★Writer: Richard K. Moe
Hinako Sakuragi is a shy girl who lives in a rural part of Japan and hopes to overcome her social anxiety one day. Her social anxiety is so bad that when she converses with others she usually will freeze up and take on a scarecrow like posture. She may not be able to converse with others but she somehow is able to attract friendly animals, whom which she converses with. Hinako decides to move to Tokyo and join a theater club in hopes of overcoming her anxieties. She moves into a place called Hitotose bookstore and meets other girls who help her overcome her shyness. Meeting the other girls, Hinako realizes that she’s not the only one with a “special” quality. With a new group of friends and confidence, Hinako sets out to overcome her shyness.
Behind The Anime:
★Original Creator – Mitsuki (Hinako Note)
★Animation Studio – Passione (Haitai Nanafa, Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers, Rail Wars!)
★Chief Director – Takeo Takahashi (Spice and Wolf, So I Can’t Play H)
★Series Composition – Tatsuhiko Urahata (A-Channel, Black Bullet, Strawberry Panic!)
★Character Design – Kazuyuki Ueda (Kiniro Mosaic)
- The characters are all likable, cute, and have that winning moe charm.
- Although cliche, the characters are still interesting due to the fascinating traits in their personalities. (E.G. Kuina is your typical food lover character but her calm personality along with her habit of eating pages from a book makes her interesting. Then you have a character like Mayuki who is actually older than the group but looks way younger and loves being titled as “big sister” and so on. It’s cliche but her adorable immature personality makes her fun and lovable. And there’s Yua, the blunt and rude character that has something against the protagonist but her apologetic actions when she knows she gone too far makes her a winning character.)
- Specifically from the bunch Mayuki is the most refreshing character to see.
- Hinako wanting to overcome her shyness makes the show feel more interesting because there’s a goal to get to.
- The way Hinako constantly tries to overcome her anxieties is admirable.
- Yua’s character growth felt natural and right.
- The story is able to make cliche Moe situations such as going to the beach, having a slumber party, and so on feel like it makes sense to be there in the story instead of it feeling random.
- The situations that the girls get into are an utter joy to watch.
- The oddball humor is funny and makes things feel more flavorful. (E.G. There is a odd ball moment in Episode 3 when Yua would do things in place of Hinako which was hilarous. Another moment is in Episode 8 when Hinako is sick and Yua and Kuina try a bunch of funny things to cure her.)
- There are silly little moments that have a character in the background doing their own thing.
- The comedy is able to blend being funny and adorable at the same time.
- The way Hinako interacts with animals is down right adorable.
- The chibi moments are always very cute.
- Episode 6 provided a heart felt moment that was just right.
- The care and kindness that the characters show to one another is heartwarming.
- The Hitotose Manor is unique for being both a coffee shop and book shop.
Directing, Music, and Illustrations
- For the oddball moments there’s always perfect sound and effects to go with the scenes.
- The opening theme, “A-E-I-U-E-O Ao!”, by Gekidan Hitotose is a catchy moe pop tune.
- Character designs are cuddly, cute, and attractive.
- The characters not only look adorable in their normal form but they do as well in their chibi form.
- Hinako’s social anxiety isn’t apparent at times. (E.G. Hinako will talk to a character she just met and act very calm around them instead of freezing up. Hinako sometimes will have all the attention on her but be perfectly fine with it and act calmly.)
- Ruriko makes the show feel a bit weird and awkward due to how voluptuous she is for a nine year old.
- Although it could be debated that most of the fan service can come off as unnecessary, but for this anime where the viewer is aware that the show has fan service, there are some moments that just feel really random even for a show with fan service. (E.G. In episode 9 there is a random panty shot of Chika while she is sitting. The show never had a panty shot up until this moment and didn’t need one in this scene at all. Another moment is in Episode 12, when Hinako is walking down the steps and for some reason her beast jiggled much more absurdly than usual.)
- The moe structure and it’s story telling can be a tad dry due to how familiar it is.
- Almost everything is predictable.
- The last episode’s build up is weak and feels too much like another episode.
- The show’s conclusion is disappointing, and unsatisfying.
Animation and Illustrations
- The characters movements can be stiff looking from time to time.
- There are times here and there when the illustrations aren’t the best.
- Out of all the episodes, episode 12 has the poorest illustrations.
A utter joy to watch!
Adorable and Fun.
Everything a Moe should be!
Even with it’s slip ups.
I’m putting this in my Fluffy And Fun Moe Titles That Make My Heart Flutter!
(Reference Source for “Behind The Anime” – Anime News Network)