Suspended Animation Dreams

UUUU by Digibro
January 28, 2012, 8:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


Hanamaru Kindergarten 2: One Toddler’s Understanding of the ‘Best Policy’. by ultraeternalblackout
January 18, 2010, 2:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

For lack of a better way to begin this post, I’m just going to say once again that I really love this anime, for a great many reasons.

In his recent post on this very same episode, DigitalBoy spent a good bit of time obsessing over Hiiragi, (not that I can blame him, of course.) then went on to make a very profound observation, inspired by none other than Hii-chan herself. “In my opinion, the greatest characteristic of intelligence is curiosity,” he says, surely fixated on thoughts of Hiiragi in her safari costume as he does so. “Some people believe that they understand everything, and therefore think that they have learned all that they need to.” He goes on to voice his disappointment in all the people who live their lives without experiencing enough of what the world has to offer.

On top of agreeing whole-heartedly with this opinion, I’d like to make a similar observation on the mind of a toddler. A good deal of this series so far has dealt with the Misadventures of the Unlikely Couple of Tsuchi and Anzu. Her repeated confessions of their ‘forbidden love’ never fail to reap chaos in the classroom. Now, more or less anyone who’s seen the anime is mentally brushing aside the possibility of them ever getting  married, passing it off as the innocence and naivety of a toddler. I include myself in that statement; that point aside, though, what I really love about Anzu is just how well she portrays the simple honestly of a little girl.

When we were young, most of us were taught that ‘honesty is the best policy’. As we draw nearer to the world of adults, however, it seems to be an ideal that falls more and more to the wayside.  It’s easier to lie, to pass the blame, or to hide our feelings; that way, no one gets hurt. At least, it doesn’t appear that anyone does. What we forget, though, is the simplicity of an honest childhood. Mistakes were made, apologies were accepted, and the world continued to turn as it had before.

For every two adults who believe that the emotional mindset of a child means they can’t be relied on for important tasks, it seems that there’s only one who sees the true value in them. There are a great many people who see hope for world peace in the honesty of youth. I, for one, still live by the credo of simple, heartfelt honesty. I believe strongly that if everyone were to just make their true feelings and opinions known, we could all come to the same compromises that we did as children.

Which is why I love just how much of a 3-dimensional character Anzu is. I’ve heard someone make a comment about how disgusted they were that a kindergarten girl could be so perverted; what this person utterly fails to realize, however, is that Anzu is nothing more than an innocent and honest little girl. Well, that, and the fact that nothing she has said so far has been in the least bit ‘perverted’; taking into consideration the lengths her parents went to to be together, it’s no wonder so much of Anzu’s world revolves around love. The  question of whether or not she actually has feelings for her teacher aside, Anzu does a great job of expressing the simple, open honesty of a toddler, and that’s one of the many reasons she’s my favorite character in this series.

(I would like to give a quick nod to the runner-up in that category, actually. Kawashiro, one of the other teachers, definitely wins second place. Her personality is hilarious, and she’s pretty damn cute, too, if I’m going to be honest.)

Even though I had to wait a full week between the first and second episodes of this anime, it feels like the roller-coaster ride of adorable characters and hilarious moments never even stopped. This show has a REALLY long list of things going for it, and drives home exactly why GAINAX is my favorite anime studio. (I know, I know; real original, right? Doesn’t change the fact that it is.) I’m definitely keeping a spot reserved for this series atop my favorite anime list; for now, though, I’ll just have to hide in my closet in the fetal position until the next episode.

I almost died laughing when I watched this particular scene.

Hanamaru Kindergarten–Truly Beautiful, Nothing Less. by 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.