Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ryan Reviews: Hanamaru Kindergarten (END)

Tsuchida carries Anzu home and tries again to drop the hints he likes Yamamoto.

I have decided to skip writing about episode 11 and just jump straight to episode 12. In this episode it is Christmas time and the gang is going to have a party at Anzus house. She winds up falling asleep before they arrive and dreams that she has gotten her wish to be older and goes out to look for Tsuchida. In the final half, everyone goes to visits the art gallery done by Anzus father, and Sakura reminds Tsuchida of some inspiring words he gave her when they were younger.

Adult Hiiragi and Koume make an appearance in Anzus dream.

How strange that Anzu dreamed they'd be wearing the exact same clothes when they are older.

The final episode dives into the thoughts of Anzu, showing the audience what it might be like if she suddenly turned into an adult. It is amusing and adorable to see that even though Anzu can picture herself older, she can’t shake that she is still a child with little practical knowledge of the world around her. It is a credit to her character in the execution and depiction of what a young kindergartner might believe what an adult acts like. Finally, in the episode, Tsuchida shows more backbone than he was believed to initially have.There is a brief flashback between Tsuchida and Sakura which makes Tsuchida feel a lot more like a normal guy.

Anzu believes in her dreams that Tsuchida is actually a bit of a romantic.

Anzu reminds Tsuchida of those words that he told her mother.

In the end, Hanamaru Kindergarten turned out to be a good watch. The cast of young children are bright, entertaining, and cute. They are exactly what they should be, and thankfully the show avoids any disturbing sexual themes between the children. The adult cast of characters leave a bit to be desired, and the older male lead, Tsuchida, can seem a bit stale at times. Towards the end of the show, the characters reflect more feelings and express more opinion that the universe they live in is a believable yet at the same time fun and cartoony one. There is not much girth to the actual story, but Hanamaru Kindergarten does not necessarily need that to entertain its audience. There are many shows like Hanamaru Kindergarten, telling the lives of cute girls as they run around and pursue their silly things, but Hanamaru Kindergarten cops out a lot less to the boring stereotypes seem all too often today.

The usual suspects: Anzu, Hiiragi, Koume, and Hinagiku.

Hiiragi gets carried away with her thoughts.

Ultimately, I’d recommend this show to fans of the slice-of-life genre or someone just looking to watch cute characters run around and be... cute characters. It is a decent show with a few noticeable flaws, but they are easily forgiven. GAINAX had me curious as to why they would pick up such a seemingly average show, but I guess they just wanted to work their magic with it. It is either that, or maybe they wanted to splice in all those references to their own shoes. I am done writing on this show for now, and if you have any thoughts on Hanamaru Kindergarten yourself, please share them with us here at Anime Pulp.

Somehow, I think Anzu did this on purpose.

Anzu says "Leave it to me!"


Topspin said...

To me, Hanamaru was a decent show for winding down at the end of the day. It's light, charming, and has some surprisingly decent artistic direction.

It's the kind of show I watch as it airs, and then forget about promptly thereafter, like K-on. It goes nowhere fast, and doesn't really try too hard to break it's own routine.

But Hanamaru had one distinguishing feature for me: the music. Especially the EDs - the second episode's "Space Hanamaru" ED was one of my favorite moments of the season, and it'll be on my playlist for a long time.

Anonymous said...

I can see how it would be something to quickly forget about it. I still thought it was worth pursuing though. Regarding my take on the music, I didn't really think it was anything special, but I did like how every ED was different.