Genre: Music, Fantasy, Slice of Life
Healer Girl is an anime that I suspect will slip under the radar for many amongst all the other shows airing this season. Telling the story of Kana, a rookie healer in training alongside two other girls there’s a lot more to this show then might seem at first glance. In the alternate reality of the anime’s universe there are known to be three types of medicine commonly used – the typical western and eastern types and a third type which is more akin to magic. This healing is performed through song, and whilst the idea seems silly at first the show presents this in a surprisingly philosophical manner -the healers work in medical institutions much like other doctors and the ‘healing’ itself is shown to have a great effect upon the patient’s mental as well as their physical health.
Despite the bright and colourful visuals there’s an element of authenticity here to the story and an attention to detail that sets this apart from other ‘magical idol’ type shows out there. The girls go through strict training to ensure they’re in the best condition for their role, with discussion about breath work and eating the right foods which makes it seem more grounded then initial impressions of magical healing is. Their teacher is shown going to a board meeting where she gives a presentation on the benefits of this unique form of medicine and lectures the girls on how they have to be careful about overstepping their boundaries when performing. It’s actually quite refreshing and adds a nice bit of edge and realism to what is mostly a cosy slice of life series.
The characters are cute and fit into tropes mostly with our main trio but I still found myself enjoying their interactions together, with their teasing and familiarity. I felt like I got to know the main three quite well in the space of one episode and their different takes on their role. The flip towards the end from a carefree fun beginning to a suddenly serious turn when a patient collapses was well handled and I actually did end up feeling emotionally invested in these characters despite the small amount of screen time thus far.
The art style is definitely one of the highlights of the show, with bright and colourful designs – in fact, the character design was done by Yukie Akiya who also worked on Princess Principal. The director, Yasuhiro Irie, has worked on a diverse range of series including Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and indeed the direction on the show thus far is one of it’s highlights. The series itself is an original work, rather then being based on an existing manga or light novel, and so it’s hard to say if the series will continue with it’s nice blend of slice of life and serious themes but I like what I’ve seen so far.