Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Mar 28, 2007 to Jun 13, 2007
Premiered: Spring 2007
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 6.951 (scored by 5,347 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
The anime, though, did not make a very good first impression on me. I found the first episode clumsy : too much exposition, for little knowledge about the characters. They all looked shallow to me, with some exceptions. Nishida Kai, the main lead, is well introduced, lively, boisterous yet considerate ; and Chitose Kanna, one of the main character's friends, somewhat of a rival to her, who touched me with her love for drama, something I could relate to and felt real ; also the character is funny, I laughed quite a few times throughout the anime thanks to her. On the other hand, the main character seemed defined only by her shyness, her best friend seemed lackluster - as I felt her love for photography was more or less a way to botch her up, since we don't know anything else about her - and the Drama Research Club, a bit too cliché for my taste.
The art didn't appeal to me that much. I found the sakuras overwhelming, and all this red everywhere, the uniforms, the hair, too much for me. All throughout the anime I had this weird feeling that the voice of the main character didn't fit, although the actor does an impressive job playing out her shyness. The music pissed me off : I found it most of times not that befitting to the scenes, not helping that much conveying the emotions at hand. All of these little things that put me off at first.
Still, I carried on, and found myself willing to watch an episode after the other. Some change of scenery throughout the episodes felt refreshing, and the struggles of shyness while learning acting little by little is an interesting topic. What especially saved the anime for me was that the character development clicked. Through learning the backstory of the characters, they somewhat gained a bit of that depth the first episode couldn't give them. Yet, the second half of the anime was a bit of a struggle to watch for me, as I found it unnecessarily overdramatic, didn't find the story very compelling and as a consequence, I didn't enjoy the resolution that much.
Overall, the show can be enjoyable, but not of the greatests. The idea is good and the anime does a fine job working it out. I leave opened the fact that my impressions can be misleading, as there's no accounting for taste. However, I'm pretty confident that there are better stories out there.
Hitohira's storyline is an interesting subject, parts of it are dazzlingly original while other parts are downright generic and predictable. Whilst the basis of the school drama genre is all too familiar, what actuals happens in Hitohira is a refreshing change, albeit a change still confined by the shackles of the genre. The series explores the theme of self-confidence to marvellous effect. The series has a unique pace to it, most easily identified by the event that usually ends this kind of show not actually being the end of the series. There are a few good twists in the storyline but the main problem is that they're way too predictable, and easily seen coming by anyone paying attention. Nevertheless the storyline progresses nicely and matches the episode count.
The animation is of the usual standard for anime these days, adequate but not pushing any boundaries. The character designs really stand out, they're imaginative, cute and just plain likeable. The backgrounds are somewhat mediocre though. The animation style works really well with the series.
Hitohira is one of the anime audio experiences, the soundtrack is superb, full of well composed and arranged piano and woodwind pieces, it suits the series incredibly. The opening theme "Yume, Hitohira" by Yuuko Asami is beautiful and credit to the series, the ending theme "Smile" by Mai Mizuhashi whilst not as good is still certainly worthwhile. Perhaps its to be expected from a series about a drama club but the voice acting mind blowing. With Kimoto Orie in particular standing out as lead character Asai Mugi, she portrays Asai's shy nature perfectly and expresses her true voice just as well. The other seiyuu's represent their characters brilliantly too but Kimoto steals the limelight.
The characters are the other exceptional aspect of Hitohira, they've got interesting personalities and are genuinely likeable as a consequence, which allows the dramatic side of the series to have a much greater impact on the viewer. Hitohira is a masterclass in character development, best shown through the development of main character Asai Mugi, the changes to her personality are clearly noticeable after she overcomes each obstacle in the series and the series ends with an Asai almost unrecognisable when compared to the one at the start. The other characters aren't left out, they get their own storylines which are fully developed in a way that captivates the viewer.
Hitohira is very enjoyable experience, there's plenty of gripping drama and enough comic relief to prevent the viewer being bogged down by it all. An original and imaginative little gem taht certainly justifies a watch through read more
In moving on, the central focus of this series is on Asai Mugi. As the synopsis already mentioned she transfers into a new school, has trouble speaking publicly and now she is pushed into joining a drama club. Now when a person who has trouble speaking publicly and then all of a sudden joins a drama stage acting club, you will be sure there will be some funny acts and humorous moments to entertain your viewing purposes.
As mentioned before, the central focus is on Asai Mugi so great character development can be seen from here. Not only we are being entertained by her, but we get to watch and see her grow from the events she is given. We get to see how she manages to build her confidence, lift her spirits and achieve the dreams she wants. In addition, we get to see how her friends and rivals play a vital part with her learning experiences, and indeed you will be entertained in some of their activities they do.
Inconclusion, if you enjoy school based dramas then this one shouldn't be overlooked. Its a funny and lovely series where, at times, there are favorable moments. read more
The story was quite interesting, in that it portrayed school life from a different point of view, not so much sports or exams and stuff,but on a particular club. The story emphasizes on the theme of friendship and self confidence, not so much on romance. Though it does have a small bit of romance it is not one of the main themes, and is merely used to create a more real school experience, though i did wish that they focussed on the romantic aspect of the show, this would have brought out the true potential that the show has, as it does set up some nice couples.Anyway, it is a good story that can be inspiring to some and palces lots of value on friendship thopugh some may find it a bit like a yuri, i think it is just the deep friendship that the characters have for each other. I found the ending the best part of the series, in how they depicted the end as a new beginning(won't say anymore then that) and how they brought out the nonstalgia, that is something that this anime did quite well.
I liked the art, it was something different from the more popular animes, suttle yet suitable for such an anime. The use of sakura is heavily applied in the anime which is unique yet a bit common at the same time.
The sound was nothing special, the opening and closing songs were okay. though there was'nt much of an attempt at inserts to help bring out the mood or atmosphere in the show.
The characters conveyed some depth but i cannot compare them to that of the longer series which would obviously have deeper characters due to the longer span, but each character is of some importance and is not left out at all. Even the side characters have a decent amount of showtime and are influential to the story. The character development in this show was quite good but a bit unrealistic due to the pace at which it occured which is attrbuted to the short timespan of the series, this is something i didn't like.
I enjoyed the series only so much because of the meaning as well as the comedy that wassuccessfully pulled off. Some people may even be able to empathize with the characters which makes it more interesting to watch, but i just did not find it captivating enough.
Overall, the story is not a typical cliched school life and the school life is quite realistic to an extent. There is a lot of drama in the show with a little romance. If you are a romance fan then i don't suggest this anime but if you like meaningful animes with a school based theme and a lot of drama you might want to give it a try. But don't place to high hopes on this anime,it is more of a series to past the time and reflect on certain things in life. read more
The story is fairly generic - shy girl tries to change - but they do it in a way that is quite refreshing. The problem is that some of it is a bit hard to understand. I wasn't sure exactly what was going on at times.
However, it was still quite moving. The characters were great, especially the lead, and you really felt for her. Voice acting was quite good as well. Although the weird timing of this anime has a tendency to distract you from the dramatic elements, you will still find yourself holding back tears at times.
I really liked the characters of Hitohira. They were the strong point of this anime. If you're as character driven as I am, you won't be disappointed.
All in all, this one gets a solid 7. Nothing much to complain about, but nothing to rave about either. It will most likely leave your HD as quickly as it came but it is still worth watching once. read more
The story has a good pacing, but the arrangement could have been better. Although the introduction was done very well, the ending loses in comparison. Ending is a very important part of a story, it gives the last impression which a lot of people based their score on. Though Hitohira's ending was lovely, some parts were not presented well enough and kinda awkward to see. But the message of the anime was beautiful, so if you could sit back relax and don't mind so much about details, it's really an amazing story.
Art & Animation:
No doubt the art is great. For an anime about school and slice of life, Xebec M2 studio did a good job animating. You won't see lousy animating such as crappy movement much in Hitohira. They did a good job animation the OP & ED too , you can get a good idea of how all the characters are like by just watching the OP. ED is simple and nice. Although it's a little plain,i never got bored watching it. Another thing that i like is the beautiful background thoughout this anime.
Nothing much to say about the soundtrack, it fits the anime but i do wish they have some background music which could really bring out the emotions in the story. OP has a nice song which suit the anime very well. ED was cute. Smile smile :D
One thing really good about this anime is that it has a very good character developement. Each character is very well design and portrayed. This is one of the key points for me loving this. The character growth especially the one for Mugi was perfect. The seiyuu for Mugi could have done a better job though, but i won't blame her, trying to voice someone who is really scared of talking is not an easy job.
Overall, this anime is surprisingly good. It's really enjoyable as there are many unexpected turn of events as well as lol moments. I wouldn't say that it's an epic masterpiece, but comparing with most slice of life anime, this is certainly one of the goodies that you should watch. read more
The story starts out with the main character getting accepted into a school and yelling loudly , for the "2nd " drama club to hear her and want her to join. The twist is she is a naturally shy person who breaks down around other people. I found this to be an interesting yet cliche premise to the story. Nothing really stands out plot wise after this event at all , but that is not to say the plot is bad , just that it lacks originally. One key point people should be aware of when looking into this anime is the fact the pacing is HORRIBLE past episode 8. While the last episode does conclude things nicely the series drew out the plot from episodes 1-8 too much, they literally turned a 4 episode arc into an 8 episode one ( nicely done though , but it left them no material for the remainder of the series ) and it is like they realized this and tried to throw a plot together for the remaining episodes only to fail horribly ( again minus the final episode ).
Much like the story it is like the creators had no idea what to do after episode 8. They built up the two main characters only to put them into "filler" with their development. Had this been a 24 episode series this would have been fine , but on episode 9 of 12 to basically cut off all character development is a total joke. Aside from this I personally hated how they only developed one other character , and that would be the " antagonist " of the series.
The characters looked decent , and I did not notice any animination issues. My only complaint with this series art wise would be the coloring. The coloring was very bland for the series.
Again , everything was decent. My only complaint was the crying of the main character. Sounded VERY forced.
Aside from pacing issues this series had a good story with decent characters that made me enjoy the series. The reason this is an average rating for enjoyment is due to lack of drama , lack of comedy , and the pacing
I suggest this series to anyone who wants a layed back school anime , with a decent plot and characters and does not expect too much development of the plot or characters. read more
The story features Asai Mugi, a dreadfully shy girl that even gets tongue tied when she's nervous. Mugi joins the drama club,and throughout the anime she keeps blaming herself that she's hopeless and blah, but after certain events happen, she started to find her true voice, the voice that she is.
This anime is pretty simple and it is a little dramatic, good to say that this anime really brought the emotions. The only problem was the animation and the voice actors. Mugi's "real" voice was a little too over the top and she cries like a pig. The animation's colors was a little blank because the atmosphere looked like a 50's movie because of its "sepia-like" coloring. But the form of the characters was pretty good and i guess the only true downfall of the set of characters is the lead herself.
9 - it was pretty god and dramatic. i really liked the story overall. I really recommend this to on-stage drama enthusiasts
6 - the drawings were pretty good but i hate the poor coloring
6 - the background music was average for a dramatic anime// voice actors were good except for Mugi's which i thought was a little pathetic
8 - they weren't presented formally in my opinion due to lack of background but they developed pretty good so an 8 it is.
8 - I really enjoyed the anime because it was fun seeing them practice and how the heat of the two drama clubs competition is. I also enjoyed the drama which is not too mush but not too less too.
8 - I give this anime an 8 because even though it has poor coloring and looked like a 90's anime, it has a pretty awesome story and good character relationships, especially of Nono and Mirei.
Concerning the Story & Characters
The story is simple and straightforward but at the same time engaging. There aren't any really complicated situations or unexpected turnarounds or something like that. It's not over-dramatic either. However it never feels shallow or boring. There's a nice progression overall and 12 episodes felt exactly right. Not too long or too short.
The characters are this anime's great strength. They're interesting and well developed. Their struggles, doubts, worries as well as their happiness is expressed in a beautiful way. For example lets take Mugi. In most anime it's not clear how exactly the characters grow stronger. I mean at some point they're really weak and then suddenly after getting some beating they become much stronger for no other apparent reason. This is not the case here. In those 12 episodes we see in detail how Mugi grows stronger, how her personality changes for the best and how she's able to overcome even her own irrational (pathological) fears.
Concerning the Art & Sound
The art was fine. Characters were distinctive and well drown. Animation was fine too. I didn't really like the opening or the ending songs but then again that doesn't really affect the anime itself. However the music and sound effects inside the episodes were fitting. The voice acting was very nice (i saw the Japanese version dunno if there's a dub)
Overall I enjoyed Hitohira very much! It's a sweet, heartwarming anime that doesn't underestimate the viewers. Watch it! read more