Posted by psgels on 7 February 2010 with categories: Hanamaru Youchien



A Neon Genesis Evangelion reference. I see what you did there, Gainax.

Seriously though, I’m a big fan of parodies, but only a specific kind of them. I love the kind of parodies that deconstruct a genre or stereotype, making them look completely ridiculous with their own logic. Random reference dropping however… meh. That really gets old after a while. Hanamaru Youchien was hopping back and forth between these types in this episode.

The role play in this episode is great and wonderfully subtle. However that full metal alchemist reference just dropped all of the subtlety. Although, I do have to admit: with Evangelion 15 years old at this point, Tsuchida could easily have been amongst the kids who grew up with this revolutionary new anime. You can see that he’s not watching anime anymore and is more of a gamer, but the point at which he got nostalgic at Evangelion was a nice touch for his character.

Overall, Seiji Mizushima isn’t the best director, but he does have his good points in terms of characterization. Hanamaru Youchien in no way matches up to what I consider to be his best work: Ooedo Rocket, but it’s still turned out surprisingly charming and Tsuchida and the various adults turned out to be surprisingly good straight men and women so that the kids could go wild with their imaginations. Compare that to Bottle Fairy, which had a similar premise, and it does turn out differently because the adults are more than just walking dictionaries, and have their own lives and identities here.

Also, if you’re wondering why I’m not saying much about the actual content of this series: I can’t. I mean, they’re mostly just random adventures that just need to be watched. I’d much rather talk about the bigger picture in this series’ case. Because seriously: I have no idea what to comment on Koume’s romantic adventure for example.
Rating: * (Good)

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:28 AM)
    @Emma: yeah you’ll most likely enjoy it. On the surreàl scale it lies somewhere between Birdman and Holy Mountain, so although it’s peppered with symbolic imagery and thematic shots it’s still a personal story about a man’s struggle when faced with his own demise. Although a lofty statement, this is in my onion philip seymour hoffman’s best performance, and his untimely death adds another incredibly rich level of nuance to this movie.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:20 AM)
    @Bam: Adaption, Nicholas Cage =< a guilty pleasure actor to watch for the most part and little more.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:12 AM)
    @Bam: The more you mentiom Synecdoche, the more interested I get. Malcovich was a creative idea for a film and Eternal sunshine was a good spin on the romance genre which gave Jim Carrey a film worth acting in.
    Riki-oh if anything is just a heck of alot of fun.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:05 AM)
    So I naturally offsetted the mentally strenuous movie with a healthy dose of Riki-Oh, which I also just watched for the first time. I think it goes without saying that it was magnificent! This is late 80’s gold condensed into two episodes. What’s weirdly jarring about it is that it tries to add depth to the absurdity by including some serious, and still relevant, themes about the private prison complex which made it an even better popcorn flick for some reason.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 05:58 AM)
    Charlie Kaufman is also responsible for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation and Being John Malkovich, so it goes without saying that his works are atmospheric and thoughtful. Synecdoche is by far his bleakest story yet, and it was a tough pill to swallow; although if you watch it you’ll see that sincerity regarding death is actually a crucial point of the movie.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 12:52 AM)
    Well in the case of Samuel Jackson playing nick fury, I never truly gave a crap about the comic book character. But I have never taken Jackson seriously as the head of shield. It hard to see him as a dependable leader.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 11:29 PM)
    Synecdoche, New York:
    What a great film. Charlie Kauffman’s directorial debut is a post-modern surreàl piece about fear of death and mortality. There are few editing and pacing issues which a more experienced director could’ve ironed out, and the very nature of the movie begs to be called pretentious and boring by shallow viewers. Yet this is still an honest and meticulous piece of artistic filmmaking which shouldn’t be missed by those who enjoy the craft.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:56 PM)
    I did think some of the outburst though in death parade 04 were verging too far on the melodrama though.
    Still like Garo this week, still a very watchable episode.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:35 PM)
    Come to think of it In kingsman they changed the villain to be black also. Of course all this I consider pretty minor. Moreso I’m tired of seeing Samuel L Jackson playing himself in everything.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Jan 30. 2015 10:28 PM)
    But in the case of the Marvel stuff, with Nick Fury and Human torch, I know its a crap complaint but for me its a case of “He doesn’t look close enough to the comic”

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