After a "local action heroine" gains popularity in a particular town, elevating her and the region to national fame, small towns all across the country begin cultivating their own local heroines, sparking a boom in staged action heroine shows. Meanwhile, in the city of Hinano, a fruit-producing region, high school teen Misaki Shirogane is encouraged by her aunt and regional governor to produce her own local heroine theatrical troupe so that the town can ride the cultural wave before it's too late.
If you've seen Love Live before it's very clear where Action Heroine Cheer Fruits takes its inspiration from. They both have 9 main cast members and the whole concept of how the Cheer Fruits rank up and build a more local brand is directly copied from Love Live. While that does make it have a lot of Love Live's pluses and faults, what Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is able to do is add to it with its own unique charm and ideas.
First, the foremost interesting point about Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is its subject matter. Rather than be the
thousandth iteration of an idol anime it focuses on something else entirely, that being super sentai like units. The unique premise itself is something I enjoy to see and personally, I enjoy it when shows are able to showcase more uncommon ideas and themes. It's not just that it covers local heroines but it's able to portray them well and show some of the perks of that role. It's heartwarming to see them act for the kids and it's great to see the impact that a unit of local heroines has on the community. The effect of local performers like these have on their communities is not often focused on, so it was nice to see a show that is able to express that and show the power it can have on a community.
Furthermore, the way that they made their performances were also a joy to see. Considering these local unit performances are designed to do live on stage in front of a small selection of people it makes sense that they don't have the highest production values behind them. And it shows, not only in the weak production values of the show but how they get by that in their performances. They use ingenuity to make their performances impactful, using whatever things that they manufacture together to make the great performance that they want to do. Using things such as cranes and planning along with local events and timetables in order to provide the best performances they can. The way that they not only perform for the locals but manage to so effectively include the local events and culture into their performances is what makes their message of locality shine so much. They truly feel like a local unit through and through.
The characters suffer from the same problems that the character's from Love Live do. While the ideas behind the characters are interesting, like they are in Love Live, the sheer amount of them makes it hard to go into depth into them. While they do at least get an episode that they are able to have the spotlight, the spotlight has to be shared with the general plot and the performances. With 9 characters to balance between the only time, a character can really get focus is in their episodes. This leads to more flat feeling characters and ones that despite having their own charms are harder to really love in the same way that one can if they were given more time. Despite each character having very good moments and making a good impact in their episode, the lack of full focus keeps them from having the true power that strong characters can have.
The animation can be somewhat lackluster at times and considering that a good portion of the show is movement based this is a bit of a problem. Moments that could have been made much stronger with better animation are weakened by the low quality. The performances themselves had a lot to gain by having better quality. While on one hand, it does weaken the show on another it can be endearing. Because the show is so local based and is so unpolished it does reflect the nature of the town and the atmosphere that they have. While personally, I think it goes too low quality for some of its moments the general idea and reflection of itself is quite nice.
Another strong point of the show is the whimsical traits of the world. One of my favorite facts is that one of the girls lives in a train car out by the station. It's such a cool house and she even has a miniature train that goes around on the top of her room. It's not that important of a point, most of these whimsical traits aren't, but they're something I do love to see.
While Love Live is polished, pretty, and bombastic, Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is muted, homely, and local. While the two shows are dealing with a lot of the same subject matter and material the implementation between the two varies completely. And that's what makes Action Heroine Cheer Fruits much more than just a copycat. Even though its ideas are straight from Love Live, and even though some of its copies are done unnecessarily and make it too like the original, the overall feel and result of the two shows are quite different. And they both have their worth. Even though I like this more than Love Live I can understand why someone would like Love Live more. It has its own charms and while I personally really enjoy the atmosphere and message of Action Heroine Cheer Fruits it's not like Love Live is devoid of that, it just doesn't resonate with me as well. The only big quality difference between the two is that Action Heroine Cheer Fruits keeps it's forced drama to a minimum while Love Live loves to roll around in it like it was a pig in the mud. But for what could have been just a shameless copycat it has a lot of power and charm to it, making it a worthwhile show of its own.
Well I can't say that I thought this anime would have me writing my very first review, but here we go.
Action Heroine Cheer Fruits was by far the biggest surprise to me this season. I started watching this show on a complete whim and I wasn't expecting much from it at all, but to my surprise as it went on I started to actually really enjoy it.
Story: When I started watching this it seemed like it was going to be a classic cute girls doing cute things anime, which I mean it still kinda was but it was different than most I have seen before.
The story is about a group of girls trying to make it big by becoming their hometown's heroine group while having fun at the same time, and it develops quite well. We start off with just two of the eventual nine girls in total and they decide to try and put on a show for a few kids with nothing but a cardboard costume, then eventually progressing into something I doubt they even expected. I loved the progression of the story and watching them become a better team as a whole.
Art: The art style is nothing new nor is it that good but it was quite fitting of the theme in my opinion, it has a very colorful and lively feeling to it which keep me captivated the whole time.
Sound: The voice acting for the show was decent, some characters had more fitting voices than others but overall it was decent. The background music was very fitting as well and a couple of the OSTs were very memorable and catchy. Finally the opening song was good and really set the mood for the rest of the show and the ending song was decent with cute visuals.
Characters: Another very strong aspect of this show was it's characters. It's not like the characters personalities were entirely unique but that wasn't a huge problem for me. Nearly every character was developed fairy well which is something I don't see all that often with this type of anime. Each episode brought a new character and most had solid development, ranging from sad to heartwarming. As the characters joined the group they each found their place and every single one of them became an essential part of their productions ahead. From the cheerful and bouncy personality of Akagi to the sincere leader of the group Misaki, every character felt unique and important.
Enjoyment: This was a very fun, cute, and heartwarming anime to watch that brought unique elements to a common genre.
Overall: At the end of the day it was an enjoyable experience that was a complete surprise to me. I highly suggest giving this underrated anime a shot.
Sooo have Sakura Quest's quest to give a town recognition with Love Live's idol ranking just substitute idols with sentai action heroines...strangely it works.
To be honest here though, LA's first impressions on Action Heroine Cheer Fruits was not a great one, from Action Heroine Cheer Fruits' sentai element being amateur-ish (which WAS the point) and cringeworthy by that matter for such a simple matter of pleasing Mikan Kise's little sister. However Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is one of those animes where you need to take a step back and wait for it to get better and it does.
Action Heroine Cheer Fruits kickstarts with that incident
with the amateur show of pleasing Mikan Kise's little sister bringing in the sights of Misaki Shirogane voiced by M.A.O wanting to bring recognition to her hometown (as well as the main cast) of Hinano City. From there and after a copyright tongue and cheek moment, they form the sentai action heroine group of Hina-Nectar.
Action Heroine Cheer Fruits's characters are pretty diverse all things considering though they have shades of personality from the original Love Live. We have An Akagi (Hina-Red) voiced by Miku Ito who is essentially Honoka from Love Live but having a durable body and able to do many stunts on her own, she also has an unknown rivalry with Kanon Shimura (Hina-Black) voiced by Haruka Shirashi, Kanon herself is the regal ojou character who always wanted to beat An at everything, after she joins Hina-Nectar, she becomes the villain for the Hina-Nectar series because of her regal vocals working well for the bad guy role. Next is Mana Midorikawa (Hina-Green) voiced by Yuuki Hirose who is money hungry and goes for the MERCHANDISE MERCHANDISE for Hina-Nectar. Roko Kuroki voiced by Rie Murakawa is best friends with Misaki and is in the villain role for Hina-Nectar as it just suited her demeanor, also yeah Roko and Misaki got some slight yuri vibes here and there LA isn't gonna lie, another admirer of Misaki is Hatsuri Momoi (Hina-Pink) voiced by Moe Toyota who kinda takes things too far at times considering she's from a construction family and is the pyrotechnic expert of Hina-Nectar, ohh and she adores Misaki to the point of calling her Lady Gozen. Second to last are the Aoyama twin sisters both voiced by Haruka Ishida, Yuuki (Hina-Blue) does have character development as at first she's extremely paranoid by society thinking she's a failure and the Hina-Nectar group conforms and rids of her paranoia, however only after this she just become the supporting character to her sister Genki who is the mission control of the whole operation of Hina-Nectar shows as well as the strict trainer from hell during practice. Mikan (Hina-Yellow) who was the catalyst in the first place, she plays the role of scriptwriter in order to get rid of her shyness and is generally the heart of the show and able to rally the Hina-Nectar, yes she falls under the cliche that shy girls have but HOW she does it is quite different to say the least. Finally we have Misaki Shirogane (Platinum) who is the leader of Hina-Nectar behind the scenes and always thinking up ways to evolve Hina-Nectar, she has hints of character development in the form of her extremely bad luck and this becomes a plotpoint both in the Hina-Nectar show AND her own character resolution, if anything she gets the most character development from the Hina-Nectar group. Action Heroine Cheer Fruits' characters are diverse, distinct and memorable which it itself is a huge strength for this anime.
You want Hina-Nectar to succeed and by extension Misaki's true goal by the end of it, essentially rooting for the underdog to do their best, like Love Live did with idols and before LA starts, Action Heroine Cheer Fruits already has their own distinct personality of it's own with it's sentai element and characters themselves with their own quirks and mannerisms (though yeah genkiness is universal here, LA can't fault Action Heroine Cheer Fruits that) and to say that it's greatly deviating from Love Live to be it's own thing.
LA's favourite character would be either Kanon Shimura because of her nice chemistry with An as well as Genki due to her personality and funny quirk of strict trainer from hell.
The animation by diomedea is once again expected moe, from the character designs and the such, the sentai shows shown are pretty well done from the somewhat fluid battle motions the characters pull off though in the latter half of the anime, it tends to go with one-shot shots of character doing their motion and not much else, sometimes it's meant to show time passing but sometimes not-so as yeah diomedea isn't exactly the masters of animating fluid battles ALL the time like Bones but still the animated fight scenes are done well for the most part, LA won't fault diomedea on what they could do nonetheless. From that the special effects elements from the flashy flairs they pull off to the sentai shows are reminiscent of the old sentai shows only it's "live". diomedea did what diomedea did well, from the moe atmosphere and character designs to some flair done with it's sentai shows, typical but still well done.
The voice acting, LA would say that there are some slight squeakers in this anime cast (eg. Miku Ito as An, Erii Yamazaki as Mikan and Moe Toyota as Hatsuri), thankfully they aren't too annoying and rarely annoyed LA anyways. LA's favourite voice actor is the same as LA's favourite characters, Haruka Ishida and Haruka Shiriashi.
Action Heroine Cheer Fruits for LA is what happens when you are given a terrible first impression but it got better over time and surprisingly it did better than LA expected by the end of it, as the cast grew, their personalities clashed and interacted with each other all the more better for the characters, the Hina-Nectar show simultaneously having their own plotline in which LA being honest here, LA wanted to know what would happen next, like LA became 10 years old again, the sentai shows maybe campy and childish (the in-universe audience are targeted towards kids) yes but again due to knowing the cast members of Hina-Nectars and their struggles and developments as characters, we want to root for them and get into their creation of Hina-Nectar.
Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is a valiant effort from diomedea in making an anime original about action heroines in the sentai genre, from the great character development, nice and uniquely different premise, good animation and a great voice cast. Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is one of LA's surprising animes from the Summer of 2017 right next to and below Tsurezure Children. LA will say something LA had been saying about Action Heroine Cheer Fruits once LA started to get into it...
"Sakura Quest with Love Live but Sentai.....weird combination sure...but it strangely works!"
Because this show is so underrated, i write for you my experience and hoping you to watch this good series.
The story revolve around Hina-nectar, local heroine team from Hinano city, developing their team from zero to hero with their vigorous spirit and determination. (cuteness and generous included).
The story is heart-warming and not boring at all, the action and character development really balanced and pleasing. The comedy and cuteness are great and i really love it !
Story - 7
The story is well built, starting with the background story of the trending Local Heroine and the obligation, into the story of each team member. A decent SoL
with progressing and challenging story.
Art - 8
The artstyle is cute and balanced, not too vivid but really fit the genre and the anime at all.
The animation is enough, not so amazing but not disappointing. The character emotion and expression is the most i love.
Sound - 8
VA is good enough, quite memorable. BGM and sound effect are well, its fit the anime as a whole. OP and ED are good, not a type of auto skip.
Character - 8
They made this anime with really good character design and story, also fit with the artstyle and VA. All of the main character is interesting and has their own backstory and personality, really pleasing.
Enjoyment and directing - 9
Overall, this is a good SoL progressing and challenging. The heart-warming and cutness really satisfying, the humour and comedy is not gonna disappointing.
Overall score - 8
This anime really pleasing than a normal SoL that did nothing in whole all episode. You should give this a chance.