Heroic Age (ヒロイック・エイジ Hiroikku Eiji?) is a science fiction anime directed by Toshimasa Suzuki. It is produced by XEBEC and airs on Japanese television networks. The series first aired on April 1, 2007 and ended on September 30, 2007, with 26 episodes.
On July 23, 2007, a manga adaptation began serialization in Kodansha's Magazine Z. Though the story is the same, it is told in Iolaous' point of view. Five official guidebooks were also published and had consecutive monthly releases from July to November 2007.
The story's theme is based on stories in Greek mythology, especially those surrounding Heracles, upon whom the main character is based, and his Twelve Labors. Many of the other characters are also based on Greek mythological figures; characters share similar names to their Greek counterparts, and how their relationship is defined with others correspond with Greek stories. The title of the series, Heroic Age, is also a slight testament to the similarities to Greek mythology, referring to the time of the Heroic Age. The tribes featured in the anime are loosely based on Hesiod's Five Ages of Mankind.
The show is set in a futuristic universe controlled by a few races or "tribes" that possess the capabilities for interstellar travel. The show's opening explains that the universe had once been ruled by a "Golden Tribe", who had since left the current galaxy long ago. They passed on their knowledge to the humanoid "Silver Tribe" (銀の種族 Gin no Shuzoku?), the insectoid "Bronze Tribe" (青銅の種族 Seidou no Shuzoku?), and the gigantic ""Heroic Tribe" (英雄の種族 Eiyuu no Shuzoku?)". The latter was later punished by the Golden Tribe for causing havoc in the universe, and made to serve the other tribes as 'Nodos' (ノドス Nodosu?) - extremely powerful beings that play a key role in the story. Humanity, known as the "Iron Tribe" (鉄の種族 Tetsu no Shuzoku?), turned up later in history, having developed interstellar travel by themselves.
Most of the story follows the voyages of the starship Argonaut and its crew. The ship carries the young human princess Dhianeila, who is on a mission to find the mythical savior of the human race. This savior is expected to aid the humans in their war against the Silver and Bronze tribes, who are bent on humanity's extermination. Humanity has already been driven from Earth and is now hiding from the more advanced tribes.
Initially, the expedition finds a child-hearted boy called Age on a partially destroyed planet. When the Argonaut is attacked by the Bronze tribe, Age is shown to transform into a "Nodos" form, a gigantic and immensely powerful being. He easily fends off the superior attacking force.
Having found their messiah, the Argonaut starts its way back to the human home world, and later in the show takes part in a war against the Silver and Bronze tribes with the human fleet. Most of the episodes contain a battle sequence where Age transforms into his Nodos form and decides the outcome of the battle. The other tribes soon send their own Nodos to defeat Age as the full-scale war develops between them and humanity.
The series initially shows only the human perspective, but in later episodes goes on to explore the motives of the Silver tribe and of the other Nodos, who are bound by contracts they may not approve of. It also explores the conflicts within the human race, most importantly between Dhianeila - who wants a peaceful solution - and her brothers, who want to forcefully conquer the universe.
Both Dhianeila and Age are painted as savior figures. The princess, and very few other humans, are shown to have telepathic powers. She uses her psychic powers to guide her crew, and then the human race, to the best possible outcome.
As the fighting intensifies, the humans move towards the Golden Tribes' old home world. At the last moment, contact is made both between the Silver tribe and humanity and the Nodos of each side. Dhianeila brings the Silver tribe to accept a ceasefire, and Age is shown to be the "key" to opening a portal to the dimension into which the Golden tribe has moved.
When this portal is opened, the Silver tribe moves on to this next dimension and passes all of its knowledge to humanity, including the ability to control the Bronze Tribe. Humanity now remains in control of the universe and starts rebuilding earth.
The last episode shows that Dhianeila has succeeded in restoring the planet where she originally found Age. When this work is finally complete, Age returns to the planet and is reunited with her.
A Nodos is a person carrying the 'essence' of a Heroic Tribesman, and can thus transform into a member of the Heroic Tribe. In this form they have superhuman abilities, including enhanced strength and agility, breathing in space, sustaining weapon fire and explosions without injury, and enduring atmospheric reentry. They also seem able to freely move in zero-gravity. The Heroic Tribe life-form is stored in a stone that is wrapped around the optical nerve.
Each Nodos, including Age, has a contract with a fixed set of rules, called "labors." With the exception of Age, these include protecting the Silver Tribe's Nodos, Yuty. Yuty mentions that if they do not abide by their contracts, each of their races would be destroyed. The labors of the Nodos appear to be conflicting with each other.
In extremely violent battles, such as when two or more Nodos fight, they will go completely berserk, attacking and destroying everything around them, having been consumed by their own instincts. The Silver Tribe refer to this state as being in a "Frenzy." Aware of the Heroic Tribe having destroyed hundreds of solar systems while in a Frenzy, the Silver Tribe strives to prevent multiple Nodos from fighting each other.
Age (エイジ Eiji?)
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Yazaki (Japanese), J. Michael Tatum (English)
Age has the body of a sixteen-year-old boy, but is actually 120 years old; it is unknown how much of this time he was actually "living", as he may have been in stasis for over 100 years. Age lived on the ruined planet Oron, a world that was once verdant and peaceful, but later suffered from a cosmic cataclysm; he lived in an old, abandoned ship, and he addressed the mainframe A.I. of the ship as his mother. Age is wild by nature, but he can nevertheless be extremely good-natured. Since he was taught by the Golden Tribe, whom he considered to be his fathers, Age has limited knowledge about human society, not even knowing the meaning of 'numbers', simple words, or common phrases. Age's character may be based on the mythological hero Hercules.
Age's Nodos form is called Bellcross (ベルクロス Berukurosu?). Bellcross has a humanoid body approximately Script error tall, and joints made of very large blue spheres. It is shown to have the ability to absorb its enemies' life force and release it as a destructive energy blast.
Bellcross is considered to be the strongest of the remaining Heroic Tribe. Like the other remaining members of the Heroic Tribe, he apparently lives only for destruction and can apparently counter all the other 4 Nodos' powers with ease. While Frenzied, he releases powerful shock waves whenever he moves through space, powerful enough to destroy nearby ships. Iron Tribe computers calculated that if he continued to remain in Frenzy, he would ultimately release energy on the scale of a supernova explosion. Bellcross' main ability is originally thought to be existence, but it is later revealed that he is the key to The Golden Tribe's power.
Karkinos Rucan (カルキヌス・ルーカン Karukinusu Rūkan?)
- Voiced by: Masayuki Katō (Japanese), Christopher Sabat (English)
Karkinos is a calm thinker and not easily provoked. His purple Heroic Tribe form, "Lernaea", employs some sort of corrosive gas, or similar material, as a means of attack. It is implied that this power can destroy entire solar systems. It appears as if he is capable of resurrection. His name is based on Karkinos, a crab that tried to help a hydra defeat Heracles. Accordingly, Karkinos' Heroic Tribe form can transform into a type of hydra when on solid ground. Lernaea's main ability is thought to be Life, then revealed to be Restoration. Karkinos' contract with the Silver Tribe contains four Labors.
Mehitak Pore (メヒタカ・ポレ Mehitak Pore?)
A Nodos from the Planet Pore. Despite having destroyed many planets in the past, he now despises fighting, and hates to see others hurt as a result of it. His red Heroic Tribe form, "Artemia", is capable of firing massive energy beams which can engulf entire planets. Artemia also possesses the ability to turn its body into energy, which can reflect or refract energy weapons. However, it is vulnerable to gravity-based laser beams. Mehitak will not eat anything with a 'life', instead drawing sustenance by consuming raw matter such as metal. Artemia's power is thought to be Light, but is then revealed to be Waves. Mehitak's contract with the Silver Tribe contains three Labors.
Lekty Leque (レクティ・レクゥ Rekuti Rekuu?)
Lekty has the ability to teleport herself and anyone she is touching at the same time, similar to Iolaous. She is curious about why the Golden Tribe gave their tribe such an unreasonable contract, and often visits Prome to discuss their fate. She shows a measure of affection and concern for Mehitak, and is saddened whenever he must fight. Her green Hero Tribe form, "Erymanthos", allows her to manipulate time. Erymanthos is originally thought to be Time, but her true power lies in increasing Bellcross's power. Lecty's contract with the Silver Tribe contains five Labors.
Yuty La (ユティ・ラー Yuti Rā?)
Yuty La is a member of the Silver Tribe, thus having the ability to create spiritual projections of herself, and has also shown the ability of teleportation. The young female is the unspoken "leader" of the four Silver Tribe's Nodos. Yuty's philosophy can be summed up in her first response to Karkinos' question about the fifth Nodos: "People who do not submit to the Silver Tribe have no need to live." Although she seems cruel, Yuty has been shown to care for the life of Karkinos, and may have feelings for him. Yuty is under the direct control of Rome Ro, and cannot act without his express order. Yuty's black Hero Tribe form, "Kervius", can surround itself with a powerful shield capable of deflecting energy weapons, even beams strong enough to destroy a star. Kervius has the power to create massive vortexes that act like black holes, swallowing whole fleets of ships and sending them into 'nothingness'. This power is considered the most devastating out of the five Nodos. Kervius's power is thought to be Nothingness, but it is revealed to be the gate to the Golden Tribe's power. Yuty's contract with the Silver Tribe contains eight Labors.
Humans (Iron Tribe)
Humanity is known to the rest of the universe as the "Iron Tribe", the name given to them by the Golden Tribe. The Iron Tribe was the last tribe to be able to travel in space, but also the only tribe to develop the necessary technology on their own. The Silver and Bronze Tribes consider the Iron Tribe to be inferior because, unlike them, the Iron Tribe was not granted this ability by the Golden Tribe. When humanity began to explore space, Earth was attacked by the Bronze Tribe (under the Silver Tribe's control). Human life on Earth was exterminated and humanity was scattered among the stars, pursued by the Bronze and Silver Tribes.
Humanity is shown united under a constitutional monarchy; while there are princes and princesses, decisions appear to be made by democratic vote. Humanity is capable of interstellar travel and has highly advanced technology (the series shows computer AIs and virtual reality screens), but it is portrayed inferior to the capabilities of the Silver and Bronze tribes.
Dhianeila Y Leisha Altoria Ol Yunos (ディアネイラ・イ・ライシャ・アルトリア・オル・ユーノス Dianeira I Raisha Arutoria Oru Yūnosu?)
- Voiced by: Yui Ishikawa (Japanese), Caitlin Glass (English)
The young princess of the Iron Tribe and the heroine of the story. By using information passed down by the royal family, she searches for the one she considers their savior. Along with her psychic and telepathic powers, she has the power to create spiritual projections, though not as powerful as those of the Silver Tribe. Her telepathic powers also seem to be so powerful that she can automatically read the minds of those around her. It also is revealed that Dhianeila cannot handle the spiritual waves of an impure man, so men have to be at least 10 meters away from her, or else she may lose consciousness and collapse. The only man to have ever been able to approach her, and make her not lose herself is Age. As the story progresses her feelings for Age eventually grow into love. During the last episode, when Age came back from the gate, she goes with him. Her character is based on Deianira, a figure in Greek mythology.
Iolaous Oz Mehelim (イオラオス・オズ・メヒリム Ioraosu Ozu Mehirimu?)
The young leader of the Yunos Knights, a squadron of robot fighter pilots. Uptight but very responsible, he is extremely loyal to Dhianeila. He initially dislikes Age and gets jealous over Dhianeila becoming close to him, but quickly becomes Age's friend. Iolaous has a secret collection of holographic pictures of Dhianeila.
Iolaous has the ability to teleport himself and another, when he touches them. The range of this ability is most likely intra-planetary, with his longest teleport being from orbit around Titarros to the surface of said planet. Iolaous can only teleport others along with him if they are mentally willing to do so. His mecha can teleport when a special engine is engaged, and the engine is also capable of transporting other mechas along with his own, if distance between Iolaous' and the other mechas allows.
Aneasha Ol Megarla (アネーシャ・オル・ナガーラ Anēsha Oru Nagāra?)
Personal attendant to Princess Dhianeila. She is also part of Argonaut's medic crew. She appears to have a fondness for Iolaous.
Tail Ol Mehelim (テイル・オル・メヒリム Teiru Oru Mehirimu?) and Mail Al Mehelim (メイル・アル・メヒリム Meiru Aru Nahirimu?)
Twins with telekinetic abilities. A bit childlike and irresponsible, but always cheerful. They are also skilled engineers and mecha pilots; their mechas correspond with their telekinetic abilities. As Dhianeila's attendants, they were put in charge of "babysitting" Age, but are often involved in Age's childish antics. When Iolaous is depressed, they sell him pictures of Dhianeila.
Mobeedo Oz Mehelim (モビード・オズ・メヒリム Mobīdo Ozu Mehirimu?)
Commander of the Argonaut. His mission is to protect the Princess Dhianeila and to carry out her wishes. He is also Iolaous' and the twins' father.
Nilval Nephew (ニルバール・ネフュー Nirubāru Nefyū?)
A female military officer of the Iron Tribe, and acting commander of the Azz-Azoth fleet. She and Captain Mobeedo were in officer's school together. It is said that she has the worst luck, but is highly dependable. She seems to have a rough demeanor, but is well-respected by her crew. She is later transferred to Meleagros' flagship, the Althaea.
Meleagros E Leisha Altria Oz Yunos (メレアグロス・エ・ライシャ・アルトリア・オズ・ユーノス Mereagurosu E Raisha Arutoria Ozu Yūnosu?)
The oldest prince of the Royal family that leads humanity, and commander of the flagship Althaea and the Calydonian fleet. Dim-witted but ambitious, he wants to lead humanity to conquer the universe. He cares nothing for others, and is envious of Dhianeila's reputation among many nobles, and only sees her as someone who comes between him and the throne. Despite that, he considers her and Age as useful tools, but ones that can easily be discarded. Moreover, he repeatedly refers to Age/Bellcross as a monster.
Atalantes Az Yunos (アタランテス·アズ·ユーノス Atarantesu Azu Yūnosu?)
The second prince of the Royal family, commander of the elite Kento Knights, and Meleagros's right hand. He supports Meleagros in his quest to conquer the universe. He also thinks of his only sister, Dhianeila, as nothing but a pest.
The Silver Tribe see themselves as the new "guardians" of space; believing that every other tribe that is inferior to them deserves to be conquered by them. Compared to other tribes, the Silver appear to be more powerful, immune to illnesses, living longer lives, and having the power to create energy from nothing. Each tribesman has been shown to possess common powers, such as long-ranged telepathy and teleportation, and creating spiritual projections. Unlike other tribes, the Silver Tribe consists of a small amount of tribesmen; their powerful spiritual powers, which helps them create superior technology, makes up for their low population. The Silver Tribe has helped many lesser species obtain low-orbit space status, but prohibited long-range space and interstellar space travel. The Silver Tribe consider individual star systems worthless, but gain wealth and power by obtaining tribute from the tribes that they have lifted up.
Phaetho O (パエトー・オー Paetō Ō?)
A member of the Silver Tribe, who has been tasked with destroying the Argonaut. Like Dhianeila, he has been shown to be able to create spiritual projections of himself, but in a far more powerful form that can project shields, and attack with short-range tentacle-spades. Later, after his starship is destroyed by Bellcross, Phaetho O is shown to be able to survive in hard vacuum unaided for an extended period of time. He can also create another starship in space from nothingness in minutes.
Rom Ror (ロム・ロー Romu Rō?)
Commands all the Nodos except Age. He also appears to be Yuty and Phaetho O's superior. It is later revealed that Rom Ror was present when the Golden Tribe withdrew from the galaxy, and personally chased after members of the Golden Tribe, demanding that they stay and continue teaching the Silver Tribe.
Prome O (プロメ・オー Purome Ō?)
She is in charge of the Silver Tribe's emotions, and can transfer emotions from her tribesmen into her, thus erasing it from them. She has also been seen sitting on a throne, talking to Lecty about the Nodos' contracts.
An insectoid species, the Bronze Tribe is seen by other tribes in the galaxy as the Silver Tribe's enforcement arm. Very numerous, the Bronze Tribe uses hollowed-out asteroids as starships utilizing the same Starway and Warp technology of the Silver and Iron Tribes. The Bronze Tribe's powers differ from other tribes; they seem to have limited telepathic powers, but none show the spiritual projections of the Silver and Iron Tribes.
Bronze Tribe individuals create personal force shields and project beams of energy at a target from those shields. Bronze Tribe insect bodies can survive the vacuum of space and the heat of atmospheric entry, but are still vulnerable to normal damage. At close range, acid spits from their fanged mouths. While a subset of the tribe have teleportation powers, rather than the instantaneous dematerialization/rematerialization of Iolaous and Lekty, the insects instead create gates or wormhole portals between interplanetary locations.
When the Iron Tribe combined fleet attacked Taros, the Bronze Tribe's home planet, the gates were large enough for entire asteroid ships to pass through. The Bronze Tribe has not shown a single Queen in its reproductive cycle, nor a pupa stage; the young hatch from egg sacs and mature to adult size afterwards. A humanoid-shaped "controller" can be found at the heart of each asteroid ship. It is not known how the Silver Tribe convinced the Bronze Tribe to serve them so unswervingly, nor what the Bronze Tribe receives from its relationship with the Silver Tribe.
Each tribe possessing one or several Nodos is allowed to make a contract with them. They can draw a specific number of clauses (called 'Labors'), the amount of which was determined beforehand by the Golden Tribe.
Iron Tribe - The 12 Labors
The Iron Tribe's contract goes as follows:
- Treat your contractor as your King.
- To serve the King and never become one.
- Recover the homeland Earth to the hands of humans who are called the "Tribe of Iron".
- Fight against all survivors of "Tribe of Heroic" and defeat every one of them.
- Secure the Mother Planet of "Tribe of Bronze" to the hands of humans.
- Secure the Mother Planet of "Tribe of Silver" to the hands of humans.
- Obtain the powers of "Tribes of Gold" to foresee the future.
- Obtain the knowledge of "Tribes of Gold" to generate Stars.
- To make humans who are called "Tribe of Iron" to become the master of universe.
- To protect the bonding party until these labors are fulfilled.
- To not escape or die until these labors are fulfilled.
- When these labors are fulfilled, humans also known as "Tribe of Iron" will make one contractor’s wish come true as long as such wish do not breach the 11th agreement.
Note - The above 12 labors were directly translated in episode 2 of the anime—the contract is meant for Age, the Nodos entrusted with protecting the 'Iron Tribe'.
Silver Tribe Labors
The content of some of the Silver Tribe's contracts is still unknown, but it appears to involve the protection of Yuty by the rest of the Silver Tribe's Nodos. Silver Tribe members Rom Ror and Prome O were the chief architects of the contracts.
The Silver Tribe has made contracts with a total of four Nodos:
- Karkinos - contract with the Silver Tribe contains 4 Labors. While Kalkinos's contract has not been fully enumerated, it involves the protection of Yuty even at the cost of his own life.
- You must fight those who oppose the Tribe of Silver with your life.
- When the Silver Tribe attains the power of the Gold Tribe, you shall be released from servitude.
- Mehitak - contract with the Silver Tribe contains 3 Labors:
- To ensure obedience to the Silver Tribe.
- As a Nodos, until all your power is spent in battle, you will obey the Silver Tribe.
- You will protect the life of the Nodos of the Silver Tribe.
- Lekty - contract with the Silver Tribe contains 5 Labors:
- By submitting to the will of the Silver Tribe, your tribe shall prosper.
- You must fight against the enemies of the Silver Tribe as a Nodos.
- When the Nodos of the Silver Tribe is in danger, you must save her.
- When you have discovered the power of the Golden Tribe, you must inform the Silver Tribe.
- When the power of the Golden Tribe is being lost, you must protect it.
- Yuty - contract with the Silver Tribe contains 8 Labors. While Yuty's contract has not been fully enumerated, it is chiefly concerned with obtaining the power of the Golden Tribe. She is also tasked with destroying that power should it fall out of the hands of the Silver Tribe.
Heroic Age is an anime series directed by Toshimasa Suzuki and produced by Xebec. It first aired on April 1, 2007, and is now completed with a total of 26 episodes, the last of which having aired on September 30, 2007. Dhianeila gives a short narrative in the first five episodes to explain the Golden Tribe, the Silver, Bronze, Heroic, and Iron Tribes, and the events leading up to the anime series. Since episode 14 a new introduction shows the Iron Tribe members in a different manner than in the first episodes' introduction.
The anime was licensed for North American distribution by FUNimation Entertainment on June 30, 2008. A release date was set for May 12, 2009. Episodes 1-26 of Heroic Age are currently available at Hulu.com
The first two DVD volumes had a simultaneous release in Japan on August 8, 2007. It was announced that every volume would contain two episodes. The first two volumes would also contain an eight page booklet and stickers of the corresponding DVD cover for a limited time only. The illustrations on the cover jackets are designed by Hisashi Hirai.
The third volume was released on September 5, 2007, and also contained a sticker of the jacket cover.
Heroic Age I - contains episodes 1 and 2 (Release date: August 8, 2007)
Heroic Age II - contains episodes 3 and 4 (Release date: August 8, 2007)
Heroic Age III - contains episodes 5 and 6 (Release date: September 5, 2007)
Heroic Age IV - contains episodes 7 and 8 (Release date: October 10, 2007)
Heroic Age V - contains episodes 9 and 10 (Release date: November 7, 2007)
Heroic Age VI - contains episodes 11 and 12 (Release date: December 5, 2007)
Heroic Age VII - contains episodes 13 and 14 (Release date: January 9, 2008)
Heroic Age VIII - contains episodes 15 and 16 (Release date: January 9, 2008)
Heroic Age IX - contains episodes 17 and 18 (Release date: February 6, 2008)
Heroic Age: Complete Series - contains episodes 1-26 on Blu-Ray 3-disk box set (Release date: February 16, 2010)
On July 23, 2007, the first volume of the series' manga adaptation began serialization in the Japanese magazine, Magazine Z. The manga is published by Kodansha Publishers, Ltd. The story is the same as the anime; however, the story will be told in Ioraus' point of view.
Heroic Age Manga 1 - Release date: July 23, 2007
Heroic Age Manga 2 - Release date: November 22, 2007
Along with the manga, the first of five official guidebooks was published in Kodansha's Magazine Z on July 23, 2007. The following four volumes had consecutive monthly releases, with the last one being released on November 30, 2007. Each guidebook has a total of 36 colored pages.
Heroic Age Official Guidebook Volume 1 - Release date: July 23, 2007
Heroic Age Official Guidebook Volume 2 - Release date: August 23, 2007
Heroic Age Official Guidebook Volume 3 - Release date: September 28, 2007
Heroic Age Official Guidebook Volume 4 - Release date: October 29, 2007
Heroic Age Official Guidebook Volume 5 - Release date: November 30, 2007
- Track listing
- "Storm of Nothingness" (虚無の嵐?)
- "Your breath"
- "Gravitation" (Karaoke/no vocals)
- "Storm of Nothingness" (虚無の嵐?) (Karaoke)
- "Your breath" (Karaoke)
The ending theme of Heroic Age, "Azurite", was performed by Tae Urakabe. An ending themes single containing four tracks was released on May 23, 2007.
- Track listing
- "Starry heavens"
- "Azurite" (Karaoke)
- "Starry heavens" (Karaoke)
The first original soundtrack album, entitled "Star Way", was released on July 11, 2007. It contains two discs, with the second disc being a Drama CD. The second soundtrack, which was released on September 26, 2007, also contains two discs. The first disc contains 18 tracks, while the second disc is another Drama CD containing the continuation of the story in the first Drama CD.
The second disc describes some events surrounding Iolaous, outside the Heroic Age story. The disc also features a bonus track, "Azurite", with vocals by Dhianeila's seiyū, Yui Ishikawa.
The second disc describes some events surrounding Iolaous, outside the Heroic Age story. The disc also features a bonus track, "Flowery", with vocals by Dhianeila's seiyū, Yui Ishikawa.
- ↑ Heroic Age episode 8, Flashing Nodos.
- ↑ Heroic Age episode 23, Four People.
- ↑ Heroic Age episode 2, Forgotten Child.
- ↑ XEBEC's Heroic Age terminology section.
- ↑ Script error
- ↑ Heroic Age episode 20, Nodos of Darkness.
- ↑ FUNimation release schedule February 2010.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Script error
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Script error