Action Heroine Cheer Fruits Anime Review : Local Heroines Save The City in Their Own Way

Action_Heroine_Cheer_Fruits_031Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is a 2017 anime about high school girls becoming local heroine to increase the popularity of their own city. The concept is similar to Love Live and Locodol combined actually but instead of idol, they become heroine instead. Not real heroine though, just a heroine for local stage performance. The idea of using action heroine concept is original but like I said, it is similar to Love Live and Locodol means the idea isn’t totally original. But let’s talk about that later.

The anime was aired from July 7, 2017 to September 29, 2017. Which means this anime was finished less than one month ago at the time I write this article. The total episode is 12. This anime comes directly as anime, not from manga, game, or light novel adaptation. So, the studio have more freedom to work with the concept. The studio behind this anime is Diomedea. This is a well-known studio with popular and respectable works in their record like Kantai Collection, Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, Kodomo no Jikan, and many more. So you can expect this anime to be high quality.

Story
Action heroine has gained popularity in Japan. Each city have their own action heroine. The most popular of all heroine is Kamidaio, a girl with divine power given by the gods to protect her city. Then we were introduced to two main characters, Kise Mikan and Akagi An. Mikan is a shy girl while An is a very energetic one. Mikan is carrying her little sister, Yuzuka in a bicycle. The two of them see An running in a hurry but tripped and almost fall. Luckily, An managed to land perfectly due to her gymnastic skill. The three of them are going for the same objective, watching Kamidaio show which was scheduled in their city hall. Unfortunately, due to certain circumstances, the show is cancelled. Yuzuka is crying and Mikan promised her that she could watch Kamidaio later to calm her.

Mikan is panic in her heart because she don’t know what to do. However, after remember witnessing An’s agility, she requests An to perform as Kamidaio for her little sister. An accept Mikan’s requests without hesitation. Then, the two train together for their show.

The time for their show has arrived. All of viewers are children and quickly laugh at them when Mikan show up with her costume. But not too long after that, the kids turn out to be impressed with An’s movement. Without realizing, someone secretly records a video of their performance. However, the ending of their performance turns out to messed out with a tower built from warring state collapsed after An jumped from it.

In the next day, Mikan still feels guilty because of the incident. She and An is summoned by the student council president, Shirogane Misaki. She also meet Misaki’s best friend, Kuroki Roko. Misaki reveals her plan and later, they also meet with the rest of the members, Aoyama Genki and Midorikawa Mana. On the later part of the story, three more members, Shimura Kanon, Aoyama Yuki and Momoi Hatsuri also join them.

Okay, that is the preview. Watch the rest to know the story more. Next part is about my own opinion of the story. No matter how it looks like, I get the feeling that the story resembles Futsu no Joshi Kousei ga Locodol Yatte Mitta after watching episode 2. At the same time, the idea also resembles Love Live. But they are trying to save their own city instead of school. That is the idea in Locodol if you hadn’t watch it. To increase people’s interest of their own city. And the similarities with Love Live is where all people who carry the objective is high school girls. Oh, not to mention there are 9 of them. The exact same number, eh?

Although they have similarities, Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is about Action Heroine, not Idol. So this is where they try to differ the concept. So yeah. The similarities with Locodol ends there. Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is a light weight and cheerful story. But unlike Locodol, the story is not without conflict. There is still a conflict of feelings in the later part of the story but not as high as Love Live. Overall, it is still very interesting and entertaining but not as much as Locodol. If you were looking for anime with cute girls with light weight story. Action Heroine Cheer Fruits might be something you wanna watch.

Of course, a story is likely never perfect. Action Heroine Cheer Fruits carries a lot of visible flaw in the story. The flaw is likely the similar flaws with Love Live. Probably because the concept or idea of high school girls can anything are similar between the two anime. Therefore, the carry similar flaws as well. These flaws don’t happen in Locodol because Locodol do a much more realistic approach. Should Action Heroine Cheer Fruits follows Locodol’s concept, it could twice better.

Animation
I have no doubt studio Diomedea will produce more than just good looking animation. The animation looks cheerful and colorful just like how the story should be. It doesn’t offer cinematic feels like in Kancolle Movie. But honestly, having cinematic looking animation for this kind of anime is a miss too. So I think it is good for what it is. However, I need to point out that the chara design is too cute. Too cute that I think they resemble Middle School Girls (or Junior High School) more than High School Girls. I don’t even know the chara are in high school in the early part of the story because of the chara design.

Sound & Music
Sound effect and music are the best part in this anime. Likely because this anime is about theater where sound effect and music plays important part too. They actually works so well with the overall experience of the anime. The opening theme song is 「情熱☆フルーツ」by “Jounetsu☆Fruit”. It is a very good and catchy song that matches the opening animation perfectly. The ending theme song is「陽の当たる場所」”Hi no Ataru Basho” also performed by トキメキ感謝祭 (Tokimeki Kanshasai) in the last episode. But from episode 1-11, the song only performed by three or four persons from the unit and the members performing the song change between episodes. The ending theme is also very good. Both song sounds cheerful which fit the anime concept perfectly.

Characters
There are 9 main characters in the story.

Shirogane Misaki
Voiced by: M・A・OAction_Heroine_Cheer_Fruits_Misaki
The student council president and the grand daughter in Shirogane family who is well-known in the city. She always works really hard to contribute to her city. But bad luck ruins her hard work quite often. Despite that, she is able to managed everything in a calm way.

Personally, I think Misaki is too mature for age. The burden that she must carry is too much for a high school girl. Not to mention the cute character design doesn’t suite her mature personality.

Akagi An
Voiced by: Itou MikuAction_Heroine_Cheer_Fruits_An
The one with outstanding gymnastic performance. An is a big fan Kamidaio and other super hero series. She is capable to do the almost exact copy of super hero movement thanks to her trained body. She is very cheerful and likely someone who never gets any stresses. Her role in Cheer Fruits is as the center heroine.

An is what a cheerful high school girl should be. She is still naive but has curiosity and willing to learn more. However, her gymnastic skills is totally overkill for a high school girl like her.

Kuroki Roko
Voiced by: Murakawa RieAction_Heroine_Cheer_Fruits_Roko
Misaki’s best friend since middle school (or Junior high school). The one who is always there when Misaki need someone. The two used to be in Tennis club in during middle school. Roko is a very loyal and care to Misaki. She usually calls Misaki as Captain.

Roko is much more normal for a high school girl. She is very athletic because she used to be in Tennis club but on a more normal level for high school girl standard.

Kise Mikan
Voiced by: Yamazaki EriiAction_Heroine_Cheer_Fruits_Mikan
A very shy and naive girl. Her appearance resembles Minami Kotori from Love Live but Mikan is cuter due her younger appearance. Mikan writes the script for their performance. She really cares of her younger sister and always gives her best to not disappoint the others.

Mikan is my favorite chara due to her cuteness and naive personality and also due to her similar appearance with Kotori. Mikan’s personality fits middle school girl more but still makes sense for high school girl.

Aoyama Genki
Voiced by: Ishida HarukaAction_Heroine_Cheer_Fruits_Genki
A girl with disability. Genki lost her ability to walk properly due to something not told in the story. But the flashback also tells us that she can stand normally during her childhood. Genki knows how to edit work with computer like a genius. She knows how mix music and edit videos. Even better, she knows how control lighting as well. In the later part, she becomes the director of Cheer Fruits. Her singing ability is the best of all Cheer Fruits.

Genki is one of the few chara whose ability does not makes sense for common high school girl. Her ability to control everything behind the scene is too unrealistic, especially for a high school girl.

Aoyama Yuki
Voiced by: Ishida HarukaAction_Heroine_Cheer_Fruits_Yuki
Genki’s elder sister. The two look alike so they probably twins but Yuki was born earlier. Yuki used to be an idol but she gave up on the way. She lacks of confidence. Genki later convinced her to join Cheer Fruits as one of the heroine. Yuki’s experience as idol helps Cheer Fruits to expand their performance even more.

Unlike Genki, Yuki doesn’t posses any over kill ability. She is pretty normal for high school girl. The reason why Yuki’s singing is told to be so good is because her experience as idol which relates to her own seiyuu, Ishida Haruka who was a former member of AKB48.

Midorikawa Mana
Voiced by: Hirose YuukiAction_Heroine_Cheer_Fruits_Mana
Mana is the daughter of priest in the local shrine. The patrons of shrine has been reduced so she decide to make money from Cheer Fruits by renting the hall to Cheer Fruits and later by selling Cheer Fruits goods. She is the type who seized any opportunity to make money quickly. She is the one who makes costumes for Cheer Fruits.

Mana isn’t weird for high school girl standards. It’s just her way of thinking about making money is too much. But one the good side, she is not the type who back stab her friends for money. Just seizing the right opportunity from the right timing.

Momoi Hatsuri
Voiced by: Toyota MoeAction_Heroine_Cheer_Fruits_Hatsuri
Hatsuri is the daugher of the owner of Momoi Heavy Construction. She refers Misaki as “Gozen-sama” which shows how big her respect Misaki is. Hatsuri knows about carpenter works, explosions, and crane operations. But since she is just little girl, it quite often that her works ended up with a mess.

Hatsuri uses “Boku” to refer oneself which is the polite way of man refering oneself. However, she doesn’t look like a tomboy at all. Her father and his employee are rather irresponsible for letting someone like her to use explosives without proper guidance.

Shimura Kanon
Voiced by: Shiraishi HarukaAction_Heroine_Cheer_Fruits_Kanon
An’s rival when it comes to gymnastic performance. Kanon’s performance is not as great as An’s however. Kanon is the daughter of high-class family. She uses “Watakushi” to refer oneself and she often look down to others just from the way she talks. She is the ojou-sama-type chara in this anime. She is often ad-libs her performance which is criticized at one point by Genki.

Kanon doesn’t show any over kill ability even though her gymnastic skills can rival An’s. But since we’re in anime, adding Ojou-sama character will make the character variations more complete, eh?

Voice Acting
Overall, the voice acting is almost excellent with a few exceptions.

While M・A・O-san’s performance is respectably very good, it just feels not right with her chara. It sounds too mature for high school girl.

Mikku’s voice sounds too childish for high school girl. Making me think about the charas are in middle school on early episodes. However, this is inline with her character’s personality.

Rieshon’s voice sounds too mature for her chara on early episodes but later turn out to just right. Coming from Rieshon’s own voice which sounds annoying, this is really a very close to excellent voice acting of her.Erii-chan’s voice is so soft and gentle, nailing the personality of her perfectly. I consider her voice acting to be the best in this anime even though she is the youngest seiyuu.

Haru-kyan’s have two roles here but the voice between the two charas doesn’t sound too distinct. Just from the voice alone, it is difficult to guess which voice belongs to who.

Hiro-chan’s voice resembles Mizuki Nana quite a lot. And I am not the first one or the only who said that. Her voice is energetic and have power. I’d say she is the second best in this anime.

Moeshi’s voice here resembles her voice when voicing Kawashima Sapphire in Hibike Euphonium. The cuteness fits her chara nicely though. Especially both charas are shorts and looks childish.

Haru-nyan’s voice acting is rather unusual here due to her chara personality. But she did very good in this anime which shows her ability to voice different type of characters.

Action_Heroine_Cheer_Fruits_Seiyuu.jpg
The seiyuus, from left to right :
Haru-nyan, Hiro-chan, Mikku, M・A・O-san, Rieshon, Haru-kyan, Erii-chan, Moeshi

Final Thoughts
I think this anime is worth to watch even with visible flaws here and there. Love Live was accepted positively even with the more-or-less similar flaw, right? I think this show is just following idol trend in Japan and try to change the recipe. But perhaps the concept of Action Heroine is not yet ready for the market. Other than that, I really like the music. The animation is very good and the voice acting sounds great. The ending told me that season 2 is possible with current storyline. However, due to the not-so-good reception, I doubt 2nd season would happen.

Story 8
Animation 8
Sounds & Musics 9
Characters 8
Voice Acting 8
Overall 8
Rated as Very Good

Pros :
(+) Light weight and entertaining story
(+) Colorful and cheerful looking animation
(+) Great Music
(+) Great voice acting

Cons :
(-) Many visible flaws in the story
(-) Lack of character development

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