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Shining Hearts – 04

OP Sequence

Shining Hearts   OP   01 Shining Hearts   OP   02 Shining Hearts   OP   03
Shining Hearts   OP   04 Shining Hearts   OP   05 Shining Hearts   OP   06

OP: 「時世界 ~トキセカイ~」 (Toki Sekai) by (Itou Kanae, Aizawa Mai, Mikami Shiori)
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼

Shining Hearts   04   01 Shining Hearts   04   02 Shining Hearts   04   03
Shining Hearts   04   04 Shining Hearts   04   05 Shining Hearts   04   06
Shining Hearts   04   07 Shining Hearts   04   08 Shining Hearts   04   09
Shining Hearts   04   10 Shining Hearts   04   11 Shining Hearts   04   12
Shining Hearts   04   13 Shining Hearts   04   14 Shining Hearts   04   15
Shining Hearts   04   16 Shining Hearts   04   17 Shining Hearts   04   18
Shining Hearts   04   19 Shining Hearts   04   20 Shining Hearts   04   21
Shining Hearts   04   22 Shining Hearts   04   23 Shining Hearts   04   24
Shining Hearts   04   25 Shining Hearts   04   26 Shining Hearts   04   27
Shining Hearts   04   28 Shining Hearts   04   29 Shining Hearts   04   30
Shining Hearts   04   31 Shining Hearts   04   32 Shining Hearts   04   33
Shining Hearts   04   34 Shining Hearts   04   35 Shining Hearts   04   36

「機械人形」 (Kitai Ningyo)
“Machine Doll”

If there’s a single word I would use to describe Shining Hearts, it would be “pretty”. Mind-bogglingly, awe-inducingly pretty. It’s like Production I.G. felt like they had something to prove – there’s almost no doubt that Shining Hearts is one of the most visually-pleasing shows this season has to offer.

But what about everything else? After four episodes in, what does this RPG-adaptation have to offer the masses? Quite a bit more than what one would expect at first glance, that’s for sure. I have to admit though, Shining Hearts probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – it does subvert expectations, but it does it in a way that can leave people… well, wanting. There’s quite a lot I want to talk about though, so let’s break this down piece by piece.

Short blurb under each section, with a more detailed explanation under spoiler tags.

First off, the premise:

Show Spoiler ▼

tl;dr: decent plot hindered by slow pacing. Shining Hearts is still enjoyable though, and there’s still room for the story to pick up, so it’s not the end of the world.

Next, characters:

Show Spoiler ▼

tl;dr: visually-pleasing characters with enough personality to set them apart from each other and make the show engaging.

The animation:

Show Spoiler ▼

tl;dr: a luxury, gourmet treat for the eyes. By far Shining Hearts’ greatest asset.

The atmosphere:

Show Spoiler ▼

tl;dr: woo hoo! A free, automatic game experience that will take care of the pesky back-tracking and endless dialogue cutscenes? Sign me up.

And finally, general impression:

Despite the misgivings I have about the pacing and the utterly RPG-like atmosphere, let it be known that I like this show. The relaxing mood is refreshing from some of the more deep, philosophical shows the season has to offer and it’s an easy watch. I just kick back and watch some nicely-designed characters run about doing their RPG business and I’m satisfied. Shining Hearts isn’t a show that should be watched with a serious mindset and the show knows where its strengths lie – it’s got confidence in itself, if you will, and hey… if a show is confident, then so am I. I might not know where this ship is headed and how it will reach a proper conclusion in twelve episodes, but I’m not as worried about it as I should be.

tl;dr: is Shining Bread going to be everybody’s cup of tea? Probably not. But it’s certainly mine and I plan to get the most out of this tea time.

To those that actually read this whole thing, have some bread of happiness baked by three cute girls as thanks!

And it’s not a post by Mochi without full-size images so here they are: 02, 03, 04, 06, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 23, 26, 27, 30, 33, OP 05, Preview 02

 

ED Sequence

Shining Hearts   ED   01 Shining Hearts   ED   02 Shining Hearts   ED   03
Shining Hearts   ED   04 Shining Hearts   ED   05 Shining Hearts   ED   06

ED: 「ふわっふわのまほう」 (Fuwa Fuwa no Mahou) by (Itou Kanae, Aizawa Mai, Mikami Shiori)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

Shining Hearts   04   Preview 01 Shining Hearts   04   Preview 02 Shining Hearts   04   Preview 03
May 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm
34 comments »
  • May 11, 2012 at 2:47 pmQwerty1

    I wanted to watch this show, it looks really well made but…

    I don’t know if it’s changed since the first two episodes, but during both of them I had to fight off an urge to fall asleep through the entire thing and even then found myself jumping forward through the endless seemingly plotless dialogue.

    • May 11, 2012 at 3:04 pmexia

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one feeling this.

    • May 11, 2012 at 5:59 pmQuikbeam

      I kind of had the same issue, it is really slow to develop, but its starting to get more interesting. The animation is excellent which is why i am still watching. Hopefully the storyline will go somewhere. After 5 episodes its still like eh….

    • May 12, 2012 at 10:40 amKarmafan

      People have become more and more action junkies and want things to move at a breakneck pace each week (like Fate/Zero) and this is an anime that isn’t like that. They are taking their time telling the story. Having not played the game I have idea how far along they are with the stpry’s plot. Usually when they move at a slow pace like this and its a 1 cor series it usually means they might be planning to have more then 1 season.

      • May 13, 2012 at 9:20 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        I wouldn’t really say it’s due to Fate/Zero moving at a “breakneck” pace. If anything, to pure action fans, it’d ALSO be moving pretty slowly given how few the actual battles are (at least when it comes to big, flashy Servant vs. Servant fights) in the series compared to a lot more talking, points-of-views, and so on (but the battles there are are AMAZING). I think it’s more so that to the ones who are fans of the Fate/Stay Night anime most likely already KNEW what to expect from Fate/Zero (as I’m sure a lot who only saw the anime went and looked up the rest of the story) and, thankfully, it hardly deviates from the original story, so it moves as people have more or less expected it to, so no real complaints aside from those who did expect a majority of it to be battles between Servants and not between the actual people.

        But yeah, I also like when a series takes it times to develop things instead of rushing it all out, then moving to flashy, cliche battles/situations every episode. Basically, it gives you the impression of a RPG game, only in a more “realistic” fashion, as in no random battles every few steps the characters’ take, lol.

    • May 13, 2012 at 7:47 amFalmung

      I in the other hand when I watch this show get really hungry and start drooling. That bread looks delicious.

  • May 11, 2012 at 3:13 pmJhacks

    The best bread baking Anime this season XD.

    For some unknown reason I’m enjoying this shallow Anime, maybe because of Tony’s character design, my love for RPG, or maybe Itou Kanae voice. A guilty pleasure perhaps.

  • May 11, 2012 at 3:14 pmmac65

    Intriguing is a work that works for me. We have a diverse set of
    characters – now the story is getting a little traction (I agree, too
    that I was mildly bored silly in the beginning).

    However, I would not use this series as any kind of engineering teaching tool -
    haven’t the writers ever hear of block and tackle?

    Will continue if for no other reason …

  • May 11, 2012 at 3:31 pmDai

    I’m probably in a minority, but I found the character design in this show incredibly offputting for reasons I can’t put my finger on, at least when it comes to the girls in the main cast. It might be exacerbated by one of the most severe cases of sameface I’ve ever seen, but there’s something weird and hollow – kind of vacant – about the designs. Am I the only one who reacted that way? I’m just crazy, right?

    • May 11, 2012 at 11:47 pmAnon

      You’re not alone. I think the problem with the characters is that Tony Taka apparently didn’t design them with their setting in mind — it looks like he just drew what he thought would look cute, not what the characters would be expected to wear given their occupations, resources, or personalities. While that could have worked for the RPG (where the characters, for the most part, were stationary), the designs become a lot less cohesive when the characters are constantly animated. (The animation staff is also using a much brighter and gaudier color palette than Tony Taka used for his original illustrations.)

      It reminds me of something Range Murata said about his character designs for Last Exile: “I always wondered, ‘Why do anime characters have such big buttons? Why are the creases in their clothes so deep?’ Things like that. And when I designed the characters for Last Exile, I tried to have them wear clothes that could exist in real life.”

      That’s why I think the character designs here can look so “vacant:” they don’t relate to each other, they don’t relate to the characters themselves, and they don’t relate to the setting. They’re ripped right off of the concept art sheet.

  • May 11, 2012 at 3:38 pmMasterDragonKnight

    Right now, Shining Hearts is probably the most visually pleasing anime of the season, tied with Fate/Zero. The characters all look very unique and pretty, and the landscape is pretty expansive and breathtaking.

    Plot-wise it is kind of slow, though. Everything feels really peaceful, with no real conflict in sight. It would be pretty accurate to describe it as a slice-of-life in a fantasy setting.

    I still say it is enjoyable to watch. It does leave you with a fluffy feeling afterward.

  • May 11, 2012 at 3:39 pmanon

    Shame Shining Hearts (the PSP game this is based on) was never released outside Japan.

    Expect plot holes that are only filled if you’ve played the game.

  • May 11, 2012 at 3:56 pmpaulrenzo

    If it were a videogame, Shining Hearts would have “good graphics, that unfortunately doesn’t match up with the gameplay”

  • May 11, 2012 at 4:09 pmDa5id

    I didn’t know shows started at Episode 4 now…

    • May 11, 2012 at 11:19 pmBeedle

      5 episodes in and the show still hasn’t started….

      …ah well, maybe the ‘main antagonist/villain/evil/whatever’ isn’t a serious threat in RPG standards, so they can smite him/her/it in half an episode and be done with it.

  • May 11, 2012 at 4:38 pmRyuunosuke808

    This show’s pacing is really weird, but the animation is top notch. Is this show getting picked up by Bakamochi? Thanks for the review btw

  • May 11, 2012 at 5:01 pmLitho

    They should just turn this into a hentai.

    Seriously, it’s already 5 eps and they still repeat the baking bread/selling bits every single ep. At least we wouldn’t be bored if there was constant f*cking. The female character designs suit it, after all. I mean, there’s a nun in a friggin miniskirt and long coat!!

  • May 11, 2012 at 5:24 pmAnon

    I’m sorry if this is a silly question, but why are there characters present in the screencaps that can’t be seen in the streaming OP? Do we have to submit the Konami code to unlock them?

  • May 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm†Croos†

    This is what I call a nice review. d(^.^d) . Bringing out a show potential in which most people would not want to watch.

    Time for ED joke time gif

  • May 11, 2012 at 7:11 pmricz

    Shining Rick’s Pan

    A story about the break of rick that bring happiness and will save the world

  • May 11, 2012 at 7:34 pmcutemi2

    All about bread again, and next is Ice Cream.
    YEAH, Love This anime, good thing that they’ve blogged this, I’m gonna miss the Random Curiosity’s Gundam AGE Blog.

  • May 11, 2012 at 7:47 pmSteven Den Beste

    I’ve come to the conclusion that this is “iyashikei”, that is, healing anime. That’s a genre, it turns out. Someday’s Dreamers was iyashikei. Aria was iyashikei. The point of iyashikei is to create a comfortable, comforting experience for the audience.

    For a while I was expecting it to turn into an RPG-equivalent, but now I don’t think that’s going to happen. This show really is about making bread. (As one of my readers put it, “Victory through superior bread-making skills.”)

  • May 11, 2012 at 8:02 pmbelatkuro

    Shining Pantsu of Happiness.
    All I got 5 episodes in is: pan pan pan pan oishi pan pan pan pan Ricku no pan pan pan pan, a nekomimi girl, a blow up doll in an old man’s shop and Kaguya.
    I’m still waiting for the girls to raep Rick. Or more skin exposure. Or something significant to happen. Oh well this show is nice to look at, at least.
    Plus dat ED and the hilarious gifs it brings.

  • May 11, 2012 at 8:20 pmYanDaMan

    Im just glad this anime exist. Because god forbid we’re never gona get Shining Hearts the game in the US shores. So I can at least watch the anime just like I did with Shining Wind (although Shining Wind was more shown from a different perspective than the game).

    Besides, Tony Taka’s character design and art is amazing, and that is enough reason for me to watch this.

    Also when I saw the elf girl I thouht that was Elwyn from Shining Tear/Wind. But apparently not. Way to make her look exactly identical, Mr Taka.

    I think this show is a nice change of pace from all the seriousness other animes are showing this season. It seems like a very lighthearted and casual anime thats mostly about the characters and environment rather than the actual plot.

    • May 11, 2012 at 9:28 pmMelina

      About the elf girl:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • May 11, 2012 at 11:28 pmYanDaMan

        Lol ok, well played Shining Hearts, well played.

  • May 11, 2012 at 10:27 pmUnajuuphile

    Now I want some bread.

  • May 12, 2012 at 10:29 pmHagane

    Honestly, the reason why I keep on watching this is because of the nun. Have anyone noticed that nuns in anime wear miniskirts more often than not?

  • May 13, 2012 at 12:08 amBeckett

    I’m mostly watching this show because Neris is a total fox. Also, episode 4, what the hell. That island has the most draconian laws this side of communist Russia. “You spent all day pulling up something out of the ocean? HAHA NOT FUCKING LIKELY, we’re confiscating that shit!”

    • May 13, 2012 at 9:21 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      Glad I’m not the only one who noticed this, lol.

      “You’re not allowed to keep anything you pull up from the sea, so WE’RE TAKING IT! It’s okay since WE didn’t actually pull it from the sea, YOU did!”

  • May 13, 2012 at 9:37 amAnishuma

    I’m only watching this for the bread.

  • May 13, 2012 at 1:05 pmanri

    I don’t care if this show has no story and is nothing more than baking bread, like most say I watch it just because is pretty, relaxing, and fun. The character design are just too pretty and easy to look at, plus if anyone have a problem about an anime with nothing but baking bread then go watch Yakitate!! Japan (TV) then you come back and tell me if anime about bread is boring.

  • May 13, 2012 at 3:58 pmAkira

    even if slow-paced, I’m enjoying it. I find it relaxing, and now something is starting to move, so.. Looking forward for the appearance of Mistral and Maxima!

  • May 14, 2012 at 11:58 amDragoZERO

    I’m in because of Tony’s designs. He is a fantastic artist. He can draw a girl to be sexy with all of her clothes on or off.

    And if you replace bread with penis and baking bread with sex, this show is hilarious. The girls go on and on about how wonderful Rick’s bread is. Hahaha.