Hinamatsuri Manga Review: I Have Never Laughed Harder.

4 and a half stars
Ah, it feels like just yesterday that I watched Hinamatsuri for the first time at the anime club of my university.
Based off the manga by Masao Ōtake, the story of a Yakuza gang member, named Nitta, who is blackmailed by a telekinetic girl, named Hina, into taking care of her, along with the tale of how a middle school student, named Hitomi, became a bartender, provided us all with a lot laughs.
In fact, when I did my review of the anime, I framed this premise like it was something out of a joke, “Tell me if you’ve heard this one; a Yakuza and a telekenetic girl walk into a bar and order a drink from an underage bartender”, is what I said.
Well, that joke sounding premise was very real and the laughs the show delivered were just as good or even better than any gag that joke could have produced.

This being said, though, the joke I made is a pretty fair description of the story.

So, after reminiscing on how funny the anime was, learning that there is no season two in sight, and also learning that the manga had recently finished, I decided to read that manga and, boy, was it worth it. 
I honestly don’t remember a time I have laughed harder after reading Hinamatsuri. 
The jokes almost always land in a hysterical fashion that reflects the absurdity of each situation. 
When the manga gets to the actual plot of the story it gets even more absurd. 
By that, I mean that Hinamatsuri takes a bit of a dive down a save the world storyline and yet this story is always on the back burner compared to the other characters’ personal struggles. 
This works because of how likable and funny these characters are.
Just like in the anime, my favourite character is definitely Hitomi, the inspirational success story who did not want to be an inspirational success story.

Bow before our lord and savoir Hitomi Mishima because I’m pretty sure she’s going to be a god at the end of her lifetime with how far she had progressed by the story’s conclusion.

What helps Hitomi is that the comedy in her storylines is always hilarious and some of the most hysterical moments in the entire manga.
I’m going to remember her wondering if everyone praising Anzu was part of some cult, her threatening Nitta, and, most of all, her accidentally being sent to a boot camp rather than an English class, resulting in her swearing like a sailor whenever she switches to the language. 
That last one was unfortunately not included in the anime, most likely for censorship reasons.  
But, that’s why Hinamatsuri is such a great read, even if you’ve read the bits that the anime already covered, because many hilarious moments from the manga were cut from the show. 
Back to the characters, the other ones are just as enjoyable, with Anzu continuing as best daughter and Nitta and Hina still being the lovable scumbags I remember. 
And then there’s Mao, who didn’t really make an impression on me in the anime because she felt more like a teaser character for a second season. 
Reading the manga, I got to see where her story went from that teaser.
Honestly, even though I was disappointed with how Mao’s reunion with Hina and Anzu was treated, I still found her to be among the best Hinamatsuri characters along with Hitomi, Anzu, Hina and Nitta. 

Like all the other characters, Mao has plenty of funny moments, mostly centered around her doll fixation.

Although, I will say, that even though a lot of these characters are hilarious, there are a few characters who I just never felt attached to and that their role in the story wasn’t really thought out that clearly. 
However, the great character development and humor more than make up for this. 
Overall, Hinamatsuri is a fantastic manga that provides some great characters and exceptional laughs, even if some of the characters storylines were not that great. 
I hope the anime gets a season two soon so I can laugh all over again.

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