It's the first day of kindergarten for everyone but it's getting off to a rough start for one in particular. Oversleeping on his first day of being a teacher, Tsuchida runs into a girl named Anzu on the way who thinks that he's hitting on her. When he gets to school he finds out that parents aren't wild about having a male teacher, the female teacher next door is cute and Anzu wants to marry him.
Good and the Bad
For the last couple of months, I've been operating under the idea that Hanamaru Kindergarten was going to simply be Kodomo no Jikan + kindergarten. After watching the first episode, I've changed that idea to Kodomo no Jikan + Azumanga Daioh + kindergarten.
The basic premise behind the series is the new male teacher has a crush on a female teacher and has a student who thinks she's in love with him. If you stop right there, yes this series is another creepy loli series. If you dig just a little bit further, you'll find that while the premise may tell one story, the tone and presentation tell another all together.
Keeping a light tone throughout the premiere, Hanamaru Kindergarten does a great job of setting up the story while keeping laughs going the entire way. The aim of the premiere isn't to make the audience laugh with any sort of uncomfortable feeling. Instead the humor is much more aimed towards the awkwardness of the situations. Yes, Anzu and her mother are slightly odd but are introduced into the series with such outgoing (and yes, peculiar) personalities that the humor far outweighs whatever it is you're imagining. The only way this episode could have made me uncomfortable is if I had forced myself to feel that way.
That's not to say that the series doesn't occasionally toe that line however. Ironically though, they're all things that involve Anzu's mother, Sakura, rather than Anzu or any of the other children. Within the first episode, a few things are revealed about Sakura's past which actually a few seconds to wrap my head around. While I won't spoil what exactly I'm talking about, once you get to the flashback scene around the halfway mark and dinner in Anzu's house you'll know exactly what I'm referring to. It will be interesting to see where this character is taken into the future and how far they are willing to go with it.
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