Clearly, there should be a specific name for anime mixing supernatural/slice of life/comedy. We deserve it. Hinamatsuri, Mob Psycho 100 and The Disastrous Life of Saiki K deserve it. Something to rally the crowds under the same banner while hailing absurd humor, chaotic situations, deadpan teen, superpowers and colorful characters. Those three critically praised anime used the same ingredients to end up with a different sauce each and in Hinamatsuri’s case, no one actually saw it coming. Is there Hinamatsuri Season 2 in the cards for Hina’s Festival?
What happened so far in Hinamatsuri
Yoshifumi is a mid-level yakuza leisurely enjoying his life and business. He has money, a nice apartment and can indulge in his passion for ancient and expensive urns and vases. All that comes crashing down the day a metallic egg appears out of thin air and cracks his head. Inside, Yoshifumi finds a young girl who reveals her name: Hina. She has escaped from a secret research facility from the future and soon, Yoshifumi also learns that she has strong telekinetic powers after those go out of control and destroy his furniture and beloved vases. If Hina does not use her powers often, they just materialize themselves in the most chaotic way possible.
The young man decides to take her in and after a snafu involving a rival yakuza family and some false accusations thrown at him, Yoshifumi understands that Hina’s powers can actually do his dirty work in his stead. However, Hina’s presence will attract more girls from the future who are determined to either bring her back home or terminate her. Life is about to take a turn for the surrogate dad, his trainwreck of a daughter and their entourage.
What is going on with Feel?
Hinamatsuri premiered on April 6, 2018 and ended on June 22, 2018 after 12 episodes. The anime is animated by studio Feel, directed by Kei Oikawa, written by Keiichiro Ochi and Yasuhiro Misawa composed the score.
At first look, Hinamatsuri does not look like much. The art is basic, the premises of the story sound cliché and it starts with the combo adult man-loli. But, all those doubts are trampled really fast when Hina destroys Yoshifumi’s place out of nowhere in all her deadpanness. That was unexpected and well timed for impact. It also definitely sets the tone for the rest of the series: Hinamatsuri is a lot of fun. In fact, it is hilarious. There are two things that the anime does properly: comedic timing and having heart in an appropriate fashion while staying true to its comedic appeal.
Comedy is subjective and has degrees. But there is a common ground where everyone will find something. Some will laugh out loud while others will just have a chuckle, but at the end of the day, most people will find a reason to crack a smile. Hinamatsuri does that. Everything has been considered to enhance the experience: the timing is impeccable, visual gags are neatly crafted and dialogues flow seamlessly. Gintama is a master at that and Hinamatsuri is following in its tracks, but in a less chaotic way. The show makes clever use of its characters and their environment. Hina’s inexistant sense of responsibility and bratty attitude clashing against society’s rules or Utako and her self-centered and cunning personality that indirectly ended up being the reason behind her customers favoring Hitomi instead of her (not in the way you might think). Characters throw their lines at the right moment, often in a split second, interrupting at the right moment. There is a proper buildup and setting to the jokes. They are not just randomly thrown in our faces as the audience can actually see and understand where they come from. It’s the execution that is a surprise. There is a great balance between reactions and deadpan expressions. The show also uses the manzai template, allowing even more to highlight the absurdity of the situations through the “straight man” role of certain characters, like Hitomi’s teacher doing his best to try to act as if he does not know that his student is also a skilled bartender in his favorite bar.
Usually, in productions labeled as “straight and pure comedy”, the insertion of real drama-like elements can topple the whole balance. In a universe not supposed to be taken seriously and that does not take itself too seriously either, how are you supposed to convey genuine heartwarming moments or use heavy issues? The exact formula is unknown and writing skills are surely part of the equation, but anime like Mob Psycho 100 or Gintama showed us that it was possible. Hinamatsuri throws its weight into the ring by crafting the relationships between its characters nicely and subtly and giving some of them a background focused on human drama. Such as with Anzu, another psychic girl tasked with finding Hina and who ends up on the streets because her powers are no match to Hina’s and she keeps losing. Unlike Hina who found a home, Anzu has no money and no acquaintance to help her and is forced to join a homeless camp full of old men. Surprisingly, even with the really serious topic here, the anime still keeps a lighthearted touch. And it does so without undermining Anzu’s struggle while also showing the humanity people tend to forget homeless people also have. Sure, she is being taught how to gather and sell cans and how to find money around vending machines, but it comes with the territory. When she gathers some money and wastes it all on food only to regret it later, it is funny. Funny, but not too dramatic. Because she is learning and the way the anime frames it does not make her look pathetic and at the bottom of all bottoms. It’s bittersweet.
Hinamatsuri follows its own pace and the anime shows that it is at its best when it adopts an episodic format rather than following an overarching plot for too long. That only comes from the fact that the show also indulges in slice of life shenanigans which makes it easy to help focus on short stories and gives more material to work with for the comedy. Diverse situations can be used to renew the humor and help shaping up the characters. If the art style can seem a bit simple to some, Hinamatsuri is actually very well animated. No shortcut has been taken and every frame is pretty clean. It is nothing out of this world, but still a nice touch. The background art is nicely drawn and colourful. It shows diversity with its different urban settings without falling into some sort of redundancy.
The cast is composed of characters with distinguishable traits and behaviors. In fact, even if the show is called Hinamatsuri, we get to follow three different girls in addition to the protagonist Yoshifumi (Anzu, Hina and Hitomi). The other characters are given a nice amount of screentime too. Everyone gets a chance to show who they are and how they interact. Plus, most have some screws missing here and there and that is just what we needed. Hina is a proper airhead, a lazy bum who considers that it is normal to threaten your caretaker because you want food. Something that causes hilarious reactions from all parties as people start thinking that Yoshifumi is deeply caring for her, while the man itself curses at his luck. Yoshifumi starts as an opportunist considering how he uses Hina and her powers. But we quickly see that he is not just a brute of yakuza as he starts showing his housekeeping skills, adding a more refined and caring side to his character. If their relationship starts as being pretty dysfunctional, they grow fond of each other and Hina starts working for him without expecting anything in return, while Yoshifumi starts treating her more and more as a daughter rather than an associate (or a weapon, you decide). They complement each other so well that the viewers quickly get the sense that they cannot live without each other. Their comedy is the best when they are together. And that might be the biggest in the anime: without Hina, Yoshifumi is a straight man only and without the yakuza, the young girl is not funny. And that is a direct consequence of Hina’s own nature. She is supposed to be lazy, spoiled and pretty deadpan in the face of most situations. There is not a lot you can get out of a character like if they do not have a counterpart to take advantage of those traits for comedy purposes. As the other protagonist, Hina actually has the weaker arc because of that.
When the audience meets Anzu, she is as much an entitled brat as Hina. However, circumstances will push her to mature and learn new strong values. While her arc has more serious undertones, Anzu’s clumsiness but also will to get better help the anime in keeping his laid back vibes while serving a strong and touching arc. Hitomi is the straight man of the anime. Normal to a fault, her straight mind and answers offer an interesting contrast with the fact that she is surrounded by weirdos who keep pushing her in the most improbable situations. Her moments are not only hilarious because of the disconnect, but they are also really cute. The rest of the cast is delightful and interesting. Utako and her lack of remorse for blackmailing a 13-year-old kid to work in her bar because she has extremely good skills, Yoshihiko and his readiness to use yakuza resources to help Hina for the most mundane tasks or Mao, another psychic girl who ends up in her own reboot of Tom Hank’s “Cast Away”. They all come together nicely, with their own stories and motivations and influence each other’s lives for the better or the worst, creating quite the family around Hina.
At the moment, Feel does not seem to have anything new they are working on.
What do we know about Hinamatsuri Season 2 so far?
Unfortunately, there is nothing new to announce on that side. But the anime only ended in 2018. Fans can still enjoy the manga and even reach the conclusion to Hina’s story as it is finished.
What are fans saying about Hinamatsuri Season 2?
Obviously, fans want a new season of Hinamatsuri. The question is not continuously repeated, but there is still enough activity around the title to suggest that fans are ready and waiting for the announcement. They did forget the title. The subreddit is not in overdrive, but posts are all pretty recent. Twitter is busy with fanarts and a lot of people sharing their favorite moments in the show. From hilarious scenes to more nostalgic/touching moments (often involving Anzu), fans and casual viewers have all found something in Hinamatsuri. Unfortunately, the Discord channel does not exist anymore since with no update about season 2 and a finished manga, the admins did not see a reason to keep it active. The show has really great scores on IMDB, MAL and AniList.
Funimation first released the complete series on Blu-ray in 2019 and then released the [Essentials] version in 2020. The selection in goodies got smaller with time and there is not much left in stocks at the moment (acrylic charms, place mats, CDs, fans, etc).
The map on Google Trends shows that the anime is widely popular worldwide. However, the graph keeps low values while still avoiding to reach zero, which signals a constant in search queries. A peak is observed in April/May and since nothing official was released around that time, it might be the result of a rumor. In Japan, the title still has a lot of steam, as not only does it score high values, but it also barely reaches zero if never.
When will Hinamatsuri Season 2 be released?
No date is available since the anime has not been renewed. Even if season 1 ended not that long ago, the fact that the manga ended too gives hope to the fandom that Feel will adapt the rest. Hinamatsuri, like its counterparts Mob and Saiki, was a great surprise in the anime landscape and deserves another season like the other two.
What can we expect in Season 2 of Hinamatsuri?
The manga has been concluded so anyone can discover what happens next for themselves. And there is a lot. The most prominent one must surely be Hitomi’s ascension in the business world. It would be nice if Feel could resume its work on Hinamatsuri as it is one of those titles that deserve to reach a proper end for all its medium.