A little less Kodomo no Jikan, a little more… Potemayo.
Actually, looking back, Potemayo was one of the stranger shows we’ve gotten over the past half-dozen years or so given its propensity for urine jokes, a sadistic girl with the voice of Minnie Mouse, and the presence of… a Brokeback Mountain joke. I don’t really like 4-koma adaptations, but Potemayo was hysterical.
Anyway, Hanamaru Kindergarten seems to take a bit of a Kodomo no Jikan story – in this case, the little girl who loves her teacher is somewhere in the three to five years old range – and… promptly banishes the gross pedophilic innuendo from the proceedings. The children act like children! HALLE-FUCKING-LUJAH!
Seriously, though, Hanamaru Kindergarten is in part so pleasant to watch because little kids aren’t sucking on their teacher’s fingers or causing him to have hard-ons. The kids are, in fact, adorable. I’m pretty sure that they actually are a cross between Potemayo and regular children. I’m just really hoping that they stay that way.
However, what I’m actually finding the most intriguing about the entire thing is how it demonstrates everyday Japanese life and culture for the viewer. Its in the little things, like the discussion of how few male kindergarten teachers there are, that we are given a glimpse of the more run-of-the-mill realities of Japanese society. For the Japanese viewer, this only serves to establish the plausibility of the show, but for foreign viewers its a little peek into vicissitudes of their society that we normally would never be privy to.
I enjoyed the first episode of Hanamaru Kindergarten, although it didn’t really light my world on fire. The second I smell any creepiness, though, I’m bailing.