Friday, June 8, 2007

Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora

(Originally 24 December 2006)

Time was taken off from Honey and Clover to watch this six-episode series on recommendation by Jeff Lawson.

The ending was touching, but I am a sap for moments. Two people fall in love in a hospital — seems typical enough — except the girl is effectively terminal. Not enough screentime was given to the really important question of, What the hell do you do in this situation? and as a result the bulk of the series rang hollow. Only in the last episode was the question even really brought up with any directness, and the choice that has to be made. To give up everything and live with your loved one until you lose even them, or to walk away and save yourself, so to speak. For sure, it was hinted at with one of the characters, but the effort fell flat and the shock that was supposed to occur when the viewer connects the two situations just didn't transpire for me.

For a main character, Yuuichi is pushed around by secondary characters a lot. Yes, I consider Rika, the terminally ill girl, to be effectively a secondary character. I suppose that makes Yuuichi a Shinji, with no real power or ability other than to comfort Rika. Some people just shrug and say that's life and it really does happen, but it frustrates me, and if I wanted to see life without lessons, I wouldn't watch anime.

I believe few would watch this series to see what Yuuichi does, which is fairly little. Instead, Rika and Akiko (a nurse with an attitude) are the strongest characters, Akiko moreso, which is unfortunate because if there is maybe one expectation going into something like this, it would be that the terminally ill character, the one with the most to lose, should be the strongest of all. Rika doesn't say much, but she doesn't have to in order to create poignant moments. What happens in the series though, is more like she doesn't say much and poignant moments do not occur.

OP and ED fit well with the series, and I like the ED a touch more, but it's not going into my list of looping candidates.

I took little away from this series, which is to say only the ending. The ending itself is wholly disconnected from the rest of the series because the choice is contrived to fit into the span of the last episode. I didn't feel for any of the characters, not even Rika, because she was blah. If she became a whimpering Shinji in the face of her future, I'd understand. If she demonstrated strong grace and dignity, or did something crazy like run away and live her life to the fullest, I'd understand. But she wasn't given the screentime to do any of the above, and so I can't ever even partly comprehend, and that's a shame.