The Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Part 2 (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)
April 6, 2012 by Dennis Amith
“The Legend of the Legendary Heroes” has turned out to be a wonderful, complex and addictive anime series! And there is no doubt that once this first season is complete, you will be wanting even more. But for those who are looking for a deeper and entertaining anime series on Blu-ray, I highly recommend giving “The Legend of the Legendary Heroes” a chance! Recommended!
Image courtesy of © 2012 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: The Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Part 2
ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2010
DURATION: Episodes 14-25 (300 Minutes)
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, Subtitles: English
COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment
RATED: TV PG
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Originally created by Takaya Kagami
Original Character Designs by Saori Toyota
Directed by Itsuro Kawasaki
Series Composition by Kiyoko Yoshimura
Music by Miyu Nakamura
Character Design by Noriko Shimazawa
Produced by Hyun Ah Jeong, Tomoko Iwasaki, Yoshiyuki Ito
Anime Production: ZEXCS
Featuring the following voice talent:
Ayahi Takagaki/Luci Christian as Feris Eris
Daisuke Ono/Eric Vale as Shion Astarl
Jun Fukuyama/Ian Synclair as Lyner (Ryner)Lute
Akiko Yajima/Leah Clark as Arua
Atsushi Imaruoka/Mike McFarland as Kurau (Claugh) Chrome
Ayana Taketatsu/Alexis Tipton as Ethrina (Eslina Folkel) Forkle
Fuyuka Oura/Brina Palencia as Kifa (Kiefer) Knowles
Junichi Suwabe/J. Michael Tatum as Milan (Miran) Froward
Mariya Ise/Cherami Leigh as Kuu Orla
Mikako Takahashi/Colleen Clinkenbeard as Noah En
Miyuki Sawashiro as Carne Kywell
Nobuhiko Okamoto as Lilay Wrinkle
Saki Fujita/Jami Marchi as Milk Colored
Satoshi Hino/Michael Turner II as Luke Stockart
Takuma Terashima/John Burgmeier as Sui Orla
Tomokazu Sugita as Lucille Eris
Tomosa Murata as Iris Eris
Yasunori Masutani/Christopher R. Sabat as Rahel Miller
A war between bordering lands Roland and Estabul has begun. At the King of Roland’s command, Ryner Lute, a bearer of a cursed, extremely lethal power called the Alpha Stigma, and his beautiful comrade Ferris set out on a search for the Heroic Relics – artifacts that contain enormous supernatural powers and can be devastating if placed in the wrong hands. War tactics, bloody magical battles, and political intrigue ensue!
Adventure, political intrigue, action…all this and more can be found in FUNimation’s Blu-ray release of “The Legend of the Legendary Heroes” (Densetsu no Yusha no Densetsu), an anime adaptation of Takaya Kagami’s popular Japanese light novel series.
Originally featured in Dragon Magazine and presented with illustrations by Saori Toyota from 2002-2005, “The Legend of the Legendary Heroes” has received a light novel sequel, plus two spin-off series (a collection of short stories) plus drama CD’s and a Sony PSP video game.
A 24-episode anime TV series was produced by ZEXCS and both parts will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment in April 2012.
The anime series was directed by Itsuro Kawasaki (“arc the Lad”, “Noir”, “Venus to Mamoru”), screenplay by Kiyoko Yoshimura (“Chocolate Underground”, “Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing”, “Gravion”), character designs by Noriko Shimazawa (“Final Approach”, “Otoboku”, “Bleach”) and music by Miyu Nakamura (“Utawarerumono”, “Manyu Hiken-cho”).
“The Legend of the Legendary Heroes” is a complex anime series as it is set during a time when countries are fearing of war, magical knights are killing anyone who possesses magical talents and political corruption broods within each country.
In part two of “Legend of the Legendary Heroes”, the second half focuses on Ryner Lute. Having done all he can to help King Sion of the Roland Empire, while trying to live a normal life, unfortunately in order to accomplish peace, Sion must do things that he does not want to do. For one, conducting inhumane experiments on those who have the Alpha Stigma and that means, for the greater good, he must kill his best friend, Ryner.
What will happen when the Roland Empire finds out that Ryner Lute has the Alpha Stigma and what happens when a mysterious other with the eyes of the Alpha Stigma tries to reach out to Ryner and have him join their group?
The series focuses on plots of several key individuals:
The Roland Empire Storyline
Sion Astal – The son of a previous king and a lowly commoner. Hated by Nobles and bullied at a young age (by his noble relatives and half brothers), Sion desires for peace into the land and that the land is not all about the nobles but there is support for the commoners as well. If anything, to stop the corruption in the Roland Empire.
As a member of the Roland Royal Special Military Academy, the intelligent Sion Astal met Ryner and Kiefer, two people who became part of his team. One day, his team was massacred by Magical Knights and only he, Ryner and Kiefer survived. While Ryner was responsible for defeating all the Magical Knights through his Alpha Stigma powers, as leader of the team, he was given credit as the Hero of Roland and through political ties, he would become the king of the Roland Empire.
Unfortunately, in order to become the King of Roland, Sion has joined forces with Lucile Eris, who has now triggered “The Mad Hero” in Sion’s body.
Miran Froaude – The Lgt. General of the Roland Imperial Army and the adopted son of the Marquis Karlal Froaude. He is dressed in all black, emotionless and will often carry out missions (which include many people getting murdered) without permission from Sion. He has his own agenda and it is not known what he is up to.
Miran feels that Sion has been weak because of his friendships to Ryner and feels that the only way to get Sion on the path to being the right king is to eliminate Ryner Lute.
Lucile Eris – The head son of the Eris Swords-Clan and he mysteriously hides behind the shadows after getting Sion to become the king of the Roland Empire. A man that has a strong demon within him. He is dead set on wanting to be the only man to protect his sister Ferris and unveils his power to Ryner, telling him that if he ever gets close to Ferris, he will kill him.
Claugh Klom – Sion’s right hand man. He does not trust Miran Froaude who appears to be doing his own work without permission of the King. He is also very close to the former princess of Estabul, Noa Ehn.
The Ryner/Ferris Storyline
Ryner Lute – Lazy and always wanting to take a nap, Ryner is also talented in magic, combat and more. He is also the bearer of the Alpha Stigma, an ability that grants him powerful demon magic that wants to cause only destruction and misery. But Ryner’s Alpha Stigma is different from others and he is sent by Sion along with Ferris Eris to find magic relics. When it is revealed to the Roland Empire that Sion’s best friend bears the eyes of the Alpha Stigma, Ryner knows that he may not be able to stay in the Roland Empire for very long. But when he finds out that Sion has given orders to have him killed, Ryner knows he must leave his friends.
Ferris Eris – A member of the famous Swords clan, she is given the mission to accompany Ryner Lute in finding magic relics. She is a no-nonsense woman who is passionate about dango. Most of the time she is inflicting pain on Ryner. During the second half of the series, we start to learn that Ferris may have feelings towards Ryner and always wants to be by his side.
Milk Callaud – Captain of the Roland taboo hunter team. When she was younger and in an orphanage with Ryner, he promised he would marry her. Ryner has no recollection of this. She has been hired to lead a team in tracking down Ryner and Ferris, thinking that Ferris is forcing Ryner to break rules. She is not sure what King Sion is up to but because she is a Captain, it is her duty to lead the taboo hunter team.
Gastalk Empire Storyline:
Kiefer Knolles – A good friend of Ryner and a woman who has always loved him despite how he may behave. She is from Estabul and she witnessed the death of her elder sister and kidnapping of her younger sister by the Roland mage knights. Using her young sister as a hostage, the Roland Empire has used Kiefer as a spy for Estabul and made her a double agent for her younger sister’s safety. Kiefer has since been aligning herself with Refal Edia, the ruler of the Gastark Empire but when Sui Oria returns without an arm and badly injured, Sui Oria mentions the name “Ryner Lute” and because of Kiefer’s relationship with Ryner, she is considered a traitor to the Gastalk Empire.
Refal Edia – The ruler of the Gastark Empire who is fighting for peace for his land but at the same time, wants everyone, adult and children born with the Alpha Stigma to be killed. He is smitten with Kiefer and posses the Rule Fragment Glouvil, a large, powerful sword in which it can be used only if he sacrifices something from his body. Having used the sword to fight against other countries, he has sacrificed his right leg, his sense of smell and his left eye.
Ril Oriea – The eldest of the Oria family and wields the Rule Fragment, “The Ring of Thunder Beats”. Similar to Miran who has control of the dark beasts, Ril has a ring that controls the magic beats of light. He is the primary person who has murdered anyone who is Alpha Stigma and extracts crystals from them which he uses as weapons.
Sui Oria and Kuu Oria – Brother and sister who are after fragments that Ryner and Ferris are looking for. But also known like their older brother to hunt and kill people who have Alpha Stigma.
Alpha Stigma Storyline
Tiir Rumibul – The featured “devourer of flesh”, this person who fights using his Alpha Stigma also consumes flesh. He is also the one responsible for devouring Claugh’s arm. Seen as a murderer, he befriends Ryner Lute and has him join his team. It is learned that Tiir has a camp in which he is protecting children with Alpha Stigma. He has seen his kind massacred by the Gastalk Empire and wants Ryner to join his people and help protect the young ones from being murdered.
“The Legend of Legendary Heroes” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1). The anime series does feature beautifully painted backgrounds (as one would expect from an adventure-based series) primarily trees, clouds, surroundings areas, while the series does focus a lot on closeups of the characters. There is CG use when the characters display their magical powers but for the most part, the series looks good on Blu-ray.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
As for the lossless audio, you get a English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix. The English dub has a better dynamic range (considering it’s a 5.1 lossless track, while the Japanese version is a 2.0 lossless track) and due to the complexity and many characters featured in this anime series alone, FUNimation Entertainment brought out their top guns to provide the voices of the characters.
The Japanese soundtrack is also very well done especially when it comes to the more emotional moments, the voice acting is stellar. But the English dub has the advantage because of it’s 5.1 mix but if you prefer to watch it in Japanese or English, both soundtracks are excellent and should appeal to Sub/Dub anime fans.
Subtitles are in English.
“The Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Part 2” comes with the following special features:
- Episode 21 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Joel McDonald ADR Director and Eric Vale (voice of Sion).
- Episode 24 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Ian Sinclair (voice of Ryner) and Luci Christian (voice of Ferris).
- Textless Opening Song – Featuring the opening theme “Last Inferno” by Ceui.
- Textless Ending Theme Song – Featuring the ending theme “Filament of Light” Takagi Ayahi.
- FUNimation Entertainment trailers
Who’s side will you choose?
This is the storyline of the second half of “The Legend of the Legendary Heroes”. Where the first half featured various branching storylines of various characters of the fantasy/adventure series, the second half now focuses on protagonist Ryner Lute.
Ryner has pretty much aligned himself with Sion because of his fight for peace but when Sion’s own staff and also Sion himself knows that in order to accomplish peace, you must take out those who can cause trouble to the land and that includes those who are possessed with the Alpha Stigma, that includes his best friend, Ryner Lute.
The second half of the series actually becomes quite exciting as we see so many things working against Ryner, may it be Sion (who is constantly battling himself due to “The Mad Hero” of whether or not he should kill Sion), Lucile Eris (who wants Ryner dead because he sees his sister starting to develop emotions for Ryner), Miran Froaude (who wants Ryner dead because he feels Ryner is what makes Sion to week and compassionate) and the list goes on.
So, for fans wanting something deeper and a bit more complexity with their anime series may enjoy “Legend of the Legendary Heroes”, a storyline about warring kingdoms, political corruptness, action/fantasy/adventure, etc.
“Legend of the Legendary Heroes” incorporates lot of fantasy elements that people are used to seeing in an anime series, sword fighting, magic-use and in the case of this series, plenty of violence. While watching the series, while there are protagonists and people who seem they are evil, every characters has their flaws. For example, Sion wants to fight for peace, but in order to achieve peace, one must do the unthinkable in showing people that you have great power. And in the greater good, he must eliminate even his best friend Ryner. Ryner is a person who hates war but when his Alpha Stigma is used, he becomes a killing machine. No one is perfect in this anime series.
“The Legend of the Legendary Heroes” is a series that viewers will want to watch without any distractions because of the amount of characters featured in the series. Granted, with each branching storyline, there is a good amount of character development that allows the viewers to understand motivations and why things are happening like they are.
Despite the complexities of this anime series, you get a bit of seriousness and humor. For example, storylines that related to Sion are often serious and emotional, while storylines revolved around Ryner and Ferris (non-battle sequences) are often comedic as the two are like a ranting couple and despite the pain that Ferris puts Ryner through, the relationship between these two characters are hilarious, until you get to the battles and things can get very serious.
As for the Blu-ray release, the series looks absolutely wonderful in HD but I wish the series was self contained as a complete collection instead of two separate parts. As for special features, you do get a few audio commentary from the English dub voice actors.
“The Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Part 2” turned out to be a wonderful second half. While it did focus primarily on Ryner Lute, it’s no surprise as his storyline is quite centric to the other branching storylines in the series. But if there is one problem I have is why hasn’t there been a continuation of this intriguing anime series?
After watching “The Legend of the Legendary Heroes”, you can’t help but want to watch more because the series ends when everything is starting to become so exciting and so good!
The fact that “The Legend of the Legendary Heroes” in Japan has continued to exist via 11 volumes, followed by another 9 volumes for “The Great Legend of the Legendary Heroes” and another 11 volumes for “The Legend of Legendary Heroes Anyway” and five volumes for “The Legend of the Black Fallen Hero”, not to mention a web radio series and video game, it would be a shame if in America, our introduction to this anime series begins and ends with this anime series. It’s like watching “Lord of the Rings” and the two films after were never created. So, I really do hope a second season is created!
Overall, “The Legend of the Legendary Heroes” has turned out to be a wonderful, complex and addictive anime series! And there is no doubt that once this first season is complete, you will be wanting even more. But for those who are looking for a deeper and entertaining anime series on Blu-ray, I highly recommend giving “The Legend of the Legendary Heroes” a chance! Recommended!
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