Higehiro: After Being Rejected, I Shaved and Took in a High School Runaway (ひげを剃る。そして女子高生を拾う) is the anime adaptation of the original shōnen, romantic comedy novel series. It follows a twenty-six-year-old salaryman who gets rejected by his crush of five years. Feeling wholly disheartened, he gets drunk with his chum. On his way home, he comes across a lonesome high school girl that offers to have sex with him in exchange for a place to stay for the night. He tells her she’s being absolutely ridiculous, but takes her home anyway so she’s not left out in the cold. When he awakens in the morning and strikes up a sober chat with the lady, he realises that she’s in dire need of help, particularly with how she perceives the world and her self-worth. The anime is being produced by Project No.9 and directed by Manabu Kamikita.
When I first came across this within the season’s catalogue, I felt like that it would either be hilarious and endearing in its own special way, or absolutely terrible in the most inappropriate of ways. While the opening segment does have a few cringey moments, mostly with respect to fan service, I felt the narrative foundation was pretty strong all in all. It reminds me of a more mature and comedic version of Bunny Drop, but without the characters being related.
Yoshida is such a funny guy. I found it amusing that whatever I felt about the high school girl and her perception of using her body to survive in the big city was voiced out loud by him on a regular occurrence. Every time he called her stupid or outrageous for trying to seduce a man for simple things like needing a place to stay made me appreciate him.
It becomes clear quite soon that whatever life the young girl, named Sayu, had prior to running away, it was one where she was definitely mistreated, probably approached by others (and maybe eve her family) as a commodity of sorts. Whatever her background, it does give indication to her jaded perception of life and how to deal with real-world issues. Watching her being taken in by a strange dude, but one that genuinely wants to teach her how to work hard, not only to support herself financially, but also to help her obtain self-respect and self-worth was rather interesting to me.
The show also isn’t afraid to poke fun of itself and the fact that a twenty-six-year-old is living with a sixteen-year-old is quite risqué. While there are subtle explorations of more serious subject matter, the humour helps to maintain a light-hearted and approachable ambiance to the story, characters, and awkward situations on the whole.
If there is anything that shall be a turn-off to some watchers, aside from a grown ass man living with a teenage girl, it’s going to be the fan service. There are panty shots and close-ups of her rosy-skinned cleavage, and more such scenes are sure to follow. So, if you are someone who genuinely dislikes fan service, know that Higehiro doesn’t shy away form it at all. If you don’t mind some of the more crude and provocative shots, or can appreciate it within relativity to the show’s narrative/comedic style, then it may be less of an issue. For me personally, I’m a bit on the fence. As I mentioned above, it did make me cringe at-times, however, if it doesn’t become ridiculously gratuitous, I think it won’t bother me too much in the long run.
I shall be continuing with the series as I am curious to see how Yoshida plans on helping Sayu to grow up, essentially. My gut is telling me there shall be some fun and supremely relatable messages with regard to loving yourself and learning to set the bar high for what you want in life. With how I’m currently feeling in my personal life, I sure could use a kick in the ass of its kind. Higehiro is currently streaming over on Crunchyroll and VRV (linked below).
Source: Light novel series by Shimesaba and booota (artist)
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Season: Spring 2021
Studio: Project No.9
Director: Manabu Kamikita
Content Warnings: Alcohol consumption. Preparation and consumption of food. Mentioned underage promiscuity. Mild to moderate fan service. Mild cursing.
Streaming: CrunchyRoll; VRV