‘Hero Mask’ | Netflix Original Series Review Who is behind the mask?

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Summary

Fast-paced, dark and fresh – Netflix series Hero Mask could well be the must-see anime of the year, introducing an intriguing plot shrouded with mystery and cool characters.

Well, I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised. Netflix anime Hero Mask opens up cooly, like a James Bond movie, with a pulse-racing soundtrack to open up the title screens. The Japanese animation has a theme in mind, and that is a fresh, grisly action series that is difficult to put down. Netflix has played the right hand here with Studio Pierrot.

Induced in mystery, Hero Mask introduces the two leading protagonists supported by other characters that slide their way in to add depth to an intriguing story. I was surprised by how Hero Mask relies on the emotional angle to introduce a story about mysterious bio-masks that allow the user to change their face.

Detective James Blood (voiced by Yasuyuki Kase) is clearly a stubborn moving character. In the opening episode, he is tracking down a suspect and takes matters in his own hands despite going against the protocol of his agency SSC, irritating his boss Lennox Gallagher (voiced by Junpei Morita). The SSC has a clear admiration for him, despite the reluctance to remain under control.

Hero Mask also introduces you to Sarah Sinclair (voiced by Y?ko Kaida), a character who clearly has an urgency to investigate and dig deeper into the mystery of the bio-masks. She refuses to acknowledge orders to remove herself from the investigation, due to her own emotional tie-in to the entire scenario.

Hero Mask’s tie-in and what brings both characters together is the death of Monica, a colleague that conveniently suffers from heart failure after securing a key witness in an investigation. Sarah has many reasons to believe that the bio-mask and the death of her friend are linked. The tie-in is where the anime starts to play the violent aspects, introducing the first use of the bio-mask, used by an ex and presumed dead convict called Grimm, who causes havoc using his mask, determined to hurt James who initially arrested him.

Hero Mask is cool, it’s violent, and the mystery remains credible. I usually have an issue with some animations that fail to keep the story progressing at a pace that keeps me engaged, but Hero Mask’s primary tool is to keep the music moving, the scenes advancing and the characters adding to the thriller.

There is a scene in particular in the later episodes, which involves a car chase, and the anime convincingly pulls it off almost like a real-life representation of what a hunt would look like in a feature-length film. The style of the animation is sharp, stylish and ultra modern, which suits the action-led contemporary storyline.

As the series progresses, the truth behind the masks becomes clearer. I guarantee Hero Mask will be a binge watch rather than a tentative play. If there is one anime series that you watch on Netflix this year, then this is it.

Daniel Hart

Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.

5 thoughts on “‘Hero Mask’ | Netflix Original Series Review

  • December 4, 2018 at 7:30 am
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    This series is literally hot garbage. The plot progression doesn’t make sense at any point. No time is spent developing the characters. The voice over is rough, disjointed, and almost completely devoid of genuine human emotion. This series seems hollow or half made. The premise seems like it could be interesting, but was too poorly executed to be worth it.

    TLDR: show sucks if your looking for an action anime I suggest Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade

    Reply
  • December 4, 2018 at 4:41 pm
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    Aside from this show being a bit of a mess (only two episodes in), I’m wondering what happened to all of the people of color? There are none..not even in the background. Presumably this is set in the “West” somewhere… although it’s a fictional setting…it’s still a bit strange because this show is targeted to an audience in the West. Was the goal to appeal to a perceived “majority White” audience in the US on Netflix? I would imagine that their viewers are very diverse. I normally don’t notice but this is odd.

    Reply
    • December 11, 2018 at 7:03 pm
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      It looks like a fictional version of London. Being from London I recognized it being as such when James was on the train the outside of it was obviously not standard TFL colours but the interior of the train was dead on for what most trains in the underground these days look like the city skyline is also indicative of it being London along with the emergency services and so on. But the lack of different races even if it is a fictional London is odd because the Capital is a huge mix of people.

      Kind of sad really it is the way you have mentioned.

      Reply
  • December 5, 2018 at 9:16 pm
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    I found the art interesting, but this is not anime in a true sense. This is an American comic book story created in an anime style. The plots, continuity, lack of emotions, senseless violence, sound are all a bit off. Still very worth watching if you like good eye candy.

    Reply
  • December 11, 2018 at 4:47 am
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    (SPOILER WARNING): Trash absolute and complete trash. Two episodes in I couldn’t keep watching because it was such complete garbage. During a scene the CP HQ becomes under attack by a shapeshifter looking dude. Only the shapeshifter goes in through the front door making his main ability (shapeshifting) completely useless. He then acts extremely edgy which alerts the ten to fifteen armed guards in the room. He then SLICES AN OFFICERS THROAT OPEN and slowly looks around for about twenty seconds. The other officers say NOTHING and do NOTHING. They sit there like hallow shells with guns pointed at him and he then kills another one with a thrown knife, runs over, and picks up the officers handgun (which magically appears from an empty holster) HE THEN SHOOTS ANOTHER OFFICER and during this you see two officers in the background watching with guns drawn DOING LITERALLY NOTHING TO STOP THIS MAN! HE SHOOTS THREE MORE OFFICERS BEFORE ONE RETURNS FIRE! He does this all rather slowly and methodically. He then takes the only intelligent officer in the room hostage in front of SEVEN ARMED OFFICERS WHO WERE ALL BEHIND HIM! Three officers then RUSH him with pistols when he hides behind a pillar that’s right they RUSH HIM WHILE ARMED WITH WEAPONS BUILT TO FIGHT AT RANGE. He kills all three simultaneously and changes clothes in the span of TEN SECONDS. HE CHANGES CLOTHES AND KILLS THREE OFFICERS IN THE SPAN OF TEN SECONDS SIMULTANEOUSLY! He then somehow is allowed past the other officers in his new disguise shoots five bullets and kills six guards (which is an audio oversight) and in the scene before the four officers who were behind him are not there in this scene. Anime isn’t about realism but this…. this wasn’t stretching the imagination it was breaking it with a sledge hammer… Absolute trash

    Reply
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