Everyone knows of at least one anime that had the potential to be great, but instead it became a pile of crap, wasting all or most of the potential it had. Well Hiiro no Kakera is yet another title you can add to the list of shows that had potential, but wasted it.
Hiiro no Kakera is an adaption of a bunch of popular otome games that currently remain only in Japan. Adapted by Studio DEEN, who can do plenty wrong, you can guess it's them adapting the games improperly that led to this.
The show starts out with a girl named Tamaki finding out she is to become the Tamayori Princess that takes place after an encounter with a weird creature she can see. However the thing is, the show doesn't bother explaining much about what the Tamayori Princess is, or anything else after this happens, which is where the cracks start to show. Events just happen thanks to this, and seem like complete nonsense.
The show later soon throws in the guardians into the playing field, and they don't bother developing them much either. By episode 2, the entire cast is together (A bunch of guys that remind you of the vampires that were around Yuki from Vampire Knight-also by DEEN), and they make it seem like all the characters have known each other for a very long time, and have been fighting battles to protect the artifacts (Another thing they don't bother explaining) from the Logos for just as long which shows even more cracks. They don't bother explaining what their goal is, or why all this is happening which makes getting engaged in the story to be quite tough.
The character development is quite erratic. Early on in the show, they just throw the characters in, but later on in the show they attempt to develop a few characters (Especially Takuma in the final few episodes) a bit instead of just making them poof out of nowhere. This helps improve things, but the cracks are already so deep, it's completely impossible to fix them.
Another example of erratic character development is one moment in the show Tamaki suggests the characters talk to each and get to know each other to help in their battle with the Logos, but this doesn't come to pass as they skip this much needed development completely, which completely dashes your hopes about this show. It just shows Studio DEEN is relying on soley the pretty guys and artwork to make this a hit with fujoshi (It should be noted, the show has already bombed in Japan). This is already evident when every episode ends with those brief scenes trying to show off the guys of the show after the credits are done.
The artwork and animation are the show's strongest suit, and everything looks beautiful, especially during the battles with Logos where DEEN steps their game up, but the unfortunate thing is they put in more work into the art and animation (Especially on the male characters-again fujoshi-bait) than everything else which spells nothing but trouble. The artwork in the end becomes pretty much one of the only reasons to keep watching.
Accompanied by the art and animation is of course the soundtrack, and it just works. Nothing too special, but it fits the mood, especially the music during the battles. It helps make a show that is already tough to enjoy due to it's many flaws in storytelling and character development enjoyable at times.
Now I haven't played the games, so I can't confirm how good or badly DEEN adapted them, but as I've heard from those that played the games, they got nearly everything wrong, which doesn't surprise me as I've heard DEEN has done a ton of other things wrong, and I've seen many of these things for myself. Going by the poor and erratic storytelling and character development, them adapting the games wrong is probably true. I just can't imagine the original source material having all these facepalming flaws.
All in all, Hiiro no Kakera can be an enjoyable show if you don't take it too seriously, you just want to stare at beautiful art, and you're not expecting something like Vampire Knight. It was a show that had the potential to be great, but it was wasted due Studio DEEN messing up yet again and putting too much work into the character designs, the art, and the animation than the more important stuff such as the character development and story. I can only wonder how bad the second half of the show is going to turn out when it premiers this Fall.
This is a beautiful start of what is to be an amazing anime.
To really understand this anime, go into this thinking that it is all prequal to the real story which is Hiiro no Kakera: Dai Ni Sho (2). I would suggest watching the first 3 and the last 3 episodes of this series. All you really need to know is the characters and the base plot. After you got it, please watch the next Hiiro no Kakera season. It's anime you do not want to pass up just because the fist season was inferior.
Story: I can't say I haven't seen this particular storyline before. I can even say I've seen the stoyline done better (see Pretear for better plot devices). The whole plot revolves around keeping an ancient demon sword sealed, and protecting "artifacts" that are explained haphazardly as the story progresses. There are several parts where the storyline deadlines, and here's the kicker, the characters even comment on it. There are one or two plot twists that you see coming a mile away, and I kept expecting, hoping, for some twist that I didn't expect.
Animation: This is one of the key points of this anime. It was pretty. As far as fluid movement, however, there were some points that I think the animators might have gotten a tad lazy.
Sound: I liked the opening theme, and most of the filler music. I marathoned this particular anime, so I'm not certain where I stand on the ending theme. As for the voice acting, there were times when I think they turned the microphone of one of the actors up to 11 just to make me rip off my earphones in pain. Otherwise, it was fine.
Characters: Well, we have the makings of a typical reverse harem. We have: the young pretty boy, the sage, the rowdy one, the blank wall, and the main love interest. Other than that, we get very little in the way of depth (other than one likes meat and motorcycles). The villians (if you can really call some of them that) aren't given much background at all, and I'm still confused about their motives. The side characters were a red herring.
Overall: I would only recommend this for the bishies, and the hope that the planned sequel is a little better.
I found this out by searching for random anime… this came up and It was in dub... soo I was like "Why not!?"
The storyline was freaking perfect and unique and I haven’t really seen anything like this before in books or anime.
The animation and sound was done really well and went well with the anime and made it feel realistic like I was there with the characters.
The characters were developed so well and amazing and each one had flaws and things that they needed to work on. Thought I loved most characters 1 or 2 really bugged me...and felt like they weren’t needed…
My overall opinion of this anime was I loved it so much and I was excited to know that there was a second season.
Hiiro no Kakera: The Tamayori Princess Saga is an anime that made a valiant effort to be an anime that would be an excellent visual display, with likeable characters and an enchanting fantasy storyline. I’d say it got about 1 and ½ out of the 3. Light spoilers ahead.
Story: The story is centered around Tamaki Kusaga; a descendant of the Tamayori Princess whom is tasked with keeping the seal on an ancient sword, Onikirimaru. To assist Tamaki with her task are 5 magical guardians that are bound by duty and blood to serve the Tamayori Princess. An opposing group of magic users “Logos” comes forth and challenges Tamaki and her guardians in order to take Onikirimaru.
The plot sets itself up to be very interesting and intricate. Sadly, that is just not what happens. The story loses pace, and to be honest, I got annoyed with it. The pace goes fast then too slow, then completely stagnant, then fast again, and so on. At some point I think the writers just thought they needed more comedy or more slice of life bits thrown in, which were unnecessary.
Animation: Beautiful for the most part. The fighting scenes have continuity and elegance that I can appreciate. The backgrounds are lovely and add depth to the scenes. The characters are definitely bishie- esque so enjoy.
Sound: The opening song I particularly enjoyed. The rest of the soundtrack was fitting as well. The actions scenes left something to be desired in my opinion, but it wasn’t mediocre.
Characters: Besides the story, this is where the anime had its biggest flaws. The development of the characters was completely erratic, particularly Takuma’s character. While others Yuuichi and Atori were one-dimensional and predictable. I can think of 3 episodes out of the 12 where absolutely nothing happened in character development. For a 12 episode anime I feel like this is ridiculous. All in all, the characters are likeable but ultimately a bit forgettable.
Overall: 5/10. The animation of Hiiro no Kakera is very beautiful and the soundtrack is well done. The plot has some good points, but without characters that develop consistently it’s hard to watch and enjoy. I think that younger anime watchers would enjoy this more than the seasoned anime watcher.