Anime Review

Anime Hajime Review: Hinamatsuri

Original Run: April 6, 2018 - June 22, 2018
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Comedy
Based on the Series Created By: Masao Otake

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Hinamatsuri. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

Yoshifumi Nitta (voiced by Yoshiki Nakajima) is just your average, everyday Yakuza gangster. He lives in a luxury high rise and has expensive, very fragile tastes. Nothing out of the ordinary ever happens to him.

That all changed the day a strange egg-shaped pod appeared in his living room which contained an even stranger girl within.

Hina (voiced by Takako Tanaka) is a powerful telepath who has come to Yoshifumi’s world because of reasons. What those reasons are Hina can’t be bothered to say. In fact, Hina doesn’t have the slightest interest in most things. Nor does she have motivations, desires, or the will to do much of anything outside of video games and lying around Yoshifumi’s place.

In an act of pure happenstance, Yoshifumi and Hina came into each other’s lives. What will become of these two and the people around them is anyone’s guess.

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Series Positives

I noticed something about this series early on. After that initial notice, it didn’t take long for me to confirm my rapidly growing suspicions. Once I had my answer, there was still about half of this show left to go, and what remained merely reinforced my conclusions.

Hinamatsuri was absolutely fantastic. This was an outstanding series, and it was one of the most fun viewing sessions I’ve had from 2018. There was just so many things this show got right; I have no idea where I should start.

Due to that, I feel obligated to ask: Is me saying that enough for some of you?

If you’re satisfied with only a strongly worded recommendation, I see no reason why you should bother with the rest of this review. Naturally, I would love it if you stuck around to the end, and yet, if you want to jump right into episode one with as little information as possible, who am I to stop you?

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Truth be told, I would be the first one to encourage you to do that since going into Hinamatsuri blind is probably the best way to get the most out of this show. After all, one of this series’ strengths was its randomness.

Nevertheless – and to keep my ego in check – I imagine many of you are going to need a bit more convincing before you commit your time to this show. Therefore, I will do my best to reign in my excitement and keep this review as smooth and coherent as I can.

As a working rule: No matter where you think a joke in Hinamatsuri is heading, you’ll most likely be wrong. This show had an incredible knack of never entertaining the obvious. Over time, you might be able to pick up on this series’ brand of logic.

Be warned, though. Even when you think you understand everything there is to understand, something is going to come along that will leave you dumbfounded – in a good way.

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Speaking as someone who has been reviewing anime for nearly four years straight: For better or worse, I can often predict, or at least, imagine where any anime is going to go. I’m usually never without a few options in mind.

That was not the case here. This show was filled to the brim with pleasant surprises. This is one of the few series I feel comfortable saying is mostly unpredictable.

And for Hinamatsuri, unpredictable meant hilarious.

This was one of the funniest shows to come out of 2018 (as of the posting of this review). This series had a special talent for rendering me out of commission due to laughter. A brilliant mix of one-liners, reactions, and general silliness led to an insanely enjoyable sit.

To go along with that, Hinamatsuri had some of the best use, implementation, and understanding of deadpan humor I have experienced; nowhere more so than with the performance given by Mr. Yoshiki Nakajime, the voice of Yoshifumi Nitta.

The most astonishing thing of all, Hinamatsuri was a lot more than a top-tier anime comedy.

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Not only did this series produce tears of laughter, but it also brought about some real emotions. There was nothing sad or tragic about this show, but there was a ton of heart. There was a scene that I am willing to bet will be among my favorite anime moments of the year, and I dare the rest of 2018 to prove me wrong.

Disregarding all that for a second, Hinamatsuri had elements of the supernatural. Hina was a powerful telepath who could have destroyed everything if she had wished for it. How often did this come up? Practically never.

Typically, I would have issues with a series introducing something as huge as telekinesis and then sidelining it. Hinamatsuri made this work because Hina’s powers were never forgotten.

Although there were few opportunities to showcase what she could do, Hina was always an oddity. In combination with her overall — let’s say — uniqueness, was it really that big of a stretch to say Hina could also move stuff with her mind?

That was the beauty of Hinamatsuri. It was so balls-to-the-wall insane that you just had to accept it. The entire time I was watching this series, I never asked: Why? It was always: Why not?

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The Characters

When 2018 is all said and done, I hope to do a massive overlook of the year’s best. One of the categories I want to focus on is the Top Characters.

Thanks to Hinamatsuri, I think I’m going to have to limit myself to one person per series.

As for this review, I’m only going to mention four people from this cast. I assure you, though, there was not a single bad character in this show.

To begin, there was Hitomi Mishima (voiced by Kaede Hondo). I have quite a bit to say about her, except I’m going to hold off for now. The reason I’m bringing her up here is to make it clear that she was a highlight.

Next, there was Anzu (voiced by Rie Murakawa). Like Hitomi, I have a lot I could say about Anzu; more so, in fact. However, I’m not going to do that because I refuse to even risk ruining her story. The one thing I will say: Anzu was the best character of Hinamatsuri.

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These next two characters I don’t mind talking about because there isn’t too much I can accidentally give away about them.

Yoshifumi was one of the best straight men I have ever seen from any story from any medium. I already mentioned his hilarious deadpan, but words cannot do him justice. There was an air of acceptance to him. After only one or two strange occurrences, Yoshifumi stopped questioning things whenever something new came along.

Also, despite being a member of a Yakuza group, Yoshifumi was a stand-up guy. He looked out for other people and was always willing to help. Although the role was just dropped into his lap, Yoshifumi became a caring guardian for Hina.

Speaking of which.

If not for Anzu, Hina would have been the unquestionable best character of this series.

Hina had that special kind of apathy that turned whatever she did into a riot. She cared about little, had the motivation to do even less, and her view of the world was entirely hers. Whenever she was about to do anything, literally any outcome didn’t seem too far-fetched.

It didn’t matter if characters were by themselves or together with someone else. There was never a combination that failed to land. This series was equal with everything it did. I know I couldn’t ask for more.

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Series Negatives

This will be difficult. If I had to start somewhere, the animation of Hinamatsuri ranged from standard to why am I being reminded of Attack on Titan? Try figuring out that riddle without any more context.

I’ve got very few criticisms to give, and that’s even if you consider the last point a criticism at all.

To really reach, I could talk about how this series, despite having its main character’s name in the title, often broke away from Hina’s storyline to focus on someone else. This show did jump around a lot. That said, at least it always jumped to something interesting.

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There were long periods of time when this series was not Hinamatsuri, but rather, Anzumatsuri or Hitomimatsuri, and you know what: That was fine. Remember, I said Anzu was the best character, and Hitomi was a highlight in her own right.

Be that as it may, it was Hitomi who illustrated something crucial. Comedy is one-hundred percent preference based, and what I’m about to talk about is a style of humor I personally don’t find funny.

Hitomi had to deal with a ton of nonsense. Sometimes when doing that, she would give dramatic over-reactions that were usually accompanied with drawn out explanations of the obvious. For me, if you need to explain the joke — even if the explanation is the joke — I’m not going to laugh.

Also, shouting only makes one louder, not funnier.

That notwithstanding, Hitomi was not dead weight because sometimes her reactions were subtler. I know this makes me sound like a jerk, but Hitomi’s defeated-face was always gold.

If you’re expecting me to bring up issues such as pacing, characterization, tone, leaps of faith, or anything along those lines, I don’t know what to say.

Hinamatsuri was as solid as they come, and more so.

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Final Thoughts

I believe I already said my piece at the start of this review. However, I’m more than happy to repeat myself.

This show was great. This was easily one of the funniest, as well as one of the best series I have seen from 2018 thus far.

The characters were outstanding, the comedy was hilarious, and this series found a way to be both funny and heartfelt.

I know there were aspects of this show I neglected to say. This post could have been much longer. But why should I sing this series’ praises when it is more than capable of speaking for itself.

Hinamatsuri is a must.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning Hinamatsuri? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

Post Editor: Onions

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