To Be Hero – Preview
To Be Hero:
Original Air Dates: October 5th, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: ‘Old Man’ is a very attractive, but terrible slob and failure as a father. He works as a toilet seat designer, divorced from his wife, and lives with his daughter, Min-chan, who is both very smart and athletic. However, one day after coming home scolded by his daughter for hitting on another pack of floozies, Old Man takes a dump and gets sucked down into the toilet bowl and sewers! There he’s given an important job by a strange muscular individual: to become a hero and save the world! As Old Man returns to his normal life he discovers his good looks are gone, replaced with a chubby frame in exchange. Now he must battle to protect the Earth and his daughter Min-chan!
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: The characters and art in To Be Hero are little different from the usual, a hint to the fact that it is an original series with no source material and thus, able to experiment freely with its style. Adding to its novelty is its rather catchy ED song that’s clearly in Mandarin and not Japanese which is rather unique in anime.
Tom: To Be Hero’s art varies wildly in style and quality. At times its animation is seemingly amateurish, or perhaps mildly artistic in its rendering of characters, particularly in the opening animation. At others, the art can look quite impressive, at least compared to the rest of the series’ animation quality. Despite it’s amateurish tone what’s here is by no means bad, and adds a certain charm to everything, much like Mob’s unique style had its own.
Linny: The comedy in the episode is pretty low brow for the most part but considering this is the story of someone who gets sucked into a toilet, you probably deduced that already. The opening sequences try to extract some humour from having a sleazy philanderer hitting on some women with low morals and even lower IQs though you might find some of the ‘jokes’ more baffling than funny. Also the fact that comedy is supposed to be derived from the idea that a once handsome dude is now a fat, unattractive guy feels uninspired but does leave an impression.
Tom: The show’s odd ball humor is in your face from the get go. And sometimes that absurdity works, garnering chuckles from sheer “wtf?” knee-jerk reactions. But To Be Hero doesn’t know when enough is enough, often hammering home a certain line of humor for too long before switching gears. It ultimately drives jokes into the ground and stops them from being funny. This gives To Be Hero a sort of ‘up down up down’ quality as it bounces between amusing and painful to watch.
Linny: There are quite a few unanswered questions for now but given the short runtime and the fact that the anime itself acknowledges and calls out some of it, like Old Man himself wondering exactly what his new superhero powers are. To Be Hero makes it clear that this was intentional and information will most likely be dispensed over the course of the anime’s run rather than left intentionally obtuse forever. It’s obvious that the show will in part be about Old Man’s journey of self discovery and hopefully betterment as right now, he isn’t exactly an appealing lead in any shape or form.
Tom: Old Man, the only name given to our lead, is indeed funny, especially with how outrageous he can be. But he’s also the main source of dragged out jokes, harping on perverted interests and an obsession with women a tad too often. It gets to the point where it nearly ruins his character, although To Be Hero always pulls back just before destroying its relationship with the audience, moving onto some new tangent that, in time, will too be beaten into the ground and dragged out.
Linny: For every pervy father in anime, there’s an annoyed and abusive daughter, and To Be Hero is no exception. In this case, the daughter plays a nice contrast to her father, in that she is completely repulsed by his behaviour and constantly calls him and his paramours out for their inappropriate and idiotic behaviour. It’s always nice to see strong and independent girls in anime, though in this case, she has been portrayed as excessively violent as part of the comedy. You can also pin that to how she doesn’t let anyone get away with treating her wrong.
Tom: I’m cautiously optimistic for To Be Hero. At times it was funny, odd and strange, but funny. But its humor wore itself out frequently, and it was already after I’d stopped finding the jokes funny that it would finally switch to a new line of comedy. I’m hopeful however, that once To Be Hero gets into it’s rhythm it’ll course correct faster, before jokes over stay their welcome.
Linny: To Be Hero is the kind of show I would expect to show teenage boys and have them in stitches. It’s crude, crass, violent and its jokes tends to go on for too long. However, when it does land a joke, it’s hilarious enough to make you feel like the show is worth watching and following with some cautious expectations. I’ll admit that my opinion of it is also greatly influenced by the fact that it has one of the catchiest and sweetest ending songs I have personally heard in a while. If you pick up this show with low expectations and a crude sense of humour, you’re in for a delight.
To Be Hero is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com