“Should I Watch ‘Higehiro’ ?”
If you’re looking for a “newer” anime and not sure what to watch, you’re in luck!
There were SO MANY fantastic anime in 2020 and 2021 that there is no shortage in your viewing options.
While searching online you probably at least heard the name “Higehiro”. That’s because the anime got a bit of a backlash in the West due to the plot.
The plot is essentially this:
“Yoshida, a 26-year-old salaryman, is on his way home from a night of drinking after being dumped by his unrequited love. He bumps into Sayu, a high school girl, who is sitting by herself on the side of the road. Drunk as a skunk, Yoshida unconsciously puts Sayu, who has no place to stay, up for a night.”
Since this is in the “romantic comedy” category, a lot of assumptions were made that pissed some people off.
And I don’t blame them.
I could certainly see the backlash of thinking a rom-com hit the west about an adult man and a teenage girl hooking up.
But after watching it, it’s safe for me to say those people over reacted way too quickly.
The anime is NOT about these two “hooking up”, but rather a much more “guardian” bond that the two of them share.
Now, to be fair, from what I understand, in the Light Novels there is a bit more of a relationship building with these two, but it takes place years into the future.
For now, let’s not focus on that, for this blog I am strictly going to speak on the anime only.
The anime starts with exactly as the plot says. Yoshida, the 26 year old, has a crush on his boss. They go out together for dinner and he confesses that he likes her.
Only to find out she supposedly has a boyfriend.
He’s pretty upset, but handles it super well….
By getting blackout drunk with his buddy. LOL
On the way home he sees a young girl by herself under a streetlight. He asks if she’s okay, and finds out she’s a 17 year old high school student with nowhere to go.
Being the good dude he is, he says he can sleep on his floor for the night.
Synopsis with VERY minor spoilers
Okay so if you don’t want to know ANYTHING other than the plot, skip this section and head towards the end of this post.
I’m going to go into a bit of detail here, but not so much that it will ruin anything. So if you want to know just a bit more, you can continue reading this section.
After inviting Sayu, (the teenage girl) over, we can understand this girl is deeply hurt. She offers, reluctantly, to have sex with him in exchange for having a place to sleep.
Yoshida declines saying “he’s not into little girls”.
Right here is where I made the assumption that most people overreacted about the anime thinking it was going to show these two in a romantic relationship.
And for the most part, I was totally right.
The anime is way more about this “guardian” type bond between Sayu and Yoshida.
Yoshida is pretty unkept. Always has a prickly beard and doesn’t really take care of himself. He even gets all his food from a convenience store instead of actually cooking anything healthy.
Basically, the two of them come to the agreement that Sayu can stay with him, in exchange for doing chores around the house and cooking him food.
As I said I don’t want to ruin anything for those that haven’t watched it, so I’ll just say this…
This was an excellent anime that does a great job of showing character growth between these two people.
They certainly DO develop a bond that could be seen in some ways as “leading towards romance down the line”
But the anime is very much about the two of them growing into better versions of themselves. There is very little if any hints that this is anything more than a parent type relationship.
Although, there is certainly a little co-dependence thing going on between the two.
So, Should you watch this anime?
I say ABSOLUTELY.
I love watching character growth in ‘slice of life’ type shows. And this anime did an excellent job of this.
Through having to care of Sayu, Yoshida develops into a much better and confident version of himself. He learns what it means to have to suddenly care for someone, when he never really had to do this previously.
And Sayu also learns to cope with her troubles. She learns that she is not “worthless”, which the anime goes very deep into her horrific past.
If you’re looking for a ‘happy feel good’ type of anime, I think you will really enjoy this.
Again, there isn’t a whole lot of “romance” sub plot so I don’t think calling this a ‘rom-com’ is very accurate.
Though there is a little bit of a romance between Yoshida and two of the girls he works with.
All in all, this was an incredibly solid anime with an engaging plot and fantastic character design. I highly recommend it and look forward to (hopefully) season 2.
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