What They Say:
From her grandmother, Shizuki, Tamaki succeeds as the Tamayori princess to protect the Onikirimaru. Tamaki is puzzled, but surrounded by her guardians, Takuma Onizaki, Mahiro Atori, Yuichi Komura, Surugu Ohmi, who protect the Tamayori princess. Tamaki tries to find out what the Tamayori princess is and what the Onikirimaru is.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With its opening episode, Hiiro no Kakera didn’t exactly break new ground but it covered familiar territory well while having some stunning looking backgrounds and designs to it. Typically the reverse harem stuff isn’t all that much of a draw for me since it gets caught up in overly emotional aspects that weakens the characters on both sides of the equation, but there are times where things just break out a bit more and it takes some chances. So I’m ever hopeful of encountering another one. What can also help is if the lead character is more than just a shallow excuse of a person as that can make the whole thing work better, especially since it’s almost always something where she’s being protected by a good sized group of guardians.
For the most part here, Tamaki is now settling into her normal school life side of things even knowing there are several guys there that are watching out for her. The guys have their small tensions along the way, especially when it comes to a particular foreign teacher that one of them considers his own, but mostly it’s just pretty relaxed as Tamaki gets into the groove of the school and the guys with their personalities. On the plus side, Tamaki is a bit more forceful here early on compared to some other heroines in this position as she wants to know what’s really going on with her family history and what her position means. Having seen the “drowned gods” already and knowing many secrets are involved, she wants to be clued in from the start. It’s expected that we’ll get some answers of course, but others are certain to be kept from her for some time to come.
While Tamaki does come closer to finally accepting her position and connection to things with some of the events that unfold here, such as her breaking a seal on a warehouse, the guys are also getting better at working together with things when it comes to protecting her. Her push for greater understanding is pretty strong here, at least compared to some other shows, and she makes a concerted effort to learn more while under everyone’s protection. It’s a welcome change of pace that she doesn’t try to find all of this out on her own, getting away from those whose job is to just protect her. OF course, that doesn’t mean things don’t go awry at times since she’s still not completely understanding of her position and even as cute as it is, you can sense that it could go badly quickly. And it provides for some excellent action on the guys sides, showing them all as hugely competent young men that work well, even if not well together.
In some ways, I’m still not sure what to make of Hiiro no Kakera. It’s doing everything right and avoiding some of the usual pitfalls, but it hasn’t managed to find what makes it unique within itself in terms of story or character. The animation is striking, the character designs are great and I loved the action sequence here that just did a whole lot right. But the story itself is very much around the edges at best as its focus now is on Tamaki really coming to understand the position she’s in, which in turn should help the viewer as well. It’s just felt like it needed a stronger story hook early on to make it connect better, but it’s instead taking a more circular route to getting there which could unfortunately shed some viewers along the way.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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