It’s the day of Hanamaru Kindergarten’s Opening Ceremony, and Tsuchida, the protagonist of this story, wakes up late on his first working day at the Kindergarten. Rushing lately to work on his bike, he then spots an alone young kindergarten girl just standing by her self out on the street. As Tsuchida asks this girl if she’s alright and the whereabouts of her parents, she takes Tsuchida’s words as if he’s hitting on her, as she was influenced upon this in a TV program she watched recently. After replying that she’s just waiting for her mother to pick up something she forgot at home and that she has to “turn down” his confession (since that’s what apparently happens on the program she watched) Tsuchida hastily cycles late to work.
The opening ceremony has just begun and Tsuchida comes in late on the scene. There he meets his co workers and higher-ups and a particular worker Yamamoto, which Tsuchida takes a liking to. Upon introducing himself in front of the kindergarteners and parents, the parents act all insecure and begin to mutter about a male kindergarten teacher. Much to his sudden sense of awkwardness, he suddenly spots the girl he met earlier on in the crowd. Called by the name of Anzu, she suddenly realises that it’s the guy she seen earlier on and suddenly tells everyone that Tsuchida was the one who hitted on her just before the ceremony. Which triggers more suspicions and muttering among the parents about Tsuchida having a lolita complex (lolicon…haha).
While both kindergarteners and parents gather to introduce themselves and hopefully make new friends, Anzu meets two other kindergarteners who were standing bother either sider of her during the ceremony speech, Hiiragi and Koume. Hiiragi, a sincere and mysterious girl, and Koume, quiet and shy one. Tsuchida comfortably fits in with the rest of the Kindergarten staff, being all woman since Male kindergartener staffs are a rarities in this day and age… (Tsuchida’s instant harem?) Suddenly, a strong wind passes by, almost lifting up Yamamoto’s long skirt, Koume’s ribbon comes undone and blows away along with the wind until it hooks onto a nearby tall tree. Anzu insists in helping Koume at retrieving her precious ribbon given by her brother back, and then takes full speed off climbing up the tree. Only until she realises looking down how high she’s up and is unable to get down. The parents, kindergarteners and the staff take note of this and circle around the tree. Just as Anzu in the nick of time snatches the ribbon, she instantly slips and falls off the branch. Luckily, Tsuchida comes saving the day and catches Anzu in his arms. After Tsuchida acting all relieved and Anzu taking a bit in of Tsuchida’s admiration, she receives a slight bashing from her mother coming into the scene. Only to meet Anzu’s teacher, actually being an ex-junior at highschool of hers!
In the second half a flashback is shown back in the days of Tsuchida and Sakura (Anzu’s Mother) at High School (lol GBA SP to symbolise the time frame), where it is revealed that Sakura is going to drop out of school (despite being 6 months away till graduation), and to go along with he “husband” and fly off to America where he has been invited to go a University in the states. Anzu listens to her mother telling old stories about her high school days (like stated above), and Anzu begins calling Tsuchida-sensei “Tsuchi” just like her mother used to in High School. As her parents are preparing for bed, Anzu watches her father give her mother a good night kiss. Sakura tells Anzu to get a kiss from her father too, but Anzu refuses, saying she will get one from her “darling” instead.
The next morning, Tsuchida is yet again late for work, as the night before he was unable to go to sleep so he played video games to “tire himself out”. At the front gate he sees Sakura and Anzu, and after giving their gratitude upon saving Anzu from falling off the tree the day before, Sakura tells Tsuchiro that Anzu has decided to become his bride! Like mother like daughter, Anzu is following the path of her mother since she married her Arts teacher back in High School. And Sakura saying not to worry about the huge age indifference as in a couple of years time when Anzu is older, it’ll all be normal and the two can live happily (Zettai Karen Children much?).
Okay erm… Kodomo no Jikan much? Young female child falls in live with her male teacher in his 20s, that kind of story? Well not quite as unlike Kodomo no Jikan, full of risky lolicon antics and close-to-hentai material, Hanamaru is technically the opposite of it, as there’s no signs of risky perverse humour or action going on. As it’s basically just Anzu going after Tsuchida, and Tsuchida thinking it’s just a play on a child’s mind and she’ll grow out of it someday and is only interested in older woman (thus how he’s interested in Yamamoto) pussy.
Well all in all a great start out for the first episode, vibrant colourful art and animation play, nice touch on Anzu’s hair being a mixed type of her mother’s blonde hair and her father’s brunette hair, and lol at Tsuchida playing Dragon Quest VIII on the night after the first day at work. What’s quite surprising about Hanamaru is that the anime adaptation is done by legendary animation studio Gainax. The company responsible for the epic phenomenon Evangelion and manly unbreakable anime Gurren Lagann. Seriously now. First they did a mature complex type of anime like Eva, did some joint projects with other companies with the slice of life type of anime, came back and did a epic superb anime called Gurren Lagann, and now their first project of 2010, Hanamaru Kindergarten, an anime about Kindergarteners living their daily everyday lives with a teacher they admire. I srsly lol’d. I heard that Hanamaru was originally going to be done by JC Staff, but I guess those reports were nothing more than ill rumours at the time…
Aside from all the slight indifferences between KnJ and the fact that it’s being done by Gainax, the plot elements and the humour in Hanamaru is surprisingly funnier than it looks. The charming and cute faces of the kindergarteners just makes you want to go “aww” with a heart at the end, or for the outcast crowd, “HNNNG” for that matter… The usual high-pitched and moé voices done by an idyllic voice cast of unknown names to me… and the reactions and remarks between the whole “Tsuchida hitting on Anzu” thing. Seriously, they made me literally laugh out loud.
Looking forward to the second episode to see how this carries on. But in the meantime, time to watch the rest of this season’s anime I haven’t catched up to yet.
I now end my post.