A Quick Look at HanTsuki

“Love conquers all”. It’s a wonderful thing to believe in, and has proven its effectiveness most of the time. Countless movies, novels, television shows, up to anime and manga have had its fair share of the miracles of love. That is to say, most of the time what love needed to overcome was something fantastical altogether. What happens then, if the obstacle is too tangible, too real. Would love be enough?

Kicking it with some old school romance, here’s a Quick Look at HanTsuki.

HanTsuki, or Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora (Looking up at the Half-Moon) is an adaptation of a light novel series with the same name. The series aired six years ago (so it’s not that much old school) during the Winter season of 2006 and lasted six episodes.

As you could probably guess by the way I introduced this post, HanTsuki has a bit of a sad story to it alongside the romance. Our male lead Ezaki Yuuichi contracts Hepatitis A (which in the most extreme of cases, could cause liver failure) and has to be confined for some while at the hospital. It doesn’t help his condition that he sneaks out from time to time to take strolls or visit his friends, which prolongs his stay even more. For that reason he has to be kept in line by one of the attending nurses, Akiko Tanizaki, who more or less became an older sister for him at the hospital.

However, not even the tougher-than-most nurse can stop Yuuichi from growing restless in a hospital. To somehow help him in that regard, Akiko tells him of a girl, same age as him, who was a newly transferred patient to the hospital’s east wing – Akiba Rika. Yuuichi has been at the hospital long enough to know that the east wing is where they treat patients with serious illnesses. That didn’t stop Akiko from setting up a meeting of the two. At first sight, Rika might not seem that ill to begin with – she’s sharp and just as rowdy in a hospital as Yuuichi, bossing him around and taking him on “adventures” around the hospital.

In the span of a few days, the two became close, but the selfish and arrogant Rika’s condition got to her as well. She was living on borrowed time, and the test of Yuuichi’s love had begun.

HanTsuki is very well-crafted, easily making a satisfying series using six episodes. There is no rush, and the characters have their own personal traits that doesn’t make them forgettable in the least. We see Yuuichi and Rika, two teenagers literally fighting for their love, and enjoying each others company in a situation such as theirs. It’s a very heartwarming thing to see, but a little gut-wrenching as well. Though it doesn’t differ from the bunch of drama and romance titles out there, HanTsuki has a certain quirk to it that makes it stand out just a little more.

I apologize in advance, but I selfishly want to spoil to you this much – no one dies yet. Which is also the reason why I like this series. Of course it’s better if no one dies, but I also feel that drama and romance, especially in the case of life threatening illnesses, doesn’t really need deaths to make it touching. Instead this series presents to us something more grand – to live on, do the best that one can, even if their time is short. Even the half-moon does its best to illuminate the world.

It sounds so cheesy now that I wrote that last line, but it’s the truth of this series. In the words of Akiko, “For them to be happy to their hearts’ content, or be filled with joyous laughter – If such moments exist, somehow I can accept their fate.”.

8 thoughts on “A Quick Look at HanTsuki

  1. Is this a series or movie? I think this is something I might enjoy because I’m a sucker for a sad story alongside with romance–although you already spoiled us… I’m just kidding ^^

    Anyway, thanks for letting us know about this anime.

  2. It’s a short series, and it seems to be well-liked by those who’ve seen it. I’ll probably give it a try some time. It’s probably best for a bittersweet series to be kept to a low episode count (like AnoHana).

    • It’s a very nice release for its time, and yeah, give it a try.
      I’d have to agree that bittersweet shows, or drama in general would do best within low episodes. HanTsuki’s and AnoHana’s pacing was very well done, and the emotions didn’t suffer from being stretched out.

  3. I remember vaguely that I don’t really like the ending. It feels like they’re simply making the best out of a horrible situation, and that’s it. Maybe that’s just me.

    I happen to agree with you that not killing the character is sometimes the better decision. Bittersweet endings rarely agree with me, and it’s worst when they killed off someone and I end up feeling unjustified. There seem to be so little good deaths in anime, compared to films.

    • It could go both ways really, I mean, they really are sugarcoating a very sad end.

      I don’t particularly dislike bittersweet endings, but making it so that they kill off someone just to make something sad is just a bad excuse. I’ve yet to see an awesomely grand death in anime, as compared to the lot in video games and films.

  4. I saw this a little while ago and really liked it. It got a little weird in some places, but for the most part it was a lot more enjoyable than I would have expected.

    • It’s really one of those lesser-known romances that are easily overlooked. It’s a shame really, ’cause aside form the weirdness midway (the doctor arc I believe) it’s a pretty solid show ^^

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