Hero Tales - Part 1 Limited Edition with artbox
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Hero Tales: Part One (Limited Edition)
The sword-and-sorcery adventure Hero Tales (Jyukshin Enbu, 2007) is based on a manga by Ryou Yashiro and Hiromu Arakawa, the creator of Full Metal Alchemist. Martial artist-in-training Taito is dumbfounded to discover he's the incarnation of Alkaid, one of the stars of the Big Dipper, and the destined opponent of Dubhe, another of the stars. Standing between them are the five Divine Warriors, who represent the other stars. All of the celestial combatants command supernatural powers realized by controlling the energy flowing through their bodies. Taito is not the brightest light in the constellation, figuratively and literally. (Appropriately, Alkaid is the dimmest of the stars that make up the Dipper.) He's trained by the wise monk Ryuko (Mizar), and establishes a feuding friendship with archer Hosei (Phecda), a relationship complicated by Hosei's crush on Taito's argumentative, adoptive sister Laila. They're pitted against Keiro (Dubhe), the brutal general of the crumbling Xian Empire. Given its authorship, viewers will be disappointed to find that Hero Tales is a very formulaic supernatural saga. Although Keiro looks a bit like Fuehrer Bradley in Full Metal Alchemist, none of the characters have the depth or originality of the Elric Brothers. Voice actor Newton Pittman makes Taito a likable lunk, but there's only so much he--or any of the voice cast--can do with the stale material. The endless training, the ongoing journey, the explosions of power, the foreordained conflict with the obvious ending feel like a reworking of Yu Yu Hakusho or Dragon Ball Z. Been there, fought that. The limited-edition DVD includes a disc with a rather silly two-part discussion by the Japanese voice cast and textless versions of the opening and closing songs, plus four "Heroically Collectible Art Cards." (Rated TV 14: violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, alcohol use, brief nudity) --Charles Solomon
(1. Alkaid Roars, 2. The Karma of Mizar, 3. The Pledge of Energy Manipulation, 4. Divine Warrior, 5. Ailing Empire, 6. The Red Champion, 7. Sorrowful Phecda, 8. What Echoes in the Gorge, 9. Shadow of the Imperial Capital, 10. The Lonely Emperor, 11. The Tale of the Big Dipper, 12. A Glimmer in the Moonlight, 13. The Two Celestial Deities) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Hero Tales starts out as the main villain Keiro attacks the temple the main protagonist Taito lives in search of the Sword of Rule. After defeating many of those in residence, Keiro finds the Sword of Rule but is unable to sheath it. He then squares off with Taito who is able to sheath the sword. However, Keiro defeats Taito and takes the sword. Thus beginning the hero's tale for vengeance.
Along the way, Taito runs into various problems along the way to find Keiro. The empire is in a terrible state and he constantly find himself cleaning up the mess while training to get stronger to defeat Keiro.
The best part about this anime is the characters. They are fun and all bring something unique to the table. They all have their struggles at one point or another giving this anime life. Shimei is my favorite character and is fun, even though he is a main antagonist.
Many theme of friendship, family, honor, hardheadedness, and personal growth make this a good anime. The emotional depth of this anime is incredible and it really does a nice job pulling you into the characters and wanting the best for them.
However, I have two main problems with this anime. The first is the lack of action. It has good action when it decided to actually show it. There are numerous cases where a character is surround by a group of enemies and then the anime will cut to another scene, and then cut back showing all the enemies defeated. The other is when you have a character whose primary function is to keep another character from losing their temper or keeping their spirit in harmony. That is a good function to have, but that should not be their only function. Especially if the character is more than capable of handling their own in a fight (this is the case with Laila). I really hope anime will get away from doing that.
Despite the previews claiming this is an action heavy tale, which it is not, this is still a good anime. Definitely check this out, especially if you prefer characterization over action.