Review: Honestly, there isn’t anything to be praised particularly in Nogizaka Haruga no Himitsu (season 1). All it does is to keep things just above average and avoid making fatal mistakes. Believe it or not, I think this show manages to get away with almost anything thanks to the ever charming leading characters and the lovely chemistry between Nogizaka and Yuuto.
Is being an anime addict that embarrassing? Since I never really share my anime-addict identity to anyone except for selected few closed friends, I guess it is. Yes, Nogizaka’s secret that is used as the name of the show is her being an otaku. This fact is hardly a secret anymore because it is revealed right from the very first episode. The true importance of this secret is that it draws the two protagonists, Yuuto and Nogizaka, together. These two are the heart and soul of the series. Nogizaka Haruka is the eldest daughter of an extremely rich and power Nogizaka family. Typically she is naïve, shy and kind like most of the romantic-comedy leading girl. As for Yuuto, he is from common middle class family and he is very considerate, honest and humble. Their characters are far from unique but they are very likable. As a result, I fell in love with both of them and the anime right from the start and it seemed like once I love something, I tend to be more forgiving and flexible. Some might call this feeling bias and they might be right.
Nevertheless, one flaw is still too prominent to let go. I am a little disappointed with Shiina’s character. She is introduced early in the series when she runs into Yuuto three times within only a few days and Shiina tells Yuuto that their meeting must be destiny. After that, she becomes closer to Yuuto and I was pretty sure that she’d play major role during the end of the show but I was wrong. The anime’s finale completely shuns Shiina. She simply disappears.
One could arguably say that the entire series is utterly insignificant and does not give anything that really matters to the viewers and that every episode is like a filler episode. I really have no objection to those points. The anime does not try to explore any serious subject. It doesn’t even care much about characterization and development. It is just about the joyful and rather fantastic lives of Yuuto and Nogizaka and their friends. To my surprise, I find the anime as a whole quite solid in its own term. Each episode somehow manages to possess key plot point such as the adventure at the Summer Comiket festival, the trip to Akihabara, the problem with Nogizaka’s father etc. and the anime never cease to entertain.
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu is full of entertaining nonsense. Luckily, the good pacing, lovely characters and, most importantly, the consistently effective humor keeps this adorable anime from being a complete bomb. Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu is the anime to be enjoyed purely for the sake of entertainment and laughter, nothing more. Conclusion: Is this anime distinctively good or special? …No, not really. Is it fun? …All the time. Do I like it? …Yes, I do!
Title: Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu (season 1)
Genre: romance, comedy
Released date: July 3, 2008 – September 25, 2008
Director: Munenori Nawa
Animated by: Studio Barcelona
Ps. Review of the second season will be published soon.