Hanasakeru Seishounen

Hanasakeru Seishounen by Natsumi Itsuki (mangaka)  produced by Studio Pierrot, Directed by Chiaki Kon.

Hanasakeru Seishounen by Natsumi Itsuki (mangaka) produced by Studio Pierrot, Directed by Chiaki Kon.

Set in the modern era, the story follows the path to romance of fourteen-year-old Kajika Burnsworth, daughter of powerful industrialist Harry Burnsworth, owner of the Burnsworth international conglomerate giant. Kajika agrees to participate in a “marriage game” with her father, in which she must select her future husband out of three men that her father has supposedly preselected for her.

Despite its shojo-romance undertones, the story itself evolves as a power political mystery involving a small, middle eastern country called Raginei. Raginei as a country is only 1,000 years old, but became extremely wealthy within the last 50 years or so due to a change in ideals implemented by past King Machaty that allowed the international export of oil. While Kajika searches for her suitors and puzzles over the concept of love, the country is thrown into political turmoil and Kajika’s friendship with Prince Rumaty Ivan, as well as the Burnsworth relationship with Raginei, lands her right in the middle of it all. – Baka Updates/Wikipedia (Last bit doesn’t get the feel of the second half accross but a good enough summary and I can’t do better)

FINALLY, an anime on here, since I created the anime category yonks ago. This is one I had already watched previously, but I only remembered the gist, not the details. It’s a cute reverse harem in not so typical shoujo style (apart from the dramatic declarations of love, feelings of self destructive love, too much true love etc etc). This is due to the fact that the “husband game” soon turns into something more than a simple shoujo plot resulting in political machinations, civil war, assassination attempts, and massive corporate giants.

Even the shoujo love-love part of the plot was deeper than your average. Each suitor had a viable, well developed background, and acceptable enough reason for loving her, and frankly, were all really likable. It was a bit OTT on the declarations of love and everything, but that is to be expected. But the whole thing worked together well as a semi serious shoujo romance, with a happy ending, of course. It slowed down a bit toward the end, and was a bit tough to get through, but the last 3-4 episodes made up for that and rounded it off nicely.

My only qualm is although my OTP (one true pairing, google it) came through, I also shipped the rest together, and had convinced myself that these shippings came true the last time I watched it, and hence I was disappointed. But that was my fault. Cry.

Spoiler my shippings
Carl X Ling Lee
Eugene X Yamate Yui
Ioe X Sezun
Spoiler end

The art… It was nice and fitted the feel of the anime, and the colouring made for a nice feel, but It wasn’t especially my cup of tea. I got used to it, and enjoyed it, the eyes the most, but it changes subtly abut 2/3 through and I didn’t like it. I think they changed the noses. What was great about the art was how it subtly showed Rumaty and Kajika growing up without you noticing the changes. Until you realize and go “wow, time flies”. That was a smooth touch.

Ultimately, this is an anime to watch for lovers of shoujo and political anime alike. The first half is more shoujo, the second more complex machinations and political maneuvers, but they balance quite nicely to create a super unique anime. I enjoyed it, and it was exciting, though it did begin to drag, and would recommend for everyone to watch it, just for the experience.

I would also say, having glanced briefly through the manga, that the anime is a better form than the manga in which to take in the story. The art in the manga is not defended by colour and is too simplistic for my liking. And frankly, to consume this through manga would be such a drag. The dynamism and vitality of the anime is washed out in the manga, and I do not think I would enjoy the manga on even the same level I enjoyed the anime.

4.5/5 (that last 0.5 missing for the drag toward the end)


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