「最終イベントが来てしまった…」 (Saishuu Ibento ga Kite Shimatta…)
“The Final Event Has Begun…”
Shocking twist, happy ending, and the promise of even more to come: oh yes, it was a Hamefura finale alright. I think we all knew the show was going to leave off on a positive note considering its overall mood, but actually getting some dark and disturbing courtesy of dark magic mind manipulation and magical possession in the process? Yeah, bet few saw that backstory with Sirius coming. It does show how utterly pure and wholesome the Bakarina is though, as not only has she proven herself the rock to cling to in the midst of a storm, but also the next leading candidate for most efficient harem builder. Well, after she recognizes the obvious mind you, even if that might take a while to ram through her
adorable thick skull.
Good to know we have a second season to look forward to then wouldn’t you say? Considering the doom flags have been firmly avoided, it would simply be a shame to miss out on what manner of insanity our loveable dork can get up to without the albatross of death and destruction hanging around her neck. Stay tuned for next year boys and girls, because Hamefura has only just started spreading its wings.
Full-length images: 26.
As far as romcoms go Hamefura is nothing particularly unique. Beyond its relatively unique (if only for lack of immediate competitors) isekai flavour and otome reverse harem game premise, what we received was overall no different from the plethora of similar series popping up every other season. Such thinking, however, belies Hamefura’s execution and atmosphere; what lacks in structural ingenuity is more than made up for with material strength and laid-back focus. Romcoms may be romance first and foremost, but sometimes all it takes to stand out is a bit of comedy first to truly make a mark.
The part I enjoyed most about Hamefura was undoubtably its lighthearted nature. Too often romcoms play up drama as the glue to bind their various story elements together, with comedy serving as the agent to smoothen any resulting creases—the result is often cheesiness and frustration as otherwise straightforward scenarios quickly implode in on themselves. Hamefura instead takes an alternate approach, largely dropping any drama in favour in near parodic romantic tensions which devolve into immensely positive results for Katarina. This can come across as forced or contrived at times (see the simplicity and rapidity at which some of Katarina’s “conquests” are won over), but has the benefit of remaining fun throughout. Sure, in hindsight there’s never really any serious risk to Katarina, but it can be hard complaining when adorable and hilarious walk hand in hand on the way to their lovably awkwardly date. Hamefura (at least for me) succeeds because it never tries to be more than it actually is, and through the hijinks of Katarina never fails to let you know every step of the way.
Such simplicity though does conversely impact Hamefura’s appeal and potentially many viewer’s opinions. As the show remains relatively simple and narratively wider than deep, anyone unable to find humour or interest in the weekly Bakarina shenanigans is likely to be bored or quickly turned off. Unlike say Kaminomi, Hamefura is something watched for relaxation first and focus second; few arcs in this story (at least in this first season) will broker any tension or significant consequences. For Hamefura and its leading dork it’s rather all about working through the weekly challenges and finding the way to come across as all the more wholesome for it. Not good for anyone looking for some story gristle to chew upon, but you’ll arguably find nothing better if you’re in need of a little cutesy fantasy-esque harem simulator for some downtime.
Overall Hamefura will likely blend into the vacuous anime background as time goes by, but with a second season on the way and as the progenitor of a probable start of isekai-ed otome game rom(com) adaptations its impact will certainly be felt for years to come. It may not be the most ingenious or impressive of series, but Hamefura and the Bakarina truly show that pure and wholesome fun can never be decided through uniqueness and premise alone.