Shining Hearts ~Shiawase no Pan~
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.
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”.
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!