It’s not exactly uncommon in an anime for the main character to be the most interesting one, but it is more of a rarity to have one who’s as chronically underconfident as Arata is in an action show. It surprises me that I’m actually enjoying the resulting contrast.
The thing that make this show fun to watch is the way it balances the contradictions in Arata’s character. His deep-seated fear of those more powerful than him versus his sense of obligations towards others, his lack of style and grace versus the level of power he holds, the speed with which he gains and loses motivation to act, etc. These factors don’t make the story revolutionary, but they make it fun by making his each individual action somewhat unpredictable. It’s kind of neat to watch an on-off hero, one that can do great things at his peak but usually isn’t there; depending on how the show goes, it could add tension to battles with enemies lower on the strength hierarchy than ones he’s already fought. In fact, I daresay there’s a necessity when the hero has a weapon called the “sword of origins” and can Mega Man defeated enemies.
Only in his best moments does he actually act like this
And while Arata’s no Kenshiro, it definitely stirs up fond memories to see someone cry while acting heroic. The other benefit is that the dynamic where everyone gets “saved” emotionally by him is a lot more complicated than in, say, Dai’s Big Adventure, because the main character’s not simply so hopeful he’s infectious, but one that heals pain by sharing it.
Tears suit a reluctant hero
Excellent characterization aside, there are two major points I’m looking forward to at this point that the show will have to eventually get to addressing; how will other-Arata deal with the difficulties Arata faced in his everyday school life, and how will the serious multi-episode fights look like with these Mega-Manned powers added into the mix? I’m hoping the next episode will take a step in that direction, as a 12-episode series doesn’t have a ton of time to meander and we’re already 1/3 of the way through it all.