Hantsuki Review

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Hantsuki, short for Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora, is translated as Sky with a Rising Half-Moon. While it’s definitely not your typical plotline, it’s definitely full of some good heartwarming moments. Though it may be limited by its short 6 episode length and rather poor character development.

Story
hantsuki3Yuuichi Ezaki is a fairly average 17-year-old kid who is staying at a hospital while being treated for hepatitis A. He loves to sneak out of the hospital on a regular basis to see his friends but is often caught and punished by his brute of a nurse Akiko Tanizaki. Though Akiko has quite a heart deep down and requests that Yuuichi befriend a girl from the East Wing of the hospital. A 17-year-old girl named Rika Akiba, of who Yuuichi has seen before and was curious about since the East Wing is for critically ill patients.

Turns out that Rika is suffering from a weak heart valve which has caused her to spend most of her life in hospital beds. Her condition sadly was the very same one that caused the death of her father. She transferred to the hospital so she could remain under the care of Dr Natsume who has been taking care of her for most of her life and shares a close relationship with.

While Yuuichi has a difficult time breaking the barriers that Rika sets before herself, they ultimately find some common ground and spend a great deal of time enjoying their time at the hospital or sneaking out at night. However this is all at the extreme disapproval of Rika’s family as well as doctors in the hospital. It’s a story of enjoying what time we have and ultimately a story of choosing between the happiness of a loved one, or the happiness of oneself.

hantsuki2It’s in these elements that makes Hantsuki a great show. However its only flaws are in its inability to really connect the characters with the viewers. Rika for the most part is a relatively unlikable and very cold character. While I’d contribute this to her situation, she never breaks from the shell but for a few rare moments. Making caring for her very difficult. The same holds true for Yuuichi, who is rather shallow in depth and has little to reveal to the viewer when it comes to his hopes and dreams.

In the concluding moments of the show, this changes a slight bit as you start to really believe their actions are true. Though it’s sad to admit the Dr Natsumi had a deeper backstory and plot than all of the characters combined, which isn’t saying much.

Animation
The show has a very warm style. While characters lack any real detail, they have a sort of simple design that is fitting of the warm feel. The animations were well done and never felt cheap or low-budget. Though at some points it seemed their movement didn’t match the floor they moved on. Though these are rare.

Conclusion
Hantsuki is a good show all around, despite the huge flaws in character development. Though these seem rather harsh considering they only had 6 episodes to work with. However to be honest with the short plot concept, any more than 6 would have dragged out. I recommend it to anyone looking for a rather quick series to breeze through as it still managed to hold my interest, but don’t expect anything spectacular.

VERDICT: 2 / 5

Pros:

  • Cute characters
  • Slightly emotional conclusion
  • A few chuckles

Cons:

  • Poor character building
  • Characters hard to care about
  • Too short to work with
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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.