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Introduction and Story
In a world of heroes and villains, Johnny Bolt wanted to be a famous hero. Johnny got his wish when he awakened and gained the power of electricity but after a pretty destructive first-time appearance to the world, Johnny realized he wasn’t made to be part of the heroes like those from the Union of Justice. No, Johnny was meant to be a supervillain and after years of small-time gigs and failed attempts at making a name for himself, Johnny finally has gotten an opportunity of a lifetime. Alongside his girlfriend Kasey, Johnny is about to join several other no-name villains who will try to perform the biggest heist seen in the world of super-villains and become Super Crooks!
In the summer of 2021, Netflix released a comic book adaptation of a series called Jupiter’s Legacy and while it had potential, it ultimately was canceled after just eight episodes leaving the series in a very bad spot. Ironically, though, Jupiter’s Legacy creators had ideas for spin-offs and one of those ended up being released. Titled Super Crooks, this alternate story focuses not on the heroes but several villains and their ultimate heist of a lifetime. Even more strange, rather than be a live-action series like Jupiter’s Legacy, Super Crooks became an anime series animated by legendary studio Bones! Is this spin-off better than Jupiter’s Legacy and is it worth your time to dive into the criminal world of a supervillain? Find out in our review of Super Crooks!
A Different Take on Heroes vs Villains
Rarely do we at Honey’s Anime watch anime series based on supervillains like Super Crooks and it’s a liberating experience to see a different side of the spectrum. Rather than watch great heroes battling evildoers, Super Crooks examines the darker side of heroes and villains by having a cast of supervillains who aren’t that villainous and heroes who are downright murderers.
Johnny Bolt is a suave supervillain who isn’t afraid to put up his dukes in a fight but equally tries to avoid unnecessary fights. Meanwhile, The Praetorian is a multi-powered superhero who literally isn’t afraid to laser beam civilians as he discovers what power he has in that particular moment. Super Crooks does a great job of creating this morally grey zone when it comes to good and evil which—in turn—keeps the narrative fresh and exciting. We doubt many will root for the heroes in Super Crooks and hope Johnny’s team of misfits comes off as the victors.
Welcome Fans of Jupiter’s Legacy, Hello Newcomers
If you read the synopsis of Super Crooks and worry you won’t understand what’s going on because you didn’t watch Jupiter’s Legacy, let us give you some quick relief. Super Crooks is a self-contained story that while it does mention numerous elements from Jupiter’s Legacy—like the island where the original heroes gained their powers and the Union of Justice—you really don’t need any of that information to get into Super Crooks. Aside from a few appearances here and there, Super Crooks doesn’t rely heavily on the cast from Jupiter’s Legacy and we appreciate that as most anime fans might not want to see a live-action superhero series.
That Comic Book Style Meshing with Anime Is Beautiful
Bones is well known for producing A-tier works like My Hero Academia and Mob Psycho and you can see their style in every facet of Super Crooks. From the intro dancing sequence to the epic super-powered battles—which are excellent—Super Crooks is a marvel to watch and it’s hard to not gawk at some of the show’s later battles. Plus, Super Crooks doesn’t hold any punches with mature content, be prepared to see bloody battles and some gut-wrenching scenes that just add to the style and theme of Super Crooks!
The Dark Side of Heroes
We made mention of it before but Super Crooks has some pretty messed up heroes! Aside from the Praetorian there is the Gladiator and a Rubber Ball Hero who crushes land property and civilians like they are part of a game of Katamari Damacy. These heroes are pretty twisted after having had their powers for quite a long time and it poses an interesting moral dilemma in the world of Super Crooks. Is saving lives part of the hero’s mission or is it to stop crime no matter the cost?
Some Goofy and Unneeded Crooks
Maybe this will come off as a bit nitpicky but there are a few villains in Super Crooks that feel…underwhelming. While Johnny’s team is composed of some extraordinarily powered individuals, a few of them come off as extra weight. An example of this is seen in the two brothers who both have the superpower to heal any wounds they receive on themselves but did Super Crooks need these two to be brothers? Only one of them really impresses while the other is a loudmouth tough guy who barely is utilized. Added to the fact it takes several episodes for the entire team to come together in Super Crooks and you have a lot of characters who end up taking a back seat to the main several like Johnny, Kasey, Carmine, and Josh/The Ghost. Super Crooks suffers a bit from the same problem seen in series like My Hero Academia, too many powered characters who just come off as silly.
Super Crooks is a high-octane supervillain series that is surprisingly deep and action-packed. We loved the main cast like Johnny and equally loved the epic fights, especially when The Praetorian was involved. While Jupiter’s Legacy was a bit of a letdown—sorry to the fans who liked it out there—Super Crooks feels like it could be fleshed out considerably more and we do hope Netflix does just that with this villain-focused series!
Have you binged Super Crooks yet and feel differently than us? Comment if you do—or don’t—in the comments below! For even more anime reviews and coverage of this fall 2021 season keep stuck to our non-superpowered hive here at Honey’s Anime!