Animation: Happy Heroes

"And we'll return to this place of dreams!"
-Opening Theme: "Happily Flying Forward"

Movie 1 Poster note 

A relatively well-known TV show in China, Happy Heroes tells the story of a group of child superheroes who work to save the world Once an Episode from monsters and invading aliens and such. It was created in 2010 by one Huang Weiming/Leo Huang, the same person who created the especially popular Chinese cartoon Pleasant Goat And Big Big Wolf. Currently, it spans 404 episodes in eight seasons and two movies, and is an ongoing work.

Most of the adventures take place on Planet Xing, in a time where interplanetary travel is common. Planet Xing itself happens to be especially technologically advanced, and most of the population consists robots that act exactly like humans with the full range of emotion and such (although there are humans too, as well as some aliens and anthropomorphic cows and other animals).

Planet Gray's expansion agency sent out two of its fighters, General Big Guai/Big M. and Soldier Little Guai/Little M., to conquer Planet Xing. With them, the two had five Jixie stones that, in addition to being able to give an inanimate object life, contain immense power, more than enough to conquer a Planet. However, due to their ineptitude, Big and Little Guai lose all but one of the stones, and then crash-land on the planet themselves.

On Planet Xing, a genius engineer, Doctor Zhai/Doctor H., finds four broken vehicles while searching through a rubbish dump for things to fix. Unbeknownst to him, these vehicles were hit by and somehow combined with the four Jixie stones. When Doctor fixes them and then a broken power line falls on them, the four vehicles are revived into four children with superpowers. With Doctor as their surrogate father, Hero Kai/Happy S., Hero Hua/Smart S., Hero Tian/Sweet S., and Hero Chu/Careless S. defeat their enemies and protect the planet time and time again. Eventually, they are joined by a fifth, revived from the one stone that Big and Little Guai had managed to keep- Hero Xiao/Careful S., and even later, Kalo, a former general of a now-destroyed planet. Despite the number of times that they fight, however, the Heroes never do discover the identities of their enemies.

As of now, there are eight seasons. The first seven seasons are 52 episodes each, and the eighth season is 40 episodes. Each episode is around 10 to 12 minutes long.

Season 1: Happy Heroes: The introduction.

Season 2: Happy Heroes 2: The Heroes and the monsters get more powerful and go to school. Planet Xing gets a forcefield to help protect from outside invaders, which is actually quite effective.

Season 3: Happy Heroes and the Battle: More upgrading, more interactions with other enemy (and friendly) planets.

Season 4: Happy Heroes and the Adventure: More interactions with the people of Planet Xing, as both sides are concerned with their happiness. Planets Xing and Gray have an unofficial temporary truce.(notable for having the longest arc of the series)

Season 5: Happy Heroes and Happiness on Planet Xing: Big and Little Guai find that many years ago, a failed invasion attempt had managed to spread a dormant virus among a good half of Xing's citizens. This virus, when activated, would convert the citizen into a fighter for Planet Gray, and the only way to stop it is to destroy the person's will to fight. Now, the Heroes have to work to fight with words and emotions as well as physical attacks... and they realize that anyone could be an enemy.

Season 6: Happy Heroes and Planet Guling: The Heroes and co. journey to the fabled (but very much real) Planet Guling, a place that appears to have been untouched technology-wise, and they are fascinated by the the mysteries of the planet. However, upon meeting the three powerful Heroes there, who are just like the protagonists in that they aren't human, they wonder — is Planet Guling really the low-tech place it appears to be?)

Season 7: Happy Heroes and the Alliance Showdown: Two rival planets, Planet Miao and Planet Woof, send ambassadors to Planet Xing to try and form an alliance. Now, in addition to protecting their planet, the Heroes now have to worry about these two planets turning Planet Xing into a battlefield!

Season 8: Happy Heroes and the Journey of Magic: The ambassadors from Miao and Woof have barely departed before Planet Xing's Globe Leader falls into some sort of coma, caused by Big and Little Guai's new partner, the magician Huohaha. When Huohaha comes back to kill off the Globe Leader, he encounters the Heroes and is forced to escape inside a book, entitled "A History of Magic" written by a person named Xiaohaha. As it turns out, Xiaohaha had four magic staffs that, when combined, could be used to perform a powerful magic, and would be strong enough to wake the Globe Leader. The Heroes, using a special device, enter the book to retrieve the staffs. If Xing goes too long without a Globe Leader, the planet will devolve into chaos!

As of now, there are also two movies, around 90 minutes each:

Happy Heroes The Movie (1) occurs sometime between seasons 5 and 6. Big and Little Guai, with their new partner Shapeshifter, aim to take over the planet through spreading insect-like viruses through the Internet. Can the Heroes stop this new threat, without losing anyone along the way?

Happy Heroes 2: The Battle of Planet Qiyuan occurs sometime between seasons 8 and 9. Planet Xing is hosting the first Interplanetary Hero Competition, and of course our Heroes from Xing are in attendance. Cockroach/Zelia is there as well, a pleasant surprise to everyone, especially Kai. But when the competition is hijacked by a villain of old, it's up to Kai, Zelia, and Big Guai to save everyone and stop the ultimate weapon from destroying the universe!

The Happy Heroes website can be found here. The Other Wiki has an article on it. There is also the Chinese version of The Other Wiki, Baike, which has an in-depth article on this show here. All three of these websites are in Chinese, however.

This work contains examples of:

  • Academy of Evil: The monsters have a school where they learn how to be proper monsters. There always seems to be a lack of funding though...
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: The cows often wear a neckerchief or a wig.
  • Affably Evil: Huohaha.
  • Alien Blood: Shapeshifter's blood is green, Kalo's blood is blue.
  • Aliens and Monsters: Aliens aren't anything special in this universe, but a cry of "monster" will automatically prompt a Hero to attack. It's never really been cleared up what the exact definition of a monster is, however...
  • Aliens Speaking Chinese
  • An Aesop: Most episodes.
  • Animal Jingoism: The ancient enmity between the Miaolings (cats) and the Woofians (dogs).
    • It was later revealed to be because of something silly from when they still lived on the same planet.
  • Author Avatar: Leo Huang gets a cameo in the first movie as a chef and the second movie as a scriptwriter superhero. He also sometimes appears in the main series, as a sketch artist for example.
  • Bad Ass: Almost everyone gets their moment as one.
  • Battle Boomerang: The two wings on Kai's helmet can come off to form a deadly accurate boomerang.
  • Beneath the Mask: Xiao comes off as cold but is really quite caring, shown several times throughout the series. He tends to hide this side from even his friends, however.
    • Once, for example, he took in and cared for an injured cat even though he was allergic to cat hair.
    • He once pretended to be Doctor's deceased father to comfort him.
    • He also once bribed a stranger with a lollipop to help Hua regain his self-confidence.
    Kalo: He doesn't talk much, but he's still willing to be friends with everybody.
  • Berserk Button: Don't insult Miss Peach in front of Doctor. Don't make fun of Tian, especially her cooking. Don't suggest in any way to Hua that Xiao is better than him. Don't threaten or hurt Kai's or Duo's friends. Never insult Kalo's planet.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The end of the "Legend of a Hero" arc in Season 7. Sure, they drove out the invaders, but...
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In one episode, Professor Limen repeatedly tells the audience "don't try this at home". To the others, it just looks like him talking to a camera with a screen set up behind him.
    • Hua also tells the audience once, "Hitting people on the head is bad! Don't do this at home!"
      • These are probably a result of that one time two kids in China tried replicating something they saw in Pleasant Goat and ended up seriously injuring themselves.
  • Broken Aesop: Often.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: "Hero __, transform! __xin Car Knight!
  • Cartoon Physics
  • Casual Interplanetary Travel
  • Catch Phrase: A whole bunch.
    • Big Guai: "Darn it, we failed again!" after every time their plan fails... which is pretty much every episode.
      • Lampshaded by Little Guai several times throughout.
      • One episode even focused specifically on that one catchphrase.
      • Ironically, few characters know that that is his catchphrase, since they don't know that he's working to conquer the planet.
    • Chu: "I forgot."
    • Kai: "Hero Kai is here!"
    • Hua's referring to himself as "the main character", "the lead", "the star", or "super cool"
    • Tian: "Who wants to try my cooking?"
    • Doctor: "Peach!!"
    • Duo: "Caution lets your ship float for a thousand years."
    • Shang: "I'm really sad..."
    • E: "How disgusting."
  • Cats Are Mean: Keke occasionally does some borderline cruel things to Lele.
  • Chain of People: Xiao pulls this off by himself once to avoid falling into lava.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Season 3 episode 12, we see Caesar standing next to Adeli's globe leader in a flashback. He's not even given a name, just mentioned to be manipulative. 243 episodes later, he's revealed as the Big Bad of the main arc of season 7, and was responsible for Kalo's ultimate death.
  • Coconut Meets Cranium: Big and Little Guai had drank coconut milk from one coconut shell each and tossed them out the window. Poor Shang and E were knocked out when their heads were hit, with Duo left wondering what happened and immediately on alert for a hidden assassin.
    • At the end, Big and Little Guai were also hit in the head with coconut shells.
  • Coincidental Accidental Disguise: Doctor was on his way to rescue Tian when he ran into some clotheslines. By the time he gets to her, he's wearing all black, with a black top hat and his face hidden. Tian spends a couple days dreaming about her mysterious savior, and never learns his identity.
  • Color-Coded Characters:
    • Kai - red
    • Hua - green
    • Chu - blue
    • Xiao - black/purple
    • Tian - pink
  • Combination Attack: Various ones.
  • Combining Mecha: Kai/Tian and Hua/Chu once.
  • Compressed Vice: Occasionally. They usually make sense for the characters they apply to, however.
  • Cute Is Evil: Terror (when she's not transformed) is probably one of the most prominent examples. She almost failed graduation because Big Guai didn't think she was intimidating enough - or at all. Some of the other un-transformed monsters count as this also.
    • Cuteness Proximity: In one episode, the cuter monsters get away with all sorts of mean and nasty things by their cuteness, pinning their crimes on the one person immune to their cuteness - Xiao.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Xiao fought and defeated Kalo three times (or two and a half, depending on how you consider the last one) and at the end, Kalo wants to stay and fight alongside Xiao. In this case, it somewhat overlapped with Fire-Forged Friends.
  • Disguised in Drag: Kai does this once.
    • Played for Laughs with Big Guai, who does this probably more often than strictly necessary. He makes a very ugly girl.
  • Disney Death: Many, many times. Sometimes with no explanation whatsoever. It is a kid's show, after all.
    • Which made it all the more shocking when Kalo does actually die for good.
  • Drill Tank: Hua's Car Knight in vehicle form.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Complete with giant explosion obliterating the entire opposing army.
  • Elemental Powers:
  • Energy Beings: All Adelians, supposedly, though they usually have solid forms.
  • Equippable Ally: Xiao often uses Kalo as a Morph Weapon.
  • Evil Gloating: Caesar, although his motivations for destroying Adeli, his own planet are never really explained.
  • Evil Laugh: A lot of the various antagonists have this.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Caesar.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Xiao and Kalo, who saved each other's lives to get out of that lava cave trap.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Flight: Kai, Kalo, Zelia
  • Forgetful Jones: Chu.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • In the first movie, while the police car is engaging in a chase on the beach, a bra flies into one of the officer's faces.
    • Also in the first movie, Doctor's weird dancing thing while admiring Peach... yeah.
    • And when turned-dark Xiao and Kai were wrestling on the ground, one point had the former holding the latter in an arm lock... the cape thing covering them didn't help.
    • Big Guai sticking up his middle finger while getting electrocuted once in the prologue.
    • Big Guai flying basically naked through the air once... it was revealed to be a body suit.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress
  • Harmless Electrocution
  • Harmless Villain: Big and Little Guai, for the most part.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Tian's superpower is bubbles. Which can serve as shields, flying wrecking balls, containment devices, air helmets, transporters, a method of flying...
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kalo.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: The evidence could be staring them right in the face and the heroes still probably wouldn't believe that Big/Little Guai are trying to conquer Planet Xing.
    • Although it has been shown that Big and Little Guai aren't evil, per say, just doing their job.
    • However, in season 8, Tian does seem to be prepared to accept the fact that Big Guai is "evil" without an insane amount of denial. Huohaha does get Big Guai out of the situation, however.
  • Ignored Aesop: Often.
  • Impostor Exposing Test: Trying to distinguish the two Doctors in the first movie, they pose to them the challenge of fixing a large, complex spaceship. (It was also a convenient way to get that spaceship fixed, since they didn't have the funds to do so otherwise.)
  • I Owe You My Life: Kalo to Xiao (even though they really saved each other's lives). Kalo serves Xiao as his weapon, and the two are close friends.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Big Guai used to be quite the dashing young fellow, and intelligent too with an IQ of above 200. Then his head got slammed in between two elevator doors. Repeatedly.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Chu's mind in one episode, resulting in a Battle in the Center of the Mind between them and two false Chus.
  • Just a Machine: Pudding thinks this of herself after finding out that she was a robot.
  • Just Between You and Me: Caesar revealing the plan to Kalo.
  • Killed Off for Real: Kalo.
  • Lethal Chef: Tian. It's been said that her cooking is essentially a biological weapon.
  • Literal-Minded: Little Guai.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: In one arc, Big and Little Guai get the chance to go back in time so that they never lose the Jixie stones, thus putting the Heroes on their side now. Also a sort of Alternate Reality Episode, since the Heroes' personalities are radically changed (i.e. Xiao is now talkative, Chu has Photographic Memory, Kai is always sad, etc.)
  • Meaningful Name: Many.
    • The main heroes all have full names ending in "xin" (and then "chao ren", meaning superhero). Kaixin means happy, Chuxin means careless, Tianxin means sweet, Xiaoxin means careful. Huaxin does not really fit him, however.
    • The "zhai" of Doctor Zhai's name means someone who prefers to stay at home.
    • Big Guai is really Big Monster, and Little Guai is Little Monster.
    • The heroes of Guling also have names ending in "xin chao ren". Duoxin means suspicious (of others), Shangxin means sad, and Exin means disgusting (in this case, it refers to his dislike of dirty things rather than being dirty himself).
    • Headmaster Tele: He's a headmaster, and his head is a television.
    • Mr. Lightbulb, who's head is a lightbulb.
  • Mini-Mecha: The Car Knights. Sometimes they appear to be pretty big, however.
  • Mobile Shrubbery: Big Guai and Little Guai often use this.
  • Monster of the Week: The entire series. Although, most monsters make recurring appearances, and some even have detailed personalities and backstories.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Mr. Lightbulb is greedy, but the end of any episode featuring this always shows him redeeming himself in some way.
  • My Greatest Failure: An important part of Doctor's backstory revealed in the first movie. He swore to never touch a spaceship again...
  • My Greatest Second Chance: ...and he overcomes his doubt to fix the spaceship to let people get to safety.
  • Neat Freak: E.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions
  • The Noseless: The Adelians.
  • No Sense of Direction: Surprisingly, Xiao.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Averted with the original, since the Chinese language has a distinction between medical doctors and other academics. Doctor Zhai falls into the latter category.
    • Although this an interesting case, however, since the Heroes are robots and Doctor's specialty is mechanics, he can often serve as a doctor for them.
  • No Social Skills: Xiao.
  • Ocular Gushers: Shang, to the point where it's one of her attacks.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Xiao after Kalo dies
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Generally minor, but they do occur from time to time.
  • Planetville
  • Played for Laughs: Basically everything.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Little Guai.
  • Police Are Useless: Most of the time. They do their best in protecting the planet, but the enemy is usually too good for them and it's up to the heroes to save the day.
  • Power Copying: Shapeshifter, after downloading the information from a computer.
  • Prisoner Exchange: Duo believes that the Heroes captured his companions Shang and E, and so he kidnaps Doctor and demands a hostage trade. Of course, the Heroes didn't capture anyone, so they send Tian and Chu respectively in order to get Doctor released first and then fight their way out of the situation.
  • Properly Paranoid: Duo is over-suspicious of anything and everything, including random acts of kindness and red bits of fuzz (as potential laser beams, of course). Subverted in that it's almost always nothing to worry about.
    • Except perhaps once, during the aforementioned Prisoner Exchange, Duo can tell it's not Shang and E and so nearly kills Tian and Chu with his fire.
  • Pure Energy: The Heroes can fire blasts of this stuff from the gems on their foreheads.
  • Really Dead Montage: Kalo sort of gets one, as he looks at the images and scenes flashing in his soul-cube right before he dies.
  • Real World Episode: One episode had Big Guai coming to the Happy Heroes office and meeting Leo Huang. Cue Rage Against the Author for all the crap he's been forced to undergo.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Pretty much the only difference between the robots and the humans is appearance (sometimes), and that some robots like to drink oil.
  • Robotic Reveal: Pudding.
  • Rule of Funny: Pretty much the entire show.
  • Self-Duplication: Xiao, who appears to be able to create many without tiring out too much.
    • Literal Split Personality: Four of his clones have very distinct personalities, and according to Doctor they're all a part of Xiao's personality. Evidently, he's extremely good at hiding it.
  • Single Tear: Xiao when Kalo almost dies, in season 5.
  • Shape Shifter Showdown: Somewhat, between Kalo and Baer, but both can only transform parts of themselves into inanimate objects.
  • Shapeshifter Weapon: Most notably, Kalo.
  • Ship Tease: Kalo hugging Xiao.
    • Xiao rescuing Tian and blushing as she thanks him.
    • Doctor and Peach (finally) going on a date at the end of the first movie.
    • Tian supporting the injured Hua as they walk off into the sunset.
    • Hua and Chu watching the stars together, and their other bonding moments.
    • Chu giving the cooking pan to Tian and then later rescuing her in the first movie.
    • Some of the interactions between Hua and Xiao count as this.
    • And the episode involving Shang and Xiao in season 6.
    • Kai and Zelia in the second movie.
  • Shout-Out: Mostly to Pleasant Goat And Big Big Wolf, with things like the Wolf Castle, getting hit by a frying pan, and the Catch Phrase "I will definitely return!"
  • Signature Move: Kai's "Kaixin Iron Punch".
    • Hua's "Huaxin Magnetism", "Huaxin Electric Chain", and "Huaxin Invincible Drill".
    • Tian's "Tianxin Bubbles" and "Tianxin Shield".
    • Chu's "Chuxin Flying Missile". note 
    • Xiao's "Xiaoxin Duplicate".
    • Duo's "Duoxin Explosion".
    • Shang's "Shangxin Ocean".
    • E's "Exin Tornado".
    • Headmaster Tele and Dragon (his student) each have their "Twister", but they're slightly different in appearance.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Chu might look pretty derpy but is really quite intelligent.
  • The Stoic: Xiao.
  • Story Arc: Occasionally interposed between the regular episodes. Major ones include the Fairy Tales arc, the Mystery of Guling arc, and the Legend of a Hero arc.
  • Strange Salute: The Adelians have hand to chin, palm facing downward.
  • Super Heroes Wear Capes: Inverted. The superheroes don't wear capes, but Big Guai, the villan, wears one.
  • Super Strength: Kai.
    • Does Not Know His Own Strength: One episode in particular focused on this - he had to be able to hold some tofu without it crumbling in order for him to be allowed to get a dinosaur egg. He decided to start easy, but found that he couldn't even hold a boulder without it cracking...
  • Sweet Tooth: Kai.
  • Talk to the Fist: Kalo's arms are chained to either side of him, he can't move his legs, and the room he's in cancels out superpowers. All superpowers. So when Caesar gets closer to him to gloat, Kalo headbutts him. Hard.
  • Technological Pacifist: Doctor creates a wide variety of non-weapon things.
    Doctor: Why does it have to be a weapon? The same materials could be used to create things useful to people!
  • Teen Genius: Doctor, when he was younger.
  • Teleportation: Xiao has this as a superpower, but appears he can only do so for short distances at a time.
  • This Is a Drill: Hua has an actual drill as a Car Knight, and one made of electricity when he's unarmored.
  • Title: The Adaptation: The first movie's official title is roughly "Happy Heroes: the Movie", though many times "the Movie" will be dropped.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Used with the main city, where everything happens. It's where all the invasions are always centered, it's where the Department of Defense and the Globe Leader's headquarters is, and the closest city to the Heroes' home... You'd think that the invaders would have found an easier place to attack by now. This is the only city ever pictured on the planet, however. note 
  • Transformation Sequence: Whenever the Heroes summon their Car Knights. The sequences themselves are generally pretty short, and multiple characters' transformations will be played at once if possible.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Car Knights all have a vehicle form and a battle form.
  • Vague Age: Everyone, although it was revealed in season 8 that Big Guai is forty years old.
    • And Doctor is 29.
      • It is shown in a background that the Heroes are in 3rd grade, so they might be around 8 years old.
  • Variable Terminal Velocity: Kai diving after Xiao (both times) in the first movie. Perhaps justified in that Kai gets an extra boost through his power, however.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Shapeshifter, Kalo
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Being a Chinese animation...
  • Water Guns and Balloons: One episode had the students of the school duking it out in a water gun fight. You were "out" when the paper taped to your chest got soaked. note 
  • Wax On, Wax Off:Principal Televison once trained the Heroes for a basketball match by making them do the dishes. It worked.