Despite HaruChika being a mystery series, there really aren’t any horror or psychological elements. Even though mystery tends to go hand-in-hand with those genres, HaruChika is a very light series with a lot of character struggles. Now, mind you, even though HaruChika‘s mysteries aren’t dark or suspenseful in any way, that doesn’t mean it’s bad at all. As a matter of fact, I think this week’s episode was the darkest we have seen out of HaruChika so far, with the suicidal thoughts out and about. Yes, you read correctly! This episode delivers a bit of dark thoughts and then some to boot. Let’s carry on!
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).
Right off the bat we see a character, who we will touch upon later, lamenting in the dark, eerie atmosphere while listening to a radio program called the Seven Sages Counseling Service. All we know from the scene is that she isn’t looking well and she’s had it with life in general. In the end, the radio program ends up offering her some advice on life, which comes into play later during the episode. Although it wasn’t too dark or suspenseful, it was something that I know people can relate to. So if HaruChika wanted to offer any dark undertones for the series, then there’s one moment for you right there.
Even though HaruChika does offer slight progression with it’s music plot, I still feel it is strongest with its mystery, since the way it shows how the brass band is coming along can feel rushed and convenient. The development for each player and the band musically as a whole is missing, but then again, HaruChika isn’t a music-based series. I mean, I shouldn’t expect it to do something grand with its music like Nodame Cantabile or Hibike! Euphonium did, but the music does sound pleasant during the moments when someone plays, even if it’s something simple. Despite that, it seems Kusakabe is cracking down on the studies of the band members, which leads Chika to start studying hard, even though her studying methods are on a humorous level of procrastination that resembles my own. I know how you feel Chika! I do want to note Haruta’s crush or complex towards Kusakabe. During the studying scene with Chika, she finds out that Haruta has been a listener of the seven sages due to her hearing him and the sages mention him having a crush on the sensei. Again, I assume Haruta is homosexual or that he’s going through one of those curiosity phases. This series seems to play this off as mere comedy every time it is mentioned, but I feel it could lead to something important later on.
From here on is where the mystery starts to build. We find out the student council wants Chika, who drags Haruta, to find the president of the geological research group, Misato Aso, and the grand prize is a huge deposit into the brass club’s budget! It turns out that they are wanted because the entire club is comprised of members who do not like school, rather, they are shut-in’s. Hmm, seems interesting. I want to point out Misato’s character design, mainly her eyes. I don’t know how to describe it well, but her eyes and overall presence have this creepy, yet beautiful feeling to them, which confuses me a little. I feel that her eyes stand out a lot, even more than Chika’s eyes, and that could throw off some viewers, depending on their art preference. Despite the character design, we find out she’s been going around a lot and avoiding the student council due to the blue topaz. You see, the geological group likes to collect shiny and rare stones, and after finding a rare beauty such as a topaz, one would feel reluctant to tell anyone what is going on. We see this when Haruta and Chika try to confront Misato, only for her to run away, but not without finding out that she too has been listening to the radio program and that the main person behind the radio program is Kaiyu Hiyama. Sounds familiar….
Instead of Haruta and Chika going to Misato, she comes to them where she explains about the radio program and such. Apparently, she found about Kaiyu as well while she was looking for the blue topaz. As they go and confront Kaiyu, we see that he resembles Serizawa’s childhood friend, which implies he is the drummer we have been waiting for! As we get to know him, we find out about the radio program and how it came to be. We also learn that it was Misato who was the girl from the beginning that wanted to die, but because the radio program helped her, she changed her ways, which led us to the situation we have now. I liked how the episode kept the radio program relevant by having it help the characters. It was more along the lines of a cause and effect since the program helped Misato, she helps the brass club, etc. With that being said, it looks like Kaiyu is going back to school and the brass club could have themselves a new drummer!
HaruChika tends to have this episodic pattern of character of the week, but this episode felt different and the same. It wasn’t mostly about one character, rather, it affected more than one due to using the radio program to push them forward. The episode was good, but with the drummer on board, that should be all the members (besides Serizawa) for the brass club. And with all the members there, I wonder what HaruChika will deliver next? Remember, HaruChika is a series that is heavy with the characters, so will it finally move on to Kusakabe? Or will it build up the music even more? Perhaps, a plot twist could be arriving soon! There are so many routes HaruChika could take now and I happily await the next episode to see what will happen!
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