6 episodes, 24 minutes, impossibly short. Packs a lot of punch though.
Translated as “looking up at the half-moon”, Hantsuki the animation came from a series of written novels, detailing a love story between two patients in a hospital. The guy, Yuuichi, is hospitalized because of hepatitis, which I think isn’t too serious. The girl, Rika, has a certain heart problem that seems oh too serious, something that she may not be able to survive from. Classic setup just like the multitude of hospital dramas we see on every other medium of entertainment. Somehow having characters in life or death situations in the hospital strikes so hard on us viewers (blame ER?), much more when added this innocent and endearing love story.
I do admit that the short length of the anime might not hook you up in terms of character development, but somehow Hantsuki pulls it off quite nicely. The episodes were very well paced, umm, except for that seriously weird masked man friend of Yuuichi. The humor seems out of place sometimes, and there were some subplots that I think should have not been included or focused on too much. Plus there’s the issue of the ED sequence, a picture of Yuuichi and Rika getting married, which gives either false hope or an unhealthy teaser for the ending.
And finally I have an issue about the ending that left me disappointed. Nope, it’s not about how it ended, but how it was ‘built up’ during the first minutes of the last episode. I was so thrilled, already overly emotional because they kept hiding what went on with Rika, so it must be a big shocker. But then the reveal came, and I wasn’t shocked at all. Maybe I think like a girl in that situation (watch the anime and see the explanation of Nurse Akiko). It was as if I was hoping for something else but the real ending was a very expected thing. Anti-climactic. I hope you got my drift.
The character designs get quite wobbly all throughout the anime, but no one can deny the cuteness of Rika. OP/ED are fine, and the background music soothes a lot. I also can imagine a much better pace if the anime were twice the length. Those 6 episodes summarized a 5-volume novel long series of light novels. Surely lots of details are missed. The story’s not over too, there is yet another volume of Hantsuki. I really hope there is an OVA or something.
All in all… umm… since this is a very short anime, try using up a bit of your time to watch Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora. It’s not a waste of time if I may say so. There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about this one, so don’t expect much. But it’s quite nice also, so please do give it a try.
Okay, I’m going half-moon on that one.