Review of Hal - SLA Screening Review


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<b>Review of Hal - SLA Screening Review by Reevothemusefan</b>

Nearing the end of Scotland Loves Anime, we were treated to two 50 minute OVAs to finish this year's festival. The first was Hal, a romance/drama that was created by one of the popular upcoming studios - but did this short length feature make for an interesting watch?<br>

WIT Studio created this OVA and yes, this is the studio that also created one of the most popular TV anime series of the year: Attack On Titan. Saying that, though, it's good to see that Studio WIT has created more of&nbsp;a 'slice of life'&nbsp;anime project. It was directed by Ryoutarou Makihara who makes his debut here as a director after contributing to some impressive anime in the role as a&nbsp;key animator for shows such as Summer Wars and Tatami Galaxy.<br>

The film takes place in a near&nbsp;futuristic Japan setting. It opens with robot Q01 witnessing an accident involving a&nbsp;plane carrying someone called Hal, whom Q01's owner knew very well (he was in a relationship with the owner's granddaughter Kurumi). Q01 ends up becoming an exact copy of Hal to try and help Kurumi recover from her loss; however when the 'Q01 Hal' arrives at&nbsp;Kurumi's location, she ignores him at first. As the film progresses, Kurumi starts to accept him and&nbsp;begins talking to 'Q01 Hal' about the past.<br>

It's a simple story at the beginning but it does well to unravel the relationship between Hal and Kurumi before the plane crash.&nbsp;It was never a perfect relationship to begin with and&nbsp;this makes it feel realistic. These revelations&nbsp;come in the form of futuristic devices that show people's memories and Q01-as-Hal starts to understand how both of them felt.<br>

One of the ideas that I really liked about the film is that almost all of the side characters are elderly and likeable,bringing some suprisingly light-hearted comedy to the table.&nbsp;I will admit that it's refreshing to see a bunch of supportive characters that aren't all teenagers.<br>

There is a twist&nbsp;at the end of the OVA&nbsp;but I felt like it was a bit overdone (it legitimately reminded me of an overreactive Attack On Titan twist);&nbsp;however,&nbsp;it's still a clear and somewhat effective surprise.<br>

Because it's an OVA, there are some moments in the movie that feel rushed or never really touched on -&nbsp;like Hal's dark past, which is briefly shown in a flashback but never explored, or how Q01 was created. But overall the OVA ended on a satisfying note.<br>

The animation is another highlight;&nbsp;the film is colourful and well detailed, especially inside various rooms. I couldn't really fault it.<br>

<strong>In Summary</strong><br>

I would recommend Hal to anyone who wants a refreshing romantic drama anime. Look forward to this as it will have a UK release in future.<br>

<b>Final score: 7 out of 10</b>

<b>Additional screencaps</b>

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