Saturday, 4 October 2008

Hyakko - Episode 1

Four high-school girls in a slice-of-life series - Surely this is ground-breaking territory that has never been covered before! Yes, that's right, Hyakko very definitely has its sights set on following in the footsteps of series such as Hidamari Sketch and Lucky Star - Hefty ambitions indeed, but anyone who has been keeping track of this 'Blog will know my love for those two series, so I always welcome a new contender in that particular genre.

This entire first episode is really just a simple device to introduce the four main characters, both to ourselves and one another, as they all find themselves lost in the sprawling complex that is Kamizono high school, and struggle in their own unique ways to find their way to the next class (a class which, it just so happens they turn out to share). So, while Torako boisterously and single-mindedly pressing forward, with her friend Suzume to quietly follow along, so the sy Ayume and aloof Tatsui get caught up in their rather hare-brained way of getting from A to B - In other words, all of the usual kind of characterisations you might expect from such a series are here.

While this opening episode does a decent enough job of introducing us to this quartet, it doesn't really take us very far beyond that - As a series it certainly doesn't have the immediacy of the two shows I name-checked at the start of this entry, both of which (and I'm thinking of Lucky Star in particular) seemed far happier to dump us in at the deep end and let us figure out the rest rather than laying out individual relationships on a plate. Thus, this episode almost felt a little forced in the way it went about things at times, making it feel less natural than you would probably like, particularly given its slice-of-life aspirations.

Still, such series are often difficult to pin down based upon a single episode so I can't be too harsh on it just yet, but I certainly think that Hyakko will have to do a lot more to impress the masses over the coming episodes to share that hallowed ground occupied by certain other inhabitants of this genre.

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