Hyakko is a new comedic anime centered around four high school girls, or at least that’s what I’ve gathered so far from the first episode. Episode 1, “Audience with Torako”, starts with Nonomura Ayumi, an introverted girl who returns to the classroom the rest of her classmates just left in order to pick up something. Unfortunately, she soon gets lost on the very large campus.
So it’s no surprise that she’s relieved when she meets another student, Iizuka Tatsuki. It’s even better when Ayumi hears that Tatsuki has been attending Kamizono, a school campus that encompasses all school grades, since primary school. Tatsuki soon lets Ayumi down as it becomes apparent that she’s lost, too, as they keep coming back to the same spot. It’s no small source of frustration for the proud Tatsuki.
Ayumi and Tatsuki are surprised as Kageyama Torako jumps down from the second floor in front of them. And Torako manages a perfect and soft landing. Despite what her apparent athletic skills imply from her jump, though, she’s not completely coordinated all the time. As soon as she notices Ayumi and Tatsuki and tries to turn towards them, she sprains her ankle.
Torako is soon followed by Saotome Suzume, Suzu to her friends, who jumps off from the second floor, too. And Torako, who had been wailing in pain about her broken ankle, realizes that her ankle doesn’t hurt after all. It turns out that Torako and Suzume had gotten lost themselves within the building, so they decided to follow a single direction. And they decided to jump out of the second floor window in the way instead of getting lost again inside the building.
After traveling all over the campus, with Suzu having a snack and barging in a class for small kids, they take a rest in front of the odd statue in the middle of the campus. Ayumi remembers something about the campus supporting GPS navigation through her cellphone, and is happy when Torako, Tatsuki, and Suzu are impressed with her. She just made three new friends, something that she wasn’t able to do in middle school. Unfortunately, the navigation service is a paid service, so the four of them have to resume Torako’s program of going straight ahead.
There’s a locked door in their way, though, so Torako asks Suzu to turn the doorknob with her superstrength. It breaks off instead of turning, however, so Torako tries to smash a nearby window with a brick. The straight-laced Tatsuki tries to stop her, and Torako loses her grip on the brick in the resulting scuffle, which promptly flies through the window.
As the four of them are wondering what to do, they hear a teacher calling to them from behind. Torako and Suzu run away immediately, but Ayumi and Tatsuki are frozen in place. Torako tries to save them from disciplinary action by ambushing the teacher and punching his lights out, which is a complete shock to Ayumi and Tatsuki. Torako’s effort is for naught, however, as the teacher she knocked out is in charge of her class, which also happens to contain the other three girls. After class, the four girls have to endure the teacher’s admonishments for quite a while. At least he has the self-control to not avenge himself on Torako, although he has quite a long list of complaints and frustrations to vent.
Hyakko is the kind of anime you have to watch to enjoy; all of the amusing elements are in the small details and actions. It’s not the sort of anime that you watch for a deep and meaningful plot. And I expect a lot of the amusement will come from the character interactions. If I were to stereotype the characters, then Torako is the care-free and impulsive rebel, Suzu is the quiet, competent, and yet quirky eccentric, Tatsuki is the straight-laced and yet tsundere counterpoint to Torako, and Ayumi is the introverted mediator with a sometimes overactive imagination. It doesn’t look like the supporting characters will be any less interesting, either.
From what I’ve seen so far in the first episode, Hyakko looks like it will be fun to watch. And the voice talent for the anime is an additional attraction: they’re familiar voices that have played great characters in great anime. I think I’ll be keeping tabs on this anime.