Funny Heartwarming Main Manga TearJerker YMMV
Tsuchida, a recent graduate, is starting his first job as a kindergarten teacher at Hanamaru Kindergarten. On his way to school, he runs into a little girl named Anzu who thinks that Tsuchida is hitting on her. While this is not the case, it's only later he finds out that Anzu is the daughter of Sakura, a girl he knew in high school. Anzu is taking the flirting thing very seriously, saying that she intends to become Tsuchida's wife. Her mother is completely fine with the idea.
The series focuses on the day to day adventures of Anzu and her friends, Hiiragi and Koume, as well as the rest of the class and teachers at Hanamaru Kindergarten.
Based on the manga by Yuto and produced by
, the series aired in the winter 2009/2010 season.
Tropes in Hanamaru Kindergarten include: All-Loving Hero: Yamamoto-sensei is a shining beacon of light and goodness, if a bit oblivious in some areas. Art Shift: is the first look we get at the girls in the manga, a very deliberate attempt to make the readers think this will be a serious romance/drama in the vein of This Kodomo No Jikan. Then on the next page we get a better look at them. Episode 11's ending is animated in a notably different style from the rest of the show. Episode 8's is as well, using a watercolor style. Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The girls' attempt to follow Tsuchida around in episode 5 is marred by Koume and Anzu constantly getting distracted. Author Avatar: The octopus the anime uses for scene transitions turn out to be Yuto himself. Big Brother Worship: Satsuki definitely shows signs. Bland-Name Product: Hiiragi's mind thinks in terms of the "Coojle" search engine. Cat Smile: Anzu Comedic Underwear Exposure: 'Koume's underwear is white!' Cosplay Fan Art: The second end card features Hiiragi dressed as Yoko. Cosplay Otaku Girl: Hiiragi Credits Jukebox Cute Bookworm : Hiiragi Cute, but Cacophonic: Aoi, when she shows off her fishmongering skills in class. Cute Little Fangs: Aoi A Day in the Limelight: The second half of episode 3 focuses on Yamamoto-sensei. The first half of episode eight also brings Aoi, one of the girls' classmates, into the spotlight. Digging Yourself Deeper: Tsuchida's attempts to explain away Anzu's behavior just gets him even further in a rut. Director Allusion: The references to the 2003 anime adaptation of and Fullmetal Alchemist were likely because Seiji Mizushima directed all three anime. Shaman King Everyone Can See It: Even kindergarteners. Festival Episode Free-Range Children: Averted for the most part, since the kids are usually seen in school and, thus, supervised by their teachers. Also specifically averted in the episode where the girls follow Tsuchida around on a Sunday afternoon and Sakura follows them. Gainaxing: Yamamoto in her swimsuit and the grown-up Anzu from the dream. Gainaxing in a Gainax produced show seems redundant, somehow. Gag Sub Generation Xerox: Anzu is practically a miniature version of Sakura, in personality and apprearance, with a different hairstyle, as Tsuchida points out to the audience in an aside monologue. She inherits the front half of her hair from her mother and the back from her father. Genki Girl: Anzu and her mom Sakura. Harem Seeker: While he's only focused on Yamamoto, Tsuchida had dreams of having an entire harem of teachers after him. Whether he has that in the present is debatable. Tsuchida is still talking about it to his sister just before his first day, albeit as a joke, in the manga. Kusano is apparently grooming her students so they will grow up "macho". Hmm... Head Pet: Anzu frequently becomes one for Tsuchida (as in, she scampers up him and sits atop his head). It's adorable. Hey, It's That Voice!: Yamamoto-sensei is what happens when Akari Mizunashi became a kindergarten teacher minus the absent-mindedness. Hopeless Suitor: Kusano to Tsuchida starting chapter 85. Hot-Blooded: Kusano-sensei Hot for Student: Not just Anzu to Tsuchida (which her mother approves), but Anzu's mother, Sakura, is married to her high school art teacher. Idiot Hair: Anzu and her mother, Sakura Innocent Prodigy: Hiiragi. Able to read complex books yet her eyes will sparkle in joy at going down a slide. Instant Awesome, Just Add Mecha: In Tsuchida's puppet show that closes off the series, his fairy tale suddenly gains a Humongous Mecha. In Vino Veritas: Tsuchida, after downing a bar's worth of booze, confesses to Yamamoto. But even a drunk Yamamoto is oblivious. I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Anzu, to Tsuchida, in episode 12. Anzu, again, and most of the kids at the end of the manga, when they make Tsuchida confess his love to Yamamoto. Jail Bait Wait: Inverted with Anzu and Hinagiku having to wait until they're old enough to marry Tsuchida without him being squicked. Kissing Cousins: Daichi, Yamato's cousin, tries to start a relationship with her in chapter 83. Late for School: Tsuchida is, the first episode. And yes, he meets an important member of the opposite sex. Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: In a brief cut in episode 3, what is quite clearly Yui and Azu-nyan can be seen. Leitmotif: Instrumentals of the ending songs can sometimes be heard for their respective character. Lethal Chef: Anzu's still young, but her first attempt at cooking barely qualifies as food. She gets much better by episode 11 though. Long Distance Relationship: Yamamoto and Tsuchida Love Confession: A few ones nearing the end: Hanamaru-sensei goes for it in chapter 92. Kusano confess to Tsuchida in chapter 97. and Tsuchida finally spits it out in chapter 101 after being cornered by the kids. Love Epiphany: Yamamoto when she thinks Mayumi and Tsuchida are a couple. Love Triangle: Outright explained by Hiiragi in episode 3. Love Dodecahedron: As the series progresses relationships get more fleshed out and new love interests are added. Love You and Everybody: Yamamoto says this once in episode 3. Mercifully it was to Anzu, not Tsuchi. Mafia Princess: Hinagiku Marshmallow Hell: Tsuchida gets a bit of this when Yamamoto-sensei hugs him in episode 3. Wouldn't be Gainax if they didn't include this... Meaningful Echo: Repeated three times in the course of one half-episode. Tsuchida's speech on The Power of Love inspired Sakura, who in turn repeated it to Anzu, who repeated it to Tsuchida himself. Meaningful Name: Yamamoto Nanako's name is an anagram/pun of Yamato Nadeshiko, the ideal Japanese woman she embodies. Medium Blending: Episode nine's ending is largely live action, though the family photos of the Yamamoto sisters are animated. Mistaken for Pedophile: Poor Tsuchida. Most Writers Are Writers: Hanamaru-sensei. Multicolored Hair: Anzu's hair is blonde in the front and brown in the back, naturally. Nice Girl: Yamamoto-sensei yet again. No Mouth: Hiiragi No Name Given: Just about everybody. Nonstandard Character Design: Hiiragi with her Skintone Sclerae, Dull Eyes of Unhappiness (despite not being unhappy), Perpetual Stoic Expression, and apparent lack of a mouth. No Sense of Direction: The Yamamoto girls' parents. Not so Above It All: When Hiiragi's Panda Cat costume is commented on, she breaks into the Show Within a Show's dance. D'awwww! ◊ Oblivious to Love: Yamamoto is completely unable to realize that anyone is attracted to her. This fact is lampshaded to hell and back in episode 3. This runs in the family, apparently, as Mayumi is no less oblivious about Hanamaru's attraction to her. Ironically, each of the sisters is fully aware of the other's situation, and they both feel sorry for the man in question. and Official Couple: Mayumi/Hanamaru-sensei Yamato and Tsuchida in a Last Minute Hookup On the Next: The next episode preview is given by a character or group of characters that changes for every episode. At the end of the preview, the characters giving it will ask the next group to do it next time. Once an Episode: Hiiragi dresses in SOME kind of cosplay, be it a profession or an animal. One-Sided Arm-Wrestling: How Kusano tries to dissuade one of her student's falling in love with her. Overnight Age-Up: Anzu's dream sequence in the first half of episode 12. Overprotective Dad: A light case with Aoi's dad. Pinky Swear: Anzu and Yamamoto have one of these in episode 4. Pool Episode: The first half of episode six. Includes a wardrobe malfunction from Yamamoto-sensei. Precocious Crush: Anzu to Tsuchida, obviously. Pre Meeting: Tsuchida meets Anzu for the first time on the way to his first day at work, when he sees her alone on the side of the road. He addresses her and "Ojou-chan" - essentially "Miss" or "little lady" - and she jumps to the conclusion that he's hitting on her. Of course, he's her teacher, and the misunderstanding persists. Puni Plush: Forget Marshmallow Hell, the kindergartners are marshmallows. Recycled IN SPACE: The second ending theme (they change every week) recasts the show as Space Hanamaru Kindergarten. Rule of Cute: The lifeblood of this anime/manga. Senpai Kohai: Sakura and Tsuchida, respectively. She Is All Grown Up: Anzu makes a wish to Santa to become an adult. Her wish is granted. She Is Not My Girlfriend: For as much as Tsuchida would like her to be, he has to explain that he and Yamamoto aren't like that when his mother asks the question. Shout-Out: The last frame of Episode 2 has the three main toddlers in a pose reminiscent of 's Simon, Kamina, and Yoko... and Hii is wearing Yoko's signature outfit. Gurren Lagann In episode 4, Tsuchida and Anzu ride a toy version of Misato's car. When Hiiragi's explaining the things that could happen to Yuu in episode 5, she lists off the Second Impact and the Ishval War. When the girls follow Tsuchida around in episode 5, they all dress as Detective Conan. Hiiragi's space dreams include , the Planet of the Apes , USS Enterprise Ultraman, E.T. the Extraterrestrial and a fight with Darth Vader. There was also an appearance of what seem to be a Battle Barge! When the teachers go to sing karaoke in episode 10, one of them is singing "Northern Lights" from . Shaman King Also in episode 10, most of the things that nearly kill Anzu in the ending are shout outs from various horror movies. As befits a manga published by (and an anime sponsored by) Square Enix, Tsuchida often plays Dragon Quest IX on his DS. At the end of the second special, Anzu promises more fanservice. Show Within a Show: Panda Cat Shrinking Violet: Koume Slice of Life Soundtrack Dissonance: Episode 10's ending. The music is a serene piece about something Tsuchida forgot. The animation is Anzu being sent through a wide awake nightmare, and ends with Yamamoto being a vampire. Strawberry Shorthand: Anzu, reflecting on the difficulty of love while eating a strawberry. Super-Deformed: Semi-justified in that although the children are basically toddlers, this is what their proportions come across as onscreen compared to the adults, moreso than Real Life. Theme Naming: Most of the young girls have botanical names: Anzu = apricot, Hiiragi = holly olive, Koume = small plum, Hinagiku = daisy, Aoi = mallow. This Loser Is You: There's an element of this with Tsuchida. Through His Stomach: Anzu attempts to invoke this in Episode Three by making Tsuchida some... sort of... curry-like substance. It fails. Too Much Information: Played straight, during an episode where the kids are drawing their dreams. Anzu's dream is obvious (marrying Tsuchida), which stays innocent until a certain line is delivered...
Tsuchida: Are we getting naked as soon as I get home?
Anzu: My parents are like this all the time!
Tsuchida (with an appropriate expression): Eh? Sakura-senpai? and sensei? Totem Pole Trench: In the fourth ending, "Yamamoto" turns out to be Anzu, Hiiragi and Koume standing on top of each other. Tsundere: Tsuchida's sister, Satsuki Un Entendre: See Anzu's misunderstanding in Pre Meeting above. Unwanted Harem: Played with. Before starting his job Tsuchida fantasizes about having a whole school worth of teachers after him. He does end up with multiple characters wanting to marry him. They're all kindergartners. Wacky Homeroom Wise Beyond Their Years: Hiiragi, who's pretty smart for a kindergartener. Somehow one of the kids knows what forbidden love is. Yakuza: Hinagiku's father is the head of one, though he's rather nice. and Hinagiku's more in control of the "family" than he is. Yamato Nadeshiko: Yamamoto-sensei. Hinagiku claims she will become one (using the exact phrase.)