SUPER HXEROS GN Volume 1

1 week ago 17

I'm not going to lie, reading the back jacket blurb of SUPER HXEROS did much to dampen my enthusiasm towards continuing with it. This series seems like it's going to be super horny, and those characters look vaguely like high schoolers. Welp, that don't quit your day job-level detective work turned out to be correct, because SUPER HXEROS is a super horny manga about students who fight alien mantises in the nude. But as I usually like to do, let's focus on the positives first.

One thing SUPER HXEROS absolutely has going for it is the art. Ryōma Kitada is clearly skilled with the pen, as SUPER HXEROS has a real eye-catching level of fidelity. Every page is lavishly drawn, and the character designs are strong and distinctive. While the narrative might have lost me, I can picture the entire cast clearly in my mind without needing to reference the pages again. Furthermore, Enjo's uncle has a great over-the-top aesthetic that makes him stand out in every panel he's in.

I think SUPER HXEROS does at times successfully capture the awkwardness of teenage sexuality. Most of the manga features the sort of tropey and outlandish scenarios that you would expect from something ecchi/h-adjacent, but there are also moments of real vulnerability with Enjo and Hoshino that work really well. Ryōma Kitada manages to showcase the sweaty awkwardness of youth, where burgeoning sexuality collides head-on with a lack of life experience, and given how sweaty and awkward most of my life has been those parts resonated with me. The nervousness of holding hands with someone you have feelings for but can't tell what their feelings are for you is perhaps the most vulnerable any of the cast have felt in this volume, even if they spend their time in battle completely buck naked.

I also have to commend SUPER HXEROS for being honest. While I wouldn't necessarily say that this is my cup of tea, at least SUPER HXEROS didn't pull a fast one on me. You read the title, you see the cover, you know exactly what you are in for. I don't have a problem with a series being clear about its intentions, and honestly I find works like this a lot less offensive than series which purport to be one thing and end up being another. The raunchy intentions of SUPER HXEROS are crystal clear, and if that's what you're here for, you're going to get it. If you are not interested in horny heroes blasting their clothes off, then, like a bright orange-and-black frog in a jungle, the garish markings of SUPER HXEROS serve as a vivid warning to steer clear – and I can't fault it for that.

On the more negative side, I also can't say there is all that much here to recommend. The art is gorgeous, but the content itself feels pretty middling. In an age where all the possible visual excess in the world is available at the touch of a button, a work whose entire premise hinges on “whoa, check it out – b o o b i e s” feels practically tame by comparison. It is too full frontal to be considered standard fare for general audiences, but I'm not sure that the x-rated content goes far enough to justify the sticker price. If we want to get technical, I'm not even sure that the nude scenes go all that much farther than, say, a magical girl transformation. For a work that seems to bill itself as “definitely not kids stuff!!!”, it doesn't seem all that adult, either.

Originality is not a selling point either. Art-wise, the Kiseichuu look nice enough, thanks to Ryōma Kitada's skill. But the designs are just… mantises? Mantises with boobs. Also, bees with boobs. I know that as a tokusatsu fan I am spoiled for outlandishly wonderful monster designs, but I think anyone with a passing familiarity in media with cool monsters has probably seen more original creatures than the Kiseichuu. The scenes that serve to titillate do not feature super unique scenarios either, at least from my experience. A few upskirt shots, a few topless shots, and “omg we all have to live together!” feels practically passé in the year of 2021. In fact, I had hoped that the more tokusatsu/sentai underpinnings of the series would pay dividends, but the central hook of them losing their clothes during combat means that we lose out one of the best aspects of superhero works – the cool costumes! Even the henshin devices are just watches. It's a crying shame, I tell ya.

I almost wish there was more to be upset about, just to have more to say. Then again, I'm not sure SUPER HXEROS even dwells on any heady topics long enough for readers to find much fault in its handling of them. There's so little food for thought here beyond “Haha wouldn't it be funny if we focused on the H and eros in the word heroes?” that making any weighty critical analysis feels like a waste of everyone's time.

I find SUPER HXEROS hard to recommend, but I also can't muster much enmity towards it. It has nice art, and if you simply want to look at boobs then you'll get your fill here. Sadly, even if you are bursting with h-energy, I don't know how far this one will go to satisfy you.

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