I’ve never been the biggest Harry Potter fan, but I’ve always found it pretty funny how the flicks played the “poor Cinderella’s cruel step family” card to such a cartoonish degree. Can’t get much more absurdly mean than forcing a kid to sleep in a closet, right?
Well, there’s always a bigger fish, as they say, and here’s a new latter-day Cinderella to make Harry’s home life look easy. Again, it feels a bit silly to wax on believability whilst discussing a show where somebody ollies a motorcycle through a window and right on a dinner table… but, as weird as it sounds, I think this avoids getting overwrought in its grab for sympathy points by getting detailed in acts of cruelty. There’s something about the step-brother specificity making Hana swim and bob for breath to get her fruit which feels authentic to how real children go about being petty.
Why’d I pick this show for my 2013 catch-up? Well, out of all the titles in Hulu’s roster of available anime, this one had the most intriguing promo art. It actually didn’t even have its title on there - - just a dynamic image of this mother & daughter outlaw duo hauling it on an airborne hog. In a field that can very easily make you numb to even the most expensive animation, I’m a little speechless over how much style and production value’s on display here. I guess this really just had to be a labor-of-love pet project for somebody high up on the staff, because my mind balks over how this level could be maintained throughout a 22-episode run.
Answering my own question, I guess it really just comes down to love then. There’s the kind of love of a recently escaped convict for her long-lost, put-upon daughter, and then there’s the love of animation director who’s always wanted to capture Brazil (right?) in an anime. Among this show’s many great qualities, one of the most astounding is how it really doesn’t look like any other anime (by virtue of how much it looks like an exotic real-world locale).
Only four episodes are currently available on Hulu, but apparently this is a full series. And that’s frustrating. I’d much prefer to see this startling original creation through than watch more of FMA.