I read the manga Hyakko right when it first came out, and fell in love with it immediately. Thus, when I heard the anime version was released, I knew I had to watch this.
Hyakko is a slice of life anime about Torako and her friends. Torako is a charismatic, charming girl who befriends all kinds of people from her school. Together with Ayumi, Tatsuki, and Suzume, she meets the different personalities. Hyakko is a rather relaxing and comedic anime and manga focused on the characters, and it is the characters who really make it shine.
The anime is a lot different from the manga in terms of pacing. I also had different impressions of the characters. Comparing the two, I could really get a sense of the contributions voice actors add to the anime. For example, when I read the manga, I did not feel much for the photographing girl, Kobayashi Koma, but in the anime, I really like her. Moreover, some characters I already liked a lot were even more lovable after I saw the anime, such as the tsundere Tatsuki, and the cool Oniyuri.
There is a zodiac, Shijin, and mythic animal theme running through the characters, which is pretty cool to pick up on.
Nene Ando (bisexual sexual harraser) – rat
Ushio Makunouchi (the “delinquent”) – mouse
Torako Kageyama – tiger
Minato Oba (the clumsy, dumb, curvy girl) – rabbit
Tatsuki Iizuka – dragon
Ayumi Nonomura – snake
Touma Kazamatsuri (the library type glasses girl) – horse
Hitsugi Nikaido (the cute loli) – sheep
Chie Suzugazaki (the glasses robot engineer) – monkey
Suzume Saotome – rooster
Koma Kobayashi (the photographing girl) – dog
Inori Tsubomiya (the creepy one) – hog
The few supporting characters are all somehow related to Torako (tiger) as well. Her sister Oniyuri represents a demon, and her brother Kitsune is a fox. The teacher’s name suggests wolf. Together, oni, fox, wolf, and tiger are common entities in traditional stories. Lastly, the male photoshop guy and his friend who has a crush on Torako represents respectively cat and lion; the connection here is rather obvious.
Further, the four main characters also form their own shijin (四神獸) theme based on the four cardinal directions. Torako is obviously the tiger (west). Tatsuki is the dragon (east). Suzume’s name is actually more applicable here, as 雀 is the phoenix (south). Ayumi represents 玄武, which is a beast that is a combination of snake and a tortoise (north).
That was just about everything you need to know about the animal theme in Hyakko.
Overall, I really enjoyed both the anime and the manga. I look forward to the next volume/ season.
And I also really like Tatsuki.
I really like her look, long straight hair and banes. Her being a rich girl tsundere (the best kind of tsundere) also make her that much cuter.