“Has there ever been a grown-up I could trust? There hasn’t!” – Hitomi Mishima, Hinamatsuri
With the advent of episode 10 of Hinamatsuri, the show has finally started to show more obvious signs of the discrepancy between adults and children like I said it might. However, it’s been doing that since the beginning.
Initially, the idea of this thematic commentary came from how, in episode 1, Hina said she’d “seen those eyes [Nitta had] before” – the eyes of an adult, willing to manipulate a psychic child to his own ends. It’s the same kind of manipulation that Hitomi finds herself working under when she does secretarial work, but applied to different standards – not to mention the flow-on effect is alienation of the existing workers, which leads to bullying. However, that is one time Hitomi actually has her nature work in her favour – because she is naïve and hardworking, she doesn’t notice she’s being bullied by her senpai.
Naiveté is also a theme of the show in other ways, normally in how the comedy frequently thrusts its stars into new situations to see how naiveté works against experience. For instance, for the horse-racing segment in episode 10, Hitomi is initially against Anzu betting on horses, but eventually bets on some of her own. Hitomi works as the straight man in this in Nitta’s absence, and through this, the show acknowledges her position as the “adult” in the trio (even though she’s not an adult physically).
Furthermore, Hitomi’s segment in episode 10, in which she takes on jobs and yet falls asleep at school, is a reflection of how abnormal she’s become by being involved with Utako and Little Song, as well as subtly being a poke at the education system. By having Hitomi no longer focus on her lessons (why is learning about the namahage so important, anyway?), it’s shown her education – the thing that initially made her a normal 13 year old – has no longer really got a place in her life, despite that being the highest priority of her classmates. Indeed, it’s throwing 13 year olds into adult situations (mostly Hitomi, but also Anzu with being homeless and working at a restaurant) that injects, quite paradoxically, both ridiculousness and a dose of reality into Hinamatsuri, and I, for one, have been enjoying it.
So, what are your thoughts on Hinamatsuri? Does having the different segments revolving around Hina, Anzu and Hitomi strike a balance, or does it make the show inconsistent?
As a manga reader, I think that thematically, all four of the girls have stories that have enough in common that it’s fine. Game of Thrones does this with the constantly shifting PoV, but the world they are in is always consistent. Same with Hinamatsuri.
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