Posted by: Leek | January 18, 2010

Anime Double Take: Surumeika Second Season 6 and Hanamaru Youchien 2

Surumeika Youchien / Hanamaru Surumeika

Due to Surumeika’s delayed release this weekend, it gave me the time to group my two favorite things together. With two series so bountifully awesome how can it not be a good sign? Not joking.

Before you read the post though, I do have a few fun facts from last week’s episode of Hanamaru Youchien. I’ll try to do this from now on with episodes just for fun (assuming I remember the material / it isn’t something I haven’t read and I mistake it for being original, apologies if this happens).

Hanamaru Trivia 1: You actually don’t see Sakura’s (Anzu’s mother) face until volume two of the manga. I know I talked about the other parents but her face is deliberately blocked out by the text bubbles so you can’t see it. More or less, you learn of her past connection with Tsuchi and resemblance to Anzu rather late in the game. All of the chapters in last week’s episode are actually from the second volume, with bits, pieces, and the essences of others mixed in.

Hanamaru Trivia 2: When Tsuchi saves Anzu from falling to her doom in the manga, both get injured in the process. Not severely of course, but enough that Tsuchi goes out of his way to bandage Anzu’s wound with his handkerchief. As you could imagine, it makes their relationship seem a bit closer after the fact. That and Anzu returns the favor by giving him a handkerchief as a present right afterwords. There’s actually more then a few other details in the scene that aren’t the same, but that one struck me as what I wouldn’t have minded seeing.

More later, but first some quick minutes of nonsense…

Surumeika Second Season Episode 6

Power...Pro?

Roots took everyone back this week by playing everybody’s favorite first season opener. It was pretty nostalgic though and there was a bit of new footage to go along with it. I almost thought he might have it re-recorded so Kotori could sing it as well but on account she’s didn’t even get to sing the second opening, I shouldn’t be surprised it didn’t happen. Of course after Kaede not having any role in last week’s episode, I figured it might have been a way to make up for it.

Of course where Kaede got the cold shoulder last episode, Sachi probably got it this time around. At least, she spent about the entire episode in her possessed state so expecting her to say much (or anything) was impossible.

The biggest draw of the episode probably came from the amount of references that managed to show up. From the Power Pro reference in the screenshot above, to Micchon’s Evangelion style revelation, and a possible hint at Roots’ own experience with game endings (the infamous katsuo endings from his jikkyou plays).

Actually the entire episode is worth it, just for the ending. Aside from a bit of nonsense inbetween, the ending is too good to not enjoy. The ending credits are pretty amusing as well with the chaotic original tune written for it. That aside, this makes the second week now without an AV interview which I think is what I’m really missing from each episode. I could care less if one of the girls doesn’t show up but you can’t deny us our AV segments. Of course, forcing one out wouldn’t be fun either but they’re always so random that you’d think it wouldn’t be too hard to manage.

That aside the episode was strange. Funny, but incredibly strange. It can’t beat the musical PV of the first season but it definitely ranks up there with the sheer amount of misguided thought that’s going on during it. Hoping next week will turn out better since I haven’t been feeling the same shine recently that I’ve come to expect every week.

Hanamaru Youchien Episode 6

KUMICHOOOOOO

We have an opening this week! And it’s…

. . .

it’s…

. . .

…exactly what I expected. Just kidding, it’s what I expected but it’s not like I wanted anything phenomenal. It did what I expecting and that was show the host of characters (I love you Kumicho) alongside a really cut and dry opening theme. And really, they’re making the real draw of the show the endings anyway which I always enjoy more. I mean, you can easily miss the opening when you forget your favorite show is on but it’d be difficult to miss the ending. On that note, we should talk about the ending. By which I mean a really humorous reference and drawing on Hii-chan’s fondness for cosplay. It also shows her in an outfit that I rather enjoyed (bet you can’t guess which one) from a nice little chapter so I wonder now if it’ll show up in the actual show. On account they just had to put it in the ending credits though, the odds would be no. On with the show.

Part I

Hanamaru Slide

I have to admit something like this is a pretty dirty trick to pull out so suddenly. A fully original segment already? I mean…really? Why do you have to make me work so hard? Of course someone can correct me if I’m wrong but I’m positive this wasn’t anything I’ve ever read. And I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be having a flashback (at least of past events at the Kindergarten) this late into the series either, so I’m positive this is original.

With the ebb and flow that they’re trying to create with Hanamaru Youchien, this episode is called for. Not to say it still doesn’t feel completely necessary (at least for the most part). To start off, the bare basics do add up. On account they’re trying to attach more story to the anime, the fact the three would want to familiarize themselves with their surroundings isn’t too odd. The little venture was cute but in the end almost felt pointless since the entire thing was made into a, “Hey! Let’s make Tsuchida look really incompetent, har har har.” sort of deal. It’s just one of those things you don’t really need to tell people. I’m pretty sure most of the chapters show Tsuchi playing his DS half the time rather then watching over the students and how he handles most of the situations (which you could insert in place of this) are fairly off base.

That being said, this segment is just that and is what I got at in my long rant before. More or less it does match up with how most stories in the manga go (although the whole “Tsuchi fail” was a bit excessive). That and when they got to the end, I really enjoyed the slide segment. I really loved how they played out the experience and even though it took them unrealistically long to reach the bottom, it was cute. I can’t say I remember the first time I ever got on a slide but it’s not something I have ill memories of. And in the end, the reactions of all the students really captures the innocence of the series spot on. All in all, it gave me some pretty nice warm fuzzies.

I still don’t know how I feel about the characters they decided to add in staff wise to the kindergarten. They had more then enough characters to introduce that it didn’t feel necessary and there’s nothing they can really add to segments. I guess Nishikaze is fine with me and it’s cool they introduced her through the anime and all because I believe she’ll fit in right with the rest of the cast (manga wise). As for the director…meh, I really don’t see what she’ll add. Of course she could play into some adorable manga chapter later and prove me wrong but I just don’t see it. The other two teachers are fairly pointless, as they’re completely original, so hopefully they won’t get too much screen time.

Part II

Hanamaru Genius

First let’s start with more fun facts:

Hanamaru Trivia 1: The original title of this chapter was “Hanamaru na Unchiku” vs. “Hanamaru na Tensai”. The anime adapation is a bit of a stretch of the imagination and they do make Hii-chan’s knowledge a bit ridiculous and probably beyond the bounds of what they were.

Hanamaru Trivia 2: During their fight, Hii-chan and Kenji actually had a scuffle about the existence of Santa Claus along with the other covered topics.

Hanamaru Trivia 3: Tsuchi is actively playing his DS when Kenji brings up the bit about video games. As you could imagine, he closes it right after hearing it.

Hanamaru Trivia 4: When Tsuchi get’s called about Kenji’s missing status at his home, he’s actually playing his Wii and not Dragon Quest. I’d account this part on Square Enix wanting to turn a reference to themselves though.

Hanamaru Trivia 5: As you could imagine from my remarks about the parents, Hii-chan’s father doesn’t show up at all in the manga chapter.

Hanamaru Trivia 6: Kenji’s remarks at the end are actually made as the group is cleaning up the garbage at the end of the story. Of course, we can just assume he does it anyway anime wise.

Taking a chapter from Volume 1, it looks like they decided to roll with a quick introduction for Hii-chan. Each girl has their own little individual chapters (most will tend to focus on one of them anyway, but early volume wise) and this is most certainly one of them. More or less I can’t really say much about it since it was fairly on point but it did raise a few questions in my mind.

With the series only being as long as it is, I do wonder if they’ll really do so many focus chapters. Especially with a host of characters to introduce, I know they can’t do too many in extension. I also know that more then a few of those will have to be reserved towards Hinagiku (俺の嫁), or at least I hope so.

Whereas I really want to see some things, I know they’re not that important in the grand scheme. Either way, I’ll be grinding down constantly if they begin to do chapters with less of the impact of others. Even if so, I hope they allot enough to the parents as well, as most of their chapters epitomize what I enjoy most in the series. In particular, a chapter focusing on Hii-chan and her father comes to mind and if it doesn’t show up then I’ll probably cry a bit. I really just enjoy most of Hii-chan’s chapters though as she’s just that kind of character.

Next week looks like it will FINALLY get on the relationship between Tsuchi and Yamamoto. As much as a I like the touching child family and child segements of the series, Tsuchi love fail is a pretty big part and it needs to happen eventually. And thinking about where they’ll take most of the material, it could make a pretty good lead into Koume’s intro chapter (which I hope they plan on doing). More or less after seeing what they did decide to do this week it makes me both eager and a little bit worrisome of what I might see from this point on. Damn you Hanamaru Youchien and your infinitely good material.

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