H2O ~Footprints in the Sand~ Review

AuthorOctober 31, 2020

AKA: N/AGenre: Drama with supernatural components.Length: Television collection, 13 episodes, 23 minutes eachDistributor: Currently licensed by Kadokawa USAContent Rating: 13+ (Light fanservice and violence, heavy psychological points.)Related Series: N/AAlso Recommended: AIR, Kanon, Clannad, Sola, Fruits Basket.Notes: Based on a visible novel videogame by Makura. There’s additionally a manga adaptation drawn by Kira Inugami, serialized in Comp Ace. Rating: H2O ~Footprints in the Sand~


Takuma Hirose is shipped to attend a countryside highschool attributable to a blindness apparently attributable to a trauma from his childhood. There, he meets Otoha, a non secular being of kinds who grants him his eyesight in order that he may also help a few of his schoolmates with the issues they’ve.
But there may be darker points at hand in the quiet village, and his duties won’t be met with out resistance.

While we have been synchroing this present, I used to be instructed that H2O is taken into account by many as superior to AIR, certainly one of the few good anime which are primarily based on visible novel video games. This would possibly presumably have one thing to do with the undeniable fact that the two exhibits share a couple of frequent components, however in all truthfully, I feel it is bought extra in frequent with one other anime I’ve reviewed; Myself; Yourself, largely as a result of each exhibits may’ve been respectable if they’d not jumped the shark, and jumped it spectacularly at that. The change in temper discovered in H2O is crass, abrupt and actually jarring, even with the totally off-topic episode inbetween. Oh sure, this present labored laborious to utterly damage any goodwill I had for it by the time I handed the midway mark. Well, just a little previous that time, truly.

Artwise, the present jogs my memory a little bit of Sola, or possibly Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru. The solid, largely feminine, are all skinny and gaunt, considerably disproportionally so in opposition to their giant eyes and large hair, typically with enormous ribbons to go together with it. It’s not that the characters are laborious to have a look at, however the designs are just a little bit uninteresting. The background artwork is beautiful, although, solely happening in a wind-swept countryside village with lush forests and rolling hills the place the wind makes waves on the grass. It’s an atmospheric present, which most definitely performed a big half in why I loved elements of it after I began on it.
H2O additionally has a good male lead. He’s an outspoken and take-chargeish sort of sort, which rapidly will get him concerned with the points that may be discovered in the small village. Even although he spends most of the first episode blind, he does not actually again down when challenged, although his angle features a lift at the finish as soon as Otoha grants him his imaginative and prescient again.
I by no means actually questioned AIR when it began delving into its slight supernatural components, as a result of these have been the elements that gave the present a few of the magic it had. As such, I did not actually query how a woman that was principally only a spirit may give Hirose his eyesight again. However, I did anticipate his fellow college students to react extra with shock when their latest scholar returned the very subsequent day together with his eyesight intact as an alternative of simply blind acceptance. (No pun meant.) But what made me REALLY query the present was the remedy of certainly one of the feminine leads; Hayami Kohinata. She is rapidly launched as a little bit of a pariah in the village, with a few of the college students principally beating her up and doing issues like throwing bathroom water on her and calling her a cockroach whereas the lecturers simply flip a blind eye (once more, no pun meant) to this. As for Kohinata herself, she clearly does not like this, however appears to simply accept this to a point all the identical.
Being an outsider, naturally Hirose wasn’t going to face for this. In what I nonetheless take into account the greatest elements of the anime — or moderately, the salvageable ones — he rapidly confronts the problem, and, in lack of a transparent reply, he locations himself between Kohinata and her attackers. It does not take him lengthy to seek out out that Kohinata herself was as soon as a pal of Hinata Kagura, the daughter of the village elder and the high college students in the faculty, and begins working at mending that specific chain of friendship as nicely. Naturally, his actions do shake up the village, largely via Yui Tabata, the lady who’s Kohinata’s largest nemesis and tormentor, and appears to be the one who hates her the most.

I’ve to present the present credit score for the ethical involvement in it, as a result of the cause why the city hates Kohinata is ultimately revealed, and as much as episode 7, our fundamental lead has his fingers full resolving conditions left and proper, which can be the place we study that there are extra skeletons in the household closets of a few of the others round. And when most of it appears to get resolved by the time episode eight rolls round, the present chooses to simply go utterly loopy, which is certainly one of the dealbreakers in it. During this episode, Otoha goes from being a non secular being to a magical lady waving a wand round, and the drama is placed on maintain for some time purely for the sake of comedy that is not the least bit humorous. It’s principally simply 23 minutes of “what the hell is going on?”
And then, the present proceeds to spend the remainder of its time making me want I used to be watching episode eight once more. Yes, it is the second dealbreaker, and it HURTS!
I’m sorely tempted to simply spoil the total factor proper now. I’ve executed it earlier than in exhibits that are not actually all that worse in comparison with this. The primary rundown is that Hirose will get launched to the cause he apparently went blind in the first place, which is solely centered round his mom. I’m not going to enter particulars, however largely, our fundamental lead principally turns into the polar reverse of the sort of individual he was for the ENTIRE runtime up so far. Not solely that, however issues simply utterly go to items, due to the concept that high quality drama means turning the distress ratio to eleven. It’s the identical sort of crap that utterly ruined Myself; Yourself for me, to not point out the identical sort of unnecessary melodrama that made Rumbling Hearts such a chore to observe. How they managed to hawk a cheerful ending out of this nonetheless provides me the willies, and until you are exceptionally forgiving, the deus ex machinae at the finish will make you convulse in ache. Badly.

The actually astounding half is that if H2O had ended at episode 7 by some means, I might in all probability have favored it nicely sufficient to present it three stars. But, like I discussed at the starting of this overview, the remaining episodes simply violates something inexperienced and good about this present in methods I’ve NEVER witnessed earlier than. I simply do not know what else to say. AIR by no means failed this badly. Even Myself; Yourself did not bomb as spectacularly as this. Normally, I’d charge something by deciding on the common of the sum of its elements, however H2O fairly frankly does not deserve that.

You might charge it two or three ONLY for those who make episode seven the final episode you watch and fake the remainder of the present does not exist. This is not about averages. This present is about the ending utterly ruining what it constructed up in the starting. — Stig Høgset

Recommended Audience: The violence of this present largely consists of what Kohinata receives of abuse from her fellow classmates. It’s pretty normal violence and abuse, and solely made reprehensible via the undeniable fact that the anime factors out that this sort of habits has been happening for a lot of, a few years. Thematically, it is nothing that may’t be proven to youngsters, which might be the present’s audience.
There’s additionally some scattered moments of fanservice in the present, largely in its token seashore episode, the identical episode which additionally introduces us to the crossdresser of this present. And no, you will not determine who that’s till the present chooses to disclose it to you.

Version(s) Viewed: digital supply.

Review Status: Partial (12/13)
H2O ~Footprints in the Sand~ © 2008 ZEXCS / Kadokawa

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