HaruChika – 12 [END]

HaruChika - Energy and hope

Chika’s Energy and Athleticism are still an important part

winter15-highw And so we come to the end of another series, this season’s PA Works offering of HaruChika. How did it finish up? Let’s find out.

Leaving for the Future

HaruChika - A new beginning

Another ominous meeting

The biggest tension in the first part of the episode is the fear that Kusakabe-sensei will leave the school to restart his life as an orchestra conductor, as the Hanamatsu Symphony has come calling, asking him to join them. It’s a typical Haruta goose chase, as they follow him with their usual lame cloak and dagger stuff when they think he’s going to Hanamatsu to accept their offer, but the reality is that he’s going to visit a grave of someone he cared about, who passed away on August first, the same day that he skipped out on the Berlin Symphony, starting his time of self-exile. The show never explains who it was, although I noticed that the translation assumed “a no hito” meant a woman (honestly, my knowledge of colloquial Japanese isn’t good enough to know if the remainder of the sentence made it clear he was talking about a woman). But after realizing how important the decision is to Kusakabe, Haruta changes his mind and implores Kusakabe to accept the position, using his words of “your life after Fumon Hall is more important than being on stage there.”

HaruChika - Bad at following

Some people are terrible at tailing

The rest of the episode was about the band’s performance at the Regional contest. This is actually the third step, and the highest level of competition they can achieve with their current group. The assessment by Naoko is fairly rough, basically saying that they aren’t particularly musical, but that the good players are supporting the not-so-good players, and that Kusakabe is key to making that unbalanced sound something that people want to listen to. I think this is a pretty fair assessment, and like anything, you can’t get around the fact that many of the people in the band are very inexperienced, like Chika. At a more competitive school, they wouldn’t be participating, but in this group, as I have said in WoW raids for a long time, they’re “better than an empty slot”. It’s been a lot of work to get a band that can even compete, and so when they get a bronze rating at the regional contest, it’s certainly not something to be ashamed of, but it’s definitely something they can be disappointed by. But as Kusakabe says, this is a process, not a conclusion, and you move on from there.

HaruChika - Well-detailed

Very nice detail, including the trill here

I rather liked the final performance they showed, and while it was obvious the reason they rolled the extended credits through 3 minutes of the 5 minute piece (to save some animation time), the end part was very good technically, with correct movement, fingering, and breathing when they showed it. The song itself wasn’t bad, although it’s not going to be my favorite band piece ever. But I think it’s good and unexpected that they put it in the show, when I felt it was obvious that the musical performance wasn’t the point of the show at all.

HaruChika - The harsh truth

Naoko gives Chika the harsh truth

Series Review

HaruChika - The many people they touched

I had to pick one of the parade of episodic characters, so I picked this one,
which I thought was one of the best stories.

So what to say about this show. I would imagine if you asked 20 anime fans about HaruChika, something like 18 of them would say “It wasn’t as good as Hibike! Euphonium or Hyouka.” I think the show never got over that initial comparison to those two wonderful shows from Kyoto Animation, but I think that’s an unfair comparison anyway. It was obvious from the start that it wasn’t supposed to be anything like those two shows. HaruChika wasn’t about club life. It wasn’t about the music. And it wasn’t about the mysteries. I think what the show was about was in the title: “Haruta and Chika in the springtime of youth.”

HaruChika - A beautiful shot

A beautiful shot from PA Works here, the loneliness Chika is seeking
for her grief in the middle of so many people.

This was a show about young adults learning to be adult-adults, and learning those lessons about the grown-up world that you only learn from experience, but sometimes you really don’t want to learn. It wasn’t presented grimly, but it was rather matter-of-fact. The student teacher whose wild past hasn’t completely been left behind, but who still has hope for the future. The grandfather whose life was irreparably derailed by being drafted to fight in a terrible war. But there were also great expressions of love and caring. The uncle who left a fortune in 500 yen coins to his favorite nephew, the granddaughter who unexpectedly found that her grandfather had sacrificed a rare piano for her to make up for his chintzy ways.

HaruChika - Finally Joining

Finally getting her friend to join

Unfortunately, like a lot of PA Works shows, I think this was one that a lot of people didn’t really ‘get’. I said it back when I reviewed Glasslip, but anime fans are, by and large, philistines. Shiny mechs, flashy battles, cheap gags, in-your-face boobs, melodramatic romances, and gore galore. These are the things that most anime fans want to see, a mile wide and at most a foot deep. Even I don’t mind, nay, I enjoy seeing that stuff (except the gore). But when a show comes along that instead focuses more closely on the vagaries of growing up, the uncertanties of a theory of mind, the small steps of progress that are made every day as we move through the world, that doesn’t scream out its purpose in bright signage or broad brushstrokes, I think that much of the fandom simply declares it ‘boring’ or ‘stupid’ or ‘terrible’ and just moves on. Or, like in the case of Glasslip, sticks around to chuck asparagus at the show just to get their hate on about something.

HaruChika - The center of everyone

She may not be the new president, but she’s certainly the heart of the band


Was there really anything to see in HaruChika? I certainly think so. The passing of important lessons from the adult world to kids that are closer to being in it than they want to think they are. Learning why some things are much more important than you might think at the time. And learning, like Haruta tells Chika at the end of the series, that it’s not solving the mysteries that is the important part. It’s solving the heart. I wish that everyone could watch a show like HaruChika and have the patience, First Sight, and Second Thoughts to get that message.


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!
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

One Response to “HaruChika – 12 [END]”

  1. skylion says:

    Excellent show, not at all for the philistines, I agree. It worked on every level it set out to do so on. I particularly love how the world of adults was presented in sometimes very silly, or awkward ways; like it’s kids that age trying to wrap their young and inexperienced heads around how adults actually operate. Sometimes we must look silly to them…

    EDIT: I forgot to say how well Haru and Chika has the old married coupleact down pat…kudos to the respective VAs for sealing that deal.

Leave a Reply