We honestly don’t deserve some one a good as Anzu.
- Episodes: 12
- Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Supernatural
- Airing Date: April 2018 - June 2018
- Studio: feel
Hinamatsuri Preview (No Spoilers)
You often watch stories, especially in anime, about the good-hearted gangster. Yoshifumi Nitta is one of those gangsters. As a member of a Yukuza family he’s worked his way up the ranks by taking care of the people around him, and no, we don’t mean “taking care of” in the cement shoes kind of way. One night a young girl materializes in his apartment. The girl’s name is Hina. She has psycho-kinetic powers and has a rather apathetic attitude towards everything. Regardless, the mild-mannered Yukuza takes her in. We don’t know a lot about the world Hina came from, but we do know it was violent and other powered girls like Hina existed. We meet one of those girls, Anzu, who materializes in town and -- in a very Terminator way -- mugs some bikers for clothes before going on a quest to find and challenge Hina to a fight. Anzu’s life isn’t exactly easy as she arrives in this world with no money and no support. She makes the most of it, though, as he makes friends, works hard and wins our hearts as she finds a place for herself in this world.
Anzu Character Highlights (Spoilers Beyond This Point)
1. A Reformed and Honest Girl
After a badly losing her showdown with Hina, Anzu realizes she will never have a chance of beating her. She then attempts to go home to her own world, but the mechanism doesn’t work and she is trapped. She then camps by the river and steals from stores for food. She is eventually taken in by a homeless camp whose inhabitants teach her the ways of living on the streets honestly. She is willing to learn how to collect cans and stuff and not steal or turn to her powers to survive. She is willing to work hard for the little money she gets. She used her first earnings to by the homeless men in the camp drinks. When Nitta offers her money, she refuses it at first, only accepting it after thinking about how she can help her fellow homeless friends. She loses the money when the shops she stole from early on claim most of it to pay for what she stole. Anzu could have used her powers to fight them off but she didn’t because she wanted to be good. She tearfully recounts the tale to the guys in the camp and they tell her it is okay and it simply means she can start her new life with an honest and clean slate.
2. Nice, Generous, and Friendly
Anzu meets Hitomi one day while she’s collecting. Hitomi is a classmate of Hina’s and a part-time bartender (See HCW: Hitomi). The nice girl Hitomi shows Anzu where she can get large quantities of cans. Anzu is trying to make enough money so she can by a video game in the hopes that Hina will play with her. Hina, as we know, is a jerk. Anzu is so honestly excited to have made a friend in Hitomi. She invites Hitomi to her shack and offers her a large store-bought beef bowl, surely the finest meal she has. Anzu explains how she collects cans and scrap to make money and how she’s proud of what she does and the money she earns. She simply wants to talk with a girl her own age and play things like cat’s cradle or tag. Anzu is so pure and wants companionship; we can’t help but be happy for her in finding a friend.
3. Zealously Protecting the People She Cares For
The homeless are notified by the authorities that they are no longer welcome in the park and have to move. Anzu decides that they should stand up and fight the decision. She wants the community that took her in to stay together. She doesn’t understand why they are willing to split up and move on. She creates signs and everything to stage a protest. The men from the camp tell her no and that they are going to split up. Anzu doesn’t understand why. The men of the camp help her find a new home and she is then taken in by Mr. and Mrs. Hayashi of the Rairaiken Resturant. The couple tell Anzu she can call them Mom and Pop. She feels very guilty when offered food by the couple because she can’t share it with her former friends, the people who took her in and made her a part of their community. She’s never asked to, but she decides to work in the restaurant and help Mom and Pop. She even attempts to take her first pay and buy them something to massage their shoulders.
“Mom and Pop are always talking about how stiff their shoulders are. I want to get them this. They always do so well for me. I want to express my gratitude to them, too,” she says. Anzu eventually offers them a coupon book for 10-minute shoulder massages which they happily accept.
4. Ultimately the Perfect Child
Anzu becomes Nitta’s house guest for a couple of days while Hina is away and Mom and Pop go to a hot spring. She says she chose to stay at Nitta’s because she wanted Mom and Pop to have some time together. Anzu immediately wants to be helpful around the house. She sets the table for dinner. She washes the dishes when they’re done. She sees Nitta cleaning and wants to help and learn his methods so she can then help more around her own home. Nitta tells her while that she’s a guest and that she doesn’t have to clean. She simply replies, “It’s important to help each other out.” She’s such a good girl. Nitta has his own mental crisis and he can’t believe that she is this good, especially compared to experiences with raising the slothful and selfish Hina. He decides to take her to an amusement park as a way to prove his point that she’s just pretending and most kids are like Hina. Anzu is nothing but kind, patient and grateful during her time with Nitta. Nitta tells her she can be selfish since it’s her day off. Anzu’s response, “That’s not good… If a day off is a day to have fun, then we need to have fun together.” Nitta decides to embrace the love and kindness as long as he can, knowing he will be disappointed when reality returns from her ski trip.
Hinamatsuri has been one of the most surprising anime this season. We started watching thinking it would be a show about girls with superpowers from another world doing battle and we were given a quirky slice-of-life comedy with amazing characters. We were surprised to find that the titular character, Hina, isn’t the best part of the show. Anzu and Hitomi are easily the best girls of the show. Anzu’s kindness can make us cry at times, and she sure made us tear up. We agree the writer for the previous article about Hitomi, that a spin-off with Hitomi would be great; we’d just suggest adding Anzu to remind us of how wonderful a world it can be if people were kinder to each other.