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Kindergarten Wolf

February 8, 2010

Last week’s episode of Hanamaru Kindergarten. Koume runs around like she’s a shooting star shouting “Kira Kira.” It totally reminded me of the following Guitar Wolf song:

Anzu’s mom is totally punk. I bet she’s into Guitar Wolf.

So far Hanamaru is the very definition of “fluff.” It’s cute, it’s harmless, and it’s thoroughly devoid of anything that would make it memorable. It has its humorous moments, but they’re usually of the “d’aw! so cute it’s funny” variety. It’s the sort of stuff that Azumanga would throw out there every now and then but never depended upon. It’s sort of like Yotsubato in that regard, except Anzu is no Yotsuba. At least at this point I won’t be remembering anything from Hanamaru the way I’ll remember Danbo or Yotsuba’s epic battle of “wits” against Yanda.

Hanamaru has one gimmick so far: Anzu’s crush. At first I was thinking it’d be something that gets glossed over and brought up only occasionally. But the series is focusing far too much on it. It isn’t all that amusing or cute at this point. It’s just old. We get it. Anzu likes Tsuchida. It was cute at first, but the concept hasn’t really delivered any real comedic situations. Anzu wants to go on a fake date. Anzu stalks him as he goes about town. None of it’s really funny in and of itself. The funniest bits have been seeing Hiiragi dress up in costumes and seeing a yakuza boss be community and eco-friendly. None of that has anything to do with the whole “Anzu loves Tsuchi” pseudo-plot. That plot is just “cute.” Harmless, innocent, fluffy cute, but cute just doesn’t cut it in and of itself.

That’s what’s keeping Hanamaru from being genuinely good. It’s a watchable series. It’s had some fun, humorous scenes in each episode. I’m digging how each episode has a unique end theme (Even if most of them aren’t all that. I appreciate the effort.) I’ll stick with it unless it gets unbearable, but it isn’t quite what I’d call GOOD. If it keeps at this level of quality, it’ll be the anime equivalent of “wham, bam, thank you ma’am.” I’ll enjoy it while it’s going on, but there’ll be no reason to even think about it after the fact. Even a series like Baka to Test, which is also pretty fluffy and mediocre, has some memorable bits. Once Hanamaru is over, if it keeps up this pace, all I’ll remember it for is being “that one anime that had that kinda cool ending with space ships and Kappa-Gamera.”

And that’s assuming I’ll remember it at all. I’d like to remember it, but that’d require the series to emphasize the side characters more. I have a feeling that won’t be the case. I DEMAND more of the socially responsible yakuza boss. He rocks.

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