Hitorijime My Hero – Anime Preview
Synopsis: High schooler Masahiro Setagawa is a fairly helpless delinquent, so much so that the neighborhood bullies use him to run their errands. His life changes when he meets high school teacher Kosuke Oshiba. (Official Anime Strike Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Hitorijime My Hero doesn’t look impressive. It suffers washed out colors that keep the art from popping. Further hindering the experience is a bizarre decision to change the main character’s hair color half way through the episode. By itself not a problem, but the series also produces two other characters with Setagawa’s original orange hair color, causing some brief confusion between time skips.
Linny: The hair colour change up and shared hair colours definitely do not help the episode’s already confusing time skip narration style. While it isn’t enough to sour one completely, it does lead to some momentary perplexity as you’re left to ascertain what came before and what came after. The time jumps are enough make the story feel a little all over the place and a bit of a hassle to follow at first glance. The muted colours could also prove a deterrent to holding the viewers’ gaze making one possibly feel like the show isn’t grabbing their attention.
Tom: Further muddying this opening the episode skips a few scenes that, I think, were really needed to sell certain aspects of the show. Kosuke Oshiba is supposedly a bad ass. A smart, good looking guy who beats up the bad guys and acts as a kind of local hero to Setagawa. Trouble is we never once see Kosuke throw his fists. And more to the point the thugs he beats up? We never really see them doing anything truly untoward. And I think those are both scenes we need. It’s not really enough to just be told the thugs are bad guys and Kosuke is a bad ass. These are aspects we need confirmation on. It’s not that I don’t believe the show, because that would be silly, but rather in order to really get sucked in I need to be seeing these big moments with my own two eyes.
Linny: For a shonen ai (also known as Boy’s Love), the story has been very muted and toned down. There’s been little to no outright sexual or romantic overtones between our pairs, save for some discreet pairing in the credits. But that could be because the show in general is very muted, both in colour and in tone. The events and characters in the story play out in such a restrained manner that Hitorijime starts off feeling like a slow slice of life with some occassional comedic reactions thrown in.
Tom: It is surprising how un-Boy’s Lovey this episode was. For a show marked as a Shounen Ai, or Boy’s Love tale, there’s a distinct lack of imagery helping to ‘ship’ Setagawa and Kosuke, or really anyone else. As characters go there was only one stand out, Kosuke’s younger brother, who has a way more lively and hectic personality than everyone else.
Linny: Kensuke Ooshiba definitely steals the show because of the fact that he is the only one who seems to be constantly reacting out loud to all sorts of news and events. Some might dismiss him as obnoxious and trope-y but he does help inject life into what is otherwise a rather slow story and becomes one of the most memorable characters from the episode.
Tom: Hitorijime my Hero is decent. There’s character development, a bit of drama, and moves at acceptable enough a pace. But it just doesn’t stand out, no matter how flashy its lead’s hair color is.
Linny: Hitorijime My Hero’s biggest flaw so far is its confusing narration style and the resulting inability to establish its own story and character. While you do get a bit of background on some characters, it’s not enough to really give viewers a true feel and the muted story telling doesn’t help them pop either. However, if it continues to be this restrained with its shonen ai elements as well, it could potentially please viewers seeking a romantic boys love story that isn’t shoving sexual imagery down your throat every single chance it gets and instead offer a realistic and reasonable boys love tale.
Hitorijime my Hero is available for streaming via Amazon’s Anime Strike Channel.