What They Say:
Inaban is not well and she has been hiding it from the group. Taichi, after switching with her, has felt her physical pain and is determined to help her.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The introduction in the second episode of Heartseed lead me to have some hopes for the series in a certain way that it would be more than just a particular kind of show. But as we saw with the third episode, it’s intent on giving us character growth amongst the switches as everyone leaerns things about themselves and others while Heartseed watches on from a distance. That’s not necessarily bad, and there’s still a chance it can shift gears as it progresses, but it took some of the wind out of its sails for me. There’s cuteness and fun to be had with this group of characters, especially since they’re not exactly boilerplate in some ways, and there’s a certain better realness about them here than we get with a lot of other shows.
For this episode, the focus has shifted to Inaban, the girl who has gotten little play overall since these events began and has been kind of the serious one amongst the five. With her suffering a bit of a dizzy spell, that’s put her in the center of attention for a bit. Amusingly, Inaba is the type to be all aloofly concerned about everyone else while playing the wise one and she uses this situation to get Taichi to try and help Iori with her trauma after learning of how he helped Yui, even to his own pain. With Iori, we learn how she’s had to adapt a number of masks over the years due to her mother remarrying several times and giving her a total of five dads, though not all were official. With the way it went, she changed herself as it went on to match them so that she could get along with them. But the last one told her on his deathbed to live her own life, something that has impacted her a great deal as she seemingly doesn’t know how to anymore, to know what it is she wants.
While we get a lot of interesting material about Iori, it shifts back to Inaba in a good way when she switches with Taichi. When they get back, he makes his own push to confront her over what her problem is, both in the sickness and in her heart, that keeps her at a distance from everyone. There’s some natural fear there, taken further than some might think realistic in some ways, but it’s an honest emotion on her part as she struggles with the swapping. She wants to be part of the fun that everyone is having, but something is keeping her back from doing so. Taichi’s method of trying to reach out to her is one is certainly amusing and definitely dangerous in its own way, revealing a truth about himself that could ruin their relationship. But as we saw with Yui, he’ll go the distance to help those he cares about.
While I’ve gone all over the map in how I feel about this series, I do have to admit that it has managed to charm me at times with its simplicity. But it’s also not really simple at the same time. Dealing with stories of the heart never is when you get all the gradations and variations, but we’re so used to shows that are superficial and clean in a way. With this episode, we get under the skin a bit more and you have Taichi making an admission that most guys would have to say is true about friends they have. But it’s something that I’m hard pressed to have come up in anime before outside of hentai series, which don’t count in this context. For that alone, the show gets a good bump. But I also like that while it dealt with Inaba’s issue, it laid the foundation for Iori as well without making it all about one or the other. I’m still hopeful the series has something bigger in store, but more like this will be welcome.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.