The first thing that hit me when the OVA started was… L-elf!!! I didn’t know that Kimura Ryouhei was going to be part of the cast of Hybrid Child and it was such a pleasant surprise to hear him narrating the introduction on Hybrid Child. This is the story of how a hybrid child, Yuzu, teaches his master, the retired clan swordsman Ichi Seya, how to embrace love and to forgive himself.
Yuzu is a hybrid child who is very worried about his lack of growth. Although Hybrid Childs are neither humans nor machines, but they absorb the love they receive from their owners and grow accordingly and so on… it means that Yuzu’s lack of growth might be due to lack of love from his owner. However, he chooses to blame himself and tried all sorts of methods to reach his “height goal” as soon as possible, including trying to get Seya to do some H with him. As expected, Yuzu grew a little after a kiss with Seya and the both of them decided to go out to tailor some new shirts for Yuzu. Why bother when he’s going to grow again? Anyway, Seya was attacked by a revenge-seeker while he was out and ended up in critical condition. As it was confirmed that he would lose his sight forever, he decided to send Yuzu away with the reasoning that he isn’t good enough for Yuzu. Yuzu refused to leave his master, not surprising after we’ve seen how devoted he was towards Seya, and told his master that he can only grow if he gets exposed to all sorts of emotions, not just love. Now that makes sense, since he grew a little after being exposed to the emotion of embarrassment. It’s interesting to know that Hybrid Childs won’t be able to grow if you only lavish it with love, kindness and gentleness. Seya agrees to keep Yuzu by his side and years later, we see Yuzu all grown-up with Seya in the flower garden. Seya won’t be alone anymore, as he will have Yuzu by his side forever.
This pales in comparison with the first story. I can’t seem to feel the love between Seya and Yuzu; and the emotional parts just weren’t as heartbreaking as Hazuki and Kotarou’s story. Yuzu appeared to be a very devoted Hybrid Child who would do anything to bring peace and happiness to his master’s heart, he is a very earnest person who has dedicated the rest of his life to Seya but somehow it came across as something default, like a built-in function of a Hybrid Child instead of something he feels for Seya out of his own will. I might be just thinking too much in this aspect *shrugs*. Yonaga Tsubasa totally suited the role of Yuzu with his girly and somewhat kiddish voice. While Yonaga is usually heard as a cheerful and naive child, the long speech he made while sobbing was very moving (with the help of the soundtrack of course) and I was reminded once again of how powerful voice actors can be.
Meanwhile, Seya looked like he treasured Yuzu a lot but was too afraid to close the distance between them. As he was forced to take part in a horrific battle before the restoration period in Japan, as a prominent figure in a clan, he caused the deaths of many and he has been blaming himself for it since then. Although he was too afraid to love, thinking that he doesn’t deserve anything, Yuzu’s words moved him and he embraced both love and self-forgiveness. I thought we could have had a more tension-charged scene between Yuzu and Seya with more effort on Seya’s part to overcome his trauma, because right now it just seemed a little too easy. As a fan of Kimura Ryouhei‘s voice timbre, I think I would have still think that he did a good job even if he just narrated everything with that same voice he used at the introduction. Throughout the OVA, he sounded rather old, gentle and while he was critically injured, frail. Although he wasn’t using his arrogant and smirk-ish voice which I really liked, gentle Kimura Ryouhei was good too.
In general it was a good story, but I think I would have liked it more if my hopes hadn’t been raised so high from the first OVA. I’m looking forward to the next story which is hopefully about Kuroda and his love, voiced by Ono Yuuki and Matsuoka Yoshitsugu~