Recommend : Maybe
HaruChika is not the easiest anime to love at times. It doesn’t really have a main story and if you let yourself get tangled up in that fact you can lose the underlying story that actually makes it worth watching.
I can’t say yes but I can’t say no. Unlike the previous Final Thoughts, Prince of Stride, returning even just for the final two episodes let me enjoy them much more.
For me maybe my own feelings on what I felt should and shouldn’t happen got in the way of enjoying the series. It was tagged in most places as a musical/mystery series and whilst there was lots of music and lots of mysteries the one thing that was missing was a point.
Its all well and good for them to have a goal in mind but there was never really a point that they were aiming for. Episodes told pointless stories, solved fun mysteries, made a giant group of characters that you never got to know. It would have been better served with a longer run with more focus on two separate stories. Whilst we know they needed the extra characters to join the competitions there was too much going on to ever get to know anyone they were trying to recruit, and whilst the “important” characters where highlighted well in their episodes it just didn’t work.
One moment a character was important, the next you wouldn’t see them again.
Gaining new members.
The friendship between members.
The mysteries surrounding EVERYTHING.
The rivalry between Haru and Chika as they both had a crush on Kusakabe.
Chika trying her hardest to become better at the flute.
All these points are scrambled together and stuck inexpertly into every single episodes. There are mysteries, angst on Chika’s side, funny little moments to bond the characters, plenty of arguing on Chika and Haru’s side and then the ever present “I wanna know what happened to Sensei.”
Never do any feel that important though.
Chika trying to get better is overshadowed time and time again, we see her struggle but her personality refuses to allow her to wallow, no one ever gives her the credit she deserves and most of the time they lay blame at her door or make her the butt of the joke. The closing moments of the anime is when finally some praise is steeped on her for being the heart of the group but even that is crowded with insults as well.
There is a good group of characters in the show but they never really focused on bringing them together. It was sad that there was a original group and a group after Chika and yet the original group was never good enough to be the focus, the focus on the final episode just made it more prominent that we went through a series that could have highlighted THEIR skills too but put them on the sidelines never to be seen again.
Whilst the mystery of Kusakabe is partly resolved in the final episode it became THE thing for Haru and then forgotten THE THING again and forgotten again and the end to that mystery leaves it open to be explored more as it feels like one puzzle piece in a million. It was like Haru shifted through a puzzle box for 12 episodes and finally found one corner and nothing more. He still has a entire puzzle to put together but we’re just happy that corner is found and staying put and that is enough for now.
Personally the reason I’m a maybe is that it isn’t the most thrilling, interesting or well put together piece but if you go into it just thinking of having some fun you might enjoy it. It isn’t a bad show but it isn’t a particularly good one either. I enjoyed great parts of it even on original viewing but I disliked much of it too.
The musical score is beautiful though and some of the individual stories told are magical. Its worth a try just don’t get any ideas of it pushing above its weight because it starts off slow and steady and ends the same way. In fact months have passed and challenges over come but it feels like you are still at the same spot you were in episode one.
Give it a go if you have nothing better to do.