First Impression: The Legendary Hero is Dead!

Three years after the legendary hero, Sion, sealed demonkind behind the Gates of Hell, the seal has come undone. But not to fear! Sion will again save the day, traveling throughout the land to defeat the demons and restore the seal. His journey brings him to the village in which Touka, a farmer who imagines his radishes are women’s thighs, and Yuna, the farmer’s prickly but beautiful childhood friend, reside. Unfortunately for Sion (and the rest of humanity), the trap that Touka had set for demons kills the hero instead. What’s the world to do now? Well, it still needs Sion, so his former traveling companion, the kawaii necromancer Anri, resurrects Sion’s body and fills it with Touka’s soul. But between Touka’s weak magical power and his inability to use the hero’s sword properly, something tells me that this might not end well. That and the fact that his body is starting to rot away.

The promise of this series lies completely in its punchy humor. The tone is established right from the OP, which seems to be an homage to B-horror movies and plays with the idea that the hero is dead and resurrected as a rotting, possessed zombie. That the near-invincible Sion dies by falling into a punji stake trap gives you a sense of the silly and sometimes unexpected humor in episode one. Gag after gag after gag is dropped, particularly in the first two-thirds of the episode. Structurally, it feels like The Legendary Hero is Dead is adapted from a 4-koma. The story isn’t important: it’s all about the setup and comedic execution. And though the jokes don’t always land, and are sometimes charged with ecchi imagery and double entendres, the attempt is commendable, with its go-for-broke approach. But unfortunately, it breaks down toward the end of the episode when, you know, the plot gets in the way. As the story starts moving toward quests and adventures, the breaks are slammed on the nonstop comedy, so that the episode devolves really quickly into a dreadfully boring story. The animation is poor, the characters are either forgettable or unlikeable (including Touka), and other than the “hero-dies-and-is-resurrected-into-a-rotting-boy” angle, the story isn’t unique in the slightest. While I may not have continued this anime even if it just remained solidly in comedy-only territory, I’m certainly not returning now that we have the beginnings of what appears to be a truly boring tale.

The Legendary Hero is Dead is available to stream on Crunchyroll.

4 thoughts on “First Impression: The Legendary Hero is Dead!

  1. Oh, that’s too bad. I’m usually a huge fan of comedies, but it can be hard to keep the jokes coming and keep the story going, so it’s not uncommon for series to start out strong and then quickly fizzle out. Though fizzling out in the first episode seems a bit quick even for a comedy. Hmm, looks like I’ll have to keep searching for my comedy of the season. Thanks for the review!

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