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Hiiro no Kakera – 02 »

Hiiro no Kakera – 01

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「玉衣の姫」 (Tamayori no Hime)
“Tamayori Princess”

When I first caught wind of the adaptation of Otomate’s (the game studio behind Hakuouki as well as other otome games) Hiiro no Kakera, I thought: sign me up. I don’t mind the prospect of watching one lucky heroine be surrounded by a bunch of eligible pretty boys. This was a pre-air, with the next episode airing on April 9th.

It’s always a challenge to adapt video games – much less dating sims – into anime, so here’s the million dollar question: how does Hiiro no Kakera measure up?

As an introductory episode, the pacing is inevitably slow (or break-neck pace, depending on how you look at it); the premise needs to be introduced, the necessary characters established. The first episode does a fair job of doing this, by giving the heroine Kasuga Tamaki (Miyake Marie) a solid reason for her harem: she is the next ‘Tamayori Princess’. Tamaki’s grandmother (Kubota TamieHanasaku Iroha’s Okami-san!) gives a fairly succinct explanation of the role – she has to seal the Onikirimaru, which I’m assuming is some kind of evil spirit. Not much has been revealed about it though, so anything I say at this point is pure speculation. Gods and ‘ghosts’ seem to factor in heavily into this, and apparently it’s a pretty dangerous role overall, since it requires a gaggle of pretty boys to guard her.

Of the guardians that have been assigned to guard her, we’re introduced to Onizaki Takuma (Sugita Tomokazu), Atori Mahiro (Okano Kousuke), Komura Yuichi (Namikawa Daisuke) and Oomi Suguru (Hirakawa Daisuke). Thankfully they all have distinct personalities/quirks, while managing to fit the mold of typical otome game characters – the oji-san, tsundere, shota, etc. Character-wise that bodes pretty well for the show, as the absolute worst that can happen with an ensemble cast is having utterly forgettable characters. It’s too early to tell what their chemistry with Tamaki is like, but they seem to have pretty good rapport with each other, and I’m always up for some bromance.

Plot-wise, I’m afraid it’s a little hard to say at this point. The premise is pretty straight-forward, and I assume since this is an otome game, the show will be more romance-oriented. But I recall that Hakuouki was pretty plot-heavy and drier on romance, so I could be wrong. It’s a pretty dangerous move taking Hiiro no Kakera in a plot-oriented direction though because that could potentially expose a lot of weaknesses in the show; not saying otome games have no plot, but their plots aren’t necessarily… the most complicated things in the world. With no preview to go on for the next episode, it’s hard to tell. The mysterious characters at the end look like they’re here to stir things up a bit though, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see how the plot pans out.

The atmosphere is another wild card, as from this episode, it seems like Studio DEEN is going for an eerie vibe. I’m not sure how that’s going to blend with the lighter moments in the series, but the transitions in this episode weren’t too bad, and it is still too early to make any judgments!

Animation held its own, which is pretty commendable since Kazuki Yone’s art is pretty hard to top. While I find the game’s art to be more appealing, it’s definitely unfair to be comparing it against the show’s animation since the source material contains a lot of minute details that the animators can’t copy. That said, the characters at least resemble their game counterparts, and Studio DEEN even managed to replicate some of the opening CG’s – that’s more than enough to keep me happy for now.

So tl;dr: likeable characters, decent plot – sign me up.

Full length images: 08, 15, 17, 26, 27, 32, 34

Just a note – NO OP/ED/Previews for this episode. Just a little short with two of the seiyuus promoting the show.

March 21, 2012 at 2:56 am
49 comments »
  • March 21, 2012 at 3:04 amKusabi

    If Takuto from Star Driver is one of Kasuga’s harem, I’ll definitely be watching this. =P

    • March 21, 2012 at 7:00 amDusk

      Hm… I don’t get it. Does one of them look like Takuto to you? Miyano Mamoru isn’t in the show either. Don’t tell me it’s just because of the red hair… =(

      • March 21, 2012 at 8:16 amKusabi

        I’m just joking, Dusk. ^_-
        However, if Otomate could kidnapped Takuto while he’s fighting Cybodies, I’ll seriously be watching this. =P

      • March 21, 2012 at 10:44 amDusk

        Oh I see. But you know what they say. Be careful what you wish for. True story here. I made the same wish as you while I was watching Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal, and the next thing I know, they introduced a character named IV into the series.

        http://static.zerochan.net/full/21/37/1039371.jpg
        You cannot tell me that does not look like a Ginga Bishonen. (Btw, the guy on the left has Sugata’s eyes) He even have a crest, just like Takuto. Only problem is, he possesses neither the charms or personality of Takuto. So I tried to wish him away, but it wouldn’t work no more. =<

        The moral of the story is… Do you want to watch Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal? =p

        http://static.zerochan.net/full/12/10/1000512.jpg
        (A comparison, in case you're still not convinced.)

      • March 21, 2012 at 6:54 pmKusabi

        Sorry, Dusk. Can’t open the pages.

  • March 21, 2012 at 3:45 amCul dud

    Reverse Harem is ok to me so I’m going to watch this now

  • March 21, 2012 at 3:49 amEuzio

    The only reason i’m remotely interested in this series is cuz my favourite singer is singing the OP song for this show :P (which is a given since she does sing nearly all the OP and ED songs for the Hiro no Kakera game series)

  • March 21, 2012 at 4:32 amKizuna

    I don’t think Atori Mahiro is meant to be the shota of the harem- what with him being older than the heroine and all. If memory serves there was another character to fill this role in the series- then again it could have been changed for the anime adaptation.
    I have good expectations for this show- we’ll see how it turns out.

    • March 21, 2012 at 3:54 pmBakaMochi

      Nope. Mahiro is not the shota…. I just couldn’t think of any other otome game stereotypes at the moment. Sorry if it caused any confusion x__x

  • March 21, 2012 at 5:54 amThousand Mistress

    Ah, as I’ve been an otome games gamer for a long time, the anime version of Hiiro no Kakera really piqued my interest.
    The first episode turned out to be good than I thought, although the art makes me quite off. The set of seiyuus remain faithful to the game as well, so it’s nice to see and follow this through the end.

    I wonder where I have been all this time, because I never knew it would be made into an anime (a week ago XD)…

  • March 21, 2012 at 9:57 amshamaticgrl

    Hakuouki, Hiiro no Kakera AND HAREM!? sign me in!

  • March 21, 2012 at 10:30 amazeriraz

    The first episode was well done. I wonder how much focus they’ll put on the supernatural side of the plot

  • March 21, 2012 at 10:45 amJulio

    Is this one of the first shows of the spring season?

  • March 21, 2012 at 11:24 amYukipon

    Can’t wait for April~.

  • March 21, 2012 at 11:37 amnasa

    Bakamochi are you into oto-ge? If yes, any favorites?

    • March 21, 2012 at 3:57 pmBakaMochi

      To be honest, I haven’t played a lot… but I love them. It takes me a while to get through one because otome games are just walls and walls of text ;—; Neo Angelique Abyss wasn’t too bad, and I have a bunch in my backlog that I’ve been wanting to play…

      Have you played any??

      • March 22, 2012 at 2:55 amnasa

        Damn it feels so good to find a fellow otome game player xD
        I’ve only played Amnesia and Arcana famiglia( which is getting anime later this year) because they have silent protagonists, so 95% of the text ends up being read. That way it’s easier for me with my poor japanese skills :P
        I’d love to try other games, but with my current skills it’s too early :/

      • March 22, 2012 at 10:50 amBakaMochi

        With me, I absolutely require audio because I cannot read kanji to save my life… and I heard Amnesia is a super text-heavy game, so I might hold off on that a bit.

        But glad to find another oto-ge player! =D

      • March 22, 2012 at 4:33 pmYukiru

        (*゚▽゚*) otoge player as new RC blogger!? Awesome! btw late welcomes/nice to meet you/yoroshiku desu☆

        Amnesia isn’t really a super text heavy game because the heroine doesn’t talk or think much.. there’s a spirit that does most of the talking for her. Amnesia is so overrated Hiiro no Kakera is a super-duper text heavy game though, even among the otome. I’m glad it’s being animated. I’m also glad to hear that a lot of people not in the otoge scene are looking forward to it. Hopefully you’ll blog Arcana Famiglia too? That’s a fun one or so I heard.

      • March 22, 2012 at 4:41 pmBakaMochi

        Amnesia isn’t really a super text heavy game because the heroine doesn’t talk or think much.. there’s a spirit that does most of the talking for her
        Oh it isn’t?? I read somewhere that it’s a pretty text heavy game, so I was reluctant to try it XP

        When Arcana Famiglia airs, I’ll definitely check it out! =D

  • March 21, 2012 at 1:21 pmDestiny

    I’m sure I am not the only one hoping Aksys Games decides to pick up Hiiro no Kakera as their next Otome game (if they decide to continue down that path).

    They already did Hakuoki, so if those sales went well we may just be in luck. :)

  • March 21, 2012 at 2:05 pmYanDaMan

    Its so weird not having a Seasonal Preview for Spring, now I have no idea what any of these new shows are about and what I want to watch.

    • March 21, 2012 at 2:47 pmGhostalker

      Don’t worry, they promise a season preview, we at least a full week and a half before the official start of the spring season, its just that some series start very early than the others.

      If I remember correctly, the season preview this season was also released just a few more days before 2012.

    • March 21, 2012 at 3:58 pmBakaMochi

      The season previews are coming, so don’t worry ^^ It’s just that Ozuma and Hiiro no Kakera had pre-airs… as far as I know the official season does not start until April.

      • March 21, 2012 at 6:18 pmNyangoro

        To my knowledge, Ozma didn’t have a pre-air. It simply started last Saturday.

      • March 22, 2012 at 10:15 pmYanDaMan

        Thanks for letting me know. Looking forward to this season preview.

  • March 21, 2012 at 4:40 pmmistress_kisara

    Thanks for featuring this! Can’t wait for April. If you guys love otome games brace yourselves this summer I think there are about 4 otome game adaptations (La storia della Arcana Famiglia, Hanayaka Nari Waga Ichizoku, Uta no Prince-sama 2nd season and Hakuouki: Reimeiroku)

  • March 21, 2012 at 7:26 pmmike

    did u lot drop Gundam AGE? granted it’s not the best series in the franchise but it’s not that bad…right?

  • March 21, 2012 at 7:33 pmKagura

    its decided! im .rooting for Takuma

  • March 21, 2012 at 11:08 pmDonyo

    A reverse harem definitely piques my interest and I’m all for these types of shows, but unfortunately after the first episode I’m gonna have to say I’m wary at best on picking this up.

    The beginning was all right but the pacing was painfully and uncomfortably slow; it was even a task to watch the incantation part because the heroine had to be walked step by slow step through the entire thing. Tamaki’s also a pretty bland heroine herself and is obviously made for viewers to insert themselves into her role; apparently she wasn’t quite as nice and was more mean-spirited(?) in the game, so that’s a let-down, too. There’s also nothing too original that stands out either as far as characterization and plot. I am kind of interested in how the gods and ghosts will be developed as far as the story goes (how they’re essentially the same since ghosts are just gods who’ve lost all worshipers) so I’m willing to give it another episode just for that, but in all other aspects it’s just too average to appeal outside of its intended audience.

  • March 22, 2012 at 6:37 amKisara

    I guess it was a nice enough first episde. I might be wrong or the only one who felt that way, but some of the transitions from one scene to the next felt kind of sudden. Nonetheless I enjoyed the episode overall and the female lead seems ok as well.

    A good friend of mine is a huge Hiiro no Kakera and Hakuouki fan and she played every game of both series. So I’m not that much of a newbie to the franchise.

  • March 22, 2012 at 11:16 amFairlee

    Anything drawn by Kazuki Yone is on my watching list. Dying to play the game before, as it’s only in Japanese.

    • March 22, 2012 at 1:15 pmDCLXVI

      Hakuoki is available in English for the PSP, it was released just this month I think.

  • March 22, 2012 at 4:03 pmn0216332

    i do want to pick this up… but anime targeted at female just gonna remind me of how flawed of a person i am…. kaichou wa maid sama is enough to lower my self esteem ¬_¬ if this eries recieve more hype then maybe i will pick it up >.<

    • March 22, 2012 at 8:33 pmmachan

      Don’t worry about that kind of stuff and watch it. It’s not worse than girls watching the usual harem/ecchi anime, and no one cares about that (I think)

  • March 23, 2012 at 4:54 amRassennotomo

    How many episodes is Hiiro no Kakera going to be??

    • March 26, 2012 at 3:34 amMelina

      26 episodes is planned for this anime.

    • June 5, 2012 at 9:38 pmMari

      Is 26 really enough?? I feel like thats too short

  • March 24, 2012 at 7:05 pmskyhack

    Cute kitty. Sic ‘em, Fang.

  • March 25, 2012 at 3:23 amAozora

    Looks great! I’m in.

  • March 25, 2012 at 3:06 pmYukie

    I don’t get why Sugita Tomokazu is getting casted in all these otome game adaptations. Every time I hear his voice I think about Gin-san from Gintama and it’s so weird…

  • April 1, 2012 at 11:03 amMelina

    Episode 1 that included ED and Next Episode Title(though it seems there is no Preview)just aired today.

  • April 6, 2012 at 4:57 amChristie

    The first episode was not bad, but the girl was a bit too helpless (bland) for me. Also for me, the voices did not exactly present the characters. Maybe it was a bit too sharp? IDK.

  • April 7, 2012 at 10:26 pmLock7

    I must say i was quite surprised by the overall quality of this episode (in a good way). The animation was top-notch (it remains to be seen if the rest of the episodes will remain the same way.. hoping it will) and it developed in an even pace. Episode one introduced us to the protagonist and the main core of the group in which we’ll be following during the rest of the series. It gave the audience a view of their general personalities, and i was quite surprised by the heroine, considering the generic formula of “female lead protected by her guardians”. She wasn’t weak-willed and she didn’t faint at the first sight of trouble (+1 point). She was scared but that is believable considering she just got attacked in the woods, but instead of refusing to listen to the guy (the typical female lead “I can’t do this!” followed by tears of sorts) she did as he asked. And she also spoke up to him, yelled at him, and wasn’t doing a “Your my hero! I love you!” act (+1 point).
    Overall i think episode one did a good job of introducing the premise of the story and the main heroine has yet to pull a “I’m so weak!” act, which i hope stays throughout the rest of the show.. (i don’t want to see her just hiding behind her harem of men)
    Can’t wait for Episode 2 :)

  • May 14, 2012 at 10:55 amAnuysh

    I have watched the first 3 eps on Animeavenue.net and think its a great anime, havent played the game, but I was wondering if there are any hints out there if they are going to be doing this in an english dubbed version, while I will watch it subbed it is destracting to have to read and not fully watch the anime, as my college doesnt teach Jap. and I cant afford to buy programs to learn it. Thanks for your time.

    Anuysh

  • June 21, 2012 at 5:52 amsomebudyy udonkno

    hiiro no kakera♥