Hanamaru Youchien – review

March 30, 2010 at 11:20 pm 6 comments

Pa pa, Pa pa, Panda neko~ Pa pa, pa pa, panda neko~!

CAKEY~! ❤

Our trio as adults

If only real kindergarteners were as entertaining as this. Gainax has produced a very solid and heart-warming series that should be seen by all who enjoy the slice-of-life genre. Note: if you feel that looking cool is very important, you probably may not want to watch this series in front of your friends. I’m also sure many people will disagree with my review. Hanamaru Youchien is just one of those series which you can really enjoy, or really hate.

OMGWTFBBQ THAT HELMET IS AWESOME

Hanamaru Youchien follows what I believe to be a love triangle between kindergarten first-yearer Anzu, her otaku-like teacher Tsuchida (Tsuchi) and his airheaded and not surprisingly, beautiful colleague Yamamoto. Now what may sound very shifty concept, isn’t half as bad as it sounds, and you will find yourself laughing and cringing in a positive sense at the misunderstandings and occurences that unfold.

Well I'm sure he ain't looking at babies...

Let’s start with the good: Seiji Mizushima fleshes out his characters very well. By the end of the series, all the main characters aren’t as one-dimensional as they first seem to be. Yamamoto is air-headed, but dedicates herself to her work tirelessly. While Tsuchi can be a douche at times, we do end up commending his efforts and his character  is given some depth. Some even say that the adults, especially the teachers at Hanamaru Kindergarten, are the best characters in the show, as each isn’t given a stereotype to follow. However, Tsuchi’s sister is just plain weird.

Nothing quite like the YMCA~

Personally, I must agree with the masses and say that the kids are the ones who steal the show. Koume is simply adorable, but the one character who shines above all is Hii. Her voice and personality are done fantastically, and she is by far the funniest and most interesting character in the series. Her costumes are also pretty awesome too.

Tsuchi was watching over the bewbies... I mean, babies...

The kindergarteners’ antics are pretty funny to watch too. They’re are a lot of humourous moments, but what really struck me were those few instances here and there that perfectly captured the mindsets and voices of those kids. It’s those moments that I’m sure will conjure up strong notions of nostalgia in some of the older viewers. There’s also a pretty gut-wrenching moment in one episode in the latter half that was well-executed.

Hanamaru Youchien's own 'Palmtop Tiger'

Graphically, Hanamaru Youchien is above average. Just. While everything we seen in the actual episode is solid, what stands out are the ED’s of the series, with each episode having its own very unique one accompanied by its own fitting song. The same can be said for the soundtrack. Applause for the production values.

It's okay, Tsuchi. We don't want your filthy magazines.

So what did Gainax screw up. For starters, the main problem I have with Hanamaru Youchien is that it constantly shifts between simple slice-of-life, and romance, and as a result we never get a solid development, nor conclusion to the latter. The characterisation of Yamamoto is also key to this, as she’s so damn air-headed, she wouldn’t realise the world ended if it really did.

*Belly slap*

That being said, the romance in this series is hardly a novel concept, and it can bore/frustrate some viewers. In addition, the other minor relationship in the series isn’t dealt with at all, and sometimes I wonder why they even had it in the series.

You talkin' to me?!

Overall, Hanamaru Youchien is a very enjoyable and well-paced 12 episodes. The humour isn’t forced like a Will Ferrel movie, and it has some very well-done moments. Just don’t expect something epic from this series. It won’t change your outlook on the world, nor will it change the face of anime. However what it will do is keep you hooked  and wanting a second season. Thankyou Gainax for the past few weeks~

Animation – 8.5/10

Sound – 8.25/10

Story -7.5/10

Characters – 9/10

Enjoyment -9.5/10

Overall – 8.55/10

As requested by a certain viewer, I have had all of the costumes Hii has worn in the series compiled. Enjoy~

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Entry filed under: Anime.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ED  |  March 31, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Panda panda neko

    Reply
  • 2. Baka!  |  March 31, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Hii was definitely the shining light in the series. I really liked what the producers did with her. My major qualm with Hanamaru as a series is the fact that its ending is SOOO unfulfilling. Unless of course if there’s a season 2…
    btw nice work with the compilation of costumes!

    Reply
  • 3. Fabrice  |  March 31, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Its not Yamamoto-sensei’s fault xD She’s just thick headed.

    I really enjoyed this anime! it was hilarious and I thought Anzu’s dream was adorable!! ❤ AnzuXTsuchi FTW! and the confession with Yamamoto, tbh, I was really disapointed cause I really wanted Yamamoto to know how Tsuchi felt. I was like, "Oh god, Yamamoto, fail! xD" But I liked it overall. I felt that it was just another episode, though. It didn't go deep enough Dx Please! I really really hope there is a second season!!

    Reply
  • 4. Reltair  |  April 3, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I need to pick this series up again sometime. Maybe I won’t be as annoyed as I was with some of the characters when I first saw it. >_>

    Reply
  • 5. Valence  |  April 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    >”……have had all of the costumes Hii has worn in the series compiled …”

    You are my new hero.

    Reply
  • 6. ippius  |  April 21, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    LOL it did take some time.

    Reply

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