SUPER HXEROS – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

Oh I get it. The last three letters in “Hero” is “ero” and the “H” stands for “hentai”. Punny but I admit I did chuckle when I realize what the title is going for. The Japanese title, Dokyuu Hentai HxEros equally deserves a mention for having similar syntax to a Super Sentai title and “Hentai” rhyming with “Sentai”.

SUPER HXEROS reminds me a little bit of Akiba’s Trip in that this is an ecchi story with a blatant conceit for fan service but said conceit is so outlandish that it almost cancels out the gratuity. The supervillains in this show are insectoid aliens called Censor Bugs that absorb humans’ sexual energy to get stronger (it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s just as much fan art for them as there are for the human characters). Countering them are teenagers who channel their sexual energy via a wrist device to deal powerful attacks. A side effect of their powers is that their clothes get destroyed in the process. It’s a stupid excuse to get the characters naked but it’s potentially stupid enough to balance out any inherent gratuitousness brought by itself.

Much of the premiere centers around two characters. Retto (Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) is our main protagonist and if not leader of this team of superheroes, he’s certainly going to be leader of the inevitable harem. Alongside him you have his childhood friend, Kirara (Ai Kakuma). Despite her lifelong feelings towards Retto, Kirara acts very cold towards him and boys in general due to an incident with a Censor Bug. For a while, I got the impression she was traumatized from getting attacked but the ending reveals the alien couldn’t drain her entirely because her feelings towards Retto are so strong and lewd and the revelation of such embarrassed her to no end. It’s a bit far fetched given how young Kirara seems to be in this scene. Also, as funny as it is seeing the alien explode out of disbelief, you’d think finding someone with seemingly limitless sexual energy would be like hitting the jackpot for them. Why was that alien even going after someone who hasn’t reached puberty in the first place? Of course, I ask these questions knowing what kind of show this is.

The pilot seems to be pretty early in the story. At this point in time, the superhero team doesn’t have costumes yet and your one glimpse of them is in the OP. That’s a little disappointing especially given what their outfits apparently are. I’m just saying, if you reveal our protagonist’s costume has his crotch on fire and you’re saving it for after the premiere, you’re objectively doing something wrong here. You also don’t get to see the other three female characters until the very end though I must admit that it makes for a solid punchline. Kirara thinks she is the first ally in Retto’s quest to fend off the aliens only to find out that the harem has been built beforehand, agitating her. That’s easily the best joke in the episode.

Of course, fanservice is looking to be aplenty in this series. It’s not just the clothes getting ripped to pieces from all the fighting. There’s other instances like Retto doing the standard accidental groping of his female co-stars and one scene had an extra’s bikini top malfunction because reasons. I think I would’ve preferred it if the superhero fighting was the only time fan service happens. I know this is an ecchi anime but restraint does go a long way in making fan service effective (if you were to do it I mean). It’s also worth noting that the Funimation stream is using the censored version. That’s of course disappointing news for any ecchi fan and frankly, the censoring in this show is really stupid. For the most graphic moments, the show generally uses a sparkle effect to cover things up. It just looks too silly and distracting.

I’m someone who’s largely indifferent to ecchi and I’m also someone really stinking tired of superheroes in general so this show doesn’t really look to be for me. That said, this episode has some solid laughs up its sleeve so I don’t feel too compelled to drop the show just yet. And considering how dry this season is for anime, I definitely have the time to give this show a shot.

Thanks for reading!

Watch SUPER HXEROS on Funimation

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