Harukanaru Toki no Naka de anime review

Harukanaru Toki no Naka de anime review
One rainy day, Akane crosses path with a kind young man who tacitly offers to her his coat. On their second encounter, he confesses that he has no recollection of who he is, his name or his past, but feels contented by just being with her. Besotted, Akane sets out to find his name, and to unravel his enigmatic connection with a famous cursed dance rumoured to kill anyone who attempts to perform it.

Mmmn, where have I seen this anime before? I started watching this series, not expecting too much since it was, after all, based off of a video game. And what anime based off video games ever turn out to be any good, I ask?

I must admit, the animation for this series is nothing short of stunning, and actually quite shounen-style for its shoujo demographic. The colors are bright and saturated instead of pale and pastel, and sharp angles instead of the rounded, soft curves of most shoujo anime.

Many people will find themselves comparing this series to Fushigi Yuugi, and rightfully so. They are, essentially, the same genre, aren't they? Girl student gets zapped into a magical ancient world (Japan in this case, instead of China or Gaia) only to be begged to save the world using magic powers that have yet to be awaked in her. Of course, she agrees, completely ignorant to the whole story, but she's cute! Who cares if she's clueless?

After all, it is always the clueless, pointless, helpless, [insert adjective here]-less girl that every single one of her guardians just falls haplessly in love with, to the point where none of the guys can get along with each other because they are fighting over who gets to protect the girl.

Some people like this series better than Fushigi Yuugi. Admittedly, the animation is light-years better than the Fushigi Yuugi series. The character designs are also far more exciting. However, these are all shallow reasons to prefer a series, if you ask me. The only thing more shallow than that are the actual characters in HaruToki. Instead of investing in having guardians with depth (which might make up for the flatter-than-a-two-week-old-liter-of-Pepsi heroine), they paid more attention to their hairstyles than their actual characterization.
On an additional note, HaruToki is one of those animes that showcases some of the best male talent that the seiyuu community has to offer. It is a pity this series couldn't do more to stretch their abilities.

Of course, I am only halfway through the series. They just finished introducing Eisen, the final Hachiyou into the mix at episode 11. But Harutoki is only 24 episodes. Fushigi Yuugi was 52 and then some. The characters in this series are too macho and mysterious, without any flaws. Additionally, the comedy relief in this series is severely lacking, and the attempt with the tiny demon Tengu is not only annoying, but extremely un-funny. It is obvious that he was included as obligatory comedy relief for any kiddos watching.

I will continue watching the rest of this series to see if there is any improvement (and because, yes, the boys are pretty; I am not above a bit of eye-candy once in a while), but I have a problem with an anime series that cannot succeed in getting you emotionally invested in even one character by its halfway point. (Especially when they are so! darned! pretty!)

HaruToki is essentially the female equivalent of a boy's harem anime. I have heard the manga/video game/etc. is much better, and that this is a severe improvement from the OVA series that preceded it. I am just calling it as I see it. This is mindless fluff, which suffers from stale characterization and lack of originality--to the point where even a few cliches wouldn't hurt.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Harukanaru Toki no Naka de. Watch it now:
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