The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora

Title: Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora
Genre: Romance/Drama
Company: Pony Canyon/Group TAC
Format: 6 episodes
Dates: 13 Jan 2006 – 24 Feb 2006

Synopsis: Confined to a hospital and recovering from hepatitis isn’t the most exciting experience ever for Ezaki Yuuichi, who has taken to sneaking out at night, much to the displeasure of the hospital nurse, Tanizaki Akiko. Through Akiko, Yuuichi finds out about another patient in the hospital his own age named Akiba Rika. Upon meeting her, Yuuichi is instantly captivated by her beauty. However, he learns that Rika’s condition means her life hangs on a knife’s edge, and most doctors believe that her death is only a matter of time.

The Highlights
Characters: Uninspired and lacking development.
Drama: Poorly built-up and created by plot devices; as blatant melodrama as you can get.
Atmosphere: Created by some respectable music.

Anime’s track record with drama is a real mixed bag. Over the years the medium has provided a few absolute gems, but the overwhelming majority of anime dramas are flops. Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noburu Sora falls sadly into the latter category.

Even from the first episode, the wailing warning signs of a trainwreck are easily detectable. The premise of the terminally cute terminally sick girl really has very few directions it can take, and very few themes it can explore… the majority of which have been dealt with elsewhere in better incarnations. The result is a rather predictable and inanely melodramatic fare… the drama is blatant, the story is largely stagnant and the romance is flat.

But the absolute worst thing about this series is its characters. The side characters carry way too much emotional baggage and remain far too undeveloped for us to care about them. Yuuichi’s friends jolt the generally serious atmosphere with the constantly-used but never-funny “Zebra Mask” joke. The main two themselves are hurt by the fact that they’re just so stereotypical. Yuuichi is the anime male lead typecast to a fault: bewildered by his cryptic surroundings he drifts through the story as nothing more than a customary “help me, I don’t stand out in any way” teenager. Rika can be partly forgiven since she actually develops, but her evolution would have benefited if it’d been subtly exhibited, as opposed to being repetitively rammed into us like a bad motif. Just another example of poor storytelling. Inevitably you can’t expect a good story when the characters are so uninspired. The result is a bland experience that’s never heart-wrenching, never compelling, never touching… one that just spends its six episodes going through the motions.

Hantsuki gets some points for its inoffensive music, which does a respectable job of establishing an unambiguous atmosphere. For that reason, one will never be confused as to what to expect from this series, even if one goes into it knowing nothing. So there’s really no excuse for being surprised and getting something contrary to expectations. This is why Hantsuki is not for people who like to be surprised or challenged by what they view.

The Rating: 3

Reviewed by: Sorrow-kun

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