What’s the show? Hinamatsuri, Episode 1.
Uh-huh? And what’s it about? A Telekinetic middle-schooler materialises in a metal pod in the upscale living room of a vase collecting Yakuza enforcer and promptly inserts herself into all facets of his life while he is kinda, strangely cool with it, even as she destroys all his worldly possessions.
I, ah… wait what? I don’t know! This show just kind of happened to me, I don’t understand it, I don’t know what’s going on or why, and I don’t know what’s going to happen next but I’m totally cool with it all the same!
Hmm, okay. So what genre is it? Again, I don’t know. Comedy I suppose, but not in the same way that a lot of other anime are. It’s almost like an 80’s Hollywood comedy where some gruff detective or criminal type is partnered up with a precocious kid or a talking animal. Except it’s so sincere here that whatever cheesiness that could have come from the set-up isn’t there, and it’s all the better for it!
So this telekinetic girl and this Yakuza guy? How are they? Oh! They are the best, and that’s a part of what makes this show work so well, because if these characters were in the slightest bit unlikable it could so easily fall apart but here we’re given Hina, who yes is lazy and wry, but has a depth to her characterisation that makes you sympathise with her just a few errant words. But—and here’s the real surprise (at least for me)—is that Yoshifumi Nitta, the vase collecting Yakuza dude is the real grounding force for this show.
Why’s that a surprise? C’mon, you know me, I’m all about the female characters. But here we have a main character who is so unbelievably understanding and acutely aware of his new housemates needs and neurosis’ that he embodies the viewer, at least the more sympathetic among viewers.
Well that’s good I suppose. And he’s remarkably asexual toward her, which considering she’s a middle-schooler that shouldn’t be anything noteworthy, but even the show itself is not the least bit interested in sexualising her, which feels so rare and refreshing! Like this could have so easily gone down a creepy route both with the characters and with the framing but it doesn’t! And I’m just kind of in awe of how disciplined and mature it treats their whole situation while still maintaining a sense of humour and personality throughout. (But then again I’m used to watching shows that are pretty creepy so maybe this isn’t anything unique at all.)
So you recommend it then? Absolutely, usually I feel like my recommendations come with conditions like “oh you have to be into x and y but not z to like this show” but I think I can confidently say that almost anyone should be able to enjoy this show. It’s a rare and unique treat amongst a sea of wearying repetitiveness and tired tropes.
Categories: Spring 2018 Anime