English: Hanamaru Kindergarten
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 10, 2010 to Mar 28, 2010
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.541 (scored by 10764 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisAnzu goes to a kindergarten with her friends, the shy Koume and the eccentric Hiiragi. Together they try to attract attention from their caretaker Tsuchida. However, he is clearly more interested in the pretty Yamamoto who supervises the class next door.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Hanamaru Youchien
Side story: Hanamaru Youchien: Panda Neko Taisou
Alternative setting: Youchien Senshi: Hanamaru Girls
Full story: Hanamaru Youchien Special Previews
Characters & Voice Actors
Gainax’s most recent production seems to have been greeted with either one of three responses. The first is that of simple pleasure found in watching an anime that has well-structured episodes and that make good use of humor. This is the view I have adopted, as each sub-episode contained within an episode is well planned and carries subtle undertones of moral conventions contrasted with and against accepted social attitudes.
The anime itself is a set of twelve episodes, each containing two sub-episodes, that are loosely tied together through a plot-line based on the unrequited feelings of romance a kinder garden student, Anzu, has towards her teacher, Tsuchida ‘sensei’, and the subsequent events that occur in their lives when together and apart. Anzu’s friends include Koume, a shy and gentle character, and Hiiragi, a cos-playing child prodigy. Strangely, yet with good reasoning, no other characters raise an objection to this blase relationship between student and teacher, and there is even some degree of acceptance, understanding and even support, especially by those that would normally be apposed to this behavior, such as the child’s parents. However, everyone manages to best live their lives alongside an almost sadistically humorous love triangle between Anzu, Tsuchida and the beautiful Yamamoto sensei.
The second response to this anime is that it is boring, having no sufficient development in the storyline and lacking in length. This response is largely due to the viewer’s lack of understanding; yes, the episodes are loosely strung together by a thin plot, but this is not the defining point of the anime, such as it is with those that follow the gradual changes in characters. Rather, the two sub-episodes cover a specific time frame during one of the main character’s lives that makes others and themselves change and grow, yet cuts out all the unnecessary in-between events, delivering only the relative material to the audience to best outline the idea or value that is to be portrayed to the audience in that sub-episode, hence the room for split stories in one twenty minute time block. Also, another point is that this type of anime utilizes a stasis plot, which is used correctly in this case to allow the episodes to branch off into smaller sub-plots yet still retain a link to the main story.
The final response is rather negative; heavy criticisms that are based on art, storyline and the characters of Anzu and Tsuchida. My views on storyline have already been outlined, so I shall proceed directly to the critiques on art. Once again, these criticisms are caused by lack of understanding. True, the artistic style used to draw the children is over-exaggerated, and detail is lost in the drawings of the adult characters and scenery. However, this is done to really drive home the idea of the distance between children and adults in society, and to present to the audience the view of the world from a ‘young child’s’ perspective, having alliterations to a child’s drawing and it’s innocent representations of character, giving rise to an almost childish drawing style that takes into account these factors.
Though it involves many adult characters, this story is ultimately based on the idea of children living in an adult world. This is why Anzu can show unseemly displays of romance towards an older character and not be ostracized by society, and also why she has a very mature personality for her age that is readily accepted by the other characters.
Though viewers may disagree with the anime on moral grounds, this is still a personal bias that doesn’t affect the quality of the anime. If taken into account the understanding of symbolism and important conventions that are often overlooked or mistaken as incorrect development, then the anime would truly have no criticisms. Of course, the average viewer does not consider these things when watching an anime for enjoyment, however it is important to note that harsh criticisms should be made after careful analysis.
Though not on this site, I have seen many blatant reviews that dismiss this anime for the reasons mentioned above. Because of that, this review may seem like an over-endorsement or over-hyped defense of the anime, however all I wish to do is present a more deeper view into the some of the aspects of the anime that have been criticized too unfairly in ways that would put off someone from what I believe to be a very good anime that I have been looking forward to every Monday for the past twelve weeks. I also look foreword to the making of a second season, and hope that it will be as deeply satisfying as the first.
Let me start off by saying this is a cute and innocent anime. Despite having a similar premise, this series is nothing like the Pedobear anime Kodomo Jikan. I don't generally do early season reviews, but since the only other review gave it a 1/10 I think a less bias grade is necessary.
Plot: The story revolves around a male kindergarten teacher's first class ever. He is shocked to see the job is a little harder than he thought it would be... especially since one of the little girls wants to marry him. So far (as of episode 2) the episodes have centered around the three main girls doing cute and stupid things. This is a pretty mellow comedy series. It reminded me alot of the Yotsubato Manga series (made by the same author as azumanga daioh!). It also reminded me of Aishiteruze Baby. If you are wanting gut busting laughs or ecchi comedy this isn't the anime you're looking for.
Art: Standard-Dont' have much to say about it. Mostly pastel colors appropriate for a show about kindergartners. The character designs are cute.
Sound: Standard (I really enjoyed the second ending theme though.)
Characters: I was going to give the characters an 8/10 till I realized that the character combination of this series is essentially the same as the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. You have the "brave leader" protagonist who is troublesome for everyone, You have the super smart cool and collected girl, and you have the shy, clumsy, and easily upset girl. The teacher can be Kyon just for consistency's sake. They may not be too original, but they're balanced and serve the plot of the show well.
Enjoyment: So far this is the show I've enjoyed most this season. I can't say its the most revolutionary series, but its amusing and adorable. read more
Opening Theme"Aozora Triangle (青空トライアングル)" by Shindou Kei, Takagaki Ayahi, and MAKO
Ending Theme#01: "Egao Narebete (笑顔ならべて)" by Kei Shindou, Ayahi Takagaki and MAKO
#02: "Kigurumi Wakusei (キグルミ惑星)" by Ayahi Takagaki
#03: "Kusa no Yubiwa Hana no Kanmuri (草の指輪 花の冠)" by Erino Hazuki
#04: "Hatsudou!! Love Beam☆ (発動!!らぶビーム☆)" by Kei Shindou
#05: "Ano ne Kiite ne (あのねきいてね)" by MAKO
#06: "Heart no Housoku (ハートの法則)" by Shion Hirotamore
#07: "Kuro Neko no Jazz (黒ネコのジャズ)" by Satoshi Hino and Shion Hirota
#08: "Nadeshiko Romance (撫子ロマンス)" by Mariya Ise
#09: "Kokutou Drop (黒糖ドロップ)" by Erino Hazuki and Chiwa Saito
#10: "Boku no Wasuremono (僕の忘れもの)" by Satoshi Hino
#11: "Yes, We Can!!" by Kaoru Mizuhara and Naomi Wakabayashi
#12: "Sekai de Ichiban (せかいでいちばん)" by Kei Shindou and Yoko Honna
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Related ClubsCute Girls Doing Cute Things, BLUE SKY TEAM, not a club, :3 , Purple and Blue Haired Characters, Missile Punch, Klub Miłośników Kultury Japońskiej - KITSUNE, Hanamaru Youchien, noushi, Simulcast Support Group, Slice of Life Club , Chibi Madness Club, Dark Legends fan club!, LOLI DEFENSE ARMY, Sidetails, Saito Chiwa FC, Satoshi Hino Fans, Hiiragi Fanclub, URI Anime Club
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