Anime Reviews – Shining Hearts & Hiiro no Kakera

Shining Hearts: Shiawase no PanOver the weekend I watched 2 new anime series from my library, KCPL. I expected them to be just okay, average, good filler in between episodes of Hamatora and Kill la Kill. I was so very wrong. It’s a darn good thing I was multitasking (i.e. POKEMON X) while watching the dubs, because otherwise it would have been a serious waste of time. Instead I caught some beasties and hatched like 10 Espurr, so we’re good.

Anyway, I watched Shining Hearts and Hiiro no Kakera: The Tamayori Princess Saga. I watched all of the former and half of the latter. Both anime series are based on visual novels, which are basically choose-your-own-adventure anime romances played as a video game. I really enjoy visual novels, but I did not enjoy these shows. They should have stuck to being games!

Shining Hearts: Shiawase no PanShining Hearts was so over the top in its maid-style fanservice, without being too sexual or mature. For a summary please click the link!

What I liked:

  • The animation style – it was pretty, colorful, and vibrant
  • The character designs – they’re perfect for a visual novel; a little outrageous and silly but still cute
  • The music
  • The desserts! There were so many delicious breads, pastries, danishes, etc featured in this anime and I just wanted to bake them all!

What I didn’t like:

  • The dialogue. It was repetitive, lame, and uninteresting.
  • Lack of character development – even the protagonist barely changes from beginning to end.
  • The bread. Enough with the bread, already. I get that the bakery is their life, but come on – we don’t want to hear about the bread anymore!
  • The episode arcs – the conflicts and dramatic points in the plot were very boring. They didn’t make me want to keep watching it. At all.
  • Did I mention the repetitive dialogue? Yeah. It was really awful.
  • The lack of interesting side character arcs. The side characters were the most interesting part, and while they weren’t that well designed on their own they worked well with the protagonist. There just happened to be only 3 or so of them. And the rest of the episodes suffered for it.

The verdict: Don’t bother with it unless you absolutely love the Shining– game series!

Hiiro no Kakera

Hiiro no Kakera was incredibly bland and developed so slowly that I had to give it up. I can see how it would appeal to some anime fans (fans of Fruits Basket, Kaze no Stigma), but it is just not for me.

What I liked:

  • The character names. They were just kind of cool.
  • The little white fox thing. O-chan. It is adorable!
  • The magical elements.
  • The boys’ magical powers.

What I didn’t like:

  • The protagonist. She is SO whiny!
  • The way you never find out what’s going on. 5 episodes in I should really know something about who the Tamayori princess is, why she is important, and just…other things like that. The protagonist is whining about finding out more, so why don’t we know anything yet?! Frustrating.
  • The dialogue. UGH.
  • The art. The characters were cookie-cutter, stereotypical pretty boys. So boring. I could barely tell them apart.
  • The voice acting in the dub.
  • The overall plot. Was there one? Cause I missed it.

The verdict: Again, unless you like the source material don’t go for this.

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