Higehiro | First Impressions

What was my first impression?

After watching the first three episodes of Hige wo Soru. Soshite Joshikousei wo Hirou. (Higehiro), I’d say my first impressions through the three episodes were pretty good. The story itself was interesting. When you’re presented with:

Office worker Yoshida has been crushing on his coworker, Airi Gotou, for five years. Despite finally scoring a date with her, his confession is promptly rejected. Drunk and disappointed, he stumbles home, only to find a high school girl sitting on the side of the road. The girl, needing a place to stay the night, attempts to seduce Yoshida. Despite rejecting her advances, he nevertheless invites her into his apartment.

The next morning, the girl, introducing herself as Sayu Ogiwara, reveals that she has run away from Hokkaido all the way to Tokyo. During her six-month spree, she continually traded sexual favors for a roof over her head. Yoshida, however, remains unswayed by her seduction. Instead, he has her do a different kind of work—one that entails washing dishes and doing laundry. And so, a touching relationship between a heartbroken adult and a runaway high school girl begins.

Your mind immediately jumps to “How will this turn out?” That is definitely something I thought. To be completely honest, I wasn’t entirely sure if this anime would be something I would really be into, and as of writing this blog, I can still say I am not too whether or not if I like this anime. As the synopsis mentions, a drunken Yoshida offers a girl he meets under a light post to stay at his house for the night. We later find out that Sayu (the female protagonist) uses her body for sexual favours to have a roof above her head. This sets the stage for a broken girl, wanting to break a dangerous cycle, no better way than being with Yoshida (the male protagonist), who doesn’t want to have sex with her. Instead, he sees her as sort of a younger sister and does everything in his power to make her feel like a normal person and to raise her standards and stop using her body for favours. This forms the premise of the story, Yoshida, guiding Sayu back to treating herself with more respect and dignity while also filling a void that both characters need and find in each other, someone to talk to and care about. I cannot hate on that. I do not think many people will hate that either.

However, my fear with setting such a premise is that if each episode is not in some way adding to the overall story, then it’ll end up feeling like a normal slice of life, romance anime with the occasional drama. I can definitely see this happening to this show, and it’s something I hope doesn’t happen. I’ve seen enough of those types of anime to know when it’ll happen, and I don’t need any of that filler stuff.

As for the other minor things like character design, there isn’t really much to comment on, if I’m frank. Everything feels very generic. Higehiro’s art design falls in line with everything that Project No.9 has put out over the years. Sharp but thin linework and massive eyes shaped the same in every anime produced by the studio. So in that regard, the art design is one of the failings of the anime already because it fails to distinguish itself from the rest. When you rely solely on the story and the character-building that comes from it when as a viewer, I sure hope that how the story is told is amazing because looking at these characters without an amazing story for 20 minutes will get pretty boring really fast. I need other points of interest after all.