Hatsukoi Monster

January 6, 2017

Remember that guy who looks like an adult but is actually an elementary school kid? Yup, this means despite looking like an adult, his state of mind and thinking is that of a child. But no, Recorder To Randoseru didn’t get another season or renewed for a full TV length anime. Instead, Hatsukoi Monster has this similar setting but with romance involved. You can call this show a romantic comedy if you will. Sort of. When a high school girl is saved by this handsome young man whom she thinks is her age, she decides to go out with him till she learns he is just an elementary kid. Yeah, never judge a book by its cover. At least visually she doesn’t look like a paedophile. So how is she going to cope dating a guy younger than her as well has the maturity of an elementary kid? Is it no wonder why women date older and men who are more mature?

Episode 1
Kaho Nikaidou falls in love at first sight with a tall handsome guy. When she asks his name, he rejects her on grounds he shouldn’t give strangers his name. Good boy. And so poor Kaho was rejected. The end. Just kidding! We go back a few hours in time as Kaho tells us she comes from a rich family. Filthy rich. Because of that, people around her act nice and she has never been scolded in her life. This spring she decided to live a new direction in her life and live by herself. Upon arriving outside Kasumi Apartments, she meets Kouta Shinohara a resident and high school student. They are being overly polite with each other. While trying to help move her stuffs in, Kaho accidentally drops her kokeshi doll. A truck is about to ram into her when a tall handsome guy saves her. He scolds her for being reckless. She thinks he is only after her money or favour from her parents. But he disagrees he wouldn’t want all that and it is just common sense to save people in danger. She starts falling for him, confesses, rejected. The end. Just kidding! So as Kaho returns to Kasumi heartbroken, Kouta’s high school senior, Chiaki Yokouchi can tell from Kaho’s face she has fallen in love. She argues with Kouta and joining in the argument is college guy Atsushi Taga. They are all residents of Kasumi. Kaho laments she will never meet that guy again but then he pops up before her. Guess what? He lives here too! Seeing they are no longer strangers, he gives his name. Kanade Takahashi. She sums up her courage to ask him to be her boyfriend. He isn’t shock whatsoever. He agrees. But… Can she continue dating him once she knows the real him? This left her to ponder if he is married, gay, some alien or a cross-dresser. Yeah, you think too much. Couldn’t sleep a wink… Next morning, she finds out the truth about Kanade… Are you ready for this? He is actually in elementary school! Holy sh*t!!!! So does this make her a pervert or criminal? But as Chiaki tells her, Kanade is a lonely guy since he lost his mother a couple of years ago.

If you think he is the only handsome hunk, his fellow pals are also tall handsome guys!!! WTF???!!! Are elementary school kids this hot these days???!!! Folks, meet Ginjiro “Gin” Sannomiya and Tomu “Tom” Kaneko. Guys looking hot enough to be models on a woman’s fashion magazine. Despite their handsome outlook, they are as immature as any elementary kids you would expect. After school, Kaho joins Kanade and his friends at the park. It gets odd because the guys keep spamming the word dick in their play! I wonder if Kaho understands its meaning. Eventually she did. After they play tag, they mention their other friend who is the coolest of the coolest. Kazuo Noguchi. Is he also a tall handsome hunk? Nope. Just your ordinary looking elementary kid. Finally somebody normal! She is so relieved and acting like normal with him that the rest tease Kanade that Kazuo might just steal her from him. But upon hearing Kanade and Kaho are dating, Kazuo seems to put on a disgusted look. The tag game continues and it gets worse with Gin touching his dick and wanting to touch and tag everyone with his ‘tainted’ hand. And spamming more dick words. Boys… Kanade saves Kaho again as he assures he will protect her no matter what because his mom taught him to always save girls in trouble. When it is time to go home, Kazuo tells something to Kaho. He doesn’t approve of them dating. Later we see Kazuo and all the guys gather in an after class homeroom. He is listing down marks for a certain word that should not be said but said so many times throughout this episode. Can you guess what it is? Yeah, nobody could guess it despite spamming all they said was dick. Gin is leading the offending list… So Kazuo blows his top to quit saying that word. Oops. Now he has got one strike too…

Episode 2
Kaho ponders about Kazuo’s words. She meets Shugo who is the landlord and Kanade’s father. Also staying at Kasumi is Arashi Nagasawa who is Chiaki’s boyfriend. Doesn’t it feel weird for him to harp how cute Kaho is when he already has a girlfriend? Kaho fears Shugo might find out his son is dating her when Kanade is going to get honest but luckily Taga covers them with an excuse about a soap opera they just watched. But Kanade is still persistent so he asks Arashi on tips how to date a girl. Well, you call her all the time. Yeah, Chiaki has like 50 calls this morning! Kanade then seeks Kouta’s advice but since he is a virgin and Kanade doesn’t understand what it means, he asks Kaho for its meaning! Luckily dad stops his rudeness. After Taga shows Kaho around the apartment, she joins Kanade and his friends outside the lawn to play skipping ropes. But with Kazuo staring at them, she decides to go back inside and tidy up her room. That is when Arashi discloses to her that he likes girly boys!!! In his room is filled with Renren posters and memorabilia!!! OMFG!!! He is so f*cking passionate!!! The point is despite this odd fantasy, Chiaki still accepts him for who he is even though they are 5 years apart, age has nothing to do when you’re in love. This makes Kaho realize that Kanade accepted her for who she is and she too has to accept him for the same.

So when Kaho rejoins the guys at the park, she hears them discussing an important matter about their ‘partner’. Yeah… More dick words spammed… Kanade feels bad that they can’t discuss this in front of her since she doesn’t have a ‘partner’. He would give her one if he had and extra one! WTF?! Because Kanade doesn’t really want one, the guys go into shock mode. How can anybody not want one?! To pacify them, she says she would like to have one. It just feels so freaking weird… Back at Kasumi, after Taga tells Kanade to go catch some ladybug, he ushers Kaho into a room in pretence they need to pool money for her welcoming party. She thought of getting her wallet to chip in when suddenly Taga pins her against the wall! He knows she is a spoilt sheltered princess and dating Kanade only proves how stupid she is. People like her make him sick. Kaho is on the verge of tears when Kanade returns and punches him in the face! That is for making his girlfriend cry. And as her boyfriend, it is his job to protect her. As said by mom. He flicks Taga’s forehead for all to be forgiven. In Kaho’s eyes, this ‘monster’ now looks so cool. Later we see all the guys in another after class homeroom discussion. About virginity. The young ones don’t know what it is so Taga puts it in a way that it is like some sort of magic. They are awed but Kouta disagrees otherwise and would want to throw it away. This causes some misunderstanding because Kanade and co fight over to get his virginity!!! Taga assures all of them are virgins. And they’re so happy about it. Arashi takes this opportunity to say he is also a virgin. But he has a girlfriend. True. Although he loves Chiaki, his true desire is girly boys. Awesome?

Episode 3
As Kaho leaves Kasumi, she ignores Taga waiting outside the gates. He calls her rude for that so Chiaki interrupts that this could only mean Taga has some sort of feelings for her if he ‘cared’ this much. Chiaki hints Kaho is popular since many men like her (indicating Kouta too). Kaho is shock when Taga admits he likes her. But that was just trolling. He doesn’t like her one bit. Kanade is the one he is interested. Wait. Could it be? Screw all that negative thoughts because Kanade suggests they go on a date. But seeing both are clueless on what to do, Kaho believes it is some place fun. Kanade has the right place in mind. Well Kaho, you think it is some romantic beach escapade, right? Well… Making a sand mountain in the sandbox… Messy and dirty, are we having fun yet? Chiaki notes how ‘lovey-dovey’ they are. At least better than her boyfriend since he is more interested in taking photos of his Renren figurines. Chiaki talks to Kaho about their boyfriend problems. Despite Arashi being useless in everything, his only redeeming factor is his good looks. Oh, his nice character too. It must be the same for Kaho, right? After Arashi reminds Kanade not to leave his girl hanging on a date, he takes her to the next place: The candy store. Gin, Tom and Kazuo are also there and I figure Kaho is going to have to wait longer here because the boys end up playing some sort of dodgeball that aims at the balls?! Luckily Kanade is mindful of his date and ends the game to continue their dating.

At this point Kaho is deep in thoughts about Taga and Kazuo against their love. So Kanade tells her having such obstacles only fans their flames of love. Did mom tell him that? No, he made that one up himself. Then they eat the same snack because apparently happy couples eat the same thing together. The last place is back at Kasumi. But it is not over yet till the goodbye kiss. Kaho pretends to give him one on the cheek but Kanade says real couples do real kisses. He kisses her on the lips! This leaves her in shock but runs away in embarrassment when she realizes Kouta has seen this. I guess this guy is even in more shock than her. It doesn’t help when Chiaki taunts him that his crush kissed a guy who is only in elementary school. Heartbroken Kouta tries to tell her off for being mean but she is not cowed, telling him back that this kind of intel is her cup of tea as she reveals his beautiful eyes hidden underneath those messy bangs. Arashi is kinder as he tells him to just come clean with his feelings and tell Kaho. For after class homeroom, Kazuo teaches the young ones how to speak English. But they mess up so badly that it is like they didn’t even catch a word of English he said. He punishes them by putting on a poop shaped paste on their head.

Episode 4
Kaho can’t stop thinking about the kiss. More shock for her when Kanade hugs her from behind and wants to do something secretive that dad won’t find out. She is already flustering like mad when all he wants is just his favourite seaweed food that dad rationed one packet per person. Later when Kazuo visits, he reminds Kaho he is still against her dating Kanade. What does she see in him? See, further proof of his idiocy as he fools around with his pals. He thinks because Kanade lost his mom, he is clinging on to an older woman as substitute. However Kanade disagrees. Kaho looks nothing like his mom! Kazuo thinks they both don’t understand each other well enough to be dating. Because of that, Kanade is going to let her know more about him. He pushes her onto his bed and is going to show her something. At this point, you should know it isn’t what it is because he takes out his secret underneath his bed. His perfect score in maths. When Shugo walks in, Kaho thought he misinterpreted this scene. However he is horrified he hid test scores of those he did very badly. He thinks of getting him a tutor. Kanade starts ignoring by putting peanuts up his nose?! When Kaho tells him to stop, he immediately does so. Shugo thinks he trusts her enough to follow orders and has an idea. So could Kaho be his new tutor? Well, she passed that up. When she bumps into Taga, his usual cold demeanour has her think he might be Kanade’s tutor. Except that she starts deluding some sort of gay time they will have. Time to pollinate?! Well, good thing it wasn’t him. But the tutor turns to be a very busty high school student, Mafuyu Hayashi. Right off the bat she tells Kaho that she is not interested in Kanade but his family.

Somebody’s underwear is stolen. Who the f*ck would want to steal Shugo’s underwear?! When Kaho hears ambiguous deep breathing sounds from Mafuyu’s room, she sees something horrifying. Mafuyu sniffing Shugo’s underwear!!! Kaho’s life is at stake when Mafuyu discovers she has been spotted and turns into some creepy Japanese ghost to chase her down!!! Nowhere is safe!!! Too bad Kouta got owned trying to protect her. Kaho gets al little reprieve when Mafuyu’s head got stuck in the toilet window. Then the stalking continues. This time Chiaki throws Shugo’s underwear at her in which Mafuyu devours it all before returning to normal. Absolutely WTF. Despite monster time is over, Mafuyu ushers Kaho into her room. She explains there is nothing wrong with smelling the scent of someone you like. Mafuyu wants to marry Shugo. Although Kaho points out their age difference, she is not one to say because she is dating a younger boy, right? Mafuyu returns the undies to Kaho and makes her promise not to tell anyone. Kanade spots Kaho with his dad’s underwear. She thinks he’ll get the wrong idea but he says he gave it to her since she asked. He knows about Mafuyu’s love and plans on supporting her. Kaho is relieved on Kanade’s innocent thinking and that Mafuyu is not her rival. Kanade then carries Kaho into his room. Kouta sees this and is worried. Why do they always have to make and say ambiguous words and sounds behind closed doors?

Episode 5
Get your mind out of the gutter! Kanade is just giving Kaho a good back massage since she looked tired. Too ease her tiredness further, they head to the mixed bath house. When Kaho accidentally slips, Kanade wasn’t there to save her this time. But a cool hunk named Jouji Takahashi. Immediately he says he likes her and wants to be her boyfriend! Kanade comes to her defence as her boyfriend. It seems they know each other. They are cousins and haven’t seen each other for years. However Jouji still won’t give up on Kaho and wants her to dump Kanade for him. He is more mature and grown up. For your information, Jouji is just 1 year older than Kanade! Thus the boys get engaged in a childish water kibasen over Kaho’s love. I don’t know how, they’re supposed to take each other’s caps but somehow they got Kouta’s trunks. While the lifeguard berates the ‘adults’, Kanade asks Jouji why he is here. Claiming himself as a traveller, he has forsaken his home because his mom threw out his Pachimon cards collection. Instantly Kanade and his pals understand his pain and they bond like hardcore brothers. WTF. On the way home, Jouji has something to say to Kanade and Kaho (as usual the rest are spying). At the park, Jouji takes out a super rare Pachimon card he always kept with him. He is willing to give his card to Kanade in exchange for Kaho. Before Kaho could think of the worst case scenario, Kanade immediately disagrees. A girl is not an object you can trade with. Kaho couldn’t feel happier than that.

But that lasts only for a while because Kanade suggests Jouji also date Kaho with him! Eh? WTF?! Aren’t you treating her as an object now? Aren’t you being hypocritical? Her heart hurts like hell as Kanade claims he is looking out for Jouji’s feelings too but Kaho asks what about hers. What about Kanade’s? How does he feel about her? Because she loves only him. This is where Taga butts in. He reminds Kanade he punched him when he made Kaho cry. Now it’s his turn and this time her crying is far worse. He believes he doesn’t love her at all and that is why he is going to take away Kaho and her heart. While the boys disagree, Kaho also voices her disagreement. She knows this is just his ruse and he is impressed she isn’t taking the bait this time. She’s gotten smarter. After Taga calls out those ‘spies’ because elementary kids fighting over her is such an amusing watch, Kaho feels confused and hurt. Running away in tears, she is certain her words aren’t getting through Kanade. She thinks everyone is enjoying this and she doesn’t know what Kanade is thinking. We take a detour to the after class homeroom where Kazuo and the guys are discussing why there are so many words to describe your penis. From peepee to wiener to dicks, maybe it has got to do with the age stage of a man? Then with other words like rods, bats and poles, they think some kind of evolution has happened and they think it is called erection! All hail the final evolution of erection!

Episode 6
Kanade is really a kid to think that after sleeping and waking up the next morning, all problems will be solved. Chiaki lectures him about understanding a woman’s heart. In class, Yuki Fukaya left a love letter in Kanade’s desk in which he uncouthly reads aloud misinterpreting it as a challenge letter. But even if he is told he is a love letter, he mentions he is already dating someone. Weren’t they fighting? Kazuo chairs the class as they elect to play dodgeball for the sports festival. Kanade teases Kazuo for his stature and all the girls gang up to rebuke him. But Kazuo’s maturity to let it go has all the girls’ heart melt. He can do no wrong in their eyes. Later Jouji challenges Kanade over Kaho. Via tennis? Using a recorder and abacus? I don’t know how it ended up as some manly bonding. So they talk about not understanding woman. Arashi offers his assistance. The best way to understand a woman is to dress up like one?! Or is this his reason to snap pictures for his fetish? Even Kouta is roped in. And he is the girliest of them all. Kouta doesn’t like this one bit as he tells them off what may be fun for them may not be fun for him. This has Kanade remembering Kaho’s words and his mom once told him not to force someone to do something one dislikes. But they continue teasing Kouta so as he runs out in tears, he bumps into Kazuo. OMG. Love at first sight for Kazuo? Even more so when Kouta picks up and reads this crappy berry poem Kouta drops. He tries to go after ‘her’ but bumps into Kaho. Explaining his feelings, she tells him he is in love. This has her remember the first time she fell in love with Kanade. I guess Kazuo is so deep in love that he couldn’t give a damn why the boys are cross-dressed. I’m sure Kaho wants to know but Kanade says it is top secret. Mafuyu will not have Kanade dress like a pervert as it will not be good to score points with Shugo. He asks what to do if one makes a person mad. Apologize and apologize. If not punish yourself. Like how she is suffocating herself in Shugo’s underwear? Damn masochist… That night, Kanade talks to Kaho. He is going to do hula hoop 200 times as punishment for hurting her feelings. His best is 175 times and if he reaches 200, he hopes she will forgive him. Ah well, he fell short. A personal best at 197. So what now? He wants to break up. Serious?

Episode 7
Kaho protests because he was this close to the target and he wants to give up? Surprisingly Kouta pops out from his hiding to tell Kanade about giving one last chance. I don’t know how it ended up as best of 5 rock-scissors-paper in which Kaho won all 3 games. This settles it. They’re over. Kouta knows he should be happy that they’ve broken up but he couldn’t. He couldn’t see his love sad. Kaho thought everything will be normal the next day. Because kids, right? Unfortunately Kanade ignores her! Apparently it is for their own good if they don’t get along. Taga wonders if his mother said this too and by following her advices doesn’t that make him have Oedipus complex? True, but it isn’t wrong trusting the words of someone he loves. Kaho peeps outside Kanade’s school and sees him talking to Yuki while waiting for his friends. Despite their conversation is normal, Kaho over interprets them as Kanade ditching his old love and has found someone new. Unfortunately for her, she is taken away by a policeman who finds her suspicious. She dug her own grave when she says she is just a high school girl interested in an elementary school boy. Suspicious indeed. Suddenly Kazuo’s butler drops down to request for the boys’ help. He notices Kazuo absentminded and forgetful lately and he believes his master is in love! He needs their help to seek out the object of his affection. Kanade and co become detectives to ‘flawlessly’ deduce that Kazuo’s love is that Hanako of the toilet! So when they break this news to home, of course he isn’t going to believe it. What kind of girl lives in the toilet?! But Kazuo accepts it when Kanade explains his breakup with Kaho. Get your love while you still can! With Kouta acting panicky and Kanade and co being so active, Taga forces Kouta to spill the beans. Looks like he has a devilish plan after learning cross-dressed Kouta is Kazuo’s love interest. So that night all the guys sneak into school but since the front door of the building is locked, they start wondering how Hanako can enter if she has no keys. Then Taga reveals it. Hanako is a ghost! It just means Kazuo’s love is somebody else. Something rustles in the bushes and this freaks out the boys as they run for their lives. Even more so when a police officer is in the vicinity. The ‘ghost’ turns out to be Kaho spying and for the second time today she gets interrogated by the officer. Looking desperate, huh? For after class homeroom, the guys talk about pooping? WTF?! It ends with Taga asserting he never goes to toilet. Never!

Episode 8
Kaho is down and out. Spacing out so much that she didn’t realize she has 80 over miscalls from home! There are telegrams too! WTF?! When she returns the call, all we hear is a creepy moaning from the other end. But Kaho realizes this means it is time to go home. Similarly, Kanade is acting all gloomy as well. Kazuo deduces he is lovesick. Since he will not response normally or ignore you, the other guys at Kasumi propose a hotline for children. As they test it out, we hear their usual follies like Arashi fantasizing and turning on just by hearing Kazuo’s voice! Then it gets out of hand talking about the softness of breasts. Down to serious business, Kanade at first doesn’t know what to say so when Taga tells him to say what comes to mind, Kanade starts off by saying how lonely he is. He wants to tell all the silly things that happened today to Kaho. Although he was the one who dumped and ignored her, he feels a world without her is hell! I guess the sh*t is getting real so Taga isn’t used to this kind of drama and passes on to Arashi to give real advice. He needs to tell it to her then. However Kanade learns she is no longer around and went home. What will he do? He will go to her. Well, Kaho lives 5 hours away by car and Kanade plans to go there on his bicycle?! Don’t worry, Tom, Gin and Jouji are accompanying him too. On their bicycles. So they just let them go like that? We see them encounter ‘obstacles’ like traffic lights, the slope and crossing the mountains. But I think they didn’t get far because eventually all their tyres become flat. Don’t worry. Taga is here to save the day because ‘coincidentally’ he was driving pass here and can give Kanade a lift. Meanwhile Kaho reaches back to her seemingly dilapidated home. There are lots of kokeshi dolls everywhere and a creepy laughter creeping her out. In the after class homeroom, it is believed that riding at a certain speed, the wind through your hands feels like a woman’s breast. Arashi demonstrates how it is done but he descends into his delusion of fantasizing on Kazuo! WTF?! Somebody call the police!

Episode 9
Kaho’s big brother, Daikoku is back from America. Because he found the house deserted, he panicked and thus those calls to Kaho. The kokeshi dolls are what he made to overcome his loneliness and a symbol of Kaho. Creepy… When Kaho asks why he went to America since he never disclosed the reason even to their parents, he becomes evasive and changes the subject. Kanade asks Taga why he is nice to him. He lost his mother at a tender age too so watching him is like reminding him of his childhood. As for being mean to Kaho, his dad remarried a woman somewhat wishy-washy like her. We see how creepy Daikoku is when he secretly swabs the food and utensils she touched or put in her mouth! Then he collects the water she bathes in and even her hair from the drainage! SUPER CREEPY! Next day, Daikoku can tell something is wrong with Kaho and to his shock, she admits she fell in love. Even more shocking, she got dumped! Who the f*ck would dump his super cute sister?! Speaking of which, here is Kanade and Taga at the door. Daikoku likes that she is not here but luckily Kaho shows her face. Both guys don’t like each other so there is going to be a showdown between brother and ex-boyfriend. So everyone plays Red Light, Green Light?! Shows you how important this is. More shock for Daikoku when he learns Kanade is an elementary school kid and they have already kissed! Eventually Taga wins the game and wants to claim Kaho as his prize. Or at least her tissue. Huh? This has Kanade confronting him and revealing despite he dumped Kaho, he cannot imagine living in a world without her. Those 3 magical words are enough to bring the girl back but that is when Taga chastises her for being cheap. Kanade shoots back that the reason Taga tagged along is because he too loves Kaho. It makes him admit maybe he bullies her is because he likes her. However Kaho knows his badmouthing means he just found a new game to bully her. With Daikoku’s protests mainly being ignored, Kaho requests to talk alone with Kanade. She wants to be with him but not the same way as before. Then there is some odd talk about showing their combo moves and staying the way they are right now. Why does it sound so simple and yet complicated? It ends with Kanade singing via melodian a lame song for Kaho. It’s so bad it’s just good! I don’t even know what the song is about! If this is enough to take back a girl’s heart, man, I must be a Grammy winner by now for every year!

Episode 10
Taga buys Kanade a crab whom he now keeps as a pet named Kaniko. Did Taga feel guilty for coming along? Flashback reveals Taga telling Kanade and Kaho that they are still kids and very far away from the legal age so they still have time to get someone better. However Kanade doesn’t know what a better woman is and will take Kaho. They make a pinky promise to marry each other. When they reach back at Kasumi, Jouji quickly informs that they are currently having a ceremony for Shugo’s wedding! With Kouta acting as the priest, Kanade barges in time to state his objection. He thinks dad remarrying to Mafuyu means betraying mom. Mafuyu claims it is to protect the family, blah, blah, blah. Kanade is then made to realize that his dad is sleeping so could this wedding be carried on without his consent? Kanade uses Kaniko to attack with its special weapons (huh?) but Mafuyu uses Arashi and Kouta as human shield. It is Chiaki who ends everything by throwing Kaniko at her! When Shugo wakes up, he isn’t clear what is happening but assures everyone that he only loves his late wife. He will not love anyone else. This makes Arashi appreciate Chiaki more and Kaho the same for Kanade. Too many couples make Kouta go crazy. Crazy Mafuyu accidentally slams the cake over Kaho so she has to go take a bath. When Kanade decides to put Kaniko in the tub, he enters the toilet like normal. However in the bath is not Kaho but Daikoku! You disappointed?! Anyway Kanade left Kaniko in the tub. Daikoku is screwed… Kaho is changing and Kanade comes in without knocking and brags about something. However he didn’t notice her in her underwear and then leaves once he is done. Kaho felt ashamed but before she closed the door, Taga saw her. Her feelings are exploding inside now. Next day, Kouta got the bad luck of having Daikoku sleep in his closet. Kanade can’t find Kaniko anywhere and to his horror sees everyone eating it!!! I’m sure all those flashbacks of good times together never happened. It was just one freaking day! Chiaki tells everyone to pipe down. Because humans survive by receiving all kinds of lives, better to be eaten than waste away. Kanade is still sad so Daikoku thinks this kind of attitude is not worthy of Kaho’s love. Then he brags about Kanade who thought he saw Kaho in the bathtub but was actually him. This gives Taga a reason to be sarcastic as he fires probably Kanade can’t tell because of her body. With her thinking nonsense again, he bets Kanade doesn’t think of her as a woman after the way he didn’t react seeing her in her undies. Kaho is in tears but she is also mad. Oh my, doesn’t she look like Jigoku Shoujo from this angle?!

Episode 11
Kanade gives his small umbrella to Kaho and then rushes back home. Time for Taga to stir up more trouble because he takes away the umbrella and give his, giving the excuse he doesn’t want to get her virus. Taga then goes back to spy on Kanade and sees with a young girl named Sadako. Busted, Kanade wants Taga to keep this a secret because he wants to personally tell this to Kaho. Speaking of her, she accidentally finds Kanade’s secret diary and reads it. It contains Sadako’s name and Kanade’s ‘top mission’ to tell it to her one day. It gets worse when Taga sees her doing so and calls her the worst. She tells her troubles to Chiaki but Mafuyu interrupts her. Can the person who steals and wears somebody else’s underwear be the one to lecture her? And taking all his thrown away stuffs too? Mafuyu might not be the worst in this department because Daikoku does everything without Kaho’s permission and right in front of her face! Shugo finds out that Kanade has his school sports festival tomorrow, the same day he is away for his association’s meeting. So who is going to make his lunch? Don’t worry. Taga will come along as always. And he will bring the rest of Kasumi like always.

Next day, the sports festival might seem one sided because Kanade and his ‘grownup’ buddies have easier reach in the balls throwing game. The girls are mad because the boys won’t let them play. The argument causes all their balls to fall out and giving the other team the victory. Even in the tug of war, Gin starts making jokes about prostitution and bearing children!!! I kid you not! This causes the girls to lose interest and let the other team win. Besides, blame all the loss on the guys! When Yuki attends to Kanade who scrapped his knee, Kaho thinks she is Sadako. Time for Taga to be her b*tch again to rile her up saying she is jealous of an elementary school kid. Daikoku counters back saying Taga might be the one who is jealous of her. They are interrupted with the announcement of the scavenger race. Kouta again gets bullied into participating because as Taga puts it, of all the virgins in Kasumi, Kouta is his slave! Kouta has the worst luck as he needs to cross-dress as per instruction. So the only guy who bought female clothes? Arashi. For Renren. As he moves on, he bumps into Kazuo who thinks Hanako is back in his life. Wait. Don’t go. Come back! There ‘she’ goes again. For the three-legged-race, Kanade teams up with Kaho and if they win, he is going to kiss her! And they did win! When Kanade wants to speak with Kaho alone, she takes this chance to apologize reading his diary. And then she turns menacing to ask who the f*ck is Sadako. He has her close her eyes. She thinks he can cover this with a kiss. Suddenly something is licking her lips. When she opens her eyes, she freaks out seeing a… Dog?! More precisely a dog with a human face and hair?! So this is Sadako? Kanade wanted to wait the right moment to tell her because Sadako gets worked up when hungry. Just when it seems everything is heading for a happy ending, Kanade doesn’t want Kaho to touch him and says he can’t be with her anymore. What is this shocking development on the penultimate episode?!

Episode 12
Like as though we don’t have enough pure romantic scenes between Kanade and Kaho, we see Kanade as the romantic hot stud and Kaho his girlfriend swept off her feet with each of his seemingly romantic antics. Like when Kaho says “I love you” towards the seaweed, he takes it as her personal feelings for him, embarrassing her. Then there’s the time he protected her from the scary lightning flashes while taking shelter at the bus stop and bandaged her sprain ankle at the infirmary. And then he battles out with Taga in a skating battle in which everything from here goes ridiculous. From Taga’s super reputation as a skater to dancing and twirling till sweets come out of their armpits. Yeah… WTF indeed… In the end, Kanade wins. Late that night Kanade reveals his secret to Kaho. He is actually a popular idol and Shugo is his manager. This makes Kaho feel jealous because she thought she was the only girl for him and now there are many other girls screaming and swooning at him. He then practises a drama kissing scene with her by kissing her hand. This surprises her for always doing such things. But all is well when he asks her to be his girlfriend and then really kiss her.

Now it is time to wake up from the daydreaming and find out why the heck Kanade doesn’t want Kaho anymore. Because he has been bitten by Sadako, he thinks he will turn into a dog and will have to marry Sadako! While all the kids believe this and start crying, not Kaho. Taga then relays the good news that this isn’t a human faced dog but just an ugly dog! He has taken Sadako for shots so rest be assured that Kanade is safe. As the kids revel in joy, something is boiling deep down inside Kaho. If that incredulous face wasn’t enough, suddenly a side you never see of Kaho bursts out. The ultimate ranting and complaining of all the weird things she has to go through because of his childish thinking. Wow. We’ve never seen such an outburst before. Kaho, are you okay? Better let it all out. It gets even ‘worse’ when Kaho starts inserting poop and dick words into her sentences!!! OMFG!!! KAHO ARE YOU OKAY???!!! At the end of it, Kanade laughs at how funny she said them and this snaps Kaho back into reality. Kaho might have embarrassed herself again as Kanade’s friends now nickname Kaho with poop and dick words. Way to go. The rest of the sports festival continues and Kanade’s team wins it. They have a celebratory BBQ back at Kasumi. With more poop and dick words inserted. My, where did you guys learn such words? Kanade explains he picked up abandoned Sadako and couldn’t let her be since she reminded him so much of Kaho. Doesn’t that feel like an insult? Kaho = dog. He gives her his winning medal and hugs her but the mood is ruined when Sadako takes a leak at Kaho’s feet! That’s when they realize Sadako is a boy. Kanade knew this and that’s why the ‘ko’ is actually for ‘cock’. Wait. What?! Kaho, must be up to here right now. For the final after class homeroom, all the guys argue to take care of Kanade as their dog. It’s a good thing Kaho doesn’t join in this nonsense.

Dick Jokes Monster
And so nothing much that really happens and nothing much that moves ahead. Kanade and Kaho are still at an immature stage of their relationship in which I believe Kaho is still going to need a lot of tolerance and patience if she is going to continue tolerating this kind of childish crap. But hey, that is what love is all about, right? Right?! You get some seemingly romantic moments, you get some seemingly funny moments, you get some seemingly dramatic moments but in the end everything feels like status quo.

You know when adults make dick and butt jokes they sound so disgusting and immature but when little boys do it, it doesn’t sound as bad and to a certain point it is okay because you know, they are cute little innocent boys. At most you would just politely discipline them never to say such words again. Yup. This is how I feel the dick jokes are. In almost every episode you can bet there would be some sort of dick joke made by Kanade and his friends simply just to show their immature kiddie side. As though it is some sort of reminder that these ‘grownups’ are still little kids in their minds and hearts. Just that their bodies decide to take off on its own for a growth spurt. So if you can’t handle this kind of harmless dick jokes, you shouldn’t be watching anime at all. And when they spam dick words in the final episode with a big majority coming from Kaho’s mouth, I wonder how many viewers felt offended. Me? I was just laughing. You’re supposed to laugh when we say those words, damn it!

I know its brand of comedy is sometimes weird because it mainly relies on Kanade and his pals so it mainly revolves around kiddie and childish jokes. That can’t be help, right? Otherwise you could view Kouta as a bully victim or Mafuyu craziness-cum-fanservice-boobs as the other source of so called comedy. Not to mention sometimes the miscommunication between Kanade and Kaho thanks to their age difference. Even some of the dramatic parts may look like it is sensationalized but when you realize it is some childish logic, everything just dies down.

The romcom between Kanade and Kaho is interesting to watch because of the different state of mentality they are both in. Sometimes I feel that there is some sort of subtlety to tell us that their kind of relationship reflects many of the real life relationships. You know, men may look their age but deep down inside their hearts they are still immature children. Generally speaking. It is only right for Kanade to act and speak like a kid. Like many other kids his age who are not yet maturely ready to handle a real love relationship, he thinks it is all fun and games even when times he sounds serious is just probably because of his voice sounding mature. That’s why Kaho is always confused and worried about the repercussions. Is it even legal? Sometimes when she has high hopes for something but reality brings it down to an elementary school kid’s level. It’s not what she thought it would be in the first place. She’s been through a lot of emotional rides from breaking up to suspicions of another woman. And she is just a high school kid. And he is just an elementary school kid. Kids these days. Already so much drama. And then the final outburst in the final episode just stuns us. Albeit not in a very shocking way. We might not see this coming especially from her gentle character but it wasn’t the most shocking outburst ever. Remember that harem anime, Inou Battle Wa Nichijou-kei No Naka De? Yeah. That was shocking.

Of course it gets a lot weirder when you have Gin, Tom and Jouji having the same grownup body size but small child’s mentality. As though one isn’t enough but a whole bunch of them. Did their parents eat GMO food while they were carrying their child in their womb? So ironically to even out this unbalance, that is why we have Kazuo as the coolest and most mature of his age. After all, he is from a rich noble family so we can’t have him act like some uncivilized monkey, right? Unfortunately I kinda noticed that whenever Hanako is involved, his intelligence and rationality drops significantly. I guess love makes you lose and do all kinds of crazy stuffs. It’s a shame that he’ll never know who Hanako is as far as this anime is concerned and nothing progressing about it. Like as though it feels like this is going to be Kazuo’s running joke.

Taga feels like the most dangerous character of them all. Firstly because I can’t seem to know what he is thinking. I am not sure if he likes Kanade or Kaho. Or both. Experience tells me he has a crush on Kaho because he keeps being mean and picking on her whenever he gets the chance to. Because that is what boys who have a crush on girls do, right? They bully them for attention. Or could he really spite Kaho because he got in the way of his shotacon love with Kanade? Because before Kaho came to Kasumi, I don’t think anybody else got this tormented by him. Maybe except for Kouta but this guy is easy picking for everyone. Like as though it is his role to be bullied whenever the opportunity arises.

What about Mafuyu, you say? Isn’t she even more dangerous because of her delusional and crazy affection for Shugo? Well, at least Mafuyu is easy to read. You know what Steve Irwin said about crocodiles and humans? Crocodiles are easier because they want to kill and eat you. Humans on the other hand sometimes pretend to be your friend first. Yeah, this quote somehow describes more on Taga. So while Mafuyu might be a dangerous psycho in her own way to make Shugo her husband, at least her intentions are clearer to see. Daikoku is equally as dangerous but he falls more into the baka aniki category. I wonder if he is a permanent resident of Kasumi seeing that he often hangs out there most of the time. It could be too lonely back at their own mansion because nobody is around.

For the rest of the Kasumi residents, they are mainly nice people. Even though Arashi is somewhat a Renren fan-cum-pervert, he does give good reasonable advice once in a while. He does manage to separate fantasy and reality. Perhaps I can say Chiaki as his girlfriend keeps his foot firmly on the ground. Otherwise he might have turned into another dangerous character. Chiaki’s presence isn’t much in the series but it’s like she is the information master and knows a lot of things. Last and not least, Shugo the landlord. This guy is pretty cool as a single dad and looks out for the best for Kanade. Sometimes he may be passed off as dense because he might not be aware what is going on with the rest but his calm and cool composure says it all. His strong bond with his late wife that also forms a strong bond with Kanade is supposedly the most heart-warming point of the series. I thought Yuki would play some sort of pivotal role in the series but apparently they’re just sticking to status quo by being friends and better for Yuki to have a secret crush. After all, Kanade already rejected a certain love letter right in front of class. When that happens, you think you got the guts to even confess straight up?

On a trivial note, in each episode there will be some sort of kiddie game that Kanade and his friends will play. These games I believe are what many children (at least in Japan) played during their childhood years such as tag, rope skipping, hula hoop and even the forbidden crotch massage using one’s feet. They are explained by a narrator on its basics and visuals of it become like retro black and white film. At the end of the explanation, there is always a symbolic apple being cut into half. It might be the colouring aspect but they make it look like the inside seemed like poison. I don’t know what it means. Does it signify understanding or we have grown out of such games?

Art and drawing are rather okay. With lots of hot looking bishonen, I can’t blame girls if they start falling for kids who are 10 years younger but look 10 years more mature and more handsome. Stupid puberty didn’t do that to me… But if you find the overall art style to be somewhat familiar, it is because Studio Deen animated this series and you can find their familiar trademark in animes like Fruits Basket, Vampire Knight, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni series, Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka and even Jigoku Shoujo just to name a few. Now I know why that scene of Kaho looks a bit like Enma Ai… Some of the characters nearly have this derp face look like, uhm, Renren?

It’s nice to hear that Takahiro Sakurai voicing a character that isn’t a brooding one. At least for the many animes that I have watched him casted as since personally that is how I have typecast his voice to be suitable for over the years. Thus it was a bit refreshing hearing him as Kanade whose character has the voice of a teenager but yet the feel of an elementary school kid. Yui Horie as Kaho is still as lovely and sweet after all these years. Still recognizable are Tomokazu Sugita as Gin, Showtaro Morikubo as Tom, Kenichi Suzumura as Jouji and I almost didn’t notice Nobuhiko Okamoto as Kouta. Well, he sounded familiar but I couldn’t put my finger on it for the first time. For the rest of the casts, they are Ayumu Murase as Kazuo (Riku in Show By Rock), Kaito Ishikawa as Taga (Tigre in Madan No Ou To Vanadis), Kenjiro Tsuda as Arashi (Inui in Prince Of Tennis), Mizuki Wai as Chiaki (debut anime), Shinsuke Takeuchi as Shugo (Jose Carlos Takasuka in Kuromukuro), Ai Kayano as Mafuyu (Inori in Guilty Crown), Hikaru Midorikawa as Daikoku (Lancer in Fate/Stay Night) and Iori Nomizu as Yuki (Haruna in Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka).

Both the opening and ending themes are sung by Shouta Aoi who is the voice of Renren in the series. Innocent as the opener is your typical anime rock style and nothing really special that attracts me. The ending theme is the odd sounding one. All of a sudden it becomes super hard rock style. Hearing Kimi Ni Sasageru Chinkonka is like giving you a shocker after watching a romantic comedy. I mean, I didn’t really expect this kind of music to be in this kind of genre. Making it weirder is that the ending credits animation is our cute Renren who is supposed to be the cutie boy epitome of the series is seen hard rocking with his hard rock band! It proves little boys like him can be hardcore too? There is a special ending theme for the penultimate episode. Bamboo Primary School Song sounds exactly what it is supposed to be: A school anthem. But the thing which I find most odd is how they pronounce the name of their school: Chikushou. I don’t know. My kanji reading is still bad so I am not sure if this is the way they pronounced their school name or if it meant something else. Because as far as I know, chikushou is like a curse word which is equivalent to “Damn it!”. Therefore I am wondering if this is a pun made on purpose because you know, when you have a series that brazenly has little boys talk about dicks, this is nothing, right?

Overall, this series is fun and enjoyable to watch in its own way. Because all of us still have that kid inside of us, right? Hmm… I don’t think I put that one out right. This series isn’t just aimed for immature people or those who won’t grow up. Because if you think so, then I suppose your big budget blockbuster Hollywood sci-fi fantasy films like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings are the same, no? Deadpool, anybody? So it goes to show that love is blind as well as irrational. It is not the outside that counts but the inside. Having said that, it only affirms the reason why women would love to date and marry older men. Money is another issue… So really, what is love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more…

Hatsukoi Monster