Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is a twelve-episode anime television series that was produced by Diomedéa and directed by Keizō Kusakawa. The anime aired during the summer 2017 season of anime, and is available in the UK on the HIDIVE streaming service.In Action Heroine Cheer Fruits, districts across Japan have taken on their own local action heroines due to their popularity. This has led to live action hero shows being held to promote cities.
With Hinano City’s dwindling popularity, the niece of the governor decides to enrol a group of girls – including herself – into the Action Heroine Project. Through that, she hopes to revitalise Hinano.
The plot of Action Heroine Cheer Fruits begins when a popular heroine cancels her upcoming show at Hinano – not wanting her sister to be disappointed, Mikan Kise ends up getting the help of a girl called Ann Akagi to put on their own show.
Misaki Shirogane, the daughter of Hinano’s governor, witnesses their show and recruits them for the Action Heroine Project.
As these things tend to go, the group becomes bigger as the series goes on – ending up with nine members altogether. A group of nine girls performing to try and drive up the popularity of a place certainly sounds familiar…
But enough Love Live! comparisons, let’s take a look at the cast of characters.
The girls are collectively known as Cheer Fruits, whilst their hero group name is Hina Nectar.
Misaki is effectively the leader of the group, though when things start to trouble her she reacts in a way that turns out to be quite frustrating. Fortunately, the other members of Cheer Fruits are there for her regardless of what happens.
It’s common for a large group of characters to have at least one who is energetic, and Ann Akagi is that person. She is a huge fan of hero shows, and puts that knowledge to good use as Medica Red of Hina Nectar.
Mikan Kise is the least confident member of the group. However, she occasionally gets the hosting duties for the show as a way to help build her confidence. As well as playing Cheer Yellow, Mikan is the scriptwriter of the team.
A good hero team has to have at least one villain to fight, and that role is played by Roko Kuroki. Roko also happens to be Misaki’s best friend. There is some subtext suggesting there’s more to their relationship. She lives in a train carriage, as her family operates Hinano’s train station.
The other villain that Hina Nectar has to fight is played by Kanon Shimura. She claims to be Ann’s arch-rival, and the whole reasoning behind that is amusingly ridiculous. The whole rival thing is one-sided, too – Ann thinks of her as a friend.
In the role of the green heroine is Mana Midorikawa. Her stage name is Terra Green. She very business-minded, coming up with merchandise to sell and always trying to maximise profits.
Next are the Aoyama sisters. First is Genki Aoyama – she may be stuck in a wheelchair, but that in no way hinders her ability to handle special effects, sound mixing and music composition. At one point she takes on the role of director – she proves to be very serious about doing that.
Her sister, Yuki, was a former idol. However, she ended up quitting for reasons relating to her sister’s disability. Her self esteem is pretty low to begin with, but that improves when she joins the Cheer Fruits. She plays Sein Blue in their shows.
Finally, we have Hatsuri Momoi. She absolutely adores Misaki, and refers to her as Lady Gozen. She’s quite an… explosive character, and is the one responsible for pyrotechnics. She may be a little too enthusiastic about them at first… Hatsuri plays Nitro Pink.
Action Heroine Cheer Fruits pretty much introduces each character and takes time to develop them by having them overcome some kind of obstacle – in Mikan’s case, for example, her lack of confidence.
Not all the characters get an equal amount of development, though – Mana’s character doesn’t really develop much beyond her introduction for example. It’s not like she’s introduced and then gets ignored, though – all nine of the girls have their own roles to play.
When it comes down to it, though, Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is a lot of fun. You can tell that the Cheer Fruits really enjoy putting on their performances, and we get some fight scenes that are pretty good to watch.
That might just be the main draw of Action Heroine Cheer Fruits – the hero shows. There is some turmoil towards the beginning what with them copying a famous heroine, but that only leads to the Cheer Fruits developing their own hero team and growing due to that.
Even after developing their own group, the girls still have plenty of trials to overcome. As cheesy as it may be, they are the kinds of trials that are overcome with the bond of friendship – which is fitting when you take into consideration that’s the kind of thing you might expect to see in hero shows.
There are also plenty of references to actual hero shows scattered throughout – for example, ‘Lady Gozen’ is the name of a character from Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger. These references might go over the head of those who aren’t tokusatsu fans, but it certainly helps to show the girls’ passion towards hero shows.
Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is a fun show. It’s enjoyable to watch the Cheer Fruits plan and perform their shows. There’s some silliness in there, as well as some more serious drama. Not all the characters get equal focus, but that’s not really a huge problem when it comes down to it.