quite heart-breaking to see). Hiring the guy who controls the shadow could very well be his first step into doing evil. He’s struggling with how much he wants to control. In order to bring good to all citizens of Roland and not have to worry about other nobility-controlled nation invading, it seems that he has to try to take over the entire land, after all. But that would ultimately put him in the same place as many dictators and nobles before him. He set out not to be like them.
He sends his friends on a secret mission but allows the dark advisor to clash with them. He then hides the truth about the identities of either side from either side. Things untold often becomes the downfall of good friendships.
Make no mistake, what Sion faces is a vastly tangled situation set in the mire and there are enough temptation to walk into and stay in the darkside. Perhaps it’s necessary, after all, he has talented people who will help him either way. Or does he? His promise to Ryner is to do good for the people. But as his domain as well as the amount of trouble grows, will he stay true to his promise or will he take the dark path for the sake of achieving the goal in his life time?
Like Captain Obvious said, this is deep stuff. I’m simply surprised that they schedule something so intelligent and intriguing in the summer line-up. I say it’s a must see if you like intrigue and all.
You could watch this on Funimation or Hulu. See opinions on it in the Crunchyroll forum.
Ooh, plots, intrigue, funny characters (though admittedly, a little bit one-dimenional), interesting though rather shallow and easily constructed backstory and world view, this one is gaining my favor so far.
Am I the only one that think Sion looks WAY TOO MUCH like Testarossa from Full Metal Panic, especially with the uniform? Watching the PV, I honestly thought he was a girl until he spoke. Also –
HOW DARE THEM KILL THE DOG! GODAMMIT, don’t kill the dog! I want to form a lynch mob for that poor creature! After all, there are animal police in NYC and yet if you get robbed or stabbed, you’re less likely to get justice. Eh. GET THOSE DOG KILLERS!
Right now, the show’s having a little trouble trying to decide to be serious or funny. The danger of going into a possibly long back story is that the story of the present day will be severely shortened (see Berserk and Tenjo Tenne). We’ll see. So far, the comedy has won me over but everything else is a little flat. Like the characters and the humor, but as for the rest…I take the first paragraph back, the plots are OK so far. I want to see how it pans out over the next few episodes.
This has the potential in funniness ala Slayers, plot depth ala Scrapped Princess and back story depth ala Berserk. But we won’t know until 4 more episodes in, I reckon.
P.S. Have been skimming through both episodes on Saturday, 11:28 AM PST. The contrast of episode 1 and 2 don’t seem that jarring after all and the story is more interesting than I firsst though. Hmm…