“After being rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway”
A man walks home from a disastrous confession attempt and night of sorrowful drinking to see a girl sitting underneath a flickering lamp post. The sun has long set, and clouds loom overhead.
“Let me stay at your place, Mister. I don’t have anywhere to go tonight”– Sayu (Episode 1)
Tired and drunk, he concedes to her demands. Thus their story together begins; the girl, Sayu – a 17 year old high school runaway from Hokkaido, and the protagonist Yoshida – a 26 year old office worker.
Lacking any memory of the night before, Yoshida surprisingly awakens in his single person flat – a small one-person flat with only one bedroom – to a JK cooking miso soup in his kitchen. Housing a high school girl as an adult is perhaps one of the riskiest things possible for him; one wrong step and the authorities could possibly impound him under kidnapping and coercion charges. To top it off, Sayu seems adamant on paying him back by doing a little “something”! From this point forward, he must decide how to proceed with caution. Despite his worries, he lets her stay…
Animated by Project No.9 – a studio with titles such as Netoge and Jaku-Chara Tomozaki-kun to their name, Higehiro presents a solid visual presentation bundled with great character design and well formulated backgrounds. The art style, albeit industry standard in terms of production and colouring, is quite unique, with the character art especially coming off as exceptionally recognizable.
Sound design and voice acting are an additional plus of this series, with a high attention to detail and production quality. Notable voice actors in this work include Kana Ichinose (Voicing Sayu) and Hisako Kanemoto (Voicing Gotou). The series features theme song performances by DIALOGUE+ (Omoide Shiritori, OP) and Kaori Ishihara (Plastic Smile, ED).
Genre and Characters
Higehiro portrays a generic work environment and interactions of office workers and the daily life of the characters, following the interactions between the main character Yoshida, and Sayu, a mysterious runaway, and their acquaintances as the story progresses. The writing, although slow during minor parts, comes off as consistent; with characters seemingly having their own motives and the overall plot rounding off to a clean finish. Although Higehiro includes elements of romance, the story is mainly emphasized as a drama.
Not often do you see a title invoke such strong questions regarding societal standards that skirts the boundary between an interesting story and a highly doubtful one. Strictly speaking, Higehiro occupies its own unique niche within the romcom/drama genre (as one of the most saturated genres, this is quite an achievement in itself), and tends to be one of the stories which appeals only after grasping a certain amount of the deeper meaning. Beyond its satirical façade of a seemingly comedic age pairing, Higehiro invokes serious philosophical discussions on the meaning of age in a seemingly biased society highly concerned with pedophilia (and the exploitation of minors). Despite a seemingly questionable title and presentation of the premise, Higehiro is notably well grounded in reality, and serves to provide a more than realistic view of how such a story would resolve itself (albeit still fictional). Humor is occasionally woven into the narrative, although it is mainly a serious storytelling effort.
While the story may not be for the general audience, those who do appreciate this certain genre will find that Higehiro – although being memed heavily as one of those “only in anime” occurrences – more than makes up for itself with the novelty and execution of its premise, and is certainly a watch worth your time.
Story 8 – ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Presentation 8 – ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Characters 8 – ★★★★★★★★☆☆
JK(女子高生）– A Highschool Girl
2022.01.10 – #1