Image source: アニメ チアフルーツ&トキメキ感謝祭公式 on Twitter

Making a stage production takes a lot of time and effort. So does making an original local hero show. But, Action Heroine Cheer Fruits also show us hero shows require all sorts of licenses, skills, and a lot of luck.

After being slapped with a cease and desist order for their parody hero show, the girls in Action Heroine Cheer Fruits begin developing on their own original local hero group. But, it’s no easy task because they need to come up with a hero that shows off their town, create an appealing and memorable theme song, and improve the production value.

Making a new intellectual property from scratch is no simple task. It requires a novel idea, research and development, a lot of work, and an incredible amount of luck. The nine girls in Cheer Fruits—Misaki Shirogane, Roko Kuroki, Ann Akagi, Mikan Kise, Mana Midorikawa, Genki and Yūki Aoyama, Hatsuri Momoi, and Kanon Shimura—are slowly going through this process. But, it’s not been all fun and games for them, as they put in some serious work to improve and sell their shows.

Image source: アニメ チアフルーツ&トキメキ感謝祭公式 on Twitter

With a local hero, the main selling point is emphasizing something about the community. But, consider if you were asked out of the blue, “What makes you hometown unique?” It’d be difficult to answer on the fly. This is the same boat the girls are in because they’re so familiar with their hometown of Hinano. Yet, when they’re given the chance to really examine the town, we find there are plenty of ideas for them to work off of. For instance, Roko pushes the diesel train system that runs through town because the engine sound is something you won’t get in many other places. But, then we come to Mikan’s idea of a hero group based on locally grown fruits. Unlike Roko’s idea, Mikan’s doesn’t require the audience to be train fanatics. More importantly, though, different types of fruit are something everyone can identify and instantly captures Hinano’s appeal. It’s this kind of information gathering that’s key to making a popular hero and seeing it in this series helps us enjoy Hinano’s new hero group Seika Senshi Hina Nectar.

Image source: アニメ チアフルーツ&トキメキ感謝祭公式 on Twitter

However, even with a good idea like Hina Nectar there are a few aspects of the hero shows the girls need to improve to garner a solid fanbase. One of these is simply following the format of a tokusatsu (Power Rangers) series—chiefly having five color-coded heroes. It’s a tried and true method that’s worked for the Japanese Power Rangers brand for over 40 years. But, it’s Mikan who suggests this idea, stating her scripts would work better if they are five members in Hina Nectar. Yet, it’s not as easy as adding a new character because of the audience expectations for their shows. Fortunately, Mikan comes up with some clever workarounds. For instance, there’s a limit to the locally grown fruits Hina Nectar can show. So, they add a blue-colored team member from Hinano’s sister city in Mexico. Thus, what’s a simple addition to the team becomes a well-researched and scripted show.

Image source: TBS animation on YouTube

It’s the other two aspects Hina Nectar needs—a theme song and pyrotechnics—that are difficult to come by. These two issues are unique in their own right because it’s not as simple a researching an established format. As an example, the girls understand pyrotechnics will help make their performances more engaging. But, explosives need to be handled with care and there’s limited stage space for the Hina Nectar shows. Add on top of this the girls aren’t licensed to use explosives except for Hatsuri. This means adding Hatsuri to the team is essential for the production value of the hero show.

Yet, we arrive at an issue with Hatsuri’s personality: she goes overboard with the explosions. So, we actually have to see her control that side of her before she can really add to the shows. This does play out, but it’s not as though it’s a quick and easy process because Hatsuri has to learn to control an impulse she’s had for years.

Image source: アニメ チアフルーツ&トキメキ感謝祭公式 on Twitter

Although the issue with theme song is similar to the pyrotechnics, what the girls need is actually technical knowhow in writing, producing, singing, and dancing the piece. While it’s insinuated that Genki has some musical production knowledge, this is where Yūki becomes key to the team. As a former idol, Yūki brings both singing and dancing experience and ideas to help popularize Hina Nectar’s theme song—namely, keep the choreography simple so people can make “I danced” videos. It’s a very small piece of advice, but it rings true because what the girls are trying to do popularize Hina Nectar to reignite the local economy. And while the pyrotechnics makes the Hina Nectar shows engaging, the ability to have other make homage to their work is what they need to make the show popular. This, too, is no quick process because it takes time for these sorts of things to make their rounds in popular culture. In other words, the nine girls are playing a very long game by popularizing Hina Nectar’s theme song.

Action Heroine Cheer Fruits Shows How Fan Fiction Can Birth Something New

Seeing what goes into producing a hero show in Cheer Fruits really makes you appreciate the real-life craft. But, it’s even more impressive when you remember these characters in the series are still in high school. So, they have to work doubly hard to make everything work well.

Action Heroine Cheer Fruits is streaming on HIDIVE.

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