The first part of the Haikara-san ga Tooru movies will be released in Japanese cinemas on 11 November 2017, but we already have a review for you from the preview screening!
The movie is based on a title that is considered a classic when it comes to girls’ manga. Its creator is Waki Yamato, who is also called the master of love comedies. The manga was serialized for two years starting in 1975 in a monthly magazine and its story was also turned into a TV anime, live action movie, TV series, theater play, and much more. While the series is mostly a comedy, it also shows dramatic love problems and works gags and manners in, which are normal for the time the story is set it, including problems like natural disasters or war. Even the word ‘Haikara’, which is used in the title, was a very fashionable word from the time. In this work, it is used to refer to girls who are wearing hakama.
The adaptations of the manga so far have never told the latter half of the story, but this movie version will go until the very end. Furthermore, the anime uses drawings for the characters that have a much more modern animation style. However, they are sticking to the original as much as possible and didn’t change the hairstyles, etc. The second movie with the sub-title ‘Tokyo Dai Roman’ will be released sometime in 2018.
We are in Japan of 1918, part of the Taisho era. The very energetic Benio Hanamura, who is free-spirited and has modern opinions, is attending a strict girls-only school in Tokyo. Her mother died soon after her birth and she was since raised by her soldier-father. She is a very strong-headed character. With her Kendo skills she can even beat male opponents, but she has to work on her housework skills. Since she considers herself a modern woman, she thinks she will be able to choose her own husband to share her life with. One day, Benio is climbing a tree to get down a kite that got stuck when a young soldier was passing by the tree. When he surprises her and she falls from the tree, her fall is being caught by the soldier. It turns out that the soldier is lieutenant Shinobu Ijuin and they were promised to each other by their grandparents. Since Benio doesn’t want a marriage that isn’t based on love, she thinks about giving a very bad impression when she comes to his house for her bride-to-be training. Like that, his family will break off the engagement and she won’t have to marry him. However, Benio thinks she can’t do such a thing and in the end she grows closer with his family. At the same time Shinobu is treating Benio with her way of thinking gently, which makes Benio feel more and more attracted to him. But then Shinobu is being transferred to Siberia after he helped cover up a riot caused by Benio. Soon a report about Shinobu being dead reaches Benio. Is this how far their love will go?
To fit the whole original story into the movies, they had to shorten the length of the bridal training as well as her riot plans. However, details like the disappearance of the 10 plates that are the Ijuin family’s heirloom are included. It is very refreshing to see Benio smash nine expensive plates to pieces because she wants to save the life of nine other people that might break a dish and be subjected to the fate of the maid who broke the first one. It starts off with a meeting of the worst kind for Benio and gradually turns into a love comedy that the audience can enjoy.