Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Legend Heroes First Impressions

I've been broadening my toku horizons because a  friend of mine on Twitter was posting screen caps of this series. They sort of peaked my interest so I decided to give it a shot. What resulted was a relatively weird show in my opinion. I've seen Japanese and American toku but this is my first experience with Korean toku. How did the first 6 episodes fare for me? Read on and find out.
The show is basically Romance of the Three Kingdoms told in a way similar to Kamen Rider Ryuki so far. Its pretty much only lacking Mirror World and the body count. The tone is also lighter than Ryuki. There is another difference but I won't say what it is here. I'll just say that its something I find to be a bit of an interesting twist on this type of setup.
Liu Bei (they go so far as to give characters names from the story) is a student of the Flying Dragon Fist. He saves a girl who turns out to be an angel and once he tells her his name, she tells him of the Dream Battle and gives him the hero piece Guan Yu. You need to have the name of a legendary hero to qualify for the Dream Battle. If someone were to win the Dream Battle they can have a single wish granted. What basically follows is him fighting for his dream to master the Flying Dragon Fist.
The fight scenes are enjoyable enough and actually feature a nice variety in movements. I was actually rather impressed with Zhang Fei's fighting style in eps 3 and 4. It played up the fact that his weapon had a shield and axe mode well enough. However, the one that really sticks in my mind so far is this cat-themed Legend Hero who shows up at the start of episode 5. His fighting style basically involves chucking needles at his opponent and using acupuncture to keep them in place. Its actually something I want to see done more in tokusatsu in general.

The show also features mecha battles and unfortunately I'm not a fan of how the show does them. Each mecha fight is done in two parts: It starts as a vehicle fight and then they transform into giant robots. The vehicle parts of the mecha battles are done in really bad CGI. The giant robot parts of the mecha battles leave a lot to be desired as well. They are very obviously shot in a studio. The miniatures are also not that detailed and the painting of the sky isn't that convincing. Some of the designs are ok but the mecha fights are easily the show's weakest point so far.
The comedy so far is kinda of hit or miss however some of it had me at a loss for words. The villain for eps 3 and 4  and his cronies are meant to be more comedic. His introduction in the show involves them singing and dancing while talking about their dream of taking over the world. To top that off...they're some of the biggest dorks I've ever seen and I mean that in a good way. Some of the slapstick can be kinda cringe-y at times. The show definitely lends itself really well to out of context screen-shots.

The dramatic bits so far are ok. I did like Liu Bei's reaction when realizes just what the cost of losing the Dream Battle is after he beats He Jun. I enjoyed his moments with Gonsun Zan (his adoptive sister) in eps 5 and 6. I'm a bit of a sucker for family dynamics in tokusatsu. Liu Bei looks like my kinda of protagonist because the dude wants to make people happy. He is also willing to avoid a fight if possible.
This is my favorite suit in the show so far
The suit designs are nice and have a good variety to them. Judging by intro to the show, there are going to be a lot of suits in this show. Each of the suits so far have a nice amount of detail on them. I'm looking forward to seeing them all in action. The Hero Pieces themselves are sentient and CGI. I don't mind the CGI used for them since they're pretty small so it doesn't look out of place. The show feels a lot like Kamen Rider Ryuki only more comedic. There is also a lot of other stuff I've seen mixed in there as well. The odd thing is, I can't pin down exactly what it reminds me of other than Ryuki. Overall, I do actually recommend trying out the first couple eps. Its enjoyable enough and kinda charming so far even if its kinda goofy.

No comments:

Post a Comment