Sunday, April 03, 2011

Hanasaku - Not All Grandmas Give Out Candy

Hanasaku is one of the series I was looking forward the most this season, and so far it doesn't disappoint - good animation quality, an interesting cast of characters, some drama, and even a love confession in just the first episode.  It may be a two cour series, but it's off to a fast start already - makes me wonder how they're possibly going to keep up the pace (although maybe they just won't and are off to a racing start - Futakoi Alternative Syndrome, although not nearly as insane).

The main character, Ohana, ends up shipped off to Hinata-sou to live with a grandmother she's never met, thanks to her mother being...well, a little too carefree is probably a charitable way to put it (I know, the inn's not called Hinata-sou, but that's all I could think of when Ohana first sees it - was half expecting Keitarou to come flying out of a third-story window).  Unfortunately for her, her grandmother is Cruella de Ville, and puts her to work instead of doting on her, and the only other girls her age that work there are one that hates her and one that seems really uncomfortable around her.  Of course, you can see Ohana winning them over and being best friends with them coming from space, but even if they do go that tried-and-true path, Ohana's a likeable main character and the story has a lot of potential.

Is it going to be truly epic, like Toradora?  I don't know, but it has potential to go there.  I'm a sucker for good characters, good character designs, and good atmosphere, and this has all three so far.  It could bog down in soap opera-drama down the road, or have the pace slow to glacial levels since there's supposedly a full 24-26 episodes to work with, but I'm keeping my hopes up.

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