Stand My Heroes: Piece of Truth – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Newcomer Rei Izumi is joining the narcotics investigation unit of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. As a scout for the newly created STAND, she’s going to recruit the most unique of agents, investigators, and informants to make up a specialized team to safeguard the country. And their first mission is to discover the hazardous drug destroying the lives of innocent Tokyo citizens. (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Stand My Heroes is anything but exciting. We open just as the government’s newest anti-drug task force, STAND, is being created. Like literally, as if the ink just dried on the seal of approval. People are being appointed to positions and they’re only just selecting the primary recruitment officer, and series lead, Rei Izumi, a girl who doesn’t exactly seem suited to such an important role. It’s a pretty boring introduction and only gets worse from there as Rei encounters potential STAND candidate after candidate for what feels like 15 minutes straight. Already the very concept of a recruitment officer bringing people onto the job, rather than actively combating Japan’s drug problem, feels like it’s missing the mark on exciting drama, and this first episode doesn’t do much to sway those fears. Heck the show even realizes this is kind of a boring take, eventually putting Rei into duty herself, even though the job wouldn’t really call for action like that. And even when we get to an exciting chase involving Rei and potential STAND members hunting down a would-be assassin it still somehow manages to make even that dull and plodding.
Linny: It doesn’t help matters that Rei, our heroine and protagonist is dull in looks and personality. Visually, she has the dark hair and big eyes common to a lot of self insert female game characters (Stand My Heroes is based off a mobile game of the same name) and the show makes little attempt to expand and establish her personality beyond her gaming origins as a playable protagonist. This means we only know enough about her as needed to keep the plot moving aka how she was once fired for acting purely on her instincts and that apparently for whatever reasons, she is immune to drugs and this, somehow, also makes her the best choice for recruiting members of this new, anti drug, task force. The lack of personality and logic means she fails to stand out or hold her ground as a protagonist and remains as blank as the self insert she used to be in the original game.
Tom: Likely an attempt to make Rei, as a playable character in the original game, feel like she’s special and important we learn that she apparently has the implausible and unusual ability of being totally immune to any kind of drug. There’s no explanation for this unique and contrived quirk, yet it’s toted both as a reason she’s perfect to combat Japan’s drug problem as well as why she’s totally ill-suited to the job. It’s a quirk that really has no immediate benefits except in the most contrived of scenarios, which the series does offer up before 1st Episode’s end, struggling to justify why being immune to drugs has any bearing, at all, on one’s ability to apprehend evil drug dealers. How it helps with recruiting the best agents to hunt down narcotics dealers, which is what her actual job is supposed to be, is beyond me though.
Linny: As Tom described earlier, episode one is basically a parade of ikemen (handsome male) characters for the audience to fawn over, all men of great abilities and highly sought after as potential members of STAND. If all you want to do is drool over pretty faces and daydream about a harem consisting of said ikemen, then you’re definitely the perfect audience for this show. However, if you’re seeking anything more, Stand My Heroes plays its story out in such a bland and uninspired manner that it’s hard to find anything else that stands out besides its pretty boy parade.
Tom: Linny can’t be echoed enough here. This show is brimming with pretty boys. Every potential candidate for her team is a generically handsome devil, likely offering players of the original game an absolute bevy of men to romance, but those benefits disappear when we’re talking about merely watching the anime adaptation. They’re paraded through so fast here that you’ll start to get them mixed up before the episode is even over. Really, unless you’re just dying for swathes of pretty boys across your screen there simply isn’t anything compelling in Stand My Heroes’ premiere. I’m even tempted to say this anime adaptation shouldn’t exist, as it feels like a story that has far more intrinsic value in its original, interactive, medium.
Stand My Heroes is available for streaming via Funimation.