Heroman 16 brings us the end of the story-arc, a straight-up battle with predictable complications. Umm … not bad.
They drop the ball a couple of times. Heroman had been incapacitated by the MR-1, who had done something to his electrical system, but Joey smugly points out that since Heroman runs on electricity, he can’t be beaten by it, or something like that, and Heroman leaps back into the fray like nothing had happened. This is like those old movie serials where the hero’s dives for a rope and misses it (to be continued—ironically the same words that end every Heroman episode), only to catch it in the next installment. However, the ensuing fight is pretty good, lots of turnarounds and both sides taking damage. Nothing original about it, but it kept me watching.
A predictable complication point comes from the reporter and cameraman, finally arriving to the scene and broadcasting live footage across the country. The reporter editorializes as she reports. And thanks to her, Heroman is seen as the good character and Minami as the bad one. Now the whole world can see it, especially when Minami decides to fire away while Heroman is trying to absorb the shots so that the dam (an unexpected complication) behind him won’t get blasted away.
Hughes shows up and it becomes silly. As an NIA representative he formally requests Joey to destroy the MR-1. Like, what did he think Joey was trying to do in the first place? Then there’s more electrical hocus-pocus where they use the dam generator to magically recharge Heroman when he’s out of power, and the fight is soon over. Okay, silly and predictable, but as I said, the twists and turns of the battle were just good enough to satisfy me.
K-ON!! 15 was predictable, too. Once you know they’re going to run a marathon you know pretty much what’s going to happen. But will the girls add enough of their own idiosyncrasies to make the episode interesting?
Not really. The first scenes have the inevitable dreading-the-marathon bits. Mugi makes a kelp and seaweed blancmange for tea, for their stamina. Yui puts up those little rain doll things. She is slightly inspired by the fact that those that finish get red bean soup. Before all this gets too tedious, it’s race time.
It’s okay if you take the race in the right way. This isn’t just a high school marathon, this is the K-ON girls running a high school marathon, meaning they’re distracted by cakes in windows, small children, cats, and they stop to rest a lot. They mostly stay together, though Mio does move ahead and encounters the underclassmen once. They sing to keep up a rhythm, then discover that running and singing at the same time isn’t good strategy in a marathon. Then, in true K-ON fashion they discover Yui is missing, and everything must stop while they hunt for her.
Most amusing is the end of the race. Yui, inspired by the thought of rice cakes, makes a sudden sprint, and the others frantically try to keep pace. Nothing in this episode stands out; whether you like it or not depends entirely on whether you like the girls’ antics or not. Even if you do, I think you’ll agree that there are better episodes.