Heroic Age anime review

Heroic Age anime review
Answering the call of the “Gold Race”, all the sentient races launch into space. The human race is the last to launch, and are thus known as the “Iron Race”. Much time has passed since then, and humanity is threatened with extinction at the hands of the more dominant “Silver Race”. In order to save her people, Princess Deianeira sets out on a journey to a galaxy far away, following the prophecies of the Gold Race handed down by the royal family. Then, she meets a boy named Age. Their encounter will change the fate of the universe.

Heroic Age wraps up with epically large heroes playing their parts in an epic space opera, but when it's all said and done, was any of it epic enough to care?  Not really.  Heroic Age isn't a bad series, but it falls into a trap of hulking plot, shallow characters, and not enough attention to detail.  So much time is spent on big battles and hyper-space chases that the characters get lost in the shuffle of fuzzy love-your-neighbor platitudes and baroque dialogue.  When the last dvd is done and the swelling music has faded, all that's left is a vague memory of stars and overwrought speeches.

The war rages on between the Iron and Silver tribes, while the few remaining members of the Heroic tribe duke it out, running roughshod over any planet, star fleet, or neighbor's cat that gets in the way.  Rampant destruction and indiscriminate loss of life take their toll, forcing Princess Dhianeila to rethink humanity's strategy.  Inspired by Age's open acceptance of others as well as the hints his father left with him, Dhianeila begins to question what, exactly, the Golden tribe intended for the remaining tribes when they left for a new universe.  Peace just might be a possibility, if the remaining tribes don't destroy each other first.

Heroic Age is so epic, it hardly knows what to do with itself.  It's difficult not to worry over a story that relies on narration at the beginning of each episode to get the audience up to speed on the current action.  By the time the second half of the series rolls around, the narration gives way to a brief recap, which is far less worrying.  However, there are so many chases and giant, humanity's-fate-hangs-in-the-balance battles that it all runs together after while, and maybe at that point a return of the narration would have been a good thing.  When humanity is on the verge of extinction, and I'm planning my next grocery trip instead of watching with bated breath, there's something missing.  The action should be engrossing, but the logic behind it is at times lacking, so it's hard to care.
  Especially when some of the decisions made in the series left me thinking, "They're coming to this conclusion now?!"  It would have been beneficial if some of the reasons to fight or not to fight had been fleshed out a little earlier, or at least with a little more believability. 

Battles and chases aren't going to carry a story when the characters aren't very well developed.  Successful epics have charismatic characters.  Even when the plot gets away from the audience, it's still fun and satisfying to root for the good guys when they're interesting and well-crafted.  Unfortunately, the characters in Heroic Age are of the two-dimensional variety.  There isn't a great deal of depth, so we have the earnest, idealistic leader, the fearless captain, and the sullen detractor-turned loyal follower, and the sweet, childlike savior.  Each character carries out his or her job to push the plot forward, but their actions are shallow and we never really get a feel for them as people.  As an audience, we're robbed of the chance to empathize with a group of characters who should be earning our sympathy, by sheer virtue of the magnitude of their task.  But since neither the task for the characters are all that well defined, the whole series comes off as shallow. 

Heroic Age is not a bad series, but it's also not the most interesting series, either.  It could have been great.  The potential was there, if the sense of urgency had been heightened, if the characters had been fleshed out a little better, if the dialogue didn't consist of grand speeches.  An impressive speech or two is required for a proper epic, but it seemed like everyone wanted to jump on that particular bandwagon.  The series might have also benefitted from a few less platitudes.  It's one thing to be thoughtful or provide a dilemma to ponder.  However, it's quite another to pull out the figurative equivalent of paintings of crying clowns and fluffy, sad-eyed kittens.  If the series were less shallow, if it didn't try to hide its deficiencies behind huge space battles and flashy super-being fights, it might have had something.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Heroic Age. Watch it now:
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