In a world that otherwise looks very much like ours, aspiring singer Hiyori Hayama is working part-time as a messenger, using the Extreme Gear technology that allows her to jump and run seemingly powered by a bolt of light. But Hiyori is having much less success with her music, to the point that her agency is forced to terminate her contract. Hiyori’s desolate manager suggests that she enter the Hyper Sports competition, where young girls in several artistic fields compete with each other, applying Extreme Gear technology to a variety of sports. Saki Kodaka, our protagonist’s first and only fan, is heartbroken by the idea, as Hiyori’s music was precisely what helped her recover from her harsh experiences on the soccer field. Hoping to help them reconcile, Sumika Maehara, a childhood friend of Saki’s, becomes Hiyori’s trainer. Soon, the team (Hiyori and four very human-looking, white-haired robots) is ready for its first match, with Saki and Sumika cheering them on.
Did you ever think that the central concepts of The Idolm@ster, Haikyuu! and Megalo Box would make a great match? Well, I must admit that the combination is at least interesting. Extreme Hearts has obvious virtues, like its amazing visuals, outstanding music (Hiyori deserves to triumph), and the very intriguing concept of the Extreme Gear. The frames burst with energy every time the gear is used. That said, the show has equally obvious weaknesses. Between the amazing scenes, some characters look a bit paralyzed now and then, one of them with her mouth agape, ostensibly in the middle of a conversation. Saki is so emotional that at some points she borders on unintentionally comical. The image of the trio talking and smiling while surrounded by smiling, human-looking AIs to which they pay no attention is, ahem, kind of sinister. While the showrunners don’t seem to have thought some things through, the series undoubtedly has a unique look and sounds great. Is that enough to overcome its weaknesses? I guess we shall see.
Extreme Hearts is now streaming on Crunchyroll.