Hinata isn't like most six year-olds. Where most kids might enjoy milk or juice for lunch, she enjoys sitting on a veranda with a mug of tea and fresh mint, her artwork features the Ukiyo-e style rather than crayons or fingerpaints, her speech and mannerisms are those of an old woman, and when her kindergarten teacher becomes sick she brings a home remedy made with daikon radish to school the next day.
Hinata isn't like most six year-olds. She is, in fact, an eighty-eight year-old grandmother who died and has been reincarnated while retaining the memories of her prior life.
This is the story of Granny Girl Hinata-chan (Roujoteki Shoujo Hinata-chan) by Asa Kuwayoshi, a Slice of Life story about a kindergartener with the memories and personality of an old woman.
The manga has been licensed for American release, starting its run in early 2020.
This series provides examples of:
- Be Yourself: Chapter twelve, which comes after Hinata's ill-fated attempt to see her grandson again, sees Hinata trying to act more like a normal child. She starts drinking juice instead of her usual tea, plays the video game she got for her birthday, and tries watching childrens' shows on television instead of her preferred sumo. Her mother catches on to her behavior and tells her it's okay to be her usual self and she will be loved no matter what. The experience gives Hinata a greater appreciation for her mother.
- Brainy Baby: A side chapter shows the day a newborn Hinata came home from the hospital. Her family sees her folding origami cranes with a dexterity that defies what she should be capable of. Her brother then asks if Hinata is doing it to wish their mother a speedy recovery and gets a very clear, firm nod in response. While this is the result of Hinata being born with the full memory of her previous life, big brother Haruto believes his little sister is a genius.
- Entertainingly Wrong: Side chapters that take place when Hinata was a baby feature her brother Haruto noticing odd behaviors from his newborn sister. These behaviors include folding origami cranes in her crib, confirming with a clear nod they're to wish their mother a speedy recovery from her birth, never crying at night until her mother expresses worry about it, looking embarrassed when she does cry at night, reciting the Japanese alphabet, and stopping as soon as she realizes Haruto has noticed. Haruto takes this all to mean that Hinata is simply a Brainy Baby, since he has no reason to suspect Hinata retains her intelligence and memories from her past life.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Sakuya can be seen in the foreground of chapter one, during the conversation between Hinata and Moka where Moka suggests reincarnation to Hinata. Chapter four is Sakuya's formal introduction, which ends with her asking Hinata who she used to be.
- Lost in Translation: Some of Hinata's less obvious mannerisms, specifically her speech patterns, don't carry over well to English. The first chapter features her being corrected about using "ore" instead of "watashi" by her mother, a habit Hinata had developed in her previous life. She also has a Verbal Tic of ending sentences with "dappe", something that can't be easily translated since English doesn't have that kind of convention. Fan translations tack it on to her sentences anyway, the official English translation just adds a more old woman tone to her dialect.
- Past-Life Memories: Hinata and Sakuya both retain their memories from their past lives and it clearly colors their personalities in their present lives. Hinata has mannerisms and hobbies more typical of an elderly woman, while Sakuya is often aloof, hates baths, is afraid of loud noises and crowds, and can often be found in high places, traits typical of cats like the one she had been previously.
- Raised by Grandparents: Sadao, Hinata's grandson, lived with his grandmother until her passing, and doesn't seem to have other family. Hinata herself seems singularly focused on Sadao, with no thought to Sadao's parents, who would be her own child and child-in-law.
- Reincarnation: To Hinata's own embarrassment, the idea that she had reincarnated after death had never occurred to her until Moka suggests it at the end of the first chapter. Immediately before that, she had been pondering if, perhaps, she was in heaven. Sakuya, however, came to the conclusion much sooner and has pondered if there is a reason for her and Hinata having been reborn.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Toyo (Hinanta's past identity) used to have a best friend named Micchio, and Hinata's description of their relationship sounds almost amorous. She even said that Micchio "captivated" her.
- Secret Keeper: For reasons even she isn't sure of, Hinata has kept quiet about her previous life. While Moka guesses it in the first chapter, Sakuya is the only person who knows Hinata reincarnated because she has, too.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: Chapter 11 has Hinata undertook a day-long trek to visit her old home to see her grandson from the past life, only to discover that the house is in shambles because nobody lives there anymore. Lampshaded by the end of the chapter."I went through a lot today, yet ultimately nothing really happened [...] It was such a meaningless day."
- Technologically Blind Elders: Played with in chapter 8. While Hinata's difficulties with modern devices, from automated toilets to simple keycards, stem from this trope and the fact she hadn't been to town to see a movie in decades, Haruto assumes, not incorrectly, it's simply because his kid sister is seeing all of these things for the first time.