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Future Spotlight: Hero: 108

by on September 17, 2009

I have noticed over the years that a lot of people have grown fond of the animated programs that handle themselves more seriously than the average cartoon. Perhaps it’s because such is typically uncommon in western animation, but many people consider these animated programs to be the gold standard and wish that more cartoons made use of dramatic storytelling and had a higher sense of purpose to everything that goes on within it. However, I contend that silly shows deserve just as much respect as dramatic shows and I believe more people should be willing to give such shows a chance. There is one that I have been keeping my eye on as of late: Hero: 108.

I know some people don’t think much of the premise, but I believe that it serves the series well.  Basically, there was a point in time in which animals and humans lived in complete harmony.  However, an exiled court jester was struck by lightning and gained the ability to communicate with animals.  With this ability, he learned that animals love candies and bribed them into joining his personal army, which he used to drive away all of the humans and become the new ruler.  However, one animal named ApeTrully saw his true intentions and founded a resistance force called Big Green and scoured the land to bring 108 heroes together.  However, they’ll have to convince the animal kings to betray their new master and join them instead if they wish to have any hope of bringing peace to the land.
There are five characters who make up the best unit in Big Green: First Squad.  Lin Chung is an expert sharpshooter who is passionate about drawing, despite the fact that he isn’t very good at it.  Mighty Ray is a short-tempered guy with electrical eyeballs that he received from the monkey king, but in order to use them, he has to eat bananas which he finds disgusting. Jumpy Ghostface is the rabbit king who has an overactive imagination.  Mystique Sonia is a girl who isn’t afraid of using her feminine wiles to get what she wants, but when push comes to shove, she can use her lengthy tongue as a powerful weapon.  Mr. No Hands is their superior officer and is capable of flying by twirling the tassel on his hat.  I like all of these characters from the numerous clips that I’ve seen, but my favorite characters in Big Green are actually the adorable little turtle tanks that they use.
The villain is the one area of concern that I have. HighRoller is the exiled court jester that I mentioned earlier and he’s just an obnoxious brat.  He doesn’t have any real powers to speak of and all he did in the clips that I saw was whine and order other animals around.  The series is comedic in nature so I’m not worried about the villain being comedic, but I like to like villains, and he doesn’t seem all that likeable. However, his character guide mentions that he may actually be a formidable foe, as he is a master at games and will likely “play” with Big Green in order to get the upper hand from time to time.  He also has two henchmen, Sparky B and Sparky W, two zebra brothers who are incompetent slackers.  I suppose no series would be complete without inept henchmen, but I really like these guys and it appears that they can actually be quite powerful during a full moon.

It seems that a lot of people have high hopes for this series, as they are already working on various merchandise for it. As I’ve said before, I absolutely adore those turtle tanks and I wouldn’t mind owning a little toy of one, and if the series does well enough that might just be possible. They are also working on an MMORPG to go along with the series, which says a lot about how popular they believe this series will be.

It is currently scheduled to premiere on Cartoon Network this January, but that date could always change before then. You may want to keep an eye on the series’ blog, facebook page or twitter account, as they have been updating them rather steadily over the past few months. There is also a ton of information on the official website, including a shortened show bible and over seventy clips from the first few episodes. I have really enjoyed what I’ve seen so far, minus the fart joke in one clip, and I’m hoping that this series does very well when it airs.

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