While reveling in the successful clinching of a prized vase for his collection, Yoshifumi Nitta, a yakuza member, is rudely interrupted when a large, peculiar capsule suddenly materializes and falls on his head. He opens the capsule to reveal a young, blue-haired girl, who doesn't divulge anything about herself but her name—Hina—and the fact that she possesses immense powers. As if things couldn't get any worse, she loses control and unleashes an explosion if her powers remain unused. Faced with no other choice, Nitta finds himself becoming her caregiver.
To let her use her powers freely, Nitta asks Hina to help out with a construction deal, which goes smoothly. But while this is happening, a rival yakuza group covertly attacks his boss. To Nitta's shock, his colleagues later pin the blame on him! Tasked with attacking the rival group in retaliation, Nitta steels himself and arrives at their hideout. But suddenly, Hina unexpectedly steps in and helps him wipe out the entire group. As it turns out, Hina might just become a valuable asset to Nitta and his yakuza business, provided she does not use her powers on him first! And so the strange life of this unusual duo begins.
#1: "Sake to Ikura to 893 to Musume (鮭とイクラと893と娘)" by Yoshifumi Nitta (Yoshiki Nakajima) #2: "Shashinchou (写真帖)" by Yoko Ishida (ep 6) #3: "Taisetsu na Hito (たいせつなひと)" by Chisuga Haruka (ep 12) #4: "Hajimete no Kimochi (初めてのキモチ)" by Mao (Ozawa Ari) (ep 12)
Once every now and then, we get comedic showstoppers that does what it needs to do: entertain. I’ve seen a lot of comedy shows in the past few years and believe me, Hinamatsuri belongs in a category of its own. It’s entertaining not just on the level of being able to make me laugh but also able to capture the magic of what comedy really is about. It’s only 12 episodes but manages to make an addicting impression.
As a fan of the manga, delightful is just one of many words that came to mind when I heard about the adaptation. The manga contains over 70+
chapters of memorable content and to fully deliver that value isn’t an easy task. Luckly, Hinamatsuri does something that I noticed many shows doesn’t do these days and that’s being aware of itself. On first viewing, it felt like a challenge to realize what this series is all about. The premise itself can make some people’s eyes roll while the character cast consists of a variety of colorful personalities. To me, Hinamatsuri is like diving into a world of absurdity but coming out of it brings me nothing but a smile and the realization of being entertained.
From watching the show, I can tell that the director wanted to for entertain the audience. The most evident is the selling of the comedic character reactions. Main characters Hina and Nitta does this the best as they come from very different backgrounds. On the surface level, the two are nothing alike but through interacting with one another, they form a strange bond that makes them almost inseparable. The anime does a phenomenal job at capturing the character expressions with well-timed body language. It creates the sensation of wanting for more every episode and see what characters will do under certain situations. Each episode consists of segments of everyday life activities although there are abnormal events happening from time to time involving psychic powers. Beyond just selling the comedy, this show also does contain some interesting emotional elements too.
One particular episode showcasing Anzu depicts the realism of homelessness. It’s one of those episodes that you would least expect to see from this particular anime. What attracts me about this show is how it ties in a lot of ideas together. The thematic storytelling may feel random at first but overall has a connection together. Every main or supporting character also delivers moments that are hard to forget. This also includes Hina’s classmates such as Hitomi as she works discreetly at a bar that few knows. It’s also noticeable that the show doesn’t just take place at school or the city either. In a big change in mood, an episode focusing on Mao shows what life is like in isolation. By experimenting ideas like this, it feels like this show constantly evolves and has something for fans to talk about.
I’ve already mentioned some of the characters but a big question is if the show puts enough value to make the audience care about them. While some characters may not stand out much as the others, I can definitely say with confidence that the main cast is worth watching for their roles. It would have been easy to just let the characters do the talking but instead, the series remarkably showcase their personalities in the most humorous ways possible. A general sense of fatalism can also be felt as some characters are destined to meet or events fated to happen. While some storytelling elements can be predictable in later episodes, it doesn’t hold back with how characters connect with each other.
Now, there’s an elephant in the room. Once you’ve seen a good amount of episodes, it’s not hard to say that the anime portrays characters in some inappropriate ways. Fan service is present in some episodes and there may be some uncomfortable scenes thrown in by the creators. While this is true on the surface, it should be realized that the anime isn’t presented as a shock value. At its core, Hinamatsuri serves to entertain its audience through creative comedy. The fan service adds more fuel to the fire that way.
Adapted by studio feel, the anime has production quality that I can say works quite well. The character reactions are the big selling factor animated with extreme style. Somehow, it remains faithful to the overall tone of the show without ever going off-track. It also impresses me that we get to see emotional moments bought to life. It’s very human and despite how silly the anime can be, the show contains episodes that are tearjerking. Character designs looks sharp with the vibrant outlines that makes them stand out too.
While not being a powerhouse in the music department, Hinamatsuri does boasts a great voicing cast. Nitta, Hina, Anzu, and Hitomi are the primary examples that perfectly fits with their personalities. Every now and then, they can say lines with a straight face under certain circumstances that can’t help but make me laugh. It’s a comedy show and definitely never forgets its intentions. The music also makes certain scenes and montages feel more meaningful.
Ah, if only Hinamatsuri had more than 12 episodes. The manga contains more material that I would love to see animated on TV. However, it did adapt the series to the extent that made a great impression to me. From character chemistry to the peculiar storytelling, every episode left me with something to talk about. This is a dark horse of the year that I hope people won’t overlook. Crafting comedy isn’t easy these days but I feel that Hinamatsuri accomplished that so well. I am entertained.
Back when I first started Hinamatsuri in the midst of other shows for the Spring season Hinamatsuri felt different. Compared to the others, it pulled me in and in a different way too. In the first five minutes I was slightly taken aback by the artstyle but when I continued watching it, it hit me with it's wonder. Hinamatsuri is exactly that kind of anime, and it continued to be so till it's end, it calms you down, then immediately rushes out with the comedy and before you know it, you're laughing out loud. Oh and there are tons of heartfelt moments too, what more
could you ask for such an innovative and hilarious anime? Original Review published June 22, 2018 on MAL
For starters, Hinamatsuri is a fresh take among the many comedy anime we see nowadays. It's not a school romance comedy and thanks to that it pushes out a huge cliche (there are exceptions) right out of the window, add to that it's supernatural nature mixed with clever comedy and you've got a fresh anime that people not only laugh with, but cherish for the coming seasons because you won't see such an anime so common, not every season, not every year either. Hinamatsuri uses tons of elements and jokes in it's run and it was very hard for me to find recycled jokes among them, it was all new and innovative and that says a lot about it's quality as a comedy anime. Oh and by saying it's supernatural you might think it relies too much on supernatural stupidity to tickle your funny bone? No, the best part is that Hinamatsuri can stand even on normal comedy and make everyday situations so hilarious despite having a huge arsenal of supernatural jokes at its disposal but Hinamatsuri uses both of them very wisely with the end result being us viewers holding down our stomachs while we laugh.
A huge reason why Hinamatsuri is so incredibly amazing is because it's got various approaches to the comedy, and it almost always nailed them, first off it has a buildup of jokes, the situation starts getting crazier and crazier and you're left laughing at every second. This is common in comedy anime since you can put up over the top situations and make people laugh as well, but Hinamatsuri unlike many others not only looks at that but it also looks at the premise where it's using it in, something surprisingly uncommon in other anime. What am I talking about? Many times we see anime attempt at comedy but use the wrong approach at the wrong time, thus even though the joke was actually funny, the wrong approach didn't give the writers the result they wanted and this anime thankfully crosses that hurdle.
Another approach it has to it's comedy is somewhat of the opposite, it sets your expectations low on purpose before hitting you with the punchline, this also has a largely positive effect since if the joke is successful, it can almost equal the hilarity of the previous take and on the other hand serve as an element of surprise to its viewers which as well plays a huge part in making it so funny since Hinamatsuri rarely failed at this as well. Yet another approach Hinamatsuri took was to use the “straight man” principle to effectively. What is the straight man principle you may ask? It's when the characters do something stupid and another character takes the “straight man” role and points out the stupidity in shock and while on paper this may seem unfunny, in reality it's very successful if implemented properly, two of the best and most famous examples of characters using the straight man principle excellently in anime are namely Saiki Kusuo (Saiki Kusuo no PSI Nan) and Shimura Shinpachi (Gintama). Instead of attributing this principle to only one character, Hinamatsuri gives the role to multiple characters depending on the situation and thankfully does it well.
Why did I list these and explain the different approaches to comedy? It's because few anime use so many approaches and few of them are successful in doing so as well, and the good news is that Hinamatsuri can use those very well, reason being it keeps them fresh with the comedy and helps keep things varied.
Note: The following is a comparison of Hinamatsuri, Saiki and Gintama, if you haven't watched the latter two completely, please skip the next paragraph as you may not understand the references talked about.
***COMPARISON BEGIN: Since comedy shows get compared a lot, why not compare Hinamatsuri with an anime it shares a lot in common with arguably the giant of comedy anime, Gintama along with a relatively recent anime that's also been doing fabulous, Saiki Kusuo, note that I used these both as examples as well above for the straight man principle. First off with Gintama, Hinamatsuri shares the nature of smile+tears, meaning that both anime make you laugh with it's jokes, but it also has it's sad arcs that give you the feels and usually make many cry. Apart from this, both are supernatural anime (along with Saiki of course) that use their premise very smartly and have varied approaches to comedy, not just one. For Saiki, both feature modern-day Earth but retain the supernatural nature along with the occasional school comedy (but good) thrown in. COMPARISON END***
All three feature this element and excellently use their numerous weapons at their disposal wisely along with using one of the best comedy methods as well, unpredictability. You never know what comes next and when it does, you're left laughing your ass out. What does this entail? This entails that Hinamatsuri is an anime comparable to such greats and can stand on its own as well without having to mooch off anything else. Much like the other two, Hinamatsuri also at times jumped straight to the comedy itself without any caution (although this wasn't used much) and served as possibly the best form of surprise it could muster. Moving away from the comparing and looking at the points that set Hinamatsuri apart from the others is that Hinamatsuri uses an outsmarting “lazy approach”, such that when you're watching Hinamatsuri, much like Hina, it looks sluggish and slow and lazy as well but the moment you think that this is how the whole episode will be, it lands in a sudden joke and you're left flabbergasted in laughter (can people be flabbergasted in laughter? Maybe :P) so you'd be dumb to write Hinamatsuri off if you think it's a bit slow at first because there's a huge punch coming really soon as well.
Now let's step aside from the comedy for a bit since that's not exactly everything Hinamatsuri offers, we also have the occasional sad arcs. These were usually of Anzu (primarily) and at times a few other characters realising the importance of friendship or a life lesson as well. The reason why people loved Anzu to the point that people very soon ranked her higher than Hina for the best girl of the anime was because her arcs were so damn powerful. Poverty, learning to live as a homeless person, the community you make with them, and many other things beyond that I can't cover since they're spoilers, her arcs have a lot of thought and emotion into them and no person with a heart could not at least get a lump in their throat when they see the way she works hard to do her best for her friends who she treats like family as the feeling is mutual, this is really what should make us smile and laugh, the happiness of a human being doesn't come from being rich, but from enjoying what's next to us, what we have, not what we want, and this serious message was shown through her in these arcs. Getting why the anime is so amazing?
On the other side of the spectrum we have the duo who we started with, Nitta and Hina, these two are like father and daughter, despite one being a Yakuza and the other having dangerous superpowers, they went like bread and butter, and for the opposite reasons. If you took them individually, Hina wouldn't be as funny by herself and Nitta could only be used as a straight man if he's not with Hina. The anime is such that not only can Hina and Nitta not live without each other, but their comedy as well can't live without each other, and this is a testament to the genius mangaka behind this. As such, this erases most doubts about people possibly thinking of possibly axing one of the two, but much like Nana and Popo in the Ice Climbers (I s'pose no one will get that NES reference), they both need each other not only to live, but to make us laugh. Needless to say, Hina and Nitta’s sketches leave their mark clearly.
Let's move to arguably the most powerful character of the show, Hitomi. Why did I call her so? It's because she highly influences both Hina and Anzu. Anyway, Hitomi is fantastic as a character since she's very relatable thanks to her being given the straight man (or woman if you may) role by handling the BS that her daily life gives her and her arcs as well were hilarious as well as cute. She suddenly gets forced to work as a bartender and surprisingly becomes adept at her job and this is used as a baseline for many of the jokes at her. She also as mentioned played the straight woman for the crap that she has to deal with Hina and sometimes Anzu and her work. The best part is that she's amazing since she's so ordinary in the midst of idiots around her that it's hilarious in its own right and I seriously can't complain when even this is used well for it's jokes. Pretty reflective of the anime itself.
The thing is that Hinamatsuri has its own share of flaws as well. Even though it's comedy is almost always on point, if the jokes DO fail, the episode can fall apart pretty quick if nothing is done, and although this did happen once or twice, it pretty much saved itself in the next joke and went on, but this issue does exist and could be done better. And one issue that many point out is that since the anime is named Hinamatsuri, it still doesn't focus much on Hina in the first place. Although Hinamatsuri's purpose is to follow and balance screen time for all characters, many times Hina felt off the mark either because she wasn't given too many lines or she wasn't the person making the joke at that time. This is also a problem since based on Hina’s character, it's hard to bring in new stuff for a lazy brat since a lazy brat doesn't do much in the first place. This shows that you can't do much with the character as you would with others so Hinamatsuri's comedy gets held back at times when Hina doesn't do much.
Overall, Hinamatsuri is an anime that does a lot, and a lot of that is different from the usual. Apart from being able to stand on its own legs for support, it is comparable to the legends in its genre and can hold its own to a respectable level. It's truly an all round comedy in part because it makes you cry then laugh in just a span of a minute. Why is that you may ask? It's because comedy isn't just laughing at stupidity, comedy is also trying to find the funny in tragedy and the sad times, that's what Hinamatsuri is all about. And that's what comedy should be all about isn't it?
P.S: This season has a multitude of amazing last episodes demonstrating the best of the show’s offerings overall and Hinamatsuri was no exception. The last episode excellently showed us everything that made the show so amazing. A combination of feels, slapstick comedy and recent nostalgia made for an epic end to an epic anime (despite that minor cliffhanger?), and as a fan, I couldn't ask for anything more. It's a fan’s dream come true. Here's hoping we see a season 2 anytime soon!
These are all ways to make a comedy anime better. However unlike my 3D Kanojo real girl and Love is hard for an Okatu reviews where I compared them with each to see which one was overall better (spoilers Wotaku Love is hard for a otaku won) but instead I just want to talk about I believe that Hinamatsru or Hina Festival is by far one of the best comedy/slice anime to ever come out. Am not saying that its competitor Comic Girls was bad or anything in fact Comic Girls was a good comedy/slice of life anime
that made me laugh a couple of times. However it still wouldn’t have a chance against Hina Festival.
So what made Hina Festival so great?
How did it end up dominating the Spring 18 season?
You will find out soon enough.
One night, a strange object falls on the head of Nitta, a member of the yakuza. Inside the box is a strange young girl named Hina. She has tremendous supernatural powers, and Nitta finds himself reluctantly taking her in. Her powers can come in handy for his yakuza business, but he also runs the risk of her using them on him! Not to mention, if she doesn't use her powers, she will eventually go berserk and destroy everything around her. Nitta and Hina's strange life together is just beginning.
The story is brilliant and very well crafted.
For starters the show a great job a building it’s own world where the anime perfectly showcases every social group in the city from the middle school students, the Yakusa, workers from the shopping distract to even the homeless people. The show also does a fantastic job at displaying character interaction based on different social groups.
For example in Hitomi’s character arc where she was forced to work as a bartender, we see that many social groups like the Yakusha’s seeing the fact that there was a middle school girl working in a bar. Like with Hitomi classmates where they thought that Hitomi is working in a bar as bartender as well doing naughty things with adults and Yakusa. However as soon they enter the bar that there was no naughty activity going on as Hitomi is just severing the adults beer meaning the people in the ear are not pedofiles as they just want a drink.
Despite Hitomi's character arc being the most comedic of the bunch her rise to fame was handled very well.
The comedy in Hina Festival is brilliant to the core. The comedy and jokes are really funny as they are all timed and most importunity that are not repetitive. What makes the comedy more brilliant is how the characters react to the comedic situations that goes on in this series.
The one thing that I really adored about Hina Festival is doing a great job at tackling serious topic and themes such as homeless, humanity, running way, acceptance, family, gambling, and money and does a great job at exploring them in full depth as well treating the themes and topics with respect.
The thing that sold me about this series the most is despite being heavily a comedy/slice of life show character actually gets development. You see most comedy anime would often return to the status quo meaning once these characters had they spotlight by the next episode they return to they usually self’s removing all of character development in the process. This never happens in Hina Festival as the characters and even the world itself change and evolves as the series goes.
The best example of this was in Anzu's character arc where she started off as this rough girl who came to earth to take Hina home as well stealing food and drinks from the local shopping district however all of this changes when she cannot return back of where she came from and because of that she became homeless as a result. Eventually, Anzu lives with a bunch of homeless people and while she’s was living with them she learns about the value of money and the power of community and friendship.
Unfortunately at a certain point of the series she would have to leave the homeless community so she can be live with a couple that owns a restaurant. After that point we the audience see how her time in the homeless community has affected her both psychically and mentally to a point where she is seen trying to adapt to her new surroundings and things that she can now do such as having a bath to learning the value and importance of money.
There are thing that I want to see in anime more often because the anime medium itself has the potential to present life lessons and serious topics to the viewer and I glad Hina Festival did a great job at handing it’s serious topics and themes.
(End of spoilers).
Overall the story for Hina Festival was great and well handled.
The characters in Hina Festival are all brilliant and very likeable in they own ways. The one thing that I praise about this show is despite being a comedy slice of life show characters actually have characters development. A lot of comedy anime such as Konosuba, School Rumble and a few others are afraid of leaving its comedic ways. I know some of them are padorys where they are perfectly happy of being comedic but the problem was especially for Konosuba where at many times the show cock teases the audience about being more than a comedy/padory where characters get developed but instead of doing that and taking risks that show decided to be the same comedic show from episode 1 however in the progress the show completely lost its charm to a point where it became unfunny and repetitive.
Hina Festival completely avoids all the pitfalls and traps that caught other comedy where not only the characters were likeable but the actually get development plus they are still actually funny and they don’t repeat the same jokes/gags to the audience.
Nitta is a great character that I really liked. Sure may appear as your generic Yakusa member in the beginning but he honestly have a softer side to him that makes him an interesting character to watch. I also loved his father and daughter relationship with Hina as it well executed and was intriguing to watch.
Hina is unfortunately my least favorite character in the series. Don't me wrong she's not a character by any means as she is a good character in her own right. The problem is that if you compare to the other girls in the series especially Anzu who has the most character development she didn't really stand out. Yes she's has a good character arc with Nitta where they learn the importance of a father and daughter relationship but honestly I thought Nitta learned a lot more than Hina did. Yes she can be interesting characters at times but I thought she was nowhere as interesting as Anzu, Nitta, and Hitomi. Overall Hina is a very good character but she sadly get's overshadowed compare to the other girls in the series.
If I had to pick my favorite character in this show I would pick Hitomi. As a character Hitomi was a absolute joy to because she went from being a typical middle school girl who is timed to a general hard-worker who is very skilled at the things that she does to a point where became a key member in several businesses. I also really adored her character interactions and arcs.
While Hitomi is my personal favorite character in the series Anzu is by far the best character in the show in terms of writing and character development. Compare to the other girls in the series she's probably the most flawed and human character in the series despite being Superman with powers. Not to mention her character arc was well written to the core.
Mao who is comes in late in the series is an interesting character.
She a esper girl who has been stuck in the island who is trying to find her fellow espers .Despite have way less screen time in the due to her coming in the series very late she’s still manages to be a intriguing character that I really liked. More than Hina who had way more screen time than Mao.
The supporting characters are great characters in they own as they all memorable and intriguing to watch from start to finish.
Overall the characters in Hina Festival were nothing but amazing.
Visually Hina Festival is great.
Studio feel did a great job at sticking with the rough style of it's source material with its jagged, textured linear and gratuitous overlays. The show also has great use of lovely and modern color palettes which gives the show it's own visual flare. The characters desgins were great and appealing to the eye
I really adored the facial character expressions that series has to offer as it's more tension to both the comedic and serious situations that go one in the series.
My favorite characters expression in the series was defiantly Hitomi because the way she opens her month sticks her tongue out whenever she things that she going to get caught by someone important because after all she is working as a bartender at a young age.
The animation is pretty good for what it was so I have no complaints whatsoever.
The soundtrack in Hina Festival is great as it perfectly represents the daily life of Ashigawa.
The opening theme Distance by Rie Murakawa is easily the best opening from this spring 18 anime season as it's very catchy and perfectly captures the setting and tone of the series.
The ending theme Sake to Ikura to 893 sung by Nitta's Seiyuu actor was a masterpiece.
Before we get to the sub vs dub section of the review I just want to praise the fact that both the opening and ending evolving as the show goes along and this was perfectly shown by a character named Utako where if you keep on watching the opening each episode you will start to see how less important the character actually became and for this case was Utako where only appears once in the opening in episode 10 while she's never present in the ending at all in episode 10. Another thing I really like is how it the ending theme features evolving supporting characters where I honestly hope more do theses evolving opening/ending themes in the future because one it really makes them unique and two instead of pointless recap episodes we the viewers actually see visually of how did the series progressed.
Now for sub vs dub.
The sub is very good overall and I have no complaints of it however what really surprised me about Hina Festival was the dub. The dub for Hina Festival is brilliant and well-acted.
Overall the soundtrack is brilliant.
Overall I really adored Hina Festival. I can safely say that not only Hina Festival had single-handily dominated the Spring 18 season but it's also one of the best slice of life/comedy series period.
The story was amazing and well created. The characters were wonderful and interesting. the productions were great and the soundtrack is awesome.
It truly feels like the creators for this show put a lot of care and effort when making this anime and am glad.
Hopefully, this show gets a second season sometime in the future as well as a great DVD/Blu Ray release by Funimation in the US and UK.
If you looking for a slice of life/comedy anime that is very funny and has great character development than I recommend Hina Festival.
I really can't see why so many people are liking this thing. It simply isn't funny. Yes, it does have some moments that it actually gets you of guard, but most of the time you can easily guess when it will break expectancy, and how.
Characters are poor, or at least they can't shine alone, and there is very few interaction between them, many jokes are about the adversities of a single character, many of those aren't funny. I understand that good part of jokes comes from sad things, but that doesn't mean sad things are fun by themselves. I don't really thing the writer
or the director worked well together, but on my opinion both are bad.
Story is weak as in any comedy, yes it tries to give some pregression to the side characters, but Hina, which, is the funniest one of them progress very little. And a main problem is that it doesn't keep the premise at all. The superpowers, are barely used, even when they should. Yes, in good part it would brake the jokes, exactly beacuse those jokes are made for a powerless sitcom, and not this kind of thing..
Art style is weak and plain creepy on those closes. Maybe that was the intention, the author thought it was funny, but for me, it wasn't.
Overall, you can skip this one. I didn't have much fun and ended up skiping most a good part of it.
Although it still feels like it only just started, we are now somehow halfway through the Spring 2018 anime season already, and trends are now clearly starting to emerge. In the past three weeks, Boku no Hero Academia returns to prominence, Persona 5 sinks like a stone and more.