Heroic Age is the definition of a ‘space-epic’, from the climatic battle sequences to the political, tribal and alien factions; the series manages to remain gripping from start to finish. Having seen the trailer before the premiering episode, I could already tell that I was going to enjoy this series. Xebec, the studio responsible, produced Fafner of the Azure, another series of this genre which, incidentally, also used the same character designer, Hisashi Hirai (most notable, perhaps, for Gundam Seed and Seed Destiny), thus bearing a reference and similarity. However, after watching the opening episode, Heroic Age was immediately a lot more engaging and cinematic than Fafner. In fact, reflecting back, among the fifteen or so anime series I picked up during its broadcast season, Heroic Age had undoubtedly the best premiering episode, or at the very least, the one I anticipated the second episode for the most. Before I proceed on with this review, it’s worth noting that I’ve re-watched this series five times now, and this is likely to increase. This is not to suggest that Heroic Age is faultless or a personal favourite, all things considered, but the intensity of the battle sequences, coupled with the easy-to-digest story-line, made this a highly entertaining series.
The story tells of a Golden Tribe who once existed in this universe. They had the power to foresee the past and the future, they could create planets and stars, and later chose to send 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 were about to leave the galaxy, a fourth tribe responded: humans, or the Iron Tribe.
The story-line remained relatively consistent throughout its viewing session, tending to place prevalence on the battle sequences and the relationship between the characters, specifically the subtle romance of the two main characters of Age and Deianeira. This didn’t particularly bother me, as I wasn’t really watching this series for anything deep and meaningful. That said, the plot-line itself never once strayed into obscurity, nor did it lack cohesion. It was simple in principle, but also covered many interesting themes that corresponded to the history and circumstances of the character cast. Deianeira, who is a Princess of the human race (Iron Tribe), had to deal with her family-related struggles, while maintaining her own political and personal beliefs. Age, along with the other Nodos (those who have inherited the ‘essence’ of the Heroic Tribe), had to deal with their labours for their respective Tribe. Everything was tangible and easy to follow. I often find with series of this kind that the plot can be overly infused with too much technobabble, but Heroic Age was never like this, and whenever such dialogue was included (which was brief), it didn’t hold any real significance to the plot.
The characters themselves, while likable, didn’t really receive too much development and stayed more or less the same throughout the series. I suppose Iolaous, the leader of the Yuno Knights, changed his opinion of Age, but this doesn’t really count as development. Yuty, the Silver Tribe’s primary Nodos, had conflicting feelings of superiority and love for her fellow partner Karkinos, which did receive notable development and coverage. In retrospect, whilst the majority of the character cast remained the same, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, there were a few that changed their perception and beliefs based upon certain events. This did help to add weight to their actions, both on and off the interstellar battle field. Both the main characters of Age and Deianeira were typical of their archetype, but served their role well. Age was innocent and laid-back, although serious when the time called for it. Deianeira was the kind, elegant and convicted Princess that the rest all admired.
The production was mostly solid and particularly excelled during the battles sequences. They really were ‘epic’, in the strictest sense of the word. The integration of CGI was done well and didn’t seem misplaced. The overpowered Nodos, in particular, were a joy to watch. I’ll admit to enjoying overpowered characters, so Heroic Age was right up my alley in this regard (a fan of shounen). The close-up scenes were average, nothing too impressive. The soundtrack was noticeably good, employing the use of an orchestral score, which really helped to give intensity to the battle sequences. The seiyuu cast all performed well, nothing particularly outstanding, but nothing bad either.
All in all, Heroic Age is sheer entertainment. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this series each week when it was broadcasting and the subsequent four times I’ve seen this series (either in my home or on my iPhone when traveling) were just as enjoyable. It’s the type of series you can sit back and enjoy without thinking too much. So, in conclusion, you’ll like this series if you’re a fan of the science-fiction genre, with hints of drama and romance. Definitely recommended.