OP: 「ねえ」 (Nee) by 藤田麻衣子 (Fujita Maiko)
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼
「決意の一歩」 (Ketsui no Ippo)
You won me over, Hiiro no Kakera, hook, line and sinker!
A quick roll call before I start, since it has been a bit since Episode 1 was covered, and there are a fair bit of names. Beware though, that I list names that have not been formally introduced so there might be some spoilers!
Characters: Table ▼
The second episode takes a step up in the pacing department, along with almost everything else. The premise introduced in the premiere – the Tamayori Princess who must protect the Onikirimaru’s seal and the five guardians who must protect her – is elaborated upon here, with the revelation that the seal is actually protected by two things: the blood of the Tamayori Princess and the five artifacts. It’s not a stretch to say those five artifacts – and the five seal grounds – are connected to the guardians somehow, because coincidentally, there also five of them.
Additional plot points are introduced, starting with what looks to be the villains. They’re an eclectic bunch, led by a little blonde girl. They are also after the seal, and by connecting several dots together, it’s pretty easy to see they are the ones behind the disturbances in the seal grounds that Yuuichi was talking about. In addition, it’s also highly likely they’re the reason why Tamaki’s grandmother called her in the first place. This brings about another interesting point: she of the English flourish, Fiona (Oohara Sayaka. She started teaching ‘three months ago’… curiously enough, that’s when the first disturbances began in the area. And even more suspicious is her similarity to one of Aria’s underlings. She brought about some of the comic relief (and jealousy, perhaps?) with her stunning looks and English this episode, but I wonder if she’ll bring some dramatic tension in the future as well. Imagine Mahiro’s face when he finds out that the hot teacher isn’t just a hot teacher… It certainly won’t look this happy anymore!
The last of the plot-related event I’ll mention is the monster fight at the end. It was a chance for the guys to show Tamaki what they were made of, and they certainly succeeded. While it was fun watching the fight, two key scenes made me look at the scene in a different light: the shot of Aria’s subordinate(Ueda Youji, and the conversation between Mitsuru and Grandma. The appearance of the antagonist clearly suggest he was the one behind the attack. But Grandma’s words to Mitsuru are also telling, and I wonder if it wasn’t her that caused the ghosts to go berserk. In any case, I hope the foreshadowing leads the show to somewhere exciting.
One of the things I have to praise this episode for is the character interactions. The rooftop scene where the group tries to name the little fox was actually pretty funny, bringing a sort of comic relief I had no idea Hiiro no Kakera was capable of bringing. It all culminates in a scene where Tamaki takes matters into her own hands and names the fox ‘O-chan’ – a name the little guy seems to like better than Crystal Guy (“It’s from a famous drama!”), Ozaki (“I’m definitely for this)and Oosaki Kitsune (“Is it a gag?”). The guys are all characters in their own right, and none of them show signs of fading into the background so far. It’s pretty difficult to get a sense of Suguru however, since he doesn’t really go to school and hence has less time to spend with Tamaki. I can’t pick a favorite just yet, and I don’t know if the show will end with her choosing anybody, but if the OP has any hints of what is to come, I’m totally sold.
Tamaki so far is doing a pretty good job being proactive and knowing when to step back; of course, when she tries to do the latter things don’t quite work out, but it’s really the fault of the situation and less of her being dumb. Her actions create some conflict with Takuma, who seems the most bitter about his role. He freely calls himself a ‘tool’, citing there’s no need for them to question anything when Yuuichi reveals to Tamaki that the guardians aren’t told anything aside from the very necessary things. I assume this will be a point of contention between Tamaki and the other guardians in the romantic department; she’s bound to feel some guilt – she does even now! – and while I welcome some angst, I just hope it won’t devolve to a merry-go-round of “I’m doing this for your own good!”.
ED: 「この手で抱きとめるから」 (Kono Te de Daki Tomeru Kara) by 喜多修平 (Shuhei Kita)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼