Recommendation: Heroman

Become a Hero and fight for your loved ones!
Heroman is a collaboration between Marvel’s legend Stan Lee and studio BONES. A superhero anime about courage, friendship and love. The series is 26-episode long and was released in 2010. Heroman is an inspiring story about a young boy who accidentally come to possess great power and decide to use it for justice, to fight for his family, his friends and his world.

The story follows Joey Jones – a bright but quite timid boy. He is an orphan who lost both his parents and is now living with his grandma. He believes that his father was a hero that saved many lives and he, too, wish to become one like him. One day, he picked up a broken toy robot and fixed it up. Right after, a sudden lightning bolt struck the fixed toy and transform it into a large robot that obey Joey’s every command. Incidentally, aliens called Skrugg are coming to attack Earth – and the place they landed is none other than his hometown. Joey, along with Heroman, set off to protect the peace of the world.

+ Plot: The series can be split into two large arcs, and both have different but unique vibes for a superhero show. Joey is a very nicely written characters. He has his ideal and always act upon it. Yet he’s also just a normal teenager and he act that way too. His growth as a person is very nice to watch since he doesn’t need catastrophic trauma or someone dying to spur him into action, but he always stand up and fight on his will to protect what he currently has. The supporting cast is also pretty cool, especially Psy. He’s the Kamina of the series but less abrasive and more of a friend than a big-bro to Joey. Lina is a really likeable girl, totally opposite from the cheerleader stereotype we usually see in U.S media. Her brother Will is a certified jock though, but Lina is a very sensible and a great motivation for Joey. Their relationship throughout the series is extremely unique as well.

The story progresses at a very reasonable pace and keeps you wanting more after the end of each episode by skillfully weave in the next plot line at the end. The first arc is a long arc that end in an very satisfying climax. The second one has a different vibe to the firts but they somehow managed to make it even more crazier than the first one. The writers sure planned out the whole series very tightly cohesive. It really does carry some of Marvel’s comic vibe, especially the more upbeat stories for younger audience.

+ Animation: Well, BONES know their 2D from what we see of their Captain Earth and Star Driver. Heroman’s animation is great. Most of the fight scenes are well animated and there’s quite a bit of re-used animation but it’s not for cannon fodder footage but rather for attack-call so it’s definitely not a problem. Heroman is quite a bulky guy, although his movement are quite nimble and agile. The screenwriting for Heroman is pretty awesome, the scenes play out just like a live-action superhero movie, with great camera angles and nice effects.
+ Mecha Design: By the legendary Shigeto Koyama. If you’ve watched Captain Earth, you’d think that Heroman is a mini version of the Earth Core in the Earth Engine, and you wouldn’t be wrong since they share the same mecha designer. Heroman is pretty different from your usual mecha from his looks to his power as well. The rounded but muscular proportions really set him apart from most of other robots. Well, seeing him move, you wouldn’t even think there’s loads of mechanical parts under the hood as well, but more like he’s a very very buff dude. If not for his feet (or lack thereof) and his transformation, you can definitely see him as a living organic being.

+ Music: Great soundtracks. The OP and ED are very energetic and positive, full off youth and life. Really suitable for a series like Heroman. The battle OST is also very nicely done as well, does sound like a proper superhero movie. Well it’s not Avenger tier or anything but it raises the tension very well. The insert songs play at very appropriate time as well.
In conclusion, Heroman surely deserves the title “A new hero of the 21st Century”. The series bring a fresh and unique story to the mecha genre. This kind of story might have been done in comics before, but with some spin to it, studio BONES and Stan Lee have created something new for the audience. The characters are all likeable (well maybe except one) and their relationship actually develop like a normal relationship in real life. There’s a very great message about heroism within Heroman as well: Be the hero you want to be, but at the same time, cherish the people around you because they are also your heroes. Heroman is a 26 episode series but the plot is always on the move so you won’t feel bored at all even if you binge it. Highly Recommended!

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