FUNimation’s recent release of The Legend of the Legendary Heroes on DVD and Blu-ray brings one of the most successful franchises into the homes of an avid fan base. Cut into two parts and spanning 24 episodes, the epic series molds together silly humor with a dramatic fantasy storyline. For the most part, the anime adaptation is enjoyable, featuring a nice animation style and fun characters. What holds the entire series back is its inability to hold our attention for too long. Just as the battle between Roland and Estabul heats up, we’re pulled away by stupid antics courtesy of the two main characters. And just as we get used to their foolishness, we’re pulled away once gain to the epic struggle between the two lands. This back-and-forth feels like disconnection.
The main story involves our main characters, Ryner Lute and Ferris, travelling through many lands in search of the “Heroic Relics,” artifacts that date back many years and can prove the downfall of the world. Think of the ring in The Lord of the Rings, and you have a good idea of the power behind the Heroic Relics.
For newcomers to the Legendary Heroes universe, it’s best to do some homework before sitting down to watch these four DVDs. The plot can become quite confusing, and the brief voiceover at the beginning of the series premiere doesn’t provide much background information. For example, the Alpha Stigma, a curse that Ryner knows all too well, remains an enigma.
The voice work is passable, bordering that line between “epic serious” and “modern-day stupid.” The voice of Ryner Lute, in particular, feels somewhat grating and needlessly childish. Ferris has a much more pronounced and almost celestial voice, a better fit for the series.
The opening theme song is typical anime (dreamy vocals, confusing concepts, pop sensibility), although The Legend of the Legendary Heroes has a fairly infectious one. Episodes, running little more than 20 minutes, fly by and the constant action keeps the pacing at full throttle.
FUNimation has split the entire series into two parts. Each is rated TV-14 and features a price tag of nearly $70. Check FUNimation’s official web site (click here) for discounts.
By John Soltes / Publisher / John@HollywoodSoapbox.com
The Legend of the Legendary Heroes: Parts One and Two