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Hana to Alice Satsujin Jiken
The Case of Hana and Alice is an oddball film focused on its titular pair of characters finding themselves trying to solve a mystery among their middle school's students who believe in a rumor where one of their classmates were murdered. Apparently, the film is a prequel to a 2004 live-action film focused on the titular pairing. But based off what I seen throughout this film, it's possible for it to stand on its own two feet and can be viewed without prior viewing of the mentioned live-action film.
While seemingly a slice-of-life comedy, Hana and Alice gets quite on the bizarre side with exploring the everyday happenings of its characters as Tetsuko and Hana get caught up in trying to solve the supposed mystery of their classmate's murder, getting ridiculous enough as such where a number of their classmates have formed a religious cult dabbling into the occult and believing they are being haunted by the classmate's spirit. This leads to some rather nutty events that made for some genuinely laugh-out loud moments for this reviewer such as some of the cult members pretending to be possessed during classes and Tetsuko attempting to awkwardly work up the resolve to meet with a relative of the supposedly dead classmate to learn of his status.
The one major thing that could make or break any potential enjoyment of the film is its choice of presentation style in the form of rotoscoping. The last major anime I seen use this style of animation was Aku no Hana and the use of it was a rather controversial one for fans at that time. For its use in Hana and Alice, the results of it are a bit mixed. While the animation style allows for more lifelike character designs and has its moments where the animation rendering looks convincingly fluid with character movements, the rendering is not always perfect and there are occasions where animated sequences can look a bit sloppy with their visual effects and details because of the rotoscoping.
Setting aside its visual style, The Case of Hana and Alice made for engaging entertainment for me thanks to its slice-of-life comedy being quite out there for its genre and avoiding the typical pitfalls that the genre can drag titles of its ilk into. If you have about 100 minutes to kill, the film is certainly worth a look if anime comedies grab your interest.
Last updated Monday, April 30 2018. Created Monday, April 30 2018.