Hitorinoshita Series Review

Overview:

Soran’s grandfather’s grave is disturbed and when he goes to investigate he meets a strange girl with long hair. Then he proceeds to get attacked by a whole bunch of people with powers.

I reviewed this week to week so if you want to know about individual episodes click here.

Review:

Right from the start I knew this show was kind of bad but the semi-interesting set-up in the graveyard with zombies kind of got my hopes up for a possible bad horror. Tragically the zombies disappear from the story fairly early on and turn out to be almost completely inconsequential to the limited plot that exists. Instead we’ll get to see ‘outsiders’ (people with random powers) all try to convince Soran that he should join their faction even though no one is really sure why Soran is all that important.

This is one of those shows where characters regularly don’t say things that really need to be said and while they come up with all sorts of contrived reasons to avoid explanations mostly it is just because they have no other way to convince the viewers that they should keep watching other than to withhold critical points. The problem is, after 12 episodes we still really know nothing and telling Soran that he might learn something by entering a tournament isn’t really that much of a carrot to get us to go back and watch any more of this given every other thing that ‘may’ have revealed something has so far revealed only another clueless character acting on their own assumptions.

So with the plot being entirely buried under half-truths and unspoken histories you would think the characters would be working double time to engage the viewer. And maybe they could have made something work except that every single character is a jerk. They are different kinds of jerks but they are all horrible individuals and not in the amusingly bad way some characters are horrible. They aren’t even endearingly horrible. They are the kind of characters you would like to see something tragic happen to but for some reason (despite the large amount of violence and blood in the series) very few people are actually killed during the run time.

That also makes it difficult to care about the current life threatening situation they have set up for Soran (in any given episode). Regardless of what threatens him, he’s fine. He’ll be right. By half-way through the series this is an absolute truth and any potential tension disappears from every situation.

Honestly though, this show is boring. How you make a show about characters with super powers having an underground war (filled with a rich history of lies and betrayals) boring is still a mystery to me but apparently the writers of this have made it a fine art.

Recommendation: Avoid. There just isn’t any point to watching. It’s an unfinished story with almost zero plot or character development and the few cool fight sequences are buried under a whole bunch of pointless ones. Throw in some truly annoying characters and bad dialogue and my firm recommendation is to not waste your time. That said, it still wasn’t as bad as Taboo Tattoo and part of me is still curious as to why anyone is wasting their time on Soran. I’m not curious enough to wish for a sequel but part of me is disappointed that I never got an answer.

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Hitorinoshita Episode 12

Review:

It is very hard to take an episode seriously when it begins with a character being attacked by and then being up a panda. Sorry, but after twenty more minutes of old dying guy telling story I was still stuck on the whole fact that the best way they could show us Houhou toughing it out in the mountains was to have her attacked by a panda. Regardless of anything else that happened, MAL tells me this is the final episode and yet almost all of it was flashback and then Soran decided he’d participate in the tournament thing that was mentioned many episodes ago. The end. Okay, no answers at all and almost no forward character progression. This show hasn’t been as bad as Taboo Tattoo but whether they ever make a part 2 or not, I’m done.

Hitorinoshita is available on Crunchyroll.

Hitorinoshita Episode 11

Review:

Let’s start with a positive: Soran is almost not in this episode after the intro.

Why? Because we’re flashing back to 1944.

Possibly some of what we’ve just learned will become relevant once the guy in hospital get’s to the end of his rambling tale but to be honest I’ve had just about enough of this story at this point. It isn’t even a mystery anymore, it is just with-holding information because otherwise there is no reason for anyone to keep watching. Turns out Houhou was dead boring even before the events at the start of the series. You would think after 70 plus years she could have developed something resembling a personality.

I don’t know if this show is ending next week or not (as it certainly does not feel like they can wrap this story up), but I kind of feel that if this show continues into the Autumn Season (or gets a second season) I’m going to let it drop at that point. I’m not engaged with the characters or the plot and I somehow doubt next week will do anything to change that. If I’m proven wrong next week, that could be a good thing too.

Hitorinoshita is available on Crunchyroll.

Hitorinoshita Episode 10

Review:

Just when you think this show might level itself and get on with a story not riddled with idiocy and clichés out comes the ‘you know nothing’, followed by ‘it’s probably time to tell you’, immediately followed by ‘we don’t know’. It’s so frustrating. And then we listen to people alluding to the fact that they know, that so-and-so doesn’t know, that this happened, that this might be the case and the end result is that only two things of note happen this episode. We learn that Houhou looks the same now as she did 12 years ago and possibly is not human. And, we learn that Houhou is the one who killed Soran’s grandfather (although they may change their mind on that one later given we haven’t actually seen her killing him and only that she is in his memories and that she’s now confessed).

Hitorinoshita is available on Crunchryroll.

Hitorinoshita Episode 9

Review:

Soran’s rescue by Houhou continues but doesn’t. She fights the guy from last week in a protracted ‘but I have this trick’ kind of fight and finally she takes off those ridiculous shoes. Kind of glad she weaponises them in the end because otherwise what was the point of wobbling this far. Soran on the other hand wins his bet, says something vaguely intelligent before returning to his stupid form and getting punched through the floor, and landing right in front of Houhou. Anyway, that would more or less wrap things up but instead we have to pretend we care about Houhou enough that her actually listening to Soran and not moving and then getting multiple stab wounds is something that is going to be dramatic enough that we’ll look forward to next week. Incidentally, I’m just kind of miffed that weapon master guy isn’t a better shot.

Hitorinoshita is available on Crunchyroll.

Hitorinoshita Episode 8

Review:

So from half-decent to watchable at best. There were some genuinely amusing moments this episode as Houhou infiltrated headquarters looking for Chou Soran but then we kept having to go back to Soran who spent most of the episode being an idiot. He did get to make one touching little monologue about Houhou which humanised him a little and then he got punched through a wall and spent the rest of the episode getting beat up but still being completely cocky. While this show remains watchable, that’s about the best recommendation I’m giving it. So many good ideas just getting buried under poor characterisation and execution.

Hitorinoshita is available on Crunchyroll.

Hitorinoshita Episode 7

Review:

For thirty seconds during this episode I didn’t hate Soran as a character. He actually responded to a situation like a human being and was even kind of cool as walked away from Houhou. It was probably the finest moment this series has managed to deliver yet. And was followed by one of the funniest lines I’ve seen this season (though, like with most humour it is only really funny because it is so out of character).

Hitorinoshita7b

The fact that this moment was embedded in an episode that was actually half decent (the low point being the two guys at the office dressing Houhou up like a life size Barbie as they discussed how she should apologise), just made it feel like they should have cut some of the rubbish earlier in the series. Soran could have snapped and had enough far earlier and we could have progressed past him being a whiny victim but instead they milked that for six episodes before finally letting us see that he actually isn’t completely useless.

That said, if Soran reverts next episode it may very well be the straw that breaks the camels back because I don’t know that I can continue watching at that point.

Hitorinoshita is available on Crunchyroll.

Hitorinoshita Episode 6

Review:

I’ve probably said it every week, but Soran is a moron. Other than the initial fight against the zombies he hasn’t won a single conflict and yet he still carries on like he’s all powerful. And when he finally unleashes his ‘full power’ this episode it still isn’t enough and he has to get rescued by Houhou. This week, other than an invitation to some sort of competition to determine a successor, all we get is a strung out series of battles as various groups apparently try to get Soran only none of them do because Houhou is there and apparently she’s amazing. Oh, I forgot an incredibly lame gag back at the office where what’s-his-name deliberately takes a sip of coffee before reading a memo just so he can spit it at the other guy who showed up last week. I really should add this one to the dropped list and if this goes into tournament mode (which that whole choosing a successor thing kind of indicates it might) I will definitely drop it at that point. While Asterisk War and Food Wars get away with tournaments because I like the characters and am invested in the overall plot, Hitorinoshita does not have that advantage.

And in relation to the quote above, maybe people should have a conversation with Soran first. Then they won’t want to get their hands on him or even be in the same anime any more.

Hitorinoshita is available on Crunchyroll.

Hitorinoshita Episode 5

Review:

My question from last episode stands: Why would Soran join up with Express Delivery over the other kidnappers when they attack him, beat him up and threaten him? Of course, my other ongoing issue with this series is Soran himself. He continues to waver between towering arrogance and confidence and absolute patheticness with no in-between. You would think after 5 episodes of getting attacked, kidnapped and beaten that he would have learned some kind of moderation. Also, this episode has the Express Delivery guys beating up a female prisoner which doesn’t do much to endear them to the audience. All and all, there are no characters to actually like in this show and the plot, while there are certainly glimpses of interesting ideas, just kind of meanders.

Hitorinoshita is available on Crunchyroll.