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BluWacky 2007-02-09 14:03

Heroic Age
XEBEC's latest original project, Heroic Age, starts airing in April: is Starchild's (hiss, spit! I HATE STARCHILD) page for the show, but Xebec will probably do one for it themselves.

Anyway, this is notable because:

a) It reteams most of the good things about Fafner (true, Hisashi Hirai is as original as a spoon, but he draws pretty people; plus Tow Ubakata's on board, hopefully for more of the show than he was for Fafner!)

b) It's described as "space Tarzan". That's, like, the best concept ever. It's even better than space Rose of Versailles was!

c) It looks to be inspired by Greek mythology, where the term "Heroic Age" actually comes from; although Eiji is obviously a punny name, the other two lead characters are called Deianeira (Heracles' third wife; a horny centaur tricked her into burning Heracles alive with poisoned semen and she committed suicide shortly afterwards. Seriously.) and Iolaus (Heracles' companion in several stories) and the "Argonaut" features heavily (Heracles was one of the Argonauts). As a Classics geek, this makes me happy.

I hope the show measures up to all the good things about Fafner - the lovely animation, the stirring music, the UTTER MELODRAMA AND WOE. But I guess we'll have to wait until more info other than this website and the Newtype scans come out before we'll know a huge amount more.

MrProphet 2007-02-09 15:42

Ah, Hisashi Hirai, I hardly knew ye.

Personally, I can't decide what's more exiting: poking fun at Hisashi Hirai's copypasta skillz, or laughing at the idiot fans who complain that Hirai-designed characters are "ripping off" Gundam SEED, or something. 8)

If angela is singing something, then I'm in.

PS: And why do you hate Starchild? They are just an evil corporate music conglomerate, nothing special. 8)

BluWacky 2007-02-09 18:43


Originally Posted by MrProphet (Post 827710)
If angela is singing something, then I'm in.

They're doing the OP; I hope for atsuko leaping more octaves than a highjumper as per usual.


PS: And why do you hate Starchild? They are just an evil corporate music conglomerate, nothing special. 8)
I hate Starchild because they "fund" endless harem/bishoujo anime which would be almost inoffensive if they bothered to give them a budget (the Nagasarete Airantou website went live at the same time as the Heroic Age one, and a small part of my soul died). Occasionally they pull an Utena out the air, but not often enough for my liking.

wao 2007-02-09 19:54

Heh. I found out about this while looking for Iroha spoilers and saw a few designs from a hastily photographed Newtype stolen off 2ch a few days ago... (better pictures are highly appreciated! I'm not buying this month's Newtype so yoroshiku to whoever does)

(There is a last page with more secondary characters included but it's so blurry it's practically useless.)

...Hisashi Hirai really is copypasta master. LOL. I was not knowing whether to laugh and cry at Soushi and Kazuki V 2.0... Oh, and remember, this is Tarzan in space, so there's an excuse for Kazuk- I mean, Eiji to go around barechested like that! ...Nah, what am I saying, it's just fangirl bait.

But like I have said elsewhere, this ain't no Fafner Mark II without Habara on board! The director of this show was indeed involved in Fafner, but it definitely takes a very strong director to have put together the visual elements as nicely as what happened in Fafner. Can he do it?

Actually with so many nicer things coming out in Spring, and less and less time to watch anime, honestly I would completely give this a miss if it wasn't for the fact that Ubukata's writing this. It changes everything. So here's hoping Ubukata gets to do a good job; Tarzan in space.. could... turn out decent.

As for angela, from what I read on the XEBEC and Heroic Age 2ch threads it seems like there's a high possibility angela will be involved. Of course 2ch being 2ch it's better to wait for confirmation (or has it already been confirmed?), but... I couldn't care less to be honest (even though I sorta like her songs), I want to know more 'bout the animation production. I don't think we'd be in for a lovely surprise like that BONES-outsourced first half of ep 24 ala Fafner, since BONES is so busy now.

Nightengale 2007-02-09 20:53

Hirai's apparently adopting some changes from his typical character sets, at least on the non-fuzzy adult designs. It's like he's trying to mix the fruitiness of his "teen" designs with the "edgy" of his more old-adult designs. Mixed feelings, but the designs almost always look better in animation, so whatever. His regular designs is still whatever he's choking out. They don't look very SEED-ish, but whoever watched more than 4 Hirai animes know his patterns like the back of their hands by now. I kinda wished the designs had the Fafner face lines though. Made the character image more rough compared to the clean style of Hirai.

Space Tarzan...LAWL. What, is fruit-cake there (( his design is the fruitiest I've seen from Hirai in a while )) going to be raised in a Symbiote-Guyver Planet or something, only to reach out to space? Or does he have the power to Guyver-volve into some form of creature? And the blonde girl and rough looking guy is Jane and Clayton respectively? Crack.

Not having too high of hopes, but still being Hirai + Ubukata, I'm hoping it will deliver somewhat.

aardvark 2007-02-09 21:56

The funniest thing about Hirai's designs is Infinite Ryvius. I mean look at it, the show is like 8 years old yet there was more diversity in the character design in that show alone than in every single other show he's ever done since then (even scryed, while it had a few odder designs, was mostly in line with his recent stuff). Just boggles the mind.

About Heroic Age though, I think Fafner was overall pretty poor, but if Ubakata is writing this from the start unlike Fafner where he came in halfway and did his best to salvage it, it'll probably be worth checking out. Also I see Naohiro Washio is doing mech designs again like Fafner and I can see there's a huge improvement compared to the awful piles of scrap metal in Fafner. And music by Naoki Sato! If it's even half as good as his compositions for Eureka then :D

wao 2007-02-09 23:10

I agree with you there. Of all the Hirai designs I've seen, the Ryvius ones were the most memorable to me despite being so seemingly 'plain'. It's a pity that he still hasn't really changed his taste in fashion design, Neeya's sharp-flappy-coat thing seems to reappear in different flavours everywhere... I preferred his style back when those eyes weren't so glossy and overdone, too.

Although Kouji was and is still such a Shinji ripoff.

It seems like angela is doing the OP after all... and one thing I liked about Fafner was the music, I still frequently listen to Tsuneyoshi Saito's scores for the show (Sanka is one of my favourites); and like aardvark I'll be equally happy if Naoki Sato does something like what he did with Eureka 7. There were a few key tracks from there that really helped define the series.

But it still isn't enough to get me truly excited...

Nightengale 2007-02-09 23:33

Ah...Mugen no Ryvius. Now that I think about it, I used to dislike his Ryvius designs because there was a sense of plain~ness. It is the most distinstive however, in terms of self-confined comparisons, though looking back now, IR was probably the only anime that captured the Hirai style at it's best. Cosmic Era's faithfulness to the Hirai style was about as faithful as Gundam is to Okawara's boxy linearts, and others are pretty much the same as well. Heroic Age doesn't look like it'll be any different, based on the main picture character vs lineart character art.

When I think Hirai, the words that pop up almost instantly is CLAMP. I'd swear, sometimes I think Hirai is a member there. Their older artworks and styles, while not very distinctive on their own, imo were some of their better ones. And as they've changed their styles over the years, they get more and more distinctive, but for some reason, loses a sense of diversity in their art. Hirai's copypasta is very apparent in his "emo teen designs" and CLAMP's "Noodle Monkeys" is not appealing to my eyes. Not to mention both their designs respectively cater to fujoshis in general. Though personally, what I like about both arts are that their fashion taste, while sometimes eccentric, I find them very appealing. Cosmic Era's wardrobes are some of my favourite clothes designs.

Kaioshin Sama 2007-02-10 01:39

The strangest part of all of it is his designs must be attracting someone or they wouldn't keep using him (Unless the Japanese have just completely lost it). Who it is I don't know for the life of me as his designs got old the second time I saw them. He also seems to be getting more exposure than ever lately with Giniro Whatever, Heroic age and something else I can't recall at this time. I'm quite freaked out at the prospect of him becoming a major fixture in the industry for the next few years as the pattern is starting to indicate.

The answer is poking fun at Hirai's copypasting style of character design. Just about the only person who is worse at their craft would have to be Michael Bay or Uwe Boll.

Dagger 2007-02-10 13:00

Well, I was a whore for Fafner, so needless to say I'll be on board for this show as well. :p

I don't like Hirai's character designs as at all... the only reason I found them palatable in Fafner was because (echoing Nightengale's thoughts) of the cheek hash marks, which gave them a more organic feel than in his other work. I also get the sense that his normal designs need support from a very strong budget to look better than decent; watching Gundam SEED always made me cringe because of how stiff and plastic the characters seemed.

Nightengale 2007-02-21 20:51

For anyone that cares, the News/Special site of the main website got updated with the OP's name and several promo shots of Heroic Age.

The background art looks great to say the least. And at the very least, the animation pattern looks more sleek, clean and flexible to those of Hirai's original lineart...A good thing to say the least. I was kinda worried since he's the Chief Animation Director here. A low quality few stills isn't a proper judge to it, but it looks promising.

Dagger 2007-02-21 23:48

Yeah, those pictures actually are rather nice looking. Thanks for the heads up.

I'm going to be doing some serious head-to-wall banging if イオラオス (I have NO idea how to render that in English) turns out to have a Soushi type of personality...

BluWacky 2007-02-22 02:26


Originally Posted by Magus IX (Post 840487)
I'm going to be doing some serious head-to-wall banging if イオラオス (I have NO idea how to render that in English) turns out to have a Soushi type of personality...

It's Iolaus - the names are taken from Greek mythology, specifically stories surrounding Heracles (one of the greatest heroes of all).

I would presume he'll be almost exactly like Soushi *evil grin*.

NeoSam 2007-02-26 05:43

Also a manga is starting in the seinen manga magazine Magazine Z.

From ComiPress:


Also XEBEC's anime Heroic Age will be adapted into a manga series, which will start in the June issue of Magazine Z, on sale 4/26. A special Heroic Age "Chapter 0" will appear in Magazine Z May issue.

monir 2007-03-10 00:40

The synopsis from animenfo reads very interesting:
Answering the call of the “Tribes of the Gold”, all the sentient races launch into space. The human race is the last to launch, and are thus known as the “Tribes of the Iron”. Much time has passed since then, and humanity is threatened with extinction at the hands of the more dominant “Tribes of the Silver”. In order to save her people, Queen Deianeira sets out on a journey to a galaxy far away, following the prophecies of the Tribes of the Gold handed down by the royal family. Then, she meets a boy named Age. Their encounter will change the fate of the universe…
I'll be sure to check out a couple of episodes.

MrProphet 2007-03-10 00:45

That sounds very interesting. I don't think I've seen anime like that. Maybe Uchuu Senkan Yamato sounds a bit close, but still... 8)

Nightengale 2007-03-10 00:51

There's a typo there, monir.


Originally Posted by monir (Post 857901)
Then, she meets a boy named Age.

I believe that's the correct romanization for his name.

Edit : Oh, and Heroic Age's ED song is "azurite" by Tae Urakabe. Apparently it's her single debut. The main site has an interview with her I skimmed over, but apparently there's nothing related to Heroic Age's story or theme or anything, so I stopped halfway. Apparently she's worked in musicals before.

Super Edit : There's even more typo, monir. Well, It's not called Gold/Iron Race, but Tribes of the Gold, and the other tribes are Tribe of Iron/Hero/Silver/Bronze. Don't ask me, that's what was listed in the 12 Labors, which I suspect is going to be the plot for Heroic Age.

Anyway, the 12 Labors of Heroic Age as listed in the main page. It's Engrish, so I didn't need to bother with crappy tls.

01. Treat your contractor as your King.
02. To serve the King and never become one.
03. Recover the homeland Earth to the hands of humans who are called "Tribe of Iron."
04. Fight against all survivors of "Tribe of Hero," and defeat every one of them.
05. Secure the Mother Planet of "Tribe of Bronze" to the hands of humans.
06. Secure the Mother Planet of "Tribe of Silver" to the hands of humans.
07. Obtain the powers of "Tribes of Gold" to foresee the future.
08. Obtain the knowledge of "Tribes of Gold" to generate Stars.
09. To make humans who are called "Tribe of Iron" the master of the universe.
10. To protect the bonding party until these labors are fulfilled.
11. To not escape or to die until these labors are fulfilled.
12. When these labors are fulfilled, humans also known as "Tribe of Iron" will make one contactor's wish come true so long as such wish do not break the 11th agreement.

Very interesting indeed. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a genocide dorama.

DangerMouse 2007-03-10 02:27

Wow, this is sounding more and more epic by the minute. Thanks for that in depth post Nightengale.

monir 2007-03-10 13:55


Originally Posted by DangerMouse (Post 857991)
Wow, this is sounding more and more epic by the minute. Thanks for that in depth post Nightengale.

Agreed! I suspect that whomever submitted the synopsis over in animenfo, did it before the official website updated those cool infos. Thanks Nightengale!

Sonhex 2007-03-14 15:26

PV - webpage or direct link (1.5mb). Looks pretty epic and it's always encouraging to see another non-CG mecha show on the horizon.

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