What if magical girls were real, not in the sense of actually being magical, but as an elaborate marketing strategy?Action Heroine Cheer Fruits takes place in a world where this has not only happened, but became a trend so popular that most districts already have their own local heroine. An exception is Hinano, a city facing financial difficulty and the possibility of being merged with a different town. A small group of girls band together to save it, mimicking a popular, already established heroine to gain recognition quickly.
Although Cheer Fruits has some hints of the magical girl genre, it has more in common with shows about preserving towns, like Sakura Quest, a similarity that Stardf noted in his First Impression post. So far, I think it has a strength a lot of actual magical girl anime lack: character motivation. Instead of characters who’ve never met becoming heroes because of expectations, the characters are deeply affected by the people and things they care about. Misaki feels pressured by her relatives to do something to help her town’s popularity, and also wants to restore it for the sake of her grandfather’s memory. Mikan wants to cheer up her sister after a disappointment. An loves the magical girl Kamidaio and goes along with everything because she is a nerd.
However, even though the characters may have their own concerns driving them, with a touch of realism, they do not take everything into account. An didn’t realize quitting rhythmic gymnastics might upset her rival, Kannon. Mikan was so focused on granting her sister’s wish to see Kamidaio, she didn’t consider that her sister might not want to see her injured as the villain in the performance. Misaki didn’t wonder if maybe having a heroine that was a little bit too much like Kamidaio might be copyright infringement.
As we aim for our goals, there are always so many things that could, and do, go wrong. There is always so much more, and it’s easy to become focused on what we want that we lose sight of the consequences. I am very thankful that God is guiding me, so that even when I do make a mistake, there’s always a way out. I also am truly grateful for the people around me, who help broaden my understanding of the world, so I don’t forget that life is not always as simple as I would like it to be.
The first three episodes of Cheer Fruits gave me high hopes, and hopefully not too high. It has a solid plot, characters that are proactive, and although the story is moving a little quickly, it also slows down when necessary. I’m already starting to feel attached to the characters. Misaki feels like the most developed character so far, but I’m hoping everyone will get a little more until they’re all well-rounded.
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