Out of boredom today, I was looking for a short series to marathon and I chose Hitohira. I had seen the first episode of this at AnimeNext and was planning on finishing it over the summer. Of course, I never got around to it and now it’s the fall. Either way, I definitely enjoyed this series and breezed right through it. I did have some issues with some things in it here and there, but it was a really different series from the usual types I enjoy, so I felt I was watching something thoroughly new and inventive. The story focused on a girl named Asai Mugi, who has an extreme lack of confidence and major stage fright. However, she somehow ends up becoming a member of the drama research society, a club dueling with the original drama club for the right to exist. It goes deeper than that though, as the presidents of the two clubs (Ichinose Nono and Sasaki Mirei respectively) are caught up in a personal conflict. The relationships between the various characters (some platonic and some romantic) are a major focus in this show. I really enjoyed that, because knowing more about the cast emotionally really made everyone more likable. This was good, as we were pelted with lots of drama and angst. It was very hard not to feel bad for most everyone at some point in the series. For instance, after episode nine, I was very moved by the scene where the drama research society had to disband permanently. Even though I saw it coming, I still had hope that just maybe they’d win, and so it still had an effect on me. So what didn’t I like about the show? First, the fact that the plot seemed to jump to something totally new after the club face-off was done with. It still felt like the same show, but it was weird to see Kayo, who was mostly a background character beforehand, be bought into the focus. I usually like when side characters get their time to shine, but dragging out two late episodes about her leaving to study photography(and Mugi’s reaction to it) after the main plot was over came off as a bit random to me. At least they did manage to tie it in with everything else, also focusing on the fact that Mugi still couldn’t deal with her leaving. Another thing that bothered me slightly (though I suppose it was more realistic that way) is that Mugi really didn’t change much until the very end. Her growth was supposed to be a focal point of the series, but she still remained very unconfident even throughout much of the last episode. Because of that, however, her sudden realization at the end seemed almost too sudden. Either they should’ve made her gradually change or not grow at all. My final complaint shall be about pairings. Yes, because that’s the most important thing in anime -_-; Katsuragi totally should’ve returned Kanna’s feelings, because her crush on him was adorable. Although, he did give her his button at the end, but that didn’t change the fact that he still loved Nono. Also, from the artwork and the first episode, I was half convinced that this was going to be a yuri series. Not that it matters to me, but I was surprised that it wasn’t.


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