Finally, we have more than just 俺は 葉月でないとだめだといったのだ (I said that it has to be Hazuki)! Just like her other famous works, just the first OVA of Hybrid Child brought me close to tears already.
In certain sense, it is a mirror. Neither a machine nor a doll, reflecting the love and feelings you get from your owner and growing up, you’re a “hybrid child”.
I must have listened to the Drama CD more than 5 years ago, so honestly I have forgotten how the storyline went; the only thing I remember was the concept of a “hybrid child” – robots which grow based on the amount of love they receive. Hybrid childs seem to be mainly used to satisfy the perverted fantasy of the rich. During the first few minutes of the OVA, I thought I was looking at Junjou Romantica’s Misaki and Usami. They even had similar personalities. Hazuki is a hybrid child who has been abandoned a total of 5 times, twice before he was picked up by young Kotarou and thrice more after that. Kotarou belongs to the established and wealthy family of Izumi and he will become the 16th head of the family. After he took Hazuki home, he faced many objections and his family members even went as far as to dispose of Hazuki behind his back. Despite all that, Kotarou fiercely defended his decision and retrieved Hazuki time after time. Slowly but surely, Hazuki learned how to move and talk (he’d better, after receiving so much love from Kotarou) and over the years, he’s grown into someone like Kotarou’s caretaker plus tutor plus assistant plus maid.
At this point, I have to highlight how great Okamoto Nobuhiko‘s performance was as Kotarou. His most memorable role for me was tsun-Mikorin in Gekkan Shoujo, so hearing him as a tsun-Misaki type of character was interesting and his voice acting wasn’t annoying at all. Despite all that whining and moments of childishness, I’d say Nobu-chan pulled it off really well. During another of Kotarou’s mini-tantrums, Hazuki collapsed suddenly and Kotarou brought him to Kuroda in hopes that his Hazuki can be fixed. At first, Kuroda wasn’t the least bit helpful or friendly, and he even suspected Kotarou of having stolen Hazuki. When Hazuki spoke to defend his owner, I was rather surprised because I thought he had fainted and went into a vegetative state.
After Kuroda begrudgingly examined Hazuki, he found out that Hazuki was actually the first hybrid child he made. This is just my speculation, but wasn’t Hazuki modeled after Kuroda’s lost lover? Even though there was nothing more than Kuroda’s change in expression and a brief flashback, that’s how I feel. Since Hazuki is beyond ancient, Kuroda was adamant about how impossible it was to repair the 0001 (the current models are 3000+). However, we know that Kotarou isn’t someone who would give up easily. He cried, yelled at and begged Kuroda to save Hazuki because he just couldn’t believe that Hazuki can’t be saved, even after taking a whiff of Hazuki’s decaying blood(?). I do wish death can be avoided that easily, but wait, Hazuki is a machine… right? Kuroda said something about how Hazuki has evolved to almost human-like, much more than any other hybrid child has ever done and I think it’s probably thanks to the love he’s been getting from Kotarou. Anyway, Kuroda set Kotarou on a journey to find the “droplet of the moon”, whatever that is, and our naive and desperate boy just rushed off to the location Kuroda described and started digging the hell up. Honestly, if I were him, I would have taken it as a joke (and it really was) because, what the hell is a “droplet of the moon”?! Kotarou seemed to have a rather clear idea of how this droplet thing would look like, and he even knew that it was buried in the sand. How?!
That aside, it was very moving to see Kotarou get so worked up over Hazuki (a mere machine) and even though Hazuki has given up on his own life, Kotarou refused to stop searching for the elusive droplet of the moon. I guess anyone in his position would be the same, because nobody wants to believe, let alone accept, the fact that their loved one is going to die. He’s just clinging onto the last hope he has and putting all his heart into believing that he can save Hazuki. Looking at the worn-out Kotarou whose hands have been blistered from doing something he isn’t used to, Hazuki realised his feelings for Kotarou and kissed him. However, that wasn’t time for Kotarou to deal with this new turn of events, and he continued searching for the droplet for the rest of the night.
No matter when or where, we were always together. After I’m gone from this world, how long will it take for you to forget me?
They’re really tugging on my heartstrings here. What Hirakawa Daisuke just said here with his killer gentle voice brought to mind the harsh fact of how despite a loved one’s death, we’re still able to move on with life. Although nobody really forgets those who has passed away, it’s true that we stop thinking about them daily, weekly and perhaps only remember them a few times a year or less. Once again, I get to appreciate how versatile and skilled Hirakawa is as a voice actor. Hearing his voice with the Usami Akihiko face didn’t feel out of place, at all. Somehow, his voice just changed to suit the character of Hazuki, didn’t it?
Soon, time was up for Hazuki and Kotarou hasn’t found the droplet yet. That scene has to be one of the most emotional one I’ve ever watched and words can’t possibly despite how sad it was. I was close to tears when Nobu-chan was crying and apologising to Hazuki, and when Hirakawa said “see, isn’t he an idiot”, something in me just died. It was indeed heartbreaking to see Kotarou failing to save Hazuki despite trying so hard to and it feels like they weren’t fated to be together. Afterall, they’ve faced countless trials since young when everyone tried to separate the two. Even though they had overcome all sorts of obstacles, it’s just too frustrating to see Kotarou lose Hazuki like this.
Well, fast forward one year into the future, Kotarou has matured and is studying diligently – far from his old self who would have given Hazuki a mountain-load of excuses to not study. He got a phone call from an unknown man demanding to speak to him, and I thought it was Hazuki. However, it was just grumpy Kuroda calling to tell Kotarou that there was never this thing called the “droplet of the moon”, and that he’s done something as an apology for having sent Kotarou on the fool’s errand. This is when I sighed in relief and sure enough, the couple was reunited~
That was quite an unexpected mini emotional roller coaster I went through within the 25 minutes; although I knew that Hybrid Child was sad, I never really expected this. Although I thought that I might have gotten sick of Nakamura’s style, I guess I haven’t and I actually liked this OVA much more than I thought I would. The quality of animation, how the scenes were directed, the beautiful music in the background and the overall quality of the story got me looking forward to the second OVA release already. That’s going to be one month of waiting though, meanwhile, it might be a good time for me relisten to the Drama CDs ^^
This person said that it has to be me.
Update: If you’re interested, Just BL Things has released an english subbed version ^^