Heroman (ヒーローマン Hīrōman?, stylized as HEROMAN) is a manga and anime produced by Bones and created by Marvel Comics' Stan Lee. The manga is published in Monthly Shōnen Gangan and began serialization in September 2009, whilst the anime series premiered on April 1, 2010, on TV Tokyo and related stations. Stan Lee came up with the series' basic plot, referring to the series and character as "a new hero for the 21st century".
Orphaned American boy Joey lives with his grandmother, working at a restaurant in the West Coast city of Center City (センターシティ Sentā Shiti?, based on Los Angeles), while going to school. Upon hearing of a new toy robot called the Heybo, Joey believes that getting one will make his life better, turning him into a hero to protect his friends and family. However, he cannot afford to buy it on his meager salary. His luck changes when he picks up a broken down Heybo abandoned by a school bully. He tries to fix it, naming it Heroman, but does not have any luck in getting it to work. However, when it gets struck by a bolt of lightning, it transforms into a giant robot, just in time to save his friend Lina from impending danger. Now, Joey and Heroman are Earth's only defense against the evil insectoid Skrugg (スクラッグ Sukuraggu?) aliens, unknowingly summoned to Earth by Joey's science teacher.
There are some differences in story between the anime and manga series.
- Joseph Carter "Joey" Jones (ジョセフ・カーター・“ジョーイ”・ジョーンズ Josefu Kātā "Jōi" Jōnzu?)
- Voiced by: Mikako Komatsu
- Joey is an orphaned boy living with his grandmother, working at a restaurant to make ends meet. His life changes when he fixes the Heybo that he names Heroman. He is able to issue commands to Heroman via a controller that forms a gauntlet around his left hand. This controller also gives Joey his own powers, such as super speed and the ability to create forcefields.
- The name "Joey Jones" was chosen by Minami at the behest of Stan Lee to choose a name that had identical initials, much like various other Marvel protagonists such as Peter Parker.
- Komatsu was chosen to voice Joey because of her boyish voice and the difficulty in finding a young man that had the voice the production team wanted.
- Heroman (ヒーローマン Hīrōman?)
- Originally a broken down toy robot called the Heybo, Heroman is brought to life by a strange bolt of lightning and turns into a giant robot (in the anime, this lightning is caused by the Skrugg fleet heading towards Earth). He uses his powerful fists and electrical powers to protect Earth from the Skrugg and other threats. Although unable to speak, he is able to sense Joey's feelings and use his powers accordingly.
- Heroman's design is based on that of the robot Leopardon from the 1978 tokusatsu version of Spider-Man.
- Simon "Psy" Kaina (サイモン・“サイ”・カイナ Saimon "Sai" Kaina?)
- Voiced by: Ryōhei Kimura
- Psy is Joey's best friend and classmate. He uses crutches to help him walk after a serious accident during a football game in the past left him injured, strongly implied to be Will's fault. However, he also has a G-wheel, a motorized skate board that helps him get around quickly. He also uses a guitar built by Denton that uses high pitched sound to stun Skrugg.
- Lina Davis (リナ・デイヴィス Rina Deivisu?)
- Voiced by: Mayu Obata
- Lina is one of Joey's classmates and is a cheerleader at Center City Middle School. She is from a wealthy family who fears that because Joey is poor and uncultured, that he is a bad influence on her, but she likes him anyway. She's the little sister of Will, and despite the obvious disdain, hostility and bullying shown by Will towards Joey, she's overtly protective of both of them.
- Prof. Matthew Denton (マシュー・デントン先生 Mashū Denton Sensei?)
- Voiced by: Chō
- Denton is Joey's science teacher and an alien otaku. It is his experiments with extraterrestrial communication that drive the Skrugg to invade Earth. This guilt motivates him to help Joey and Heroman whenever possible, even if it endangers himself.
Center City residents
- William "Will" Davis (ウイリアム・“ウィル”・デイヴィス Uiriamu "Wiru" Deivisu?)
- Voiced by: Makoto Yasumura
- Will is Lina's older brother and an American football player at CCMS. He bullies Joey to keep him away from Lina and puts himself at risk in order to prove himself a better hero than him. In the anime, he is captured by the Skrugg and turned into one himself, with strength comparable to Heroman. However, thanks to the efforts of Joey and Lina, he breaks free from his brainwashing. After the Skrugg's base is destroyed, Will disappears to parts unknown as he knows he can't live among humans anymore due to his Skrugg condition. However, Will resurfaces to destroy any remaining evidence of the Skrugg while warning Joey that something is coming.
- Nicholas "Nick" de Carlo (ニコラス・“ニック”・デ・カルロ Nikorasu "Nikku" De Karuro?)
- Voiced by: Akio Suyama
- Nick is Will's best friend and also bullies Joey. The Heybo that becomes Heroman originally belonged to Nick, but he threw it away after it got hit by a car and he decided that buying a new one would be easier than fixing the broken one. In the anime, he is also captured and turned into a Skrugg. However, unlike Will who tries to fight the brainwashing, Nick revels in the new power, having always been weak. However, during a battle with Joey, he becomes trapped under falling debris, and his current fate is unknown.
- Vera Collins (ヴェラ・コリンズ Vera Korinzu?)
- Voiced by: Naomi Shindō
- Vera is Joey's mathematics and homeroom teacher. She inadvertantly discovers Heroman when she is trying to keep Denton, Joey, and Psy out of trouble.
- Naomi Shindō also acts as the show's narrator.
- Hilly (ヒリー Hirī?)
- Voiced by: Katsumi Chō
- Hilly owns the café where Joey works parttime.
- Stan (スタン Sutan?)
- Voiced by: Atsushi Ii
- This caricature of Stan Lee appears multiple times in the anime and manga. He is primarily seen as a patron of Hilly's.
- Jan (ジャン?)
- Voiced by: Gou Inoue
- Sam (サム Samu?)
- Voiced by: Ryōta Takeuchi
- Jan and Sam are two of Will and Nick's friends.
- Lina's Father (リナのパパ Rina no Papa?)
- Voiced by: Kōji Ishii
- Lina and Will's Father who runs a multitude of businesses. He is somewhat distrustful of Joey, as he tends to take Will's word over Lina's. After the Skrugg attack, he spends his time and money helping with the reconstruction of the city.
- Virginia "Grandma" Jones (バージニア・“おばあちゃん”・ジョーンズ Bājinia "Obaachan" Jōnzu?, )
- Voiced by: Sumie Sakai
- Virginia is Joey's and Holly's paternal grandmother who has been caring for them since their parents died. She enjoys listening to classic rock from the 60s and 70s.
- Holly Virginia Jones (ホリー・バージニア・ジョーンズ Horī Bājinia Jōnzu?)
- Voiced by: Arisa Ogasawara
- Holly is Joey's older sister who has been touring with her rock band on the East Coast until she hears about the Skrugg invasion and returns home to Center City, three months late. When she accidentally sees Heroman, she decides to stay in Center City. Holly was named after her grandmother.
The Skrugg (スクラッグ Sukuraggu?) are an evil race of cockroach aliens, led by Gogorr, who travel to Earth in order to invade it after being inadvertantly contacted by Denton. They have powerful armor that can withstand the majority of Earth's weaponry. Their own arsenal includes laser pistols, as well as powerful shoulder cannons that convert air into a powerful energy blast. Besides the strength Heroman is capable of, they are also weakened by high pitched noises due to their manner of communication. Because of Stan Lee's influnce, the Skrugg could be based off of the Skrull, in name only so far, as not much resembles each other.
- Gogorr (ゴゴール Gogōru?)
- Voiced by: Unshō Ishizuka
- Gogorr is the cockroach-like leader of the Skrugg who leads his kind to Earth to strip it of its natural resources. Much larger than ordinary Skrugg, Gogorr can mutate his body in different forms, each one with special traits. His normal form permits him to attack with his antenae to hit enemies from a distance, while one of his alternate forms is stronger in hand to hand combat and the other has wings that allow him to fly at great speed.
- Skrugg Soldiers (スクラッグ兵 Sukuraggu Hei?)
- Voiced by: Jun Konno
- Skrugg Operator (スクラッグオペレーター Sukuraggu Operētā?)
- Voiced by: Ryōta Takeuchi
- Doctor Minami (ドクターミナミ Dokutā Minami?)
- Voiced by: Yasunori Matsumoto
- Doctor Minami is a scientist who heads the Generas Industry (ジェネラス・インダストリー Jenerasu Indasutorī?) weapon developing company, a front for the robotics research laboratory MRL. He is first seen approaching the President with a plan to confront the Skrugg, take possession of their advanced technology in the process, and show MRL's advancements in robotics to win the U.S. government's favor. However, his plans are foiled when Joey and co. manage to defeat the Skrugg by themselves before him and his team take action, and since he finds out about Heroman, he makes use of his resources and influence to prove the superiority of his inventions by defeating it in combat.
- Amanorich (アマノリッヒ Amanorihhi?)
- Voiced by: Anri Katsu
- Amanorich is one of MRL's top researchers. Even though he is a nihilist, he wears 3-D glasses to see the world in a different color.
- Stallion (スタリオン Sutarion?)
- Voiced by: Masafumi Kimura
- Stallion is one of MRL's top researchers. He is always seen wearing thick machinist gloves.
- Veronica (ヴェロニカ Veronika?)
- Voiced by: Ryoko Gi
- Veronica is Doctor Minami's exclusive secretary. Not much is known about her.
- The MR-1 is Generas Industry's experimental giant robot, originally built to fight the Skrugg until Heroman beat it to the punch and was used as a dump truck instead in the reconstruction of Center City. The robot is later used by Minami to act out his grudge against Heroman.
- President (大統領 Daitōryō?)
- Voiced by: Bin Sasaki
- The President of the United States. He is reluctant in using nuclear weapons to combat the Skrugg, until Dr. Minami comes with an alternative.
- Watkins (ワトキンス Watokins?)
- Voiced by: Yōsuke Akimoto
- Watkins is an aide to the President.
- Axel Hughes (アクセル・ヒューズ Akuseru Hyūzu?)
- Voiced by: Hiroki Tōchi
- Hughes is an agent of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), a group that reports directly to the President. He is sent to Center City to investigate the mysterious events following the Skrugg's defeat, particularly Heroman, who the government has code named "Ghost" (ゴースト Gōsuto?). He later comes to understand Joey and becomes his ally.
- Elmer Howard (エルマー・ハワード Erumā Hawādo?)
- Hirofumi Nojima
- Elmer Howard is an NIA agent working under Hughes.
All American Network
The All American Network (AAN) is a television station based in Center City.
- Keisha (キーシャ Kīsha?)
- Voiced by: Eri Miyajima
- Keisha is a reporter for AAN's news. When she sees that her coverage of the fight between the Ghost (Heroman) and the MR-1 is altered, she started to follow closely the developments regarding Heroman and the U.S. government looking for a scoop.
- Leo (レオ Reo?)
- Voiced by: Kohji Hiwatari
- Leo is a cameraman for AAN. Like Keisha, he also becomes upset when his footage of the fight is altered, as he wants to get the truth out to the public.
- Grudge (グラジ Guraji?)
- Grudge is a spirit possessing an ancient suit of armor. He feeds off the grudges of people and possesses them in order to carry them out. He possesses the owner of an antique store which was being threatened with being closed down by Lina's father due to a lack of business. He kidnaps Lina in the hopes of a large ransom, but is defeated by the appearance of Heroman.
- Ezzui (エツイ Etsui?)
- Ezzui is a powerful Skrugg forged from the DNA of a praying mantis. As well as having command over other praying mantises, using them to spy on Joey and his friends, Ezzui also wields powerful mantis-like scythes on his arms, which are strong enough to seriously damage Heroman's armor.
The manga series, written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Tamon Ōta began publication in Square-Enix's Monthly Shonen Gangan from August 12, 2009. The first tankōbon volume was released in Japan on March 20, 2010.
The anime series, produced by Bones, Pow! Entertainment and Wowmax Media began airing on TV Tokyo and related stations from April 1, 2010. It is also being streamed on Crunchyroll. The series' music is composed by "Metalchicks" and "Music Heroes". For episodes 1-12, the opening theme is "Roulette" performed by Tetsuya of L'Arc-en-Ciel whilst the ending theme is "Calling" performed by Flow. A three minute short featuring Psy and Lina will be included with the 2nd DVD/Blu Ray volume released on September 22, 2010. An insert song by Aco titled "Niji no Fumoto" (虹のふもと?, "At the Edge of the Rainbow") was featured in episode 11. From episode 13 onwards, the opening theme is "Missing" by Kylee whilst the ending theme is "Boku no Te wa Kimi no Tame ni" (僕の手は君の為に?, "My Hands For You") by Mass Alert.
- ↑ "HIROMAN ガンガン公式サイト". Square Enix. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- ↑ "Stan Lee, Bones Confirmed to be Working on Hero Man - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. April 10, 2008. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
- ↑ "Stan Lee & Bones' Heroman Anime Now in Production - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. October 6, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
- ↑ "Heroman, Senkō no Night Raid Promos Streamed (Updated) - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. March 7, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
- ↑ "『HEROMAN』キックオフイベントで制作陣＆出演者が意気込みを語る - ファミ通.com". 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- ↑ "アメコミ作家スタン・リーによるアニメ「HEROMAN」は「21世紀のまったく新しいスーパーヒーロー！」 ｜ webザテレビジョン： エンターテインメントニュース". 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- ↑ "【インタビュー】世界に届けこの一撃! ボンズ・南氏に聞く、TVアニメ『HEROMAN』誕生秘話 (4) 『HEROMAN』のメインスタッフとキャスティング | ホビー | マイコミジャーナル". 2010-04-28. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- ↑ Heroman Episode 4: Assassins
- ↑ "Stan Lee, Bones' Heroman TV Anime Dated for April - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. February 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
- ↑ Heroman Chapter 1
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 "【インタビュー】世界に届けこの一撃! ボンズ・南氏に聞く、TVアニメ『HEROMAN』誕生秘話 (2) 『HEROMAN』のメインスタッフとキャスティング | ホビー | マイコミジャーナル". 2010-04-28. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- ↑ "【インタビュー】世界に届けこの一撃! ボンズ・南氏に聞く、TVアニメ『HEROMAN』誕生秘話 (3) 『HEROMAN』のメインスタッフとキャスティング | ホビー | マイコミジャーナル". 2010-04-28. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- ↑ "Twitter / HEROMAN（ヒーローマン）: 裏チラ情報：Part13 新キャラ ホリーのフルネー ...". 2010-06-23. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- ↑ "【インタビュー】世界に届けこの一撃! ボンズ・南氏に聞く、TVアニメ『HEROMAN』誕生秘話 (1) 『HEROMAN』のメインスタッフとキャスティング | ホビー | マイコミジャーナル". 2010-04-28. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- ↑ Amazon.co.jp - Heroman Volume 1
- ↑ "Heroman's 2nd BD/DVD to Include Original Anime Short - Anime News Network". 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- ↑ "アニメ「HEROMAN」のテーマを歌うのは… BIGLOBE 音楽芸能ニュース". 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
- Heroman at Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan (Japanese)
- Heroman at TV Tokyo (Japanese)
- Heroman official anime website (Japanese)
- Heroman (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia (English)
- Heroman (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia (English)ru:Heroman