Legend of the Legendary Heroes… what a silly name. Like Greenery of the Green Vegetables or Bitterness of the Bitter Dark Chocolate. If names are supposed to attract people to an anime, then this sure does not help. I mean check out Slayers. Such a simple and direct name. There is even a band named after it. Yet in both cases the names are actually deceiving the viewers rather than preparing them for what they are about to watch. There is nothing epic in the first as there are no fountains of blood and gore in the second. What kind of a trolling technique is this anyway?
The similarities don’t end in the name-trolling alone of course, as Epic of the Epical Epicness is in fact 50% like Slayers. That is, a medieval comical adventure about imba wizards and warriors strolling the countryside trying to save the world one goof at a time. Well what about the other half then? Is at least that original? Nope, it is just a dried up version of Legend of Galactic Heroes (Sion is Reinhart, Ryner is Wenli) about several intrigues and power struggles amongst royalty for the domination of the world. And look at that, even that anime had “Legend” in its name. Do I see some accidental plagiarism here?
Anyways, Great of the Greater Greatness is for me a half-breed. Half Slayers and half LoGH that is. And on paper it sounds like the stuff of legends (oh, the irony). I mean, if you take the political intrigue of LoGH and combine it properly with the zany comedy of Slayers, you have an optical orgasm.
Well, the producers were unfortunately first timers and thus there was no orgasm in the final product. Just a half baked story about something that is left half-done. Yeah, we might as well cut all words in half, to fit with the rest of the show. Something like Leg-O-th-Legend-Her. Ah, that’s more like it!
So who made this crap? Oh my, the notorious studio Zexcs. Will you guys ever make a good show just for a change? Directing is done by Kawasaki Itsurou who also didn’t manage to produce something above average in his whole career. Yeah, you already know this is not going to turn out to be good.
The story is in a nutshell about some dudes looking for some super items in order to help their friend to be a peaceful yet powerful king. Do they succeed? I have no idea as the story will be continued in egend-f-e-ary-oes.
So the story is a half-breed and half-done. Any half other than that? Why yes, it is also half-interesting. You see, a lot of episodes will be wasted on totally minor events and the others will have a really weird way of jumping back and forth in time and space. And I’m not talking about time travel, the narration is simply done without proper transition from one time frame to another. So what you basically have is a series about unfitting segments. On scene one, Sion is talking seriously with some scheming aristocrats. Suddenly, the scene changes five days later to Ryner, who will bored and half-asleep on a tree. Then the scene changes to ten years in the past where Sion and Ryner fight assassins who are chopping of the heads of their friends. Then the scene changes to fifteen years in the future, where Ferris eats dango and verbally torments Ryner. And then… the anime ends in the middle of… um … nowhere I guess.
If you got half of what I just wrote so far (oh, the irony 2) then you can easily tell the story in fact LESS than half-good. Some blame the bad adaptation from the novels but that is still far from excusing the bad directing. And if you think the director had a bad day, just check out Kawasaki’s roster. Horrible!
But who cares about the story if the characters are great, right? I mean, who needs a story in K-On? If the cast are moe, comical, or bijin enough, most won’t even notice the objective of their adventure. So, are they legendary in anything like that? Nope, they are again half-interesting (damn that persistent irony!)
Let’s check the main characters. There is an aristocrat who is thrown in a middle of a power struggle amongst aristocrats. There is an imba friend of his who wants to help him. And there is a token bimbo.
… um, not much, is there?
What they are really good at is that they are a colorful bunch. Heck, half the duration is spent on getting to know them. In a slow and almost overkill way. What they eat, what they drink, what their favorite color is, how they fold a napkin and so on. Jeez, it really is like K-On in this regard!
But no, in reality it is also about an adventure where they are supposed to receive development and catharsis in the end of the road. Which of course they don’t because as I wrote (and hopefully it is amongst the half of which you still remember) the story is left incomplete. You will get to know a lot about their development up the present through numerous dialogues and flashbacks. But very little about their future because of the missing second half.
So all you are left with is:
-Sion, a dude with similar ambitions as Reinhart but hardly someone who achieves anything solid.
-Ferris playing it cooldere and eating a mountain of dangos (Togame, cough).
-Ryner, a dude with a laser beam eye (no kidding) who is too bored to care about anything, yet gets to stroll around the world looking for magic trinkets and battling random goons with his Geass eye (Lelouch, cough) and inner demon releasing (Hollow Ichigo, cough). The series of course calls it Alpha stigma instead of Plot Armour, so who am I to judge that?
Originality, wanted dead or alive for 100.000.000 Belly.
So as you can see, the cast is really a vivid bunch but not something you haven’t seen before and definitely not one fully looked into. There are others who exist as support of course (too many for its own good) but who cares if the main ones are not good enough. Most are too minor to even bother with.
And now let’s talk a bit about this unimportant section most viewers pay too much attention to. It is good; the world building looks great with the medieval setting and all. Castles, uniforms, lightning look good. They are otherwise not exceptional in any way, not artistic, not unique, not too smart in cinematography. The battle choreography sucks big time with all the random spells and power imbalances, while body motions felt slow as if the characters were bored to move around. But I must admit that it’s currently studio Zexcs best work (meaning it is the only average show they ever made out of their 30-title roster).
Another minor thing I rarely have much to talk about. The music score left me completely indifferent. Sound effects were ok I guess. Voice acting… Damn, so many dialogues about so many events I hardly cared about. They are also good too I guess. The only two voices that stand out are of course those of Ryner and Ferris. Ryner has the same voice actor and an imba power in the same spot as “another very famous character” (anyone got any cough drops?). He was a major bait for most fans of “that other anime” and I’m sure most were greatly disappointed with this far less interesting character. As for Ferris… shit man, she is the otaku bait. A cooldere eating dango and slap-torturing poor Ryner. Need I say more? She is quite typical as the tropes go but who ever said otakus look for originality, hm?
But enough with all those halves. What about the adventure itself, is it good or not? Well, on paper it could be good if it was handled more properly. Like, with less time jumps and more action. The story is otherwise quite average in concept (go find magic trinkets to save the kingdom from evil) and the action part makes little to no sense. Not only there is too little of it in a series that it’s supposed to be “legendary” but it also has too much randomness. Random spells, random results, random power levels. And for Pete’s sake, what is the age advisory on this anime? One moment they are doing slapstick, the exact next they are beheading and gutting people alive. Jeez, where is some consistency in all that? It’s like two people were writing the script, an 8 year old girl-scout and an 18 year old heavy metal dude.
What reason would anyone have to keep this anime in his collection? Apart from collective value or lack of elitism that is. None! Really, I mean it, none at all. It is messy and incomplete and slow and typical. All its good parts can be found in spades in Slayers and LoGH. Maybe if they ever make a sequel and create a Kai version of this, then we are going somewhere. Otherwise, it is a waste of time for veterans and just an average time killer for casuals.
Mediocrity of the Incomplete Typicals. Now that’s a more fitting name.