Hana Ichinose is a normal 16-year-old high school student. However, there is something different about her: She enrolled in high school one year late! Her classmates are unaware of this, and Hana will have to work hard to catch up with everyone else.
Well this is my first review so it's gonna be a short one.
First of all the art style in "Slow Start" really amazed me, I wasn't expecting such a smooth animation from a comedy anime, almost every scene is pretty well drawn and the characters are always moving/shaking their hands/heads which is actually pretty pleasing to watch.
Since there are only 4 episodes out by the time I'm doing this review, I can't really tell if the story will matter much on this anime or if it will be good, but by the look of it the protagonists are making it enjoyable by how defined their
characteristics are and the kind of humor they use (I have laughed a lot actually).
Overall this anime would worth your time, so don't be like "Ohh it is another random moe anime" and give it a try, you might be impressed (as much as I am).
Don't know why this comedy is getting such a low score, I'm voting 9/10 for now (I mean the animation is really well made, you can clearly see the effort they put into it)... o7
I couldn't refrain from writing a review on this on-going series. In general, remarking on an anime which is now airing is not a good choice, for no one knows where the anime goes but creators.
However, sometimes there are some animes which need to be introduced by someone. Such animes usually do not get popularity; they are even not well-known among anime fans. These animes with high-quality elements are silently waiting for a time when you find them.
"Slow Start" is surely one of such animes.
Sadly, we have only a few reviews on "Slow Start" on MAL. I also checked Crunchyroll but there are also few
reviewers there, too.
There are some reasons why "Slow Start" is unfairly overlooked, or, even ignored by anime fans.
First, in this 2018 winter, there are a lot of good animes. Maybe you have already decided to watch several animes: "DEVILMAN crybaby," "DARLING in the FRANXX" and so on. They all attract you with exciting battles and complex stories.
Also, even considering an anime maker, A-1 Pictures, by which "Slow Start" is created, has four animes in this winter, surprisingly. Even if you choose animes you watch by a company, "Slow Start" might be hidden by "DARLING in the FRANXX."
Moreover, it seems that "Slow Start" does not have its own features, I mean, does not has an unique point. This work is based on Kirara (I hope you know what is Kirara...... one of the most famous manga magazines in Japan; usually works on Kirara is about daily-lives of girls,) but this winter we have another Kirara anime; "Yuru Camp." In Japan "Yuru Camp" gets more popularity than "Slow Start," that is, it appears that "Slow Start" hides itself behind "Yuru Camp."
Of course there are some who have been paying attention to "Slow Start" before it started to air on TV, included me.
I decided to watch "Slow Start" in last autumn because its staffs were famous and had created some excellent animes.
A director is Hiroyuki Hashimoto. He is famous for its directing of "Gochuumon wa Usasgi desu ka?" and some other animes. He is regarded as one of experts who can create good Kirara animes.
A main screenwriter (Series Kousei, in Japanese) was also involved with "Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?" So we could easily imagine that "Slow Start" would become a good anime before we really watch it.
I also noticed that Masato Anno made character designs. He was (is) also a chief director of animations (Sou Sakuga Kantoku, in Japanese.) I got really excited to get this news because I thought he was one of hopeful animators in Japan. He was once involved with "Flying Witch," which is a excellent TV series and is about daily-lives of some witches in rural areas in Japan.
"Flying Witch" was also created by A-1 Pictures. Therefore, we can say "Slow Start" is a daughter of "Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?" and "Flying Witch."
Still, how many people of you are interested in staffs of anime? Maybe one in ten anime fans, at most. So, it is natural that "Slow Start" is buried by a great amount of TV animes (over 50 titles!) in this winter.
However, "Slow Start" goes beyond my expectation.
There is a possibility of "Slow Start" being a milestone of animes which focus on daily-lives of girls, including Kirara anime.
That's why I started writing a review of "Slow Start."
At first, I didn't understand the meaning of "Slow Start" (actually, it has a hidden meaning revealed in the very last scene of the episode 1, but of course it has more implication.)
However, I noticed the concept of "Slow Start" when I was watching the episode 1.
"Slow Start" has an advertising phrase (in Japan it is called 'Catch Copy'):
"Shiawase wa, yukkuri hajimaru."
(Happiness starts slowly.)
Clearly, this phrase is based on its title "Slow Start." Some of you might think this phrase too simple. I have the same idea.
As I said above, Kirara animes are usually about daily-lives of girls. Such lives depicted in Kirara animes are free of busyness and responsibility, and girls are safe from the approaching shadow of time. It is widely said that Kirara animes have gotten popularity because anime fans require the anime world to be so, as in the real world we are afraid of time.
In Japan, such lives girls in animes live are called 'Slow Life' (actually in Japanese slow life has a different meaning from that of this context --- in this review, I mean, life is 'slow' and it does not refer to what the Japanese usually calls 'slow life.' Therefore I capitalize 'Slow Life.') So it is too natural that "Slow Start" depicts 'SLOW Life' because it is a Kirara anime.
However, when the episode 1 went to the end, I realized that "Slow Start" was (and, is) trying to express something different.
In the latter half of the episode 1, a protagonist, Hana, goes to a street stretching to a station, where trees of cherry blossoms are beautiful. Initially she did not have an intention of going there, but as her new friends, Tamate, Eiko and Kamuri, called out her she decided to do so.
Under beautiful cherry blossoms, Hana walks slowly with other three characters. And then, here comes an important cut.
All of four are in the cut, but I feel it a little strange. They walk through the street, but Hana is depicted smaller than other three. It means that Hana is walking BEHIND other characters, not WITH.
It is strange. Usually, in Japanese anime, cherry blossoms (sakura) are really important and therefore used in important scenes. Such important scenes are usually set for a protagonist, or, at least, a heroine in love stories (if you get confused, please watch "Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata" and you can easily grasp what I mean.)
"Slow Start" does not do so. While Tamate, Eiko and Kamuri are all cheerful and glad, Hana's emotions are left in anywhere in the world, it appears, because Hana is depicted too small and we cannot see her facial expressions. It implies that she is hiding something, and due to something hidden she covers her emotions.
Hana has serious anxiety of making good friends. She is actually very glad to making new three friends, but because of her complex pasts she has to be behind them.
Then, we again see the advertising phrase.
"Shiawase wa, yukkuri hajimaru."
(Happiness starts slowly.)
Yes, happiness starts slowly. We can paraphrase it as "You walk slowly to get happiness."
True, "Slow Start" is one of Kirara animes and depicts 'Slow Life.' Still, Hana's standpoint is a bit, only a bit behind than that of other characters.
"Slow Start" is now trying to express how Hana and other several characters approach happiness. She never wait for happiness; rather, she has decided to walk again. It seems that this anime wants to tell us that we should start to walk to Happiness slowly. At least, I received a power of doing so from "Slow Start."
The director, Hashimoto, and A-1 Pictures' staffs including Anno made great effort to depict such a concept.
You may find as soon as you start to watch episode 1 that characters move vividly in the anime. Yes, this anime contains as much amount of pictures as we are dazed.
Not only the quantity of pictures and inbetweens, but the quality of them is also impressive. Especially in episode 1 animators succeeded to catch characters' movements precisely and trace them finely. Human beings cannot move their legs or arms without moving other physical parts. Staffs of "Slow Start" understand this fact well and use it in order to depict characters as if they are really living in the world.
Storyboards are also worth mentioning. Especially in episode 6, where the director Hashimoto makes a storyboard, Hashimoto uses his skills and talent fully, creates an unique story and gives the episode its own 'rhythm' of storytelling. You might feel as if you watched an extra episode of "Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?" when you watch the episode 6 of "Slow Start."
Characters are in warm atmosphere the director and other staffs create, and they are given real 'anima' ...... of course the origin of the term 'animation,' by talented animators.
Before I finish to write this review, I would like to cite lyrics of ending theme, "Kaze no Koe wo Kikinagara" by Sangatsu no Phantasia.
Sangatsu no Phantasia is a music group who is now getting popularity among anime fans in Japan. The vocalist's voice is so clear that we feel our hearts are purified by their songs.
Her gifted voice is prominent also in "Kaze no Koe wo Kikinagara." She accomplishes to sing its warm lyrics carefully.
Chippoke na kakushigoto wo hitotsu
(I have a secret, no one knows but only me.)
This line seems to refer to Hana, or other characters, or even us, as everyone has at least one secret.
Yes, this song is for Hana, but also for us, as "Slow Start" is about Hana but also for us.
Kaze no koe wo kikinagara
Kawariyuku kisetsu wo omou
Itsuka chiisana himitsu
Hanaseru hi ga kuru yo ne
Aserazu aruite ikou
(Listening to the voices of winds
I think of transition of seasons.
I'm sure the day will come
When I tell a tiny secret to firends.
I will start to walk without hurry.)
The song tells us that sharing a secret is a symbol of deeper friendship...... some would argue that it is by sharing a secret that we MAKE firendship, though.
Whether Hana will tell her secret to her friends in the end is a tiny matter. I won't mean that between Hana and others there are only a fake-friendships; their bonds are really strong.
What is important is that even bearing a secret and hard pasts we can be happy by ourselves. "Slow Start" tries to describe such an essence of life by depicting 'Slow Life.' This tough challenge makes "Slow Start" special.
Kaze no Koe wo Kikinagara/ Sangatsu no Phantasia
Lyrics, composed & arranged by 40mP
Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.
In Japan the right of citing is guaranteed if citation is used for creating literature or writing criticism.
Slow Start anime is literally "Slow Start" we'll get to it later.
Adaptation from manga time Kirara, expect to be cute, lots of girls mostly high school girls, and light jokes.
In sense if you want a comparison it's like Hinako Note but not quite. The main lead character Hana Ichinose gives the vibe of Hinako Note main lead but not entirely.
Hana ichinose start her first year of high school a year AFTER her graduation of her middle high school because a certain condition. It makes her nervous when she enter high school, her feeling wavering because unable to make some friends. But along the way
her classmates do the approaching and quickly be friend with them.
And with that her life as a high school girl began.
It's a steady show so don't expect much of it.
Oh boy...another CGDCT thingie of a bob here along with the crap ton of SOL-themed anime this season, unfortunately to a (pun intended) Slow Start, but all is not bad, just decently done as expected.
The story behind it though is somewhat of a cliché, figuratively speaking that some prodigal MC enrolled late into the school system, and using that knowledge to make friends that aren't your school level to begin with. It's simple, but the story is just part of the overall experience what this show's about.
So firstly, having watched Hinako Note before, one of the main ronin, 16-year-old Hana Ichinose (though I swear the
other ronin MCs don't look anywhere her age) looks like all her behaviour is replicated with the fact that though she is somewhat of a klutz but still manages to eke out good returns. Tama on the other hand, is really just happy-go-lucky, always trying her best at the demeanor of friendship. Eiko, oh Eiko, always raising the flag for "harem" settings, please...and who cannot forget Kamuri, which bears resemblance to how Kanna is in Maid Dragon!
Speaking of looking like other character design inspirations and CVs, lightning round:
Hana Ichinose -> Hinako from Hinako Note, voiced by new potential seiyuu Kondou Reina (Kemono Friends, Just Because!)
Tamate(-sama) Momochi -> Tomo from Azumanga Daioh, voiced by Ayasa Itou (BanG Dream!)
Eiko Tokura -> Miu from Blend S, voiced by new seiyuu Tomomi Mineuchi (BanG Dream!)
Kamuri Sengoku -> You know, the loli dragon girl from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, same seiyuu voicing from Maria Naganawa
Plus another in the fray:
Hiroe Hannen -> MoriMori from Netjuu, voiced by veteran Maaya Uchida (Ao Haru Ride, Love, Chuunibyou, and Other Delusions)
Art and animation is typical of A-1 Pictures' stylized SOL look with CGDCT look-alike characters that are always repeated as their yearly works go by, and they're fun to look at their daily "adventures", albeit some parts that bore me to tears. Again, out of respect, the anime looks good, so no complaints here.
On the music side, it's nothing that you want to listen after the show airs. For a pet peeve of mine, don't you find sometimes when either OP or ED (or both) gets sung by the show's CVs it gets a good or bad rap? This happens in my case here for the lackluster OP. The ED however is a breath of fresh air, sung by Sangatsu no Phantasia (whom have done EDs for Demi-chan, Kiznaiver) and really love their melodic voices to no end. Overall, it gets a passing grade.
So overall, not a bad show, but definitely props for given the Slow Start as it should for us to sink into.