Haruchika Episode 2: Cloth Cube

What the fuck? What if he was wrong? 

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Impression

Now that the initial novelty over Haruta being gay has worn off, I’m starting to find that I don’t really like him all that much. My favourite non-twins related part of the episode was when Narushima slapped him twice, once on each cheek. That felt good. That felt really cathartic. The first slap was for Narushima herself, and the second was for her deceased little brother. She should have added in an extra one for all the Chika bullying he did. What did Chika ever do to him? I mean, seeing her pout all the time was cute, but he took cheap shots at everything from her lack of musical ability to her failing efforts to become a kyuuto gaaru. That well-aimed kick she gave at the start of the episode was advance payment for everything Haruta said to her.

Haruchika 2 Img008I’m going to get to the actual ‘mystery’ (if it can even be called that without insulting actual mysteries) later, though I had my fair share of problems with that too. First, Haruta. On the surface he’s being presented as someone good-natured and laid back, but if you’re even paying a tiny shred of attention you’ll realize how insensitive, selfish and arrogant he was. I’ll put aside the fact that he seems to stalk everyone he has an interest in in abnormal detail, from researching their seat numbers to their home journey route and who they go home with. That’s already quite creepy. The bigger issue is that he knows that there are good musicians with orchestral experience in the school, and he’ll do anything to get them to join the brass band, even if they have perfectly valid reasons to not want to. Haruta knows hardly anything about Narushima, and yet he starts talking about the ‘destiny of an oboe player’ (whatever that means) before barging into her house, going up to her room and insensitively deducing things about Narushima’s relationship with her late brother.

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Haruchika 2 Img011Who the fuck does he think he is?! You don’t just walk into someone’s house, explain their feelings for them and try to solve their problems! And he’s not even doing it because he cares about Narushima. It’s because he wants her ‘power’. He wants her as a fucking new band member so he can help his beloved sensei go to Fumonkan. Last week I assumed he wanted it because of its prestige – it’s the Koushien of brass bands and all. But no, he doesn’t seem to care about it for his own sake or for the band’s sake – it’s all just for sensei, apparently. The worst was yet to come, however. I thought I’d seen it all at that point, complete with white gloves to complete the white Rubik’s Cube and serious announcements that it was a puzzle made with love (for reference, last week’s puzzle was also made with love).

Haruchika 2 Img015The final straw was him getting the others to hold Narushima down while he arrogantly painted over the puzzle right in front of her. That was honestly a dick move. What if he was wrong?! That thing was the last memento she had of her brother! He didn’t say anything, or explain anything beforehand – he just painted it over to what a solved Rubik’s Cube would look like, then presented it to Narushima and had the fucking balls to say he was finished and that it was time for her to move forward with her life. Who is he to decide?! Like, who the fuck is he to her? She tells him it’s only been a year since her brother died, and he replies that it’s already been a year, and that she now needed to move on? Fuck him! He’s not the one who’s lost a sibling, has he? How can he say that? I’m so glad she slapped him, honestly. She should have kicked him in the nuts for good measure, right in front of sensei. Again – what if he was wrong about the whole thing, and the cube wasn’t actually supposed to be solved that way?

Even if he had an idea, why not tell her how to do it so she can uncover the message herself? Why lecture her about her dead brother in her own fucking house, then solve the puzzle in the way that will upset her the most? What a piece of shit.

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I hope this ‘solve each potential club member’s personal problems’ thing isn’t going to become a weekly affair. It wasn’t even a particularly good puzzle – they were really treading into the realm of implausibility here with painting over a white cube. I’m not saying it has to be a Fairplay mystery, but something which engages the audience a bit more would be nice, instead of using Haruta’s apparently infinite general knowledge to solve everything. And if you can’t come up with something like that, then quit using it as a genre for your story, because it sucks that way. P.A. Works are really shooting themselves in the foot with choosing to animate this.

At least all the girls are kyuuto, they seem to be putting quite a bit of effort into their designs. And I think I’m in love with the twins. I’m basically going to continue watching this just for the two or three lines they get every episode. How did such perfect girls end up in a series with such an insufferable twat as the main character? Kae and Sae (and maybe Chika) are literally the only reasons stopping me from dropping this show along with Haruta’s sorry bitch ass.

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11 thoughts on “Haruchika Episode 2: Cloth Cube

    1. A bigger budget would also be nice, as would a better weekly puzzle (or mystery) and more screen time for the twins. Not having (sometimes badly phrased, sometimes outright incorrect) Funimation hard subs would be good too. Can’t have everything in life, though.

      Interestingly, the twins are supposedly anime-original characters. That might explain why they’re such best girls. It’s actually such a pity that Haruta ended up having this really unlikeable personality, because he’s a progressive male lead whose sexuality is being taken seriously (for anime standards at least) and yet despite that he’s still such a… well, a faggot. His selfishness isn’t doing anything to make the homophobics who already didn’t like him last week any more accepting of him.

    1. He had no business doing what he did in a stranger’s house. He preached to Narushima on how she should be handling her brother’s death despite knowing jack about them both, defaced the one memento she had of him (in front of her, while she was restrained) and it all just happened to work out nicely because of his main character credentials. He even had the gall to bring chopsticks and claim they were for dinner. In fact, he didn’t even know there was a puzzle to solve until he started harassing her. Her parents should have kicked him out of their house immediately.

      I want Chika back as the protagonist.

  1. I was going to start watching this show after I read your episode 1 review, but after this one, I think I might be better off avoiding it. Stupid protagonists make me punchy.

    1. Yeah. He was rude and presumptuous, and trampled over total strangers in order to achieve his own romantic objectives. In a way, it’s rather amazing that they’ve managed to make a character like him so suddenly unlikeable.

      Animation isn’t even that good too, at least Phantom World (the other pedigree-infused series this season that ended up jobbing) has high production values.

  2. Haruta was pretty annoying this episode, I agree. I really hope his personality improves, because I actually do like the other things about this series (well except for students having crushes on the music teacher, that’s weird). Chika’s cute and earnest, and I wish she’d have a better main character role than being the audience surrogate.

    1. Yet another Hibikek parallel. Taki-sensei was an actual character with an actual personality though, whereas the teacher here seems defined by his role and his status as a love interest for both Haruta and Chika. His presence this episode felt like it was literally so that Haruta could show off in front of him.

      Chika is very cute, she’d be a way better main character than blonde asshole Sherlock Holmes.

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