Hakumei to Mikochi – Anime Review
Story : 8/10
Like any other slice of life anime, this anime has light stories. The stories itself are very relaxing which is really suitable with its genre. Even there are few sad scenes, the sadness in the heart of viewer is properly lifted immediately with heartwarming scenes. As such, there is no trace of any sadness left when one episode ends.
Related to that “episode” thing, this anime’s stories are indeed episodic. This episodic thingy may make the stories feel rushed and pretty fast paced. One viewer will see differently with another for this matter, but i think there is one thing that we all can agree : there’s a thing or two that connect one story and the next one in an episode. That connection makes the feel of progression exist in the midst of this anime’s episodic nature.
The storyline doesnt quite follow the manga storyline, but it was changed quite carefully without destroying the entire storyline of its original version. In fact, the storyline from this anime seems more enchanced than its original version as we can see directly the connection between episodes in the anime. But it is a must to say that the story, sometimes, becomes shorther than the original version and that makes few great details in the manga version can’t be felt in this anime.
Every and each non-mob character in this anime has such a definite character. The characterization of one character feels quite strong and definite, that one viewer may relate with one character or more in this anime.
What makes the characterization is quite strong and definite? The gestures and statements of the characters in this anime are what makes it that way. We can see this in Mikochi’s case, she likes to slip her hands inside her sleeves. And many characters have its own signature gesture and way of speaking.
Character developments exist in this anime, as we can see how Hakumei and Iwashi interaction is progressing with each other along the story or how Sen unexpectedly find her fondness of cute clothes because of Mikochi (and Konju as the root of its cause). These developments aren’t strong and dramatic, but because of that, this anime gives relaxing and healing feels. Furtherly, those feels are what make this anime really suitable with some of its genre (slice of life and iyashikei).
Art : 8/10
In my point of view, the animation is kind of lacking in this anime. What i define by animation is “movement”, both by characters, background things, and the way the camera moves. Compared to one of Lerche’s work, Ansatsu Kyoshitsu, this anime lacks movement overall. The characters doesnt move a lot, instead most of the movements are shown with the character stays in one place.
But even i said it lacks movements, the movements that have been made are quite well done. It’s animated quite smoothly and quite fluid - at the very least like any other average anime, or maybe even better. Although i have to say that the smoothness and the fluidity still truly pale in comparison to KyoAni’s work, this animation (movement) is the plus that the manga can’t have.
One last thing needs to be addressed with animation is the way the camera moves. The camera moves pretty often, without changing its perspective. This kind of gives illusionary movement that may trick the viewers’ eyes. This kind of movement also gives more time for the viewer to process the whole scene in its entirety. It’s not necessarily bad thing, but some anime has this aspect as its downfall factor – such as SnS anime. In Hakumei to Mikochi however, this kind of movement was done quite carefully, with the main purpose not to trick the viewers’ eye but to give a sense of art along with its drawings and little animation
In my opinion, this anime is very successful retaining the original design of this anime. The characters were drawn simply yet the cuteness and the feel of each character can be felt instantly when we look at them. The backgrounds were drawn very simply too, but very beautifully that one such pretty background can please the viewers eyes.
One thing that many people like in this anime is its background. It resembles the scenery porn that MiA has, although it is indeed different. Many of its background are lush of greens, or wide eye-relaxing sceneries, or a bustling, lively town, or a simple room with such detail that gives the unique feel of that tiny, little place – as if we were there.
This anime has many beautiful details that are too dearly to be missed. But compared to its original version, i have to say the details fall short. The manga version is very good with details, like we can see from Oroshi case, but such details are highly possible to be made because it is a manga. If such details were applied in the anime version, i doubt the animation will be as good as it is now. It’s possible to increase the level of details in the anime and surpassing the balance between details and fluidity to the next level, but i have to say that Lerche could only take it this far.
Sounds : 8/10
First, it’s about the seiyuus. The voice acting in this anime was pretty well-done. For example take Hakumei’s seiyuu, Risae Matsuda. Risae Matsuda can give Hakumei such a voice, an accent and a tone - that simply by hearing Hakumei talks, we can guess what kind of person Hakumei is. It goes the same way with Konju, my favorite case for seiyuu talks in this anime. I can talk without stopping about the very successful of voice acting in this anime for each character that is shown, but i’ll stop with that.
Talking about musics, we can’t miss the musics that exist in some episodes of this anime. Mainly these musics sang by Konju (Aoi Yuuki) and she managed to sing them pretty beautifully. In episode 9, when Mikochi, Hakumei, Sen and Konju sing Woodcutter’s song, the way Konju sing it is pretty much beyond my personal imagination.
The opening song, urar, by Chima gives this anime a very calm and rather mythical feeling as its opening. This song successfully opens this anime with calm, light, fantasy-ish feels for the viewers to enjoy. One thing to note is that the opening song’s scenes might be a letdown for some people. The scenes pretty simple and feels lack of effort to make a great opening, although it gives natural feeling with its many photos of green.
The ending song, Harvest Moon Night, is a light and cheerful song. Personally, despite being not able to speak much about this song, this song is my personal favorite. I can only say that this song is beautiful and represent one major thing in this anime by its lightness and cheerfulness : that is “connection”.
Enjoyment : 9/10
It is truly an enjoyable slice of life and iyashikei anime. From the calming, light and rather mythical opening to the cheerful ending with little bit trivia that helps the world building, all of this anime’s element can be enjoyed and please the heart of its viewers. My personal favorite way of enjoying this anime is watching it in the holiday, when im on my private time without any left thing that i have to do, with a warm tea and light snacks beside me. Ah, it such a.....relaxing experience.
Not everyone likes these genres for sure, but for anyone who likes them – it might be worth of your time to try watching this anime and decide for yourself whether it’s suitable to your taste or not.