Apr 3, 2016
This is ironically one of my favorite anime. I tried my best to be unbiased in the review though. I also reviewed as a short, not as a full anime
Hakone-chan has a bit more plot than the typically short, with the conflict spanning over several episodes and the story moving forward. The first five episodes focus heavily on the initial problem of Hakone-chan getting her power back, but beyond this point, the story becomes more loose and less focused. A plot returns around the last few episodes, where the series tries to be more serious as opposed to the primary comedy aspect it carries.
The conflict at the beginning of the series also seems to have faded in significance, and a new conflict had emerged, which something else I take trouble with. Granted, the whole purpose of the anime is serve for an advertisement for Hakone, and other hot spring regions in Japan, and it does a decent job at this. Most people agree that the series could have been into a full length anime, but I digress. Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan has an actual plot (to a degree), more than most shorts I have seen.
Again, length prevents the series from developing characters too much, but the characters are all pretty good at sticking to their original characterization. It is a bit confusing at the beginning who the initial main character is, but it becomes easy to guess that it is the titular character Hakone-chan. There is not too much to put about the characters, other than they are pretty likeable and fit into the show well.
The animation is the biggest suffering point for Hakone-chan. It seems rushed, and the backgrounds for scenes tend to be sort of poor. While it is by no means the worse animation out there, it is nothing stellar.
The soundtrack is pretty decent, and serves the purposes of the show. However, the opening song may come across as annoying to some people, though I personally like it. Overall, the soundtrack is pretty general.
As both a short show and one that is meant to act as an advertisement, there aren’t any heavy themes being promoted. Beyond stuff like the “power” of the hot springs and the importance of tourism, the show offers subtle themes on the importance of serving others. Many of the characters are willing to help others out, though several are still motivated by selfish reasoning. The comedy in this show is nothing really original, but is still fairly entertaining and a quick laugh. The more serious parts of the show, which granted also ruin the comedy vibe, may prove difficult to muscle through.
Final Score: 35/50
Reviewer’s Rating: 7
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