Posted by psgels on 4 October 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews

Heroic Age has definitely been the show with one of the most ambitious premises of the past season. While other series have dealt with the fate of the universe before, no other series does it with such a massive scale, no other series has armies as massive as with Heroic Age, and no other series has characters as powerful as some of the ones we see in here. This truly is a space-epic. The story tells of a Golden Tribe which once existed in this universe. They had the power to foresee the past and the future, they could create planets and stars, and sent out a message to the different tribes and races that populated the galaxy. Three races responded: the Silver Tribe, the Bronze Tribe and the Heroic Tribe. Then, as the Golden Tribe was about to leave the galaxy, a fourth tribe responded: humans, or the Iron Tribe.

Well, it was a nice idea. The creators got a bit too enthusiastic, and shot themselves in the foot. The major part of the plot doesn’t go anywhere, and consists out of overblown fights that take up several episodes at the time, yet resolve nothing and end up with all parties retreating with no major casualties.

This would have been okay if the characters were interesting to watch, but alas: they’re just too focused on the story. They either spend all of their time worrying or fighting, and the illusion of “depth” quickly vanishes from this series after a bunch of episodes. To add salt to the wound, nearly every member of the main cast is a teenager, eliminating any sense of realism this series already had, but worst of all, the male and female main characters have some major annoyances: they’re too perfect. The only flaw of the main female is that she’s too angsty and the main male just doesn’t have any flaws at all. This quickly becomes rather one-sided. The side-characters could have saved them, but a lot of them just lack development. Especially the Silver Tribe: they hardly get fleshed out at all as a race, we never learn their customs, heck all we get to see is their three most important leaders. That’s all.

But lo and behold: this is one of those flawed series that manages to redeem itself in the end! Around episode seventeen or eighteen, the writers turn up the pacing three gears, and the plot finally starts getting interesting as it develops in the right way, into a finale that doesn’t disappoint and turns out quite touching, even if it may have been a bit too much focused on a happy ending.

Sure, the first half is boring, but it does build up for the much better second half. While the last part was nowhere near the best part of the season, at least it managed to redeem the lacklustre first part. At least it’s not the opposite way. The soundtrack for this series is also epic, and the use of CG is excellent, even though the character-designs look very sloppy and uninspired. I guess you’ll like this one if you like epic science-fiction stories, because things can’t get more epic than this series, not necessarily in the good ways, but neither in the bad ways.

5 Responses

  1. Avatar Runningkid says:

    I agree that we don’t really get to see much of the characters’ since they are too in the story. I didn’t think the series was all that bad itself, even when battles doesn’t really resolve anything, I enjoyed seeing some of the weapon designs, like the Pearl core,etc they throw in at each episode. Not really significant to the story, but little things like those were nice to see.

    CGs were excellent, as you mentioned. I enjoyed the show fair a bit, well of course it isn’t the best but its not that bad either.

  2. Avatar omo says:

    To be fair there are only 2 “leader” characters for the Silver race (actually…if there are even 2), so Paeto Ou counts as a normal Silver Tribe representative by all means. If it even matters. (It seems that the silver tribe exists mostly in their psychological network, so talking to one person means talking to one person in a room with the rest of the race listening next door, and the door is usually open.)

    I think what really kills this show, besides from the tepid first half of the series, was just a lack of exposition of the world and the races. What made the second half good, really, is just one thing: they started to explain what everything is. That’s in conjunction with their failure with plot as you described.

    And even so they got only so far. There are some supplemental material out there for this show which explains some of the other stuff, like how FTL travel works and what not. Bleh.

  3. Avatar NightAngel says:

    Despite all of its flaws I think Heroic Age was a well worth anime, more so than quite a few I had hight hopes for.
    I enjoyed the main characters, but also belive they, as the secondary characters, were way too under-developed.
    Neverthless, the ending made me happy for one reason or another.
    I’d still recommend it.

  4. Avatar Rose says:

    I LOVED this series. I didn’t see anything wrong with the characterization. Yes, there could have been more but that was NOT the focus of this series. It was just something to move the story along. The story was about (as said above) the fate of the universe, the future of the races. And that they performed brillantly. I didn’t mind the characters or Age’s so-called perfection. LOL, he was far from (kind absent-minded and child-like, but he sure did hold on to what his “parents” [tribe of gold] told him). I did think the music could have been varied a bit but that didn’t bother me either. I liked the fact that I had to think and figure out with the tribes, what was going on and why.

    Very good and this anime was CLEAN. The reviewer didn’t mention CLEAN. There were a handful of cuss words (if that bothers you) and 2 of the female characters sure could’ve used better outfits, but outside of that nothing to be worried about.

  5. Avatar Oroboros says:

    Wonderful show, notwithstanding Psgels’ complaints.

    I’ve read a bunch of scifi books and watched plenty of scifi shows, and this is on the level of any of the epics.

    What it lacks is the detailed, hard scifi of Dune, or the characterization of Hyperion, or the glorious design of Evangelion, but its strengths make up for all of those perceived deficiencies.

    Probably not an A+ in my book, but a solid B+ for a well packaged, ambitious story. I rank it above The Third (many similarities beyond the scifi genre), and most of the best of 2007 (with the possible exception of Haruhi Suzumiya).

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