In the city of Salta, a place where the sun never shines, a community of vampires lives. Hipira is a little vampire who lives the life of a typical boy, attending school and dealing with bullies along the way. However, he also has a soft spot for exploring, playing pranks on others and having grand adventures! Whether he's befriending a human soul, scaring his neighbours by pretending day has come or encountering giant frogs and aliens, Hipira is always getting himself into and out of trouble.
Hipira-kun is a unique little show that only comes along once in a while and barely manages to get noticed. The show features various fairy-tale-like stories presented in a very childish way with a hint of subtle humor mixed in. The fact that the series itself is an adaptation of a manga created by Katsuhiro Otomo, most famously known for creating the legendary Akira, never ceases to fill me with a strange sense of glee.
Story - 7/10
Hipira-kun's story is refreshingly simple yet unique. The story centers around Hipira, a young vampire that enjoys pulling pranks and generally acting like a boy his age. Along with his ghostly friend, ironically referred to as Soul, he experiences many exciting events throughout his daily life in the town forever consumed by night, Selta.
Art and Animation - 10/10
Hipira-kun is one of the most visually appealing series I have ever seen. Selta is a city filled with some of the most contrastingly different areas. Houses range from mid-evil castles to small wooden huts, narrow canals act as streets in some areas, and not to mention the giant lizard and fish sculptures that line the city. Throw in some of the most detailed work since 5 Centimeters per Second, and you have a visually stunning background that never fails to draw a viewer in.
In contrast to the amazingly detailed backgrounds, you have the characters. These characters are rendered in CG and have little detail to them. The CG is not the blatantly obvious kind you see in most anime, but a very subtle form of CG that allows the characters to move freely and in excess, unlike many other shows where the characters often stand in one place for a few minutes at a time. This CG style is so subtle, that I often found myself questioning whether it was even CG or not. I have no idea how the studio did it, but this is a very unique form of animation that I would honestly not mind seeing in other shows.
Sound - 7/10
The background music for Hipira-kun is practically nonexistent. However, this is more of a pro than a con. It gives room for the viewer to hear the sounds of the city - water fountains bubbling, clocks signaling the time, and footsteps across the surprisingly empty city streets.
The voice actors are also spot on. Hipira's in particular is very memorable to the point where I can recognize him from various other series and movies.
Characters - 8/10
Hipira-kun is a show mainly focused on two characters - Soul and Hipira. Hipira is a scamp of a boy, often pulling pranks on his neighbors and being late to class. He symbolizes childish innocence and it's very easy for anyone to see their past in him.
Soul is his friend who appears to be a tad more intelligent yet naive. He is shown reading difficult things to Hipira, but when it comes to more social matters he is slightly clueless.
Enjoyment - 9/10
This series is lined with childish adventures that you can't help but relate to. The short but sweet episodes can't help but enthrall its viewer into coming back for more. Throw in a bit of more subtle comedy that older viewers would be able to pick up, and you have a show that will either lure in viewers looking for a comedy or invoke feelings of nostalgia and happiness.
Overall - 8/10
It was a joy to watch this show. This is most definitely a slice of life show done right, and I would love to see another season. Hipira-kun's only major flaw is the fact that it only has 10 episodes running at 5 minutes each, totaling to about the length of two average episodes.
If you're looking for a show similar to the popular Yotsuba&! manga, then this is it. I highly recommend it. read more