Stand My Heroes: PIECE OF TRUTH – Ep 1 [First Impression]

Eva’s First Impression

Goodness, this episode was a huge info dump with all the names, titles, and the sheer amount of characters being thrown at us left and right, it made me dizzy! So because there were so many characters introduced to us, I put them all in bullet points so it’s easier for everyone process, and then I will work from there.

  • (DCD) Drug Control Department
    1. Izumi Rei (Heroine)
    2. Aoyama Itsuki (Rei’s mentor/STAND Candidate #1)
    3. Seki Daisuke (In charge of the DCD team)
    4. Natsume Haru
    5. Imaoji Shun
    6. Yui Kotaro
    7. Watabe Satoru (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Investigation Section 1
    1. Asagiri Tsukasa (STAND Candidate #2)
    2. Sugano Natsuki (STAND Candidate #3)
    3. Arakida Sosei (STAND Candidate #4)
    4. Hattori You
  • Yacht Party
    1. Hiyama Takaomi (STAND Candidate #5/Member of Revel) – Head of the Hiyama Group, Japan’s most prominent financial group
    2. Kujo Soma (Omori Pharmaceutical Company, executive director) STAND Candidate #6
    3. Soma’s Bodyguard #1 (Blonde)
    4. Soma’s Bodyguard #1 (Handsome Purple)
  • POST-CREDIT:
    • No-Name: Red-Hair Ponytail dude
    • Mystery Character

We’ll start with our dear heroine Izumi Rei. For whatever (and currently unexplained) reason, she has a unique ability of drug immunity. She is also a rookie agent of the Drug Control Department (DCD) who has been assigned with the responsibility to scout qualified members of the police, DCD and civilians for STAND (STand Alone National Department). It is a special investigation team dedicated to tackling the rise of unresolved drug-related cases. Rei was recommended by Daisuke to be charge of persuading the candiate to join the operation, however there are a lot of apprehension about her being the one to do it because she already had a rough start of getting herself in trouble by messing up an operation that resulted a probation period.

Today Rei ended up getting herself involved in a “minor” event took place during a Hiyama’s Group’s gala on a yacht. She had come to recruit another one of STAND’s candidates, Hiyama Takaomi, who runs a group of informants known as Revel. (ALSO, WHAT THE HECK: HE LOOKS SO MUCH LIKE TRIGGER’S TENN!) And the second one, (which Rei came in unaware of) was the job to investigate and protect Takaomi after he had received Death Threats.

Right now, I can’t say I am completely in love with Rei’s character. She is a cutie who comes across as someone who takes her job seriously, but has the tendency to act on the impulse, unable to turn a blind eye to injustice when she sees it. It is what makes her both brave and terribly reckless character. We were also able to see the perk of her Drugs Immunity today, and how it can give her an edge in dangerous situations (so as long as she actually take advantage of the element of surprise). However her moment of glory fell a bit short for me when she didn’t completely follow through with her counter-attack in a way I wished she had. Did they have to make it so she would then simply stand there, and cower when the man was going to strike back? That’s my only complaint. It would have been fantastic to see her gutsy enough to prepare to either dodge, or counter strike! Not to mention, if she’s going to follow an attacker, she better damn well be prepared to fight! Standing there doing nothing, only puts her right back in that box of “Damsel in Distress”, which ironically proves the point Sosei had made earlier in the episode. I also hope she will prove to have a bit more color to her personality since it felt a bit monotone today. That is why I sincerely hope Rei’s character will have the opportunity to grow throughout the story in a way where she can become more empowered to take better control of dangerous situations when she is on her own. It is good that she has an earnest heart and a strong sense of justice, but if she were to continue recklessly charging into danger, unprepared to properly fend for herself when needed, that is not bravery, that is stupidity, and it will get annoying real fast. So hopefully we will be able to see her mature over time.

Then we have the guys, and bloody hell I don’t even know who are supposed to be the mains at this point. THERE’S SO MANY OF THEM!

Frankly speaking, I found it terribly overwhelming. I had a hard time trying to keep track of who is who, which almost made it a bit difficult for me to have the opportunity to figure out who I was drawn to. But among the characters who succeeded catching my attention were Arakida Sosei, and Soma’s handsome purple bodyguard, and I guess you could also say Kujo Soma, but that is more based on suspicious than attraction.

He’s a good guy

But if among all the characters, I would say the one who I think had the most time was actually Aoyama Itsuki. He is Rei’s mentor, and has a lot of faith in her. He spoke up on Rei’s behalf, backing-up Daisuke’s suggestion for her to be in charge of recruiting the STAND candidates. He was also the one she was partnered up with during the failed field work that resulted her probation. Unlike some of her other peers, Itsuki didn’t consider her actions as a mistake, nor did it think it was fair to pin the blame for the mission’s failure entirely on her. He is also the type of guy who values the importance of upholding their own belief of justice, regardless of what others may think.

Despite being given a bit of extra (alone) time with Rei, I found I wasn’t really able to form any particular opinion on him. He just comes across as an earnest guy who appears to have a soft-spot for Rei, probably because the two of them are similar in the way they both uphold their idea of justice. I would certainly like to see more of how Itsuki and Rei work together.

The second character who i thought was given a bit of extra time in the spotlight was Arakida Sosei. I am not surprised whatsoever that I was drawn to him as I am a sucker for characters who secretly have a warm heart underneath it their frosty exterior. He is the “lone wolf” of the Investigation Section 1 team. He is frosty on the surface, but a softie at heart. He was pretty critical to Rei, calling her out on wearing high-heels when her job is a narc, and I completely agree. I don’t care how good she may be running in heels, those are not the type shoes you should be wearing, especially when your job involves being sent out to partake in dangerous operations! (The Gala however, was an exemption since she had to look the part and was not planning on getting involved in anything dangerous.)

The third was Soma’s Purple bodyguard (or assistant, but I think he’s a guard). He is a handsome man who had given Rei a handkerchief after his buddy made Rei spill her drink all over her. No name was given, but I love mysterious characters, and I can’t help but feel drawn to him so I am hoping we will be able to learn a lot more about him in the future!

And lastly, the one who arose my suspicion: Kujo Soma. Even though he is one of the candidates nominated to be recruited to STAND, my first impression of him was, “I bet he’s part of mafia boss!”. And lo and behold, he is not only the Omori Pharmaceutical Company, executive director, but according to Daisuke comes, the guy has some dark rumours circulating around him, and it would be in Rei’s best interest to avoid being alone with him. Even though they want him to be part of the team, I can’t help but be totally suspicious of him. Then again, that’s probably precisely why they want him, hahaha.

Overall I thought it was an okay premiere. It had a strong start with a dramatic flashback of a horrific and tragic incident of someone having driven into a carousel she was at when Rei was younger. We weren’t given much more than that, other than perhaps that incident played a role in determining her career path, or else served to be that special encounter with the boy, whose face she had forgotten. But after that, due to the sheer amount of information being thrown at us, it kind of wore me out. The little bit of action helped spice things up, but I can hardly say it was a memorable experience. That being said, despite my iffy feelings about the heroine, it is still to early to judge and I want to at least give this show a chance to see which direction is plans to take us. Hopefully the amount of information won’t be as hard to digest either. But hey at least the animation was super clean! I’m looking forward to hopefully more fight scenes in the future!

Possibility of Blogging: Moderate – I am going to give it up to three episodes to see if this is a show I want to to pick up.

Eva

Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog

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2 Responses

  1. zztop says:

    Based on an ongoing smartphone otome + puzzle game (Candy Crush style).

    There’s also a gatcha element in this game too.

    Here’s a gameplay video.

  2. PhilNGraves says:

    I personally dread future episodes if they continue to paint the poor girl as ‘devil may care’ while keeping her as some woefully inept ‘damsel in distress’ trope on legs. I mean she is a LEO, which requires basic hand to hand, not hands to face anytime someone raises a fist to you.
    An aside to her ‘drug immunity’… the rag was supposedly soaked in chloroform, which I hate seeing in any show. Takes a good 5 minutes to actually render someone unconscious even with proper dosing. I realize this isn’t just an issue with this show, but I found it a poor showing of her ‘immunity’.

    Here is to hoping they let her actually be a police officer next episode… otherwise they should just stick her in a tower for a better stereotype.

    -Phil

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