Haruchika Episode 4 (Vernacular Modernism) Review

Practical Jokes and Extreme Vernacular Modernism

Have you ever had that one family member that jokes around so much that they are actually known for it in the family? Their humor is the bright light that shines when everyone else is gloomy, they bring out laughter that you will cherish for the rest of your days. Well, our mystery for Haruchika episode 4 involves pranks, a 500-yen coin, and more! Let’s roll!

Spoilers ahead! If you haven’t seen this episode, I suggest you stop here. If you haven’t watched the series, please have a look at my first impression of the show (Spoiler Free). 

JuJu Reviews: HaruChika - Haruta & Chika Episode 4 JuJu Reviews: HaruChika - Haruta & Chika Episode 4

Like I stated last week, our saxophone player, Sei Maren, has joined the brass ranks and it seems we have a decent ensemble going on now for our brass club. Unfortunately, our brass club lacks funds to have a good meeting place; poor guys. But soon after, we get introduced to one of Haruta’s older sisters, Minami Kamijo, much to Haruta’s dismay. The next few scenes bring on the comedy, as we find out Haruta has been living outside in a tent due to his apartment being torn down! If you look closely at Chika’s reaction, you can see that she flips out about the situation. I believe this shows that deep down ,Chika cares about her childhood friend, despite them making fun of each other all the time. The part where Haruta hides behind Chika due to his fear of his sister was funny for me. We see Haruta as this sharp kid who can think logically to solve problems all the time, but to see him cower in fear of his sister shows him in a new light, which I found hilarious. With all that said and done, Minami, Chika, and Miyoko decide to help out Haruta find a new apartment, which leads to something interesting.

JuJu Reviews: HaruChika - Haruta & Chika Episode 4 JuJu Reviews: HaruChika - Haruta & Chika Episode 4

Haruta and the rest look into an apartment and it seems to be off a bit. Five rooms for living, yet it has six rooms? This is where the mystery element starts to kick in, as we find out that there are complaints of a potential haunting. Hmmm… As Haruta and the crew go check out the apartment, we meet Asano, the landlord, and we find out about his whole dilemma due to the complaints and people leaving. The backstory of Asano and his uncle is probably the most hilarious backstory of this season so far, but at the same time, it was a bit saddening as well. We come to find out that Asano’s uncle was a bit of a, no, was a HUGE prank-master, with him pranking his family at every possible moment. As a matter of fact, the uncle deserves the award for troll of the year, since his pranks consisted of pies to the face, a contraption that caused his relatives to fall into his pond, and more. Now, I don’t know about you all, but if I had a family member that was so goofy like that, I wouldn’t hesitate to laugh my butt off as well! Despite the jokes, our man, Asano, has had one heck of a bumpy road in his life by going from one failure to another; poor guy. I felt sad when his uncle tried to cheer him up, only to get lashed at by Asano, which caused them to separate and stay out of touch until his death. Life can be tough…

JuJu Reviews: HaruChika - Haruta & Chika Episode 4JuJu Reviews: HaruChika - Haruta & Chika Episode 4

Moving on, Minami brings up the term “vernacular modernism,” and it is basically used to refer to the apartment building; apparently it was made to adapt to the climate and the land around it. It is pretty convenient and interesting to learn all in the same time. Before I move on to the scene with Maren and his household, I have to address the “Engrish”. I always hear fans mock the voice actors for not sounding perfect, but in all fairness, the attempts of voice actors to speak English in anime have been pretty good these past few years. Now, I know there are some anime where the attempts to speak English are horrible, but the slight interaction with the husband and wife was not bad at all and I enjoyed that little touch they added there. I mean, they didn’t have to add that, but they went out of their way to do it since Sei Maren’s parents are not natives to Japan. It’s the little things that matter and it was done well!


JuJu Reviews: HaruChika - Haruta & Chika Episode 4 JuJu Reviews: HaruChika - Haruta & Chika Episode 4

English aside, after some brainstorming with the group, Haruta has a suspicion of why the Asano apartment has 6 rooms. This is where things get interesting, as it all leads to 1982 and guess what was invented in 1982? The 500-yen coin! With all this in Haruta’s mind, our group investigates the apartment building and it turns out our goofy uncle was actually a clever man. The apartment basically has a hidden room underneath the first floor, which turns out to be a vault. The scene after this looks flashy as we see all these 500-yen coins flow out like a shining river of gold; the color palate and glow effects looks nice at first, but the CGI animated flow looks a bit awkward. If there is one thing I like the most about P.A. Works and the anime they work on, it would be their art. They always do their absolute best when it comes to the art and character designs and I respect that a lot, but I felt they could have done better with that coin flow animation. Well, looks like Asano will be sitting pretty now!

JuJu Reviews: HaruChika - Haruta & Chika Episode 4 JuJu Reviews: HaruChika - Haruta & Chika Episode 4

To sum it up, the episode was good. I had several gripes with this episode. Why would people put 500-yen coins through a hole in the wall? I felt that bit wasn’t explained properly enough as it leaves flaws in the uncles’ plan. Also, it felt as if Sei Maren “saved” the brass club by making his character out to be this popular hunk that every girl drools over; what happened to that characterization from the last episode? Also, like I stated above, there was the awkward coin CGI. Despite that, the element of mystery was once again used decently with Haruta figuring out the apartment’s hidden room, its relation to 1982, the 500-yen coin, and the uncle’s motive. Based on the preview, it looks like we could possibly be getting into some backstory of the brass club’s sensei, so looking forward to that and more next week!

Check out the other Winter 2016 Anime season related articles!

(Screenshot Credits: Funimation)


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