What makes a great comedy anime?
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.
Final Score 9.5/10