Prepare your bodies for a show about bread.
|Okay I lied … it’s not JUST about bread. Am I the only one who decided to watch it for that reason though? There’s also action, a fantasy setting, and a plethora of girls for our main character Rick to befriend. (Yes, his name is Rick.)|
“I’m sorry ladies, I know you really want my bread, but I’m sleeping.”
This is totally not bread-related forced slavery.
Rick is a baker, a baker who is so uncaring that he lives in an abandoned pirate ship, a baker who is so charming that he has a harem for an alarm clock, a baker who is so talented at his trade that everyone wants his goods (
*winkwink*) … this is the story of Rick. Together with his friends Airy, Neris, and Amil, Rick runs a bakery on Wyndaria Island, home to neko-chans, elves, monsters, and other fantasy oddities. Airy works on deliveries, Neris on finances, Amil on management, and Rick takes care of the most important factor of a bakery, the bread!
I can’t. Please stop.
Short on supplies the group decides they’ll head out to the farm. They borrow a carriage from a sweetly suspicious obachan and ride off into the forest. They stop at a church to give bread to young orphans and are greeted by the minister. After leaving Rick notices a neko-chan named Shaomei who runs an antique store. (She loves Rick’s bread too.) They leave town through a guarded gate and are warned of monsters. Afterwards they visit a waterfall, play a little, and have some lunch.
A wild neko-chan appears!
Amil realizes that they haven’t retrieved enough sugar dew grass they promised for the obachan, so they travel into Elf’s Forest where they find an entire patch of the ingredient. Soon after gathering the grass Amil notices a hurt Sylph, a creature of the forest, and heals it with none other than Rick’s bread! They carry the Sylph back into the forest, but are stopped by an unfriendly elf who takes the Sylph, tells the group to not come back, and leaves.
Alvin – “I don’t want your bread.” Rick – “… B-But everyone wants my bread.”
The people of this island definitely have a bread complex.
Back at the sugar dew patch the group is met by another elf named Elwyn, who apologizes for her brother (the leader of the elves) and asks for some of Rick’s bread. She asks them if they could bring more again some time for her and the Sylphs and Rick agrees. That night Elwyn’s brother, Alvin, tells her to go to bed early for a large storm is on its way. She instead visits the obachan, who tells her the moon has never lied.
Wyndaria Island, surprisingly not shaped like a loaf of bread.
Preview: … I’m assuming more bread?
“THESE BREAD JOKES ARE GETTING OUT OF HAND.”
Before I say anything I should say that I’m not familiar with the game, which from what I’ve heard is pretty fun. Unfortunately, something might have gotten lost in the translation to an anime, because this version lacks anything that I’d call “fun”. That’s not to say it wasn’t an enjoyable watch, thanks to the fantasy setting and endearing characters, but overall it felt underwhelming. I love Japanese originated games, but typically the openings of such games are SLOW. For a game that can be a good thing, it gives the player time to adjust to the controls and familiarize themselves with the setting, but the opening of an anime should draw the viewer in and convince them that they should WANT to watch the next episode … I honestly didn’t feel that way after finishing this. (I will say that the OP has me addicted though!)
As I said though, the characters were the highlight of my experience watching Shining Hearts. The three main girls of Rick’s “harem” are all far from cliches. They’re likable and hopefully in the coming weeks they’ll get more unique characterization to make them stand out from each other. Honestly, at the moment it’d be somewhat hard to tell them apart if it weren’t for the different hair colors! Amil is the most outspoken of the three, while Neris seems like the most mature, and then there’s Airy who I’d describe as the bubbly one of the trio. None of the three girls stand out as the “main girl” which I love, because if this does turn into a more romance driven story then it’ll be less predictable. Rick’s character was definitely saved by Hiroshi Kamiya, who put his unique voice to good work giving the guy some personality that otherwise he lacked.
I’m lost on where the story could possibly go! The “storm” brought up at the end of the episode might bring some plot with it, but otherwise it felt like it might be setting itself up for an episodic-like story. Cat-girl was obviously not thrown into that one scene on accident. This is an “action” series, so at the very least I hope we get some actual action next week. Monsters were hinted at heavily, so we’ll see where that leads. Lastly, there’s the unknown voice from beginning and ending, I’m not sure who that was but I’m sure they’ll be important later.
On production, it felt VERY game-like, especially with the abundance of still shots in like every scene! There’s nothing really to complain about with the animation, again nothing out-of-this-world amazing, but not horrible either, it felt typical of a Production IG show to say the least. I love, love, love the seiyuu cast, excellent choices for the main cast (as I said before about Rick, EVERYONE WANTS HIS BREAD!!). I’m going to continue watching though, fans of the game have said that it gets a lot better so I’m putting my trust in them!
Let’s all admire Rick’s fabulous bread together.