Action Heroine Cheer Fruits

February 23, 2018

Are we tired of idols permeating in our ever day lives and on every social media platform? No. Okay. But if you do need some variety, may be it is time to check out some heroines. Heroines what? You know, those action live stage sentai series that kids love to go see. Yeah, those kind of heroines. Move aside Love Live! Sunshine!! and Wake Up, Girls. It is time for Action Heroine Cheer Fruits to shine. Hence if you are bored with all the glitzy glamour of idols and their moe choreographed moves on stage, it is time to see some heroines and their moe kick ass choreographed moves on stage. Just imagine Power Rangers with all the moe and cuteness.

Episode 1
Kamidaio continues to be the most popular heroine throughout Japan. Of course it comes with its blatant energy drink advertising. One such fan is An Akagi as she hurriedly leaps through the window from building to building to see a Kamidaio show held in her area. Oh, she’s a gymnast so it’s alright to see her pull off those acrobatic moves. Mikan Kise might not be a big fan but her little sister, Yuzuka is one so she brings her there. Meanwhile Misaki Shirogane is presenting awards for a local singing contest. Not many people. Even so, mainly old people. A staff quipped they should have got Kamidaio to perform here but she shoots him down a weird heroine she is. When Mikan and Yuzuka arrive at the hall, there is a sign that says the show is cancelled. Mikan tries to explain what it means but it only makes Yuzuka sadder. Because of that, Mikan digs her own grave and promises she will let her watch it somehow. Yeah, she didn’t think further than that. And seeing Yuzuka so happy expecting that show in a week’s time, Mikan knows she is in deep sh*t. So Mikan goes to bug An for help (she noticed An doing Kamidaio’s pose so she must be a big fan, right?). An shows off her secret Kamidaio room filled with tons of memorabilia. An is such a fanatic that she stayed up all night researching past episodes of Kamidaio. This is to cut out voices and music for their Kamidaio show. Yes, they’re going to play the heroine themselves. They get wheelchair ridden computer expert, Genki Aoyama to put it all together. As Mikan is also an acrobat, she can pull off some cool moves as the duo practice as well as prepare the costumes and props. When it is show time and all the kids arrive, the little ones start laughing at how poor quality the costumes! Yuzuka must be embarrassed. But the laughter turn into awe when they start doing their acrobatic moves. Mikan is having trouble since she has a few injuries during practice. Just when she is about to give up, Yuzuka cheers for her at the top of her voice. It gives her the power to continue the show to the end. It is a resounding success. Except that the old watchtower from the feudal era that the stage is located at starts collapsing! Soon it spreads throughout the internet how the heroines toppled the tower. Yeah, an internet meme. They are so screwed. They thought they are done for when they are called by Misaki who is also the student council president at school. Surprisingly she thanks them for it because had it not collapsed, tourists might have climbed it and there could have been serious injuries. She will overlook all of this if they participate in this Hinano City Action Heroine Project that is aimed to help revive the stagnation of the local town.

Episode 2
The plan is in fact for them to continue putting up Kamidaio performances. Misaki’s friend, Roko Kuroki talks to her about putting such plan into action. She was being told that their town is the only one in Japan without a heroine and hence its stagnation. Her late grandpa built a hall that has yet to fill its full capacity. Many were against it. Therefore she is given 6 months to fill it up or else it will be demolished. With recruitment for the posters going out, Misaki is delighted to have Genki and Mana Midorikawa interested in joining their ranks by working behind the scenes like computer effects and costumes respectively. Roko is somewhat sad that Misaki didn’t ask her for help. Flashback shows Roko and Misaki used to be in the tennis club with the latter being the captain. They reached the finals of a tournament but due to a wardrobe malfunction, Misaki lost her match. She acted like nothing and passed on the captaincy to Roko. Then there is the time when they attend Misaki’s grandpa’s funeral. Roko wanted to help her but they hear negative rumours of the attendees about him. I find it weird that Roko is talking to a bunch of train toys for advice. Is this a figment of her imagination? Mana manages to get the help of her brother who works in a monastery to lend their hall to practice and hold their shows. Of course, they have to make a little donation too. Roko continues to ponder and be lost till she learns how railroad workers work hard not only during the night but at other times of the day to fix and maintain the tracks. This makes Roko go spy on the gang rehearsing. Does she need to hide? Misaki has noticed her all along and promptly invites her to help. Because Mikan still has bruises all over, she needs someone who can play the villain’s part. Nothing like a few sweet words to sway her in. The show is amazing and this time the costumes and props are high quality. It is an amazing show. They even sell merchandises. After a few shows, they have already sold a million yen worth of goods! But then bad news start to hit them. They are told they cannot use the hall anymore as the parishioners are complaining such an important area is being used for kids to play in.

Episode 3
The perpetrator turns out to be rich girl Kanon Shimura. She is An’s gymnastic rival and will continue to do so unless An seriously challenges her in a gymnast competition and lose! Yup, you heard that right. But since the rest cannot judge fairly a gymnastics competition, Kanon decides to settle this with a 100m race. Flashback shows Kanon has always been number 2 to An. She worked and trained hard to beat her one day and when that supposed day come, An suddenly quit! It had something to do with her love for the heroine show. However with Kanon admonishing her not to quit, An got back on her feet to at least participate in her last tournament. And won! Apparently what Kanon said was coincidentally the same line of a heroine. That pissed her off so much more. As the race starts, Kanon makes a great start and is about to win when she accidentally and unwittingly spouts another heroine line. This boosts An’s morale as she becomes Sonic and catches up to win the race by an inch! Kanon is so mad that she lost again that she runs away seething in anger, promising to continue pressuring the parishioners. Sore loser. If they cannot use the hall, they decide to use an unused platform at the train station for it. On the day of the show, despite the seats are filled up, the weather is starting to get bad. The slippery stage means An slips and slightly injures herself. Roko improvises her lines to seamlessly end the play for today. However Kanon who was watching from her limo is not impressed. She jumps onto the stage and won’t allow An to lose in this pathetic fashion. And so they both take on each other acrobatically on stage. In the end, the crowd is thrilled with the amazing show. An thanks Kanon for making it so much fun. Because for her to come help like that, doesn’t it mean she has a lot of free time?! Kanon must be regretting her actions now. Suddenly an agent walks up to them. He hands Misaki a warrant to stop whatever they are doing because they are selling goods that are infringing the copyrights of Kamidaio.

Episode 4
Kanon is so bent on defeating An that she transfers to this school! But since she is sorry for what she did to the rest, she joins their group and will play the villain role. It’s her twisted thinking that she can defeat An this way. As they have a warning from the infringement notice, Misaki suggests that they come up with their own heroine show. That’s right. Starting everything from scratch. First they do a research on what Hinano is best for. Misaki eventually comes up with a cliché alien invasion plot. The rest too didn’t live up to expectations till Mikan suggests using fruits as their theme since Hinano produces quite a number of them. It’s sad the local government isn’t interested in promoting them. With this great idea accepted, now they need to name their team. Mikan again suggests Cheer Fruits because they are rooting and supporting for fruits. Plus, the name sounds like cheerful. When they leave, they hear the teacher want to talk to Genki about her sister, Yuuki. Everyone knows her from a famous idol group but recently she quit and came home. Too bad despite the paperwork for her transfer is done, she still won’t come to school. Mikan also takes up the challenge to write the scenario. Everyone loves it. Their first play is here. Mana has already produced merchandises for it. Yeah, she’s calculating the costs and profits… Their first show is great and they also take feedback from audiences. Because of that, they need to include a song and a lead singer is needed. How? Everyone goes for karaoke! While Genki is tops getting almost perfect score, if you think Kanon sucks, wait till you hear An! She sucks even more!!! Kanon’s first victory over An? As Genki works behind the scenes, she refuses this role and won’t do lip synching. Based on the roles of others as well as their singing prowess, they too can’t take this lead singing part. But Genki knows someone who could. She brings them to see Yuuki and they catch her in the act of belting out a beautiful solo.

Episode 5
Misaki wants Yuuki to join them but she gets scared and hides herself. Knowing this is part of her paranoia, Genki punches her with a toy glove to send her back to reality. However she still won’t join. As she walks around town, her paranoia gets out of control because she starts hallucinating the people will mock her for her failed idol career and runs away. So Genki goes to talk to her to find the root of it. She has a hunch that her manager wanted her to use Genki’s handicap as a story to score some sympathy points with the views and ramp up the drama during an interview. Of course Yuuki didn’t want to go that far and was ‘released’. When Yuuki feels better, she goes to spy on Cheer Fruits practising. Spotted in no time, with a little nudging, she joins them and her first task is to help in the choreography. She also mentions about catchy choreography uploaded online could catch the attention of others. However they need a song and vocals to it. Making an original song right before their next show is crazy. However it seems Genki has once wrote a song and Yuuki completed it with lyrics. Although they can use this, but the different song means a whole new different choreography altogether. Don’t worry. Yuuki will think of something to fit into this song. On their next show, Yuuki as a new heroine character makes her debut. It is fun and exciting as before. The girls are thrilled to discover their local heroine ranking has shot up. 185th to be exact. Sounds lowly but hey, they’re making big strides. There are many positive comments about them as well as for Yuuki. Hope that blasts away her paranoia for good.

Episode 6
Researching on more hero shows, they realize that pink characters are often popular. Their group also lack special effects. But it seems Misaki knows a person who fits this criteria. Though, she isn’t so keen about it. Folks, meet Hatsuri Momoi. Daughter and future president of a construction company. She and Misaki are childhood friends as you can see Hatsuri is always looking up to her. While Hatsuri looks like the perfect person for the job, she always overdoes things with explosives. And here comes her thick letter of recommendation for that role. Look how eager she is to audition for the part. At her quarry site, she has her team set up the stage. As she is also in the drama club, she is a very good actress as she turns into another person while in it. You can say the audition is very good. Except for one minor problem: Explosions everywhere! Okay, big problem. Because of that, Hatsuri is now crying thinking Misaki hates her as she didn’t get the role. She wants to kill herself by blowing herself up?! Please, no future suicide bombers! Oh wait, suicide bombers have no future. Haha! Oops, sorry… Of course she isn’t going to give up yet and tries again but this time being an apprentice by helping the girls out in the background. However every time Misaki appears, she screws up. Yeah, she almost killed Roko… No joke. Ashamed with herself and thinking it is all over, she gets a much needed boost by the girls sending her positive messages. It might look like Hatsuri is doing all this because she is only into Misaki but as she has watched all their shows, she has grown to love Cheer Fruits as much. Hatsuri requests another audition in which it resembles very much a touching plea to fight alongside them. This time the explosions are in the right amount. At the end of it, the stage collapses but she is alright. Turns out she did it all on her own and didn’t seek any help from her construction team. Surprisingly but not, Misaki passes her because they have seen how hard and earnest she wants to help them. And so Hatsuri becomes part of Cheer Fruits and her pink character becomes popular in no time.

Episode 7
Mikan seems to have a writer’s block. Rather, the scenarios she writes, Misaki hopes she would reconsider it (something about rewriting and removing her own character). Because of that, she calls everyone for an important announcement: To go to the beach. Uhm… Okay… Maybe a change in pace would be good. During the train trip, a bad thunderstorm occurs. Kanon is scared of it that she hugs An. The storm is prolonging and a tree caught fire blocking the tracks. And since there are many young children on board who are inconsolable, Mikan comes up with an impromptu play to calm them down. The play distracts them from the bad weather. When it is over, Mikan realizes how some of her act was embarrassing. Too bad it is being uploaded… The girls finally reach their destination but Misaki has them do some training and practice before hitting the fun parts. Mikan is still troubled so she talks to Genki who advises about doing the best they can. More beach fun before Mikan now has a clear idea on what to write in her script. Everyone reads her revised script and comments on it. In short, it is great. Before their next play starts, Mikan gets nervous as usual. Misaki tells her to imagine that bad weather day. With that, her anxiety is blown away and she is able to start off entertaining the crowd with her tongue twisters.

Episode 8
WTF?! Part of their new act is popping out from giant PokeBalls?! This is what they do first as they surprise Misaki with a happy birthday wish. When they watch the next heroine show, they are shocked that they have a lot of similar moves that is pretty much copyright infringement. Genki suggests using wire act stunts and to do it at night to hide the wires. They can also do a fireworks show for bonus. Too bad a poster of a fireworks show nearby overlaps with their play. But Genki also suggests using fireworks and doing a special night time performance at the mountains as part of their special moves. With that, Misaki makes her the director. And a strict one she becomes. Like how she throws ashtrays at An so that she would come up with new acrobatic moves that doesn’t mirror Kamidaio. Then she has Mikan and Hatsuri do butt sumo to improve their hip power, Mana to do some waterfall mediation and Yuuki do Mexican stuffs so she could get into the Mexican feel and background of her character. What’s this about Roko needing to seduce Misaki to show her seductive level? It is funny and this makes her embarrassed but Genki likes this shy part that will suit well with her villain character. Kanon is excited about hers but there is none Genki would want her to change. Just continue as you are. Disappointed? Everyone practises hard and it looks like everyone got the same idea to wish for good weather on that day as they all make several teruterubouzus.

Episode 9
Apparently Roko still has some issues about Misaki and the tennis club thingy. She accuses Misaki of still running away but Misaki yells back she doesn’t understand a thing. With their friendship a little on the rocks, the other girls also start to notice. However they manage to keep their professionalism and private matters separate. We see their full play in progress and everything is going well as predicted. Until it starts drizzling. Although the play could still go on, the fireworks had to be delayed by 10 minutes. Misaki signals to the girls on stage to adlib and stretch it out. But of course if it is mostly the same thingy, people will hardly get excited and suspect something is amiss. To make things worse, Roko slips from the slipperiness and many of them are starting to break their character. Misaki feels the need to do something so she improvises by going on stage as a new character! More adlibbing twist when Hatsuri claims she is her long lost sister! Killing 2 birds with 1 stone since Hatsuri gets to hug her beloved all she wants. Then it is time for the fireworks. Genki signals to them as the rest finish the fight. In exact timing once the play ends, the fireworks light up the sky, much to everyone’s delight. Backstage, an emotional Roko hugs Misaki and apologizes for accusing her of running away.

Episode 10
Shocking news! Cheer Fruits has broken through the nation’s top 10 heroine shows! You know what this means for Mana? Selling Cheer Fruits merchandise! They’re selling like hot cakes! Fortunately her unauthorized sale is put to a stop by Misaki. Then another shocking news. Mako Kamisu from Gingers will be visiting them. She is the one who plays Kamidaio. Everyone fears copyright infringement problems but apparently this is part of the protocol for new heroines who break into the top 10. The girls are nervous with Kamisu around. Especially An who is just exploding into a variety of emotions. Kamisu is a big fan of Cheer Fruits that she could remember many of their trademark lines. At the end of the day, An wants her signature but Kamisu declines. It would have been okay if she was a fan but as heroine rivals, she shouldn’t be doing that. The girls have a lot of soul searching to do since she too did comment on their work and all. During their next play, some of them are still conscious about Kamisu’s words that they blunder. Mostly An who actually broke a stage prop! Kanon berates them for this slipup because it is not Kamisu they are engaging but their fans. She gets even mad when An sounds so defeated and she will not accept it. Even Misaki is suffering in silence. She remembers in the past she is like a bad luck magnet. She fears the same might happen to Cheer Fruits. With the blunder, Cheer Fruits now drop to 25th place. And there are stinging criticisms too. Oh well, people only love you at the top. With the group very tense, Mana takes the initiative to tell them off that it doesn’t matter what rank they are because a heroine who gives up halfway is useless. She then brings them to town to see the place decorated with Cheer Fruits props. The townspeople are showing their support and will continue to do so. Can they run away from this much support? After all, the heroine of Hinano is not Kamidaio but Cheer Fruits! With that, Mana hands new uniforms for all of them. It improves their mood and they’re back to where they should be. Then Misaki discovers Mana’s sly ploy in all this. Looks like she has already made tons of merchandises in this new outfit to be sold.

Episode 11
Things are looking up for Cheer Fruits. They are now back in the top 10 and in fourth place. More good news as Misaki says the Hinano joint council has approved of them using the hall. Time for Mana to sell t-shirts… Mikan has also come up with a new script that introduces Misaki’s character. It is well written. Leave it to Mana to turn on her business instincts to use that opportunity to sell more of those goods. But the ‘hard’ part now comes. Misaki has to record her lines under the strict guidance of Genki. Get ready those ashtrays… The good news just keep coming as the tickets for the hall has been sold out. There is also going to be real time broadcast on the internet and TV! Wow. So good. When things are going so smoothly, there is bound to be that one bad news… Misaki gets a call from her aunt one night. The next day, she texts Roko that she will be away for a while and to make a version of the play without her. Attempts to contact her failed as she didn’t pick up. The girls continue to believe in her but with performance day coming up, she is still not back. When a storeowner notes their play will be the last in the hall, this sends shockwaves to them. Apparently Misaki didn’t tell them the hall will be torn down. They go to talk to Misaki’s aunt who reveals that night when she told Misaki about it. Something about the local authority decided to use up the remaining budget. Worse, it was decided on her birthday. Misaki’s birthday don’t hold fond memories as it was the day her grandpa collapsed. Ever since, she started to think her own presence is harmful to others. She inherited grandpa’s will to promote Hinano and thought she had changed after meeting her friends. But it is not a time to whine because they have to get on with the play and prove it is a success. It isn’t the fact Misaki is blessed with good friends but it is because of her they all become friends. Day of the performance is here. Still no Misaki in sight. Keep believing…

Episode 12
No Misaki in sight. The girls are forced to do the performance without her. Can’t keep the audience waiting. The show proceeds as per script until they start improvising. Because they know Misaki is watching, it is like this improvised part is ‘forcing’ Misaki to come and appear. Misaki is of course pessimistic because she is ‘far’ away. Mikan then surprises everyone by adlibbing and improvising further. Everyone is so good that they play along smoothly. In this new improvise move, they are stating how Misaki’s character cannot come but with the ‘flashback’ of the good times together (was there some sort of sealed memories in the story too?), this touched Misaki so she rushes her way back. Then she had to crash her bike. On the verge of thinking this bad luck thing is trying to tell her to stay away, she picks herself up and run. Then she trips. Well, nothing gonna break her stride… Nothing gonna slow her down… Gotta keep on moving… I don’t know how far and how long everything is but Misaki manages to make it back in time much to the delight of her friends. The time is right to usher Misaki’s character back on stage. The story is near its end when the villains revert back to their original good personality after Misaki’s character gets injured. Then it ends with a bang because they defeat the final evil ultimate boss (a castle?) with the help of the audience’s cries. The show is even worth more your buck when all of them (including Genki) go out on stage to sing. In the aftermath, Cheer Fruits rises up to second place, Hinano experiences brisk revitalization and it seems there are plans for season 2! Oh wait. There is! Mikan, better start working on your script. This time they incorporate Genki into the play. Yeah, she’s the best as the villainess.

Cheers! You Wanna Be Where Everybody Knows Your Name
Technically, if the hall does become their final performance venue, I guess they can be called Last Action Heroine. Haha! Sorry, bad pun. So I guess it doesn’t matter if the hall will actually get torn down for real because the most important things are Cheer Fruits did a very good job in entertaining the little ones, the kids love them, Cheer Fruits are now on a new stage of fame and Hinano is revived. With the town getting this popular, there is no way those politicians are going to demolish it because the hall could have become Cheer Fruits’ home ground and symbol. That will be suicidal. Even in the worst case scenario if the hall is demolished, it is just a minor setback compared to all the other good stuffs Cheer Fruits has brought. You could say that Cheer Fruits’ efforts finally bore fruits! Pun intended.

Although generally in the broadest sense this series is still boring in my books, however it is surprisingly obviously much better than some of the other ‘kickass’ all-girl units series like Schoolgirl Strikers – Animation Channel and Battle Girl High School. Maybe this show doesn’t have some seemingly ridiculous sci-fi plot and invaders trying to destroy the peace. Hence no outrageous sci-fi elements like outfits and battles masked behind all that moe. Cheer Fruits on the other hand are just an ordinary bunch of girls trying to perform and make everyone happy. It is more down to earth and plausible even though it is still a lot of crap if you try to pull off such success in the real world. Their acrobatic and gymnastic movements make it more believable than all that sci-fi crap. Therefore despite the ordinary plot of the girls just trying to make the best of their performance and in a way to save the town’s hall, it is still a much better series to enjoy compared to that horrendous sci-fi duo.

The characters are a hit and miss for me. With only a dozen of episodes, it feels that there isn’t much of screen time to flesh out all 9 of the heroines of Cheer Fruits. While it does enough to just let us know the basics, if you are hoping to go even deeper than that, I guess that ‘deepest’ we will ever get is Misaki and her horrible low self-confidence thinking she is a jinx to everybody. Otherwise the characters are just enough for us to know about their personality for this season. Like the carefree and lively An, her tsundere self-proclaimed obnoxious rival Kanon, they shy Mikan, the business-minded money making and entrepreneurship of Mana, Hatsuri as Misaki’s lapdog, Roko as Misaki’s best friend, Yuuki the idol master and her sister Genki who is the only one who doesn’t take the stage (at least in the first season of production) but is a special effects master and a horribly strict instructor. Each have their own unique personality that makes them lovable and you can’t bring yourself to hate some of them despite how annoying some are like Hatsuri always sucking up to her Gozen-sama and Kanon being immaturely childish with her rivalry with An.

Personally, I feel that the cohesiveness of Cheer Fruits isn’t that close of a bond. Even the final episode felt like it was trying hard to play it up for some drama. In the anime they might be but I just don’t feel it. Whenever a heroine is in focus and has her issues, we don’t see the rest really getting involved to help. So like Mana and Hatsuri, it feels like they are just there until their relevant ‘expertise’ is needed. I wonder if they will need more team members to join seeing that all of them now are going to be heroines on stage. Don’t tell me they can multi-task and do special effects and the likes. Truly a super heroine in that sense. Something to ponder on: If the series is successful and they keep adding characters to their roster (assuming the trend of your enemy becomes your ally), will their numbers blow up big enough to be like AKB48? I mean, they also do singing, right? Ah, looks like this is where diversification comes in handy. Can’t make it as a heroine show? An idol show will do. Man, these girls are going to be leading one very hectic lives.

Speaking of Misaki and her self-jinx belief, do you not agree with me that this precise behaviour of hers is the one that is causing the bad luck? I mean, think about it especially the climax and drama needed as the series reaches its end. She heard the hall is going to be torn down. So what did she do? She ran away and holed up somewhere! Man, I thought she was going to see her local governor and protest and even if this seems like so impossible, but at least it is better than crying alone far away and hoping things turn out for the best. Because don’t you see, by taking herself out of Cheer Fruits only adds more burden to the production. Things have been written and done with her inside the play. Now that she has decided to run away, everyone is left hanging. No doubt that even if it is true that her jinx brought the premature decision of the hall to be torn down, does she have the right to affect Cheer Fruits from her actions after that? It’s like she aggravated this bad luck problem and pushed it on to her teammates. Goes to show that running away doesn’t solve problems because we all know very well that the problem doesn’t solve itself. Not at least in this case. Misaki almost fell into this cliché trap that her character was going to be a bad luck magnet in the final episode. It felt annoying-cum-funny that like as though they were trying to remind us why Misaki has been acting this way. But all is well, ends well. Thankfully.

Sometimes I can’t help compare Cheer Fruits with their Love Live counterparts, be it Muse or Aqours. Both sides have 9 members to a unit and some of the members have been given specific tasks or responsibilities that they are in charge of. For the idol side, somebody has to be the main songwriter, somebody has to write the lyrics and somebody has to design the outfits. For our action heroines, somebody has to come up with the script, somebody has to manage the recordings, somebody has to come up with the outfit designs. Both also have this goal to help save something. In the case of the idols, their school but for our action heroines, their town. Hmm… Doesn’t it sound like Sakura Quest but only sticking to heroine shows. In the end, Cheer Fruits seem to have the better edge over Muse and Aqours because they are able to do stunts on stage and awe us with those acrobatic and gymnastic moves although they aren’t as close as Jackie Chan’s. How often do you see idols splitting their legs and doing somersaults? Plus, Cheer Fruits is as cute as their idol counterparts. Too bad their target audiences are very different. While the idols are mostly teens and above, the action heroines mostly appeal to young children.

But as in show business everywhere, it is still a dog eat dog world. Cheer Fruits really make this heroine show they pull off look easy and fun. Of course for the sake of the story, it has to. This isn’t intended to have a dark theme in the first place. With that kind of name in the title, it would be just shocking. Just like idols, they vie with other heroines in other cities to be the top. My pet peeve is how cruel some audiences are. When the going is good and everything is all fine and dandy, they are loved. But one minor slipup and that is the end of you. In Cheer Fruit’s case, they get brickbats and criticisms that in real life might drive you to suicide! Okay, it’s not that bad and I exaggerated but negative comments in reality are just so toxic that if you aren’t prepared to handle them, you never will. Thankfully for Cheer Fruits (and the sake of the story), they manage to pull back up their socks and revive themselves. Now everybody loves them again. Truly, fickle fans. But that is showbiz for you. At least Cheer Fruits have the Hinano town to support them. If they don’t get this base covered, do you not think they would even have the support from fans from other cities or nationwide?

We don’t see the other heroine shows of other cities but I am assuming that some of them are super better than Cheer Fruits because otherwise they would have been top and dethroned Kamidaio. But for a small group from the unknowns to produce performances filled with great special effects, it is just really an amazing effort. Sure, some of the girls are endowed like Hatsuri who will inherit her construction company, thus they have the liberty to use a lot of resources at their fingertips to make a great show. Technically that isn’t cheating, right? Their play looks so perfect with all the flashy effects and pre-recorded dialogues is because they put in hours and hours of practice so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt that their performance goes smoothly usually without hitches is because of that.

Art and animation of this series despite is your typical conventional Japanese anime style, is quite colourful and vibrant in line with the theme of Cheer Fruits. The characters have this cute and moe looks and sometimes it feels unrealistic because for those who practice all those acrobatic and gymnastic moves, there are bound to be injuries but they don’t look like they suffer them long term. I guess that is good news because nobody wants to see a very scarred heroine. It’s all a show so better put on your best looks and performance.

I suppose this is what sets the visual difference between idols and action heroines. Idols usually have to dress all the same although in every performance they dress different outfits. Action heroines on the other hand are easily identified with the colour coded outfits they dress although the outfit stays the same in every show. You get to identify them better especially those sitting far away from the stage. Hey, if you have an idol group with so many members, it is hard to tell apart everyone unless they have very distinctive features or you are really sitting right next to the stage. Animated by Diomedea who did series like Aho Girl, Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Seiken Tsukai No World Break, Akuma No Riddle, Kantai Collection, Girlish Number, Fuuka and Mayoiga.

Too bad didn’t recognize any of the seiyuus here. They are Mao Ichimichi as Misaki (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Miku Itou as An (Nanako in Locodol), Erii Yamazaki as Mikan (Kokona in Nurse Witch Komugi R), Rie Murakawa as Roko (Hotaru in Non Non Biyori), Haruka Shiraishi as Kanon (Kirie in Himouto! Umaru-chan), Yuuki Hirose as Mana (Yamada in Alice To Zoroku), Moe Toyota as Hatsuri (Midori in Hibike! Euphonium) and Haruka Ishida doing double roles as Genki and Yuuki (Kanata in AKB0048). Both the opening and ending themes, Jounetsu Fruits and Hi No Ataru Basho respectively are performed by Tokimeki Kanshasai, basically the entire cast behind Cheer Fruits. Typical lively genki anime pop that sounds very much like a song that idols would sing.

Overall, not a bad series and a refreshing genre to look at if you have too much idols in your life recently. Although it won’t be up there with the many other interesting titles (because there are no blood shed or people dying in this anime) and some might pass it off as boring (after all, the performances Cheer Fruits put on are intended for young kids), it is still much better than that whole lot of all-girl sci-fi group defending the world act that I mentioned before. This series doesn’t make me interested in such genres. Heck, I was never interested in Power Rangers although in my younger years I did had my short stint loving those Masked Rider variation series. If there is a sequel in the future, I will still put it on my watch list. With Cheer Fruits’ growing popularity, I am sure there are going to be lots of copycats and knockoffs. And even a porn version! Whoops! Just hope I don’t download the wrong version. I should know when the heroines start busting a nut and the excessive misuse of the banana… Not of the fruity kind!

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