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EP. REVIEW: Haruchika – Haruta & Chika


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ChrissyC



Joined: 17 Jun 2015
Posts: 429
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:43 pm Reply with quote
I personally think the show is pretty dull looking. The colors mimic great looking P.A Works projects but don`t have the value in color as the other ones do.

Illustrations also look strange from far away and a few strokes to represent a face.

Framework could be stiff as well.

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Chika I feel is just there to be really cute because Haruta just kind of blows her out of the water as a lead since he really gets the story moving altogether.
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PinKunoichi



Joined: 06 Aug 2011
Posts: 33
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:51 pm Reply with quote
Personally I found the third mystery to be the easiest to follow, and the most compelling. Sure, it could've been built up better, but it was the most rewarding to see once it was figured out.
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AtoMan



Joined: 17 Sep 2012
Posts: 139
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:04 pm Reply with quote
The improvised play was confusing. Also the resolution of the plot relied on certain characters knowing a lot more than they should, having access to half-chinese guy's private property... and generally a lot of nonsense.

Close to dropping the series.
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chito895



Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 511
Location: Lima, Peru
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:20 pm Reply with quote
I actually find Haruta to be the most annoying character of the show. I feel that he's just a smartass who misteriously knows more about the life of strangers than about his own life. How on earth did he knew basically all the problems about the saxophonist? Did he broke into his room and checked his letters? During episode two, although hespoiler[ helped Narushima to get over the death of his brother], was way too pushy and meddlesome. I was glad she slapped him so he could cut out his annoying crap.

Other than that, the show is pretty meh. Chika is not charming and her eyes are distracting as fudge. It was weird how Narushima felt comfortable around the group in such a short time. She seemed like she was a long-time friend. I enjoyed the love triangle scenes, though. I laughed at how Haruta asked his teacher not to give Chika the private lessons.

I hope the show improves over the time, and shuts the mouth of Haruta for a couple of episodes. I'm a bit tired of that guy, already.
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vonPeterhof
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Joined: 10 Nov 2014
Posts: 671
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:40 pm Reply with quote
I'd probably be enjoying this show a lot more A) if I weren't aware that it was being made by P.A.WORKS, whose show normally look way better (a great illustration of the idea that studios generally don't matter); and B) if it didn't keep reminding me of better Kyoto Animation properties. I can't help but think of the basic premise as a combination of Sound! Euphonium and Hyōka (even though I'm aware that only the latter book series is older than the HaruChika books), while the teacher brings to mind Taki-sensei from Eupho and the oboe player's initial image made me think of Mizore from the second Eupho book. All in all it's hard to escape getting the impression that PA is making a really half-assed effort to ape KyoAni. Having said that, that impression weakened somewhat in the third episode, even if its actual mystery didn't grab me quite as well as the previous one. I do like the character interactions and I would like to see where the overall story leads, so I guess I'll stick with this show, trying to block out all memories of KyoAni while watching the episodes Smile
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merr



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 217
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:00 pm Reply with quote
chito895 wrote:
I actually find Haruta to be the most annoying character of the show.

This. I want to like the show, but Haruta is obnoxious.

It's a shame, because it's refreshing to see such an understated approach toward diversity in anime. There's Haruta, obviously, but the sax player in episode is almost more interesting if you're thinking about representation. He's adopted, of Chinese descent, and has gaijin American parents. It's like the trifecta of marginalization in Japan, yet the show has nothing negative to say about any of it. The "your birth parents still love you" narrative is hackneyed to Western audiences, but considering Japan's taboos about adoption, the show handled it surprisingly well.

I'd love to see where this one goes, but I don't know if I can take much more of Haruta's know-it-all-ism or implausible mystery solving ability. Let's also hope they don't pull one of those "Oh, he's not actually gay! he just admires the teacher" things that anime so loves.
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Hameyadea



Joined: 23 Jun 2014
Posts: 3679
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:32 pm Reply with quote
Episode #1-3:

I feel like this show is how last Season's Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru was suppose to be, instead of that "mahō shōjo transformation and catchphrase" shtick. I like Haruchika's plot thus far, although I didn't particularly liked the use of deus ex machina in episode #3. I mean, how Haruta knew about the letter, as well as the suitcase (plus how to unlock it). As a whole, episode #3 does give off a strong self of intrigue, but the ending nearly crashed it for me.
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AholePony



Joined: 04 Jun 2015
Posts: 288
Location: Arizona
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:49 pm Reply with quote
AtoMan wrote:
The improvised play was confusing. Also the resolution of the plot relied on certain characters knowing a lot more than they should, having access to half-chinese guy's private property... and generally a lot of nonsense.

Close to dropping the series.


Agreed. These conclusions are all reached much too easily. I love PA Works so it'll be hard for me to drop this...

...but I find Haruta to be the most smug, despicable character. With his seemingly limitless intelligence, he's like a criminal mastermind but so far not an actual criminal. Just a complete jerk with how he puts down Chika and lords his superiority over literally everyone. "Yeah, spoiler[I solved this mystery last night about your dead brother. Instead of telling you personally, I applied paint to increase the dramatic effect of today's reveal in front of everyone!!] WHO DOES THAT?! Who thinks like that?!
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Cyclone1993



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 944
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:13 pm Reply with quote
I have not yet seen the third episode, but I find this to be the best show of the season so far. (Which might change once I watch Erased, and Dimension W)

Like others have said its like a mix of Hyouka and Euphonium. But its already lightyears better than Euphonium, but the jury is still out on whether or not it can top Hyouka.

But, it is one of the few shows I've seen in quite awhile to which I actually had an emotional response. I'm looking forward to watching the rest of the series.

Plus, the character designs are very nice, and clean looking. Chika's in particular is a standout. Got to love the way they designed her eyes.
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ZiharkXVI



Joined: 29 Jan 2009
Posts: 160
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:13 pm Reply with quote
I don't think it's stellar. It's not bad. Nothing crazy. Btw, I do want to just suggest that our two main leads end up liking each other more than instructor. Just a guess. I have reservations about fully seeing this this solid LGBT representation (aren't they both interested in the same unobtainable goal, which we know will not be realized)? Hopefully you don't get your hopes up too much - speaking to reviewer now - cause I see this ending already forming after watching first two episodes.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 3288
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:32 pm Reply with quote
Chika's eyes were the only thing I liked. Kind of weird to hear Sound Euphonium or Hyouka when the first show Haruchika reminds me off was Phi Brain. Sure, I thought of those shows and others before watching it but it's a matter of how the main character has to out class the rest that really solidifies its approach to storytelling. In place of characterization.

I only watched the first episode but puzzles are not mysteries... no matter how hard you try to frame paint as blood. And this show tried very hard.

I could talk about the "love triangle"- and the Haruchika title- but the whole show is already set up as a year and a half flashback so I don't think I have to. What's the phrase... "prepare for disappointment!" When I first heard about this show, I hoped for not another GLASSLIP and what I got is actually much worse.

GLASSLIP didn't show how little it had until the last few episodes but here, we know it's nothing from the start. It's all about gathering the band, they all have mysteries... somehow, one half of our leads solves everything and the other looks cute.

That's it.

Was I the only one who groaned when the flashforward actually made a character say it was a mystery how they all got together?
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UberAnimeFan



Joined: 27 Nov 2010
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:36 pm Reply with quote
I swear to God, some of the ANN reviewers are unbelievably biased or something because the gist of this review is "This show ALMOST COMPLETELY fails at what its trying to be (a mystery with slice of life elements) but has a couple okay things on the side so A-" but half the reviews of other animes on this site are "This series sets out on what it tries to do but this one side thing bothers me so B- or C+." How the hell is it that a mystery series that you said yourself is not very good at mysteries deserves an A-? lol
Other than that, idk, I don't care for this series very much. The mysteries just aren't very good and quite a few of the characters are pretty annoying and, all in all, I really don't like student teacher romances and, since this series has a romance tag, I can only imagine that's gonna start being a much larger element later lol. The comedy AND drama are both almost consistently super awkward, like the first ep which was probably the best mystery so far but the whole reveal about the reason it happened came across as UNBELIEVABLY AWKWARD to me. And then the "funny" reveal at the end with the guy being hot for the teacher came across as kinda silly and dumb rather than funny or even mildly amusing to me. I don't even care that he's gay or anything like that, I just think the way they did was dumb lol. My overall summary is that Hyouka did it much better lol.

That's not to say it's all bad though, I like when they include musical stuff and the art is very nice to look at but that's not nearly enough to keep me watching. Personally, I wouldn't recommend this to anybody but instead, if somebody were to ask me whether they wanted to watch it, I'd say "Check out Hyouka instead" lol.

Seriously though, somebody tell me I'm not the only one that believes this series REALLY DOES NOT deserve an A-? It deserves a B or even a B-, at best in my opinion.

spoiler[P.S. Are we not gonna talk about Chika getting super annoyed at the girls trying to recruit her to volleyball and then LITERALLY IN THE NEXT EPISODE doing the exact same thing to the girl with her brother's puzzle box was SUPER HYPOCRITICAL? It quite simply does not make sense for a girl who knows how annoying it is to be hounded for something she gave up to do the EXACT same thing the next day lol.]
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SailorTralfamadore



Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Posts: 454
Location: Keep Austin Weeb
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:54 pm Reply with quote
ZiharkXVI wrote:
I have reservations about fully seeing this this solid LGBT representation (aren't they both interested in the same unobtainable goal, which we know will not be realized)? Hopefully you don't get your hopes up too much - speaking to reviewer now - cause I see this ending already forming after watching first two episodes.


Reviewer here. I don't really agree with your ideas about what counts as "solid representation," I guess. It's not about whether it's requited or not; I think not counting unrequited love as "representation" leaves out a whole lot of people's experiences with relationships and sexuality, including a lot of heterosexuals who haven't had much dating experience. Not to mention that unrequited love was pretty much the default experience for a lot of queer people before homosexuality and bisexuality became socially accepted.*

The issue is whether it's textual or subtextual. Does the series clearly acknowledge that the feelings are what they are? In a way where people who are not "looking for it", or even particularly good at picking up on subtext, will see and understand? If yes, it's text. If not, it's subtext.

Haruchika has both characters (Haruta and Chika) outright state the nature of Haruta's feelings, and additionally, compare them to Chika's previously-acknowledged heterosexual crush on the same person. (One of the first indications I had that I was bisexual was when I realized my fixation with another girl in my class was really similar to how I felt about boys I'd crushed on.) So it's text.

By contrast, most "yaoi-" or "yuri-baiting" shows are designed specifically for shippers who have eagle eyes for that stuff, and other people are often oblivious. Sound! Euphonium comes pretty darn close to the text/subtext line -- you didn't have to be a yuri fan to figure out what was going on there -- but muddles it by having Reina dismiss everything with an out-of-nowhere crush on a male teacher. Which is pretty similar to how queerbaiting works in Western media, too.

*This is kind of its own issue in LGBT representation, that we need more stories where gay people have happy endings instead of being doomed to a lonely or tragic fate. But I don't think that Haruta not going out with his band teacher -- something I presume (and hope) that Chika won't be doing, either -- is the same as those stories, especially as a subplot to a show that's mostly concerned with healing teenage melodrama.
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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 5272
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:24 pm Reply with quote
I'm with others on this show, I feel pretty blah about it. I definitely agree with what everyone's saying about Haruta, he's really annoying and meddlesome in a rude and awful way. The part where he dared paint over the rubyk cube was horrifying, whatever his "good" intentions were. That was the last memento of her brother and she should've been the only one allowed to alter it. It was a very violent way to force that girl to move forward. Instead, it would've been more heart-warming if they all guided her to find the solution by herself, instead of spoon-feeding us an answer that no one could've actually figured out. Like this, it's just like Haruta is bullying everyone and exposing their most painful memories and all their vulnerabilities for the world to see. That's just awful. It's looking more and more like Haruta is more of a protagonist than Chika, he's the one solving everything, doing everything, convincing everyone and Chika is just relegated to be awed by his inexplicable intellect. It really defies imagination how on earth he found out all the tiniest details about Maren's family and even got his paws on the suitcase and figured out the password. I also concur in that the play was very confusing and the execution was far from consistent.

I also, sadly, agree with ZiharkXVI, I think there's a sizable chance that the story will go in the direction of Haruta and Chika getting together. After all, their romantic goal is an impossibility. If they were both crushing on a hot senpai or something, it would've been a bit more interesting, imho, because there would be real tension about whether one of them would gain his affections. I do quite like the way they have portrayed Haruta's homosexuality so far, in that it's realistic and, save from Chika's early "eeehhh but you're a guy" moment in episode 1, no one has made a fuss about it or turned it into a joke. Their love-triangle and their "fights" for the teacher's attention don't seem in any way different from what most anime show in regular heterosexual love triangles, which is honestly refreshing, given the amount of stupid gay panic jokes we have to endure regularly.

Overall, I'm just not feeling it
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RestLessone



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 1422
Location: New York
PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:42 pm Reply with quote
I'm glad I'm not the only one who has trouble enjoying the series because of Haruta. He's...really not a nice person. Take the second episode: he messes with a memento and makes a huge show about revealing it. How traumatic must that have been for the girl? I was surprised when they showed the teacher there watching it all go down, not bothering to step in as a student's fears and personal life were spilled for everyone to see.

With that said, I'd be fine with the show if they actually portrayed Haruta for what he is. But they don't. It's just a vehicle for an exciting scene and a way to tie the episode with a bow.

As for him being gay... I still hold reservations that the staff will pair him with Chika. This wont be too bad if they still acknowledge he's bisexual, but anime's track record isn't terribly great. At least it's not a joke or anything. I like that.
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