Hinamatsuri

Hinamatsuri

Hinamatsuri anime cover art
Hinamatsuri Cover Art

Overview

Hinamatsuri is a deadpan humor anime much like Cromartie High School. This series follows the daily life of a Yakuza lieutenant, Nitta, his adopted, psychic daughter from another dimension, Hina, and their various friends.

Typically, each part of an episode follows one of the four characters I’ll be listing in the characters section below, but occasionally there are parts which follow other, seemingly random characters, such as Mao, a girl who never actually interacts with the rest of the cast.

Speaking of Mao, the series opens up with a scene of her and then we don’t see her again until late in the series. Then, the final episode circles back to the scene from episode one and gives us the full story of what happened then.

Personally, I found this to be a great way to end the series since I had completely forgotten about that opening scene by the time episode 12 came around. Further, since Mao wasn’t really a character in the series the absurdity of it opening and ending with her was just that much better.


Characters

Hina is the titular character and one of three espers we meet throughout the series. She was sent to our dimension as a punishment for going on a rampage within her own, and ended up being teleported into Nitta’s apartment.

Despite being 14 years old, Hina doesn’t really understand how the world works, and I mean how anything in the world works, she’s kind of an idiot. However, that’s just part of Hina’s charm and why I like her so much as a character. She tries her best, but in the end she usually does something wrong.

Nitta is Hina’s adoptive father, although it takes a bit to get around to the point at which the two of them see each other as family. Although he’s a Yakuza lieutenant, Nitta’s just a generally nice guy, as are most of his Yakuza brothers for some reason. Even the boss sees Hina as his granddaughter.

A fun fact about Nitta is that he loves vases, especially expensive, fragile vases which don’t mix well with a 14-year-old clumsy esper. It’s the little things like that which make the relationship between Hina and Nitta my favorite part of the series.

The first of the two supporting characters I’ll talk about is Anzu. She’s the second esper we meet in the series and was apparently sent to this dimension in order to eliminate Hina (or bring her back, whatever). Unfortunately for Anzu, she fails to defeat Hina and then fails to return home.

It turns out you need a little red ball thing in order for espers to transport between dimensions. Hina’s was thrown away by Nitta after he got himself stuck in it overnight, and Anzu’s broke after going through the wash with her clothes. Without a way to return home, Anzu began her new life on the streets.

While Hina and Nitta’s story is about the two of them learning to be a family, Anzu’s story is all about learning to appreciate what you have. Since she starts off homeless, she learns how to survive with what little money she can collect and she treasures every luxury she can afford.

While I admit that Anzu is a wholesome character, she’s simply not as funny as either Hina or Nitta. That said, she is funnier than the next character, Hitomi.

Hitomi is the same age as Hina and Anzu, and is Hina’s classmate at school. She’s Hina’s opposite in just about every way; she’s smart, pays attention in class, has a good work ethic, and is unable to say “no” to anyone.

Unfortunately for Hitomi, all of those traits are her downfall. While still a middle school student, she’s coerced into becoming a bartender at Utako’s bar (Utako is Nitta’s love interest) and eventually she’s hired for a variety of other jobs around the town as well.

None of the bar patrons seem to mind her age since she’s apparently the best bartender around, including her own homeroom teacher who seemingly feigns ignorance and refuses to acknowledge she’s one of his students. Even though Hitomi herself isn’t funny, the interactions between her and the bar patrons are.

Hina on a swing from the anime Hinamatsuri
Hina on a swing

Conclusion

Originally I had this series at an 8 at the beginning of the season, but over the course of the 12 episodes that was lowered to a 7/10. I’m still unsure whether this or Megalo Box was the best anime of the season, but at this point Megalo Box has one more episode so it may pull ahead.

If you enjoy comedy, especially deadpan humor like what’s found in Cromartie High School, I’d highly suggest Hinamatsuri. It has more of a plot than you might first expect, but the real important thing is the overall lesson about how family doesn’t need to be related by blood.

Finally, I’d like to mention the final scene of the series. As I touched on at the beginning, the series ends with an extended version of the scene with Mao from the beginning of the series. It turns out this takes place three years after the rest of the anime, and Mao is going to Japan in search of Hina.

Based on that little bit of information, I’m hoping it means there’s going to be a second season of Hinamatsuri set three years in the future, but at the same time it could just be a gag poking fun at how we still know nothing about Mao. I wonder if Hina would still be the same after three years.

The OP for Hinamatsuri is available here.

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