Review: My only reason of choosing to watch this anime is that I was getting tired and wasted after laboriously got through many intense and super serious anime. Well, that wasn’t even a good reason since there were several other high profile comedy anime piling up in my backlog. So there you have it. I have no good reason for watching Hanamaru Kindergarten and honestly, the anime is so unremarkable that it is difficult to recommend this anime to anyone.
Hanamaru Kindergarten can be labeled as just another ‘boy chasing girl’ anime or as ‘love triangle’ anime with one member of the triangle being a kindergartener. Tsuchida is recently recruited into Hanamaru Kindergarten as the first and only male sensei. He is a typical nerdy nice guy who loves observing big boobs. On his first day at work, he falls for Yamamoto at first sight. The problem is that Yamamoto is so dense in matters of love and gives Tsuchida extremely difficult time in approaching her. Things are further complicated when Anzu-chan, the student in his class, naively falls in love with Tsuchida and declares that she will be his bride.
This entire main plot is introduced within the first episode and there is nothing more than that. Hanamaru Kindergarten is one non-progressive series. The rest of the show explores Tsuchida’s life in his new work place. Most of the funny events come from the children’s innocent thoughts and behaviors. Aside from Yamamoto’s extreme insensitivity to love, the characters in this show are also very generic and they don’t change much during the course of the show.
That might sound like I did not enjoy this show. Spending 12 episodes watching good people taking care of good children and living carefree, happy lives indeed sounds painfully boring. The generic plot and unremarkable characters are neither good nor bad. I think it depends on the execution and the circumstance. And it so happened that I was in the mood for something simple and lighthearted. I did have a good time watching Hanamaru Kindergarten. The anime could really generate a few genuine laughs from me which wasn’t an easy task, actually.
The only thing that bothers me is the ending and how thick headed Yamamoto is. Hanamaru Kindergarten literally ends in a strange note. Tsuchida tries to confess to Yamamoto. It is Christmas night, the snow is falling, the city is lit with beautiful lights; it’s the right time, the perfect time. But Yamamoto somehow misinterprets the whole thing and thinks Tsuchida is talking about work. I got the feeling that the creators were deliberately making room for a sequel.
Though never too outstanding, the animation was nicely done but I felt that the character design was a little extreme for the children’s part. The kids look cute but they are conspicuously disproportionate; ballooned heads, giant eyes, tiny limbs and no neck (okay, they have necks in some scenes). The strange design is all the more obvious in the scenes that feature both the kids and the adults because the adults’ design uses normal proportion. It took me quite a while to familiarize myself to this. Another thing that I would like to mention is the unique ending credits for each episode. They are really fun to watch and I especially like the one that pays homage to American horror films.
Conclusion: Hanamaru Kindergarten is not a must –watch show but I can confidently say that if you happen to come across it, you will have quite a good time.
Title: Hanamaru Kindergarten (Hanamaru Yochien)
Genre: comedy, drama
Release date: January 10, 2010 – March 28, 2010
Director: Seiji Mizushima
Animated by: Gainax