As Hanako-san continues stretching on, I’m gradually realizing how inconvenient the panel-for-panel manga format is. Although it does have its handfuls of artistic still-frames, the awfully close mimicry of the manga inquires the question: “What’s the difference in experience?” Granted, we do have the astounding voice acting of Ogata Megumi and occassional expressive still-frames but that’s really all defining Hanako-san’s anime. I understand the concept of wanting to keep the manga’s hearty aesthetic alive but in doing so, some anime-exclusive aspects are inevitably lost. If it had to be a win-lose situation, I would rather the anime-exclusive aspects over maintaining the manga’s aesthetic. After all, manga can never manifest exclusive talents like animation. Only anime can. The sacrifice Hanako-san’s adaptation is making feels too wasteful from an outsider’s perspective.
I did not read the manga first so I can’t put myself in the shoes of someone who wishes to relive the manga’s aesthetic once more. If I did make a measly attempt to stuff myself in an insider’s shoes, I’d, like my original claim, prefer it more ‘anime’ than manga. If I wanted to enjoy the choreography and aesethetic of the mangaka, I could always revisit the manga. I’d hope the anime would offer an original yet familiar atmosphere to Hanako-san. I’d like to be able to look at it as its own entity and not as the “Manga Adaptation.” I wouldn’t want an exact carbon copy or even close simulation to the manga (I’m not describing narrative content, just presentation style). Please note, I’m speaking from my outside experiences of reading manga and then watching anime. If you asked how I felt about those ‘outside experiences’ such as my experience with Yagakimi’s manga, I’d say a similiar phrase. If I went back in time and read Hanako-san before watching it, I’m sure my opinion would be substantially disparate.
Enough of this though. I can always rant about this later. We’re here for Hanako-san’s episode seven, right? Let’s get this!
Half a season has passed and now we’ve decided to introduce the overarching conflict. I’d have preferred its introduction earlier into the game. It would’ve saved a lot of lolly-gagging Hanako-san’s third and fourth episodes did along with time. However, albeit the timing of this conflict isn’t most conducive, I do appreciate how it was delineated. Hanako-san starts its seventh with a relaxing baking session between Nene and Kou accompanied with wholesome dialogue exploring Hanako’s harrowing past and Nene & Kou’s qualms on their futures if they decide to stay incorporated with Hanako. Fun heartiness.
Through this, Hanako-san is beginning to strengthen Kou’s wobbly stance as a character to equal grounds alongside Hanako and Nene. Considering the lack of deeper heart he has in comparison to the two, I feared he would become a lifeless plot device or convenient prop for the remainder of the series. Come this seventh episode, he too, relieving, gets an opportunity to take part in meaningful dialogue and heartfelt monologues. He does a comparitively adequate job in his various speeches and even establishes a foundation for his and Nene’s relationship. Now he’s going somewhere; thank goodness. I was scared for his future there!
After Nene and Kou finish cooking up success in the form of donuts, Nene delivers them to their beloved recipent, Hanako, who gladly takes them. In the midst of it, they also resolve their qualms and feelings about one another as discussed with Kou from earlier. Our teeny conflict was finely resolved, Yipee! Current problems tally zero! Halleujah!
In comes Dark Hanako, breaking into our privacy via donut bag. According to Dark Hanako, Regular Hanako killed him. At first, I thought Dark Hanako was the past version of Hanako that Hanako tried to purge, hence, Hanako killed not someone else, but himself however, according to some vague-ish dialogue betwen the baddies, Dark Hanako is Hanako’s twin brother. Aw. Regardless of that extra notion, this interaction was nothing too special. It served as a well built-up introduction to our primary villain for the rest of the season and compacted a brief but strong representation of Hanako and Dark Hanako’s tense relationship in a matter of measly minutes. Overall, a praiseworthy intro to our new conflict.
Then, for whatever reason, Hanako-san takes a little bit of a too dramatic tonal change into lighthearted comedy. In that change, Hanako-san injects miniscule tidbits of our new conflict such as the baddies’ goal of creating rumors to cause <effect>. That inclusion is melded inbetween Hanako-san’s comedic layers which is why the seriousness of such a statement gracefully flew to our ears rather than abruptly stop us in the mood. Otherwise, Hanako-san spends the rest of its episode essentially fucking around. We get to see the baddies’ plan come into action when a new rumor appears but the tension of that situation evaporates almost immediately when the apparation behind the rumor bursts into a barrage of weak comedic dialogue and obnoxious iterations of them. I found the sudden shift from comedy to drama abrupt and the comedy in the second half especially felt lacking in noteworthy, or even borderline tolerable content.
Ultimately, Hanako-san gives us a mild episode chock full of the good and the bad. I can’t classify this in either broad category so for now, we’ll keep this episode’s status as mild. I’m not looking forward to next episode’s content but I’m not despising its arrival with every coming week. A simple meh to Hanako-san. This has been Inski and bye-bye!