Thursday, 8 January 2009

Hyakko - Episode 13 (Completed)

So, we reach the final episode of Hyakko, and it appears that the series has pulled a bit of a Hidamari Sketch on us, switching us around to the first day of school before most of the major characters had ever met one another.

While I suppose this is an interested concept to shake things up a bit, and does feel quite "right" in its own way as the end of the season, to be frank there isn't really a lot here for this episode to show for itself. Occurring as it does before the first episode chronologically, there's no real opportunity for character interaction, leaving us watching each person in turn going through the motions as the prepare for a first day at their new school, which is quite frankly as dull as dish water. Yes, it lets us grab a reminder of each character's foibles, but we've already had plenty of that, and when put into isolation it doesn't even have a humorous or interesting tone to it.

With all of that in mind, it's left to Torako and Suzume to steal the show, waking up as they do in a bus shelter and on the run from their parents. Even this is hardly grade A material, but somehow the two of them, their predicament and friendship at least makes for a slightly more compelling reason to watch, and Torako in particular has remained easily the most watchable character of this series throughout on account of her effervescent personality.

Much as I've tried to be nice about Hyakko, and much as though it produced at least one rather good episode (its twelfth instalment, oddly), there really isn't a lot to say about it as it turned out to be a rather dull and boring little series. At the end of the day, that single episode aside it never really had any heart or real emotion, it just seemed to be going through the motions and trying to tick some check boxes as though it were partaking in a multiple choice exam. I may end up getting arrested for it, but all I can tell you is my own honest and considered opinion, and that's that Hyakko simply wasn't a very good slice of life comedy, which ironically produced its best material when it didn't try to be funny at all for an episode.


ajshepherd said...

I have to agree with you on Hyakko. It was on the whole a disappointing series, very 'by the numbers', and while it had a few good moments scattered thinly about on the whole I found it bland, tedious and ultimately forgettable.
So tedious I've yet to summon enough enthusiasm to watch the last two episodes.

Michael in Aust. said...

It is a bit of a shame that the series is getting overshadowed by this criticism. I have to admit that I had trouble after the first episode whether to stick with it, but I'm glad I did. It IS an oddball sort of series, and definitely not a memorable one, but the characters really are appealing.

Right now, I am more worried about the third season of Minamike, as the first two episodes have not grabbed me (both animation quality and stories), and I was REALLY looking forward to a return to first season quality...

Mike said...

I found it enjoyable. I don't really enjoy the slice of life genre, but this show had a certain something that appealed to me.