A few weeks ago, I reviewed Disk 1 of this series and at the time, I gave away a copy of the complete set, thanks to TRSI. The winner had to write a review of Disk 2. And so, with great pleasure and appreciation, I welcome brand new Guest Reviewer Matt W. to Okazu on this Guest Review Wednesday. ^_^
Hello there, I am Matt W.
Based on a 4-koma gag manga, like most school slice of life shows these days have as their basis. Hyakko is the adventures in the life of four high school girls (Ayumi, Suzume, Tatsuki and Torako) and a school with a bunch of rather eccentric students. It’s like a slightly wacky version of Azumanga Daioh.
Disc 2 is about all about introducing more side characters and developing the main girl quartet.
Episode 5: Torako gains a love interest/hopeless romantic Shishimaru. It also introduces the Photo Club: Koma-chan the girl in Torako’s class and her boss Yanagi who is a rather obsessive photographer and gains a rival/buddy in the punk girl Ushio as they spend a lively afternoon together.
Episode 6: Tatsuki is dealing with being left out one day but then surprise Torako, Ayumi and Suzume show up at her house one afternoon. We also get a look into her home life involving her absentee parents and therefore her need for a live-in house maid Toshiko.
Episode 7: We are introduced to Kitsune-san, a sly fellow (as his name suggests) who starts to hang out with the Photo Club. Later he is revealed to be Torako’s aniki (big brother); he’s also a skirt flipper which leads to a slight bump of fanservice certainly.
Episode 8: Proper introduction of the scary girl/Sadako lookalike Inori; easily shunned and avoided by her classmates; Torako tries to get Inori to open up and be friendly; ‘hair-ality’ ensues.
Focus goes towards other characters, so they grow and the show’s story can develop in interesting directions, exploring them beyond the school setting. Though most of the humor amounts to “School Shenanigans”, but since this is slice of life series that isn’t a bad thing. The plot seems a bit more grounded on this set of four episodes, but the characters and their interactions are still very zany and funny. There isn’t so much a story, but a string of interconnected vignettes again tying it back to its 4-koma origins. Nene Andou is the main draw for potential yuri still in this series, although her appearances are more sparse then in the first four episodes. Granted, one can discern some form of yuri subtext when wearing the ‘yuri googles’ to be sure. This disc also contains an extended preview (between episodes 6 and 7) made after the series aired on TV which is only mildly entertaining and yet superfluous at best. I also like how the episode portions are marked by which manga chapter they are based on, as if to say ‘hey remember this?’ to the part of the audience that read the manga. Of course, this doesn’t mean much as the manga has yet to be licensed much less released over in the USA.
Bits of Beethoven music used during the scenes of Shishimaru and Torako interacting which was comically effective I must say. In addition, Liner notes on the DVD are very nice addition as they help to explain some of the more esoteric details/references in the show.
Far from being a laugh out loud show, like Azumanga Daioh or Nichijou, Hyakko is certainly chuckle-worthy at the best of times.The thing to keep in mind about slice of life anime is that they are gimmick-based: for example, K-On! has music, Kiniro Mosaic has foreigner humor/cultural misunderstandings, etc. Hyakko‘s gimmick lies in pure eccentricity and the nice thing about it is that the show nearly revels in being eccentric and totally wacky without an ounce of shame or regret.
On a final note, I shall plug my own blog for anime reviews: http://
E: Thank you Matt, for your perspective! We’ll be getting a third opinion for Disk 3. ^_^