Suspended Animation Dreams

As A Kanokon Fan, That OVA Really Did Suck [Minor NSFW] by Digibro
February 27, 2010, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Anime, Kanokon, Manatsu no Daishanikusai | Tags: , , ,

I know, UltraEternalBlackout did a post about it sucking on this site already, but the post comes with a massive grain of salt when you look at how seriously UEB takes Kanokon as a whole, and how hyper-active this post is. Well, I assure you that he’s very right. The Kanokon OVA is one of those rare additions to a series that doesn’t just suck, but actually tarnishes the source material in a way. I find it rather surprising that the same director and writer of the series produced the OVA, because I honestly feel like they didn’t even understand the core series.

What I love about Kanokon is that the series is very sexually ‘open’. The characters deal immediately with the fact that the way they behave is not accepted in their surroundings, but they are in love enough not to care. In the series, it’s rather obvious that Kouta really wants to bone Chizuru. When he tells her ‘no’, it’s in the ‘no means yes’ way that Japanese women always use in bed. He doesn’t really resist her (even in the first episode he explains to the class rep that ‘it’s not like I don’t enjoy it.’) That’s what makes Kouta fun – he’s trying his hardest to not be seen as a pervert, but he IS a pervert, as all men are, so he can’t help but be drawn in (to Chizuru’s tits).

The OVA is ignorant of this. In the OVA, Kouta outright denies Chizuru’s sexual advances. He acts like he doesn’t love her, like he isn’t a pervert, but some kind of prude. I have a hard time seeing this as the same character who is fun to watch in the series.

This, I admit, was awesome.

And the OVA utterly lacks substance. Now, I’m not trying to say that the series was a shining example of substance. I’m also not going to say that the fanservice wasn’t something that the series spent a lot of time on. I’ve made a case for Strike Witches before wherein I stated that while the fanservice is ever-present, it doesn’t get in the way of the show’s plot at all, so the fault of being distracted is more on the viewer (same can be said of Queen’s Blade.) This is not true for Kanokon – there really is time taken out of the episodes for fanservice. However, there is also plot, and comedy, and other things to keep things interesting. Some episodes had fights, some had warm messages of togetherness, and some had some genuinely hilarious comedy. This OVA has none of those. It’s like a cold and calculated attempt to throw out fanservice and cash in on the series’ success.

But we don’t NEED that. There was enough fanservice in the main Kanokon series, there’s no point to rehashing it for another hour in an OVA with no substance. It would be so much more fulfilling to just watch the series over again, and have just as much fap-worthy material along with your fun plot and characters.

I think I get what this OVA was supposed to be. I’ve seen plenty of these ‘slow summer day’ episodes of anime. Kyoto Animation is the master of them, having had ones in Haruhi and in the K-On! OVA (sans summer for winter), and even in those good ones, there are still people who will say that they are worthless, reasonably. I think it’s nice to be introspective sometimes, because it lets you really recognize the show at it’s barest level and perhaps come to appreciate exactly what it is that you like about the series… but Kanokon’s OVA is not successful as a ‘slow summer day’ episode because it just isn’t Kanokon. If it had instead captured the core elements of the series that made it fun to watch, it could have been a success, but instead it is a boring and trite failure.


Follicle Talk: Grabbing Your Characters By The Hair Part 1 – Hair Color by Shance
February 17, 2010, 11:20 am
Filed under: Anime, Follicle Talk, Hair Color | Tags: , , ,

It can’t be avoided. It can’t also be helped. Sometime, someday, you’ll eventually have to categorize your anime, manga, and game characters. Sure, we can do that. But aside from the usual and generic black, can we do it – WITH HAIR? We’ll see.

This is the only time you’ll see a king being officially moe. Trust me.


Shance: Yellow-haired characters are personifications of power. They have money, the looks, the attitude that fits their already extravagant status, and power levels that can go OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAND. They almost always get what they want, be it more riches, more power (in whatever form, be it political, or the real destructive thing you shoot out of your very own hands), or people (regardless of gender, which, of course, works if you’re a lesbian or a trap).

Prominent Examples: Sanzenin Nagi of Hayate no Gotoku, Marisa Kirisame of Touhou, Saber and Gilgamesh from Fate/Stay Night, Onizuka from Great Teacher Onizuka, Char Aznable from Gundam, Aeru from Simoun

Digiboy: At least, that’s true for some of them. On the other side of the coin, some see yellow as the calming color of placidity. Yellow can be your energetic best friend who actually manages to put effort into relaxation, and is always a blast to be around just for being so awesome.

Prominent Examples: Kirino Chiba of Bamboo Blade, Miyako of Hidamari Sketch, Triela from Gunslinger Girl, Kamikishiro Naoko from Boogiepop


Shance: Blue is usually associated with peacefulness and that amazing, silent air of maturity, which you can find on a character wearing said color on his/her hair. Blue-haired characters have that mature and sophisticated feel that even the most mundane activities become very worthwhile and enjoyable if they are the ones doing them. Of course, this means they are mostly regarded as your ideal waifus, if not your ideal parents, or elder siblings.

Prominent Examples: Sakuraba Aoi from Aoi Yori Aoshi, Mahoro from Mahoromatic, Izumi Konata from Lucky Star, Sae from Hidamari Sketch, Shinobu Maehara from Love Hina, Edmond Dantes from Gankutsuou

Digiboy: However, that calm blue can also be a symbol of insecurity. Sometimes, a character who looks blue may also spend most of their time feeling blue, or at least criminally shy. If you aren’t the most up-beat fellow yourself, stay away from some blue-haired angst-balls or you could find yourself being dragged even further down.

Prominent Examples: Ayanami Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Tabitha from Zero no Tsukaima, Inamori Mikan from Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight

Asuka, Asuka, why are you so red? Are you Player 1 like they said?


Shance: Ah, yes, that fiery color of the spectrum. Most of the characters that associate their hair with the color red are mostly hot-blooded, adrenaline-driven people. They don’t listen to what others say, and do what they will without any regard to what the outside world has to say to him/her. Of course, that being said, they throw the most violent of tantrums or the most devious of pranks if they get flatly rejected, belittled or humiliated.

Prominent Examples: Lina Inverse of Slayers, Shana from Shakugan no Shana Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk, Asuka Langley Sohryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Vita from Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A’s, Amamiya Manami from Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight

Digiboy: Yeah, most red-haired characters are quite fiery, and always violent, but some of them are plum fucking crazy. We’re talking about super-powered god-modding badasses who will fuck you up before you even know what you’ve done to deserve it. These characters don’t just have red hair – their hair is STAINED red, with the blood of all the poor fools in their way.

Prominent Examples: Etna from Disgaea, Claire Stanfield from Baccano!, Revy from Black Lagoon, early Himura Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin Tsuiokuhen



Shance: Green-haired people are mostly the bubbly types. They’re adventurous, they’re curious, they’re lively (but not in a fiery kind of way like in the case of red-haired characters), and they get the most out of any situation that involves anything of interest. However, don’t be fooled. Some of them only have these personalities as a facade, and some of them are hurt or broken so bad, they don’t even understand themselves anymore.

Prominent Examples: Asa Shigure from SHUFFLE!, Litte Ratius from Prism Ark, Karakuri Chachamaru from Negima!, Yotsuba from Yotsuba&!, Sonozaki Shion and Sonozaki Mion from Higurashi, Lum from Urusei Yatsura

Digiboy: Some green-haired characters, though, are far from lively, and are, if anything, distant. Green hair my symbolize that the character hasn’t quite found their place in life, limboing between the platonic blue state and wishing that they could be as lively and fun as the yellows. Some green-haired characters need just a little more time to decide where they are, but in the end will come into their own as great people.

Prominent Examples: Alice Carroll from Aria, Rimone from Simoun, C.C. from Code Geass, Kochiya Sanae from Touhou, Kino from Kino no Tabi

Ladies and Gentlemen, your Izanami.


Shance: This type of hair color is an enigma to me, simply because the characters with this kind of hair color seem like helpless, emotionless puppets. Despite having the power to do anything for themselves, they get passed around by their overwhelming instincts or cruel masters and benefactors, as if they were pieces of a chess board serving a more higher purpose. Hence, white or silver-haired characters sport a blank, emotionless face, a sly, hard-as-stone demeanor, and possibly even cold-blooded murderous intent, all for the task at hand.

Prominent Examples: Cenes Crawford from Thunderforce V, Yin from Darker Than Black, Nero Chaos from Tsukihime, Archer and Ilyasviel Von Einsbern from Fate/Stay Night, Canaan from Canaan

Digiboy: Unless they are male. There has been a long pervading theme in anime fandom that ‘long white hair’ = bishounen. This most likely began with a combination of Rumiko Takahashi creations and a certain video game about long swords, but it has become an essential staple of bishiehood.

Prominent Examples: Inu-yasha and Sesshoumaru from Inu-Yasha, Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, Griffith from Berserk


Shance: This should be easy. Brown-haired people are straightforward, brimming with determination. Once they set their minds to a goal, they never stop until they achieve it. Of course, if they can’t, they’ll just find another way to, easy as that. Details are for later, and actions speak louder than words. Ain’t that so human a trait, you’ll feel for them?

Oh, and some, if not most of them, are voiced by Rina Satou (at least that’s what I know).

Prominent Examples: Negi Springfield from Negima!, Misaka Mikoto from To Aru Kagaku No Railgun, Yoshika Miyafuji from Strike Witches, Saki from Saki, Uehara Mutsuki from Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight, Ryuuguu Rena from Higurashi, Horo from Spice and Wolf, Kazuma from S-Cry-Ed, Suzumiya Haruhi from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, Aisaka Taiga from Toradora, Emiya Shirou of Fate/Stay Night, Amuro Ray of Gundam

Digiboy: Brown hair can also be a symbol of, well, normalcy. Maybe the character is meant to be an average Joe thrown into crazy circumstances. The brown hair, one of the few colors actually attainable by human beings, pulls the character down to relatable levels, as if you can feel the person enjoying all the excitement!

Prominent Examples: Renton Thurston from Eureka Seven, Hitotsubashi Yurie from Kamichu!, Rakka from Haibane Ranmei, Suema Kazuko from Boogiepop, Yunocchi from Hidamari Sketch, Maebara Keiichi from Higurashi, Iwakura Lain from Serial Experiments Lain

No amount of proper comprehension can describe the epicness of this picture.


Shance: Surprisingly, I think a character’s a foreigner or gaijin when he/she wears the color pink. Stranger than that, it strikes a more foreign feeling to me than blond or yellow. They have the weirdest accents,  they live in the most absurd of places (how about Hell?), they’re with the most strangest of companions, they’re way too polite (probably because Japanese think most foreigners are British), they have strange orientations with their sexuality (lesbos and traps, I’m looking at you), and they sound too serious even when joking. Of course, that tends to confuse people, especially if they’re either joking or pissed off.

Prominent Examples: Utena from Revolutionary Girl Utena, Wilhelmina Carmel of Shakugan No Shana, Louise Francoise Le Blanc De La Valliere of Zero No Tsukaima, Satori Komeiji of Touhou, Rider from Fate/Stay Night

Digiboy: Of course, by the old stand-by, pink can just represent quintessential girlishness. Pink is most often associated with little girls and their dolls and their ponies and their fruity candies, and aw, you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout. These girls could be described by any number of phrases, that can more easily be summarized as ‘so she’s a girl, right?’

Prominent Examples: Hinamori Amu from Shugo Chara!, Sakura from Naruto, Ahiru from Princess Tutu, Takara Miyuki from Lucky Star, Euphemia vi Britannia from Code Geass, Naeguino Sora from Kaleido Star



Shance: I like this color. No, seriously. It’s not a matter of personal preference, but I like it simply because. People who sport this kind of hair color are the in-between of bookworms and carefree people. They have the knowledge, but lives the take-it-easy, yukkuri life. These kind of characters have the capacity to take center stage, but prefers the supporting role. It isn’t self-flagellation on their part. I repeat, it isn’t. They’re just too busy with their own matters to bother with the main story, and that’s that.

Prominent Examples: Ayase Yue from Negima!, Nagato Yuki from Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu, Matou Sakura from Fate/Stay Night, Patchouli Knowledge from Touhou, Hiiragi Kagami from Lucky Star, Daidouji Tomoyo from Card Captor Sakura

Digiboy: But sometimes, purple-haired characters can be quite headstrong. They don’t overdo it and get violent like the red-haired ones, but they have sort of a cool, collected, and yet powerfully imposing nature. These are characters who don’t just think that they won’t lose – they KNOW it.

Prominent Examples: Cornelie vi Britannia from Code Geass, Remilia Scarlet from Touhou, Misato Katsuragi from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shihouin Yoruichi from Bleach, Akito Sohma from Fruits Basket


Shance: This is a confusing color for me. Seriously, do we have to do this?

Anyways, orange is the color that lies between the sayings “thrust forward without looking back” and “look before you leap”. Orange-haired people are brash, simple-minded, or just utter annoying. They may need guidance from outside forces in order to set things straight, and eventually, they do. Most of them characters tend to go for either philosophy first, then sit in between them after enough character development.

… and they think people die when they are killed.

Prominent Examples: Kyo Sohma of Fruits Basket, Emiya Shiro of Fate/Stay Night, Kurosaki Ichigo from Bleach, Nami from One Piece, Tokiha Mai from Mai-HiME, Kuwabara Kazuma from Yu Yu Hakusho

Digiboy: I… I’m at a loss. I don’t know any more orange-haired characters. I think they are pretty much all the same o.o

Best Trap Ever: Saitou Ayumi by Digibro
February 6, 2010, 8:22 pm
Filed under: Anime, Shion no Ou, Trap | Tags: , , ,

female ver.

I know that none of you fuckers have seen or probably even heard of Shion no Ou, a fall 2007 anime about shougi and murder that went superbly under-the-radar, because finding images of Saitou Ayumi is  harder than finding pictures of a trap character should ever be. Now, let me talk about why I think the blue-haired beauty is the best trap ever.

male ver.

I’ve always had one problem with traps and the people who love them, which is that traps are, for all intents and purposes, usually female. They tend to look like a (hot) girl, act like a girl, have a chirpy female seiyuu, and are completely gay. Now, how hard is it to fall into that trap, really? It’s not even a trap, because it’s easy to defend your sexuality when the character might as well be a female anyway. For instance, one of my favorite traps is Peppo from Gankutsou, but Peppo looks, sounds, and acts so much like a girl that I’m half-convinced she’s not even a real trap at all! The Animanachronism once made a great point that traps are only really ‘men’ insofar as the canon demands it, as if we just ignore that it’s a boy (or don’t even know) then it would be pretty hard to be called gay for finding it attractive.

female and male

Here’s where Saito Ayumi differs from the crowd. While Ayumi is believable as a girl, she is more believable as a guy. It is revealed to the viewer that Ayumi is a guy right in the middle of the first episode, even going so far as to show him with his shirt open to absolutely confirm this fact. And the truth is, while Ayumi is a pretty girl, it’s not hard to believe she’s a guy when you know it already. She isn’t very feminine, and she’s just a bit more sturdily built than most women – not to the point that you would doubt it was a woman, but just enough to not be surprised by the contrary. What’s more, Ayumi doesn’t sound like a girl. Sure, it’s a female seiyuu, but it’s Paku Fucking Romi! She’s played more young men than she has women! Paku Romi’s career is practically centered on the fact that she can convincingly play young men who actually sound male, but haven’t quite cracked their voice yet. Once again, Romi’s voice isn’t enough to make you go ‘that’s a guy’ on first site, but once you know it’s a guy, then she’s not doing a lot to convince you otherwise.

this image doesn't really do justice to his masculinity... or height.

The point is, if you still find Ayumi attractive, you have truly fallen into a trap. Ayumi is shown in male ‘form’ plenty of times, including shirtless, has a male voice, and is convincingly male even when dressed as a woman. But you know what? I’d still fall for the trap. Ayumi is a great character, which helps to give him another edge over most traps who tend to be side characters or gags. He is actually one of the most interesting characters in Shion no Ou and has a great personality that, while distinctly male, is also kind of cute in it’s own way. Ayumi would be like the ultimate ‘bridge’ trap. As I see it, most traps will convince you of your ability to ignore canon in your adoration of a character design. Ayumi is a trap that might convince you that you’re gay.

(For the record, Hideyoshi is a pretty good one for the same reasons, but he’s not as much of a solid character as Ayumi is.)

Chu-Bra 3 – Admit It, This Show Is Getting Good by metalsonic700
January 20, 2010, 11:55 am
Filed under: Anime, Chu-Bra | Tags: , ,

Fuck man, is this the show that had me so apprehensive at first? It’s gotten good. Remember when I said ‘I hope it goes in Manabi Straight directions’? Well, it may be just that! I think we could have real school revolution going on here, and what’s more, I support the fuck out of the petition.

Shit man, this is good directing here

Chu-Bra’s ultimate message is quite simply: “Grow up.” Seriously. Underwear. It’s fucking there. You wear it, I wear it, we all fucking wear it. Our bodies are our bodies, same fucking shit on everyone. Grow the fuck up people, this shit is real. Yes, this is a show about 12 year-olds in underwear, yes it’s for a perverted audience. But guess what? 12 year-olds wear underwear. That’s just a fact, and there’s no reason there can’t be a show about it. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about – it’s just fucking life. It’s one thing when you are indifferent to it, but why attack it? What’s so wrong about underwear appreciation? Nothing. Grow the fuck up.

Chu-Bra three was a lot of fun, because the characters are somewhat interesting and cool and intelligent, and the plot is intriguing. What’s more, this episode was surprisingly well-directed – a LOT happened, and it was paced perfectly. Structure’s good, so there’s no reason to oppose this show. Don’t like it? Fine. But there’s nothing wrong with liking it. And I for one do – it’s fun and cute and well-made, so while it’s not exactly the best show of the season, it’s more than worth watching. Some scenes brought a big smile to my face, and any show that can do that has my respect.

She really holds it all together

So my message to this show’s detractors is simply: Grow the fuck up. There’s nothing wrong with Chu-Bra. I’ve learned this. You should too.

Omamori Himari 2 – Wet Pussy by metalsonic700
January 16, 2010, 2:18 am
Filed under: Anime, Omamori Himari | Tags: , ,

And you probably thought I meant the catgirl at the beach ;)

Trying to say ANYTHING about Omamori Himari that you can’t say about any other show is like trying to assassinate a dead man with your penis. First of all, he’s already dead, second of all, someone beat you to it, and third of all, the man is gay, and he really wouldn’t have been all that hurt by what you were planning to do.

Why am I bothering? Because I’m watching the show, and I don’t dislike it, and that’s my angle on the show. I’m not going to say anything about it because there is nothing to say. It’s exactly what you think it is! It’s not one of those tricks where you say ‘it’s like everything else, but different‘ no, that’s just not true here! You’ve seen absolutely everything in this show done in exactly the same way. It’s almost perplexing, really! It kind of makes you double-take! For a moment, you can’t even believe that this show exists! I think that five years from now, I won’t be aware that I ever watched an Omamori Himari – not because I didn’t like the show, or that it was bad, or that I wasn’t paying attention – I literally will forget that the events in this show took place in this show. When I try to think back to this loli, and this sword-wielding big-breasted girl, and this best friend and main character, I will accidentally remember their counterparts in other shows instead. When I try to remember the changing scene, I might accidentally remember Kashimashi Girl Mets Girl, or when I remember the tentacle monster in the water, I may remember This Ugly Yet Beautiful World. None of them stand out, they just become a huge, jumbled mess in my mind.

But I don’t seem to care. It’s not like this is me complaining. I like the show well enough. I still would totally bang most of the girls, I still would totally finish the show… it’s just that I know the whole thing is falling into a black hole of memory, like a glitch in the Matrix, that will one day resurface when another anime makes me think ‘haven’t I seen this before somewhere?’

Sora no Woto 2–Diary of a Proud Soldier. by ultraeternalblackout
January 14, 2010, 7:00 pm
Filed under: Anime, Sound of the Sky | Tags: , , , ,

I hate this. What the heck were they thinking, sending us a bugler who doesn’t even know how to play? It’s probably just another joke to them; they had nowhere to send a useless girl like her, so they send her here, to mesh with our stupid, useless platoon. But we’re not useless! If they would just send us replacement parts for our tank, or give us a mission for once…

Gah. She’s so obnoxious, so naive. What good is she, anyway?


It looks like Noel was up working all last night again. I don’t know why she bothers, it’s not like we can fix that tank without the right parts. And yet…at least she’s doing something. She works so hard all the time, then has to suffer from sleep deprivation; it’s not fair. The rest of them just sit around doing nothing; they’re so lax.

The new girl is so annoying. She’s lazy, just like the rest of them, yet she’s always so optimistic. I’ll teach her her place though; I’m her superior. I’ll make sure she understands that.


Why the hell am I the one who has to take her around on a tour!? Why can’t I do something useful for once…

The new girl is too informal. Yet, at the same time, she follows simple orders with such determination…God, why is she so optimistic all the time!?

Why is the Captain cleaning the bathroom again? It’s Noel’s turn today; even if she can’t do it, shouldn’t the Captain have more important things to do? She’s so informal about it all, like order just doesn’t apply to us. Can’t she see, though? Can’t she? That’s why they laugh at us! That’s why they call us useless, that’s why we’re such a joke! Things will never get better if we keep acting this way! We have to prove that we’re not useless, we have to show them that we can accomplish something…all alone out here, at the edge of the world…


She’s laughing at us. She’s laughing at our broken tank, at our lack of discipline; she’s laughing at our whole, stupid platoon! I can tell! But she’s useless, too! Why does she think it’s so funny? What’s so funny about us!?


The Captain says that everything will be okay…but how can anything ever be okay? We’re all so useless…the Captain, though, and Rio…even Noel…they’re such great soldiers…but how will they ever be able to accomplish anything with us around?


There’s no such things as ghosts. Rio’s right. I know that ghosts don’t exist…but if that’s true, then why am I so scared to be here with just this unreliable girl for company? Her optimism really gets on my nerves…

The thunderstorm doesn’t help, either. She says it sounds like a marching beat, but I don’t hear it. To me, it just sounds…scary. Almost like we’re trapped inside here, all alone.

But there’s no such thing as ghosts…right?


I hate rats. They’re so dirty, and creepy, and ugly…

Why do there have to be so damn many rats…?


How could a place like this have ever been a school? Aren’t schools supposed to be beautiful places where kids go to learn? This isn’t anything like that. The new girl is crazy; this can’t be a school.

What is it with her and music? And why does she think everything is so wonderful…what’s wonderful about a bunch of useless soldiers in the middle of nowhere? I just don’t see what’s so great about it…even with the Captain here, and Rio-sempai…and Noel…and we never get anything done, all we do is play around all the time…


But who cares if our platoon is useless? All the others…they’re all such great people, and they’re even better soldiers. I love this fortress, and the people and things inside of it. Who cares what the idiots in the capitol think of us? It’s their own fault for leaving us stranded out here. I don’t care if they laugh at us.

All I care about is that things can stay the way they are. All I want is for the Captain, and Rio, and Noel… I just want them to be happy here. They deserve it. If they’re happy…I’m happy. I won’t let anyone take that away from us.

…Maybe the new girl was right. Maybe this is a wonderful place to be.

Maybe she isn’t as stupid and useless as I first thought.


“I’m the gunner of the 1121st, and it’s a wonderful place to be!!”


Who’s idea was it to keep the stupid bird, anyway? I should’ve killed it when I had the chance…

I guess it is kind of cute, though. Maybe it isn’t so bad.

I guess nothing here is as useless as it seems.

– Suminoya Kureha

(To read this episode in Sorami Kanata’s diary, go here.)

The first episode of Sora no Woto was astounding, but the second truly just blew me away. It was a masterpiece of animation for a laundry list of reasons, ranging from character depth to unique humor, then back again. I’m ranking this one as my second most anticipated show of the season, and it’s only losing to Hanamaru Kindergarten by a small margin. There’s not much else to say, except that I’ll be anxiously awaiting the release of the third episode.

On a side note, taking the time to write out a diary entry was really a blast, even though I felt like I took a few too many liberties with the character. It really allowed me to get inside this character’s head, and whereas I’d originally overlooked her as being my favorite character, I’m beginning to get the feeling that she just might be.

I felt like I just had to include this a screenshot of this part. It was one of my favorite jokes in the episode.

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.