A transfer student Asai Mugi is a painfully shy girl. She is so shy that she can't speak when she becomes seriously nervous. However, for some reason, she is spotted and recruited as a member of the drama club.
Chances are, last Spring when you where watching the likes of Lucky Star and Gurren Lagann you were not watching this little gem. Hitohira slipped under the radar and went for the most part unnoticed. Although Hitohira shares the school drama format of many shows from the time, it puts an original spin on it, ensuring viewer attention.
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
Hitohira is another nice school based drama series where it does have it share of comedy and romance like any typical school based drama series. While others may not agree with me but this series was indeed underrated and it wasn't a mainstream series to begin with. Considering there wasn't anything special about the series, I still recommend it as its fairly enjoyable in a whole.
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.
Hitohira is about a girl who is very shy to the point that she can't voice herself at all sometimes. The series follows her first school year where she is recruited into a drama club and how she changes as a person.
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.
Stumbling across this anime, I tried it without much hesitation. The story of a shy character getting in the drama club is appealing. You already see the conflicts the main character will have to overcome, and the change in her personnality as a consequence. As I haven't seen mangas about drama clubs, though I'd be surprised there wouldn't be any other out there, the idea isn't overused, and quite relatable since people tend to recommend acting classes for shy kids, and since I was quite a shy kid myself, I've been through that.
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 male 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.