In the future, global conflict will be eradicated thanks to the presence of heroes. Even with this huge achievement, there are still threats to humanity. Danger still lives in the world, and when people are in danger, heroes will appear to save the day. Many countries have their special hero watching over them. For Japan, their hero is Shy, a young girl named Teru Momijiyama (Shino Shimoji) who dreams of helping people. But stepping into the limelight of being a hero will be a struggle for her, especially as she comes to grips with some harsh truths of hero work in SHY Episode 1 “I’m Shy” from 8-Bit.
The thought of being a superhero is one many of us have entertained at some point in our lives. The idea of being able to make a visible impact on people’s lives through direct action is an alluring one. With the real world so rarely allowing us to make such easily recognizable impacts in life, the thought of fixing things through sheer strength and quality of character is a wonderful dream. But even this dream would have powerful hurdles to overcome, as SHY Episode 1 explores.
After a brief introduction to the state of the world, this episode wastes no time in introducing us to the series protagonist. On her way to a press event for heroes, we find Teru huddled on a bench in a subway car, stammering through her opening remarks for her upcoming introduction. She’s terrified, and one immediately wonders if this girl is actually the hero the show will follow despite the episode clearly setting her up as such. But, nerves aside, and with the help of her sidekick Ebio (Tomokazu Sugita, Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation) she manages to arrive on time.
Once on stage, Teru stammers her way through an introduction that leaves the bulk of her audience underwhelmed and calls for the headliner to appear. This cold response to the girl’s clear struggles with presenting herself before an audience is broken up by the cheers of one small fan, thrilled to see the new hero. The young boy’s calls of support to Teru have a clear impact on the young girl, reminding us how much a small act of kindness can lift a faltering spirit.
Shortly after Shy’s time on stage is over, the roller coaster at the park where the event is held fails, trapping several people upside down. Despite her earlier stage fright, we see Shy launch into action to save the frightened parkgoers. But while she manages to get most of the civilians off the ride, the brakes on the roller coaster car give out, sending the remaining passenger rocketing through the air as the car is allowed to gain far too much speed for the track to stop. Shy responds to the danger, chasing after the car and managing to catch it before crashing to earth. However, the remaining passenger is still severely injured, leaving Shy questioning whether or not she is cut out for superhero work.
The main stretch of SHY Episode 1 explores the ramifications of this event on Shy, as well as how it shapes people’s view of her. Many call for Shy to be held responsible for the girl’s injuries, even though had the hero not been present, everyone on the ride would’ve died. Teru herself is stricken with doubt, finding herself unable to even access her powers due to her lack of self-confidence.
These struggles with self-doubt prompt the arrival of another hero, Pepesha Andrianov (Mamiko Noto, Insomniacs After School). Pepesha injects a bit of levity into the episode’s weighty look at self-confidence as the character’s well-intentioned attempts to raise her fellow hero’s spirit are hindered by her obvious drunkenness.
It’s not till late in SHY Episode 1 that Teru manages to find her feet again. Confronted with a building ablaze and people trapped inside, she once again hesitates on acting, fearing she will make the situation worse. It’s only when she sees the young boy from the amusement park she saved, trying to rush into the building to save those trapped inside, that she finds her courage again. Hearing the boy credit his wanting to be a hero to Shy’s actions forces her to overcome her fears and head into the building to be a hero.
The visual presentation of Shy’s mission into the burning building is the highlight of the episode. The dangers inherent in the environment are brought to the forefront brilliantly, coupled with the fantastic delivery of Shy’s struggle with her own uncertainties, craft a weighty environment that delivers an emotional finale to the episode’s core story.
SHY Episode 1 closes with Shy meeting the individual who supervises the heroes of Earth, who gives her a dire warning of a coming threat they must all prepare to fight. The struggles that this episode lays out, both personal and professional, for the young hero craft an intriguing pilot story that leaves plenty to notice viewers to return for future installments.
SHY Episode 1 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.
SHY Episode 1 — "I'm Shy"
SHY Episode 1 closes with Shy meeting the individual who supervises the heroes of Earth, who gives her a dire warning of a coming threat they must all prepare to fight.