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Hanasaku Iroha ~ Review

Hanasaku Iroha ~ Review

“A slice-of-life full of drama, love and importance of growing up”

We are back with another series that fits into my favourite slice-of-life genre; as with a lot of slice-of-life anime series, there is comedy. But this series is little different – the main genres that are focused in this series are romance, drama and coming-of-age. Let’s see what that’s all about.

Hanasaku Iroha revolves around a young girl called Ohana Matsumae, who is left to move out of Tokyo to her grandmothers place after her mom ran away with her boyfriend. Her grandmothers place is later revealed to be a large hotel; a traditional Japanese hot spring inn called a “ryokan” clled Kissuisou. Her grandmother makes a deal, who owns the ryokan, that Ohana is allowed to stay if she is willing to work for the ryokan. Agreeing to this, Ohana starts working at the ryokan. As she meets everybody that works there, she slowly starts to get close to them all in separate ways, and start to realise the complicated relationships and dramas that happen within the ryokan.

Unlike the seemingly simple plot, there is extensive character developmentĀ  and twists that flows smoothly as the story progresses.

As you could maybe recognize by the character designs, this series is animated by P.A. Works (animated such notable series as True Tears, Angel Beats! and Tari Tari), while also writing the entire series as well; as P.A. Works are known for their drama/slice-of-life anime series, they did a good job in the overall execution of the animation, characters and plot. Some notable voice actors include Kanae Ito (who plays Ohana) and Aki Toyosaki (who plays Nako). These two voice actors have been known to be best friends outside of the anime industry and thus have starred together in a lot of different anime series (such as To LOVE-ru, Shugo Chara! and The World God Only Knows) and have naturally become very good together within the anime industry.

All in all, Hanasaku Iroha is a very well executed anime series that has been cleverly put together to create a flowing storyline without feeling like you are missing out on anything. With the success of the 26 episode anime series, there has also been an announcement for a full-length movie due to be released in Japan during March 2013. If you are of P.A. Works or drama/romance anime’s, then series is definitely a good watch.

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The Final Judgement:

Recommendation Level: 4/5 – Strongly Recommended

Final Score: 8.5/10

Another ~ Review

Another ~ Review

“A creepy tale about why it’s best to mind your own business and listen to people”

I am a major an of my horror anime, and have enjoyed most horror anime series that I have watched/found. This series is the latest collection to my horror anime series list, and I must say that it is more quite creepy than it is scary.

Another revolves around a schoolboy called Koichi Sakakubara who moves to a town called Yomikita. Yomikita is famous for what is known as “cursed class of 3-3”; an event that happened 15 years ago in which a young school girl called Misaki suddenly dies, but because the class at the time were so devastated by the loss that they decided that she “wasn’t in fact dead”, and continued on as if she was still alive ad part of the class. Now 15 years on, Koichi is transferred into the class 3-3 where she meets a strange girl with a bandage on her eye called Mei Misaki. While being naturally attracted to her, Koichi sees that she is being ignored by all of her classmates. As Koichi gets closer to Mei, the students of class 3-3 are all caught up in a series of unfortunate events in which the students start to die in mysterious events and accidents. Now Koichi and Mei must try to uncover the cause of this strange epidemic and ut a stop to the deaths before it is too late.

The anime doesn’t attempt to refrain from using violence in any way and thus gives us a stronger impact of horror than anticipated

Now, the anime viewers with a wide viewing range might look at the character design and wonder why it seems so familiar to them. This is most likely because the Animation Studio that has done this series is none other than P.A. Works (notable series by P.A. Works include True Tears, Angel Beats! and Hanasaku Iroha) and because the studio tends to use similar artstyles in all of their works, viewers might recognize the artworks from earlier series. On an interesting note, Another is the first attempt at a horror series by P.A. Works; prior to this, they tended to animate slice-of-life, romantic comedy and drama series. It is quite nice to see a change in genre by these guys and I must say that they did an excellent job first go.

The series was originally a serial novel; yes, not a light novel, but a serial novel. And I have in fact read the novel, and it is quite different from the anime; probably because unlike most light novels, there are no illustrations whatsoever and the reader must depend on their imagination skills to get the artworks in their head. The animated series also scored a live action film in mid 2012, however I am still yet to see it (I haven’t read any reviews for it thus far so I cannot say whether it will be any good or any bad).

All in all, if you like your horror anime series, then Another is the perfect series for you. Although it only spanned 12 episodes, the overall execution and plot overlay were fantastically done, and this series deserves a lot more attention in the online anime community.

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The Final Judgement:

Recommendation Level: 5/5 – Strongly Recommended

Final Score: 9.5/10