Anime Review: Hiiro no Kakera

Title: Hiiro no Kakera

English Title: Scarlet Fragments

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Crunchyroll Rating: 4 Stars

Content Rating: 15+ (some disturbing images; one of the villains has a very fan-service-y character design)

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Action, Otome

Check it out: Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll Synopsis:

On her way to visit a village from her past, Tamaki comes across a strange white creature that can talk. Soon she finds herself surrounded by menacing creatures when she is saved by a mysterious man.

Opening Theme:

I kind of love this song; for some reason, Anime openings always have the cheesiest and yet absolute best songs. Not sure how that is possible, but it’s pretty true.

I really enjoyed this show. The story is good, the characters are interesting, there’s magic involved, serious romance…all things I like. I was worried it was going to be a bit of a reverse harem (one girl with a group of male admirers where there is no serious romance with any particular one), but once season 2 hit, it was definitely a one track romance.

The art was a little different for this show than what I’ve been seeing normally. The character designs are a little sharper than most of the shojo I’ve been watching which has softer lines. Hiiro no Kakera has harsher, more angular lines, although certainly not to the point where it looks weird.

The main plot involves the heroine, Tamaki, discovering that she is fated to be the next Tamayori Princess, who must keep a terrible evil sealed away. Unfortunately, she has no idea how to do so, and she has no idea how to use her supposed power. Tamaki has a good character arc throughout the two seasons, growing from a clueless schoolgirl into the powerful Tamayori Princess. She has the help of her Guardians, the most important of whom is Takuma, who Tamaki falls in love with. I loved their backstory, which comes out in season 2, but their relationship develops slowly, although not as painfully slow as many animes.

The romance is pretty serious in this show, which, again, is somewhat surprising for an action/magic based show. That’s probably a big part of why I enjoy it so much; I’m a hopeless romantic. Hiiro no Kakera doesn’t quite hit the level of Sword Art Online where the characters “get married” and have a honeymoon in a convenient lakeside cabin, but it is an important part of the plot and the development of Takuma’s back story and the magic he possesses. So, not only are they adorable, their relationship also moves the plot along.

There’s a lot of cool magic in Hiiro no Kakera, especially in the big fight scenes against Logos, the enemy of the Tamayori Princess who is trying to release the big bad evil. The Guardians are pretty lame in the beginning, which is a good parallel to Tamaki’s lameness; they gain power as she does, although it makes it difficult for them to guard her effectively. The fact that they are vulnerable makes the conflict more serious, since they seem completely incapable of defeating Logos. While ridiculously overpowered heroes work for shows like Sword Art Online, I thought the Guardian’s general lack of power helped the plot more than their almost invincibility would have.

The Guardians were very different personality wise, which made it fun getting to know them as the show went on. They all had individual struggles, although Takuma was very obviously the most important (at least once you get to season 2). But they have some fun repartee, certainly since they don’t like Tamaki very much at the beginning, but they put up with her anyway because they are sworn to protect her.

The villains in this show seemed a little weak development-wise to me. I wasn’t quite following some of the motivations, and they would mention a bigger organization that they were working with, but you never really saw it. I assume there’s more info on this in the original game.

If you like adorable animal side-kicks, you’ll love Hiiro no Kakera. The cutest little fox spirit becomes Tamaki’s best friend, and, I’m not gonna lie, it was possibly one of my favorite things about this show because it was just so cute.

Hiiro no Kakera was very entertaining; if you’re looking for a fantasy show with lots of magic, action, and romance, you’ll enjoy Hiiro no Kakera.

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