Haruchika Episode 1 [First Impression]

“I absolutely will not recognize this love triangle!”

Haruchika 1 Img001

Impression

Like with Phantom World, I was initially unimpressed with Haruchika considering that it’s supposed to be by P.A. Works. Is pedigree not a thing any more? It’s still watchable, and I think I would have continued watching regardless so I could stare at the hot twins. But I will admit that Haruchika did achieve something – it made me laugh, and it’s successfully captured my attention as a result.

Haruta is gay.

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I can’t believe this is real. What an innovation! I mean, I spent a good minute or so laughing really hard at Chika-chan’s misfortune. Then I slowly realized that this is actually quite amazing – we have a high school romance where the main male character is actually gay. When was the last time this happened in anime? I haven’t been genuinely surprised by a twist like this in such a long time! This is so cool! It reminds me of a certain hilarious manga one-shot that I read some time ago: “I’m the main character of a harem manga, but I’m gay so every day is hell for me!” It’s really funny, you should read it. Anyway, if nothing else I am more than willing to watch Haruchika for the sole sake of this. At the very least, I will take it to three episodes.

Haruchika 1 Img005I mean, this is clearly the low-budget love child of Hibike! Euphonium and Hyouka. I wondered why the instruments were so badly animated, then realized that they were actually okay – it’s just that Kyoani’s god-tier animation has become a new default in my head. So anyway, when kyuuto gaaru met Kusakabe-sensei first instead of Haruta, I was already worried that this would be a repeat of UFO, and we would get the main girl stolen by sensei before any romance had even started. And sure enough, kyuuto gaaru is indeed in love with sensei. But you know what? Haruta doesn’t care.

BECAUSE HARUTA IS GAY FOR SENSEI TOO!

HARUTA AND CHIKA ARE RIVALS IN LOVE!

MY SIDES HAHAHAHAHAHA IS THIS REAL LIFE

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This is hilarious. It’s going to be a love triangle between Haruta, Chika-chan and Kusakabe, but not any ordinary love triangle – Chika-chan will have to fight her gay childhood friend to win the love of her music teacher, and it’s going to be brilliant. I honestly can’t wait to see where this will go. Will kyuuto gaaru try to hook Haruta up with the club president instead? Are any more people going to have unorthodox feelings for sensei?

Haruchika 1 Img006It’s unfortunate, though, that beyond this little twist there’s really nothing special about Haruchika. It was something I paid a bit of attention to before the season started due to the P.A. Works name brand, and similar to Phantom World, which I also had my eye on, it ended up being a let down. It advertised itself as some sort of cross between a mystery series and something involving a wind instrument club, but so far the latter is non-existent and the only mystery we’ve had so far is more like a small extra-curricular puzzle. I got so excited when I saw several bars of music displayed in what looked like blood, but the revelation that it was just red paint and just the roundabout confession of a former student made it seriously underwhelming. Are we going to get actual mysteries? I can see the next few episodes being dedicated to a recruitment drive for the wind instrument club, but how are we going to fit that, a love triangle, character development and several mysteries all into one season? It feels like it’s trying to do too many things at once, and aside from the gay gimmick I don’t know if it can pull anything else off well.

Haruchika 1 Img004I do want to say something about Chika-chan before I end this. I know I’ve expressed my partiality for the twins, but I’m actually quite liking Chika too, and it’s good that Sarah Emi Bridcutt has been getting more roles in anime lately. She’s an under-appreciated newbie seiyuu. Chika-chan is apparently trying to become a ‘cute girl’, or as she prefers to call it, a ‘kyuuto gaaru’. It’s spoiled when she talks, though. Aside from the fact that she’s objectively cute, she’s also already plenty cute as her tomboyish, snappy self. I don’t think she’s going to win any favours with sensei over pretending to be a delicate refined ojou-sama, especially if sensei is as perceptive as he’s being made out to be. Not that she’s likely to even get anywhere in her love for him, given how he’s been nothing but professional even in the face of receiving a love letter. But hey, maybe it’s just that he’s gay too. Now wouldn’t that be a twist!

Possibility of Watching: High
Possibility of Blogging: Moderate 

Vantage

I love cute things.

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7 Responses

  1. kinghumanity says:

    I have to admit, I might not have cared much about badly animated musical instruments before, but after Your Lie in April and Euphonium, any instrument that isn’t accurately and smoothly portrayed sticks out like a sore thumb.

    • Vantage says:

      You would think that P.A. Works wouldn’t have any trouble following in the footsteps of A-1 and Kyoani with musical instruments given their past capabilities, but Haruchika looks like it’s been relegated to their C-team right from the very outset. I’m not asking for a revolving camera shot of the entire band like in Euphonium, but I definitely expected more, especially because Haruchika’s band consists of five people right now.

  2. Wanderer says:

    “Sarah Emi Bridcutt”

    Whoa. She fell off my radar after I first encountered her as Asuka in Mondaiji. Looks like she’s been picking up some roles since then. Good for her. She did a good job there: she deserves more attention.

    • Vantage says:

      Her only other major role has been best girl Nonaka Yuki in Shinmai Maou no Testament, which she did very well on too!

  3. marsh381 says:

    Oh my god, thank you for that one-shot link! They totally should have continued that, or hell, it would have been great as a television series. But alas, Japan has a tendency to not have main characters be gay unless its a BL-series or for comic relief.

    • Vantage says:

      That’s exactly why this was so unique! Even with lesbian relationships it’s always either bait (Hibike! Euphonium) or heavily doused in metaphors (Yuri Kuma Arashi). No matter how much more accepting Western society is increasingly becoming over diversity in sexual orientation, none of that has seeped into anime and something like this feels really fresh.

      As for that one-shot, I lost it at him living with his non-blood related older and younger sister. As well as “I FRIGGIN LOVE CATS!”

  4. Berry says:

    What’s that? A gay character that isn’t specifically in a BL/yaoi and isn’t reduced to a joke? HE’S BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY? THANK YOU!!! I’m just going to ignore some of the homophobic comments I’ve seen and rejoice in this. :) I’m just afraid that the show is going to hook Haruta and Chika together. Which would make Haruta bi, which is fine too…but I kinda like this unique love triangle. And I usually hate love triangles, but on Haruta’s part I think it’s more admiration than love, and Chika is just trying too hard to be a “cute girl” so she’s forcing this love thing.

    I actually really liked this episode! The mystery was a bit of a mess, and I wish they slowed down with it because the puzzle was a little tough to grasp, but eh, fine. I think it’s wrong to compare this to Hibike! Euphonium because I think this show will be more mystery/slice of life than music. I think the music will mostly be sub-plot.

    Loving the art, can’t wait to see more! :D

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