A Woman’s Quest for Redemption and Justice
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Mystery, Romance, Josei
- Airing Date : October 7, 2019 – December 23, 2019
- Producers : MSC
Stand My Heroes: Piece of Truth Introduction
Based on the hit Japanese mobile otome puzzle game, the anime adaptation of Stand My Heroes focuses more on the police procedural aspects as opposed to the romantic (and puzzle) ones. As the story of Stand My Heroes begins, Detective Rei Izumi is on administrative leave due to ruining a bust after disobeying orders. However, a special unit known as STAND sees the potential she has as they reinstate her as its newest recruit. What is the purpose of STAND? They’re an experimental narcotics unit tasked with taking down the Oomori Pharmaceutical Corporation, which is suspected of making illegal drugs. Beyond recruiting standard law enforcement officers, Rei is tasked with recruiting other specialists in the business, medical, and literary fields who can be of help. In addition to Rei’s potential, why else would STAND want her? It happens to be that she’s resistant to the effects of drugs!
1. Strong Main Character
As the sole female character in Stand My Heroes, Rei is certainly unique and yet relatable. While she looks like she’s vulnerable, she’s a very driven and capable detective. Her good intentions can get the best of her, but when she has to face the unforeseen consequences of some of her decisions, she comes to learn that we can still be true to ourselves as we learn from our mistakes. She pursues investigations that aren’t within her authority, but when she knows she has a lead, she will act on it without hesitation because it’s the right thing to do.
2. Sympathetic Antagonist
While we did warn that there could be spoilers, we understand our limits. While we won’t reveal to you who the true antagonist of Stand My Heroes is, when you get to the climax, you’ll be in for a shocker (even if you predicted it)! Despite the reveal, the story does an effective job of providing the motivations behind the antagonist with their actions. It will make you wonder if you were in the same situation as the true culprit, would you act in the same manner?
3. Designs Are True to the Game
While there are presently no international versions of the original Stand My Heroes game, what we can confirm is that the character designs portrayed in the anime version are consistent with the game. In other good news, the original voice actors from the game are brought back for the anime as well. Both versions feature Yuki Kaji (who you may know as Eren from Attack on Titan) as Haru, veteran Daisuke Namikawa as Shun, Tomokazu Sugita as Itsuki, etc.
1. It’s Hurt by Its Episode Length
When a series such as Stand My Heroes has a HUGE cast of characters, a 12-episode length just doesn’t cut it. Many of the characters from the original game are faithfully adapted in context to their core personalities and how they interact with Rei, but their presence is nothing more than superficial. For the most part, most of the supporting members are typical archetypes of the otome genre. You have the tsundere-type, the outgoing co-worker, the positive and always smiling potential love interest, etc. Other than Rei, none of the supporting cast gets much development.
2. Lack of Explanation
Throughout the course of the story, Rei and STAND investigate the Oomori Pharmaceutical Company because they could be making illegal drugs. What the series fails to explain is why the drugs they’re making are illegal other than that the formulas look suspicious. The story does nothing to provide if Oomori is conducting illegal experiments, or if they’re connected to drug cartels, etc. Other than having pre-existing knowledge that Japan is strict on drugs (even certain OTC medicines available in other countries such as NyQuil are officially illegal in Japan), non-Japanese viewers will probably have a hard time comprehending the motivations behind STAND’s investigation. Furthermore, Stand My Heroes doesn’t fully explain why Rei is immune to drugs. While there are some moments that do indicate the reasons, the story does nothing to further elaborate nor exploit it after the first two or so episodes.
We understand that a good percentage of anime viewers prefer a 12-episode series. Stand My Heroes is a series where 12-episodes DO NOT work! Granted, it gets Rei’s story of redemption across rather well, it’s just that the rest of the cast, especially within STAND, are nothing more than just eye candy. For some viewers, that might be great, but for others, most of these other characters do nothing to establish or progress the story. While nobody can guarantee that a 24-episode or 50-episode series would make it any better, with more episodes, there are more opportunities to not only use these characters, but to further explore many of its foundational elements.