Hakushaku to Yousei Series Review


Argh, no pay-off!

As much as I disliked Vampire Knight Guilty, I absolutely loved Hakushaku to Yousei.

Hakushaku to Yousei succeeds because it was light on angst, featured a great female lead, and was exactly what a shoujo show should be. While I feel that HtY is a show that is not particularly memorable, it was highly entertaining – so much so, in fact, that I sincerely hope that a sequel is somewhere in the mix. And the idea of a sequel is not terribly far-fetched, as the anime adaptation wrapped up one arc, but leaves enough up in the air for a sequel – after all, we have yet to meet the Prince, nor do we know what exactly happened to Ermine, or her history with Edgar. And that doesn’t even touch on the fact that we still haven’t gotten much of a pay-off from Lydia and Edgar!

One of the strong points of this show was the attention to detail – namely in the fact that it actually got the folklore of the British Isles down right, and not just in regards to the easy stuff like banshees (it has been suggested that this is as a result of it being a light novel adaptation, a case in which the original author would’ve had more of a chance to research such details than would an anime studio) (although, honestly, given that the story takes place in Scotland and England, the proper term would’ve been bean-shidh) . It was a delight to see brownies and selkies properly referenced, having been a bit of a folklore maniac during my late childhood and early adolescence.

Another thing worth noting as regards details is the fact that Lydia actually had wardrobe changes – so often in an anime one sees characters simply wearing the same thing over and over again, so Lydia actually wearing different dresses in different episodes was mildly impressive. I fully expected her to just wear the same pink dress over and over again! Props to Artland.

The only fault I could point out in HtY is that it is occasionally a bit too silly – Lydia and Edgar chilling out underwater was a bit much for me, and the appearance of almost every major or semi-major cast member in the final-confrontation scene in the last episode was a bit annoying. I also wish we’d gotten something more tangible from the Lydia and Edgar relationship, but considering that the light novel series is now at fifteen (!) volumes, it isn’t terribly shocking – and I was glad to see at least an acknowledgment of sex, something I feel is generally ignored in shoujo.

All in all, I really loved this show, and, like I said, hope to see a sequel.

Oh, yeah, and Nico? You totally would’ve won best mascot-ish character of the year award if it weren’t for Nyanko-sensei in Natsume Yuujin-chou.

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2 Responses to Hakushaku to Yousei Series Review

  1. According to the OED educated 19th century people of Edgar’s ilk might have said ‘banshee’ – possibly spelling it differently, though (Walter Scott has ‘ben-shie’ in 1810 and ‘banshie’ in 1829). But given Lydia’s origins there’s no telling what word she’d use. If I were retconning the show to add sense, I’d have Lydia descended from people who moved to the lowlands during the Highland Clearances, allowing her to retain lots of dialect folklore terms. Actually, had I written HtY, I think I’d have played with her accent a bit – but now I think I’m being very unfair to something written in Japan, for a Japanese audience, and in any case I’d be a hopeless shoujo light novelist.

    Anyway, I need to watch the last three episodes of this. Doesn’t feel like a classic, but quite fun. The acknowledgement of sex, specifically Kelpie’s earthy and practical attitude to it, caught me rather off-guard.

  2. jenn says:

    I’m glad you liked it a lot more than I did! XD I did find the folklore interesting, but a lot of the romance was wince-inducing to me. -sighs- The art is decent, though, and I agree with the point about pretty dresses. ^^

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