Heroman Episode #26 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, September 23, 2010
Release Date: Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kogorr's plans to utterly destroy the world are revealed and Joey must find what's truly within him before he can finish off the fight and save the world.

What They Say
A boy who looked up to heroes met "Heroman" and overcame countless battles and crises. As the world heads toward its end, a single boy, this "Joey Jones", stands up against mankind's greatest foe, Kogorr. To protect the world, and his friends, Joey makes a firm decision. Does his fierce gaze peer toward a sparkling future, or something else... Now is when a true hero is born!

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The final arc of the series has brought us to what I've found to be a really good point as we're seeing Washington DC under siege in a very detailed way. Joey and Heroman, along with Will, are finding themselves facing off against Kogorr once again after he's been absent since the first arc. Instead of making him a recurring threat by showing up every episode or in every arc in between, they kept him out of the picture until now and that adds a nice element to it. And Kogorr is definitely ticked off about all of it as he intends to completely end the world, with the audience getting a nice view of some serious destroyed other worlds that the Skrugg have visited.

Joey is running out of time to deal with things though as Hughes informs the rest of the gang that they need to get away as the whole area is about to be wiped off the face of the Earth. Not that you'd think it would have much effect on the Skrugg technology. That was a big theme at the start and realistically humanity has not made anything since then through what research they got that would deal with the Skrugg outside of befriending Heroman and Joey. With the epic battle for the fate of humanity at hand, Heroman does the expected job and there aren't any real challenges here that you can't predict. Yet, it is thoroughly enjoyable, even if not on the scale as the opening storyline.

Heroman has played with some very basic concepts and executed them well often, but not all the time. The first arc gave us a quiet invasion, one where it was bereft of music quite often and kept to simple chills and proper panning shots. This arc does more of that, though not to the same extent, while bringing in a different sense of danger to it all. What hurt the series was the middle section of it all at times. The mad scientist segment went on too long and proved to be an over the top moment inside what was otherwise viewed as a rather serious alien invasion storyline with some outlandish elements. And after the halfway mark, Heroman waffled in what it really wanted to accomplish as it brought in Holly and sort of just wandered around in terms of the story. It lacked something cohesive to really drive it all home in a strong way. The show has regained some of its strength, but not all, with the final arc here.

The characters of Heroman is what made it possible to get through this middle sections. Heroman gave us the enjoyable premise at the start about Lina, the hot cheerleader, being interested in her childhood dorky friend Joey. And watching those two in the middle arc, when they were together, discovered they both do like each other and started dating some, provided some of the best material there. There was a certain charm to it that isn't there with a lot of other teenage romances in that they actually progressed some in it and there wasn't a host of other suitors for either of them. It kept the focus on them and I felt that the interest in each other came across in a clear way that left me smiling and wanting to see more of it.

In Summary:
Heroman wowed me in that first arc and it was more than enough to make me carry through to the end. The show definitely has a weak middle, one that can easily shake off people, but there was a lot mixed into it that I enjoyed thoroughly. The end run of the series offers a similar feel to the first, though a few notches short of it, with the added bonus of showing us such a well represented Washington DC under siege like no other show has done before. It all has its elements of danger, emotion and anguish, but in the end it does play things predictably yet still connects well. I like these characters. I like the relationships in it that have been developed. And the style of the production overall has impressed me by actually doing several things very different from the anime norm. Heroman is a series that has a lot going for it and really is what people have said we need in something that's more of a crossover mainstream show since it avoids copious fanservice and very Japanese-centric cultural things. It's a solidly enjoyable mainstream show that does most things right. Very recommended and one that I hope gets picked up, given a fantastic dub cast, and gets a TV deal.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.



Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Crunchyroll
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Heroman