Haifuri – 01 (First Impressions)

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The gist: in the future, most of Japan is underwater and joining the navy is very popular among little girls. The final parts of these girls’ equivalent to high school is actually spent at sea, commanding World War II-era warships without supervision or observation from any teachers.

During Destroyer Y467 Harikaze’s first training mission, they are fired upon by their teacher’s warship repeatedly until they assume this is a test, return fire with a training torpedo, and escape. Soon, they are labeled as mutineers by their teacher and panic ensues…

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As a rule, I dislike WWII Japanese military hero fetish shows. Those shows typically cast Japan as a victim and/or hero against thinly disguised foils for the USA and China. It’s similar to pro-Confederacy apologists sugarcoat the USA’s own history of slavery and moral failings and it grosses me out.

Haifuri avoids this pitfall (so far) by making this conflict internal to the Japanese navy, either as part of a larger political objective or a ruse to train these girls to be the best of the best without even knowing it.

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Why on earth would adolescents be put on ships without teachers to teach or observe their progress? Why are most of the ships WWII warships when the world is clearly sci-fi ‘built above the sunken ruins of Japan’?

Why is there a swim suit stripping scene in engineering right after the final fight?!? Don’t ask because Haifuri doesn’t have answers for you.

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You may enjoy it: if you like harmless cliche girl humor, WWII naval otakuri and a simple mystery. It’s decently animated and, while cliche, the voice work never approaches finger in a pencil sharpener cute.

You may want to skip it: if you want something fast paced and mature. Spring is choked to death with slow shows and Haifuri is no exception. It is also eye-rollingly cute, down to the fat orange cat that hangs around the bridge, the zero casualties in the opening fire fight, and all the flustered girl social politics of another high school slice-of-life.

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6 thoughts on “Haifuri – 01 (First Impressions)”

  1. I’m not reviewing “Joker Game” for this reason… though it is not just intentionally nationalist WW2 in nature. It also has a ‘dumb’ protagonist and is drably colored and unpleasant to look at.

  2. This one seems to want to pose itself as “The next Girls Und Panzer.” But GUP did well on its “girls in military machines” concept by actually creating an endearing story around it, and wholeheartedly embracing the silliness of the concept. I have to watch this one and see if it ac tually manages to pull of that same magic.

    1. Hai Furi’s script is composed by the same person who wrote Girls und Panzer (Reiko Yoshida), so no surprise if there are some similarities – I’m okay with that, as long as it doesn’t turn completely into self-plagiarism. She’s also dealt with environmental themes in her original works before (most notably in Tokyo Mew Mew), so given the framework of how this world is set up, don’t be surprised if that element comes into play at some point here, too.
      Anyway, I found the first half of this episode pretty boring, and the second half really interesting – I was expecting a typical slice-of-life show, not a first-episode naval battle! – so I think a 7 is more than fair. I’m very curious to know what that teacher of theirs is up to.

  3. I’m watching this at the moment just to see where it goes. I’m curious what the Blue Dolphin Organization does and just how they go about protecting the seas which seems to be part of their reason for being. Do they go and hunt down nasty (Japanese) whalers and teach them the error of their ways with a cute “Moe Moe Kyun”? At the moment the plot hasn’t revealed itself yet So I’ll wait and see where it’s going for now. Haifuri is receiving a lot of flak mainly from the Kancolle gaming nerds at present, whose sole reason for disliking is that it is not Kancolle (Thankfully). Ain’t the internet wonderful?

  4. Stripping in engineering spaces is totally a thing, though usually people arn’t wearing bathing suits. It can get to be 100-110F in those spaces depending on where in the world you are. Would be hilarious if they also get into fights with water guns or spray bottles also a common thing when you can spend hours on watch down there.

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