Thursday, 23 September 2010

HEROMAN - Episode 26 (Completed)

A series such as this one was never likely to reach the end of its penultimate episode without some kind of "oh, woe is me!" cliffhanger, and the show's titular hero seemingly destroyed is about as rough as it could get for just such a cliffhanger.  Can Joey really hope to defeat Kogorr alone?

Whatever the obvious answer to this, something happens in the fallout of Heroman's defeat that changes Joey - not just mentally, but quite literally changes him, into a big glowing red ball of anger which also grants him a whole bunch of additional powers which he's seemingly decided to use to finish off Kogorr at all costs, including a suicide attack.  Of all people, it's Heroman (okay, so not a person) who stops him from doing this, and not a moment too soon as he finds himself joined by first Holly and Lina, then Psy and Denton as the cavalry arrive to put the Professor's plan into action, and give both Heroman the power and Joey the confidence to save the world and defeat Kogorr with ease; a little bit too much ease if you ask me, but I digress.

Did Joey just go Super Saiyan?
Aside from the basic physical goings-on of this finale, the episode also spent a fair amount of time dissecting Joey's mental state, introducing us to how he saved Lina the first time they met as kids (although Joey doesn't seem to think he saved everybody) through to his continued misunderstandings about his father and the events surrounding his death.  It's this misinterpretation of his father's death which ends up being the pivotal point of the episode emotionally, as Joey finally comes to understand that being a hero doesn't mean doing things alone, nor does it mean sacrificing everything including yourself for the perceived good of others.  Argue the moral and social merits of that "life lesson" all you will, but it actually worked rather well as a turning point in an episode that was threatening to spiral out of control in terms of believability before being reigned in somewhat by events.

While this wasn't the best ending possible to the series (as I just mentioned, it threatened to drift too far outside the rules it had set for itself earlier in the show, while the big finish itself was a little too convenient), it was nonetheless a good ending after last week's rip-roaring penultimate instalment, which again went to show that HEROMAN did it best when it focused upon the main characters kicking alien ass and not bothering to take names (because let's face it, Kogorr is a stupid name anyway) rather than bogging itself down in troublesome humans and love interests.  I suppose the really interesting questions for this series begin here - by all accounts the show has flopped terribly in Japan, but can it get itself syndicated on US kid's TV?  I'd like to think so, but my gut instinct is that it won't - a shame, as HEROMAN at its best has evoked those wide-eyed cartoon watching days of my own youth, and it at least deserves a chance to see if it can do likewise to the current generation of wide-eyed cartoon watchers, because when HEROMAN got things right it was really quite awesome in its own simple way.

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