It’s their first episode…they get stage fright easy
|Goodness, I can’t say no to a show like this. I’m a fan that likes more than his fair share of comfy CGDCT, and Hinako Note fits that bill perfectly – don’t worry for my sanity or sugar levels, I have Berserk to balance this out! So let’s see what set’s this one apart from the rest of the slice of life…|
She’s just a shy little scarecrow…
HInako is such a method actor, and she has a great supporting cast
I think I love this one for just how “chripy” the production is. Show’s like this often show some levels of restraint – OK, don’t call foul on me for that one, these shows are an Encouragement of Gorge at the Boulangerie sans Culpabilité, plain and simple, so dig in. But I think this one wants to just lean into how awkward it’s main character is, and does so in it’s own unique fashion. In the some world that has Gabriel Dropout, or Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka?, or Anne Happy, we have a cast of characters, in this one, that are pretty much all equal, even it they have a titular character, or a first among equals style POV character. But in Hinako’s first outing, it seems that the cast is truly a supporting one – mostly because it’s introduction time. I’m sure later episodes will focus on the other characters, and I’m sure we’ll see some interesting developments and revelations about all of them in the tried and true, ensemble cast method. All in all, this is a show for relaxing, and not for over analyzing. But I think I can handle it’s basics.
Shifting Chibi, the hallmark of any good CGDCTs
We first meet Hinako when she is striking out on her own, easily lost, but not giving up. She’s afraid she has no personality, and is a living scarecrow in that regard. She hears the call of the theatre to bring her out of her shell. She needs a helping hand. In that we have her first two. Kuina is a girl that isn’t afraid to indulge, so that typical teenage fear of gaining weight or being seen as being a glutton is right out the window. Next we have Mayuki, who has no fear of wearing her favorite maid outfits, and even acting the part, simply because it makes her happy to do so. Finally we have Chiaki, who strikes out on her own to form her own drama club, when the school one is on hiatus for lack of members. This is a true supporting cast, and they’ve set out on the right path. Like all these sorts of light entertainments, it’s the balance between the different indulgences that makes them great and memorable, with just a few details they can make a warm and lovely tone.
A bit wistful, a bit insecure, a little bold, and little adventures…
The chief backbone of the show will be the formation of the drama club. This is pretty much the most well worn a path a show can get, but I’m perfectly fine with it. Nothing in these two episodes suggests anything but a lovely walk on a very nice day, and part of that walk is a quaint little foot bridge over a stream. It’s a more than a bit judgemental to insist that the foot bridge bear the weight of an earth-mover, much less any form of automotive traffic, eh? In that mindset the drama club looks like it will be quite the fun little quest, and it will be the way the show happens, not about what the show is. It’s about the character reveals and quirks and good times. It’s not about Kuina eating the pages from a book, it’s about seeing that sort of personality develop to show restraint. It’s not about the quirky maid mania, but about Mayuki finding herself outside the maid persona. It’s not about the drama club, but about former child actress Chiaki finding her uses not only in it, but beyond it. These are exaggerations, of course they are, but most entertainment is just that.
Extra notes and whatnots
A friend to animals and farmers
How Kuina sees herself
How an onlooker sees her
Young Hinako earns tasty rewards
Kuina puts both back, decides to eat the people
That’s a nice stealth bomber
But I find that I don’t like the duck
Don’t worry, all is well that ends well…
I have to admire Passione for their commitment to doing great work with what looks like very little; with great being relative, of course. In that respect we can see that a train-otaku’s hard day’s nighting it into intrigue, an incredibly shallow but still beautiful looking murder whodunnit, and now a shy girl’s journey out of her shadow are some pretty decent work, that can still venture awkwardly into QUALITY. Sometimes we don’t get to work on the great ones, but more often we get to do some work on the mediocre ones, and we choose to make it a great as we can. I think Hinako Note finds them striking a very happy middle. It’s almost reflective of what they’ve gone through at this point, isn’t it? The CGDCT sub-genre will never find itself uncrowding any time soon, and I’m fine with that, I like these little exaggerations for what they are. Which isn’t to say this is a golly-gee great show why aren’t you watching it sort of thing, just that it’s pretty good at what it does set out to do.