HaruChika – 02

HaruChika - She may be out front, but she's not the star

Chika might be out front, but she’s not the star

winter15-highw And now we’re mostly through the FIs, so the focus changes to continuing coverage and honestly we start looking at shows a little differently. So how does a show like HaruChika follow up a premiere that I thought was good, but seemed to have lost quite a few people (Although I’d say it unfortunately never really had them).

Quid Pro Quo

HaruChika - Not even looking

Can’t you see I’m not even looking at you?

The wind ensemble club is still trying to attract new members (with a bit of a clever call back to the OP song for their recruiting). I’d have to say that Chika’s not doing too badly for someone who started playing a month and a half ago, but she’s still not good. But as anime are wont to do, Chika has a run-in with the target of this episode while handing out flyers, when there’s strenuous resistance to even the idea from one Miyoko Narushima (and of course, Miyoko is the one who Chika kinda hassles to take a flyer). This starts an episode-long quest to get Miyoko to join the club, because she’s already been on Haruta’s target list for her past playing the oboe in middle school. But for a yet-unknown reason, she’s completely against the idea of joining the band.

HaruChika - room or shrine

A display case like that is a little maudlin…

I think that they went a little too hard-sell with Miyoko, but they eventually get the whole story from a former friend of Miyoko’s, her next seat person Mayu Nishikawa. Haruta infers an awful lot from the idea that Miyoko is an oboe player although, to be fair, all the oboe players I’ve known were kind of insular, fragile-seeming girls, too. But that doesn’t mean they give up, and Miyoko even gives them a chance to win her over, or at least assuage her guilt towards the little brother who died alone on the day of her middle school band competition (since their parents had gone to see Miyoko). Feeling it was her fault, she quit the oboe then. And given her brother’s penchant for puzzles, she feels like the last one she hasn’t solved is his lasting reproach of her, the embodiment of her guilt. But with some fortuitous sniffing on Chika’s part, Haruta figures it out, and even rigs an emotional demonstration for Miyoko.

HaruChika - hold her back

Hold her down, girls


HaruChika - Don't think those things, Chika

Chika’s not even worried

One of the things that makes this show really work is the chemistry that it’s developing between Haruta and Chika. And it’s an interesting kind of chemistry, because it’s not based on any sort of romance, but it’s also not because of a long continuous friendship. So there’s room for discovery about the other one that helps out the viewer at the same time. But there’s almost none of that awkwardness and guarded feeling that two new friends would have. It’s two people who have reunited and slipped right into where they were before. And it’s kind of fun that there’s no romantic tension, because we can have situations where Chika lampshades “Isn’t it a bad idea for a girl to go to a boy’s room alone?!?!”, which I think everyone kind of thought, but more than Haruta saying “I’m not interested in you”, we feel it implicitly, given who he’s actually interested in. The combination of the two is working well for me.

HaruChika - Not cooperating

I like their inclusion of shots like this. So teen, so appropriate.

HaruChika - a chance

A cry for help

I also liked some of the circularity in this episode which was focused so much on remembrance. From Miyoko’s display case of her brother’s puzzles to her self-imposed penance because of the last unfinished ones, it was about the remembrance of her little brother, and her guilt at his lonely passing. But that’s not what her brother wanted, and his last message to her, in the painted Rubiks Cube that she was too guilty to deface in the intended manner, was about both remembrance and moving on. So where’s the circularity? Well, the Japanese word for remembrance is 覚える, oboeru. You wonder if every time she even thought about her instrument, she thought of that word. And now she has the opportunity to remember without the guilt.

HaruChika - Remembering



This show’s really working for me. The basic premise feels really solid, and as I said the relationship between Chika and Haruta is special. In addition to that, there are a lot of things that it does that feel really next level, like having the band play an arrangement of the OP song, or having Miyoko’s return to the oboe be the feature part in the background music, which is something they did in the first episode having the band feature in the full background music. I think it really helps the immersion of the show. And I also like that they spread out the multi-color eyes with Miyoko, so it’s not just Chika’s thing now. Maybe it’s not the best show of the season, but it’s certainly a good watch.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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4 Responses to “HaruChika – 02”

  1. Overcooled says:

    I’m really digging the puzzle/mystery thing going on with this show. It’s a nice way to introduce new characters and I love the way Haruta and Chika go through solving things. Chika finds all the practical answers Haruta is thinking too hard about, while Haruta takes care of the nitty gritty details like precisely timing when the faces of the cube will fall off. Chika going through all the 5 sense was cute. Glad she didn’t lick it before she smelled it.

    And as you say, their relationship here is really nice. No awkward romance, just some reunited friends getting used to each other again. It’s really refreshing. I can only hope people don’t drop the show just because of Haruta liking his male teacher D:

    • Highway says:

      I like the contrast between Haruta and Chika as well. And other things in her character, like doing situps with the metronome in the instrument room, are fun to see especially since they don’t make a big deal out of it.

      It would be a shame if people dropped the show for that reason, but that just reflects badly on them as far as I’m concerned.

  2. sonicsenryaku says:

    honestly, the only thing i can truly give this series praise so far for is the natural chemistry coming from chika and haruta; everything else is quite generic..which would be fine with me if it wasnt a bit uhmm melodramatic

    • Highway says:

      I really don’t agree with your assessment, unless every show that doesn’t have superpowers or strange diseases or zombies is also ‘generic’. I find the characters to be pretty authentic, and don’t really know what more you’d want to ask for. I think that a show that’s about people doing things people do is always fine, and the fact that PA Works feel it’s a good enough story to make a show of, without some gimmick or tacked-on hook, gives me a lot of hope that I’ll continue to really enjoy the show.

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