I generally end up watching about one fanservice show a season, and for Summer 2020, that show for me was Super HxEros (yes, there’s fanservice in Uzaki-Chan, which I’ll be reviewing later, but that’s not the focus of the show). The show promised a pastiche of the Super Sentai franchise, with a side of risque sensibilities. Ultimately, I’d say the show started out promising, but by the end of the series, I think its thirst overwhelmed its good taste.
The premise of the show is actually pretty solid. There are aliens who are invading Earth and feeding on the H-Energy of people (basically our romantic and sexual desire). The only group who can stand against them is a group of chosen champions of Earth called Super HxEros (because the word “Heros” contains “H” as in “Ecchi” as in the term used to be short for “Hentai” or perverted, and “Eros” as in the Greek God of Love). The members of the team have devices that allow them to weaponize their H-Energy to destroy the monsters, blowing their clothes off in the process.
In all, this is pretty straightforward, and it creates a whole bunch of situations where we have protagonists just standing, running, or sitting around naked in a way that is horny without being gross. Because this show aired on TV (I’m as surprised as you are), this leads to a whole bunch of censorship stuff that’s probably going to be removed for the Blu-Ray release, because of course it is.
Our two main leads are Retto and Kirara, two childhood friends. When they were kids, Kirara was attacked by one of the aliens, called “Censor Bugs”, who drained some of her H-Energy, but there was a bunch leftover, so the bug decided to slut-shame her for having so much H-energy at a young age. This traumatized Kirara, causing her to aggressively suppress her sexuality to an unhealthy degree. Retto, who is in love with Kirara, decides he doesn’t want to see this happen to anyone else, and ends up joining Super HxEros. While in High School, when Kirara helps Retto defeat a Censor Bug with her H-Energy, she’s roped into joining the team.
What makes the show work is it occasionally tries to have something to say, with varying degrees of success. First off, being a successful Super HxEro is, basically, dependent on being comfortable with your sexuality. We unfortunately don’t have any LGBT members of HxEros on camera, but each of the team members have their own kinks and ways of expressing their sexuality, and generally the depictions are executed well. Additionally, we have several queer characters on camera in the show, and the fact that they are queer is just depicted as a fact of life, with nothing notable or shocking about that.
That said, the giant elephant in the room here is that the villains plan is to turn people Asexual. This would feel better if we had some actual Ace people on the cast, maybe some dialog talking about what makes the Censor Bugs bad isn’t that being Ace is bad, it’s them forcibly changing people’s sexual identity. Having a transgender teammate (who ideally wasn’t played for laughs) would have been nice too.
On top of all of that, by the end of the series, the show’s just gotten too thirsty for it’s own good – complete with the protagonists getting trapped in a room, and the only way for them to escape is to just – fuck. Just have an orgy. It doesn’t quite pan out, but it feels like a plot point that was specifically written to set up a bunch of doujinshi later (which is even lampshaded by one of the characters who writes eromanga).
I appreciate the show’s commitment to the bit. I just think it doesn’t quite work out.
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