Hana to Arisu satsujin jiken is a 2015 anime movie about 14 year old Tetsuo Arisugawa (who is soon nicknamed, Alice). She moves to the countryside (which she calls Boonies) with her single mother after her parents’ divorce. She is bullied because of the seat assigned to her. Soon, she finds out there is a legend of her classroom, the Ishinomori Middle School Murder about a boy named Judas who was murdered a year earlier and his four wives. The seat assigned to her used to be Judas’ and her classmates are angry that Alice has disturbed his spirit. Alice is sceptical at first, when she sees the eccentric rituals performed by her classmates to calm the spirit. She does gradually become more involved into it when she finds out the heart of the legend lies in the recluse, Hana who lives next door to her.
I actually came upon the trailer of this movie on youtube and I was charmed by the animation. I must say, it is different from a usual anime as the animation technique used here is different (it’s called rotoscoping). I did find a lot of beautiful scenes in it, there are a lot of different camera angles and the background is just mesmerising. A particular scene I love is when Alice chases her dad’s taxi, the visual is just worth it.
The first half of the movie is mainly about Alice who has a strong personality. I love her interactions with her mom (who is a author with an outspoken personality) and Mutsumi Mutsu (a girl who was possessed by Judas). Alice is usually embarrassed most of the time whenever her mom says something inappropriate. She is considerate, as she wants to continue ballet but is reluctant due to her mom’s financial situation. She can’t stand injustice, as she beats up this boy who teases her so as he never bullies a new student again.
Alice approaches Hana (Arai Hana), who lives next door to get to the bottom of the Judas legend. Hana used to sit behind Judas and is a shut in now who hasn’t come to school in a year. The story unfolds as Alice and Hana go on an adventure to find out the true story of Judas.
I can’t disclose much of the story as I don’t want to spoil the mystery. It reminded me of the anime Another in the beginning, but I would say this movie is nothing like it. I was spooked out for months after watching Another, I am still now whenever I think of it. It is the best mystery horror I have seen till date. Hana & Alice has a dark undertone sometimes but mostly it is the story of two middle school girls who go on an adventure together and become friends in the process.
So check it out for it’s beautiful animation, its beautiful visual sequences and mostly for two girls developing a bond they never thought they would. You will definitely enjoy their misadventures. If you find difficulty in finding the movie or subtitles let me know, I would be happy to help you out. 😉
Picture credits to their rightful owners.