Haruchika Episode 1 Review

Baka or Bach?

Here we go, folks! It’s that time of the year again where things change up and the overall environment feels different, and no, I’m not talking about the weather, but this winter season of Anime for 2016! Coming at you is Haruta & Chika Melodious Cipher (Haruchika), a mystery novel with a theme of music. The novel is being adapted into an anime by P.A. Works, or the same studio that worked on Charlotte and Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea! Being a fan of the content P.A. Works produces, I was really looking forward to watching this series to see what potential it has for us viewers, so with that being said, let’s dive into the episode!

Yatta-Tachi Reviews: HaruChika Episode 1 Yatta-Tachi Reviews: HaruChika Episode 1

Right off the bat, we see an inner-monologue by one main protagonists, or in this case, deuteragonist, Chika, about events that have already taken place and how she came to play the flute and such. Seeing the environment of the apparent performance stage along with the chairs and music stands looks really great. I expect no less coming from P.A. Works, but it also reminded me of my days as a band nerd and that overall feel of performance stage just brought the nostalgia for me, which was nice.

Yatta-Tachi Reviews: HaruChika Episode 1Yatta-Tachi Reviews: HaruChika Episode 1
As the episode continues, we get to see Chika and her introduction as a character. I find it funny how she wants to become a “cute” lady instead of just being her aggressive or hyperactive self and she hopes that by playing the flute, it will help change her apparent identity crisis. Although, I believe that was for comedic purposes, it’s obvious that she likes music or has some level of interest in it and that was something I liked. Other than Chika, we also have Haruta, who turns out to be Chika’s childhood friend! Unlike Chika, he comes off as the cool and analytical type of character, which shows the difference between the two. The moments where Haruta makes fun of Chika and her past aggression from their childhood was good in the comedy aspect since we know how much she wants to forget all of that and adopt a new image. Poor Chika.

Yatta-Tachi Reviews: HaruChika Episode 1 Yatta-Tachi Reviews: HaruChika Episode 1

When we get our first mystery, I enjoyed how the episode handled it by combining music and mystery elements to establish and solve the mystery. Using aspects such as the art of fugue, the language of flowers, a substitution cipher using notes and the Japanese alphabet was something that was interesting and got me more interested in the episode as it went along. I also enjoy how the episode adds in the musical theme as well. We get to hear some pleasant melodies and sounds during and at the end of the episode.

Yatta-Tachi Reviews: HaruChika Episode 1 Yatta-Tachi Reviews: HaruChika Episode 1

Some gripes or worry viewers may have with this episode or series is the combining of the mystery genre and the theme of music. Also, the fact that it’s obvious that Haruchika only plans to use music as a basis to show interesting mysteries or use some of the mechanics of music theory to solve a mystery or case; people going in and expecting a full dive in the mechanics of music will be disappointed. The character designs will probably not appeal to some viewers as the eyes of the characters tend to be a bit too flashy and could take time getting used to. The pacing and handling of upcoming episodes can also throw some people off if its done in a confusing way. I am curious on how P.A. Works will handle combining music and mystery to tell a story, while providing us with interesting characters and cases, as well as serving up good music to boot!

Personally, I thought the first episode was good and gave us a good premise on what the series will be about. If you are a lover of mystery and music, the I definitely recommend you watch Haruchika this season. I will be keeping up with this series and reviewing it episodically to share my thoughts and opinions throughout the season, so I hope you check it out and share your thoughts as well. I am looking forward to what P.A. Works has in store for us with Haruchika!

HaruChika is streaming on Funimation, Hulu, and eventually Daisuki

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