Posted by psgels on 23 September 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews

I think that from the start, it was obvious that Heroman would be nothing like the usual standard you’d expect from Bones. Even Bones’ flawed series are full of ambition, have this sense of maturity even when focusing on kids and teenagers, and are produced with a lot of attention to detail. Heroman however was a concept that none other than Stan Lee presented to them.

Now, it’s one thing that the creator of Spiderman, the X-Men, the Hulk and Iron Man was involved here, but Heroman is just so safe, it just has so many cliches, it has such a mediocre writing staff and it has the maturity of a 13-year-old, that it’s easily one of Bones’ weaker premises. Not the weakest, that title goes to the Mars Daybreak, but Heroman lacks both the ambition and execution to make it into any kind of memorable mecha series.

The premise: there is a kid who is pretty much a very kind-natured loser who finds a giant robot who is more powerful than anything mankind has ever created, he has a rich female childhood friend who acts as a semi-girlfriend, and he’s friends with a high school teacher who clearly is an uninspired homage to Doc from Back to the Future. Throughout the series he battles a bunch of aliens with powers that pretty much appear whenever the plot needs it.

With so many cliches, it really depends all on the execution here: how enjoyable is this series? How good are the characters? Heroman tries, but doesn’t really seem to know how to either develop its characters or create an enjoyable action series. Joey himself is very unlikable as a lead character: the creators tried to make him too pure, resulting in that we see 26 episodes in which a whiny little kid ends up saving the world. The creators do try to give the lead cast a little depth, but for some reason they decide to wait until twenty episodes have passed in order to only reveal some of the most basic of background information (I’m looking at you, Psy!).

Out of the 26 episodes, there are about four, possibly five episodes that really have good action. The rest aren’t anything special, and depend more on the story to keep the tension and the attention of the audience. This works decently in the first half, but in the second half the creators lose track of the plot completely, resulting in a bunch of pointless filler episodes that try to tie themselves into the main plot, but could have been deleted just as easily. The final battle of the series is way too rushed for the epic level it tries to reach.

There have been plenty of examples in which I’m able to ignore those kinds of flaws if the end result ends up enjoyable. High School of the Dead, for example: I am fully aware that it has flaws, but the way it played out was varied and kept my attention from start to finish. That’s what I look for in an anime. Heroman is different, though. I really get the feeling like it doesn’t know some of the basic techniques of storytelling, like a proper build-up. After you pass the climax of the second arc, there is hardly any variation left: we’re treated to things that we’ve all seen before and the things that are new don’t fit in the story at all.

In the past, Bones has already made a series about a kid who gets a toy that is able to fight and uses that to fight through hordes of opponents amidst bits of simple intrigue, and this was in 2001. The only part in which it doesn’t dwarf Heroman is that it tried to be much less epic, which is only a good thing, to be honest. Heroman completely has no value. I was positive about this series for a while, but in the end, now that the series is properly finished and I can get a proper look at the whole picture, I really have to admit that it wasn’t really worth my time to sit through this entire series (that is also why the rating for this series is much lower than the ratings I’ve been giving it at my monthly summaries. If you’re slightly interested, then watch up till episode nine: for that part, this series still is pretty solid. It’s in the part after that for which this series leaves too much to be desired, and this only gets more obvious as the series goes on.

Storytelling: 6/10 – The first half is solid enough, but especially the latter half is poorly laid out, and really fails to entertain or captivate.
Characters: 7/10 – Way too safe with its stereotypes, and the development comes way too late into the series.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Here is the thing: the animation of Heroman is very good with Bones’ usual standards, but I can only remember relatively few animated scenes that really impressed me. There are more frames than with most series and they are all solid and well quality checked, but it’s just so safe.
Setting: 8/10 – America, which is decently portrayed and decently responds to the main storyline; it does what it needs to do, but nothing more.

Angelic Layer
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Overman King Gainer
These are just a few examples of how redundant Heroman is and how it could have been done much better.

11 Responses

  1. Avatar maskedguy says:

    Aww xD I liked this series~ Its kinda refreshing to have cliche series with characters being somewhat savvy about it xD

  2. Avatar AKI says:

    Why is it 72.5?

  3. psgels psgels says:

    AKI: what do you mean? Is it too low?

  4. Avatar Freddie says:

    Not to mention how extremely annoying is Joey screaming HEROMAN!! Every 5 seconds during the battle scenes…

  5. Avatar Freddie says:

    Not to mention how extremely annoying Joey is screaming HEROMAN!!! Every 5 seconds during the battle scenes…

  6. Avatar Janette says:

    Psy was the only redeeming thing about it. XD

  7. Avatar Sheen says:

    fck you psgels, you criticize to much on this stuff.

  8. Avatar maskedguy says:

    @Sheen: Hey hey hey, while I do think hes being harsh, I can understand his point xD Joey does scream too much Heroman and fights are rather typical shonen and psgels seems to dislike genericness x3

  9. Avatar Kalandra says:

    Must be bad if Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is higher than this.

  10. Avatar Janette says:

    Chill Sheen. If you don’t like the way he reviews stuff don’t read, and find a blog into what you like. Don’t be profane. Everyone has different tastes.

  11. Avatar someone says:

    I really don’t see how Highschool of the dead pulls it off better when the writing in that piece of drivel is just as simplistic and additionally, insultingly idiotic.

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