12 Moments of Anime Day 11 – Hayami's Shocking End

I had a lot of problems with H2O: Footprints in the Sand, including the way that the main character, Takuma, got into his rather pathetic state by the end of the series in the first place.  However, the show resolves this story arc in a sudden and shocking fashion.

Don't smile like that just before you're going to be smashed by a train, damnit

Hayami getting killed by a train was tragic in many respects, including the fact that she had just been accepted by the town and that I don’t recall the story hinting anything like that was going to happen, making the viewer feel like things were becoming alright (except for Takuma’s condition)  before it occured, and the fact that Takuma realizes that the same thing happened to his mother.  It was a very bright spot in the writing for a series which was otherwise rather lackluster.

However, this event, which is a top contender for “most shocking event of the year” puts it on the list of 12 Moments of Anime, even if it isn’t a particularly happy moment.

The 12 Moments of Anime project is the brainchild of CCY.

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H2O: Footprints in the Sand – Anime Review

The Essentials

Name: H2O: Footprints in the Sand
Genre: Drama, Romance
Episodes: 12
Released: January 3, 2008 – March 20, 2008
Based On: H2O: Footprints in the Sand visual novel by Makura
Director: Hideki Tachibana
Produced By: ZEXCS
US Distribution By: TBD (licensed by Kadokawa Pictures USA)

Major Japanese Cast

Takuma Hirose: Ami Koshimizu
Hayami Kohinata: Harumi Sakurai
Hinata Kagura: Ryouko Tanaka
Otoha: Mia Naruse
Yui Tabata: Mio Yasuda
Hamaji Yakumo: Yui Sakakibara
Hinata’s grandfather: Katsumi Chou
Yukiji Yakumo: Emiri Katou

Major English Cast

N/A

Scores

Animation: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Story: 7/10 (x 4 = 28 pts)
Music: 7/10 (x 4 = 28 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: 8/10 (x 2 = 16 pts)
English Dubs: N/A
Gut Score: 6/10 (x 5 = 30 pts)

Total: 134/190 (70.5%)

Review

H2O: Footprints in the Sand is mainly about Takuma, a blind junior-high boy who has moved out to the countryside with his uncle. The reason for their move is to help Takuma recover from the trauma of his mother’s apparent suicide when he was younger – a trauma so severe that it’s caused him to go blind.

Once in his new town, Takuma meets three girls. The first girl is Hayami, a very reserved girl who is hated by the rest of the town to the point where bullies regularly beat her up without interference – something which Hayami herself seems to put up with. The second girl is Hinata, who is the granddaughter of the town elder, is popular, pretty, and clumsy, and otherwise a so-called pillar of moe. The third girl is Otoha, who claims to be a spirit, calls Takuma “the promised one” and gives him the ability to see again, even if just temporarily.

As the series progresses, one digs around here and there for things about the town’s past, though things tend to come out only in bits and pieces and probably overall too slowly, even though it’s only a 12 episode series. For example, we don’t really even find out why the town hates Hayami until about halfway through the series.

The series also tends to try to pick up and keep momentum through a series of plot twists instead of really picking a plot and sticking with it. Unfortunately, the series feel that each plot twist has to top the previous one, and things seem to start getting out of hand after a while and the series seems to lose coherence as it progresses.

I guess when everything is taken together as a whole, H2O is a marginally respectable series, but despite all of the supposedly shocking plot-twists, it still has a problem with keeping one interested, which is a serious flaw.

As for the technical aspects, The animation is OK, though not great, and the music is about normal.

If you like a drama full of twists and turns, then you may like H2O, but it definitely has it’s pitfalls as well.

First Watched: January – March 2008
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: No

Kadokawa Pictures USA licenses H2O, Ninomiya-kun, Rental Magica, others

I’m following at gia’s and japanator’s.

Kadokawa has licensed the 12 episode H2O: Footprints in the sand, Good Luck! Ninomiya-kun (aka Goshūshō-sama Ninomiya-kun) which is also 12 episodes, and Rental Magica, which is 24 episodes.

No word on who is doing the producing or distributing yet.

Update: They picked up Coo ~Our Guardian~ (aka Wagaya no Oinarisama) too (also 24 eps).

Update 2: Wow. On a spree.  They got Junjou Romantica as well (releasing it as Romantica ~Pure Love~) which is a 12 episode boy’s love series which just finished airing.

Update 3: To round it out they pick up Spice and Wolf too!  Good grief they’re going crazy! Who do they think they are? Funimation?

Update 4: Apparently we won’t get any word who producers and distributors are tonight, but should "very soon"

H2O – Footprints in the Sand First Thoughts

H2O - footprints in the sandThis series kind of surprised me after the first episode. I was thinking this series would be on the same seriousness level as a series like ef, but after reading most of the good, wholesome poem by (probably) Mary Stevenson (quite possibly strategically leaving off the final verse), a story that started off as a series show started getting, well, a little weird.

Really, the series has 3 different personalities, personified by the 3 main girls in the series.

The first personality is it’s serious side, which is personified by Hayami and the disturbing fact that she gets bullied and tends to get the crap beat out of her on a regular basis, seemingly without any resistance from Hayami. I’m sure there is something up with that.

The next personality is the “weird” side in a way, personified by Otoha, who claims to be a spirit, and apparently gives Takuma, the main male lead, the gift of sight (he’s blind), at least temporarily, at the end of the first episode, and calls Takuma, “The Promised One.”

The third personality is, shall we say it’s ecchi side, which appears to be personified by Hinata, who ends up finding herself is a compromising position with Takuma (too bad he’s blind…)

I’ll be interested to see how all these different personalities end up meshing together to make this show. As I noted before, the last verse of the famous poem was left off, and I’m sure that wasn’t a mistake and will be one of the main lessons of this story, especially for Hayami.

ANN says this show is supposed to be 12 episodes long, though as we saw with Shion, what ANN says isn’t necessarily absolutely correct.

I did kind of get a chuckle at the end, though, when the characters were like “H2O stands for something longer!” and I was thinking “yeah. It stands for hydrogen oxide! (or dihydorgen monoxide for fans of that internet hoax)” only to have the show correct me, telling me that it means Hayami, Hinata, and Otoha (duh!).

As I said before, I’ll be interested to see where this ends up going.

Winter 2008 Anime Preview

It’s that time again: It’s time to look at what anime is airing in the Winter 2008 season. I’m listing these in alphabetical order.

There are 6 levels of ratings that I’ll give a show this season:

  • Will definitely blog it
  • Will definitely watch it
  • May watch it
  • May watch it if I hear good things about it
  • Probably Won’t Watch it
  • Won’t watch it

I won’t include a “may blog it” category this time because I already know what I’m going to blog in this season.

As usual, I’m also going to leave out sequels to series that I haven’t seen yet, as well as anything that seems to obviously be a children’s show. As usual, thanks to the Fansub Wiki for keeping a great list of upcoming shows.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…here we go!

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