The Trials of Heroman

Two weeks ago was Free Comic Book Day, and I was out with my /co/mrade friends. While we were standing on line for our free comics, the conversation turned to Heroman, an anime I had told them about weeks prior to its airing.

“So, what does /co/ think about Heroman?” I asked RJ, one of the writers of Comicgasm.

“We just post shopped images of Stan Lee from it. That’s what we only care about,” he answered with a shrug.

I was bothered. Heroman had great cross-fandom potential. It had the zanyness of western comics and lively Japanese animation. Well, it had potential. The actual product is, frankly, less than stellar. I told my friend about my problems with the show, and we talked about other things instead.

What went wrong in Heroman? Or more exactly, what’s wrong with the show?

For a protagonist, Joey is not even interesting at all. In fact, I wished Psy was the main character of the show, for reasons explained by the image above.

In addition to that, Heroman is slow. For a show that involves an alien invasion plot starting right at episode 2, for a show that involves a sentient giant robot PUNCHING COCKROACHES TO DEATH, it is pretty languid. Episode 3 is the most damning example of this, which consisted entirely of the kids running from school to Joey’s home. The action scenes in the end even seemed like an afterthought.

Then came the balls. They were too damn strong for Heroman to handle. Losing a fight or two opens up roads for character development, but losing this early makes the protagonist look too weak. Heroman seems underleveled in comparison to his opponents.

Actually, this could have been averted. Heroman didn’t need to have a running plot right from the start. BONES could have dropped their aspirations of making an innovative show and focused on making an entertaining show instead. Formula isn’t all bad! Heroman needed less powerful baddies to thrash. For something that’s influenced greatly by western superhero comics, it needs to take more advice from its parents.

Spider-Man had to catch small crooks first before graduating to stronger villains. We could’ve had Joey fighting bank robbers, mad scientists, or even rescue more people from car accidents. Forcing him to fight against the brunt of an alien invasion so soon is, well, like telling Amuro to take a shot at the Big Zam right after obtaining the Gundam.

One needs to give victory to the heroes first, before ramping up the challenge. If you keep on showing kids episodes of Heroman utterly failing to stop gigantic, city-wrecking balls, or Joey looking distraught and saying “HIIROOMAN” in a pouty voice all the time, would you expect them to like Heroman? Who will buy the toys? (I’m sure there will be toys!)

There’s also the question of how long they’re going to fight these aliens. I don’t like speculating, but how are they going to keep up the energy with this kind of pacing? After the aliens, what next? I suppose there will be more kinds of villains to fight, or it would be a boring world indeed for our Stars ‘n Stripes robot.

One solution I could think of, is that BONES takes another problematic show of theirs, combine it with Heroman, and make:

HEIROMAN. With Suou filling in the role of Joey Jones, it would be perfect.

Related Reading:

  • Landon delves far more into western comic tropes than I have. [->]
  • Shin Mazinger had a running plot from the start, but it was densely-packed in comparison. [->]
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11 Responses to The Trials of Heroman

  1. LOL, I dropped DtB as well, I’m still on the fence with this one.

  2. RJ says:


  3. kluxorious says:

    “HIIROOMAN!” Fuck that was annoying…

    If only they would have other thing other than giant cockroaches as the villain -___-

  4. omo says:

    this is a pure-bred clock show, but it comes out more like a shell of one. need more soul.

    but at the same time, it isn’t as bad as your average pokemon etc. interesting enough if you’re willing to let it do its thing.

  5. ToastCrust says:

    Personally, right now I’m seeing it more like a super robot/sentai show more than a comic book one. Alien invasion, only you have power to stop it, turn big to solve big problems, etc.

    But the enemies they fight just aren’t wacky or zany enough, and you’re right about Heroman coming off as powerless too soon. I’m still kind of hoping they could turn this around, but you’re totally right. They need *some* villain of the week, like Shougeki Mazinger Z knew.

  6. Chag says:

    Did Heroman have any claim to be “innovative” from the get-go? The only thing special I saw from it was its authentic American setting. Otherwise, it’s awfully typical of a simple little kids’ show — hero receives power, beats up bad guys, etc. But as you said, it’s doing a poor job at retaining interest. I keep on expecting variety in the future, but so far it’s been cockroach grunts, giant balls, and more grunts. Honestly, aside from the fight with Will and Nick, has Heroman really offered a remotely exciting fight? Sadly, so far Heroman has been neither innovative nor entertaining.

    If only the show was like a love child between G Gundam and Medabots — I would’ve LOVED to see Heroman beating some FREEDOM into them commiebots. Fuck yeah, LAISSEZ-FAIRE BEAM!

    • schneider says:

      Maybe I just wanted to believe that BONES was trying to stray away from the worn path by pulling up a serious plot right after the proper introductions. Because if this was all due to incompetence, I’d be a sad man indeed.

      Gaiking LODM, that low-budget clock-show with even dumber writing, was way more entertaining *and* innovative than Heroman.

  7. Shinmaru says:

    And then in the next series, HEIROMAN can be a hobo!

  8. Only watching for delicious trap.

  9. Pingback: Check-in Station: Heroman eps 1-9 (Happiness is a butt kicking robot and serving Stan Lee coffee) « the Check-in Station

  10. Kurokami-kun says:

    i actually liked it,but,yeah joey screaming HIIIIROOOMAN! all the time was kind off annoying,but man episode 26 was epic heroman was stabbed and the world was about to end but then joey over there got mad and turned fiery red and he was going for a fiery suicide attack on that weird thing but heroman over there stopped joey,and heroman got rechared,kill the bug,saved the president,d.c,the world,yay!,oh and it’s wide open for another season,that dr.minami has broken from prision along with his 2 lackeys by his assisstant who is not normal because she took out over 30 guards in one second,and they still got will out there,but i really dont think there will be a season 2.

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