During the past year in anime, there have been a lot of heroic characters fighting against a wide variety of threats, including man-eating giants, sky pirates, gorillas, crippling loneliness, etc. I wanted to use this post to pay tribute to one of the more unsung heroes, Miss Monochrome. Going into that show, I expected it to be like Teekyuu and just have “lol so random” humor. I did get that, but I also got Batman reimagined as a robot idol.
Like Batman, Miss Monochrome experienced the loss of a loved one early in life. For both, the trauma motivated them to adopt a similar philosophy. As Ra’s al Ghul put it, “If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal and if they can’t stop you, then you become something else entirely.” The omen of a bat flying through an open window inspired Bruce Wayne to become the Batman. Similarly, Miss Monochrome decided to become a super idol that would stand out more after seeing a popular idol on her television.
Another similarity between Batman and Miss Monochrome is their supporting cast. They have loyal and hardworking servants in Alfred Pennyworth and Manager Maneo. Both also have sidekicks of comparable usefulness: Robin the Boy Wonder and Ruu-chan the gold-colored Roomba, which leads to another interesting parallel. Despite tragically dying in the second episode, Ruu-chan is magically alive again in the next episode, much like how Jason Todd, the second Robin, came back to life after being killed by the Joker.
The willingness to become a jack-of-all-trades in pursuit of your goal is another trait that these two heroes share. Batman is a scientist, fighter, and detective. Miss Monochrome has mastered art and can determine the nutritional content of a bowl of ramen with a single glance. She is also a world-class athlete capable of outrunning racecars, winning world championships in various combat sports, and scaling Mount Olympus on Mars.
Much like how Batman is hunted by the police for being a vigilante, Miss Monochrome may never be acknowledged as a super idol despite saving the Earth from an alien attack. Even if her talents may lie elsewhere, I will root for her as she strives toward her goal. Miss Monochrome is the idol anime deserves, but not the one it needs right now.