(SPOILERS! It’s a bloody reaction post, sir, do try to notice the flipping obvious…)
Let me steal a bit from my own previous publication: Haruchika shares waaayyyyy too much incidental similarities with BOTH Hibike! Euphonium AND Hyouka. And for me to just…ignore it, is simply injustice.
Well, after watching one episode, the overlapping just increased a notch. After identifying that Haruchika is about a mystery-solving brass instrument band club…with a name that ALSO starts with an ‘H’, P.A. Works’ latest NOVEL adaptation also introduces another certain dynamic, one which also plays in an eerily similar manner to Hibike’s romantic situations…
Ladies and gentleman, we have a uniquely flavoured love triangle here as well! Introduced in the most abrupt and…*totally* subtle way possible, and it’s in a manner that may or may not enrage the most conservative of your personal political and social standings, in regards to romantic relationships.
BUT, let’s not go there, right away, I need to amuse myself a bit with the characters.
Now then, under my current standing, that Haruchika is not a bad show whatsoever thus far…let’s have some fun, shall we? (Yes, this is my final verdict for the episode.)
The Always Amusing High School Debut & Foil
As if high school-based anime isn’t saturated enough in the industry…this concept of ‘high school debut’ pops up so frequently in this medium of entertainment…so much so, that I question the people of Japan’s will to live (unless this really IS just an anime thing…), after they hit the age of 18: so much emphasis is put on how your identity is perceived, modified via makeup and plastic surgery, mummified, or reinvented the moment you walk through those high school gates. So you were a tomboy when you were in elementary or middle school? Well now you are a dignified and submissive lady in year 10, because you want to be a different and popular person. Easy thing, right?
Not only do you have to keep up your persona for three years (i.e. an eternity in the anime timeline), you will have middle school classmates staring at you like you’re some sort of alien creature…is it worth it? Ask Chika, she tried.
Deciding to quit her athletic endeavours, after finding interest in the supposed feminine grace of the flute (someone didn’t watch M:I Rogue Nation…), Chika battled through hoards of volleyball players, snotful of sneezing fits and a childhood friend to keep her ladylike persona up. Needless to say, she fails. Despite the familiarity of it all, I find Chika to be by far the most entertaining to watch, as we get to witness her getting beaten down to size with memories of her embarrassing past (ironic…since she wasn’t at the receiving end of suffering back then).
Looks like karma does get all of us in the end…
Then there’s Haruta, our resident bisho and Sherlock. So far, I’m not impressed by his self-pretentiousness, despite his interactions with Chika being a tonne of fun. I shall admit that I’m wearing my sometimes inaccurate first-impressions goggles, so I won’t be keeping this impression close to my chest for long: Haruta has another 2-3 episodes to prove himself.
To be honest…the entire episode seemed to resonate with a underdeveloped hybrid flavour of both Hyouka’s mystery solving and character interactions, and Hibike’s offerings in band life…in other words, it’s a rather poor attempt at riding on the waves of the latter shows’ success (i.e a poor man’s Hyouka or Hibike!). The teacher character is a step down from Taka-sensei’s no-nonsense but gentle demeanour, reduced almost the point of being just a blank teacher character, who just happens to look handsome, and is being lusted upon by BOTH our main characters.
Yep, a minute before the ED sequence, Haruta threw down the gauntlet, challenging his childhood friend in a battle of love…for a teacher. Haruchika managed to throw in homosexuals and supposed indecent love for a person who shouldn’t be engaging in such relationships, all in one fell swoop, which was also something Hibike! offered (albeit without subtly and without certainty), but in two relationship dynamics. Let’s see how P.A.Works handles this, along with what I hope to be a show with a few more focuses other than this love rivalry.
Although…it could be just me, but I don’t think the show was trying to be sneaky with this sudden development…it understands our confusion, with Chika’s echoing outro making the exact point my brain was making, along with a generic upward panning sequence.
The sequence itself isn’t what I’m interested in, however…its the choice of incidental objects that I find to be oh-so-deliberate. (again…could be just me being overly-indulgent on my supposed observational skills)