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Overall Review: Hitohira

June 15, 2007

As the season comes to a close, so must some of the series it brought for us to view. Unfortunately after this Wednesday, the series had to come to it’s eventful close. But even though I never got any actual reviews of it, I did follow the series piece by piece. So without further ado, let’s get Likkun’s opinion on this Spring 2007 sleeper hit.

Isn’t Mugi adorable with her hair down?

After finishing Hitohira this Wednesday, I decided to go back to read what my original impressions were. Not to my surprise, I read this…

Plain Award: Hitohira
“I actually don’t know why this is becoming a part of my schedule. The PV of it looked to be pretty good, and the concept is cute. I guess I’m a big fan of these simple slice of life series by now, and there’s no other ones that are quite the same. Plus Ayako Kawasumi is doing a secondary (or main maybe?) role in the series. Ayako is a CV that you just can’t argue with it, and this should probably boost the overall quality of the series. First episode had some appeal to it, so I don’t see any reason not to keep it around.”

Well, that made me feel a little bad. But anyone who expected much from Hitohira was either psychic or acting like a smart-ass. Since none of the the people I meet practice those behaviors when it comes to anime, I didn’t hear squat about this series. I just watched it out of pure curiosity.

To be honest, Hitohira was the first series I truly fell in love with this season. It’s laid back yet beatiful artwork was wonderful to watch and you had an interesting cast to walk into. Ayako Kawasumi and Kyoko Hikami really seemed like the true veterans of the projects which stood out in their roles. Interesting enough, the supposed “amateur” of the story was also played by a new amateur CV. Whether it was just plain coincidence or on purpose, Mugi’s CV was the whole reason to watch this show. Whether it be her quiet, mumbling voice or her outspoken and almost scary voice that drew people, both were played out perfectly.

Stepping await from artwork and CVs for a second, there was the matter of the story. Now Hitohira wasn’t winning any awards for being the most original idea this season. Well, sort of. The basic school drama is all a common theme but Mugi’s odd speech impediment probably wasn’t something too common in that environment. In all, it wasn’t about her problem that really mattered. It was about a girl adjusting to the differences of High School and making the forming friendships through her activities. Sure, it took her awhile to overcome her extreme issues with speaking out towards others but it was all nicely helped by each small situation she was placed in. From the speechless Mugi we experience in the beginning, we reach a girl who truly realizes that it’s her problem and it’s up to her to fix it. Sure it’s cliche but it wasn’t about the plot in the end. It was well done enough that it could be overlooked and in the end the pluses of the story overode the flaws.

Final Score: 7.5/10
So, here’s my two cents. If you’re a guy that chooses anime by using his brain and not his penis, then you’ll probably come out of this series with an open mind. If you enjoyed Manabi Straight! for the school values rather than the loli value, then this is also for you. And if you’re a female who’s looking for something tame, short, and still fufilling then this is also great. It may not have great bishounen to stare at and probably lacks any such thing, but it’s still something you can watch otherwise. And if nothing else, then watch it for Kyoko Hikami. Seriously, after Winter Garden? I think she deserves being known for something good recently so she can overlook how crappy Winter Garden turned out.

Hitohira is probably one of the few series that held a consistent quality throughout the season. It had a small sink during the middle of the series but it wasn’t an intolerable level. By average, this definitely beat out a lot of other series that I honestly had higher expectations for.

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