NIS America continues to produce anime that is both unique and often times emotional. That’s most certainly the case in their latest release, a localization of Hoods Entertainment’s harem anime If Her Flag Breaks. While the title alone is enough to make you scratch your head, the wild and zany cast, along with the emotional roller coaster ride of a plot, should be more than enough to have fans of anime plant their ownership flag onto this one.
The story follows Souta Hatate, a new transfer student attending Hatagaya Academy. He has the unusual ability to see flags sticking from a person’s head, which gives him insight into the future of that individual and can change/destroy it if he wants. Growing tired of his “gift”, he has learned to keep to himself by staying away from others and their flags. This doesn’t last long of course, as the cute but annoying Nanami Bladefield comes along at school and tends to be around him at every turn. What’s strange is that Souta doesn’t see a flag for her, which makes him interested in Nanami as he learns to tolerate her.
From here the usual suspects of a harem-like anime start to appear, from the super positive Akane, a childhood friend named Kikuno, and the androgynous Megumu who bears the running gag of being a boy that is looked upon as a girl, despite wearing a male school uniform. Once the gang is assembled and all seems to be going well, Souta discovers a death flag on his head, and without spoiling the true story of the series, he will need the help of his friends to find out how to make it go away.
This anime truly is one of the most unique I’ve seen in awhile. From the odd title to the increasingly odder, but entertaining plot, I enjoyed how the series grew more interesting as things progressed, especially since it combines many of the anime genre stereotypes and uses them in different ways. Watching it in high-definition was a plus too, as the Blu-ray makes the audio and visuals come through crisp and clear.
The premium set we were sent to review comes with plenty of goodies, including a detailed, hardcover box that contains the Blu-ray disc cases as well as the bonus art book. This full-color, 64-page hardcover tome has character art, sketches, a behind-the-scenes manga, and interviews with the Japanese cast and crew. There’s also an exclusive bonus to this series in the form of five, double-sided character cards that fans will enjoy along with the detailed art book.
If Her Flag Breaks is definitely one of the most unique anime series I’ve seen this year, and just in general. It features a fun cast of characters that are thrown into some pretty weird situations that are both funny and serious, all while mixing typical anime genres up along the way. If you’re burnt out by countless ‘me too’ series and looking for something different to watch, you’ll want to plant this flag into your collection and let it wave its wackiness proudly.