In my Winter 2006 anime preview, I noted that this would probably be one of the more dramatic anime of the season. Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora (let’s call it Hantsuki for short) is a love story about two star-crossed (maybe) lovers. Ok, so it’s dramatic, but does that make it good? Read on to find out!
Yuuichi Ezaki is a normal seventeen year old kid who happens to be stuck in the hospital with hepatitis. Well, actually he escapes a lot, but chain-smoking nurse is there to put him in his place! During his stay, he meets Akiba Rika, a girl staying at the wing of the hospital for more seriously ill patients.
At first she’s really mean to him, but I guess it’s because, y’know, she’s gonna die soon. She probably doesn’t want to make a bunch of friends just to go and die on them. Nevertheless, their relationship progresses (very quickly) and pretty soon they’re best friends.
Maybe I should just sit back and enjoy this anime, but I don’t have enough will to keep from trying to predict the future. There’s really two ways I can see this story going: happy and sad. If this was a Disney cartoon, Rika would get her transplant and recover fully. Then she and Yuuichi would live happily ever after! Unforunately, this is a Japanese anime we’re talking about, so I’ll have to guess it’ll go the sad route.
My mom watches a lot of Korean drama. There’s really only one plot line for these shows: Guy falls in love with girl, girl is terminally ill, girl dies, audience cries. Wow, that rhymes! I’m pretty sure this anime will follow the same general plotline. A lot of times in Japanese film and anime, it’s not about what happens at the end; it’s about the journey in getting there. That’s why I think this’ll still be an awesome show even though I’ll be bawling at the end.
I really am holding out for a happy ending! I mean, there’s a picture of Yuuichi and Rika getting married in the ED! Perhaps it’s posthumous? I think it’ll be safe to assume she’ll die, because then if she does, I won’t be so sad because I expected it. If she lives, I’ll be really happy because I thought she was going to die! We’ll just have to see I guess. (No posting spoilers!)
The character designs are actually pretty lame for the most part. Yuuichi and his friends are generic; the chain-smoking nurse is kawaiku nai (uncute). The only cute character is Rika. Because of her, I can forget about the others. Rika’s cuteness entirely makes up for everyone else. I think it’s the hairclip that does it for me.
The animation is average. Though I don’t really expect much action to be taking place in a hospital anyway. The drama is the important part of this anime, so for me, the animation quality doesn’t have to be great.
As far as the music goes, the OP and ED are both awesome, with the OP being slightly more awesome than the ED. Both are done by nobuko, a newcomer to anime music, I think. I’d say the OP is the best of the new season that I’ve heard so far. It’s just really catchy and fresh sounding. The ED is a really sad-sounding piano piece. I’ll probably be crying to this song at the end of the 6th episode, so it’s fitting.
Overall, Hantsuki is looking pretty good. I thought the first episode was kind of rushed (she hates him and then she likes him in the next scene?). In some anime, you don’t hear a confession until the last episode, but this one happened in the first! I guess it’s partly because of the short length of the anime (only 6 episodes). I may end up crying like a baby at the end of this series, but if I do, it’ll be because it was so great.
Further Reading: Hantsuki Manga