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I see, a catgirl… would you like an extra loli with that?

May 14, 2009

“When we travel between stars, a StarWay is formed.”

Dhianeila Y Leisha Altria Ol Yunos, Heroic Age

Heroic Age

People who have seen Infinite Ryvius, S-CRY-ed and Fafner of the Azure in one go might groan at the prospect of following up their anime schedule with Heroic Age; Hisashi Hirai is the chief animator for this series.

Like Fafner and S-CRY-ed, people’s views about Heroic Age seem to border between being the third best show since NG Evangelion and being utter crap beyond crap in standing. Personally however, Heroic Age has been a nice break from all the lovey-dovey humor anime I’ve been watching over the past weeks and it makes a nice ending show to satiate my hunger for mecha anime despite not being really mecha at all… for the time being.

The premise is basically a standard setting; once upon a time, the race of all races, the Golden Tribe, called out across the universe. Four responded: the Silver Tribe, with their telephatic abilitys; the Bronze Tribe, basically space bugs; the Heroic Tribe, titanic beings of supreme power; and much later, the Iron Tribe, humanity.

While the Silvers and Bronze got along well enough, the Heroic Tribe, savage by nature, responded to the Golden Tribe’s call by sweeping a swath of destruction through the galaxy. The Golden Tribe, angered by the wanton destruction, fought and imprisoned the remaining five members of the Heroic Tribe, to condemn them to serve the weaker races for all eternity.

Fast forward to the present; humanity is nearing their destruction thanks to a large war with the Silver and Bronze tribes, instigated by the Silver Tribe. Our main heroine, princess Dhianelia, seeking the truth from legends about how the Golden Tribe left a sliver of hope for our beleguered people in the form of a member of the Heroic Tribe, leaves on a journey to find it. The series starts with how Dhianeila makes it to the location of our hope, in the form of a human boy by the name of Age. What follows is a desperate journey to get Age back to humankind’s remaining territory and the following offensive to defeat the aggressors once and for all.

If you’re looking for character development, expect to find it in the most unexpected of places; straight-laced ace pilot/bodyguard Iolaous’s initial dissatisfaction at Age’s ignorance of basic human behavior is the most obvious example. Dhianeila frequently makes decisions that other people would think twice about, and Age, once saved by the Golden Tribe, already knows what he has to do, and he does a damn good job of it. The Silver Tribe, emotionless people, show a good deal more development than the people traveling with Dhianeila; with such resolute soldiers following what is literally a prophet, who needs character development?!

Of course, we’re talking about a teen with a beast chained in his right eye and a princess with enough psychic power to force a Silver Tribe member into retreat. There is love in the air, but it shouldn’t be too focused upon; it is more of admiration for each other; I cite Kira and Lacus as an example.

Funnies include a pair of twins prone to messing up at times, the captain is a grizzled veteran, the cute nonhuman sidekick is an artificial intelligence that could put Haro to shame, and Age’s initial antics aboard Dhianeila’s ship, the Argonaut. As soon as it is revealed that the enemy has Heroic Tribesmen under their control, however, the series wastes no time in showcasing the powers of the Heroic Tribe, nor the dire situation the Argonaut and later the offensive fleet is placed in. Planets get blown up every few episodes, Bronze Tribesmen die by the thousands in every engagement and drag down their weight in human casulaties, and the Silver Tribesmen are very obviously just a step away from going the Golden path, as evidenced by their technology.

In due time though, the like-minded on both sides gather to fight against a common enemy and to unlock the secret of the Golden Tribe. This series has arguably one of the happiest endings in anime history with most of not all of the cast and sub-cast remaining more or less unharmed throughout the series and most of not all of the dead coming back to life, beating SEED Destiny by a long shot and making Fafner look even more Tomino-ish. Sure, it might feel rushed for an anime about saving mankind from destruction through a long war, but the main attraction here isn’t fifty-episodes about a war of attrition, its how everyone works togehter to advance each other’s races in the end.

In short, Heroic Age is Mobile Suit Gundam without the LALAH! halfway through the series and with an actual happy ending. It makes an especially excellent follow-up for anyone looking to wash Fafner out of their minds if they couldn’t take all the deathfest.

Chrome Shelled Regios

Don’t worry, we’re all in the same boat of confusion here.

Ok, maybe it’s not that bad. Decent action, backstory is properly explained, characters overcome angst every episode. Ok, maybe that was one episode too many. Still, casual viewers might find it a bit hard to get into the Regios universe, but then it originated from a series of light novels, with two manga series supporting it.

FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

3F: Friggin’ Fast-Forward. But it’s still faithful to the manga and the animation is everything that I’d expected. I have no complains here.

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