Kajika Louisa Kugami Burnsworth is the only daughter of Harry Burnsworth, an influential and respected industrialist who has the power to move the world. There was a threat on Kajika’s life when she was just two years old, and her mother died protecting her. After this tragic incident, Harry sent his only child to an isolated island, Giviolle, where she was raised by the island’s native, Maria. Kajika’s companions during her time there include a white leopard named Mustafa and a boy named Li Ren Fang, who visited her two or three times a year.
Kajika, now fourteen, returns to her father's side, only to be told to begin a game to find her future husband. Harry makes sure that Kajika willingly participates in this game by telling her that she needs to face the harshness of her fate along with the man she chooses to be her husband. She needs to decide among the three candidates that Harry has personally chosen, but it won’t be easy. Kajika must figure out who they are and where they are without any information to go on except that they all possess an irresistible brilliance and charm. All the while, the men aren't even aware that they are the chosen ones. Kajika must also choose wisely, as her partner has to willingly accept her to be his bride.
Hansakeru Seishounen revolves around endearing love, intense passion, noble friendship, undying loyalty, family relations, and political intrigue. The heaviness of Kajika’s fate is real, the threat on Kajika’s life is inevitable, and the husband game is more than just a mere game. Harry needs to find a suitable partner to protect his daughter before someone discovers Kajika’s deep secret—a secret even she is unaware of.
"I love the happiness and the suffering. Because the only emotions I feel... are the ones you grant me."
At first, Hanasakeru Seishounen appears to be a rather typical reverse harem story. Young girl surrounded by several beautiful men, nothing new for the given genre. But don't let this throw you off. Soon enough, our protagonists, along with the three marriage candidates, get involved in a complicated political conspiracy of a small Middle Eastern country. They face great dangers as they travel across the world, learn to trust and support each other, discover new emotions within themselves, and mature in order to survive and reach
The story was nicely paced and very intriguing, with numerous plot twists -- I could not bring myself to stop watching it or to let any other anime interrupt it. I loved that although the story set off with romance in mind, it was not the main focus. I will even say that if the whole husband-choosing piece was not present, this anime would still be just as good.
At the end of the series, there was a certain sense of completeness, all questions were answered, all characters found their place in the world; it was a perfect spot to drop the curtain. I did feel a little sad, however, that such a great series came to a finale.
Kajika is not your typical damsel in distress constantly being saved by her male harem. She is strong and confident, is able to stand up for herself and to speak her mind when she has to. She is, however, rather slow when it comes to love and realizing her own feelings; but that is also understandable, considering that she grew up away from society and did not get a chance to experience romance until the husband game began. But even despite that, she treats each man with equal respect and consideration, which is very admirable.
To me, however, the most interesting characters are the men surrounding Kajika. Needless to say that they are also not your typical male stereotypes found in a reverse harem. What grabbed me the most is how each one of potential candidates represented a different kind of love. Li Ren's love is strong and deep, to the point of becoming possessive of Kajika, yet his pride as a head of his clan stops him from being honest. Eugene's love is noble and selfless; he is willing to spend an eternity just watching over Kajika, whether she chooses him or not. Lumati, a young heir of Raginei, is blunt and straightforward about his love, but is also ready to admit defeat if his rival is worthy. And lastly, Carl is rather reserved and indecisive, but is equally sincere with his love and respectful toward his rivals. I really loved that these characters are not at each other's throats all the time, despite "fighting" against each other and feeling jealous, and instead act like mature adults and take both Kajika and each other seriously. Li Ren and Eugene may be an exception to that, but I don't believe they were ever serious during their quarrels.
One character whose purpose I am still not sure about is Yui, Kajika's first female friend. She does not seem to do anything aside from exchanging letters with Kajika and fangirling over the male cast. She definitely belongs in a more typical shoujo setting, but thankfully her occurance was not frequent enough to cause a distraction.
Somewhere around episode 10 I found out that starting from episode 24 the series will have a different director. I was not worried about that. In fact, I was sure the series would become even better, considering that the second director is more experienced with shoujo anime and is famous for series like Fushigi Yuugi and Ayashi no Ceres. But unfortunately, as I later discovered, that change was not the best idea. It was obvious how the series became more "shoujo", with more diverse and less realistic facial expressions, and a couple super-deformed scenes here and there. However, Hanasakeru Seishounen is a dramatic story that had no need for comedy elements; if anything, they were a distraction. Kajika, who was now blushing and showing her "girly" side more often, almost started to look like a typical shoujo heroine. Semi-chibi elements seemed completely out of place in such a serious setting. The character designs also went through a slight change, and although it was not major, some general inaccuracies emerged; for example, Kajika described Eugene's eye color as "topaz" in the beginning, but with the direction change, his eyes became a mix of light green and yellow instead of a golden brown from the first twenty-three episodes.
The animation quality itself seemed to have improved in the second half and toward the end, and the opening animation also became more appealing, but I would still prefer that it did not undergo such a drastic change in the middle. Also, all the CG vehicles stood out too much and were a pain to look at; especially considering that cars, planes, and helicopters appeared on the screen very often because the characters moved around a lot between cities and countries.
The background music was pretty good; it did not really grab my attention though, so there isn't much to discuss. I was not too impressed by the opening and ending songs either -- they were too "pop" for my tastes.
It's definitely one of the underrated animes out there.
Not your average reverse harem. Kajika, the main character is a strong heroine and you can't help but love her. Also, the characteristics of the guys surrounding her are very intimidating but you will come to love their uniqueness. Although it does not have the comedic ingredient that i usually go for, it's very heartwarming.
This is my 1st anime review, so sorry if it's not that well-stated. Also, sorry if it's too long (it's hard to NOT type more when there are so much in this series). Feel free to just skim through it, and maybe skip to the "OVERALL" part if you don't want much details.
The story is rather interesting + unique to me. The thought of a "marriage game" may seem kinda cheezy, but the story goes WAY more deeper than that. For a reverse harem, it actually satisfies me somewhat. It has romance, drama, mysteries, political strategies, action (Oh. NOT hardcore stuff,
like fighting ghosts and whatnot, but just fighting + guns, basically), and hey.... eventually, you might even find the tiniest bit of comedy towards the end (they are more like "inside"-kind of jokes, though, because you literally have to watch through the series, and know the characters to be able to understand the very little humor in this).
The art is standard to me, and sometimes, I have noticed that the characters appear kinda "stiff." Not the typical sparkly-pretty. The artwork looks rather old-fashioned, and frankly, I didn't like it very must at first. Of course, I can't blame it because the manga was actually published somewhere in the late 1980's (which I just recently looked it up online). Why would they have an anime broadcast all of a sudden? Beats me. ----The thing that stands out to me are the EYES. It's like the moods are pretty much portrayed in them. The backgrounds are also very nice with a "classic"- feel to it. And.... Oh. Yes. THERE ARE BISHOUNENS. :D
I think the voice actors/actresses have done their jobs well. I could feel the strength in their voice during those serious, dramatic moments. (NOTE: There are only 1 op + ed songs through-out the ENTIRE series) The opening is.... well~ nice, and I think what has won me over is the ending theme. Although, maybe it's just because I'm easily taken by those kind of sappy songs.
This is the high-point of the series for me. The characters are absolutely BEAUTIFULLY portrayed, especially the main ones. Their backgrounds, and how they interact with each other really bring out the GOOD-NESS in their personalities. They have.... ONE WORD: depth. Kajika is strong-willed, brave, reckless, and inexperience, but what I find weird is how.... understanding she could be at times. She's unique in that way. (I will not be going over all of the boys' personalities, but I do suggest of you to find that out yourself ) At first, some characters are rather dull, but I think it just takes time for them to come through. ~I'm sure you'll love all of them (or most). They are likable.
I really enjoyed watching this 39 episodes- series. It have put me like at the edge of my seat more times than I can remember!! They sure do know how to build-up suspense. I, literally, looked forward to watching this every week (maybe above all of the other on-going anime). The length of it was not too short where it made you crave for more, nor was it too long and dragged out everything. I may be just a sucker for reverse harems and shoujo with romance.. and bishounens and whatnot, but everything put together in this anime was what made it memorable for me.
I'll say it flat-out: HANASAKERU SEISHOUNEN is a wonderful series. It's original in pretty much every aspects, and inspirational/sweet. It may even be one of my favorite. However, I do (regretingly) not recommend it if you don't like mysteries, romance, serious drama, etc.. Well~ Even for someone like me, who knows like nothing about political stuff, I find it to be extremely entertaining. Just give it some time, and I'm sure you'll like it.
----NOTE: I may have overrated this just the tiniest bit because it's still fresh in my memories. Thank you for reading. ^^ I hope this helps, even if a little.
>The anime that proves reverse harems can be more than just romance <
I’ll start this by stating that I am aware that Hanasakeru Seishonen is ultimately a “romance anime”, however it doesn’t stop it from having quite a few interesting sub-genres that just don’t usually happen to turn into the focus of the story for a very long time like it did in this anime.
Most synopses for Hanasakeru Seishonen can never actually prepare you for what the story is actually about, and, sincerely, I think that it’s better without being aware. I dived in, believing that it was a “game of match-making” between rich
people: one girl and 4 candidates. Who will impress her more? Sounded pretty average, a setting that I’ve already seen many times before in k-drama, but that it can always become quite enjoyable if kept to its utmost simplicity… Well, I must take that back.
Hanasakeru Seishonen does a reverse harem how a reverse harem should be, which is not limited to simply “main girl falls in love with lots of cute bishies”, but expands its world with a good share of character development and topics. By half of the show, I was questioning whether it was going to keep being a romance-focused anime…Which it partly, didn’t. And I praise that to no end.
The story is very progressive and while it did have some moments that simply apply the famous “anime reverse harem logic” to them, I never really felt like condemning it. Not always at least. One of the moments when I did feel like rolling my eyes, if I had to mention one of them, would be when the characters had an unjustified “feeling” that something is going to go in a certain way, despite them not having a reason to have those sorts of thoughts. It was also implied that a person can feel strongly for something if it’s in their blood to care for that something, which is just a romantic view and not even by far rational.
I must say that, at one point, I really felt like the story resembled a Korean drama, which for me, is not exactly the best. Don’t take me wrong, I have nothing against them, nor do I dislike them in any way; it’s just that most of my past experiences with them has scarred my expectations of the genre sometimes (If there are any Korean drama fans reading this, I am aware that not everything is bad and I’m not trying to do a hefty generalization). What do I mean by that? It tended to be overly-dramatical and overly-angsty, but sometimes it was for good reason. Some other times, mostly during the end of it, it felt like it was just there for the characters to feel miserable for a while, only to move on right after, and I couldn’t really feel anything but annoyed at them in those moments.
The ending was also kind of anticlimactic for me, seeing how I really grew tired of that particular trope (which I’ll obviously not mention) and it was a kind of innocent “Love always wins”, which I don’t dislike, but as a generally unromantic person, I hardly fall for that, at least executed the way that it was in Hanasakeru Seishonen. Maybe if it were a bit less obvious, I would have enjoyed it more. I really felt like some of the heroine’s values really contrasted with the rest of the story (which I think was sometimes on purpose) and because of that contrast, I didn’t feel that “Love always wins” would work so well in such a straightforwardly executed way.
It’s hard to not start with the heroine at this point. She’s definitely not what I’m used to when we speak of reverse harems. Kajika manages to maintain her innocence and sometimes naivety, but she doesn’t let that drag her down. Because she’s naïve, it doesn’t mean that she’s stupid and I’m very glad that the author managed to differentiate the two things. She uses her good natured personality in order to help those in need and her confidence in being able to help actually helped not only others, but even herself towards her personal growth as a person. She also has a very unique belief in life and even if it was weird for the people around her, she never gave up in believing what she wanted to believe is right. But…she starts of the story as a 14 years old.
I really can’t understand how a 14 years old girl can act like such a grown-up. Not that it’s impossible, but it’s hard for other people older than her to take her as seriously as they would take somebody their age. This included the guys, which, with the exception of Rumaty, are all over 20 years of age.
About the guys, let’s face it. They start off like the most generic archetypes: the childhood friend, the flirty guy, the rebellious shota, the gay-…Wait, what?
They definitely can’t just be defined by one word.
Fang Li Ren (or Hwang Lee-Leng?…I kept questioning the subs since that name sounds more Korean than it does Chinese so I am sticking with Fang Li Ren) the charismatic childhood friend that can in no way allow himself to be selfish.
Eugene de Volkan, a gorgeous-looking playboy that has lost trust in the people around him, yet his reasons go a bit more serious than just the “they use me because I’m handsome” trope.
Rumaty Ivan di Raginei, an open-minded prince that is forced to grow up in order to become a king.
And lastly, Carl Rosenthal, son of a revenge-driven businessman, who tries to find his own identity and place in the world.
It was a nice surprise to see such a diverse cast in this anime and I genuinely can claim that I didn’t care as much for a story and its characters like I did in this case, in a very long time (excepting Noragami, but I’m not counting it, seeing how it’s a second season and a series that already established its place in my heart a long time ago).
Overall typical, but animation doesn’t completely make the story, it just adds to it, and in this case, it did add quite well.
OST though, I must recognize that I spammed the opening and ending for this anime continuously from when i started the anime a few months ago to today. They are both sung by k-pop singer, J-Min and she really did a great job at performing.
I really recommend this to all otome game/reverse harem stories lovers. Even if the first episodes might be weird or slow for you, just give it a try and you won’t regret it.
There is no such thing as too much love, most especially when it comes from a bunch of cute guys with unique and charming personalities. Here are some of the most exciting reverse harem anime of all time, sure to make you giggle, blush, and crave for more!