HINAMATSURI – Anime Review
Synopsis: Nitta Yoshifumi, a young, intellectual yakuza, lived surrounded by his beloved pots in his turf in Ashigawa. But one day, a girl, Hina, arrives in a strange object, and uses her telekinetic powers to force Nitta to allow her to live with him, putting an end to his leisurely lifestyle. Hina tends to lose control of herself, wreaking havoc both at school and in Nitta’s organization. Though troubled, he finds himself taking care of her. What will become of this strange arrangement? It’s the beginning of the dangerous and lively story of a nice-guy outlaw and psychokinetic girl! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Hinamatsuri is an extremely character driven series, specifically focused not just on the titular Hina but also on the other psychic girls, Anzu, Mao and those who cross their paths, like Nitta, the Yakuza carrying for Hina and Mishima, a young school girl and friend of Hina. Much as the content is dictated less so by some overarching plot and more by the girl’s innate personalities, one’s love for the series entirely depends on their appreciation for each of the girls. Each offers a very different persona and brand of entertainment, making the show feel like an ensemble piece that carters both to comedic and heart-warming sensibilities. For example Hina herself, is more of a deadpan, unfeeling, self-centered girl, who often causes trouble, either due to her mere presence alone or her blasé, upfront and inept nature. She can be tough to love in the traditional sense, and anyone needing their leads to be overtly likable might struggle to appreciate the content heavily focused on Hina and her innate ability to make Nitta’s life, the Yakuza carrying for her, a true living hell.
Linny: On the other hand, we have Anzu who is almost like the complete opposite of Hina despite also being a psychic girl from Hina’s sordid previous life. Anzu is extremely pure hearted and her plot lines are almost always tinged with a bit of sadness as we watch this young and ernest girl deal with life’s harshness. She’s sure to win the hearts of the viewers and on a similar note, we have Mishima, Hina’s classmate who ends up entangled in all sorts of messes out of her own kindheartedness and inability to say no to people. While Anzu’s storylines are almost always heartbreaking/ heartwarming, Mishima’s plot lines are more so humour oriented with a more proper punch line rounding things out.
Tom: The series largely exudes solid comedic timing, making its awkward comedy, predicated on misunderstandings and embarrassing events, soar with grace. But be aware that early on the show perhaps bills itself in a false manner. Hina, Anzu and Mao are all girls with psychic powers, but outside of a few early episodes, and the finale, these psychic powers barely make an appearance. Hina’s psychic abilities are used sparingly, especially after the first episode, eventually becoming a severe rarity. Rather instead the comedy comes more so from character interactions and Nitta’s attempts to explain away exactly who Hina is, and how she came into his care.
Linny: Hinamatsuti is indeed a nice mix of oddball comedy and sweet moments. Its comedy is all about bizarre interpretations or takes on everyday moments or recognizable instances turned into an unbelievable situation. Some examples are, a junior high girl forced into becoming a bartender, a yakuza member reduced to becoming a young girl’s caretaker, a tv show producer deciding to really spice up otherwise bland footage, so on and so forth. What makes these gags really shine is the execution and the over the top reactions of the characters themselves to the strange situations they end up in. I’d also like to give a heads up to anyone contemplating starting this show that the first episode’s opening minutes are not at all addressed again until the very end of the entire twelve-episode run.
Tom: It’s the last few episodes where Hinamatsuri’s manga origins really start to become obvious as Mao, a girl appearing in the first few minutes and not again till much, much later, finally makes her major debut to the story and it’s only in the final episode that we connect back to the series’ opening moments. Unless a season 2 announcement pops up around the corner this ending screams of “Go read the manga” making Hinamatsuri feel a little like a prepper meant more so to sell you on the manga than offer a contained adaptation.
Linny: Hinamatsuri is without a doubt the best comedy of its season, filled to the brim with laugh out louds moments and gags that will have you shaking your head in disbelief at the bizarreness of it all. Watching two other worldly young girls adjust to life in very different manners, and watching the lives of others around them undergo drastic changes thanks to the girls makes for a lot more comedy than you’d expect at first glance. If you’re a fan of extreme reaction faces, unusual gags and situations mixed with heart melting sweet moments, you’d do well to give this show a try.
Tom: Despite the “go read the manga” nature of the final episode, I can’t help but admit that Hinamatsuri is far and away the best Spring 2018 anime. It oozes with awkward comedy that provides a ton of laughs, heartwarming moments, and balances itself on exceedingly on point comedic timing and enjoyable characters. It’s a series that begs for a second season, not just on its open ending, but for how well it manages to suck viewers in. Out of all the anime airing this season, it’s one of the few that has me actively crossing my fingers in hopes that it’ll be getting a sequel sooner rather than never.