Sep 30, 2017
LegendAqua (All reviews)
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!"