「超能力少女現る！」 (Chounouryoku Shouko Genreu!)
“The ESP Girl Appears!”
I’m still getting around to finishing Mob Psycho (yes I know it’s good and made it to episode 3), but had its first few episodes been anything like Hitamatsuri I probably wouldn’t have been able to stop watching the entire thing in one sitting.
Before diving into anything specific about the episode, I just want to talk about the merits of having a fantastic first episode that manages to do just about everything right.
As we all know, a first episode can make or break an anime in terms of whether or not you’ll come back for more. With numerous ways of enticing a viewer to come back, anyone who’s watched a season or two of anime will have seen a lot of the typical tropes. Be it an interesting concept or throwing a crazy fight scene straight at our faces, many shows are good but few are rarely able to capture you during their first 20 or so minutes. In Hinamatsuri’s case, you have to love how it thrusts us into the thick of things with literally no explanation except Hina is a girl with ESP/magic/psychic powers and Nitta is far from your typical yazkua member.
But instead of trying to explain things to us by vomiting words all over us, we are instead treated to a specific set of actions that bring us up to speed. With near perfect pacing and a lot of well timed deadpan moments from Nitta, we discover that Hina isn’t completely out of touch with the world she’s in and that things aren’t all that different from where she comes from. In Nitta’s case we see that he’s actually a big softie (or at least not a jerk) and through a little bit of prodding goes from just covering Hina’s basics for survival to turning into an almost adorable surrogate parent.
That said, a good story is nothing without a little bit of conflict and this first episode kicks things up just enough to get us emotionally invested to Hina and Nitta. Under the guise of trying to “use up” some of Hina’s stored magic, we learn two important things. The first being Hina is very capable of blowing the shit out of things should she choose to and the second being Nitta isn’t the type of person who would just “use” this new person who’s entered his life. A point that the story keeps vague since it’s used as the turning point where we go from thinking “Oh Nitta is probably a good guy” to “God damn Nitta is such a good guy”. Which is something that even well established shows have trouble doing without being overly sappy or corny.
All of which leads to a delicious looking bowl of Ikura and a stupidly funny ending scene with Nitta ending up in Hina’s pod and stuck in it for just about as long as Hina was when she first appeared a little under twenty or so odd minutes ago. Two moments that I think helped slow things down as well as build up some anticipation for what’s to come aka come back for episode two.
All in all, if you haven’t realized, was all a ploy to tell you just how much I loved Hinamatsuri. As an intro episode I think there was absolutely everything you needed to understand what you’re getting into. Sure, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s no denying that this is hands down a funny show that mixes emotions and laughter with some damn good expertise. Anyways, before this post gets any longer let me close things off with a huge recommendation for everyone to please watch this show and love it with me.
Catch you guys later!
ED: 「鮭とイクラと893と娘」 (Salmon and Ikura and 893 and Musume) by 新田義史 CV: 中島ヨシキ (Nitta Yoshifumi (CV:Nakajima Yoshiki))
I had a lot of Alice and Zouroku vibes from watching this. Really well done first episode.
This is a great mixture of slapstick and situation comedy.
Judging from the source manga, things will be even more ridiculous and crazy, in a good way.
I can’t wait for the next episode.
12 eps confirmed for Hinamatsuri.
The ongoing source manga is more of a SOL comedy, so don’t expect anything particularly grim.
It does become pretty grim for some characters in a dark humor way though.
Now that was a damn good opener, as long as it keeps up the pace I’ll be watching this. That said, I think I’d watch this show just for the ikura anyway as it’s one of my favourites too.
Struggles to maintain eye contact…
just as you thought that tada kun wa koi wo shinai is this season dark horse, here comes hinamatsuri, another hidden gem in this season. and i am glad, my watchlist is filling up. anyway, this anime is kind a fuwa fuwa for me despite the yakuza theme and stuffs. the OST that plays on the background, its relaxing. definitely a must watch and a good recommendation
I’m always leery about shows that glamourize the Yakuza but this won me over with its quirkiness and well-timed comedy. That said, it did sort of gloss over the fact that Nitta did kill a guy at the end. We don’t get shown it, but it was what he was ordered to do and we see him getting congratulated. It just felt weird for the show to gloss over that so blithely.
The main draw for this show is the strange dynamic between the two leads though. That’s its strength and makes up most of the show too. Highly entertaining, and I’ll certainly finish this show.
This might be my go to comedy show of the season.
What is it with blonde-haired hustlers who get paired with kids?
That cold open was… interesting.
I mean, I’m down for some yakuza-and-esper buddy comedy, but I also want more haniwa-used-as-tonfa kung fu nonsense.
A little ahead of myself…
Just finished Ep 2 – what a funny ride!
I can see where this is going and it’s going to be great!