What’s the show? Hinamatsuri, Episode 2 & 3.
That’s the one about the psychic girl and the yakuza who loves vases? You make it sound like a set up for a joke!
Well it is an odd premise. And yet the show feels more grounded and down to earth than it really ought to, though there is some truly outlandish comedic stuff that happens in these two episodes!
Like what? Well, in true Terminator style another psychic girl arrives in Tokyo, her name is Anzu and her mission is to eliminate Hina! After Hina proves her strength over Anzu in a very creative, non-lethal way, Anzu agrees to let Hina live. But not before the two of them have a nice day together as middle-school aged girls should. Meanwhile her vase loving Yakuza guardian Yoshifumi is pretty much just has to sit back and let it all unfold around him, maintaining the peace whenever he can.
And after that? Anzu attempts to go home but can’t because her return home button thing got damaged in the wash, too embarrassed to ask for help from Hina so she has to live a life of petty theft, stealing from local businesses to get enough to eat, that is until a homeless man takes her under his wing and helps her live a more honest and respectful life amongst their encampment of fellow homeless men.
Wow, that’s oddly serious. Yeah, I wouldn’t go as far as to say its tonally jarring but it’s certainly a change of pace, especially when compared to the lavish life Yoshifumi and Hina live. Maybe the anime is trying to say something about how wide the divide between the wealthiest and the destitute in the Japanese community is, or maybe it’s just a plot point to teach the headstrong and stubborn Anzu some humility and respect.
Anything else happen? Yes, I’m saving the best for last! Hina’s studious and straight-laced classmate (and only school friend) Hitomi ends up working in a bar as a bartender after the shrewd bartender Utako blackmails her into doing so—but only because she’s like a genius savant at making cocktails and all the patrons can’t get enough of them!
But wait, isn’t she a middle schooler?! That seems kind of harsh! Maybe on paper it comes off that way but it’s a very funny plot line, Hitomi’s facial expressions are pure gold throughout those scenes. Plus by the end of the 3rd episode she does seem to be enjoying herself, or at the very least enjoying the money she’s making!
It kind of sounds a little problematic… Oh did I forget to mention at the end of episode 2 they all go to a girly bar, the middle-school kids included!
I revise my statement to be “quite problematic”. Again, it may seem that way on paper, but never has a night of drunken adults hanging out with middle-school kids been more wholesome than in this anime! I don’t know how it gets away with it, but it totally does! Whether it’s the fact it knows how to be funny without being creepy, or the fact there’s like zero sexuality in this show (or at least none around the young girls) it just works.
I’ll take your word for it. So still a show you recommend? Absolutely, even more so than the first one, it’s not always consistently funny, and there’s some more darker and dramatic moments but they don’t detract from the show—rather they give it a kind of depth and realism that helps ground the sillier, more fantastical elements. It’s a treat of a show and while it’s not spectacular or ‘must-see anime’ it’s still very entertaining throughout.