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The Spring 2023 Anime Preview Guide
My Home Hero

How would you rate episode 1 of
My Home Hero ?
Community score: 3.5

How would you rate episode 2 of
My Home Hero ?
Community score: 3.8

What is this?


Tetsuo Tosu, a 47-year-old office worker, and his wife, Kasen, love their daughter Reika more than anything in the world, even though she has been through a rebellious phase. So when Tetsuo visits Reika after she's started to live on her own, and she won't explain how she got bruises like she's been beaten, he decides to hide and find out what's going on. Enter Reika's boyfriend, Nobuto Matori, a brute who has beaten his ex-girlfriend to death and has ties to the yakuza. After he sees that Nobuto is the one responsible for the wounds on Reika's face, Tetsuo ends up killing the man. And so begins the fight of wits over life or death between "a normal, weak, middle-aged man" who is prepared to do anything to protect his family, and the fearless fighters from the underworld.

My Home Hero is based on Naoki Yamakawa and Masashi Asaki's manga and streams on Crunchyroll on Sundays.

How was the first episode?

Richard Eisenbeis

What's this? An anime where the yakuza are the bad guys? Will wonders never cease!

Now that I've got that little bit of social commentary about how yakuza are often portrayed as noble (if not downright heroic) in popular media out of my system, we can get down to business. My Home Hero is a Colombo-style mystery anime. Right from the start, we know who the killer is and why he did it. The series as a whole looks to be about how our murderer attempts to get away with the crime. And unfortunately for him, it's not some slovenly police detective trying to solve the murder but a group of yakuza who have no interest in due process or actual proof. One wrong move and they will kill him, his wife, and his daughter.

Of course, the trick here is that we are completely on the murderer's side. Not only do we sympathize with him, but we also want him to get away with the crime. For all rights and purposes, what we have here is a normal guy with a normal job and a normal family. But here's the thing, people will do crazy things to protect those they love—even kill a mob boss' son.

Another cool twist is that it's not just him alone against the yakuza. His wife stumbles on the crime scene and immediately pieces together what happened. She sees as clearly as he does that the police will be of no help so it's up to them to protect their daughter. It also helps that our lead is genre savvy. He's a mystery buff so his mind is already filled with clever ideas for covering up a murder. Better still, we see that when his life is on the line, he is quick-thinking and brave—making him even easier to root for.

All in all, this is an excellent start to a high-tension suspense-thriller. It's got a great concept and solid, sympathetic characters. My only concern is not being able to hold out week to week. I might have to save this till the end of the season and marathon it just so the weekly cliffhangers don't drive me insane.

Rebecca Silverman

Message to the public: you really can't “fix” someone by dating them. That said, it's also remarkably difficult to get out of an abusive relationship once you're in one. Nobuto is an abuser and Reika is at real risk of becoming his victim rather than a survivor of his abuse. And if her dad Tetsuo has anything to say about it, she's going to survive.

My Home Hero is unremittingly dark, and if that's your preferred form of story, this stands to be a good one. It's got the sort of campy schlock of a revenge story filtered through the lens of parents who would do anything for their children, which makes for an interesting set up. Ordinary salaryman Tetsuo knows that his daughter didn't “fall down” when he sees the bruises on her face, and the fact that Reika can tell her mom and not her dad the truth—that Nobuto hit her—feels pretty real for the situation. Tetsuo's horror at what happened also tracks, and the shift in his demeanor when he realizes that he has to kill Nobuto in order to save his child is nicely understated. He doesn't freak out or even really visibly panic; he just makes up his mind and does what he feels he has to do.

Also interesting is that he at first seems okay with going to the police when his wife walks in on the murder scene; it's only when he remembers the threat from a yakuza earlier in the episode that he changes his mind. That's a telling moment, because it shows that he's beginning to think outside the bounds of what he's been taught his whole life. Now that he's done this thing to save his family, he needs to stay with them.

At the end of the episode, Nobuto's dad says that children should be protected by their parents. That's the crux of the story—Tetsuo protected Reiko because she's his child, but in doing so he killed another man's child. I don't think this is going to be all that deep, but there's enough here to build on, including Tetsuo's love of mystery novels, which could turn out to be very useful. So if you like dark stories, I'd say that this one is worth checking out.

Nicholas Dupree

No getting around it, this show got walloped by the ugly stick. Before one can start to analyze My Home Hero for its writing or characters, or even the basic premise, they must first contend with how stilted, awkward, and altogether cheap this show looks. It's attempting to build the atmosphere of a tense crime drama, one man against a vicious criminal organization that's threatening to destroy his family. Yet it can't accomplish that in any capacity, thanks to janky character designs, terrible compositing, and a frankly amateurish eye for lighting that makes the stiff animation all the more noticeable.

Of course, even if this show didn't look bad, there are a lot of issues that make this premiere a less-than-thrilling thriller. It's ironic that leading man Tetsuo opens up the episode with his self-published mystery story getting torn to shreds, because the show itself isn't much better than his 2-star ratings. The way he discovers his daughter's abusive boyfriend is by randomly overhearing said boyfriend loudly bragging about hitting her, in public, on the streets, and then telling all his buddies what her name is in case they forgot. Later on he has the loudest phone conversation ever made, where he brags about being part of the yakuza, extorting protection money, and double homicide. It's a cartoonishly stupid way to get Tetsuo involved in the plot, and is played so deadly serious that I can't imagine I was supposed to be laughing, but I was.

It doesn't help that Tetsuo himself just isn't a compelling character, and everyone else around him feels like set dressing. His daughter barely has a presence, despite her abuse being the fulcrum point of the entire plot. His wife is similarly wooden, calmly deciding to clean up and hide the corpse Tetsuo just made with pretty much no explanation. Perhaps that's just a consequence of the deeply inexpressive animation and direction, but it means that Tetsuo's driving motivation—saving his family—doesn't land. Without that emotional hook, there's nothing about the poorly delivered story or visuals to make this worth following. If you're really starving for a grounded suspense story, maybe it's worth sticking around to see if things improve, but this is an easy pass for me.

James Beckett
Rating: It's Like If Tommy Wiseau Was Allowed to Make an Anime, for Some Reason

It isn't too often that watching an anime makes me concerned that I am experiencing some kind of hallucinatory episode that could portend some terrible neurological diagnosis in my future, but My Home Hero is, from its very first minute, determined to make its audience question whether or not what it is watching is even real. This is a show that transcends the everyday degrees of trash that you find whenever a new season of anime begins, and if it can keep up the momentum of sheer WTF-ery that it tosses of so casually in just this first episode, we could very well have a disasterpiece the likes of which we haven't seen since Big Order pratfalled its way into the Shitty Anime Hall of Fame way back in 2016.

There are two scenes, in particular, in which My Home Hero had me straight up cackling with the audacity of its terribleness. The first is the confrontation that our mystery-novel-loving hero, Tetsuo, has with his daughter Reika, who is clearly the victim of domestic abuse. The scene shifts from Tetsuo dramatically confronting his child about her attempts to cover up her yakuza boyfriend's crimes to him collapsed on the floor and hysterically screaming her name like he was Will Arnett in Hot Rod. That My Home Hero seems to be intentionally playing off this bit as comedy is just a truly bizarre choice, never mind the ridiculously intense close-up on the daughter's uneaten steak sizzler that the scenes closes on for no discernable reason.

The second great moment of inappropriate comedy comes from Tetsuo murdering the everloving Bejeesus out of Reika's cartoonishly evil boyfriend. I was already chuckling at how brazenly proud the guy was of being a despicable piece of crap—he's literally shouting the explicit details of his many crimes and abuses over the phone to his friend while Tetsuo hides in his daughter's closet—but I was rolling on the floor by the time Tetsuo tricked the boyfriend into opening up the closet for a “present” that Reika left him, only for Tetsuo to then disable the yakuza with an open-palmed sack tap and then brutally collapse his skull in with his daughter's dinky rice cooker. The ugly color filter and melodramatic music were so self-serious that I simply could not believe that this entire anime wasn't some sort of belated April Fool's Day prank.

In short, is My Home Hero any good? God, no. Should you watch it? Oh, absolutely yes; it's freaking hilarious, and if you can grab a few friends and a six-pack of cold beers, it will make for one hell of a watch party. I have no idea of the series can maintain this top tier level of So-Bad-It's-Good watchability, but I'll be keeping an eye on it for the next couple of weeks, just in case.

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