This is review one hundred and thirty two. This anime is part of the Fall 2012 lineup and get ready for it. It’s Hiiro no Kakera season 2. God, why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? WHY DOES THIS ANIME HAVE ANOTHER SEASON?!
Oh what’s that? This is good? No way.
Anyways, this is a thirteen episode anime about…stuff. I freakin purposely forgot about the first season’s story. I think it’s about hot dudes. Also, please enjoy my THOROUGH REVIEW THAT COVERS ALL THE ANIME’S POINT WITHOUT ME SOUNDING PRETENTIOUS. As you can clearly see, I can read/write so I appreciate good writing. I also don’t pander to my readers. Oh my review is long. Well, it because I passionately wrote it hoping you’d give the anime a shot. Let’s read on now.
The second season of Hiiro no Kakera is about the events that transpired after the seal of the cursed sword is broken. There is an unsuspected betrayal, people are finally showing their true colors, there is romance blossoming and there is also the potential threat of the world being destroyed. It seems that Tamaki’s duty to protect the world with her guardians isn’t over just yet.
Taking the Pants Off
When I first heard that Hiiro no Kakera was having another season, I died a little inside. My reaction is like anybody else’s who experienced the massive crap of the first season. It was just so bad that my once happy disposition when it comes to reviews was killed with ice water. I didn’t want another season of this sh*t. Hatred is my first response upon hearing of another season of Hiiro no Kakera. I saw it 6 hours ago and I am now writing this review. I hate to say it, but I finished the anime in one sitting and that only indicates one thing: it’s pretty good. I thought I’d be hating on the second season but I was wrong. I love being wrong because this anime just blew away. Everything, every goddamn thing, that the first season did wrong was fixed and utilized effectively in the second season. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I now love Hiiro no Kakera. The second season only though. I wish the first one never existed in the first place.
I’ll be spoiling some of the events of the first season so if you haven’t seen it yet then be warned. The first season had a lot of faults that seriously damaged the anime. It couldn’t recover upon the last episode. That’s how bad the anime was. In fact, let’s make a f*cking list of all the things the first season did wrong.
- Bland god awful characters
- Characters with no purpose to the story
- Plot points dropped and forgotten
- Plot points introduced two episodes in before the anime ends
- The bad guys always wins in every fight against the good guys
- Boring and stale plot
- The supernatural theme handled very awkwardly
- The Otome elements didn’t blend well with the plot
- It was eleven episodes too long
I really hate the first season but the second season made up for it. All of the faults of the first season was covered and it packed such a strong punch, I’m left wanting for more. I’ll describe the positives by the numbers.
1. The characters in the anime all had purpose. In the first season, the characters were sort of grouped together. The good guys, the bad guys, the side characters and the in betweeners (like the grandmother) are basically the characters introduced. The second season was able to give each and every cast member a very distinct role in the story and I love how each of them actually mattered. I still remember the first season and I know that no one stood out and left an impression. In the second season, the anime was able to balance the large cast, give each of them purpose and then utilize them to suit the plot’s progression.
2. In the first season, I was infuriated when the guy who eats rice crackers and the dude who loves to smell Tamaki was never properly revealed. They just hang around the background watching the characters and eventually did nothing after the anime ended. I also remember that the grandmother, despite being a former Tamayori princess, gave no single f*ck to help his granddaughter and just talked about schemes or below the table conversations with other people. The second season revealed these characters true intention and they add a lot to the plot. In fact, the anime wouldn’t be as good as it was if these characters weren’t around. It was also very satisfying to know what these characters are actually thinking. The finally stepped out of the shadows and joined the melee between the characters.
3. The first season dropped the following plot points upon entering its second half: the romantic link between two side characters, one of the bad guys scheming to betray his comrades, and Tamaki training to become a more efficient Tamayori Princess. The second season re-introduced all of these forgotten plot points and incorporated it to the story. No stone was left unturned and it gave the anime its deserved praise. Oh how wonderful the conclusions to these plot points was. It was worth waiting another season.
4. Yeah well, the plot point introduced in the last moments of the first season was the red head dude having a demon inside of him and this made him grow romantically closer to Tamaki. There were no late plot points in the second season and they actually explored this one a bit more. It was one of the major plot points of the second season. Did the red head ever control the demon inside him? Did he ever snatch a kiss from Tamaki?
5. This is still a fact in the anime. The bad guys are still better than the characters and NO, they never trained to be stronger. The second season fixed this massive glaring mistake by cutting down the fight scenes. No two characters clashed and if they did, it doesn’t last long. This was the finale though so it is worth checking out if the good guys actually prevailed in the final confrontation.
6. The plot is fixed very nicely. The anime doesn’t have a boring moment to it and it was so thought out that it doesn’t even resemble the travesty that is the first season. The plot is complex, paced well and despite the large cast, it was able to show case all of them tremendously. The introduction of character conflicts, squabbles among the ranks and characters making a face turn made the anime very intriguing to watch. Perhaps the best surprise the anime ever pulled out was one of the good guys siding with the bad guys. It was a nice way to shake things up and the anime doesn’t stop there. It had a lot of surprises to dish out that kept me tuned in.
7. This was unforgivable in the first season. It had a rich background of guardians, shrine princesses, mountain gods and sealed evil creatures yet it’s so goddamn boring because it couldn’t handle itself well. The second season re-introduced this element of the anime. The duties of Tamaki as a Tamayuri princess, the hot dudes serving their roles as guardians as part of their families’ traditions and demons inside hot guys was utilized in the story. This was a nice surprise from the anime because the supernatural element was so nicely played that it made the anime a bit dark. The theme of being bound to tradition as oppose to simple common sense was such a strong component in the anime that it really deepened the plot and transformed the characters in ways the first season could only dream of handling.
8. After the first season, I cursed Otome anime. These kinds of anime spends too much time making hot dudes with bland personalities look good that it sacrificed any potential goodness you can pull from the anime. This element is gone in the second season. What? PS2 adapted Otome Game? It doesn’t feel like it because it finally had a plot and the guys now have personalities.
9. Yeah….well. Boobs.
It’s clearly superior to the first season in so many ways. I’m so happy right now because I never thought the second season can wipe away all the sourness I experienced from the first one. There were some new villains introduced in the second season that was so very effective. They’re actually old characters turned baddie and the way they just intervene in any of the characters plans was so nicely done. They have this “I’m better than you and you can’t do anything about it” personality that really rubs me raw. They’re such an effective villain that I fan girl’ed to the moment they get their ass handed to them.
Ofcourse, the final moments of the anime was better the first season’s ending. It had a lot of characters to showcase, both good and bad, but the ending was the appropriate one. It had the good guys against the sealed evil being in a fight to the finish. I wasn’t impressed by this moment, to be honest, but I just think it’s a big improvement to nicely round up the anime. Sh*t, I want a third season. Haha.
Sight and Sound
Nothing really changed in terms of character design. They all looked the same and they acted the same. I did notice that throughout the entire anime, Tamaki was wearing her school uniform and only changed clothes in three important scenes. It’s pretty stupid that the characters only had one outfit to wear in two seasons. The demon version of the red head guy was pretty nice. They only added some menacing parts here and there but he’s essentially the same. The final look of the bad guy was pretty sweet too. It was the perfect look for a final boss battle.
The anime is still heavy with CG. It’s still stiff CG that looks out of place. The CG is mostly added effects in fights or some of the low gods in the forest. It was not pretty to look at and I think they relied on the stiff CG too much. They can’t make orbs of light using regular animation? The “sight” is certainly weak in this anime.
Towards the end of each episode, the segment where the characters break fourth wall and talk to viewers is also in here. The first season had it and it was gaaaaaayyyyyyyy. I actually missed that segment and it certainly grew on me. Hearing the characters say “I love you” is still pretty uncomfortable though. I tested it out to my 13 yr. old neighbor and she doesn’t react well to it. She didn’t get it, as do I. I think it was a wave hello to the Otome aspect of the anime because in the game, the characters talk to you as well.
The anime’s OP is “Takanaru” by Maiko Fujita. She also sang the OP of the first season. I love her voice because it’s very high pitched. The song is very serious and it’s opposed to the rather dramatic OP of the first season. The OP sequence is probably the first signal that the anime transformed heavily. It featured all the characters but also summarized the anime in a way you’ll only decipher after you’ve seen all the episodes. All the important scenes are smartly slipped in but still maintaining a nice flashy OP sequence with the characters looking hot and sexy and super powered.
The anime’s ED is “Kimi Dake wo” by Shuhei Kita. This is an acoustic song with Shuhei’s voice nicely standing out. I remember his voice fondly because he sang the OP of Natsume Yuujinchou and that was heavenly. The ED song had a nice touch but it wasn’t as flashy as I want it to be. The ED sequence features the characters looking cute and stuff in still poses.
7/10 “I’d rate this anime a personal 10/10. That’s how good it was.”
This was the biggest surprise of the season so far. God, I wish other Otome game can be this good. Can I ask JC Staff to redo Arcana Famiglia? Because Hiiro no Kakera 2 proves just how good an Otome anime can be if it had a solid plot and interesting characters. No doubt about it, I highly recommend this one.