If there is show that can be called a sleeper hit, it’s Hinamatsuri. From everything that I’ve seen around the anime community, almost everyone has written this show off for one reason or another. I’m glad that it’s finding a place in the anime community right now, because Hinamatsuri is more than worth it. I don’t know how it’s hitting everyone else, but I know what it’s doing for me. This is yet another show that feels like real life itself. It starts by being a comedy show with perfect comedic timing and then it goes even further from there to be something special. Something that the average anime fan wouldn’t expect. I will try not to spoil this show that much, but I don’t think that I restrain how great this show really can be. You have been warned. (Post Note: I failed at not spoiling. Sorry)
First, Hinamatsuri is a good comedy. It’s a story about psychic girls from whatever dimension appearing in a normal landscape like this world and shaking it up a bit. That may only a sound entertaining at first, but what happens when one of these girls has a robotic personality, Hina, ends up the daughter figure of a Yakuza member, Nitta? Oh my, their interactions are great. Especially since the show functions around everyday life scenarios where this first psychic girl and the young yakuza member are trying to understand each other. Not something that is easy when you consider the two worlds they’ve come from. In this way, the comedy feels completely natural and believable for each person. The comedic timing is beyond perfect too with each immediately undercutting what the other said immediately. When the world of the anime expands beyond Hina and Nitta, we are introduced to a wonderful cast of insane characters so well with each other. It’s just so good. By doing introducing this cast, we go to the realm of grounded comedy and even some drama.
I said grounded comedy, but it’s more like a comedy of misfortune. You know what, we get two sides of this comedy. The first is the result of what happens when a random character that shouldn’t be thrown into Hina and Nitta’s craziness gets stuck with it. Yes, we are talking Hitomi. Our poor school girl that doesn’t have any powers. Somehow, she ends up going with Nitta and HIna to a girly bar and her life completely changes from that point on. Somehow, Hitomi ends up as a bartender, because of that one night that she served drinks better the anyone ever could. That fact is so strange and interesting that you can’t help but laugh at it. The misfortune continues from there and it’s all Hina’s fault. I always wonder how far this craziness can go, but it keeps ramping up further and further in ways you wouldn’t expect. Somehow, Hitomi keeps getting jobs that nobody should expect her to have. She is even the secretary of her school’s student council. In everyone else’s realm of reality, this would mean that she was insanely successful at an early age, but the thing is HItomi doesn’t want all of this at all. She just wants to be a normal girl who isn’t busy all the time and doesn’t have all the money ever. Her forced adulthood is funny, but a little tragic as well because she doesn’t know what she wants in life yet. At least she has some good opportunities in the future.
Then there is Anzu, another psychic girl. I don’t think her arc is meant to be funny at all, but it certainly starts off comedically. She was originally meant to take Hina home with her. Well, first she lost her super powered rock, paper, scissors match, against Hina. Next, when Anzu was supposed to go back to wherever she came from, she couldn’t. Well, what is she going to do now? Well, if you learned anything about this show from the previous paragraph, she lives as a homeless person. First, she steals everything for survival because she doesn’t know any other way to live. Eventually, Anzu lives with a bunch of homeless people. By living in a homeless camp, she learns about the value of money and the power of community and friendship. At some point, Anzu has to leave the homeless community and she stays with a couple that owns a restaurant. At this point, Anzu becomes the strong, emotional character of the series. We see how her time at the homeless camp has affected to her when she gets basic needs like hot bathing water and a light in her room. It hurts so good. Both Anzu and Hitomi learn the value of money, but in completely different ways.
Guys, I can’t hold back on my feelings on this show. Hinamatsuri is as close to the most perfect anime to come out of this Spring 2018 season as possible. I say this telling you that it’s not a Mech show and with all the love that I have for Space Battleship Yamato 2202 and Fullmetal Panic Invisible Victory. The balance of comedy between Hina’s obliviousness, Hitomi’s misfortune(?), and Anzu as the emotional core is a powerful trio that not many anime ever master. Also, the fact that everything that happens has great consequences to them as well. It’s not just a comedy anime, it’s like life itself. I didn’t even get to talk about the production values, but they are always on point. Nothing is ever off model, the art is fantastic, and the animation, when there is a higher need for it, is good enough to carry the power from this world. If you haven’t yet, please watch this show. I guarantee that you will fall in love with it too.