I have realized that sometimes you really do need full descriptions of things sometimes not to be mislead. While browsing over at Crunchyroll’s website, their featured article slider had this anime called “To Be Heroine” in it, and the whole premise of going to another world and becoming a hero was one I had always liked. Looking at my track record, I loved Re:Zero — Starting Life in Another World (Re：ゼロから始める異世界生活) and Outbreak Company (アウトブレイク・カンパニー 萌える侵略者) So I figured another anime based around this premise would be absolutely fine and maybe welcomed.
The anime itself started off very seriously by exploring the internal struggle of our protagonist, Futaba Hanayama, with how the world gives you an illusion of having choice where none really exists. She presents the constant worries of transitioning into adulthood and their lack of true options you begin to have as you get older with more freedom; suggesting that the freedom to choose anything is not actual a rational thought. She begins to show how infinite possibilities in a modern society is not reality, that as you grow older things are narrowed down and your entire life will revolve around your choices, yet sometimes the best answer at that time is simply not the best one as life continues on.
The ebb and flow of her mind is one that many young adults and approaching middle-aged people can relate to; you want your life to have meaning and for you to choose what is best, but you are worried about the real world consequences those decisions will have and the impact your future will take because of the very weight needed to even make the choice, let alone bare the outcome. This is all done seemingly will the main character, Futaba, as the narrator so her thought process is seemingly one of intricate thinking due to her weaving together the false ideologies of everyone being able to do whatever they want as they grow up.
Whilst answering a question from her teacher, akin to the “world is not full of infinite options, it’s a multiple choice question with only one right answer”, she posted on her cell phone, “I want to go to another world”. Immediately she stepped through that door and opened her eyes to what lied before her; her wish came true!
Transporting to this new unfamiliar place, it seems that the premise of the anime would soon be explained as she ran into a baby wearing 23.4 karat gold underwear; wait, what?! Not only that, but it appears that that she gains the ability to speak Japanese here, as up until this point the show was in entirely Chinese.
What I Got
Apparently the world is engulfed within darkness and are fighting to regain that light back from little mafia babies who are hogging all the powers of the clothing to themselves (clothes as weapons is a bit Kill a Kill-ish, is it not?). So apparently they have been wanting a hero to come from another world to help them out, it just so happens to be Futaba, and she is in disbelief at everything this baby is telling her needs to be done to survive the encounter he is currently in.
The baby explains that each piece of clothing that someone wears is able to summon a SpiCloth or a weapon used by one; such as her left-boot summoning the hero “Saimon Fubuki” and her right-boot becoming the leather sword he donnes. Furthermore, their adversary was Hanzou Hattori, who happened to be summoned from a tank top (though they say “100% Cotton Vest” in the anime, might just be differences in what we call things). Not only that, it seems that Saimon was Chinese and Hanzou was Japanese simply because of the origin of their clothes; weird. Not only that, but the underwear that everyone wears happens to be their life’s blood, meaning that they will die if it is removed or destroyed.
What is also weird about this anime is that ALL of the inhabitants of this world seems to be babies in their underwear, simply not taking into account that there are no other adults or even teenage looking people anywear (outside of those summoned by the SpiCloth to fight on their user’s behalf).
Comedy became front and center and the serious darker tone had been replaced, even the animation style reflected the more light-hearted route that this anime had taken all of a sudden. Heartfelt moments, perverted comedy, and ridiculous explanations seemed to come about in droves once Futaba was sent to this other world. Sure, it had a bit more of a serious tone when explaining why they were going to need to fight for this world’s survival, but even that last only a fleeting moment.
While the plot can make an immense amount of sense, which it does when it is explained, the act of actually executing it seems ridiculous in the context that this anime gives it. Seeing as our heroine is wearing plenty of clothing in this shower, and To Be Heroine‘s baby explains that the amount of clothing equals power, it is safe to say that those person’s we saw in the anime opening could be her SpiCloth familiars. Also, this anime is essentially saying that “the more clothes you have and the more you are willing to remove, the more powerful you become”. Yup, definitely very Kill la Kill-ish. Though, the interesting part is going to be that their SpiCloth fighters do not heal between battles and will keep any damage they have sustained.
There was quite a lot I was disappointed by actually watching this anime, the biggest letdown of the entire 1st episode of To Be Heroine has to be that Futaba does not actually fight. What actually happens is that “SpiCloth” battle on their users behalf, much like Pokémon do with their trainers. I was hoping when she began to imagine she had powers and the sequence following of her gaining immense power was actually going to be the anime rather than simple chuunibyou. I was also hoping that the premise of the anime w0uld be something dealing with her inner demons or perhaps gaining access to a world that was limited only by her imagination, which does not seem to be the case as clothing dictates what you can and cannot do.
Overall, this anime seems very over-the-top, perverted, but has amazing fight scenes and choreography that reminds me of those who animate the Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: The Legend of Korra shows. Perhaps down the line this shower will become more serious and the meaning symbolized by the opening sequences will translate over as the show lays itself out. Kill la Kill started off extremely light-hearted and slapstick and became increasingly bold in its statements and meanings.
To Be Heroine may very well surprise me, I am in it for the long haul since I have written this 1st Episode Impression, hopefully it does not disappoint going forward.