Before my memories of this sweet little show get washed away into the deep abyss, there was one other aspect of it I meant to address before I was suddenly handed the most work I’ve ever had to do in my entire college career. This won’t take long, I promise.
The last time I talked about Hanamaru, I mentioned that the show was very refreshing. At least I think I did. I don’t quite remember. But anyway, it was refreshing. While still adhering to established formulas, the show was full of heart and provided an alternative focus to what one usually sees in anime. That focus being on the daily routines of the individuals at a daycare, with adequate focus given to both the children and the adults. I spoke mostly of the children last time I posted about this show, so this time I’d like to focus a bit on the adults.
Probably the most refreshing aspect of Hanamaru was its focus on the lives of the adults. It’s not something often seen in a medium that tends to concern itself with the problems of middle and high schoolers. I’m sure such a focus is more prevalent in manga, but considering such manga aren’t translated (Or translated into readable English. I have standards, you know.) a show which provided fanservice by way of letting us into The World of Adults was a nice surprise.
But what’s so great about adult talk? Honestly a series all about people worrying about paying their utility bills and finding a job in this shitty economy would be rather boring. So it goes without saying that the interactions in Hanamaru have anime sugarcoating all over them, and that’s fine by me. A lot of it focuses around Tsuchida’s non-existent love life, which is a topic that hits way too close to home for a lot of the viewership, I imagine. But it’s done with class.
While I can’t cite any specifics–as I have already forgotten the name of every single secondary character–everyone on the teaching staff has their own fun little quirks, are filled with life, and generally have very good chemistry. The same can be said of all the other adult characters that make an appearance in the show, like the yakuza thugs, the Panda Neko manga-ka, and the parents. Whether it’s the other female teachers urging Tsuchida to ask Yamamoto out, all of them talking about their students lovingly, or simply Tsuchida and Sakura reminiscing about the old days, it’s all fun to watch.
Location also helps. An izakaya is a welcome change from the usual fast-food joint, and the staffroom is a welcome change from the usual classroom. I guess karaoke boxes remain the same whether or not the characters are kids or adults, but karaoke sessions with addition of alcohol makes for some amusing antics.
Kodomo no Jikan touches upon these sorts of things as well, and so does Evangelion. I understand that is a weird pair of names to drop in an article about Hanamaru Youchien, but the lives of the adults in those works also provide a nice amount of spice to a story that mainly focuses around people who haven’t yet reached puberty, or are going through it. It’s not something seen very often, at least in my experience, so that’s why I appreciate it.