I’ve mentioned before how Robotech was my gateway drug into the world of anime, and even how Gun x Sword reminded me of those days sitting in front of the tv on Saturday morning with a bowl of cereal and watching wide eyed at the amazing story unfolding in front of me.
In that same vein, Heroic Age is like a call back to Robotech.
For those that have never seen it, Heroic Age is a science fiction series from Studio XEBEC, the same folks who brought us stuff like Shamen King, Fafner In The Azure, Zombie Loan, Pandora Hearts, and D.N. Angel.
The story, based heavily on Greek mythology, follows a ship dubbed the Argonaut, as it searches for the savior of humanity. The human race, dubbed the Iron Tribe by the first species to obtain interstellar flight, is under attack from the Silver Tribe and the Bronze Tribe, who want to wipe out the human race before they become powerful enough to supplant them both. Since the first race, the Golden Tribe, has left this universe entirely, there is no one to stop them.
On a distant, uninhabited world, the Argonaut finds a young human man called Age, who has the ability to take on the form of the a member of the lost Heroic Tribe, gigantic and powerful beings who nearly tore the galaxy apart in the past. Considering him to be the savior they were looking for, the Argonaut begins its journey home, but is constantly under attack from the Silver and Bronze Tribes, who want to stop them from delivering their savior to all of humanity.
Age himself is based on Hercules, and much of the story is adapted from the tale of his twelve labors. Most of the rest of the cast is based around figures from Greek myth as well, giving the entire thing a fantastical feel that blends well with the science fiction setting.
The opening theme song is from supergroup Angela, who has done a ton of opening credits, including Shikabane Hime, Asura Cryin, Jinki Extend, and Fafner in the Azure. This particular piece, Gravitation, works well with the Greek myth based story elements at play.
Once past the character intro part, it really kicks in, creating a sense of menace from these alien people, evoking the desperation of the human race, and the singular hope that Age offers. The battle snippets that come next have a strong Robotech vibe to them, while also showcasing just why Age is so crucial to the survival of humanity, and the extent to which the human race really is outgunned by the Bronze Tribe especially.
The final scene, however, is what really sells this story, as the female protagonist, Princess Dhianeila, looks upon Age’s Heroic Tribe form, Belcross, with both hope, fear, and awe.
Much of Greek myth involves those three sensations, as well as a fair bit of tragedy, so brace yourself, because this show doesn’t have a super happy ending. It is satisfying, however, and that final image of Belcross has massive meaning as the show goes on.
Truly, Age is the Hercules of this setting, and the last best hope humanity has to survive.