Heroman Anime

Anime Review

As American pop culture has traditionally sparked Japan interest, it should surprise no one that comic legend Stan Lee has turned his pen toward the land of the rising sun. Trying to find a new breed of "True Believers," Heroman is Lee's second work published/animated for Japan. Heroman — the name should say it all.

Drenched it hot dogs and American Flags, Heroman is a walking (though non-offensive) stereotype of Americana, wrapped up in classic (silver age) superhero tropes. Let me spell it out for you. Protagonist "Joey Jones" lives in the super average/large/suburban anytown of "Center City." His best friend plays guitar and rides skateboards, while his love interest is a cheerleader with an overprotective jock brother. Joey, for no explained reasons, spends his free time assisting the town's most eccentric and brilliant scientist, Dr. Denton. 
 Fascinated by space, the good doctor created a signal that actually managed to reach alien life. Of course, these aren't your galactic diplomats, they are invading type. The "skrugs," as they are called, are bent on enslaving humanity, and only the efforts of Joey Jones and his friends can save the city. Well, I say Joey and co., but what I really mean is Heroman. A champion with little motivation or backstory, Heroman is pretty much as boring as they come. A Deus-ex-machina machine come to life, the nearly soulless automaton, Heroman is a remote control toy that was mysteriously empowered by mysterious blue lighting.
 Now, capable of transforming a one foot tall hunk of plastic into a beefcake robot, the duo goes where help is needed. Okay, okay, we're critical, we're jaded, but beneath it all, this really could have been a Marvel comic from the 70's. Those looking for the modern drama of conventional comics might not appreciate the silver age tones Stan Lee uses. To be fair, as the Godfather of Marvel Comics, it only seems like giving us anything else would probably be untrue to the man.

All and all, there's fun to be had watching Heroman. The absolute explosion of conventional tropes, mired in hold over clothing styles, leaves a feeling that brains should be checked at the door. Bright, colorful, and overflowing with Japanese styled Americana, Heroman accomplishes what it set out to do. Those looking for a more transcendental work need not apply, but if can imagine a serious work about a robot draped in the American Flag, than it will probably give you just enough to satisfy.