Legend of Legendary Heroes (Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu)
On a quest for “hero relics” Ryner Lute, a mage of significant power but lack of motivation for anything other than napping and Ferris Eris, a sword mistress with unmatched both skill and appetite for Dango, trek across the nations locked in one battle after the next for both the relics and custody of Ryner himself as the world’s most powerful mage.
Ryner Lute, who is the bearer of the Alpha Stigma, a mark on the eyes which can take control of its user forcing them to destroy or "erase" everything until they can gain control again. Ryner struggles with the fact he usually ends up killing anyone he gets close to, and also the fact that as the bearer of the Alpha Stigma, he is seen as a monster. A childhood friend of his, Sion, wishes for a world of peace without spilling an ounce of blood. To achieve this Sion works diplomacy as the leader of his nation to broker peace but ultimately falls to his own dark demons.
Ferris, the last of the three main heroes within the anime, is constantly eating dango, beating up Ryner, and slaying enemies with her excellent sword skills.
Working together, the Swordswoman, Lazy mage and New king try to forge peace and equality for everyone in the kingdom of Roland, including bearers of the Alpha Stigma, and monsters alike.
Densetsu no yuusha no Densetsu (The legend of the legendary Heroes) seems to be very good at leaving bad first impressions. I mean, just by looking at the name, generic character designs, boring looking synopsis, and a mediocre first episode, it is very easy to dismiss the series as an uninteresting fantasy based around the same old beaten-to-the-death ideas. But here’s the thing, although the name suggests otherwise, deep down Denyuden is a charming series which knows how to take itself seriously.
Based on a novel series which was published in 2002, Denyuden is a story of Ryner Lute, a lazy guy who wants nothing more than to sleep for ten thousand years. We learn later that the unbearable power he holds is simply too great and sleep is his only means of escape. Coupled with his relationship to best friend, Sion Astal, an idealist king who finds himself facing the harsh reality of the world, the two eventually come to odds.
The story follows Ryner as he tries to deal with the world who sees him just as a monster, and Astal, who finds himself getting further and further away from the dream of creating an ideal country without any sorrow, oppression, and strife. I have to say, LoLH walks a very dangerous line as it tries to mix humor with themes like drama and betrayal, my sole complaint. But the story is so strong that it can be easily overlooked due to the vast nature of the drama itself coupled with intrigue and the deadly politics of the show. Coupled with that understanding, there are many other unexpected elements like saving the world, child neglect and abuse, betrayal, young leaders fraught with idealism and naivety which could have easily gone wrong and destroy the show, but they are used well and only contribute in making the show more enjoyable.
The staff behind Denyuden is pretty unimpressive, with Zexcs completely dropping the ball and not fighting to end the series with a second installment but I have to admit, they did a very good job on season 1, it’s sole installment.
The series doesn’t try to be too ambitious, and slowly builds up its characters and fleshes out the setting. The first half of the series pretty much does nothing more than introducing characters and giving them a clear role. Many of the subplots are just there for the character introduction. The second half of the series uses all that building up efficiently and things suddenly pick up the pace and that’s where the show really starts shining. The characters start developing in the way you want them to, the story evolves into a very exciting thrill ride. The best part, the narrative nearly throws away most of its humor and finally gives you the awesomeness its first arc promised.
Although the story of Denyuden is not the series’ best part, it is still impressive. There are many interesting elements in the plot (Alpha stigma, Hero relics) and as the plot moves further, the questions just keep on increasing. The series also does a very good job by answering the questions yet not answering them. Giving you just enough to keep you enthralled. Many answers are followed by even more questions. For those who pay close attention, there are many hidden answers in the series itself. The downside to this is that it may leave a few confusing parts but that can be solved by re-watching the series after you have finished it.
The setting of the series may not be too special itself, but the way it is used, getting fleshed out by its politics, makes it very interesting. I love the way the characters are influenced by the world they live in. There are many myths and legends in the world of Denyuden and the way they effect the main plot also proves very enjoyable.
Now, the best part of the series, the characters. Yes, the characters of this series are just awesome. Whether it’s the main characters or the side characters, all of them have distinct personalities and are really fun to watch. I love the main characters. They are just fleshed out really well. I especially liked how Ferris, who at one time was really annoying, turns enjoyable in the end. Same goes for the side characters. Even the annoying ones like Milk. They all turn charming later in the series. I also like how there are many flashbacks in the story. Normally too many flashbacks are boring for me, but here they tell that the characters don’t forget what happens and try to develop themselves. This is true for especially Ryner. He was good at the beginning of the series, but he really developed in the series and by the end, he turns into a really fantastic character.
In short, it’s eay to overlook a show that never got the credit it deserved. But if your an anime fan of sword and sorcery this series really is a must watch.
Here's what you need to know. Ryner Lute is basically anime's version of Marvel's Dark Phoenix. If you love a story of omnipotent power clashing with a desperate soul clinging to their humanity, topped off with stories of nations at war, this anime will not disappoint. Legend of Legendary Heroes, for whatever reason, didn't quite strike the right note with Japanese markets and thus the story remains unfinished without a second season and a cliffhanger that will leave you wanting more. And rightfully so.
Legend of Legendary Heroes: The Anime You Should Have Watched
Writing - 10/10
Plot - 10/10
Character Development - 10/10
Production - 10/10
Music - 10/10
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