Hourou Musuko… just surpassed itself. Seriously, this episode was better than any of the previous episodes so far, and convinced me that the creators know what they’re doing. Finally we have another romance that tries to portray love realistically, and FINALLY we have another series that subverts the “lead characters are soul mates” trope.
While Fractale is currently showing just how much of a double edged sword the Noitamina timeslot can be, Hourou Musuko just nailed it. This is the part where we really get to the interesting character development. Nitori suddenly deciding to date Anna was a brilliant move. He’s actually moving on, after being rejected by Takatsuki and exploring the different sides of love, with someone completely different from the one who was first made out to be his soul mate.
It’s here where the power of this show really shines. This show has lead characters, but beyond that the creators make sure to give each of the characters a down to earth portrayal, and it’s not unfair towards anyone: the scenarios are written so that nobody really gets the chance to devolve into a stereotype, even the energetic girl has subtle different sides, miles away from your usual cliched energetic girl. This episode showed the subtle side of this show at its best.
The oddball here is Chiba, who seems to have a lot of issues throughout the series. She’s a great source of drama, and yet she doesn’t devolve into cheese. It’s hard to make a character like her believable, but I think that the creators did it by having her constantly tell how she feels, and what she thinks.
Rating: *** (Awesome)