The second half of Hiiro no Kakera: The Tamayori Princess Saga has all the problems of the first half, and a few more, but still manages a strong finish. There will be some spoilers ahead.

The Setup

Basically the same as before: that demon sword is still causing grief, Tamaki needs to deal with it, she still has five guardians [1], and nobody is telling her anything (except lies).

Of course the background conspiracies are also still there, and it turns out that several “good” characters are nasty pieces of work in the end [2].

The Revolving Door Turncoats

Part 2 of the Tamayori Princess saga is just chock full of Heel Face Turns and Face Heel Turns.

None of them are really convincing, pretty much everyone knows the true motivations of everyone regardless of apparent loyalties.

Even when the actions are unforgiveable [3], there is still forgiveness and grief aplenty. Failing that, there’s plenty of “I knew you were on our side” lines to go around.

Combined with the setup it is the loyalties that are the most obvious holdover from the Otome games.

Unfortunately the early episodes depend on these elements being convincing, and they just aren’t.

The Pretty

As before Hiiro no Kakera remains a very pretty, autumn themed series. The new opening isn’t a patch on the first season’s opening song. It does grow on you after a while, and it does have the fading glory of autumn well represented.

Here’s the first opening to prove my point:

The Heroine

Tamaki is much more variable in this season. Tamaki is fairly passive, almost a bystander, in the earlier episodes.

I found myself resenting this; I wanted the Tamayori Princess from part 1 who was fighting to free her guardians from their fates.

There’s still some of this even in the later episodes as the romance with Takuma is blooming [4].

Later on, as the crisis builds, Tamaki rises to the challenge, and fairly spectacularly on occasion.

Despite the inconsistency, Tamaki has many of her best moments in this season [5].

Tamaki makes the 2nd season sing from about episode 7 or so, and it is worth persisting to see it happen.

The finale is a nice piece of teamwork but it absolutely depends on Tamaki both having achieved her full power as the Tamayori Princess, and having accepted that it is necessary for her to do so.

The Verdict

When considered as a 26 episode series Hiiro no Kakera has a strong beginning, a strong end, and a weak midsection. It is definitely worth persevering through the midsection (aka the first half of part 2) to get back to the good stuff.

It is also worth noting that there’s very little fanservice in this series, once again proving that a good story can be told without resorting to it.

Recommended as at least a watch once, and I’m considering adding it to the collection.

I’ll finish with the 2nd ending song:

[1] Well, six actually. It’s complicated.

[2] I’m not the only one who thinks so. Check out the Jerkass entry on the Hiiro no Kakera TV Tropes page.

[3] I nearly cheered when the character in the previous footnote died a well deserved death. To be fair the character in question more or less admits that it was deserved.

[4] Well it is an Otome game adaptation, i.e. a gender flipped harem of pretty boys.

[5] Including that rare Sacred First Kiss where she kisses him (rather than the other way round). Go get him girl!