Posted: 12/21/2011

 

Heroic Age: The Complete Series

(2007)

by Ruben R. Rosario



Coming to a S.A.V.E. edition Blu-Ray and DVD December 27th, 2011 by Funimation.


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A Sci-Fi Epic with no depth or soul is what I think of when I think of Heroic Age. Set in a galaxy long ago, where the Golden tribe created the universe. After inciting creation, the Golden tribe left the universe in the hands of the Silver tribe, a human tribe imbued with special powers and lived longer than the average human. The other tribes that were created were the insect Bronze tribe, the giant monster Heroic tribe and the human Iron tribe. The Iron tribe has lost hope that the universe cannot be at peace with the rule of the Silver tribe at hand. A ship called the Argonaut, along with the Princess Dhianelia, go on a journey to help the universe and along the way find a young boy named Age. Age belongs part of the Nodos, remnants of the Heroic tribe and the princess decides that this young man is the messiah for the Iron tribe. A space opera built up like this sounds intriguing, but Studio Xebec and Toshimasa Suzuki squander the opportunity of telling an epic story by poor plotting.

One of the most interesting aspects are the links to Greek mythology and the tale of Hercules’ 12 labors. This is a great way to lay the foundation of an epic story, because those Greek tales have lasted for ages, for a good reason. Suzuki never manages to use this to his advantage and all we repeatedly get are giant space battles with monsters, mecha suits and giant spaceships, that aren’t any different from any other show. Xebec’s animation remains pretty smooth and consistent but fail to give us grandeur that Heroic Age tries to set up. Most of the character’s, like Mobeedo, Iolaous and the Princess are very cookie cutter. Their character’s personalities are stereotypical for anime character’s and do nothing to stand out on their own. Heroic Age aspires to do so much and has the technical capacity to do so, but the show never fully captures that essence that its trying to give off.

On the Blu-Ray of Heroic Age, we are treated to a 1080p AVC encoded video transfer that looks really good. The video is an upscale, but Funimation has done a very good job at making sure that it looked nice and was well done. The colors are phenomenal and look really vibrant, especially during the fight scenes. One thing’s for sure, as Heroic Age plods along telling its story, it does a great job making it look good. On the audio side, we’ve got an English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track and a Japanese Dolby Digital Stereo track. The English dub is really good, but it shines in terms of the overall mix. The usage of the surround channels are amazing during fight sequences and does a really fantastic job at trying to immerse the audience into the show. Another great aspect is Naoki Sato’s score for Heroic Age, that really does a solid job at bring that enormous scope of the series, through the use of his music.

Heroic Age
is a series that has done a lot with its technical merits to make something unique. If only the series had truly delivered on what its trying to sell, I might feel differently about it. Heroic Age might be for someone that loves space opera anime, but Heroic Age never convinced me that it was fully worth the time I was giving it.

Ruben R. Rosario is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Audio for Visual Media. He works as a freelance location sound mixer, boom operator, sound designer, and writer in his native Chicago. He’s an avid collector of films, comics, and anime.



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