At first glance, a show called My Home Hero would suggest it to be a wholesome slice-of-life show and with slice-of-life being my favorite genre, the title alone piqued my interest enough to read the synopsis. After doing so, I was kind of taken aback by the darker, grittier premise which, to be honest, didn’t sound that bad. In fact, I saw some potential in it. So, I decided to check it out. Was a little misdirection between the title and synopsis able to create something worth watching?
We open up with a car accident and no explanation of it whatsoever. Then we switch to a man named Tetsuo sitting in a café reading reviews of his latest work. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem like much of an accomplished author. While going through reviews, someone in a hat, sunglasses, and PPE mask shows up. It’s revealed to be his daughter, Reika. When she takes everything off, she reveals a lot of bruises on her face.
It’s revealed that she is dating an abusive boyfriend named Nobuto. Before they can get too deep into the conversation, Reika gets angry and takes off. Tetsuo goes to visit her and hears some thugs on the street near her apartment talking about beating a girl. They state that her name was Reika but before he can do anything, a guy pulls Tetsuo aside, roughs him up, and blackmails him to keep his mouth shut.
He eventually visits and Nobuto shows up. He hides in the closet and after hearing him have an open conversation about being a member of the yakuza, he’s not going to take it anymore. He kills him right before his wife and Reika’s mother, Sayaka shows up. After he offers a loose explanation, she suggests that they do to him what the yakuza does to others… hide the body and cover everything up.
Of course, due to Nobuto being part of a crime syndicate, his disappearance doesn’t go unnoticed… especially by one of the heads of the syndicate, Yoshiatsu… who also happens to be Nobuto’s father. He wants answers and wants them now! Tetsuo is the top suspect so he’s roughed up and placed under the supervision of Kyouichi. So begins the story of Tetsuo and his wife Kasen playing a game of mental chess with the yakuza in order to cover up the fact that they murdered Nobuto!
He seems like a meek and timid salaryman; however, he clearly loves his family enough to go to such lengths as to murder his daughter’s abusive boyfriend. Because he’s an author, he uses his ability to create and fabricate plots to help him confuse and outwit the yakuza; however, the more he lies, the more lies he has to come up with in order to dig himself deeper and deeper into a hole. Because as such, the excuses he comes up with sound less and less intelligent and he seems to be only succeeding on dumb luck. I mean, if he were any good at this, he would be failing as an author now, would he?
Tetsuo’s personality is rather dry, though. There really isn’t anything that’s exciting about him. Even when he sets up his schemes, he doesn’t really seem like the intelligent type. In other words, don’t expect a deep mental battle like Light and L from Death Note with this guy. Most of the stuff he does to fool the Yakuza are just things most people would know. He just has a knack for using basic information against other people.
This makes him a rather weak main character but it’s also the fault of the story’s execution which I’ll get into later.
Okay… so this one struck me a bit oddly. What kind of humble housewife learns about her husband committing murder and then just agrees to be his accomplice? She didn’t really take much convincing (in fact, it was nearly none) to help cover up the murder. She knew full well what she was getting herself into, and yet, still went along with it. To top it off, he personality is dryer and more mundane than Tetsuo’s. Most of the time, it felt like a wet sponge talking more than an actual character.
There wasn’t any real drama with her and even in the back half of the show when she had to perform some things, she seemed as if she were completely incapable of doing it. Like with Tetsuo, it seems that she only succeeded through dumb luck… which is probably why the two of them are married! Plus, she can’t even lie to Reika about what’s going on without sounding super suspicious which hurts Reika as a character because if she can believe such obvious BS from her own mother, then she must be dumber than a box of dead, wet rats.
Oh, wait. She was dating Nobuto… she is dumber than a box of dead wet rats.
But seriously, there isn’t anything more I can say about this character because for a character that is supposed to be the focal point of everything that is happening in this show and WHY it’s happening, she was not only put on the back burner for most of it but she was moved off the back burner for other characters to take their place upon it.
Outside of being a typical teen girl in whatever airtime she received, there wasn’t much to her at all. In fact, until she resurfaced later on, I kind of forgot she was even in the show.
While a lot of yakuza members played some roles in this story, Kyouichi played the biggest since he was assigned to keep Tetsuo tied to the hip with him. He reminded me a lot of Shikamaru from Naruto in the sense that everything seemed like a pain to him. It was clear that he wanted nothing to do with this assignment; however, when Yoshiatsu tells you to jump, you have to ask “How high?” Not only do you have to ask, but you better jump when Nobuto is involved!
Honestly, Kyouichi was probably the best character in this entire show. His backstory, how he fell into the yakuza, how he started to open up to Tetsu, to the slight hints that there might even be a friendship forming between him, made him the deepest and most interesting character out of the entire cast. Hell, I’d love to see a spinoff series just on him alone.
Kyouichi is pretty loyal to the yakuza although deep down he regrets it. Despite not really wanting to be a part of it, he barks like a dog and knows his place at the same time. That gives him a nice yin/yang feel to his character which is why I think watchers will connect with him the most.
Either that or it’s because every other character is about as multidimensional as a piece of paper.
He doesn’t play a huge role at first outside of the scary guy that barks orders but once you get into the twilight of the show, he finally starts to take shape as a character. We learn how he felt as if he was a good-for-nothing human being until Nobuto was born. Becoming a father changed his outlook on life but when Nobuto got into trouble and was sent to a juvenile detention center, he felt that he had failed, yet again. It wasn’t until someone patted him on the back and told him to be a man that he decided to turn his life around.
When Nobuto got released, Yoshiatsu appreciated him as a son more than he did on the day he was born. This is why when he learns of Nobuto’s murder, he goes quite psychotic. You can’t really blame him as he spent so much time making up for being a terrible father and once he was on the cusp of being that good father figure Nobuto deserved, he was taken away from him. Having all of that soul-searching and effort go to waste would make any man go off the deep end.
This made him the second most interesting character in the show because he actually has a personality and a good backstory to make you connect with him.
Art, Animation, and Sound
I had to look up if this was Tezuka Productions’ first anime and I’m sorry to say… it is not. Another show I saw by them was Kanojo mo Kanojo and that was one that I ended up dropping. Then, I noticed they did Dororo (which was almost my Anime of the Year had Violet Evergarden not aired) and Young Black Jack so it makes me ask…
Just what the hell happened here?
It’s obvious that they can produce top-quality anime but the budget blatantly wasn’t here for this one.
First off, the characters were only decent at best. There were times when their facial expressions and poses looked just so goofy and unnatural. It was hard to take things seriously at times with just how out-of-place they looked.
Then, there was the animation. There were some parts that were fine and others that were just laughable. Like… that “final battle” between Tetsuo and Yoshiatsu looked like two old men with 3 combined hip replacements between them trying to scuffle over the last serving of tuna casserole. It seriously looked pathetic. I found myself cringing and/or laughing than taking that fight seriously.
I would say that this show was far from their best work but this show was far from ANY studio’s best work. The execution was just absolutely terrible.
I won’t even mention the soundtrack because I can’t even remember if it had one. The OP and ED were probably the best things about the production of the show and even those were mediocre at best.
My Home Hero had a great premise that was completely marred by poor execution in both the production and the storytelling.
As I stated before, you were not going to get Light vs L levels of mind games here. A lot of the reasoning behind the characters’ actions is contrived and really hard to be believed. Just Kasen’s sheer willingness to help her husband-turned-murder with nearly ZERO convincing was the first huge red flag of the show. There were also some pretty big plotholes in the show as well… such as…
Didn’t Tetsuo have a job as a salaryman? How did his boss not question his lengthy absence? I mean, I know he gave an excuse at work but he was still gone suspiciously long. Plus, when he finally returns, he’s just like “Sorry for the trouble” and his boss responds with “Want to go get a drink?”
Coolest boss ever or dumbest boss ever? I’ll let you decide.
Reika hardly plays a part in it. They do try and stir up some drama by having Kyouichi try to use her to find out more about his suspicions of Tetsuo being the actual murderer; however, that plot, much like everything else in the show, ends up going nowhere and becoming rather pointless.
It almost feels as if the show was trying way too hard to be dramatic when it just didn’t know how to be dramatic. Sure, there were some flashes of brilliance along the way but not enough to really save this show from being mediocre at best.
My Home Hero
My Home Hero alluded to a deep battle of mind games between a typical working man and the yakuza; however, all it was able to deliver was a poorly-executed mess with terrible animation and character design consistency.
Two side characters being better than the main character
Two side characters being better than the main character