On most counts, Heroman is not a good show. The characters are uninteresting (bordering on the annoying) and for the moment the story’s rather dull as well. Although it has the potential to be good, I don’t think it’ll ever live up to that. I probably feel this way because I’m not the show’s intended audience – even though I do like a fair amount of shounen, they’ve never been as basic as this.
But I’ve said before that despite a show being cliched, it can still be awesome. The last two examples of this ended up in miserable failure, but my feelings at the start of those series still stand. They had some interesting elements that stood out despite how generic the rest of the shows were. The same thing can be said for Heroman, where I find one thing that keeps me watching week to week: the quick progression of the plot.
The best part of Heroman is that even though there are re-used tropes everywhere (the irritating bully turning to the dark side, the idiot hero and his much smarter sidekick) none of it is as annoying as it should be since the show moves at such a great pace. Before you’re able to focus on the flaws, something different is happening or some facet of the story is being built upon. One of the problems I have with some shounen that I read/watch is that it doesn’t go anywhere – the pacing is just too slow. I’ll watch an episode or read a chapter and feel like nothing has really happened. However, Heroman manages to avoid this quite well.
So far, outside the fact the captain of the alien invaders is clearly the Big Boss (OR IS HE!?), there’s been no hint of an end point for what’s going on in the show. After the origin episode, the events of each episode propel the next. Each episode ends on a cliffhanger or a new event that’s going to be the focus of the next episode, keeping things interesting and giving the viewer a reason to come back. After the beginning, you’d expect some sort of acclimation period where Joey gets used to his powers through monsters-of-the-week, developing his abilities for an arc against a major antagonist. Instead, the scale of the show increases each episode, as do the stakes. Just when things seem to be fine for a moment, another crisis appears giving the protagonists no time to rest. It seems to me that things will keep developing to encompass the whole world (as it rightly should, being about alien invasion and all).
The quick pacing and linear progression are so refreshing and they’re what keep me watching Heroman despite all of its faults. I just hope it doesn’t end up being another Basquash!. Then again, with an FLCL-esque villain on the way, I don’t think I’ll be that disappointed. Unless they keep having Heroman pose during every episode. God, that is awful.