The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Heroic Age

Title: Heroic Age
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: XEBEC
Format: 26 episodes
Dates: 1 Apr 2007 – 30 Sep 2007

Synopsis: In the distant past, an advanced race of beings called the Golden Race left behind the other races and disappeared from the known universe. Now, the Silver Race has taken over the universe, and they have their eyes set on destroying the Iron Race, humanity. However, all hope is not lost since the Golden Race has left mankind a gift: a young boy named “Age” who can call forth the power of the Heroic Race.

The Highlights
Animation: Beautiful, massive in scale and consistent.
Music: Check out the OP, the ED and the OST.
Story: Splits its focus across several views.
Characters: Not very important, but effective mediums of the plot nonetheless.

It’s exceptionally rare to see shows like Heroic Age these days. What starts as a run of the mill giant robot anime eventually turns out be an intergalactic journey to find peace, meaning and acceptance. This show is told as an epic fantasy set in outer space, and it follows the war, the politics, and the philosophical ramifications of its grandiose backdrop.

Unlike most mecha shows, Heroic Age is not a story about the guy who pilots the deus ex machina robot. The show is much like The Lord of the Rings in that the story shifts focus among a massive war, a spaceship party of travelers, and a man who carries the weight of mankind. When I say “massive war”, I mean hordes of ships flying, fighting and exploding in a glorious, pyrotechnic orgy. Hats off to XEBEC for providing solid visuals to accompany the sweeping feeling the show exudes. In addition, I must also give accolades to the beautiful music and the above par action choreography.

Despite competent writing and high production values, Heroic Age is not without its flaws. This show is an anime driven more by its story than the cast. Character interactions are usually shallow, and the few, meaningful moments that shine through are either underwhelming or forced. This is especially true when the show tries to have any romance between the two primary protagonists Age and Dhianeila. Besides the stilted romance, the show is also a bit heavy on the science fiction postulates, the technobabble, the political banter and the pseudo-philosophical snooze fests. I know that all these elements were tightly woven together into this show, but the show doesn’t do much with what it establishes, so a bit more focus would have been nice.

There are many reasons to see Heroic Age, but there are also many better alternatives. If you enjoy intergalactic epics that write its own encyclopedias on in-house terminologies, then this ten hour investment will give you modest returns. If not, there’s always Gurren-Lagann; unlike Heroic Age, that show is both an epic and is epic.

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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