Unique in its focus compared to many recent anime titles that focus around pop idols, Action Heroine Cheer Fruits' main focus is on the formation of a local heroine group formed by a group of nine teenage girls to aid in their town's struggling popularity. Anime fans may be be familiar with local hero live-action acts being depicted in a number of anime titles. They basically serve as a stage version of tokusatsu series that are formed by local committees in Japan to entertain children, promote tourism for the town they represent, and support their local economies.
As far as the handling of the show goes, it has its ups and downs. The first episode starts things off fairly strong with the introduction of Ann and Mikan's characters in their amateur attempt to do their own show modeled after a local heroine. But they do lose some focus with the introduction of Misaki's character, who gets more prominent focus through the remainder of the series. Other characters are introduced through the anime's first half to add more stage effects and enhance the performances of the heroine group as they form Cheer Fruits. Besides Misaki, some of the other characters do get their developments that aid them in supporting the efforts of the Cheer Fruits group and giving them unique personality quirks to give them some more dimension, including a unique instance of having a wheelchair-bound character in the form of Genki whose disability is subtly shown and contributes to story developments with her and her sister, former idol Yuki. Others, like Kanon and Mamoi, are largely pretty one-note with their characters and don't do much else after their debut episodes beyond serving whatever character type they are meant to depict.
Outside exploring the characters, Cheer Fruits does a pretty solid job embracing the action hero premise. Besides nods and references to other tokusatsu shows, the series explores the planning that the girls get into with scripting, costumes, fight choreography, and stage effects for their performances. The typical elements of action hero shows are present in their performances with the color theme of the hero costumes, battling against costumed villains, and having the audience participation element for children to provide the heroes with power-up encouragements through their cheering. The fight choreography during the performances have their moments of being engaging, though often suffers from Diomedea trying to cut corners with animation through frequent use of montage sequences.
In short, Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is pretty mixed as far as quality goes. Its premise is a fresh focus on the local hero scene of Japanese communities and a number of the characters do get some fleshing out and development. But not all the characters are fleshed out and for a series with fight choreography as its core element for its premise, the animation is mediocre at best. But for the unique focus alone, I'd at least suggest watching the series at least once to see if you enjoy it or not.
Last updated Thursday, October 28 2021. Created Thursday, October 28 2021.
(One episode watched):
This show struck me as silly, cute and modestly interesting. I was confused early on regarding whether Kamidaio was really a superhero (in anime anything is possible, after all), or just a TV personality--I think it was the latter. Apparently it has become fashionable for towns to create and sponsor their own fictional superheroes, as a sort of rural revival--it reminds me of Sakura Quest. The characters have some life to them and I was modestly curious about where this would go. But my hopes were not tremendously high, since the plot hadn't gotten all that deep; the biggest conflict had been keeping a little girl from becoming disillusioned about the fictional superheroine that she adores. I ultimately decided not to watch any more of Cheer Fruits, but other viewers might like it a good deal more than I did.
Last updated Tuesday, April 14 2020. Created Friday, July 21 2017.