Haifuri – Preview
Original Air Dates: April 9th, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: 100 years after much of the world became submerged underwater, seaborne trading routes expanded to accommodate the coastal cities built to replace the submerged landmasses. Sea faring vessels used to safeguard the trading routes expanded as an industry and the “Blue Mermaids” were born. Now, Akeno Misaki and Moeka China, two childhood friends, seek to become Blue Mermaids themselves by enrolling in the Yokusuka’s Marine High School, learning what it takes to command the ships pledged to protect the people.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Hai-Furi has generally competent animation, nothing spectacular but also nothing that will cause eyes to bleed like Cerberus from this season. However, Hai-Furi has several CGI sequences where the framerate craps out, making the image stutter. It’s particularly noticeable on one zoom out from Misaki’s ship just before battle.
Linny: The animation is definitely not amazing, with several instances of clear low quality like Thomas pointed out. It’s not bad enough to thrash the show over, but don’t be surprised to come across a sequence or two that’s screaming for better quality.
Tom: Our main character, Misaki, is the classic ditz, poor grades, a lot of heart, but little confidence. In fact, that’s kind of the entire cast. Besides Misaki’s rival, who cannot believe she was passed up as captain in Misaki’s place, every other girl aboard their ship suffers from airhead syndrome and seems ill-fitted to their position. It reminds me a lot of Girls und Panzer, a cast of characters ill-fitted to their positions that need to gradually grow into them. I wish there was more variation in the characters through, I feel like Misaki clones populate the entire ship.
Linny: It’s rather frustrating to watch almost every single girl constantly stumble and fumble with their assigned role on the ship, making you question the common sense of letting these girls take control of a armed warship. It’s a wonder these girls even made it into maritime school with their clumsy and clueless ways. And it doesn’t help that the two main characters seem more like tired cliches, rather than captivating leads.
Tom: Hai-Furi is oddly labeled as a school anime, despite it clearly taking place in the future, giving it a tinge of scifi. But a lot like Girls und Panzer, you shouldn’t think too hard about the setting, as any real scrutiny forces the entire show to fall apart. Why would students be allowed to man ships by themselves? No supervising officers on board? Every flaw in logic is left untouched in order to serve the show’s underlying concept: moe girls manning battleships.
Linny: This show really requires suspension of disbelief and an addiction to moe, as logic is nowhere to be found. Seeing how incompetent these girls are, it seems nigh impossible even for average skilled high school girls to be allowed to take their maiden voyage without a single adult instructor on board in case of an accident or emergency. This makes it easy to roll your eyes or throw your hands up in exasperation when the girls find themselves in a dire situation that feels both ludicrous and perplexing, as to how it could possibly happen in the first place.
Tom: Linny’s referring to the late episode reveal, indicating there’s a much larger conspiracy at play to use our girls as scapegoats, or to frame them in some sort of grand plot. But Haifuri already requires so much suspension of disbelief that this sudden, dark turn feels hollow. This isn’t a world that makes a lot of sense already, and why you’d want to frame girls who can barely command their own ship, let alone attempt a coup, is beyond me.
Linny: As someone who’s always struggled to see the appeal in “moe girls with machines” show, Haifuri failed to win me over. It could be that I am a hardsell with Kancolle being the only armament related show I’ve liked to date, but I figure I can act as a cautionary tale to viewers like me once again. Haifuri is another moeXbattle machine story, with the expected cast of clutzes, introverts, tsunderes, etc. If you haven’t enjoyed them before, Haifuri just isn’t original enough to win you over. If you are a fan though, Hai-furi might require an even higher suspension of disbelief and a great admiration for any and all moe.
Tom: Haifuri is an original series with an accompanying manga that began publication back in October. I think Haifuri is really just for Girls und Panzer fans, people who want to watch adorable little school girls work powerful weapons and vessels. It’s a funny little idea, but the execution here leaves me wanting. Without a more diverse cast, or more commitment to its unhinged premise and world, Haifuri feels a little boring for my tastes.