Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Anime, Hanamaru Kindergarten, Suspended Animation Dreams, U3B, UltraEternalBlackout
I refuse to beat around the bush with this one: this was definitely my favorite series opener of the winter season, and I feel that, barring some sort of catastrophe, it’s destined to find itself a spot on my favorite anime list. Somehow, it had managed to slip under my radar; but thanks to 21stcenturydigitalboy’s response to it on Fuzakenna and a God-sent lapse in newly released episodes to watch, I took that first step and decided to check it out.
Plain and simple, Hanamaru Kindergarten is not only a hilarious, adorable peek into the lives of realistic kindergartners, it’s an anime determined to portray the relationships between the adult characters, in an extremely unique and no-holds-barred way. On top of that, it also delivers a lot of classic anime humor and entertainment in a tasteful manner. This anime just amazes me with how many directions it’s taking its story in, and just how vastly it can succeed.
I’m the sort of person who just can’t handle when characters, be they animated or ‘real’, put themselves into a nasty situation through sheer stupidity or ignorance, and then just continue to dig themselves a deeper hole; I hate the ‘absurdly stupid’ moments, if you will. But, somehow, I couldn’t do anything but laugh as Tsuchida, the main male character and kindergarten teacher fresh out of college, tries (and fails, utterly) to explain to his student’s parents that he is not, in fact, a pedophile. It didn’t appear to me to be the rantings of a shallow, idiotic character; he was desperately trying to save his own reputation. More than that, though, I love the fact that the parents can spot his good-natured honesty as he flails about in front of them.
The kindergartners are just absolutely adorable; there’s no denying that, and it has nothing to do with being a lolicon or not. Not only do they act like realistic toddlers, they each have a unique personality. Koume is quiet and shy, Hiiragi is intelligent and well-mannered, and Anzu is outgoing and courageous. What really gives the characters depth, though, is more or less a reverse side to a coin; if what you see most of the time from them can be considered heads, then their truest personality is tails, fairly literally, in Hii-chan’s case. Koume is anxious to befriend people, Hiiragi loves to act the part of a little kid when she’s at home, and Anzu is, well…flirtatious and insane.
I feel the kids are really the heart and soul of this anime, but the back story involving the adult characters is brilliant as well. Tsuchida’s worries about being the one male kindergarten teacher in about a dozen schools, (I can do math!) his fledgling feelings for Yamamoto, another teacher, and his discovery that Anzu’s mother was his high school senior all wrap together nicely. At first, I couldn’t help but wonder if Sakura’s husband had left her, and if the story would bring Tsuchida and her together; but then he shows up, and my theory got blown out of the water. Even so, the great characters and what has been, so far, amazing writing and direction give me the impression that this anime could take itself in a million different directions, all of them astounding.
I really, really can’t wait for the next episode of this anime; more so than any other series this season, even after a truly amazing second episode to Sora no Woto. Like I said earlier, I won’t be surprised at all if this anime finds itself a spot among my all-time favorites, and it’s definitely going pretty deep into my ever-growing ‘Vault’ of precious anime discoveries. Most importantly, I’m definitely going to be hanging this over my loli-loving, shoujo-obsessed friend’s head for a while.
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