This week in Korean Animation Spotlight we are discussing Flowering Heart – A magical girl anime aimed towards tweens that is pretty much like everything you’ve seen before…or is it?
The series was released in February of 2016 and was co produced by DR Movie, the studio that produced Elsword: El Lady, which we talked about last week.
The story follows Ari, Suha, and Min. Together, they must gather hopeful energy to save the Flowering Kingdom from being taken over by ‘Hopeless energy”. Together they encounter situations where they must help people develop hope in their hearts and discover the magic of hope!
The characters are all pretty playful. You have Ari, the hard-headed go-getter. Suha, the quiet and smart one, and Min, the courageous tomboy! Together they make a trio that compliments each other well, and the three of them have qualities that would obviously appeal to children.
For a show that is aimed towards selling merchandise, I think it does it quite well. Maybe it’s just my affinity for the genre, but I found the transformations extremely appealing, and the various mascots very cute too. I also really like that the anti-heroine of the show gets a transformation too!
As always, I have to discuss voice acting, which seems to be the main point that turns people away from Korean anime. In my opinion, it’s quite good. The dialogue is playful and upbeat, and for what I can understand, it sounds reasonably natural. In any case, it is much- much, much better than the dub…
The show has seen reasonable popularity in Korea, and was renewed for a second season. However, it seems that possibilities for a 3rd season are slim to none due to poor revenue in the second season. When you take a look at the amount of children’s animated productions in Korea, this makes total sense, as this is an extremely saturated market. Furthermore, we also have to consider similar shows from Japan, like Pretty Cure and Sailor Moon, which are still quite popular here.
In terms of Magical Girl anime tropes – Flowering Heart has them all: Heroines with incredibly high pitched voices. Side characters that look straight out of an ecchi production, questionable romance between a 5th grader and a much older guy, magical creatures, adorable outfits – the works! Everything about flowering heart is pretty much textbook for how to create a show aimed towards selling children’s toys, yet, it’s so damn entertaining!
I found the characters adorable and their situations comical, the outfits cute, the transformations beautiful and the overall story very enjoyable. On top of that, the animation is quite good for this kind of production.
Although Flowering Heart might not be the most sophisticated anime, it yet again proves that Korea is more than capable of excellent productions, even if they are aimed at children.
The episodes are available on Youtube in Korean with English subtitles, and dubbed in English. Take a look at episode 1 of the first season below, and let me know, is this an anime you’ve watched or would be into?