What They Say:
Bypassing the seal, the Logos engage Tamaki and the Shugogo house’s Takuma, Mahiro, Yuichi and Suguru in the promised battle. Encouraged by the cooking of Mitsuru, their determination is restored. Finally, the showdown between the Shugogo house and Logos is about to begin
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Hiiro no Kakera has been progressing pretty well for the first half of the series so far and tere’s been plenty to like, if you can get past some of the preconceptions about it. It does fit into the genre fairly well, but it’s playing things straight for the reverse harem, as is kind of usual, but has made Tamaki less of a problem character than we usually get. She’s not outwardly being all girly over any particular Guardian, though there are some potential interests there, and she’s not being overly pursued by any of them either. They’re focusing on the Seal, how it’s been weakened and broken and trying to deal with what it is that Logos wants as they make their almost surgical approaches to achieving their ends.
That’s not to say that they spend all their time in a worry or panic, frantically training or trying to do something thta may not have any impact. In fact, we get a bit of a cooking period here as Mitsuru cooks them all a meal and we get a little bit of lightness from it all as it shows how Tamaki has learned more about her Guardians. With Mahiro expressing his own interest in cooking as a hobby, it’s a source of potential tension between Tamaki and Mutsuru as you can easily see she’s interested in him, but she also knows that Tamaki is the Tamayori princess and that comes with its own set of rules. But there’s a certain close knit family aspect that’s been coming with the show since the start as the Guardians are all very mellow in their everyday lives. Not lazy or anything, but just secure in their abilities.
The second half of the episode is largely focused on action, which is a big plus as the series does it so well, as the Guardians go against Aria and her Logos followers. It’s got a lot of intensity to it and some striking sequences as they put a lot of effort into it. The detail in some of these scenes is fantastic as is the color design, making me hope for this to get a Blu-ray release just to savor the visuals of it all. What we do see in the battle though is the kind of powers they’re all capable of and the way they fight. Everyone is roughed up to some degree, but what is clearer are the personalities involved when it comes to Aria and Tamaki, especially with how Tamaki just wants to bring things to a peaceful resolution in a sort of classic innocent way.
Hiiro no Kakera is a series that continues to feel like it’s one small but important pivot away from being something really strong. It’s playing in familiar areas with characters that are pretty decent but still mostly just archetypes. It’s avoided some of the traps that bother me the most, it has great looking animation and detail and a story that works very well. But it just needs that one something, that push to be something greater, and it’s very close. The way Tamaki deals with the situation with Aria and Logos makes sense as she tries to defuse and deflect, giving ground in hopes of achieving a victory elsewhere. I continue to have a lot of hope for this series, but even if it falls short, it’ll still be a very solidly enjoyable experience.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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