Hayami is Jesus, or Final Thoughts on H2O

Posted by Demian @ 9:51 pm, March 23rd, 2008

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I’m going to miss these chibi’s.

H2O definitely has one of the more unique endings for any eroge adaption. I’m still trying to sort my feelings out on it, because it wraps everything up while at the same time leaving one thinking “what the hell just happened?” I’ll just go through things blow by blow (not that I encourage anymore beating of Hayami). Massive ending spoilers ahead.

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WHY CAN’T YOU JUST DIE?!

After Hirose’s heroic save of Hayami, it is discovered that he has actually reverted to an infantile state and has latched on to Hayami as his mother. The freudian interpretations here are endless. The evil old geezer also gets arrested by the police. This is the only time I have ever seen the police be useful in an anime. EVER. Hirose leaves the village with Hayami to return to the apartment he lived in with his mother, in the hope that it will trigger a return of his memories. One day in the city Hayami decides it’s time to force Hirose back to normal and tells him his mother would never of abandoned him. Conveniently, at this time a little kid chases a ball into the path of an oncoming train, and Hayami runs after the kid to save him. This jogs Hirose’s memory and he realized that his mother didn’t kill herself, but that she was saving a kid that day, too. Oh, and Hayami dies.

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~maki maki maki maki maki maki maki maki maki maki maki maki maki~

Hayami dying is the cruelest joke H2O could of played. This being anime I knew she couldn’t possibly be dead, but this being anime I knew she possibly could. So of course I’m confused the rest of the episode as everyone wears black but no one actually says she’s dead; and then there’s a time skip forward. Honata is the new elder, though she looks to hot to be any kind of elder. Hamaji married Maki, or at least I think that’s what was hinted at. Any way, the sexual relationship between a woman and a man who dresses like a woman is fun to think about. Hirose has returned to the village, become a bishounen, and is now building a windmill, cause we have to have one more windmill motif. Just as he finishes it a young girl called Otoha runs into him. Yes, it’s that Otoha, and she has a surprise for Hirose: Hayami revived from the dead! Yes, unlike most anime where the person you thought died was just healing for a long time, Hayami is physically resurrected. How appropriate that I watched this episode on Easter.

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EILF

Hayami’s death is the most surprising point of the series, and it actually works really well. I didn’t realize how much I liked Hayami until a train hit her, so it solidifies my feelings for her and connects me that much more to the show. It works with the whole theme of the show, returning to the question of the first episode: when bad things happen where is God? This episode answers the question: God is always with you, you just have to believe. The death and resurrection of Hayami literally shows this, as she is revived for the faithful Hirose. One really has to wonder about all the religious undertones here, and again how ironic that it’s Easter. What I don’t like about Hayami’s death is that it’s exactly like Hirose’s mother. Of course, it drives the point home, but how many people get hit by trains in Japan? Is there some kind of national epidemic of rogue trains I should know about? So the death was good overall, I just don’t like the execution (no pun intended).

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If only everyone could be resurrected that good looking.

H2O really surprised me as a series. It doesn’t have stellar animation and the characters have a “been there” feeling to them, but there’s still a gentle warmth to them and everything just comes together perfectly. There’s a tense sense of drama that drives the show, and it never lets up. It doesn’t get bogged down, like many eroge adaptions, in trying to tell the game’s story, but takes the essentials of a good story and builds the anime around it. It helps a lot that there’s only three girls stories to tell, but also that the focus was always on Hayami. H2O reminds me a lot of Gift, in that both are low-key works that maintain a good sense of drama. H2O might also be the first ero-adaption I’ve actually managed to finish watching since Gift. I’m sorry ef, but not all the pretty animation in the world could get me to care about Chihiro. H2O is probably destined to be one of the forgotten ero-adaptions, overshadowed by the Clannad’s of the world. However, that doesn’t make it a subpar work at all. It’s a good drama, familiar to any anime fan yet at the same time holding its own surprises. Can’t ask for much more, or at least I won’t from my romance.

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P.S. a final comment on why time skips are awesome: damn, Hamaji’s sister filled out nicely.

Magical Girl Otoha: Defeating Evil One Farm Subsidy at a Time!

Posted by Demian @ 8:53 pm, February 23rd, 2008

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Would hate to see what the dad looks like.

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But sisters are still sisters, right? Especially if you can sleep with them.

I think this is the weirdest non-SZS anime episode I’ve ever seen. There’s eroge parodies, magical girl Otoha, Miku Yui, various SD shenanigans, and a cross-dressing uncle *shudder*. It was all pretty funny, though, especially all the blatant poking fun at eroge cliche’s. I would have to say the farming is also probably the weirdest concept for a magical girl, though apparently not weird enough to make an actual OP for. Takuma realizing how screwed up everything was and being forced to change it was great, too. You never expect him to get violent, so when he does you can’t help but root for. I wish he really did beat up those bullies back then, but at least he’s strong enough to beat them up now.

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Hamaji has the line of the episode. Line of the show even. Hell, line of the season probably.

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The last bit of the episode did get serious, showing that everything was just a test for Takuma by Otoha to see if he was strong enough to handle things on his own. Satisfied that she can be at rest now, Otoha disappears from the world. A touching moment overall, not too sad since we haven’t that much of Otoha, but much more creative than her disappearing without doing anything. I have an idea of where the show will head from here based on spoilers, but I really want to see the next episode. Which is odd for me since I usually don’t like this kind of show that much, but there’s something about H2O that makes me just like it. I think I’ll talk about that more when the show’s actually done.

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I wonder if this is the first instance of a Hatsune Miku parody in anime, or has SZS snagged that honor already?

In Case of Emergency

Posted by Demian @ 12:47 am, January 20th, 2008

So I was reading the wikipedia article on H2O ~ Footprints in the Sand and it mentions a rather unique feature of the original game, perfect for when you are caught in the *ahem* act.

There is an additional “emergency” button that can be activated if the player does not want other people to know they are playing an adult game. This option shows a random piece of artwork unrelated to the game’s content out of around one-hundred images. These images are rather bizarre, one such image containing a black and white photograph of a toy horse head with red “blood” splattered around the edge of the image

Cause as everyone knows, violence = good and sex = bad. Not even a severed horse head can change that. Instead of a questionable emergency button, I think Hayami has already shown us the correct reaction for anyone caught playing an eroge:

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Truer words have never been spoken.

Impressions: Rosario + Vampire, H2O Footprints in the Sand

Posted by Demian @ 9:17 pm, January 7th, 2008

Rosario + Vampire

A lot of people have been harping on this show for having too much fanservice, which to me is absurd since this is supposed to be a fanservice show where fans are serviced with many shots of panties. There are more blatant fanservice shows out there, like Hanaukyo Maid Tai, which oddly enough I enjoyed. Anyways, I found Rosario + Vampire a rather pleasant show all around. Moka is definitely cute enough to head the show and her vampire form is deadly sexy. The little transformation bit was pretty cool, too. Reminded me of Castlevania. The only thing that could really hurt this show is the story. Anything too serious would ruin the mood, though some stylish action could be nice. I know Gonzo can do stylish action; I watched Black Cat. I’ll just have to keep an eye on this one and see if the fanservice can remain pleasurable enough.

H2O Footprints in the Sand

Admittedly I decided to watch this because the character designs were pretty good, but now I think there’s potential for a good story here. The opening monologue was very intriguing and it’ll be interesting to see how that foreshadows the series. It’s also not often you seen an anime open with a girl getting punch. Hayami’s plight throughout really annoyed me, both in the inability of anybody to interfere and Hayami’s own acceptance. That’s probably a major part of her story that will need to be worked out. H2O’s claim to fame though is the blind protagonist Takuma. Takuma is a little too hapless and clumsy for my liking, even if he is blind. Hell, if he’s blind he should easily be able to jump around and have super sense, like daredevil. There’s wasted potential there. But, of course, Takuma miraculously gets his sight back at the end of the episode, so that angle didn’t last long. I can already tell Otoha isn’t real, whatever she is, so hopefully they’ll do something interesting to integrate her into the story. Personally, I hope she’s God, cause the idea of having sex with God sounds awesome. H2O has the potential to be both good and bad here, depending on how quickly the story can get moving. Though, the real question is…

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What the hell are these guys supposed to be doing? The result of too many hours at the office and too much beer?