Hitohira is going to be a rather difficult anime to review, since most of its major merits are rather spoilerific, but I’ll give it a try. Basically, it’s one of these rare high-school dramas done right. It features Mugi, an extremely shy girl who even has trouble speaking up at times, who gets recruited for the local drama-club. Why? Because her voice can be incredibly hard when she’s not holding back.
When I first read this description, I indeed was sceptical. After all, many anime have come up with similar concepts, and failed horribly. Hitohira, though, proved to know exactly what it was doing. There are no stereotypes, no excessive fanservice, no harem, and no artificial student council. Nearly all of the clichés that we usually see in these school-based shows are gone. Instead, this anime delivers characters that go well beyond the stereotypes. They’re rich and versatile, and each of them gets a great dose of development through the course of only twelve episodes, ending with an actually good ending.
Hitohira turned out to be surprisingly genuine, but it does take two or three episodes to get going and show its full potential. Nono’s case is beautiful, and I loved how this anime didn’t try to keep its characters together. Life goes on is a major theme of especially the later episodes and it’s done beautifully. I won’t say anything more than that that the major climax was amazing, and it was a definite highlight of the spring-season. Just go and check it out for yourself.
The character-designs are done beautifully and unique, making the visuals a real treat. The animation itself usually remains minimal, though you won’t see any distorted faces or strangely drawn bodies. The background music doesn’t stand out, but it still contributes to the scenes perfectly.
I really hope for this series to get subbed soon, as it deserves to be watched. This series really is one of the spring-season shows that went right. The only flaw that I managed to spot was that especially in the beginning, the drama was a tad too forced, though as the show went on this became less and less apparent. It’s a great choice for anyone who isn’t bored too fast.