This anime is the first full-fledged TV anime made with FLASH.
The story takes place on a planet Tokinea where human beings and Star Races have been fighting. The story revolves around a girl who was made as "Demon God," an ultimate weapon against human beings, and a boy who is a partner of the girl.
Hanoka is a series that proudly proclaims that it was the first TV anime series ever made solely using flash animation. And it's a fucking mess! For starters, the animation is incredibly inconsistent and looks really jarring and awkward most of the time with action sequences that lack any kind of flow and having character designs that look off model most of the time. Now, considering the year this show came out in and if it were an independent project produced by one guy I would give it a pass. It was made during the Newgrounds era when many talented animators were beginning to emerge
in the case of Egoraptor and the Eddsworld series. Eddsworld in particular was around two years into it's run when this show came out and the flash animation there, which was produced by one guy, is still a fuck-ton better and more consistent than this piece of shit. You could argue that it was the best the staff were capable of at the time with flash so therefore this holds no water but it still doesn't make the show any less visually unappealing or better. How the hell this got approved for television is way beyond me, even more so when it aired in 2006, a year that is considered to be one of the greatest years in anime as a whole which makes this piece of shit feel even more shitty.
Even if the animation were good it still wouldn't have made any difference since the script is bad. While it is MUCH more consistent in its writing than the previous shows I have reviewed thus far and actually does make coherent sense it's still nothing to write home about. The narrative is as cliche as they come revolving around a war between humans and ferocious alien monsters. In order to battle against these creatures, humans have developed super-humans to fight against these aliens and the series focuses on one of these super-humans called Hanako. The rest of the show is a series of different missions and the such involving Hanoka and her partner and that's pretty much it. The plot never develops and explores any deeper themes, the characters don't go through any arcs and the story remains stagnant throughout. It spews out some of the most generic liners too ranging from "I'll do anything to protect you" to "He is my world". This is something you have seen before on a much better level somewhere else and I always cringe at the delivery of lines of this nature.
Each episode is only about three minutes in length which works terribly against the show's narrative since it is not given nearly enough time to properly flesh out characters and the setting. The aliens are generic in design and are even less memorable than the Gastrea in Black Bullet and the fights feel disjointed and boring leading up to an AWFUL conclusion. They do hint at the theme of discrimination between the people like Hanoka and the regular humans but it comes across as forced and forgettable as there is no time invested in this idea and comes across as victimising just for the sake of victimising. Hanoka herself is such a bland and boring character that I would of forgot who she even was if the title of the series didn't share her name.
The thing about this show is that it's just so fucking boring. It's nowhere near as bad as Dark Cat mind you but it's also nowhere near the absurd levels of Genocyber. The show is as interesting as watching a guy cut his own fucking finger nails. There is nothing to care for nor get too angry about either. Hanoka is just a 'thing'. It's shitty, sure, but doesn't leave you with anything by the time you're done watching it. Should I praise it for being able to end without me wanting to kill myself or critique it for being so lazy and forgettable? It's hard to pinpoint what the aim of this anime was and just what the hell it was trying to achieve but when you get down to it, it's a pile of shit.
I'm not really sure what I expected from this show initially. I'm all for new techniques used in any kind of context, and given that this Anime series had been animated entirely in Flash format, I thought of it as perhaps something exciting, something catching. Also, the episodes were short...meaning I wouldn't have to endure THAT much if it proved to not be worth my time. :-J So, how did my opinion turn out?
Rehash, rehash, rehash. Well, it's a war between humans and large ferocious aliens, and special superpowered units have been deployed to aid the humans in the war. Hanoka is one of
these - a girl with impossible strength a'la Saikano, who is teamed up with a boy (and the entire series through, I thought this was a girl) to take on this alien threat. Throughout the show, we see the usual, predictable scenes such as "I'll fight to protect you", "he gave me a reason to live", and "raagh you fatally injured him and now my powers increased tenfold because of my emotional distress". The originality of the show is close to zero, and since it's so short it skips from point to point making every confrontation end almost anticlimactically. No, if it's a proper story you're looking for, then this isn't it.
It's a valid attempt, but in the end, Flash is Flash, and it's painfully obvious that it's not one of the better choices for a TV show.
...that's really all I can figure to say. Maybe you understand what I mean.
Here's one of the more decent points of the show, what with the sound effects, the voices and the music. It blends together neatly, the sound is crisp, and the music is really quite fitting to every aspect it's played. What racks down on this score the most, though, is the fact that - GOD - is Hanoka whiny...do not want those kind of voices. No, definitely not.
As I said...there's the rehashing. There are the heroes, the hero supporters, the neutrals, the evil masterminds and the evil masterminds' braindead soldier troops...and none of them really stands out in any way at all. Simply put, it's quite hard to feel attached to any single one of them, because they act so properly in their stereotypes and don't really go out to be very unique.
I was curious to see how they'd pull off a series in Flash, but it feels like that was the sole purpose of the show - get a Flash series out, never mind the story or the characters. No sir, didn't get much enjoyment out of this one...I just felt embarrassed watching it.
So that's what it boils down to. Note that my opinion isn't veto in any way :-P, but my recommendation is such - don't bother with this one. It just wasn't worth the time (*cough* *has more free time than a tombed mummy*) or the braincells sacrificed to delve into it.
The story in Hanoka is a jumbled up mess and it is really incoherent. It is also a stereotypical story about a war between humans and aliens over a planet. There were a million moments in which the story followed cliches to the letter. There is minimal originality in this story. Also the ending has got to be the worst ending I have ever seen to an anime series. Terrible does not even begin to describe Hanoka.
Hanoka was the very first full fledge anime series to be animated completely in Flash. This is a terrible mistake. The flash makes the animation look unnatural, especially when
viewing the characters. The faces and heads do not look right at all, and the faces show no expression on them what so ever. I do applaud the makers for trying flash, but it appears that the technology has come no where close to where it needs to be to make it worth while.
The characters in Hanoka were highly stereotypical and they were bland. The characters had no originality to them at all. The main male character was gender neutral, and I thought that he was a girl until I found out he was a boy from a third party source. The characters have no depth to them.
Hanoka is a terrible waste of your precious free time. Spend it in a better way, like stabbing yourself with a dull spoon.
Honestly? The story isn't terrible. It's very basic, simple, and not even attempting to bring anything new to the table, but there's a vague understanding of general pacing, structure, foreshadowing, and other basic traits of writing. In fact, in the right hands, this narrative has the potential to become something very likable. Patricians will consider it drawl regardless of the form it takes, but that doesn't denounce the fact that this definitely has a ladder it could climb.
That said, in regards to what keeps this from being all that great, the problem is the lifeless leads. There isn't enough time to really spend creating any
character for them, and for the most part, things do come together to create believable characters, but it's still not enough to save it. For instance, most short 3-5 minute anime's forsake any form of characterization and just stick to comedy. Others that try and be serious (see: Pupa) fail because there isn't enough time to build anything believable. That said, this story definitely tries, and in some regards, succeeds.
That said, the fact that the time is so short, the characters are borderline middle-school fanfiction tier, and unoriginal premise, the story itself is not all that memorable.
Which leads me to the memorable part of this anime...
Hot damn, is the animation weak. There are a lot of decent flash animations out there, and this is not one of them. The only reason I don't have this as a 1/10 is because there are some cool sequences. Outside of those 2 scenes, everything is a mess. It's good that it never becomes unfollowable, but it's still not very pretty to look at.
I really liked the soundtrack. I somewhat wish this was a longer anime so that we could have some more excellent music tracks to harvest from this mess of a production. Only once did I feel the music was used poorly, but everywhere else sounded pretty excellent.
VA work is pretty good. If the characters were better, I think some of the performances could have moved me, but it's such a barren product that it's a pipe-dream to think anything like that could happen.
There's an attempt at characterization. That said, there is something to appreciate in Hanoka when it comes to how inept the writing is. It's like someone consumed so much media that they chose to regurgitate all the necessary bullet points when it comes to telling a story.
Nobody is really likable, but I didn't find myself liking anyone. My biggest issue is with how OP Hanoka is. Everything else was fine, but it wasn't ever mind-blowing.
I actually kind of enjoyed this. It was fun. A harmless production that, in the right hands, could be a lot better. The biggest issue here is the animation, but everything else is fairly simple and elementary (save the soundtrack. That was surprisingly impressive.)
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There are plenty of bad anime out there. But only a few shows are downright unwatchable. Ugly animation, nonsensical plots, and boring characters sink many anime, but only some fail in every possible way. Here are ten of the worst anime you'll wish you'd never wasted your time on.