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Manga: Heroman
aka: HEROMAN

Imagine if, instead of getting bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker acquired the controls for Giant Robo. note 

Heroman, which debuted in spring 2010, is the result of Stan Lee working with Bones to create a manga and anime that can best be described as Giant Robo meets The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot IN AMERICA!. Generic American Joey lives in Los Angeles, California Center City, West Coast USA. It's Twenty Minutes into the Future, as humanoid robotics are the rage for those who have the money to buy them. Joey is not one of these people, and works as a part-order cook when not getting pushed around by The Bully. Joey is pretty much accepting the modern ennui of having no power in life; when a number of surprising things happen.

  1. The Bully's friend screws up his robot really badly, breaking it and throwing it away. Joey picks it up and tries to fix it; dubbing it "Heroman".
  2. Lina, sympathetic classmate of Joey's and Generic American Cheerleader (not to mention said bully's sister), becomes a Distressed Damsel.
  3. Joey and Heroman get struck by lightning, transforming Heroman into a Humongous Mecha and Joey into The Kid with the Remote Control. Joey via Heroman rescues his classmate, who isn't conscious to realize what is going on.
  4. While struggling to think about what to do with great power, aliens invade Earth.

....Yeah, we've got the tropes coming rapid-fire.

Now has a character sheet in need of tropes.

You can read an entertaining recap blog here.


Some of these include:

  • A Boy And His Humongous Mecha.
  • Accidental Misnaming: In Episode 19, Doctor Ravi calls Heroman by a few incorrect names, such as Fantasticman, Captain Hero, and Mister Giant. In his defense, it had been a long day.
  • Adaptation Distillation: They change quite a bit from the manga chapters, such as cutting out a villain whose kidnapping of Lina leads into the creation of Heroman, a Skrugg in chapter 3, etc. Considering there was only three chapters out, it was interesting to see how things worked out in comparison to the manga.
    • It wasn't that only three chapters were out, but that only three chapters were available to fans in the west. The manga had yet to be licensed when the anime started, but that didn't stop BONES, and, presumably, Stan Lee and co to enact an unusually tough crack down on any and all scanlations of both Heroman and Stan Lee's other manga, Karakuridouji Ultimo. It's only several years after the anime concluded that the manga became available in American bookstores. Now, the arcs that were included in the manga before the Skrugg invasion that were absent in the anime included:
      • Several Monster of the Week-style Skrugg antagonists. Each of whom are confronted by Will, who fails miserably at saving the day before Heroman and Joey get involved.
      • Psy, Joey, and Heroman inspiring a wheelchair-bound boy who wanted to be able to skate like Psy. Psy gives him the special motorized skateboard he uses in the anime so he can follow his dreams.
      • A Bring It On-esque mini-arc in which Lena gets Will and Joey to join the cheerleading squad so they can finally win against a rival cheerleading squad. Despite the rival team's sabotage, they win. Right before the Skrugg invade.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In episode 20, quite a bit of time is dedicated to Holly and her antics (finding what's causing the disappearances and humiliating Joey and Psy).
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted more than one might expect, given the genre. Professor Denton is generally very useful for figuring out what's going on, and can even handle himself in a fight if the situation calls for it, whilst Agent Hughes has rapidly become the gang's most valuable ally thanks to the resources he's capable of calling upon.
  • Alien Invasion: Big Creepy-Crawlies and giant spheres of doom.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: And this one, surprisingly enough, actually likes him. Also taken to hilarious heights in episode 10, when she is the one tearing her hair off to get his attention.
  • Alliterative Name: In grand Stan Lee tradition, the hero, Joey Jones. Try not to think about the implications.
  • All Your Colors Combined: Joey has two: one right as he has Heroman deal the final blow to Minami, and later, doing the same to Monster-Kogorr.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Psy.
  • American Robot: Just look at the page image.
  • America Saves the Day: It was bound to happen. The odd thing is we don't get to see what the rest of the world's governments and people thought about the Skrugg invasion for the time being.
    • As of episode 26, the rest of the world basically wants to raze Washington DC (understandably, as nuking Kogorr is a much better option than letting him literally eat the rest of the planet).
  • And I Must Scream: It is implied that the "shells" left behind after Heroman kills a Skrugg are the real evil behind them, while the part that explodes is only a harmless victim. While this is never confirmed one way or the other, Will does seem to have a degree of freedom, at least in his head.
  • And the Adventure Continues
  • Anime Hair: Psy. It looks like Spike Spiegel's hair on crack.
    • Other characters have weird hair too, like Will and his Kimo-like hair, Nick's anglerfish do, and Ms. Collins's... whatever that is.
      • Heroman takes this to its logical conclusion in episode 3, WITHOUT HAVING ANY ACTUAL HAIR.
      • And Minami, Dr. Minami doesn't count with his "Pointy-Haired Boss" vibe? Or possibly Devil Horn Hair to go with his Fu Manchu mustache and ominous boottapping greeting.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Holly would like to think that this is what Joey is, but in truth she's the one who's annoying...
  • Arc Words: "Hero", naturally.
  • Art Shift: Psy's flashback to the horrors Holly inflicted upon them as children is done as a set of crayon drawings.
    • The Darker and Edgier visuals of episode 17 with Will working his way through the streets of either New York or Chicago, intimidating gangsters and destroying police cars.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The English in the speech bubbles in the ending animation is total gibberish.
    • The words on the report the President is reading in episode 10 is a famous Gratuitous Latin piece of filler text.
    • Averted in Episode 13, where Holly and Joey's rap sheets are spelled in very good English, grammar and all.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Subverted when the heroes try it on Kogorr.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: In Episode 25, Joey, Heroman, and Will launch a concerted attack on the Big Bad. Cue the electric guitar.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite her constant abuse, when Holly gets kidnapped, Joey takes it hard. Holly in turn gets dead serious when Joey genuinely needs support.
  • Badass Adorable: Joey, after he gains lightning fast speed, allowing him to aid Heroman in battles.
  • Badass Longcoat: Will.
  • Badass Normal: Axel Hughes.
    • Hell, even his name is badass.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The second opening makes it look like it takes place in New York City. It's actually Washington D.C.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Holly.
  • Barrier Warrior: It doesn't take long for Joey to start putting his control gauntlet's energy fields to good use.
  • Batman Gambit: Lena of all people does this in the manga in order to get both Will and Joey to join the cheerleading squad.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 12 was partly set on a beach and played it up for laughs. Episode 18 was one for the first 5-6 minutes before becoming the start of what seems like a survival horror mini-arc.
  • Beam-O-War: Between Kogorr's main cannon and Heroman's O Spark. No prizes for guessing which wins.
  • Berserk Button: Hurt Joey seriously and watch Heroman not only self-animate, but unleash a Superpowered Evil Side.
    • Doing this same near to Holly, while creates less damage than above, still is not a good idea.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Joey is a shy, sweet-tempered boy with an exceptionally long fuse that can weather the slings and arrows of a jealous bully, an older sister from Hell, and all manner of threats both terrestrial and extra with a smile. But when that fuse reaches its end, boy...
  • Big Brother Instinct: Will has it bad for Lina, which seems to be the main reason he doesn't like Joey.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Heroman's power armor gives him this ability, essentially turning him into a very large mechanized Zealot. As the resident Anti-Hero Substitute, Will can do it too.
  • Blade on a Stick: The purple assassin alien, in episodes 5 and 6, wields what can best be called a quarterstaff. With TWO blades, one on each end.
  • Bland-Name Product: The fictional "American comic book" in the first ending is supposedly published by "Bones Comics", with the logo using Marvel Comics' distinctive font.
  • Bloodless Carnage: For the most part, the fights within the show feature no visible blood or wounds, despite earlier scenes of the military being massacred and civilians being attacked by the Skrugg. It might be the least violent show to be produced by Studio Bones, given it's Saturday Morning Cartoon influences.
    • In episode 18, a scientist collapses on the ground outside the summerhouse the gang is staying at, and you can see a trail of blood behind him.
  • Body Horror: A curiously subtle example in Episode 21. It is strongly implied that the two new-model Skrugg warriors our heroes face are based off the test subjects the aliens were kidnapping from the area - a cow and a dog, specifically. Except, of course, that cows' and dogs' heads do not naturally have the option of opening up into honking great plasma cannons.
    • Skruggification in general seems rather icky. Especially when one considers that the only known survivor of the process is willing to blow up entire buildings, incapacitate whole police squads, and threaten the heroes with death in order to prevent the process from happening to anyone ever again.
  • Book Ends: During the first confrontation with Kogorr Joey is seemingly fatally wounded and Heroman starts glowing with red fury and tearing Kogorr to shreds. During the anime's final battle with Kogorr Heroman is less than seemingly fatally wounded, which prompts Joey to glow red with despair and attempt a Suicide Attack.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Will and Nick, though a alien Mind Control Device. Will's gets broken by The Power of Love (a shout from his sister) - the aliens as of Episode 6 are "fixing" it.
    • Or try to, anyway. The heroes manage to free Will, but Nick-though not brainwashed-is still a little crazy...
  • Break the Haughty: Will, full stop. Oh, boy, let me see: in episode 2, he uncovers the relationship between Joey and Heroman, and, in a jealous rage, grabs his best friend and sneaks aboard the Skrugg base to stop them himself. Not only does he not succeed, but he is caught, treated like a joke by Kogorr, has both his body and mind violated as he is assimilated/brainwashed by the Skrugg, is responsible for the corruption and (possible) death of said best friend, is freed from enslavement by the kid he used to bully, and has to deal with being obviously non-human and is cut off from his family and friends, and has to go into the wilderness to escape ostricization and hopefully get better. He...doesn't. And even after all of this, he owes his life to Joey again, and is still limited in the difference he can make. Kid really can't catch a break.
  • The Bully: The Distressed Damsel's older brother, Will, who insists he's the hero. He is disabused of this notion very, very quickly.
    • The manga's much more merciful to him. While he does get his ass handed to him by three different Skrugg attackers, he finally learns his lesson during the manga's version of the invasion arc, without dragging his friend into the Skrugg base and getting the both of them turned into enemy soldiers.
  • But Now I Must Go: At the end of the first Skrugg Arc, Will, still half-Skrugg disappears into the wilderness to avoid human contact.
  • Bug War: The aliens are bugs.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: "Heroman... Engage!"
  • Calling Your Attacks: Joey has several commands to shout when pressing the button on his control gauntlet. Also played with on on occasion - during a covert infiltration, Joey whispers his usual "Heroman attack!"
  • Catch Phrase (Denton: "EX-ZACKT-LEE!")
  • Collapsing Lair/Taking You with Me: The destruction of the Skrugg mothership.
  • Color-Coded Patrician: Skrugg mooks are red, the important ones tend to be different colors, purple most often.
  • Combat Tentacles: Skrugg antennae (and human-turned-Skrugg eyebrows).
    • As well as the Vine-Monster.
  • The Comically Serious: Heroman when placed in lighthearted situations, like in the Beach Episode portion of episode 18.
  • Conspicuous CG: Common with Skrugg technology. Given its design, this is probably an intentional choice to emphasise its otherworldliness.
  • Context-Sensitive Button : The button on Heroman's remote changes the picture when Joey REALLY wants it to; to get Heroman to do something slightly different than last time; so he can Dramatically punch the button and Call Out Heroman's Attacks and Actions.
    • In fact, given Heroman's status as a Living Weapon, this could even be seen as him offering suggestions to Joey regarding the best course of action - a theory supported by various bits of body language throughout the series.
  • Cool Big Sis: Holly has shades of this when she's not being The Lad-ette.
    • Either way, she's an inversion of the trope. There's a reason Joey thinks of her as a "nightmare".
  • Cool Down Hug: Joey on Heroman of all people... energy... mech-things.
    • And Heroman eventually returns the favour.
  • Cool Shades: Combined with Goggles Do Nothing, Dr. Minami's team. One of their members even wears 3-D GLASSES. Yeah.
  • Cool Toy: Heroman. Duh.
  • Creator Cameo: Stan Lee on pages 4 and 5 of the first chapter of the manga already. He's in the anime too. May lapse as well into Ensemble Darkhorse judging from comments from other people and his coffee.
    • To drive the point home, guess what his character's name is? Stan.
    • He also shows up in the new opening. Three times. Sheez, Stan! We get the freakin' point!
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: The Skrugg. After seeing that Heroman can, at most, directly challenge at least their basic soldiers, all attention is turned on it. No ignoring it; chalking Heroman and Joey up to being powerless against their forces, no, they send a nice sizable force to take care of them and not run the risk of problems happening in the future.
    • And when they realise that Heroman also a territorial advantage, they fall back to reassess the situation whilst they get to work on making sure their hostages turned super soldiers don't go wild in the field again. They also attempt the indirect method of dropping a ship on Heroman to crush him.
      • And again when Kogorr is fighting Heroman and Joey; after not being able to match Joey's speed, he makes a show of facing off against Heroman; then suckerpunches Joey.
      • The Skrugg themselves used their own "defeat" to slowly take over things for a much larger second invasion.
      • Kogorr did it again, he had a fake weak spot (the eye) and used it to lure Heroman to murder him, and succeeded.
    • Looks like Agent Hughes is getting in on the action, too, setting up a fake Hero's First Rescue in order to contact Heroman. In the end, though, he's not all that antagonistic.
    • In episode 15, Dr. Minami gets in on it: He uses Heroman's lack of long range attacks against him, and when ordered to "end the battle", he does just that by blasting Heroman with the EMP.
    • In general, if you have an antagonist in this series, chances are they're smarter than the average supervillain.
  • Darker and Edgier: Averted for the most part. The series flirts with darkness, especially towards the end, but never actually leaves the upper end on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism.
  • Darkest Hour: Last episode begins with Heroman apparently dead, and Joey and Will alone against a revived Kogorr/Mothership/Vine Monster.
  • Date Peepers: Denton, Psy, Holly and Ms. Collins (redhaired homeroom teacher) all following Joey and Lina.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Kogorr punching Joey out triggers this in Heroman
    • When Heroman apparently get killed, Joey rises out of his Heroic BSOD and decides to carry on fighting, no matter what. This triggers an upgrade in his gauntlet fueled by "his own power" that gives him Heroman's abilities and would have allowed him to take out Kogorr at the cost of his own life. He's a few yard away from finishing it when Heroman stops him.
  • Declaration of Protection: After he gets yelled at in episode 23, Joey tries to tell this to Lina, but ends up getting drowned out by the approaching helicopter that's come to pick him up (however, we can just hear him say it).
  • Demonic Possession: The villain in the first chapter of the manga is possessed by a mask that feeds off the grudges of people.
    • He seems to have been removed from the Anime, makes sense considering the anime and manga's Sci-Fi feel, this was most likely a decision for the better.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Kogorr, though there are hints that he may be making a comeback later in the season - which he indeed does, making this a subversion of the trope. It's played straight with the other Big Bad candidate, Dr. Minami, though.
  • Disappeared Dad: While having already been established (along with Joey having a Missing Mom), Episode 13 reveals him to have been a coal miner, which may have had something to do with said disappearance.
    • The first opening features Joey's parents in mining gear, and the second opening pretty much offers a glimpse of a mining hat flying upwards above an explosion, which probably implies that they're dead.
      • And episode 13's rap sheets for Holly and Joey confirm this.
  • Distressed Damsel
  • Diving Save
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: The Skrugg send a message to every nation that Earth is theirs.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Joey
  • Eagleland
    • Mainly type one. "AMERICA, BANZAI!"
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Sure, there are probably a few Skrugg left, and they kicked the military around like nobody's business, but none of that changes the fact that Kogorr managed to get his operation completely wrecked in only nine episodes, without much to show for it beyond one devastated city and the (narrow) trail of property damage from the spheres.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The vine monster in episodes 18 and 19.
    • Considering as of episode 25, he is part of a giant plant thing, sprouts vines which can replicate the main hero, and also act as mouths to EAT HIS PAWNS, Kogorr.
  • Empathic Weapon: Heroman.
    • Confirmed in episode 4 when Professor Denton tries to activate Heroman, but can't.
      • Joey also confirms that Heroman seems to drain him on some kind of energy when he powers up.
    • Further underlined in Episode 22, when Joey coming to terms with his father's legacy results in Heroman developing a new ability.
  • Empathy Doll Shot: Once the invasion starts in earnest, you get to see a doll crushed underfoot.
  • End of the World as We Know It: Kogorr plans to consume the Earth, and the results are shown from some of the other planets he destroyed.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The Skrugg have failed and their spheres have been stopped... But who is that grabbing Kogorr's remaining armor eye?
    • Used again at the end of episode 26: Kogorr has been defeated for good this time when Dr. Minami's secretary Veronica busts her boss out of prison, and he's clearly been making plans... Lampshaded when To Be Continued flashes across the screen, followed by a huge "?". Doubles as a Sequel Hook.
  • Enemy Mine: Even though they haven't quite resolved their differences yet, Will and Joey team up against Kogorr in Episode 25.
  • Engrish: Surprisingly enough, averted. Almost all of the english to be found in the series, from whiteboards to road signs to business names to government profiles, is not only correct, but accurate to southern California.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Agent Axel Hughes at your service, ma'am.
  • E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: What Doctor Minami wants from the Spheres, mostly for weapons.
    • And Will wants to prevent any Earthling from deriving technology from the Skrugg at any cost. For good reason, it turns out.
  • Evil Counterpart: Dr. Minami and the MR-1 to Joey and Heroman.
  • Evil Knockoff: The vine monster does this to Heroman.
  • Expy: Heroman's "Big" mode is a large white robot with red and blue highlights and stars. Yeah, he's a great big United States flag. Many people compare him to Big Guy for this.
    • Heroman having prominent human-esque eyeballs in Big form is reminiscent of Giant Robo.
    • Will is Flash Thompson. It can't get more obvious then that.
      • And looks like Charlie Nash
      • He's more or less a Venom Expy in later episodes.
      • Which is funny since the real Flash Thompson becomes Venom himself.
    • And speaking of Spider-Man Expys, Dr. Matthew Denton reminds some folks of Dr. Kurt Connors.
    • And Joey's Grandma holds some aspects of Aunt May, except that she's somewhat more energetic.
    • Surprised no one's mentioned Lina's resemblance to Kasuga.
  • Eyes Always Shut: The President, usually.
  • Fake Weakness: Kogorr's eye, just a trap to make sure that Heroman would get close and he could kill him.
  • Fastball Special: Reversal: Instead of slow and strong Heroman throwing the smaller and faster Joey, Joey throws Heroman in his toy form to destroy the vines.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Fanservice: Lina in a bikini in episode 12. Need I say more?
    • The preview for episode 18 suggests yet another beach episode with Lina again in a bikini, and Hot Teacher Ms Collins in a black, one piece swimsuit. Oh, and not forgetting to mention a conveniently placed tentacle monster scenario.
  • Fan Disservice: Along with Lina and Ms. Collins in swimsuits, episode 18 also features Professor Denton in a Speedo. Um... ew.
  • Flat Character: This is not really a Character Development show. Most of the main cast end the show exactly the way they began, with a few exceptions (namely Joey, Will, and Agent Hughes, and Psy and Holly sort of), and everyone else is either a one shot character who is never seen again, or a recurring one that's mostly part of the scenery.
    • More specifically Joey's teacher Ms. Collins and his grandmother could be considered this, due to having few notable traits. For other characters such as Dr. Minami and Kogor, who have defined personalities but no Character Development to speak of, Static Character would be more accurate.
  • Force Field: For Joey.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Weapon of choice of the Skrugg. Though it might be compressed, heated, and energized air (plasma), as shown in episode 2, where a Skrugg first draws in air and then fires.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: The Professor drops a theory at the very last episode that Heroman is a manifested protector from Earth's atmosphere; hence the electrical field that surrounded the Skrugg arrival was a defense mechanism. That would be an odd Type 3: Gaia's avenger, a toy robot.
  • General Ripper: Minami is about as close to this as a professional Mad Scientist can get.
  • Genre Blindness: Episode 18 has Lina saying that the noises and story fit a little too well, and her eventually deciding it is some sort of candid camera trick. She's wrong.
    • It Runs in the Family, it seems; Will has this in the early episodes, when he sneaks aboard the Skrugg base in the vein of the great sci-fi movies to find weapons to turn against the Skrugg. To say that doesn't turn out well is something of an Understatement.
  • Gentle Giant: Heroman may be a big, scary Perpetual Frowner, not to mention an incredibly powerful Living Weapon, but his heart's in the right place, and he's even got a bit of a playful streak.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: LITTLE. ACORN.
  • Giant Mook: The Skruggified cattle, and the gigantic, acid-spitting Skrugg that Joey and Heroman demolish in Episode 24.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The vines are a result of this.
    • Given that the Skrugg are only here in the first place because Prof. Denton called them here, this could be the basis for the whole series.
  • Gratuitous English: In spades. Granted, this is supposed to be set in America, but hearing "SANKYUU", "KUURU", and other, similar borrowed English phrases — not to mention the attack commands like "HIIROMAN, ENGEJII!" — instead of less-hackneyed Japanese ones is more than a little bit jarring.
  • Green Aesop: Not the show itself, but an in-universe example. Holly does this in order to distract the government agents while Joey (and Heroman) sneaks out of his house to meet Denton and Psy.
  • Hacked by a Pirate: Professor Denton does this using the alien symbol that appears on his equipment, to temporarily prevent the U.S. government from tracking them via satellites.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Hughes, after having a nice discussion with Joey about Heroman's true nature. Toward the end of episode 15 he contacts the president in order to stop Heroman and Minami's fight.
    • In Episode 24, Denton unveils a newly rebuilt MR-1, strongly hinting he and the others will be using it to assist Joey in the DC Battle.
  • The Hero Dies: Heroman, after being impaled by Kogorr. It's not permanent.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Joey's dad dies to save all the other miners.
  • Hive Mind: The Skrugg. They treat their "soldiers" as expendable parts, including referring to the two humans under their control as if they were machines that could be "fixed" (in the case of Will)
    • It turns out that Kogorr pretty much is the hivemind. He eats the other Skrugg for sustenance once he's ready to consume a planet, so we can only assume that he breeds new ones while en route to a new world.
  • Hot Teacher: Vera, though she hardly has much screentime, and not to mention no defining characteristics or background.
  • Hot Scoop: All-American News's resident Intrepid Reporter.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Joey's dead parents; who we see in a photo. His mom looks like... er... Joey. And his father was a huge man 3 times bigger than her. He's proportioned like Heroman.
    • This would also apply to Heroman and Joey, if it weren't for the fact that Joey is officially male.
  • Humongous Mecha: Heroman was technically one already, but episode 4 takes it to its most logical conclusion when he gets even bigger in order to stop a gigantic Sphere of Destruction.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In Episode 12, Vera scolds Psy, Denton, and Holly for eavesdropping on Joey and Lina's date, only to immediately use Denton's equipment to join in on the spying.
  • Infernal Retaliation: Using electrical attacks against Heroman is not recommended.
  • Istanbul Not Constantinople: Center City is Los Angeles, pure and simple. Several maps seen in the news and military debriefings depict its exact location on a U.S. map.
    • Another subtle nod happens when the Skrugg first arrive. Everyone thinks the big aliens are characters in a Hollywood movie shoot.
      • I was actually told that this is supposed to take place in Buena Park (in Orange County, which is nearby Los Angeles). Wouldn't be that surprising, given it's Stan.
    • This all gets pretty weird though when we see a newspaper that's written in ancient Latin. Seriously.
  • Immune to Bullets: The Skrugg. Up to and including tank fire. Shown more literally in episode 13.
    • However, they are not immune to Heroman AT ALL.
    • Subverted: Humans taken over by Skrugg can stop Heroman cold As is what happens toward the end of Episode 5, when mind-controlled Will stops Heroman's Megaton Punch, losing his Mind Control Helmet in the process.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: What the Eldritch Abomination Combat Tentacles do, as well as crush things.
    • Also occurs to Heroman himself in Episode 25. Ouch.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: It happens in episode 7 when Joey, Heroman, and Lina confront Will and Nick again; mostly invoked by Lina.
  • In-Series Nickname: The U.S. Government refers to Heroman as "Ghost."
  • Inspector Javert: Agent Hughes is mostly sympathetic, and would prefer to do his job more diplomatically, but is still assigned to tracking Heroman down and he has been following orders to the letter.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Keisha and Leo of the AAN, who chase the truth behind the "Ghost" case and end up broadcasting the Heroman vs MR-1 battle live. And when the Skrugg invade Washington DC and Joey and Heroman ride out to stop them, guess who's right there to get that story, despite the danger
  • I Will Fight Some More Forever: The US Army keeps trying to fight the aliens, even when it's clear that tanks and attack helicopters can't even scratch them.
  • Jerk Jock: Lina's brother Will. He pays for it. Dearly.
  • Jerk Ass: Now that Will's out of the picture, Holly is filling in for him quite adeptly.
    (on Joey's actions in Episode 12): "So I thought: 'This has got to be a date!' I, as his big sister, have come to heckle him!"
  • The Juggernaut: The Spheres.
  • Karma Houdini: Somehow, Veronica, Minami's assistant and occasional footstool, managed to avoid being jailed.
  • The Kid with the Remote Control: Heroman shows signs of both being a separate entity and being an extension of Joey's psyche. It remains to be seen precisely where the line falls.
    • Resolved in Episode 9, where Joey gets knocked out by the Skrugg leader. Heroman gets mad and unleashes a Super-Powered Evil Side, even turning red for the occasion. Which then proceeds to independently curbstomp the Skrugg leader, even ripping the wings right off his body. When Joey wakes up, he makes Heroman better, just as Heroman is trying to rip the Skrugg leader's face off
  • Kid Hero: Joey Jones, more appropriately relating to the earlier trope The Kid with the Remote Control.
  • Knight Templar: Will is out to stop the Skrugg from finding their weapons and turning others, no matter what the cost or how many bystanders get injured. It doesn't help as much as he thought.
  • The Lad-ette: Holly's default personality.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Joey's dad had a particularly impressive example.
  • Large Ham: Professor Denton is one of these.
    • As is Dr. Minami, to the point where Episode 15 alone could give an unprepared viewer terminal cholesterol poisoning.
    • Being the resident Big Bad, Kogorr has his moments, too.
  • Late for School: While not up to "toast in mouth" levels, our hero at least has to have his lunch tossed to him on his mad dash to school.
  • Laughably Evil: Dr. Minami, who tries so, so hard to pull off a sinister, intimidating Mad Scientist vibe... even whilst dangling from his team's tilt-rotor like a tiny green-and-white marionette.
    • Not even mentioning his EMP dance.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Kogorr. Bad news for Heroman, the resident Mighty Glacier.
    • The MR-1 also moves far quicker than anything that large and stumpy has a right to be, able to leap around like an acrobat even after Heroman blows off one of its arms.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Like turn a broken and repaired toy robot into a Humongous Mecha. Even if it was alien lightning affecting the nanobots in the toy, that's impressive.
  • Mad Scientist: Hello, Mr. Spiky-Haired, suave-voiced, lab coat wearing man! You say you're here to help stop the Skrugg? Why not? What Could Possibly Go Wrong??
    • Professor Denton, of course, would be a rather more benign version.
  • Masquerade: The government tries, but the Intrepid Reporter isn't putting up with it and defies the Gag Order on the Press.
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: Heroman's Powered Armour.
  • Megaton Punch: Heroman's main attack.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: For Will and Nick. They're purple, with triangular shapes in the irises.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Joey's grandmother. She's less than half of Joey's height, and he hasn't even gone through puberty yet.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Professor Denton found it more believable for Joey to be dating Psy instead of Lina.
    • To Denton, himself and Psy going on a date also seemed less surprising than Joey and Lina.
  • More Dakka: The MR-1, exploiting Heroman's lack of long-ranged weaponry.
    • And earlier, what did Kogorr do when Heroman diverted one of his spheres? Send out four more.
  • Moment Killer: Taken to Up to Eleven levels in Episode Ten. Poor, poor Lina...
    • This gets hilariously subverted at the end of the episode, though, where Lina fantasizes about asking Joey out on a date aloud... just as Joey shows up to "kill" the moment by remembering to return her lost cell phone. They end up going on a date.
  • Mood Whiplash: In the third episode, Joey and Psy laugh about how Joey's grandmother didn't notice the alien invasion happening outside in a light-hearted fashion. This is preceded and followed by scenes of said aliens mercilessly destroying everything in sight and declaring that Earth is theirs.
    • Again happens when Joey is bicycling to power up the Professor's computers to come up with a plan. Wacky silliness, but then we cut to the military getting slaughtered; and cut again to Joey on the bike, and we hear their screams.
  • Morality Pet: Lina acts as something of one for Will. On the one hand, he bullies Joey, but on the other, he does truly care for Lina and is shown to not be such a bad person after all, especially in episode 21's flashback.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Minami, Doctor Minami.
  • Mugging the Monster: Averted. When a trio of muggers approach Will, all it takes is a quick Death Glare to make them back off.
  • Musical Assassin: Professor Denton makes a sonic weapon for Psy out of a guitar.
    • And introduces it by playing it. Looks like he's channeling a little of Brook.
    • Seems the good professor kept the best for himself. DENTON BEAM!
    • If the opening is to be believed, it appears that Holly is this as well. Though of a more...straight forward variety.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: In episode 14, a news report mentions Denton and Joey being missing-which they technically are, on the lam-but don't mention Psy.
    Psy: What am I, chopped liver?
  • The Napoleon: Minami, who definitely seems to be compensating for something with his insistence on looking down from a great height on his opponents, regardless of how silly it ends up making him look.
  • Necessarily Evil: What Will sees himself as.
  • Never Found the Body: Nick seems to have died, but since the only thing they found was the helmet that they knocked off, there's a heavy possibility that Nick survived. This is never resolved.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Administered to Kogorr by an enraged Heroman. Seriously, don't hurt Joey.
  • Nuke 'em: Surprisingly averted. After he's told nukes may be the only solution to deal with the spheres, the President first asks if his advisors think it's the best course of action, then asks how long he has to make the call, and finally spends that time struggling and coming to terms with the thought of having to use the nuclear option. We see logistics that he's reading that show that over 200,000 people would die if a bomb were dropped in the sparsest populated area in its path.
  • Obviously Evil: Let's see... Weird fashion sense, evil grin, giggles to himself, mustache of evil, hair of evil, glance of evil, calls himself Minami, Dr. Minami, similar to Dr. Wily and wants to help the president of USA. Most definitely not a villain.
    • HE TWIRLS HIS MUSTACHE, FOR GOD'S SAKE! WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?!
  • One-Winged Angel: Kogorr's combat form.
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catch Phrase: "Heroman... ATTACK!"
  • Organic Technology: The Skrugg deploy this.
  • Otaku: Denton, Joey's science teacher. Dresses like a Mad Scientist, obsessed with aliens and tries to contact them all day. Unfortunately, he succeeds.
  • Out of the Inferno: Heroman, carrying Lina and her father... and later on, Minami.
  • Overprotective Dad: When people start vanishing from Center City some time after the Skrugg invasion, Lina's father basically imprisons her in their Big Fancy House. However, given that she's already been the victim of one (unsuccessful and unrelated) kidnapping attempt, and that his only other child was still missing since the attack, it's slightly more understandable than most examples of this trope.
  • Overtook the Manga: BY EPISODE 3!
    • May be an exception in this case. Stan Lee (the actual "creator") didn't write the manga himself after all. It may be just as much an original anime as it is an "original" manga, plus the manga lists "Bones" under "original work" along with Lee, so it may have been concieved as an anime in the first place, with the manga just happening to be released first.
  • Panty Shot: Lina gets a brief one in episode 5 while running throught the subway. Considering the length of her skirt, it's no real surprise.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: When the team is being hounded by the NIA, they decide to go incognito. Denton gets a cowboy hat and fake mustache, Psy changes up his clothes and hides his hair in a cap, and Joey...wears his hood up.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Joey's grandma is too senile to really understand the threat or Joey's participation in it.
    • She mistakes the alien mothership for a mushroom, and the black spheres for candy. And calls them delicious-looking.
    • And then later, when the Intrepid Reporter outs Joey as The Kid with the Remote Control for Heroman, her only response is, "My, doesn't that look a bit like Joey?"
  • Patriotic Fervor: Oh, so much.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Psy.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Heroman is capable of facial expressions, yet he hardly shows any besides an angry frown.
  • Pet the Dog: Jerkass extraordinaire Holly gets two in Episode 20, first cheering up a hospitalised little girl whose father was kidnapped by the Skrugg, and then actually expressing concern for her little brother's wellbeing when he slopes off for the inevitable action sequence.
    • Will gets one in a flashback in 21. It's revealed that Psy's leg injury was the result of an accident during a game and that he and Will worked well as a team. After Psy loses his ability to walk properly, Will blames himself for the accident, resulting in him relinquishing his position as captain of the team.
  • Pillar of Light: When Heroman one hit kills the MR-1 whilst running off the power generated by an entire hydroelectric dam.
  • Planet Looters: The Skrugg.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: Episode 23. Joey says something to Lina before leaving for the Washington D.C. mission. However, there's a helicopter buzzing overhead, so...
  • Powered Armour: Serves as Heroman's Mid-Season Upgrade, courtesy of Professor Denton and the NIA.
  • Power Glows: Heroman in general, Heroman's eyes, and Joey's eyes glow with blue fire when Powering Up. It kinda looks like Joey partook of some Spice.
  • The Professor: Denton becomes this when he's not comic relief.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Damn, Kogorr...
    Sorry, but... my weak point... is... not... THERE!
  • Puppeteer Parasite: How the Skrugg are controlling Will and Nick. It's not consensual, and Will has a breakdown when he hears Lina's voice.
    • Not consensual in Will's case, anyway.
  • Rapid-Fire Typing / What Does This Button Do?: Denton does this to stop the spheres. When the former doesn't work, he resorts to the latter
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Agent Hughes ultimately turns out to be this in episode 15. Shame he has Dr. Minami working alongside him.
  • Rival Turned Evil: As it turns out, the two assassins in episode five are Will and Nick.
  • Robosexual: Following the events of Episode 16, Holly develops an enormous crush on Heroman. One can only imagine what Joey's initial reaction was to discovering this.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Minami's cell in the Sequel Hook ending is covered with equations and drawings. Both his hands and feet were bound, so he had managed to do all of this by holding a pencil in his mouth.
  • Save the Villain: When Minami's tilt-rotor gets caught up in the MR-1's explosion, guess who Heroman proceeds to haul Out of the Inferno?
  • Say My Name: Mostly "Heeeromaaan!"s from Joey, but Psy also gets a "JOOOOOOEEEEEY!" in one episode.
    • And most everyone gets a "Joey" in the final episode when Heroman puts the kibosh on Gogorr for good.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Minami attempts to invoke this in episode 15, but it comes off as hilarious due to the content of his rant.
  • Sensei-chan: Vera Collins
  • Sequel Hook: So, Kogorr is defeated, and everyone is happy as the episode ends, fading to black. But, then it fades back in to show a prison island, with lights blazing and alarms shrieking. The prison's guards get decimated by Veronica, who frees Those Two Guys, and breaks down the wall to a certain cell, filled to the brim with equations and formulas, as well as drawings. A pencil is spit to the floor as the cell's inmate turns around: Dr. Minami. Cue To Be Continued. We even see a question mark afterwards.
  • Servile Snarker: Dr. Minami's female assistant seems to be very fond of poking holes in her boss's massive ego.
  • She's Got Legs: Vera's second outfit in episode 18 exposes alot of leg. They're amazing shapely to add to that.
  • Ship Tease: Joey and Professor Denton are rather shocked when Psy actually says something rather sweet about Holly, who he normally only has bad things to say about, at the end of episode 21.
    Psy: I thought she'd turn it down a notch after going through all that...
    Joey: Nothing's too much for my sister.
    Psy: * smiles* But, that's what's great about her.
  • Shock and Awe: In accordance with his origin, Heroman can manipulate electricity to heal himself and give his attacks some extra kick.
  • Shooting Superman: The army against the aliens, the aliens against Heroman.
  • Shout-Out: "Do they have a weak point or something? Are they weak against germs? Or can't stand the cold?"
    • The first closing has a Shout-Out to Stan Lee era comics with a cover featuring classic hero poses, a stylized Bones logo that is an outright Expy of the Marvel Comics logo and is complete with The Comics Code Authority Seal of Approval.
    • Psy's skate shop has a board the same color as a certain Vespa with the words 'Hybrid Rainbow' next to it. To top it off, Psy uses a guitar as a weapon.
    • In the sewer, you can see a familiar Spider.
    • In episode 10, a man can just barely be seen wearing a jersey with "S.U.D.A. 51" on it.
    • Also, in episode 13, when the NIA knock on the Jones's door, Joey's sister is wearing a tank top with The Punisher logo on it.
    • Another one in episode 13, more to film-culture than a particular work. Denton refers to himself by the legendary pseudonym Alan Smithee whilst alerting Joey about the NIA raid.
    • One of Dr. Minami's... many poses during his speech in Episode 15 is the same as Sailor Moon's.
    • In episode 17, Heroman clinging to the side of the school building to avoid Ms. Collins, and his pose, is quite similar to Spider-Man.
    • Didn't anyone else think Rorschach when Will wore that longcoat and intimidated those city thugs?
    • In the episode twenty preview, Joey is dressed like Sherlock Holmes, and Psy looks like Michael Jackson in his Smooth Criminal outfit.
      • I think Psy might be intended to be Poirot or some other famous fictional detective...
    • "Okay, anyone else getting massive Teppelin and Lazengann vibes here?"
    • Okay, a Body Horror transformation of kidnapped humans by evil aliens known as Skrugg ? Stroggs anyone ?? Quake IV ??
    • After Episode 19, Will's new look under the Nice Hat and Badass Longcoat strongly resembles a Guyver unit.
  • Sinister Geometry: Judging by the spheres, their conical landing craft, and the design of their mothership, the Skrugg are fans.
  • Slasher Smile: Dr. Minami has one in opening two.
  • Sleep Mode Size: After the initial awakening, Heroman reverts back to "Broken Toy" status.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Doctor Minami.
  • Something Person: Heroman.
  • Sphere of Power: Joey himself develops one of this in the second episode.
  • Spoiler Opening: C'mon, you know there has to be something, considering the shadows of Will and Nick, the other huge mecha, the NIA...
    • Better yet, practically the first scene of the opening shows Joey and Heroman looking over a massive crater in the middle of the city. Guess what happens to the alien base when they win.
    • Take a look at the ending of the first opening and then look at the preview for episode 25.
    • The newest opening, while much, much more fastpaced, you can still spot events that will be important, such as what look like slightly different Skrugg, the characters in New York, and the Statue of Liberty being covered in organic tech...
      • That's not even all of it. There's some stuff that seems minor, but could be bigger-for example, the giant spiked ball, the figure in the flames, Minami possibly being upgraded to a main antagonist rather than a recurring villain-since it shows him fighting with Psy and Heroman, Psy using his Musical Assassin skills in battle, Heroman getting a new ability, the government taking an offensive on the group, and the group shot at the end showing who MAY be important. Hell, we get a lot more of Stan Lee in this opening, and Joey's past as well. Of course, this could all just be Wild Mass Guessing, but it's hard to tell. Alternately, in what may be a case of Spoiler ENDING, we see Joey, Heroman and Agent Hughes walking together. It may just be for the fun of it, but with the spoiler track record here...
  • Spiritual Successor: An androgynous boy becoming best friends with a mecha? It has more than a few similarities to Brave Police J-Decker.
  • Spy Speak: When Joey is called by Denton in episode 13, Denton refers to himself as Alan Smithee, and tells Joey that "tomorrow's the date." When Joey asks, "When's the party?" he is told that "The movie opens in October," and that it's off the record. He is also told to avoid being seen by anyone, to "not bother the neighbors." "Tomorrow's the date" is their emergency evacuation code, and Denton is really saying "Get out of there now." There's a Genius Bonus in that as well-Alan Smithee being the name for film directors who want their names taken out of the picture.
  • The Starscream: Minami to Hughes. Given that the latter is considerably more stable, this is not a good thing for the protagonists.
  • Stab the Scorpion: In Episode 11, Heroman aims a devastating, electricity-charged punch at Agent Hughes... or, more accurately, at the falling chunk of masonry that was about to squash Hughes like a bug.
  • Stepping Stonesin The Sky: When they're trying to pull the MR-1 out of the ditch they fell in, the cable gives, but Denton guns it, so it manages this.
  • The Stinger: To the season finale, in which Dr. Minami finally makes use of a certain very common superhero trope.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Plenty throughout the series, especially when the Skrugg and Heroman start cutting loose.
  • Sucking-In Lines: Episode 16, when the dam starts running full power, we can see Heroman absorb ambient energy. It's not an attack, and hes drawing in small particles, but shit is going to go down. He's recharging. And it ends with PillarofLight.
  • Super Robot: Heroman, albeit on a smaller scale from usual.
  • Super Robot Wars: Anime adaptation Debuts in Super Robot Wars UX and amusingly Denton's call not only attracts the alien's from this series but *all* the other alien enemies in UX.
  • Super Speed: Another function of Joey's control gauntlet; he combines this with Le Parkour dodging.
  • Surprisingly Good English: Most of the time, not so much, but Joey and Holly's rap sheets in episode 13 are all in perfect English, spelling, grammar and all. They also contain some rather interesting information about the two, such as physical data and confirmation that yes, their parents are dead.
  • Taking the Bullet: Will takes the....eyebrow lances that Nick sends after Lina. Weakened, but this doesn't kill him.
  • Team Mom: Professor Denton, of all people. He realizes that these are children who shouldn't be put through this; and is emotionally supportive when it's needed.
  • Teleportation: One of Heroman's less frequently-used features. Particularly handy for summoning the big lug without Joey having to cart around his fragile 'broken toy' form all the time.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Axel Hughes teases Joey about this, first saying that this would happen, and then laughing and saying no, the U.S. Government would not do that. Not when it's more beneficial to have Heroman on their side willingly.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: You can make a drinking game out of how many times Heroman has that expression on his face.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Dr. Minami's two male lackeys, Stallion and Amanorich, could become this.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Good Lord, Will.
  • Tranquil Fury: Joey enters this state when Heroman seemingly dies.
  • Transformation Sequence: Not exactly one, as it only involves Heroman's remote turning into a glove. The ones that happen from episode 2 onwards certainly plays out like it, which kinda gives Joey a bit of a Magical Girl vibe.
    • As if it weren't bad enough .
    • Transformation sequences aren't just for magical girls, you know. Humongous mecha and stuff like Kamen Rider and Sentai have been doing it since forever.
      • Yes, but Joey's transformation sequence is rather magical girl-ish, even with the sentai-ness of it. Kinda like if you mix Suo's, Subaru's or any of the Pretty Cure transformations with a Heisei Era Kamen Rider's or Ben10.
  • Translation Convention
  • Troperrific: Oh good lord.
  • Two-Teacher School
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: A pretty minor one, but no one at all has commented on Joey's rather girlish... everything. Seriously, he pretty much looks like his mom, wears her shirt and sounds like he'd fit in doing some cheerleading and none of that is worthy of any mention?
    • Never mind the somewhat sentient GIANT ROBOT that obeys Joey's every command. The closest anyone has to bringing that up is Will complaining why Joey gets to control it. Of course, they have other things to worry about.
  • Unstoppable Rage: If you hurt Joey, Heroman gets pissed. Kogorr finds this out the hard way.
  • Uptown Girl: Lina is really rich; and Joey is really poor. However, their class differences have not been brought up directly. Lina's brother does beat him up because he hangs out with her, but that could be Jock/Nerd relations.
    • In episode 12, their class differences start to be commented on.
  • Victoria'sSecretCompartment: Psy does this while disguised as a girl, to pull out some apples.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Kogorr got one after getting the utter crap beaten out of him.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Heroman's O Spark, which can launch the shattered remains of its target all the way up into orbit.
  • We Need a Distraction: Joey's sister starts shrieking every environmental complaint and issue at the NIA in order to give Joey a chance to get away from the government.
  • Was Once a Man: Will and Nick.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Will, who is not above blowing up entire government facilities in order to stop the Skrugg from reaquiring their weapons and assimilating a greater force.
  • Wham Episode: Both episodes 4 and 5 served as ones, 4 presenting Heroman with a challenge he and Joey could do little but stall against, while 5 has the Skrugg leaders deciding to not run risks and remove the only threat to their conquest by brainwashing Will and Nick into becoming assassins that can fight Heroman evenly in a fight.
    • Episode 13, too: Joey gets home from his first date with Lina just in time to find out that the military are at his doorstep, Heroman is now considered a threat, and it's time to fly the coop.
    • Episode 25, Kogorr reveals he's as smart as ever, and murders Heroman.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Will's ultimate fate, as of the final episode, is unknown. Nick's rather ambiguous exit is never brought up again either. The former will probably be addressed if/when the second season rolls around. The latter... not so much.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Joey and Psy in episode 20. Fanboys rejoiced.
  • Wingding Eyes: Holly in episode 16 after she watches Heroman defeat Dr. Minami and save the dam.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Will smashes Psy's guitar in episode 17.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Will thought he was the hero, pretty much.
    • Holly has her moments.
  • X Meets Y: The show is essentially every Superhero show meets Mecha.
  • You Are Not Alone: How Heroman and Joey's friends stop him from repeating his fathers mistake and performing a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • You Have Failed Me: Kogorr kills one of his own bridge crew when it's realized that their mind control isn't "perfect".
  • You Will Be Assimilated: Will and Nick get turned into Skrugg. Also has elements of Brainwashed and Crazy about it with their helmets acting as a sort of Mind-Control Device. The second wave of Skrugg have been carrying the tradition right along, turning not only humans but animals like dogs and cattle.

Heroman...ENGAGE!
Halo LegendsCreator/Studio BONESJyu Oh Sei
Heroic AgeScience Fiction Anime and MangaIGPX Immortal Grand Prix
Hanasaku IrohaCreator/UfotableMobile Suit Gundam SEED
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?ImageSource/Anime & MangaAmerican Robot
The Heroic Legend of ArslanAnimeHidamari Sketch
Hekikai No AionShonen (Demographic)Highschool of the Dead
The Heroic Legend of ArslanMangaHetalia Hetaween 2013

alternative title(s): Heroman; Heroman
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