Hatena Illusion Episode 1 [First Impression]

Eva’s First Impression

There was something about the premiere that made it feel so refreshing to watch. For starters, I thought the pace was right on point. It was neither rushed, nor was there an info dump. In fact it was going along so well, it was around the fifteen minutes mark I checked the time to see how far along we were into the episode.

This may surprise you, but this show is actually one of my most anticipated titles for this season. I have been itching for a magical phantom thief plot-line for quite a while now, and I am so happy to say the premiere of Hatena Illusions did not disappoint! The animation was crisp and clean, I am delighted to see there seems to be some form of actual magic used through these “artifacts” (but we will have to wait a bit longer to learn more about the power they hold), and there things that I can’t put my finger on that made it not only refreshing  but also nostalgic to watch!

We are introduced to the Hoshisato family, a team consisting a fun set of characters, where were seem to have a fairly balanced mixed of eccentric and level-headed characters. We have the flamboyant Master Magician Mamoru, his partner and currently MIA wife Maeve the Phantom Thief, and their two their daughters Kana (otherwise referred to as “Hatena”) following her mother’s footsteps, and Yumemi, who appears to be the Hacker of the team, and are supported by Butler Jeeves and the Maid Ema. It appears some (if not all of them) make use of these seemingly magical objects (until further explanation) known as Artifacts to help them pull off their missions and performances.

The latest addition to their squad is Makoto, a childhood friend of Kana’s who made a promise with her to become a Magician and become partners like her mother and father. He seems to be the type who is fairly level-headed, brave and sweet boy who is quick to adapt. Beyond that we didn’t learn much about him, but given his split-second reaction when Kana commented about his boyish attire, I wouldn’t be surprised if Makoto was trying to break away from that and there was a reason for Kana (and possibly others) to have perceived to be a girl.

The Hoshisato family are quite a funny bunch considering they welcomed Makoto into their home, and yet they didn’t prepare a room for him. At first I wondered how there wasn’t another bedroom in the mansion considering how freaking huge it is, but Ema later explained this place is riddled with tricks. So it’s probably wouldn’t a stretch to believe the only space other than the occupied rooms that is probably the safest, is the cluttered storage room. In event of that, Makoto has proven he is fact a miracle worker when it comes to cleaning. However since he accidentally ended up breaking one of the family’s artifacts (one which Kana claimed actually has no value since it supposedly doesn’t work anymore), Ema quickly took advantage of the situation by making him into a butler in training. So much for the magician training, hahaha! (Well, not like he can do much when the master suddenly announces he has to go overseas for a month!)

Of all the characters, I would say the two that really shined today were Kana and Ema. I absolutely adore Kana’s character. She is such a cutie! I was in stitches when I realized she had mistakenly thought Makoto was a girl SINCE CHILDHOOD. Don’t even get me started when Kana continued to be in denial by crying out to her father, “MAKOTO TURNED INTO A BOY!” Oh gosh, Kana please! And what makes this situation even more hilarious is the irony of the fact Kana had always perceived Makoto to be a prince-like character to begin with! This little tidbit makes it pretty self-explanatory as to why she is so self-conscious and embarrassed around him now— I mean, I know I would be too!

As for Ema, for most of the episode she had me rolling with her ‘cupid’ ploys. She has taken every opportunity to try and ‘smooth out’ (so to speak) the relationship between Kana and Makoto after she had learned Makoto was in fact a boy all long. It can be quite fun watching the third party trying to come up with not-so-subtle ways to get the main couple to get together.

Story-wise, not much was really revealed this week besides the fact Maeve (Kana’s mother) appears to be MIA. The last time Kana has seen her was the night she has entrusted Findabair, an artifact in form of a scarf we see Kana wear everywhere (also the one that landed the punch onto Makoto when he was tricked into walking into the baths while Kana was still inside). If I had to make any estimate guess, it seems their mission to some extent is to collect these seemingly-magical artifacts. It was interesting to see Kana and Yumemi inspect Makoto’s wand, which as Kana knows had broke during the time he was fending off an aggressive dog. We have been told that it was Maeve who “fixed” the wand, but it appears she may have very well entrusted him an Artifact instead. As of right now, it also appears Makoto believes the wand is the same one that was picked up from a toy store after the Mamoru’s performance. So it is possible that Makoto has no idea of the kind of powers it actually holds.

With that said, I am definitely excited to see how this story will unfold! Catch wait for the next episode!

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