Alternative title(s): Hitorijime My Hero
Manga Adaptation by Encourage Films
Streaming on HIDIVE
Masahiro Setagawa is the neighborhood delinquent errand-boy until he bumps into Kousuke Oshiba, the older brother of his best friend, whose fighting abilities have earned him the nickname Bear Killer. Fast forward a year or so and Setagawa is entering high school, with the days of playing lapdog for his delinquent ‘buddies’ behind him thanks to Oshiba’s influence. However, the delinquents have not quite forgotten Setagawa, and as fate would have it, Oshiba has just been assigned to Setagawa’s school as a math teacher.
Artemis’ verdict: Surprisingly Okay*
This wasn’t a good premiere exactly, but it certainly wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, and actually not even bad in its own right. I’m pretty wary of anything labeled as BL these days – mostly because I think the usual hallmarks of the genre (i.e. rapey advances and general molestation) isn’t something we need to see yet more of. My Very Own Hero is not only completely devoid of these tropes (so far, at least), but the opening episode was so chaste that I’m not even sure I’d be ready to label it as a BL title at all. The relationship between our main couple is at this point entirely platonic, not even intensely bromantic as much as it seems like a completely ordinary friendship. I don’t know whether to be thankful or disappointed about that, but the point is, this episode was decidedly un-creepy, and that’s definitely something to be thankful for.
On the production values front, things are likewise about average. The artwork is fairly unoriginal but by no means ugly, the animation seems perfectly fine if not especially noteworthy, and the music is all very inoffensive. Basically, I think anyone watching this without having first read the synopsis or having any knowledge of the genre or source material could be forgiven for assuming it was just your run-of-the-mill, high school slice-of-life show. Having zero familiarity with the manga myself, I have no idea if that’s going to change later on down the track, but again, for a BL series this was a refreshingly decent start, albeit not a particularly gripping one. I don’t mind giving it another episode or two to see how it shapes up.
*Having now seen the second episode, my opinion about this show has changed somewhat. That said, my impressions of the premiere alone hold true, so I won’t be editing them.