Shy Review

Shy Review

Shy anime series cover art
Shy

The Shyest Superhero

Shy (シャイ) is a new superhero anime that’s nothing like My Hero Academia. To some of you, the fact that it’s not like MHA might sound like a positive. But, it’s actually not. It’s like if you took all the good parts (the cool fight scenes) out of MHA.

Of course, a lack of cool fight scenes doesn’t make an anime bad. Most of my favorite anime are drama anime. Those usually don’t have cool fight scenes. And, Shy is a drama anime, as well. Though, it’s still not what I would call a good drama anime.

Anyway, the series is about Teru Momijiyama, a high school student in Japan who’s also a superhero. Her hero name is Shy, which I have to say is a pretty bad name. Did she name herself that? We don’t know. But, it’s an extremely accurate description of who she is.

Iko Koishikawa and Teru Momijiyama from the anime series Shy
Iko Koishikawa and Teru Momijiyama

Teru doesn’t do well in public settings. She’s not good at talking to people and doesn’t like to be the center of attention. And yet, she’s a superhero. But, it’s not like she chose to become a hero. Instead, this role was forced upon her.

Despite this, Shy is proud to be a hero. She might find wearing her hero uniform in public embarrassing. However, she’s happy that even someone like her can help others. She likes being a role model for children. This is why she wants to get stronger. She wants to be able to help and inspire more people.

There’s one little problem with Shy being a shy and weak hero, though. She’s the only hero Japan has. I guess it’s a good thing that Japan has such a low crime rate compared to some other countries. But, what if there’s a major disaster?

Every Country Gets One

Shy being Japan’s only superhero isn’t unique. It looks like every country gets a single hero. And, I shouldn’t need to point out how strange that is. I mean, even if we’re only looking at a country the size of Japan, how is one hero enough?

Throughout this first season of the series, we meet a few other heroes. Most of these heroes come from countries much larger than Japan. Spirit is Russia’s hero, Meng Long is China’s hero, and Stardust is the United State’s hero. And, then there’s Lady Black, who I believe is Germany’s hero.

Alright, let’s talk a bit about these other heroes. Lady Black is a decent hero. Her ability has to do with healing and there’s not too much more to say about her. Meng Long is similar in that he (not she) isn’t that important to the story. His ability has to do with putting people to sleep.

Pepesha "Spirit" Andreianov from the anime series Shy
Pepesha “Spirit” Andreianov

The problem I see with the heroes really shows up with Spirit and Stardust. Though, I want to say that this issue could still apply to Lady Black and Meng Long. But, to me, the issue is far more apparent with the Russian and American heroes.

So, what’s the problem? They’re caricatures of the countries they come from. Pepesha Andreianove, or Spirit, the Russian hero, is named after alcohol. She’s also an extreme alcoholic who drinks entire bottles of vodka like it’s nothing. This kind of characterization makes it hard to take the series seriously.

David Wonder Jones is the American hero Stardust. He has the best hero name. But, he too is a caricature of the US. He’s a Hollywood movie star, a rockstar, and a self-professed psychopath. Now, that’s not as offensive as the Russian being an alcoholic, but still.

Villains and Weird Framing

The heroes aren’t the only ones I have an issue with. There are also the villains, led by Stigma. We don’t know that much about Stigma at this point. He looks like a young boy and we know he wants to turn the world into a children’s paradise.

To do that, he messes with people’s hearts. And, he seems to have even created manifestations of what he finds in those hearts. For example, one of Stigma’s artificial allies is Tzveta. Tzveta is a manifestation of Pepesha’s regrets surrounding the death of her mother.

Speaking of Tzveta, I thought it was a little weird that she was so important. The second half of the season is really all about Pepesha thanks to Tzveta’s existence. Now, this is only the first season of the series. But, precisely because it’s the first season, I expected it to focus more on Shy, the protagonist.

Teru "Shy" Momijiyama from the anime series Shy
Teru “Shy” Momijiyama

Overall, Tzveta is a fine antagonist. I don’t have much of an issue with her. But, then there’s Kufufu. Kufufu is another artificial ally of Stigma. And, her whole thing is that she’s a jester. She fights via slapstick comedy — which really doesn’t fit when the series is trying to be serious.

Finally, there’s one other issue I had with this series, the weird framing. I don’t mean how the story or characters were framed. I mean how the images we saw on-screen were framed. Like, there would be random overlays that made it feel like I was watching a TikTok on Youtube.

Okay, let me try to explain. Let’s say we have a scene of Pepesha and Teru talking. We’ll see them talking in a vertical slice down the center of the screen. And, the extra space will be the same content, blurred. It’s weird.

Final Thoughts

I ended up giving Shy a 5/10. It’s perfectly average. It doesn’t do anything particularly well. I didn’t find the characters all that compelling and there were some odd directorial choices. But, it also doesn’t do anything terribly wrong. It’s not bad, but I can’t say I’d recommend it.

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

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