August 5, 2018

Sorry folks. Hinamatsuri isn’t going to be an anime about the special day that Japanese girls celebrate. It is not going to talk about its origins and why it has become one of the important celebration in Japan. Yeah, that would be so boring that I wouldn’t’ even want to watch it. Heh. Instead, it is about… Hmm… Let me see… What we have here in the synopsis… Strange object, blah, blah, blah, member of yakuza, blah, blah, blah, strange girl inside strange object blah, blah, blah, strange powers she has, blah, blah, blah, they stay together and must use her power wisely or risk destruction all around. Oh. I see. Not really getting it either.

Episode 1
A girl is kicking a group of Chinese gang’s ass in her bid to save Hina. Flashback 3 years ago, yakuza dude, Yoshifumi Nitta one day has a strange capsule with a strange face drop in his apartment. He ignores it but it is still there the next day. Hina wants him to press the red button to free her. He does so. Naked girl. Clothes please. He won’t give it to her so she uses her powers to break some of his previous vase collection! Now Nitta becomes her caretaker and has to buy whatever she wants. Yeah, they’re all expensive stuffs and foods. And she won’t even tell about anything on herself. Uh huh. His vase collection is at ransom. Hina even has him enrolled at a local school just because she saw it on the news and wanted so. Of course Hina passes off as a weirdo as she even sleeps throughout the entire class. Because Hina must use her power from time to time, not doing so means going berserk. Yeah, there goes his entire vase collection. Nitta has an idea where she can use it at full potential. His boss wants him to find the cheapest company to clear a land for some property development. Nitta has Hina uproot trees and turn them into timber. So easy! He praises her awesome powers but Hina knows that look of adults taking kids with powers as advantage. Nitta then gets a call from his chief. Their boss got shot by a rival gang and he is forced to do the revenge job. Outside their base, Nitta is contemplating his future when Hina asks if he is going to order her to kill them. He scolds her for thinking so as this is not her problem. She smiles and says she will do it. She reveals the world she came from, her reason for existence is to carry out orders. She likes being with him and is nothing like the adults she knew. Hina uses her power to throw everyone and everything out of the building and even capturing the boss! Now Nitta is famous and everyone in his gang looks up to him for pulling off the impossible. Nitta rewards Hina with a huge bowl of her favourite fish roe. They say curiosity kills the cat because Nitta got curious in touching a small red ball and now he is stuck in the capsule! So that’s how she got here. Hina won’t let him out as he struggles. Until he promises to make her breakfast she does so. I think he already did his business there so it’s going to stink…

Episode 2
Another capsule drops in. This time Anzu is looking for Hina. Not sure if the biker gang is dumb enough not to suspect something strange when a naked loli is in front of them and challenge her. They got their ass handed to them. Sabu tells Nitta about the wipe out of a biker gang. He thinks it is Hina’s doing but it couldn’t be as he was with her last night. Worst fear comes true when he sees Anzu in the biker gang’s outfit. She could have caused a ruckus as she did not pay for her food. He pays for her and then tails her. Other biker gang members try to get even with her but get beaten up. She asks if they know Hina. This definitely confirms it for Nitta not to get involved with her. Now that Anzu has resorted to shoplifting for food, Nitta believes he might have saved the country when Hina dropped into his place. You can’t imagine how she’ll rummage for food everywhere causing a nationwide panic! Eventually he needs to settle this so he brings Hina to see her. Now Anzu doesn’t need to go find her. Anzu reveals she has orders from her boss to kill her, that’s why she is here. Hina isn’t interested so constant bribing of fish roe is needed to make her play along. Nitta sets the rules to play some power rock-scissors-paper game. Anzu wins a few times but is unable to use her power to make Hina turn the other way. Maybe except the funny face from the force of withstanding her power. When Hina wins, she does so to Anzu with ease! Anzu knows she is no match and rips her hair to show it as proof to her boss she killed her. But Hina would want her to stay before she leaves. So they have fun together and Nitta is used to taking care of kids. When Anzu leaves, she realizes her red ball cannot work (I guess it isn’t waterproof after being mixed up in the washing machine). She is stuck here and homeless again.

Because the cabaret girls think Nitta has become a loving father and spent more time with his ‘daughter’, Nitta blames Hina for this and is going to do things his way. He only leaves her with canned fish while he parties every night with girls. Hina tries to follow but he manages to lose her. Her classmate, Hitomi Mishima might regret what her problem is because now she is forced to follow her tail him. They enter the bar Nitta frequents but since Utako is not in, Hina leaves Hitomi alone. A drunk guy thinks she is a new girl and teaches her how to mix cocktail. Hina spots Utako outside. She tells her the problem so Utako says to tell Nitta or else he won’t understand. When Nitta enters the bar, Hitomi looks like an expert cocktail maker! Now Hina enters. She tells him that she also wants to go to cabaret clubs! With everyone drunk, they make their way there and even order a champagne tower. Hina uses her power since Nitta covers it up as illusion. Party on, people! What the f*ck is Hitomi still doing here? Next morning, Nitta has a hangover. Hina has so much fun she wants to go again. But after seeing the bill, looks like they have to live frugal for a while.

Episode 3
Anzu continues stealing and this time the shopping district led by Utako are chasing her down. If not for this homeless guy, Yassan helping her, who knows what they would have done to her. Utako is bitter for losing her but her pride will not allow to call the cops. Back at the hobo base, Yassan hears about Anzu’s plight. He teaches her how to make money like looking for tin cans and recycling them. Not much, she says? Yeah, money is hard to make. That’s why those guys were chasing you down. She is advised to buy some liquor for the other hobo guys since they need to stick together and they will teach her a lot more. But some like Shige don’t really accept a young girl joining their ranks. Anzu feels left out despite all that and when she voices out, she is made known the liquor she bought is more expensive and Yassan must have covered the rest. Following Yassan’s advice to sing for them, she sings the only song she knows: Wolf eating deer, munching-munching song? WTF. But everybody is crying!!! Yeah, Anzu reminds them of their grandchild. With that, she is now part of the gang. One day, Nitta spots Anzu looking for cans. Obviously she lies about liking this lifestyle. He gives her some cash. 40 grand. Oh sh*t! That’s thousands times much more than she makes! However she rejects him thinking he is insulting her. But after remembering others talking about tanking prices of cans, she goes back and apologizes. Money please? Nitta gives it to her as it was meant so. But shortly after, Utako and the shop owners confront her. They take the money and it covers their costs. They even give Anzu a small change! Anzu laments this to the hobo men but they are fine with it. Now she has a clean and fresh hobo life.

Hitomi is a studious student by day and a bartender by night. It all happened when Utako had her wear the bartender outfit and finds her cute. She will pay her handsomely for it. When Hitomi rejected, she threatened to upload of her in this outfit online. Yeah, her cocktail making skills are surpassing Utako. One night, she is shocked to see her homeroom teacher, Matsutani entering with the already drunk vice principal. It doesn’t help when Utako and the other guys are interested to see what happens next. She makes a different face but obviously Matsutani knows it is her. Even more so when the rest give hints she is Hitomi. But the reason he doesn’t bust her cover and plays along is that the vice principal is vouching to make him the head teacher but if he discovers he has a student in a shady job, that gets thrown out the window. He tests her shaking and stirring skills in which Hitomi proves she is an absolute master. Impressive. With that, her secret bank account is quickly filling up. Because Hina is being petty like Nitta has a meatball more than her, Nitta wonders if she should be homeless and swap place with Anzu. Thoughts of them in swapped places really freaked her out. Hina tries to be more considerate now and even tries to clean the place while he is away. Of course, lots of clumsiness causing her to make a mess of everything. There goes a vase… And just when Nitta thinks he should reward her once in a while, wait till he gets back and sees the chaos…

Episode 4
Nitta is mad alright. Not even apologies would do. That’s right. He has had it with her and disowns her. Get out. Now that she is homeless, she spends all whatever money she has on food. Homeless and penniless. Anzu spots her and is kind enough to take her back to her place to let her sort out things. Too bad Hina is just bad. You can tell she is going to be a freeloader… Hitomi comes by the apartment to give some notes and Nitta lies saying that she is away with his family. Which is weird because it’s not even the holidays. Utako is giving free soup to the homeless and is shocked to see Anzu and Hina coming to get some. When she tells Nitta about this, he comes clean about disowning her. Apparently everyone dislikes this idea and kicks him out of the bar! Don’t come back until he makes up with her! I guess Hina’s freeloading has reached its limit. Anzu kicks her out! Oh my. A homeless being homeless. The irony. Heck, when Anzu spots Nitta, she now understands how much crap he put up with her! So how does Hina live now? Apparently she saw a band doing street performance and the people donated whatever they want. So when Nitta heard from Sabu about Hina’s whereabouts, what did he see? The street band singing and Hina doing special effects! Oh man, he is flying!!! The crowd loves it! Too bad the police have to break them up since they have no permit for this. Though they make a killing from this and dream big, Hina isn’t happy. She drops the bomb that she wants to leave the band. While they are in shock, they have to accept and wish her all the best. Hina is seen sitting outside Nitta’s apartment. That guy still acts tough. She apologizes and bought a cheap looking vase as replacement. Oh well. Can’t stay mad forever. Get in. Finally a happy Hina face. Hitomi is doing well as a bartender but it seems her lie of sleeping over with friends is wearing thin as her bartending days are extending over the weekend. One day she sees Anzu picking cans and pitying her plight, she makes friends with her and tells her where she can get more. She introduces him to a colleague who after a little blackmail, gives his permission for her to take his loads of empty cans. Happy Anzu can’t thank her enough and invites Hitomi to her place. Her hobo place. Imagine to Hitomi’s shock seeing her homeless state. Wow. Anzu so happy she made a friend, eh? Hitomi is forced to hang out with her and even play tag! Yeah, she is so tired from work that she just sleeps standing! OMFG!

Episode 5
Anzu tries to teach cat’s cradle to Hina but she’s only interested in video games. Curses! That’s what you get when you have no money. So in order to get more money, she drags Hina along to find old used TVs to sell to this guy named Yoshida. Miraculously Anzu found tons of CRT TVs and treats them like treasure. Unfortunately they don’t worth much as Yoshida meant he wanted LCD types. The duo continue to search but end up with nothing. Anzu even calls Hitomi for help. Hitomi seeing how pitiful Anzu is has an idea. She remembers mom just bought a new TV and decides to use the old one as bait as she sets it up in the alley. Unfortunately the police catches her in the act and thinks she is dumping bulk waste. I wonder how she’ll get out of this sticky situation. Meanwhile Hina bugs Nitta for money to buy a new TV. She then takes a cab to bring it all the way to Yoshida who could tell this is a new TV. Since Hina has no money for the cab, Yoshida uses the new TV to offset the cab fare. Now Hitomi arrives with hers. Yoshida can also tell it is quite new. He just wished these kids would just send them to the recycling centre straight. When Hina gets home, Nitta is shocked and dumbfounded she sold the new TV and covered the taxi fare with it. WTF just happened?!

Kengo and Takashi see Hitomi enter the bar followed by Matsutani. They fear they have an illicit relationship. So they engage Sayo Aizawa to help out as she drags Hina into this ‘investigating task force’. Sayo tests Hitomi and it is obvious her body reaction tells us she is trying to hide a lie. Sayo finds this cute and teases her with a few lies just to make her panic. When Kengo and Takashi think Matsutani calling Hitomi to the teacher’s room to start something illicit, they bust in only to mess up the printouts. They are punished to help her out. They ask her about it and obviously that panic reaction. Because her vague words make it sound even more ambiguous, the guys are adamant to bring down the lolicon teacher. Now our little detectives wait outside the bar. After Hitomi enters, Nitta follows. They fear if she might be prostituting herself. To settle this once and for all, they barge into the bar. Now see Hitomi’s incredulous shock face! Priceless! She tries to play dumb that she is a different person but after Sayo’s smooth talking, Hitomi accidentally reveals herself. As punishment, she is made to confess out loud repeatedly she is a middle schooler bartender. So WTF. By this time Matsutani arrives. He sees the scene and thinks everyone mistook her for their classmate. The kids obviously know he is lying and the biggest idiot around. And Hina who has been dragged all along doesn’t even know what’s going on and everyone ignoring her…

Episode 6
Nitta’s mom calls. And Hina picks it up. Boy, he has some explaining to do. And so Nitta brings Hina to meet his family. Hina, meet mom and sister, Mika. Since Hina is just being awful in reiterating the rehearsed lines she is supposed to say (she sounds like a broken tape recorder, which makes it so much suspicious), Nitta uses his smooth operator talk to cover it all up. Something about Hina’s mom was killed and dad avenged her and was sentenced to prison. As his best friend, Nitta took her in. Wow. Such a great sob story that mom and Mika are crying! With Hina almost giving it away at times, Nitta’s smooth talk manages to get by. This guy should be given an Oscar. However he almost lets it slip when he mentions that one time he kicked her out of the house. Because it seems to imply that Hina is his daughter. So I guess it all comes down to this. Nitta admits she is his daughter and doesn’t know it until recently. They believe him because of his serious eyes. Yeah, so Oscar worthy serious eyes. They accept her and as part of the weird family ritual, they have to pray and say some words to Nitta’s late father. Yeah, it’s all too weird. Are they a bunch of psychos? For once when Hina is asked to say something, she says she has nothing to say! She’s learning to keep her mouth shut for unwanted trouble.

Anzu learns from Yassan that the homeless guys will be evicted. He has talked to Utako and arranged for somebody to take her in. However Anzu will not let this slip so she suggests joining the group protesting the removal of the homeless people. But the guys disagree because this will get them caught. Anzu suggests living somewhere else together but they give excuses there are no other places big enough for them and some even blowing their top they are barely taking care of themselves. It might sound harsh but the reality is that they want a better future for Anzu. Heartbroken, Anzu packs he bags and leaves with Utako. She is brought to stay in the care of the Hayashi family who runs a Chinese diner. They treat her good but naturally all this is still too shocking for Anzu. It really breaks your heart to hear her worried for the rest and feels she doesn’t deserve all this goodness alone! Even next morning when she comes down and offers her help, it is because she has learnt to work her keep. Wow. I’m respecting her even more! She starts talking how she learnt many things from the rest so her foster parents tell her that she will not be alone. There will be new people who will teach her stuffs and those who taught her will now have memories of the time spent with her. Anzu is so relieved that they will not be alone that she starts crying. So infectious that her foster parents too can’t hold it in. Me too… Sob, sob! Anzu, you’re such a great girl!

Episode 7
Anzu learns the tropes of her job. Nitta is her first customer and since he orders a decent dish, she thinks he has lots of money! Is that an insult? The sight of seeing lots of money at the register is sure tempting. Thankfully she is a good girl and didn’t succumb to the dark side. Her foster parents really feel for her when she washes chopsticks to be reused again when they just throw it away and she has gotten used in taking cold showers! At least Anzu gets to sleep easy in her own room now. Hina gets scolded by the teacher (again) for sleeping in class. Yeah, she’s really had it up till here. Oh, Hina failed every damn test???!!! Even Nitta tells her off to make school interesting since it was her idea to attend one in the first place. So when she learns that being a student council president is like becoming a boss, she wants to run for it! Matsutani is taking candidates for the student council and only Hina puts up her hand! Why isn’t anybody else interested???!!! Even Nitta thinks he is dreaming that she is running for that important post. Well, you’re not. So when he talks to his boss about it, he wants Nitta to take this matter seriously. Heck, he calls the company lawyer to draft the speech she is supposed to make! So here is how it goes. Sounds really fine and dandy like with all the proposals and promises. Like as though it is for a political election but on a school level. Too bad Hina literally reads everything. Everything! This includes lines where she is supposed to do a certain action but she reads them aloud and this confuses the crowd. In the end, she becomes the secretary since it is the school’s rule that first years cannot helm that job. Is she disappointed? Because of that, Hina has never appeared once to any student council meeting. Somehow Hitomi becomes her substitute and because she wants to end quickly and go to her bartending job, the student council thinks she is super efficient and wants her to replace Hina!

Nitta wants to date Utako but she isn’t budging. Oddly, Hina is willing to listen to him! No, you’re not dreaming. As Hina talks about this to Hitomi, the latter stepped on a landmine when she accidentally says she’ll have a new mom if they hit it off. Because to Hitomi, she thinks Hina’s mom is dead. But with Hina wanting so much for a mom, Hitomi has no choice but to root for her. Hitomi’s communication didn’t get through her since Hina asks straight to Utako to date Nitta. This only worsens her view on him. Hitomi does some control damage so Utako relents. Nitta returns and wonder why Hina is doing research on moms. Because Utako is going to be her mom. Plot twist! Nitta feels grateful for once. He has always thought kids are a nuisance but maybe they are hidden weapons. In his joy, he swings her around but she bangs her feet on the wall. Ouch. So bad that she has to be hospitalized in a cast! It’s time for his date and he feels guilty not wanting to leave her. But with Hina insists she wants a mom, Nitta will take her hopes and promises to be back with one. Nitta dates Utako but at the end of the day she rejects him. Poor guy. Because he has been talking about Hina always, she realizes they are so close that it would be hard to get in between them. Hence she told him she couldn’t date divorced single dads. Hina’s face lights up when she thinks Nitta has returned with a new mom. But it all goes down the drain after we see ‘mom’ as a fake hand puppet courtesy of Nitta’s falsetto. Such disappointment…

Episode 8
Kei Ikaruga arrives in town. When she eats at Anzu’s place, Anzu is shocked to recognize the chief security of her organization. What is she doing here?! Believing she is here to kill her, she is willing to accept death! However Kei says because Anzu never came home, she is listed as killed in action. Kei is here to observe Hina and deem if she is worthy to be brought home. Kei is actually very afraid of Hina! Something hints that he powers went out of control and destroyed a city. Yeah, Kei treasures her life! However Anzu tell her not to abandon her duty. Looking at the very simple list of behavioural observations she needs to make, Kei is shocked by the moment as she observes how civilized Hina is! She is following the rules of society! Like as though she is a different person! Learning about this Nitta guy who took her in, Kei has this misconception that he is God or something. With Hina passing the observation test, Kei notes an addendum at the end that says Hina is to be brought home as this means her psychological condition has improved. Mami Shinjou spots Hina using her powers and thinks she has made a discovery. Then she overthinks when she read a magazine about shady organizations who deals with such. As Mami is ‘untrained’, her attempts to observe Hina’s secret backfires and only embarrasses herself. So she confronts Hina straight. It might sound like Hina wants to kill her after her power is discovered by Mami pleads like hell for her life. Before you know it, they’re like best friends! As she wants to be like her, Mami trains before her. But we all can see that Hina is not amused and lends her powers for Mami to lift the rock so that she could go home early. I suppose Mami couldn’t see the connection of being unable to do telekinesis without Hina around.

Hina tells Mami the powers are meant to be kept a secret and not used freely. However this only makes Mami even more eager to brag about it. So in class she calls everyone’s attention as she is going to blow away their minds. Can she lift the eraser with her telekinesis powers? Nope. Nope. Nope. Nothing happens. Only making embarrassing sounds. Because of that, Mami never came to school for 2 days. Hiding in embarrassment, huh? Kei confronts Hina and though she might sound tough, when Hina just opens her mouth (didn’t say anything threatening), she cowers in fear! She tells her that they will return in 3 days. Back home, Hina finds it hard to tell Nitta and hence her very strange act. Floating around in circles? Nitta is worried and even takes her for some tests. The doctor clears her. She is perfectly fine. Does she need a vacation? Don’t think so. So is that strange act of hers some sort of evolving? When she finally tells him about leaving, shockingly Nitta isn’t surprised and just tells her to follow him. They head out for her last meal as he allows her to order her favourite fish roe. Then he drops her off at the supposed spot. He tells her she has always been giving him problems but the time she was here, he had fun. Hina is able to go off without a smile. Wow. So much for that. No goodbye fanfare even. When she meets Kei, she realizes that she needs that red ball to return home. Too bad she lost it after Nitta’s bad experience with it. Now that she cannot go home, Hina runs back to Nitta’s place. She is happy to think she can now stay with him. The moment she opens the door, she sees Nitta celebrating alone that his future is now free of Hina! Oh sh*t! Not cool… Wow, he really is waiting for this day, huh?

Episode 9
As Hina lost her red ball, Kei thinks of requesting for Mao to deliver another. However she arrives in an uninhabited island and both the red balls got washed away into the sea! So she has been alone on the island for 10 days and I know she uses her power to survive but how the f*ck can she still keep her skin so silky smooth?! Plus, she has been totally naked for 10 days?! I know there isn’t anybody around but shouldn’t she cover up as protection against the elements?! I suppose this rips off Cast Away because feeling so lonely, Mao turns coconuts into Hina and Anzu. Yeah, they’re having a fun island survival life ‘together’. Only then Mao decides to cover up? This island survival life goes on for what it looks like months until Mao realizes she cannot take it anymore and snaps! She throws away the coconuts and builds the most useless craft (if you ask me, this will get her nowhere and she would be better off flying) and leaves the island. It is hinted she is lost in South China Sea and headed for Thailand. Nitta and Sabu pick up Naito who is just released from prison. Be extra nice to this violent dude. It all stemmed from their boss falling into coma (because Hina made some body odour comment) before he could name an heir. His chief believes he is next in line and hopes Nitta would support him. Nitta promises to get others in the organization to support him and one of them being Naito. However Naito now wants him to support him to be the next head. However Nitta has his honour as he grovels himself to seek his support for the chief. Naito admires his courage and agrees.

When the boss is out of coma, Hina is unsure what successor means as the boss tries to explain it simply. Because of that, she suggests Nitta as the next head and the boss agrees! Sabu texts everyone about this shocking development when Nitta tells the boss not to make decisions because Hina told him. He rescinds that order. Sabu panics and fears being blamed for this premature news so he makes an excuse to cover his own ass. The next thing Nitta knows, he is cemented inside a barrel! Damn they’re going to make him sleep with the fish! He explains the truth but they don’t believe him and think he has betrayed their trust. But when the boss arrives and explains the truth, they feel guilty about jumping the gun. Sabu? This guy is good at vomiting… In this awkward moment, they try to appease Nitta and make him the next lieutenant. Yeah, everybody is singing about it but Nitta just wants to get out of this cement graveyard! As Nitta is promoted, Hina talks to Hitomi about this and she suggests holding a promotion party. Unsure what to do, she goes around asking for suggestions. Still unsure, she’ll do them all! But with a limited budget, she spent it all on flowers. I guess the rest on the list like cake and favourite food she has to improvise. Yeah, she thinks that will cut it… Of course Nitta knows she will surprise him so when he returns and pretends to play along, he is shocked when he first enters the room. IS HINA HOLDING A FUNERAL FOR NITTA???!!! OMG!!! And what the f*ck is this lame Hina popping slowly out of the ‘coffin’ as surprise???!!! Whatever. Happy promotion. At least Nitta is happy that it is the thought that counts.

Episode 10
Hitomi returns home only to be caught by her mom (she’s so small I thought she was her sister!) about sneaking out late at night! As she gets lectured, Hitomi tells the truth about her bartender job but of course mom doesn’t believe it (she thinks she is whoring herself since she showed money in her bank account as proof). As she pours her woes out to Utako, the latter suggests she leaves home! Wait. What?! Because she’ll never make great revenue without Hitomi! With Nitta’s help, Utako manages to secure a fully furnished apartment for her albeit still a bit pricey. Utako strong arms her way to make Hitomi sign the contract. Now that she is living alone, a bar client suggests she help out with his job. Window washing. Because she is quite hard working, she racks up a reputation as other bar clients also beg for her to help. And so begins Hitomi’s odd jobs. She even dozes off in school like Hina. Heck, she even gets an office job but the usual office b*tches badmouth and mistreat her. Still, Hitomi works hard and even surprises them with some kindness. It is sad to see that her schedule is so packed that she returns home and collapses. By the time she wakes up, it’s already her next shift. Things start to get worse when Utako suggests a housewarming party and all the bar clients agree as to show their appreciation. Hitomi wants her normal girl life back and thinks of calling mom to the party to mess everything up. Mom is of course shocked to see all the corporate guys at the party. But when they show their card (from very well reputable companies) and praise Hitomi’s diligence, mom hopes they will all take care of her daughter, shocking Hitomi. Asked why mom didn’t reject them, mom reasons she has a reason for doing all this and building rapport with these executives isn’t easy. Everybody drinks a toast to her as Hitomi ponders what she was trying to accomplish in the end. Poor girl can’t catch a break…

Anzu’s foster parents give her 5,000 Yen as allowance. Yeah, that’s big money for her! She thought of surprising Hitomi with it but of course she had to pretend to be shocked at that amount. You wouldn’t want to know how much Hitomi makes… As Anzu wants to buy a present to show thanks to her parents, Hitomi takes her around but nothing really suitable for Anzu to spend her money. Then she spots this shoulder massager she wants to get since they always complained about their shoulders. But it is quite pricey. Here comes Sabu to suggest how to make quick money: Horse racing! I’m sure Hitomi wanted to warn Anzu about the dangers of gambling but she’s too shocked and having stomach cramps thinking about it. Yeah, Anzu will do it! She bets on the worst favoured horse since if it wins, she’ll earn tons. By the stroke of luck, the top favoured horse had an accident, allowing the worst favoured horse to win! OMG! Anzu wins big! But now she gets greedy thinking she could win more… However she kept losing and this is the last race and she is close to broke. She regrets learning her lesson too late and thinks of causing an accident with her power so her horse could win. But she couldn’t bear retiring the horse forever and loses. No use crying and regretting now. Not even Sabu can help you. But thanks to Hitomi reminding her the importance of a present is to show appreciation for the person, Anzu gives her parents free shoulder massage coupons. It’s the best present ever, needless to say.

Episode 11
Daisuke Seta is a journalist and is tasked to film a documentary on the tough life of a yakuza. Since Nitta has this ‘legendary’ reputation, he seeks his permission to be filmed. At first Nitta declines but after hearing his super legendary status, he agrees. But as Seta follows him around, Nitta just feels like a normal nice guy. So he interviews his mom and sister who laugh it off about Nitta’s badass status. Even members of his yakuza gang didn’t yield any juicy stuffs. Seta has Nitta stage a brutal tough act on Sabu just for the cameras. But after that, it is back to normalcy. So much so Seta is begging him to do something ‘evil’. He even offers himself to be assaulted! Desperate, Seta even starts faking things that it is so obvious his crew pointed it out but Seta says he has a family to feed. On the day the documentary is aired, with the blurred out faces and distorted voices, I thought it would be easy for Seta to just do fake voice overs and plant in fake actors. Although all are the real deal, the fakery all stems from the dialogues and scenes mixed up and put out of context from the narration. For example when Nitta tries to say something unkind, it is not for the situation that you are seeing now but for something else in other circumstances. Seta makes it sound like as though his crew were blackmailed and extorted to pay his drinks in the end. When the documentary ends, Hina has this smirk on her face asking, who the hell was that! But that’s not the end of it. Since Nitta ‘badmouthed’ his bosses, they aren’t going to let him get away with it. Of course Nitta didn’t do it and runs away. But here is another twist. They (including Hina) were perhaps being told by Seta to say those lines! Everyone was in cohorts against Nitta!

As Hina is away on a school skiing trip, Anzu comes to stay with Nitta as he foster parents are away on a trip. She didn’t want to come in between them. Such a nice girl. Nitta thought he can’t catch a break now that he has to babysit her. However he soon finds that she is very helpful and kind that he need not worry. Man, he is asking if he could pay to swap girls! With Anzu continuing to be cheerful and helpful, Nitta finally breaks down. Jealous those couple got a good girl, he reasons there is no such thing as a good child. It must be the environment that changed Anzu since at the start she was no different than Hina. He is going to spoil her and return her to her old ways. As Nitta takes her to the aquarium, she continues to be the respectful and good kid. Each time he tries to push her away, he finds himself drawn to her kindness. He finally gives in and has lots of fun with her. Oh my. Anzu the angel is here to take him away from Hina hell! At the end of the stay, Anzu leaves. This is when Nitta realizes he forgot his mission. Now he must face the reality of Hina coming home! As he waits the dreaded moment, he gets a call from Matsutani who is finding it hard to explain what happened to Hina. In short, she has gone missing in the mountains. Man, Nitta is like so cool about it! Can he celebrate Hina’s absence for real this time?!

Episode 12
It seems Hina is lost in the snowy mountains with Hitomi, Kengo and Takashi. All because Kengo thought it was a good idea to take a shortcut. Hina is made known the danger if they are not rescued: There is no food! Hitomi must be a realist as she adds if nobody saves them, they’ll die! Hina then tells them her secret that she has special powers but they think she is starting to get delusional. And when she demonstrates via floating, they think they have become delusional! However Hina soon collapses due to exhaustion. No food. Damn. They lost their ticket to get out. Hence the next day, the trio plot something. They have Hina close her eyes and imagine what they say. Yeah, they are ‘opening a sushi shop’ for her. Then they give her eat fish roe made out of snow. Tastes like snow… I think the rest try to make many and even eating some (brain freeze!) just to prove it is the real thing? Eventually a helicopter rescue arrives and see them but the rescuers are confused to see a huge fish roe made of snow. Hina is in hospital and Nitta is next to her. Glad she’s safe. Life goes on pretty well for them and the rest of the characters.

For those who have forgotten the opening scene of this series, we go forward 3 years to see Mao being the star attraction of some superhuman kung fu guild in China. Atsushi, the lead singer of the street band is here and sees Mao’s performance and is thrilled she is the one. As he tries to approach her, he is taken away. We see Mao’s flashback of arriving on the main continent of Asia but lost her way and never got to Japan. She is found by this guild who views her power as too valuable and will keep her at all cost. Atsushi later talks to Mao about his band trying to create a new genre, Rockusion (rock + magic) and saw Mao online doing magic stuffs. He thought of coming here to learn from her. Mao is suspicious of this weirdo. This coming from a girl who talks to Hina and Anzu wooden dolls… But Mao is interested when Atsushi mentions Hina’s name. When guild members try to take her back, she runs. Then that awesome kung fu action scene in which she takes down all those guys as she tries not to be too flashy to reveal her true powers. Then here comes the master. He acknowledges she has made their guild famous across the land. If she wants to leave, she must pass this test: To defeat a (lame) robot. Despite its menacing display of powers, Mao easily destroys it! You in shock? Thus, master allows Mao to leave for Japan and spread their guild’s name. Atsushi is hopeful Rockusion is going to be a reality while Mao can finally tell Kei she lost her balls. Wait. What she said?!

Mondaijitachi Wa Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu Yo
Holy sh*t! It is as though this entire series is one big flashback! It was quite fun and interesting in a way that you have forgotten that first opening scene at the beginning. And now it ends and connects with this final scene in the last episode, like as though it has set up in a way for a sequel! I know it is too soon to say if whether a sequel is in the works but I’m speculating that none is confirmed yet because Mao lost her balls?! I think there’s some sort of connection there… Or not.

Although I enjoyed this series, one of the biggest dilemmas that I found asking myself is if this series could have been better had it follow some sort of plot. Would it be greater had there been a storyline to follow instead of being random standalone skits. For now, it seems to work pretty well with the latter format but then it got me asking what was the whole purpose of those randomness then again? This isn’t the kind of series that is based off some yonkoma comic or those cute girls doing cute things genre that doesn’t need to have a strong plot at all. I can only imagine for better or worse had there been a real storyline to follow but if this current format works, why fix it when it is not broken?

Having said that, this brings me to another dilemma about the characters. Some of the main characters get some decent screen time and despite some of the random events that feel like non-related to other parts of the episode, there are character development for them. But that is only for the main characters. Those side characters don’t get much attention and they have like one or two episode putting them in the limelight before being chucked away into the unnecessary side character corner. For example, Mao. I think it is safe to say that nobody would remember who this chick is unless they purposely gone back to watch the first episode after her proper appearance. Until the final episode, you would wonder why the heck do they need to introduce a new character after more than halfway of the series. Because this island survival girl seems redundant to everything and the only thing I can think up off is they needed some variety because showing the same main characters doing other random stuffs might get boring after a while. So it’s like a distraction anyway. But it’s my fault to begin with to think that Mao would be a main character like Hina and Anzu as I assumed she is from the same timeline with them and hence, should be given some sort of same treatment. Even though she gets her just appearance in the final episode, her pat feels too disjointed to be connected to the main story. The other is Mami. Normal girl wants to have powers so bad that she embarrassingly failed in an epic way and was never seen again. Not at least in the main spotlight. So what was that all about? Except to give us some random laughs. And that nice hobo Yassan and his band of merry hobo, what happened to them after they got evicted? They’re still around during the final montage but it’s like as though they don’t matter anymore after Anzu has found a new family and better life. I guess that’s the best they could wish for her.

On to the main characters. I believe many of you would agree with me that Anzu is a much better character than Hina. They might have started off on the same footing as lovable idiots but slowly you can see there is a much better change for Anzu. Sorry Nitta. Don’t blame the upbringing and the surroundings as excuses why both girls become so different from each other. Because this only shows that you lack that oomph to turn Hina into a really good girl and instead she stayed the same hellish nightmare when you first encountered her. Because of that, I love and prefer to see Anzu’s stories as they are heart-warming and charming to say the least. This girl at least learnt something from her trial and tribulations. Every time I see Anzu, I feel like I want to support her compared to Hina. I hate to break it to you that I’d rather put my money and investment in Anzu than even considering Hina for a second.

Hina on the other hand has turned from a lovable idiot to an annoying one. Maybe her character is written that way. But that doesn’t mean I would readily accept her. She’s like Mob from Mob Psycho 100 but from another world and a lot more annoying. Hina might be all powerful with her powers but in exchange for that, she is a lazy and selfish character. Because she lacks emotions, the reason why her obnoxious personality doesn’t seem so obvious. This also makes her look like a slow retard and in some ways increasing my infuriating impatience on her. I don’t think I can be as patient as Nitta. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t live with me so I don’t get to understand the finer and good quality points of her. Hina does try to change in the end and although she does, it is nothing compared to Anzu who is already miles ahead in terms of racking up character brownie points.

The other is Hitomi. I somewhat view her as the most pitiful character of the series. She is the perfect example of what will happen if one cannot say no. I suppose it is Japanese etiquette and politeness that one cannot refuse after one is begging and bowing so much. I mean, it isn’t like she is being offered an offer that she can’t refuse. Just saying. In her case, it looked like a blessing in disguise for Hitomi because she wears so many different hats and has been building rapport with very important VIPs. But is that what she really wants in her life? At least this point in life when she is still in school? So in order not to offend everyone, she agrees to work almost everywhere without complaining at the expense of her own happiness. Thank goodness she has youth by her side or else she wouldn’t be able to hold out long enough. Heck, I don’t think a day has not enough hours for her! Well Hitomi, if this is what you intend to do, to keep living a lie so that everyone else can be satisfied, it’s your call. It’s your life. But still much better than Hina nevertheless. Heh.

Talking about Nitta, this guy seems so out of place being a yakuza as he is a nice and decent guy. Might not be the best guy in the world but still respectable in his own right. We might not see it but his yakuza group looks quite docile instead of badass. They might be doing killings and heinous acts behind the cameras but we’ll never know. As this is a comedy series, we see them being portrayed as comical characters like Sabu who is just practically useless, a typical useless henchman. So for Nitta to be working for the yakuza, I’m thinking this is the only way he could make fast money without having to slog for years in a dead end office job. Otherwise, how the hell could he afford all those vases and even replace them after Hina destroys them? Don’t give me that time reversing crap. Even though Nitta has a special place in his heart for Hina, I don’t think he would overly love her like his own. There are a couple of occasions we see that he is okay for Hina not to be around. This already shows that he could have been keeping pent up his feelings for freedom. Hina is the jailor and holds the key to his freedom? The irony he couldn’t score with Utako (who is busy turning Hitomi into a bartender slave to make money on her behalf) and already has a young rebellious ‘daughter’ to deal with. Can life get any worse? Yeah, life isn’t fair. Him being part of the yakuza should know that.

I am not sure but am also curious to know about Hina and the other characters who come from the other world. What is life in that part of the world? Even if they are technologically advanced, the characters that seemingly got sent back are seemingly dimwits or incompetent at first. It could be mostly the latter because otherwise why would they send Hina back to this time and era if they could have found a solution to contain her power?

Art and animation feel decent. I’m not sure how to put it but the character designs have this one kind look. Because of that, I sometimes confused Hitomi with Mami because they look similarly close to each other. I think it is also some of the female characters’ cheeks. They looks a bit roundish… Maybe I need to get my eyes checked. Animated by Feel who did Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru, Locodol, Papa No Iukoto Wo Kikinasai, Tsuki Ga Kirei, Outbreak Company and KissxSis.

On a trivial note, I think one of the trademarks of this series is when a so called punch line is done or when some sort of unbelievable thing happens, the characters would be in incredulous mode. Their mouths agape while their tongue not entirely sticking out but rather sticking up in the middle of the mouth. Like as though it looked like some worm… Yeah… It’s funny and hilarious but with every character in such situation doing this, I believe this is this series’ uniqueness.

Voice acting sounds okay with Takako Tanaka making her main character role debut as Hina. Her voice suits her character well and if she voices more characters in the future like this, I think I’ll start to stereotype her for being casted for such roles. The other casts are Yoshiki Nakajima as Nitta (Masakage Yamagata in Sengoku Night Blood), Rie Murakawa as Anzu (Hotaru in Non Non Biyori), Kaede Hondo as Hitomi (Minoa in Animegataris), Youko Hikasa as Utako (Mio in K-ON!), Mikako Komatsu as Sayo (Kanae in ClassicaLoid), Yumi Uchiyama as Kei (Ruri in Nisekoi), Eri Suzuki as Mami (Milinda in Heavy Object), Ari Ozawa as Mao (Kirin in Gakusen Toshi Asterisk),Kenji Nojima as Matsutani (Yuuto in High School DxD), Tetsu Inada as Naito (Shakespeare in Fate/Apocrypha), Kengo Kawanishi as Sabu (Rei in 3-gatsu No Lion) and Shinapachi Tsuji as Yassan (Makarov in Fairy Tail).

The opening theme is Distance by Rie Murakawa. Anime rock pop. Nothing special to my liking. Maybe that is because the ending theme, Sake To Ikura To 893 To Musumi by Yoshiki Nakajima nailed it. This slow rock is quite enjoyable to hear and it gives that impression it is the kind of song you sing when you achieve victory! Proof of that is we see the final montage in the ending credits animation with everyone celebrating to a toast at the bar! Let the good times roll! A special ending for episode 6 is more meaningful since it is on Anzu. Shashinchou by Yoko Ishida is a slow ballad that would pull some heartstrings and hit the feels. The final episode has 2 ending themes. Yes, two. The first one being in the middle of the episode, the slow ballad of Taisetsu Na Hito and the one at the end is the upbeat pop fanfare of Hajimete No Kimochi. Both are sung by Ari Ozawa.

Overall, this is a funny and entertaining series. There are characters you will love, there are characters that you will hate. You will learn a thing or two about what it means about family as well as the comical side of the irony of life. Imagine a yakuza dad raising a daughter who is not of his own in any way. You might laugh here but there could be even stranger tales in real life that mirrors and mimics this to perfection… Sometimes in life it is not what you have that matters but how you make do with what you have that counts. Of course there are some things that life is much better without. Looking at you, Hina. Seriously, still no love lost for that girl. And perhaps in this context of this anime, Hinamatsuri is when we celebrate a day without Hina! Okay, okay. A day to celebrate Hina’s return. Oh yeah. What would life be without Hina keeping us in check of reality.

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