Posted by psgels on 5 November 2010 with categories: Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu




This may very well have been the first episode of a ZEXCS series whose visuals genuinely impressed me. I know that the first episode had a big budget and that this episode had a lot of off models and all, but that’s not the point. ZEXCS-series always have this look of genericness, with perhaps the only exception to this point being Umi Monogatari. This episode completely blew my mind, though. The animation completely threw this genericness aside and went all out, and it looked awesome. I know that they just probably got one particularly awesome animation director on this episode, but I’d really love more episodes like this.

And seriously, this pretty much was the best Denyuuden episode since episode three. Perhaps even better. It’s episodes like this that I’ve been waiting for, and I’m really glad that this series is finally picking up, and at least the creators realize it. Now if only the producers who are responsible for the number of episodes would realize this too!

I admit: this Tiia-guy is good. The previous episode introduced him a bit generically, but this episode used that introduction really well when it suddenly turns out that he was genuinely trying to make Ryner into one of his comrades. I really love the bits of character-development here between Ryner and Ferris, and how they’ve actually been separated here.

I think the scene that impressed me the most here was the part in which we saw Shion’s army fire all of those arrows at Tiia. Animating huge armies is an incredibly difficult thing to do, and this show obviously didn’t have the budget to properly animate such an army: most of the time they were just still frames. And yet the way they were drawn, and their arrows flew, it really managed to bring life to them, and make them feel like a real army, rather than just the same guy copied and pasted over and over again like some bizarre house of mirrors.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

14 Responses

  1. Tsuki says:

    It’s pretty obvious that Ferris cares for Ryner a lot, only that Ryner is completely oblivious to that fact. She’s probably the only one around Ryner who genuinely hasn’t treated him as a monstrous existence. She genuinely thinks of him as a good person, which is different from even people like Sion, who although likes Ryner, still views him as an abnormal existence. I was pretty upset seeing Ryner leave Ferris in such an abrupt, disheartening way.

    I’m seriously just waiting for a season two announcement :D There is a lot of source material for this series, where another season wouldn’t hurt.

  2. Hogart says:

    Actually, the way Ryner behaves it looks like he’s running away from Ferris before she completely falls for him. I think he’s in love with her for a while now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they haven’t shown some reason for him to be running away from her.

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s a bloody shame they’ve had to spend half a normal series to get to a point where it’s genuinely getting intriguing. So many episodes wasted on repetitive stuff that wasn’t needed at all, and I still barely feel like I know any of the characters at all. But I’m glad I stuck with it so far, because the last couple of episodes have started to feel like they’re telling a story instead of just documenting events.

  3. Ixidor_real says:

    i like it…although..the wait for the better change of the anime was killing me…
    but it seems it will be worthy…
    Sion looks more like he was defeated…an in reality he was…

    i want to see the next episode….

  4. jho says:

    What the heck just happened. I went through so many mediocre episodes, and all of a sudden we got faced with a new animation style and the overall episode was amazing. This series makes me scratch my head.

  5. smurph172 says:

    I actually really disliked the new animation style. While more stylistic, it took out a lot of the fine details in the character designs and even in the battle sequences. This also happened in Birdy the Mighty Decode 2nd season and I thought it ruined it and just makes them seem lazy

  6. LOOK says:

    You are completely missing the point of animation. The strength of animation is in the motion, the flow. The normal “detail” is no more than bonus lines, extra sketching. This has its place in still imagery, where the single frame must be as expressive as possible, but in animation the movement is key.

    Think of it like this. A good piece of art reveals something new each time you see it. Animation is no different, watching the scenes in the dark (excessively dark, even) repeatedly yields nuance and detail simply not present in most of the previous episodes. Detail was not lost, it was obscured by its abundance.

    This was excellent animation, a little shoddy on the clean-up I’ll admit. Like Birdy it has a slightly unfinished air to it (probably because they were rushed), but the expressiveness of the characters was magnified 10 fold.

    So please, don’t call it lazy. You may not like it, but it takes more time and talent to create even a minute of that footage than it does to render a thousand mouths flapping aimlessly on a still model, or stiff robotic walk loop, or any of the other repetitive crap which plagues anime.

  7. Defade says:

    @LOOK

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Plus, the still frames in the episode still looked impressive.(and the animation vs. art contrast was nowhere as bad as the infamous Naruto 167, which had amazing animation but…..questionably artistic choices)

    Amazing episode is amazing. To me, it topped ep 3 just because of the great atmosphere it generated. The color scheme for this episode seemed a bit toned down, and as result gave a grittier and more realistic feel that really complemented the entire thing. Definitely grabbing this ep when the BD comes out.

  8. temperus says:

    @smurph172

    Birdy was anything BUT lazy. Especially season two.

    Watch your typical anime, and try to spot any actual animation. Most of the time, it’s still images that are zoomed or panned about, with a few particular spots that are actually “animated” with a few frames of repeating animation (walking, eyes blinking, mouths clumsily flapping, etc). THAT is lazy, but it’s what we’re used to in anime, a predominately cheap medium (for good reasons).

    Now watch Birdy 2 again. Notice how in almost every scene, the characters are actually animated. Hair moves, the entire character model changes shape (often fluidly). Things like body language, facial expressions changing into fear or rage, and non-repeating movements like walking or running, jumping and so on. Notice all the scenes that lack exposition, instead showing you what’s going on through storyboarding and animation.

    Now take a look at the actual camera angles, and what’s going on in a typical scene. Many times it’s not just being slowly zoomed or panned across. There is actual “stuff happening”. Like a ceiling animated as collapsing on a passed-out character from high above, with a point of view of them looking up at it while their partner tries to desperately wake them up. That’s anything but lazy.. how many anime would try something like that, let alone try so hard to convey what’s going on without flat-out telling you what’s going on?

    Now let’s consider the “low detail” argument. Notice that in most of those scenes it’s a mess of stuff happening. Really hardcore motion, like the camera flying across a cityscape, or a large arena where two characters are doing Dragonball-Z style running and jumping around. If it wasn’t low-detail, with a lot of color contrast, would your eye make sense of it? Could you tell what was going on? Have you ever seen a high-detail animation that looked cool but you had no idea what was going on? Birdy tries desperately to avoid that, while giving you an emotional context and leading your eye so you can keep up with it. It might fail to do so, but it’s certainly trying MUCH harder than most animations would.

    Sometimes, you have to look at the bigger picture. Step back and see what’s being attempted. If it was done the way you’re used to, would it still make sense? In Birdy’s case, I doubt it would. It was so different and ambitious that I have yet to find another anime that tried so hard.

    Now, there is one thing I will say.. if you are going to watch Birdy again, watch the DVDs. They ran out of time and/or money to animate some key scenes, so you really did get some stand-in animation frames. But it’s not lazy, it’s just unfortunate and over-ambitious. But that even happens in stuff like Bakemonogatari, where they’re being anything BUT ambitious, and instead they’re just drawing a ton of still pictures and hoping you won’t notice.

    If you don’t like the techniques used, that’s cool. I don’t blame you, it’s not everyone’s proverbial cup of tea. But don’t claim it’s lazy.. especially if it’s just a “gut feeling”. Trusting your feelings in this case is doing yourself a disservice, unless you bother paying attention. It’s being dismissive and penalizing the very people who are trying to prevent all anime from looking and feeling the same, and instead opting to take a show with a mediocre premise and making it awesome.

    Can you imagine if they put that kind of effort into something like Railgun?

  9. Lamp says:

    I love this series.

  10. Tsubaki says:

    I really need to catch up on this show (only watched the first episode recently). It reminds me of classic fantasy anime; like a mix of the “Slayers” and “Record of Lodoss War” series (both of them being some of my oldschool favorites).

  11. billish says:

    i just like the senseless killing some of these characters commit to.

    pretty much the only reason i’m watching it; like, that guy powered up by eating someones head. LOL

  12. Dekion says:

    I really liked this episode. I believe the time Ferris and Ryner are apart is making both of them have stronger feelings for each other.

    I’m wondering if Ryner will now learn how to control his power with this new group. If that’s the case, he’s going to be one major badass.

  13. Sigh says:

    Fat otakus pretending they know shit about animation. Ugly shit is ugly.

  14. lHyDrAl says:

    Erukin Kawabata was the animation director of the episode and the most notable key animator in the episode would have to be Shingo Yamashita who did the arrow scene you were talking about.

    @Sign, I can’t tell if you’re trolling or not, but this is the best animated episode this series has ever had.

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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:21 AM)
    All thats left now is macross 7.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:20 AM)
    However this one begged to go on for more than just five episodes, come on now and it had the franchises penchant for weak villains. It doesn’t get me as emotional as do you remember love does, the characters of Macross plus were more likeable. Still its a step above Macross II and I at least had fun with it on an action level.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:17 AM)
    Thats Macross zero completed then, it was great to see the background arc/plot for this franchise, the pace is tight and the action is arguably the most immersive, well done of the Macross universe along with Frontier.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:33 AM)
    While Tatami Galaxy and Ping Pong were definitely sharp I felt that Kemonozume and Kaiba were more inventive.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:30 AM)
    Aye,it was the visual style of the film being so different from the norm that drew me in. Still out of Yuaasa’s stuff I found myself more taken with tatami galaxy.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:22 AM)
    I think creatively the anime industry has plateaued a bit by now, where we see more derivative stuff and there has a formed an almost universal “anime style” which hinders non-traditional voyeurism.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:18 AM)
    I love the tonal whiplash that the story goes thru and the then-impressive-and-new visuals. Both 4°C and Hifana take queues from the Kansai art and the underground graffiti styles that prospered in Japan after the 70’s. Parallel to the postmodern movement in the Western world, the new wave was more expressive than fine and you see its heavy influence on the manga and anime industry.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:14 AM)
    @Bam: It is at the last stretch on the film where it is at its strongest visually in my opinion.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:10 AM)
    @Bam: For only 100 minutes it did a decent enough job on its protaganist in any case.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:02 AM)
    Mindgame is amazing. It is as unorthodox as they come but not really pretentious. It’s pretty humble and does have an actual message and proper story arc, so it’s definitely not just random for random’s sake. The industry needs more Yuasa.

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