Final Review: Hiiro no Kakera Season 2

DISCLAIMER: Anime reviews on this blog will attempt minimal to no spoilers unless otherwise noted. If a review seems dull or shallow, it’s because I’m trying to make sure not to go into too detail for those who are actually interested in the show before or after reading the review or those who have yet to finish the title. If you want further details, there are usually tons of reviews that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Furthermore, anime reviews in general are the sole opinion of the author writing it and thus differ across the users. There is no such thing as a “right answer” only a majority agreement. You are free to have your own opinions and thereby free to state and/or argue/debate in the comments section below or on the Fansub TV Forums. The review is not necessarily meant to serve as a recommendation but rather a personal opinion of having completed the series.

Hiiro no Kakera Season 2 is one of many sequels this past season. As the first season had just aired in Spring 2012 and because this season is a direct sequel, this review will mostly be a follow-up review. Like the first series, Hiiro no Kakera Season 2 was simulcasted on CrunchyRoll during its premier. However, unlike the first series, Hiiro no Kakera Season 2 has yet to receive a US license. You can find the review of the first series here.

The second season of Hiiro no Kakera continues right where season 1 leaves off. Right off the bat, they reveal potential “traitors” in Tamaki’s group, which adds a bit of spice to both the protagonist and antagonist teams. Unfortunately, this whole “I’m the real bad guy” role grows old fast as you continue to have a bunch of wishy-washy characters who have no idea what they really want to do. The show only lifts itself up a little when Takuma finally decides to man up and take matters into this own hands despite knowing he has a demon inside himself. Like the first series, the so-called “plot” continues to drag its feet with a few revelations every few episodes. These revelations, however, become so blatantly obvious and predictable after a certain point that they’re not really revelations any more. The “action” continues to be lacking in this show despite all the flashy effects in the OP sequence. Lastly, it seems that every character in this show is shocked and/or incapacitated by every small discovery. Conclusion? As far as I’m concerned, the show ended at episode 10 or 11 and you really didn’t need 22 dragging episodes to build up to that moment. A lot of holes remain in this story as well as the role of the “Tamayori Princess” is never really explained clearly.

Art has improved a bit this time around as did character designs. I guess with Studio DEEN working on lesser titles this season (1 title vs. 3? in spring), their production values definitely improved. Coloring has also stepped up a bit but flashy and special effects remain rather dull compared to what is shown in the OP sequence.

OP/ED are by the same two artists as the first season. The songs are better this time around and fit the series much more. Background music and sound effects remain unmemorable and close to nonexistent. Seiyuu remains the same as the previous series.

Enjoyment? Still a snooze fest. This aspect really hasn’t improved from season 1 despite all the so-called twists and reversals this series tried to pull.

Overall, Hiiro no Kakera is not a good show. It fails as a bishounen series (of which we have many this season as well), a romance series, and as a reverse harem title. It’s budget is clearly not lacking but it lacks good writers, good execution, and basically all other elements that make a show a satisfactory watch. Hakuouki, Saiunkoku Monogatari, Hanasakeru Seishounen, Fushigi Yuugi, etc… this list goes for titles better than Hiiro no Kakera. With that said, Hiiro no Kakera is not completely unwatchable as it does have a few perks every now and then. However, it’s the huge amount of negatives that consistently doesn’t justify the need to really watch this show.

 

Story and Character:

  • Premise (0/1): Still uninteresting
  • Character Personalities (0/1): Wishy-washy and cry babies
  • Character Development (1/2): More revelations but mostly useless and shallow. A little more development on Tamaki’s and Takuma’s past selves
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (0/2): Takuma and Tamaki are the only relevant characters really. Everyone kind of just fades out.
  • Pacing: (0.5/1): Show continues to drag its feet. A little more upbeat this time
  • Reasonable/Plausible (0/2): Nope. We still don’t really know the purpose of the artifacts or the Tamayori Princess.
  • Conclusion (/1):
  • Total: /10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (1.5/2): Significant increase in quality. Minute details absent but much better than what we saw in spring.
  • Character Designs (1.5/2): General designs are mostly the same as the first season but the characters are drawn far more crisply.
  • Fluidity (1/2): Mostly stale movements still despite improved quality.
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (1/2): Same as prequel
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (1/2): Quality remains worse than Sankarea but still an improvement from prequel overall.
  • Total: 6/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (2/3): OP theme is good and fits with the series now. ED theme is an improvement as well.
  • Background Music (0/2): not memorable.
  • Sound Effects (0/2): not memorable.
  • Seiyuu (1/3): Same seiyuu
  • Total: 3/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (0/2): None
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (0/2): None.
  • Presentation (0/2): This season is basically what should have been most of season 1 from the get go.
  • Re-watchable (0/1): None
  • Recommendation (0/2): Many, many shows better than this of the same genre.
  • Value (0/1): None.
  • Total: 0/10

Preliminary Score: 4/10

Final Score: 3/10

Overall (2 season) Score: 2/10

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