The Spring 2023 anime season is looking promising overall, with a slew of new shows that have either already delivered solid premieres or are highly anticipated. Heavenly Delusion, For example, may become one of the season's biggest new releases, while Mashle and Oshi no Ko are sure to draw a large audience, not to mention anime sequels such as Demon Slayer, Dr. Stone, and KonoSuba, among others.

However, there are some titles that serve only to drag the season down, as is the case with Tezuka Productions' My Home Hero, a seinen manga-based crime thriller that appears promising on paper but fails miserably in terms of writing and overall execution.


The Plot of My Home Hero – And Why It's Already a Major Problem

Tetsuo Tosu is a typical middle-aged Japanese salaryman with a supportive wife and a daughter, Reika, who is now a college student living on her own. However, when Tetsuo notices bruises on Reika's face and suspects that she is being abused, he learns that she is dating a man named Nobuto Matori, who has a long history of abusing his girlfriends and extorting money from them and their families. When he is beaten up by Nobuto and his gang and then accidentally cornered in Reika's apartment, Tetsuo murders Nobuto in a fit of rage, which his wife witnesses immediately. Tetsuo must now dispose of the body and conceal the fact that he murdered someone, all while Tetsuo's gang and yakuza family members investigate his sudden disappearance.

While such a story may indeed sound thrilling from the premise alone, one of the biggest problems with My Home Hero is that it writes its own female cast members more or less out of the picture, stripping Reika in particular of all agency despite the events leading up to Nobuto's murder. Reika isn't a fully developed character; she's just a victim and a plot device to allow Tetsuo to take center stage as a man determined to protect his family at all costs. Although the story is supposed to revolve around Reika's plight and Tetsuo's reaction to it, her role is reduced to that of a supporting "damsel in distress." This isn't a story about an abused woman regaining control; it's a revenge story told entirely from a male point of view, primarily for the enjoyment of the anime's older male target audience.


Domestic Violence and Physical Abuse Against Women as portrayed by My Home Hero

My Home Hero's second elephant in the room is that its presentation of physical abuse, and more specifically, domestic violence, is so ridiculously over-the-top that it almost feels like a parody of itself at times. There is certainly no subtlety here, as Nobuto and his gangster group are portrayed as so evil as to be laughable. All of his scenes feature a loud-mouthed young man in flashy clothes who openly and explicitly brags about having beaten up his girlfriends in the past. The gang members try to outdo each other in terms of abuse, boasting about cracking women's skulls or rupturing their internal organs. They also engage in physical violence and intimidation in broad daylight, all while numerous bystanders look on awkwardly or pretend not to notice.

It's this kind of blunderingly excessive writing that makes My Home Hero impossible to take even remotely seriously, let alone have any emotional reaction to Tetsuo murdering Nobuto in the first episode in order to protect his only daughter. In fact, when Tetsuo first discovers evidence of Nobuto's abuse of Reika earlier in the episode, the scene is played out as comedic, with Reika abruptly leaving the family restaurant when Tetsuo questions her about her bruises before falling to the floor and dramatically screaming her name.

Combined with the show's cringe-inducingly on-the-nose depiction of violence against women, My Home Hero's premiere isn't just bad -- it's borderline offensive. Viewers may want to skip it and look elsewhere for their violent action or suspense material, as it is easily one of the worst new titles to premiere this spring. After all, with so much to choose from this anime season, viewers shouldn't have to look too hard to find something far superior.