Posted by psgels on 17 December 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu




Denyuuden… was definitely an interesting series. It’s the kind of anime that you normally wouldn’t expect anything great of at first sight (or at least I didn’t), and yet delivers some episodes that completely exceed expectations. The first thing I want to say to people who are planning to give this one a chance: wait until episode three.

This series is a typical example of a series with its ups and downs. About half of it is a bit of a boring fantasy, the other half is an excellent character study. The boring half resides unfortunately around the middle of the series, starting at episode five and lasting for around twelve episodes. They’re basically a long string of building up, filled with uninteresting side-characters and scenarios that have potential, but never really get interesting to warrant the amount of time this show devotes on it.

The final third is where the things get interesting, though: those with patience will be rewarded with some excellent character development: just about every character, even the most annoying ones, gets better, the plot finally spices up and develops as well, abandoning most of its generic fantasy tropes in favour of a much more character-based progression. It ends with a strong conclusion, albeit a very open ended one (and unfortunately the chances for a second season are looking slim).

In terms of graphics, this is a Zexcs production, meaning that a lot of the series looks rather generic. They did surpass themselves in this series at several areas, though. For once, some of the background art is just gorgeous, but there are also these select few episodes that finally ditch the generic looking characters that have been plaguing Zexcs for ages now and deliver some really good animation here.

Denyuuden is definitely unbalanced. For a 26 episode series, it spends too much of its time on building up that’s rather boring. It both makes it very hard for people to get through it, and takes time away from the parts in which this series gets really good. It definitely annoyed me for a couple of months when I was blogging it. And yet, I just can’t say that it left a bad taste. While not quite of Kobato-levels, the final third did make up for the boring parts. It’s a recommendation for people with patience who are looking for an interesting fantasy title.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Pacing could be better, but can really pack a punch when it wants to.
Characters: 9/10 – All characters have their moments of annoyance, especially side-characters like Milk will get on your nerves. Yet, the character development here is really good, especially for the three main characters.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Mostly nothing special, with some very notable exceptions.
Setting: 8/10 – Is at its best when it takes a back-seat and lets the plot and characters guide it. Standalone it’s pretty much your average fantasy setting.

Suggestions:
Tytania
Senkou no Night Raid
Pandora Hearts

12 Responses

  1. lHyDrAl says:

    For a 26 episode series:
    Don’t you mean 24?

  2. sakura says:

    The author of the original novels twitted last night:

    “Thank you for watching! Nice,,. And if you want to know what happens next, please read the original novels. If you want watch anime more, buy BD! In fact, the main story will start from here! I would appreciate your support!”

    “Oh, but the tears…
    In the following parts, with artifacts, the war will expanded to the whole continent.”

    If the main story starts from here, there is an alternative, starting anime from here.
    If you want to see more, you have to buy BD… something strange. orz

  3. Isotopesam says:

    I watched the first episode and it looked generic to me. I hated it. Now that you mention to wait till Ep 3, I might this anime a chance. Thanks for the review!!

  4. Tomtom says:

    @Sakura. Sorry if I ask something stupid, but what is ‘BD’?

  5. ama-ri says:

    @Tomtom: It’s Blu-Ray Disc

  6. I read some of the explanation of what happens in the future of the story, and the shion thing makes a lot of sense. . .although the whole main story thing still hasnt been resolved yet

    if they do make a second season its going to rock.

  7. hoiut says:

    YES, a second season would definitely rock. And so ends my favorite series this season…

    My favorite parts of LOL Heroes had been the political intrigue, allegiances, and power mongering. Quite a treat! But then they sure “abandoned” like psgels says — in favor of characterization, which made for quite a bit of drama.

    But really, all that build-up, intrigue, mystery, suspense, power mongering, allegiance-making, world-building, and so forth would completely go to waste without a second season to actually “use” them.

    Call me a pessimist (and the last episode is biasing me in favor of this show as a whole since it was so good), but I have very mixed feelings here. For the record, I thought a certain someone here hated when a series spends a gargantuan amount of time building up and then never delivering upon it. ;)

  8. psgels psgels says:

    Hoiut: I do hate those series. So that’s why I’m so glad that Denyuuden had such a good final third that made good use of all of the build-up that wsa focused on Ryner, Ferris and Shion. ;)

  9. puran says:

    This was probably the most ambitious Zexcs project I have watched. They went out of their comfort zone a lot of times, experimented with graphics, tried some directing tricks, and sometimes with interesting results. The final episodes were really well delivered, and the finale is solid.

    Well done Zexcs, I never liked you, but you’re making me reconsider.

  10. puran says:

    The build up paid off. While in the end, the finale is more or less an intro, it *did* use most of the things it was building up to.

  11. gandalf8 says:

    the end of another favourite series :(
    I’m gonna miss Ryner, Ferris and Shion..
    The best parts for me was watching the interactions between the three main characters, especially the deadpan way they joked with each other.
    This is definitely a series that seriously needs a continuation..

  12. Ryou says:

    Does anyone have solid evidence of a second season?

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  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:37 AM)
    @Emma I also felt that Askeladd was the most entertaining character, but I also think the way they wrote him out of the manga was necessary for the progression of both Thorfinn and Canute.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:37 AM)
    Vagabond is one of those manga I’d actively ask people to buy, viz gave that manga great treatment with those giant sized volumes.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:35 AM)
    I wish we had a poll to see what percentage of visitors have read Vagabond. I’m sure even in this corner of the web the results would still surprise you.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:33 AM)
    @Ninja: it’s a generational thing. In a world where Akame ga Kill! is argued to be Seinen the whole demographics are deemed meaningless. Back then when people started reading manga they followed up on finding the more intellectual and artistic ones, now the kids mostly want wish-fulfillment and ostracize the “pretentious artsy ones” like Mushishi.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:32 AM)
    Historical set series are probably some of my favourite genres/series in the medium. But while Vagabond is a beautiful manga, after about 7 volumes or so I found it running its course. Vinland has its greatest peaks when Askelad was around but after that the pacing weakens but its gotten back on track lately.
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:23 AM)
    @Bam I dunno, I feel like Samurai manga have definitely become a lot less popular in the past decade or so. Ten years ago, LWAC was like Akira or Nausicaa, in that almost everyone who counted themselves as a serious manga fan had read it. Nowadays, most manga fans haven’t even heard of LWAC let alone read it. I also agree that Vinland Saga has slowed down, in the same way that Vagabond has, but I think it's because both manga have been embroiled in long pacifist arcs for quite a while now. But I love that both manga advocate pacifism, or at least focus on it as an alternative to violence.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:23 AM)
    *Vinland Saga is
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:19 AM)
    @Vincent: Vagabond is also in my top three “can’t wait to update” list. It has lost some steam since the 2nd act tho, but that might be partially due to the slow release schedule (a la Berserk).
    I’ve been reading both since they premiered, but that’s beside the point. whether now or back then, there was never too much spotlight placed on Vagabond, outside of niche seinen circles that is.
  • k-off
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:16 AM)
    @Aidan Could you assign tags to the series you’re reviewing? It’s for the convenience of the readers and for my own meticulousness.
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 07:10 AM)
    @Bam For my money though, Vinland Saga is the best running historical/seinen/action manga. Vagabond is the more impressive artistic feat, but I think Vinland Saga is just written better. Both mangas are absolutely essential reading for historical/seinen fans.

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