(Originally published on Livejournal on 11/23/10)
Hiyokoi Episode 1
What this is about: I made the promise that I would review every new subtitled anime show (excluding blatant yaoi and/or porn) released during the Spring and Summer 2010 seasons, so now I am going back to review a handful of shows that I missed over the past few months for one reason or another. This time around, it’s Hiyokoi, a single-episode original video animation released on July 30th based on the manga of the same name.
tl;dr review: Short, shy girl is the new kid in class; Set her next to the tall, outgoing guy and watch the sparks fly!
Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size:
Episode 1 Summary: After being injured in a car crash, Hiyori is finally returning back to school after over a year’s absence. In addition to being incredibly short (about four and a half feet tall), she’s also vanishingly shy, and completely stressing out over her first day in class. To make things worse, she is seated next to Yuushin, the beanpole who is the most outgoing and boisterous person in class. As expected, he teases her about her height, giving her a nickname based on the Japanese word for “baby chick” — but Hiyori also begins to realize that he also has a caring, gentle side to him, and perhaps returning to school isn’t so terrible after all. But on the second day, after being humiliated in front of the entire class, she runs out in shame; Yuushin finds her and comforts her, then the whole class gets the warm fuzzies and goes out for a friendly snowball fight, and Hiyori begins to wonder exactly how does she feel towards Yuushin, anyway…
My Thoughts: Hmmmmmm….let’s see now. An unusually short, blonde girl who is exceptionally anti-social pitted against a tall fellow male student.? I dunno…I think I may have seen something like this sort of story idea before. Perhaps here?:
To put it bluntly, Hiyokoi is *hardly* an original concept. In fact, it is totally predictable from beginning to end. There is nothing specifically wrong with this show — the story, the art and the acting are all serviceable. But considering that other anime shows have taken this same shopworn idea and done it *better*, there’s no real reason to get wrapped up in Hiyokoi at all. Especially since it’s just a one-shot episode with no promise of anything in the future.
The Verdict: — Lacking by comparison.
For more info:
My Anime List Entry: http://myanimelist.net/anime/8768/Hiyokoi
Can’t find an official video preview, but here’s a fan’s AMV that does a good job of distilling the show into about one minute (as long as you can stand the moderately-crappy music over it): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NHBIeP9fqk
FINALLY, returning back to the second episodes of the Fall 2010 series coming up next: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru (2-3), My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute (2-3), The World God Only Knows (2-3), Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (2-3), Psychic Detective Yakumo (2-3), Shinryaku! Ika Musume (2-3), Letter Bee Reverse (2-3), Bakuman (2-3), Otome Youkai Zakura (2-3), Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge (2-3), Kagurahime (2-3)