Genre: Slice of life, Comedy, Sci-fi, supernatural, Seinen
Length: 12 episodes
Adaptation of the Manga series Hinamatsuri written and illustrated by Masao Ōtake
Sometimes I just pick random animes to watch from either my Netflix recommendations list, My Anime List, or well memes I see online. I try not to read its reviews or plot and go completely blind. Sometimes, they turn out to be an utter waste of time (looking at you Oreimo), but sometimes they turn out to be a joy ride of pleasant surprises. Hinamatsuri was absolutely the latter.
Let me first start by saying if you are looking for a swoon worthy romance, or gangster action thriller, or one of those over the top comedy animes, this is definitely not it. I, too, usually prefer romantic comedy, slice of life animes and judging by Hinamatsuri’s cover, I thought it was probably going to be a slapstick-y comedy – an older guy living with a young girl, pshh… and yeah, but of course, it will have loli elements. Boy, I was so very glad to be wrong.
The life of a handsome bachelor named Yoshifumi Nitta (voiced by Yoshiki Nakajima) who is a member of the Ashikawa-gumi yakuza has his life turned upside down when a 13 year old alien girl in a pod pops out of nowhere in his posh living room. Hina, (voiced by Takako Tanaka) having superhuman abilities of telekinesis threatens him into feeding her and taking care of her by breaking his head, furniture and well his extremely expensive vases. Nitta, hence, has no choice but to take her in.
One of the best aspects of this anime is it’s on point timing with its comedy combined with good animation and genuinely intriguing characters.
- Our rich, handsome, Yakuza member Yoshifumi Nitta
- The deadpan, lazy, salmon roe loving alien Hina
- A 13 year old rival, Anzu Hayashi(Voiced by Rie Murakawa), with similar superhuman abilities, living that homeless life
- A sly Bar owner Utako Sakura(voiced by Youko Hikasa) blackmailing a middle school student to be a bartender at her bar
- The said middle school student by day and bartender by night Hitomi Mishima(Voiced by Kaede Hondo), who needs to hide her identity when her homeroom teacher who begins to frequent the bar she works at
- And, Mao(voiced by Ari Ozawa) the lost but diligent alien from the same organization of Hina and Anzu who is sent to earth to recover them both
Hina seems to have an effect that whoever gets involved with her has their lives turned upside down. They go through one crazy situation after another and the mishaps make you feel for them but also have you laughing that very second. The chemistry between every character just fits really well and each of them have a story you want to know more about and each of their interactions are absolutely unique. What I especially loved about this anime was that every character had just as much focus as the main ones did making you connect with each of them.
Hina likes to laze around and take things easy since she can literally do any labor just by lifting a finger. But her lack of experience in real life does become a major mendokusai when she does try to do something for real. She is shown as a character with very low EQ (and also, maybe IQ). She has no interests in life except for food (specifically salmon-roe) to a point where it’s her weakness. But seeing how Nitta cares for her; she does try to reach out to him in the best way she can, which is more often than not, a hilarious train wreck.
Although, I would have liked to see more scenes of the chaos that Nitta and Hina always come across, the stories and character arcs of the supporting characters seems to be stronger than that of Hina (Or at least that’s the case in the anime, I don’t know about the Manga). Though Hina is our protagonist, Nitta, Anzu and Hitomi top my list of favourite characters in this anime.
So, I can’t be the only one who this Yoshifumi Nitta is fine as hell. That man has a soft spot in my heart for some reason. I never thought a Yakuza member would grow on me the way Nitta did. The way he juggles his job, family, caring for Hina, having her help with his “dirty” work, while keeping her powers hidden and tries to keep his romantic life active is as comedic just as it is heartwarming. Not to mention the comical way he deals with his “bachelor” life is taking a major toll because of Hina. Hina’s laziness and her inability to do literally anything cause chaos to rile up our Nitta in the most entertaining ways. But it also makes their growing bond even more heartwarming to watch as they slowly come closer in their own unique way.
Anzu’s hard work and the way she learns and grows in life makes you wish she was our main protagonist. She forms bonds and treasures them during her homeless days. She learns to give and be grateful for her extremely hard circumstances. Her journey from a rival, to a thief to a proud frugal homeless girl to finally finding people and a place she can call home is one of the most heart warming character growths I have seen. The relation and interaction with every other character be it Hina, Nitta, her homeless mentor Yassas whom she truly treasures, her adoptive parents who are themselves learning to connect with her in their own way are all truly unique. And with every interaction she comes out learning something new.
Hitomi, well you just can’t help but root for our diligent, hard working, empathetic, drink-mixing prodigy who just cannot say no to people to save her life. There is a side of her that genuinely wants to help people, especially the ones she feels close to. However what she lacks is the skill to balance these two sides of her. Her inability to say no makes her take a bunch of jobs, with school responsibilities and an overwhelming state of independence for such a young girl.
This amazing mish-mash of characters keep you entertained and wanting for more. Seriously, I really want a second season. This anime definitely piqued my interest enough to try out more Slice of life comedies.
All in all, if you want a fun anime to just watch in a chill mode, or something that lifts your mood up I would definitely recommend this one. Give it a try, might not be the story, may not be the plot but these characters won’t let you down. 🙂