I’ve continued on with watching Hanasakeru Seishonen, and as one would expect from an anime adaptation of a Natsumi Itsuki series, it grows more more complex as the series progresses. The first four episodes seemed like an engaging and slightly quirky reverse harem scenario, with all the wealthy industrialists and leopard reincarnation talk going on, but after watching a good chunk of the series I can now see why someone would describe Hanasakeru Seishonen as being mostly about politics.
The political aspects of the series are introduced along with Prince Rumaty, who is second in line to the throne for Raginei, a vaguely Asian/Middle Eastern country with a penchant for sun worship. Rumaty is as arrogant as you might expect a prince to be, but he soon finds himself charmed by Kajika despite himself. Their friendship is cemented when they have to go on the run together after a failed assassination attempt on the prince’s life. They end up spending some quality time playing cards with the local mafia before returning to the Burnsworth compound. It soon becomes clear that Kajika’s family has ties to the country of Raginei that go beyond her father’s business interests. There’s an extended flashback that details the adventures of Rumaty’s grandfather on his first visit to America, where he meets Kajika’s grandparents. Just when the series might be getting a little bogged down by all of the cross general angst and political machinations, there’s a break when Kajika returns to Japan and visits her friend Yui. Everyone that Kajika knows abruptly converges on Yui’s house, and the family’s reaction to Eugene and Li-Ren adds a welcome element of humor.
While Hanasakeru Seishonen might not have the almost operatic levels of craziness of the manga series by Itsuki that I’ve sampled, there’s still something enjoyable about the way the story slowly unfolds, with the different characters, flashbacks, and world building all combining to create a series that’s much more intelligent than you’d expect from a reverse harem series. Itsuki always seems to make some of the cliches and story conventions of manga much more interesting than they have a right to be and it is nice to see that this pattern continues in the Hanasakeru Seishonen anime.