Healer Girl

TV (12 eps)
3.554 out of 5 from 499 votes
Rank #4,960

The story is set in a world where three schools of medicine are pervasive: Western medicine, Eastern medicine, and "vocal medicine." The healing of illness and injuries via songs is a special technique that not only improves the mental health of patients, but also the mental health of doctors. Such "Healers" strive to sing when called upon to respond to the health and anxiety of patients and doctors alike. The anime depicts the healer girls in training at the Karasuma Vocal Medical Institute.

Source: ANN

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This spoiler-free review was written based on early opinions of an ongoing anime series (up to episode 9).Healer Girl is a fun concept with a feel-good vibe. Does it do anything groundbreaking in terms of story, characters, animation, and sound? Not particularly, but it blends these four elements nicely to make an enjoyable, albeit casual, watch.The anime is set in a world where Eastern and Western medicine are supported by the relatively new concept of vocal medicine, and it follows the story of three girls training to be vocal healers. The main character, Kana, is your typical genki-girl with a good attitude and a lot of heart. She is complemented by the gentle and responsible Hibiki and the strong-willed and driven Reimi. The main cast don't break the mould as far as archetypes go, but their personalities are engaging and they each have a couple of unique quirks that help maintain your interest as the story progresses.The animation is vibrant, and the use of music within the story lends itself to some more abstract scenes that play with landscapes and character art a little more than your average slice-of-life anime. The colourful character design is particularity appealing, though this anime certainly won't win any awards on the diversity front with a predominately white, slender, female cast (though there are small hints at LGBT+ themes). While well drawn, the backgrounds and settings of Healer Girl aren't overly distinctive, but there are occasions when extra effort is put into a location or scene, and this really serves to elevate the overall aesthetic of the show.As a musical anime, Healer Girl is never short on musical numbers, and these prove enjoyable and evocative within the context of each episode. The vocal performances are of a high quality (though I'd be remiss to call any of the songs particularly memorable) but Healer Girl's attempts to interweave the musical theme with the story telling can be a little sloppy in places. There were a couple of scenes over the first nine episodes where characters sang short pieces of dialogue, and this broke my immersion in otherwse enjoyable scenes. I understand the idea was to communicate just how ingrained music is within the main characters' lives, but the execution was a touch too awkward for my liking.That being said, there's plenty to praise when it comes to this anime. The pacing is appropriate for the genre but doesn't succumb to the pitfalls that other slice-of-life animes can sometimes find themselves in. Each episode is well contained, and the ones that follow on from each other wrap up plot points nicely without labouring the story. The characters are well defined, and the characteristics of a world wherein vocal medicine can perform near-magical feats are interesting yet easy to follow.As we wrap up what I imagine will be a typical 12-episode first season, I'm looking forward to how some of the story's conflicts and tensions will come to a peak and anticipate a second season for their resolution. Overall, I found Healer Girl to be a very easy watch with just enough plot and world-building to keep me interested without being too taxing on the old noggin. Based on the nine episodes I have watched so far, I would recommend this as a playful palate cleanser between more intense animes.

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