Hinako Note – Preview
Original Air Dates: April 7th, 2017 – ???
Synopsis: Sakuragi Hinako has a hard time talking with others, so much so she often freezes in the form of a scarecrow. To get over her paralyzing shyness, Hinako leaves her country home to start school at a city high school that has the drama club she’s admired since visiting the city. Hinako ends up staying at Hitotose-sou, a dorm/cafe/bookstore. There, she meets Kuina, who loves books and eating, including said books, Mayuki, who’s a bit older yet looks like a grade schooler, is good at cooking, and the quiet landlady with a hot body, Chiaki-san.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Hinako Note employs chibi versions of its characters to sell its comedy, which doesn’t always work as the chibi versions come off looking less adorable and polished than the ‘regular,’ full size versions of its characters.
Tom: I personally didn’t have a problem with the chibi forms and found them as cute and colorful as near any other moe type anime. That said, the thing that did bother me was the overly cutesy high pitched voices every girl talks with. It’s not a deal breaker, but people fed up with the high pitched squeals of moe girls might find there’s far more of it here than they bargained for.
Linny: When the opening credits end with our all female cast jumping into the air, more experienced viewers will probably get flashbacks to shows like Anne Happy and New Game! Based on that alone, you might be able to predict what you’re about to be shown. It’s a mishmash of quirky and cute girls, whose quirks are used for comedic set ups while they also pursue a more ‘serious’ goal, in this case, setting up a theatre club at school. It isn’t going to have you rolling on the floor with laughter but it does possess adorable and cute moments, with a few stranger ones, enough to make you crack a smile or two ever so often. The jokes will probably feel familiar to fans of the slice of life genre as they all tend to have a very particular brand of humour. In fact, I would go so far as to say even the characters themselves might look like someone you’ve seen in similar moe fare before.
Tom: What’s offered in terms of the narrative is a kind of fish out of water story as Hinako comes to know the city life. I say kinda because there’s also this push and focus on Hinako’s dream of entering into stage acting. While I’m sure there’ll be some fish of out water gags and comedy, I do have to wonder how focused this’ll be on Hinako’s first foray into acting. And to be honest, neither sounds immensely appealing, making me feel very indifferent over where Hinako Note wants to go.
Linny: Hinako, our protagonist is yet another, somewhat stupid, but sincere and in this case shy lead. In all honesty, she’s cute but not exactly super original… in fact, the most original character in the show, or at least the one who makes her mark out of sheer weirdness alone, is Kuina, the girl who literally devours books. Though I will admit that there’s a very cute and funny sequence involving the short upper classman character, Mayuki which might end up making her a crowd favourite.
Tom: Every girl is cute and weird in their own way. Hinako is the classic shy moe girl and while that may be played out, the way Hinako Note avoids complete creative bankruptcy is to award each character with a bizarre manifestation of their character traits. Like how Hinako turns into a scarecrow when she’s embarrassed. Trouble is it’s not particularly funny, making it for a ho-hum medicore gag that crops up quite often.
Linny: If you’re a seasoned anime veteran, you should be able to get a feel for Hinako Note based solely on its opening credits. All the bright colours and cute girls dancing and jumping in the air lets you know you’re in for a cute slice of life filled with quirky characters. If you’re someone who’s a big fan of these kind of shows, Hinako Note might not have an amazing premiere episode but it does show some promise nonetheless. Your enjoyment of the series will largely depend on how adorable you find the girls so if you aren’t warming up to any of them, you’ll likely never grow to like the show either.
Tom: Hinako Note is passable. It’s kinda amusing, offering enough originality with its characters quirks, even if they are more weird than adorable, that you really could do a lot worse. That said what’s here doesn’t entice me to continue and that’s really important for a first episode.
Hinako Note is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com