Well, consider me pleasantly surprised. After the last episode managed to build a bit of comedic and character momentum, this week The Legendary Hero is Dead! was actually able to capitalize on it. While the show hasn’t fundamentally changed from its inert early entries, this episode quite efficiently introduces new supporting characters that actually shake up the status quo, establish some genuine stakes, and even manage to be kinda funny in a few moments.
There are still problems, mostly coming down to the state of the production. This show just cannot deliver coherent action, so the opening minutes of this episode struggle hard. Characters teleport from place to place between cuts, with no clear idea of where anyone is in relation to each other. As I said before, that’s not the biggest issue when this is mostly a comedy and any battles are largely setups for jokes, but it does drag things down as they try to introduce a new conflict and villain. I can buy that this new necromancer and his demon servant are bad news, but it’s hard to really feel it when all the magical fighting plays like a PowerPoint presentation.
That said, the fight did give me my first real laugh of this show’s run, if only for the shock of seeing the villain get unceremoniously run over. It’s far from a sophisticated joke, but seeing the team’s magic stagecoach slam onto the scene like an out-of-control Honda Civic hit my funny bone just right. I also like how it was actually something Touka planned, again using diversions and bluffs to catch his opponent off guard while they labored on about Mana levels and magic swords. It’s a glimpse of what this show could be if it leaned into its stronger comedic ideas more often – a wacky farce about a misfit hero dismantling the bad guys by throwing out the Shonen Battle rule book and playing dirty.
We also get a full introduction to the other hero’s party, and they bring some interesting elements to the table. Yuna’s younger sister being a powerful fighter and her father being a former royal knight gives some much-needed texture to her own character, offering insight into why she was so dead set on becoming a powerful mage at the start of the show. It’s unfortunate that Plot Reasons mean she isn’t actually present for this part of the story, but at the very least it forces Touka to start considering things from Yuna’s perspective. I have no faith that this will inspire him to stop sexually harassing her once this arc is finished, but if he at least learns to see her as a person with hopes and dreams of her own, I’ll consider it a win.
Though not everything about these new arrivals is positive. Having ever-so-slightly tempered Touka’s comedic pervert shtick, the show apparently needed to compensate by having Yuna’s dad be loudly obsessed with boobs. There is potentially a version of this dynamic where Touka sees how creepy and unpleasant Fieri is and recognizes how much of a gross lord he’s been to every woman he’s ever spoken to, but I don’t have any hope that we’ll get that. Instead, it’s just a cheap and easy way to undercut an otherwise traditionally heroic personality and to get some theoretical laughs about Touka calling the kettle black. I suppose I’m thankful that his defining features of “loves his daughters” and “loves big bazongas” are at least kept separate, but that’s a very low bar to clear.
It’s a shame because otherwise, this is actually a solid episode. Introducing us an effective new villain who’s a genuine threat, builds up a lot of momentum for new adversaries, and even plants some seeds for potential character growth. In its best moments, this episode presents a much stronger and more entertaining version of the show than we’ve seen before, and I’m hoping this upward trend can continue.
The Legendary Hero is Dead! is currently streaming on