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Shining Hearts ~Shiawase no Pan~

April 21, 2012

The bread of happiness! While “Shining Hearts ~Shiawase no Pan~” is not a “Yakitate!! Japan” type comedy about baking bread, the first two episodes had a leisurely slice-of-life atmosphere about them which I adored.

Adapted from the PSP role playing game “Shining Hearts”, my main interest in the show stems from the fact the character designs and illustrations for the game are by Tony Taka, an artist whose work I adore.

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The original art having been created by Tony Taka is the reason I watched “Shining Tears x Wind” nearly five years ago, which adapted the “Shining Tears” and “Shining Wind” games for the PS2 into a single anime series.

While it was terrific to see the visually stunning character creations by Tony Taka translated into anime form, “Shining Tears x Wind” wasn’t really that great in terms of story, character development and execution. Sincerely hope “Shining Hearts” will do much better!

Animation by Production IG is good, but looking at their previous creations, seems they’re not going all out for this series as they are not reaching the same level as some of their other works. Did observe an increase in animation quality for the close up scene character renderings in the second episode compared to the first one.

This show has quite an appealing voice cast. All three irresistibly cute sisters Neris, Airy and Amil were voiced by Itou Kanae in the game, she previously voiced characters like Saten in “To Aru Kagaku No Railgun”, Airi in “Queen’s Blade”, Sena in “Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai” and Eris in “Asobi ni Iku yo!”.

In this anime adaptation though, Itou Kanae only voices the twin tailed baker Amil, while Aizawa Mai voices Neris and Mikami Shiori voices Airy. Aizawa Mai handled roles like Minene in “Mirai Nikki” and Ayano in “Lucky Star”. Mikami Shiori voiced Akari in “Yuru Yuri”.

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Kaguya is voiced by Kuwashima Houko, she also voiced Clare in “Claymore”, Tomoyo in “Clannad” and Kagura in “Azumanga Daioh”. Looking forward to seeing more of cat girl Xiao Mei considering she’s voiced by Saito Chiwa who voiced Senjougahara in “Bakemonogatari”, Lucchini in “Strike Witches” and Aika in “Aria”.

Tsundere ice witch Melty will be voiced by Rie Kugimiya, who needs no introduction having voiced many tsundere like Louise in “Zero no Tsukaima”, Shana in “Shakugan no Shana”, Taiga in “Toradora!” and Iori in “The IDOLM@STER”.

Like in the original game, princess Rufina will be voiced by Horie Yui, she previously tackled roles like Akane in “Kämpfer”, Hanekawa in “Bakemonogatari” and Minori in “Toradora!”.

The upcoming episodes promise to introduce action and suspense with the appearance of Kaguya, which somehow feels a shame as I quite liked the slice-of-life vibe in these first two episodes.

That joyous, carefree atmosphere is also predominant in the opening animation sequence, making me wish this series’ twelve episode run would be spent on following the cute girls innocent daily shenanigans at the “Le Coeur” bakery.

Am curious to see how this show will turn out!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2012 4:15 am

    I am quite enjoying this series as well, for obvious reasons since I have already acquired DD Airy and Neris. As a fan of the venerable Tony Taka, I am quite pleased so far with the anime adaptation. I am happy to see the 2nd episode had some noticeable improvement on the character art and will be looking forward to the rest of the series. At the end of the 2nd episode, we can see the unconscious Kaguya washed up the shore, so I am quite sure we will be moving towards the main storyline going forward.

  2. April 23, 2012 11:29 am

    @Wolfheinrich
    Am wondering at a projected 12 episode run if they’ll have enough time to feature all characters properly and go through the main plot around Kaguya.

  3. April 24, 2012 6:28 pm

    @Smithy
    To be honest here, the main story is not terribly complicated, there aren’t that many chapters in the game but it will be difficult to give time for each characters since a bit of the story is buried in the side quests.

  4. fabricerequin permalink
    April 25, 2012 5:47 am

    I find it slow, well especially episode one, There wasnt anything thing that made it stand out well maybe in the later episodes but I really wasnt expecting this huge emphasis on the bread lol Im sure it will pick up with the action and all.

  5. April 25, 2012 10:45 am

    @Wolfheinrich
    Let’s hope the main characters are fleshed out enough then. ^^
    @fabricerequin
    With the promise of action in the preview for episode three, it being base don an rpg game the first two episodes indeed feel very slow and fully like a slice-of-life series. You could easily put the ‘Le Coeur’ bakery in Neo-Venezia from “Aria” and make it a twelve episode slice-of-life show of the three girls selling bread there. XD

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