The Legend of the Legendary Heroes is certainly one of the stranger shows of the Summer season. In essence, as someone on a forum said, “The creators crammed the slice of life adventure of Slayers into Legend of the Galactic Heroes and made the two share the time 50/50.” And to be honest, I’m finding that description eerily accurate. There’s a severe disjoint between Ryner’s adventure and Sion’s struggle. I’m not exactly sure how they’re going to reconcile the two, especially given Ryner’s and Ferris’s blatant disregard for their actual mission, but so far I’m finding Sion’s side to be far more enjoyable than Ryner’s happy-go-lucky adventure. At the same time though, Sion sure is showing some rather strange behavior. At first I assumed that it was part of some grander scheme of his, but now I’m forced to conclude that he’s merely another character who has let his emotions cloud his judgment.
Sion is pretty much Reinhard von Lohengramm from LoGH transferred into this fantasy universe and who has had his background muddled around a bit. He shares the same passion for change, and the same hatred for the nobles. They share the same problem of shielding their emotions, even in close company. But if there’s one difference between Reinhard and Sion, it’s the extent to which each is willing to go in order to achieve his objective. Whereas Reinhard is horrorstruck at any backhanded technique used to try to overthrow the old aristocracy, Sion is different. His hatred for the aristocracy pretty much knows no bounds. Already 7 episodes in, there’s a disturbing lack of morality on Sion’s part. Sion doesn’t aim to overthrow the old aristocracy as Reinhard did; he aims to destroy it.
In Sion’s eyes, the nobles aren’t even people. They’re things that cause pain and are essentially obstacles in his way of creating a better world. There’s a great line from Eden of the East’s OP that comes from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, “The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power”, which I feel is really appropriate to describe Sion’s current position. He commiserates with the lower classes, sure, but in doing so he discriminates against the nobles. It’s fairly clear at this point that the author of the original light novels clearly has a very anti-aristocracy bent, which I think makes the entire matter rather one dimensional when it actually isn’t. In attempting to make the world a better place, Sion is essentially stooping to the level of that which he hates the most.
The extent to which Sion has truly turned into a corrupted being himself is most clearly evident in episode 6. For one thing, Froaude’s murder of the nobles and attempted murder of Toale Nelphi met with nothing but approval from Sion. The murder of the nobles is one thing for Sion, but the attempted murder of Toale Nelphi is a whole different matter. Sion went to visit the kid the day before. He ate with him, and saw his generosity, but in his now apparent bid to take over the continent in its entirety, he’s now targeting innocent people whose only crime is being born to a royal family? How can we call Sion a force for change when he goes against the very morals that made us love him in the first place? (reference to Obama totally intended by the way). At this point, it seems as if Sion is the representation of every adage on the evils of power out there. What was once a force of good and change has become ultimately corrupted by his own ambitions.
An even more harrowing part in episode 6 was the story Ryner related about the tale of Froaude’s ring. In essence, the story was that a king from a certain land bestowed a ring upon a servant which could call forth shadows. The servant then used the ring to assassinate high ranking nobles from other nations, and his rampage was only stopped when a hero came and chopped off the finger with the ring. Of course, we’re only a little ways in, but the actions taken by Froaude and endorsed by Sion seems extraordinarily similar to the legend of the Ring of Shadow. The fact that the murder of the nobles and this story took place in the same episode is a rather clear indication that the director intends for us to connect the two. Our initial view of Sion as the wonderful force of change is slowly being subverted by the multiple layers of Sion’s scheming. Of course, what the series ultimately means to do with Sion’s increasingly concerning behavior remains to be seen.
But as of right now, the series seems to be preoccupied with a cautionary tale of power. After all, the three characters who have the power to radically change the world they live in, Ryner, Lucile, and Froaude, refuse to use it. For different reasons sure, but in order to achieve their goals, they don’t let their passion and emotion overcome them. Froaude and Lucile most certainly have their own agendas, yet they don’t lash out like Sion has. As immoral as their ultimate goals might be, they have the rationality to maintain their cool. Sion’s reaction to Fiole’s death proves that he lacks this ability, and considering how the series has thus far condemned this sort of unrestrained power, it’s highly likely that Sion will have to come to terms with this flaw of his soon.
It might be a bit too early to start calling out predictions, but the evidence thus far suggests a moral ambiguity on Sion’s end. He’s no doubt smart. He’s sent Milk and her team to keep track of Ryner’s activities, not particularly trusting of either Ferris or Lucile. However, his motives have to be questioned. The two heroes relics we’ve seen thus far have both essentially spawned demons when activated. At this point, it seems that if these relics are to be used for peace, they’ll be used as a threat against other countries or as a tool to conquer the continent in its entirety. To what extent can we trust a king that rose to power through domination? Does the ends justifies the means? Not for me.