HAL (Haru) – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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A robot assists in the grieving process, helping someone cope with the tragic death of a significant other.

Review (with Spoilers)

I found out about HAL randomly, watched the first few minutes, saw the cool art style, saw robots, and figured it should be worth reviewing. Now, after watching the OVA, I feel drained in a way in which I wish I could cry.

Characters & Story

The story is set in a small town which just saw a tragedy. For reasons left unexplained, a plane explodes killing one-half of the local young lovers. A grandfather and his robot watch this, and the robot does what it can to help the young lover left behind. So, the robot becomes the lost lover to help the living member cope, by giving them the opportunity to say the things which were left unsaid and do some of the things the lost lover would have done with the living one if they were still alive. By the end of the film, it seems the person comes to terms with their lover’s death, realizing that a part of them never left.


I wanna take note of the follow thing: First and foremost this is an anime with a beautiful art style; secondly, it is an hour long; and third, if this doesn’t make you cry it will make you feel a deep sense of sorrow. Somehow, despite being just an hour, this film quickly takes you from seeing a bunch of random faces to knowing their names, feeling like you know a good piece of their story, and though you know your ultimate wish of the whole situation being a dream is unlikely, it does exist within you. I mean, most movies can’t hardly get a romance like this right in 90+ minutes, and yet this OVA gets you engrossed in 60. Proving sometimes animation is better than reality.


When it comes to criticism, I really can’t think of one. I mean, they could have possibly made it longer and shown more of Kurumi’s backstory outside of her being the local sweetheart, maybe even showed a bit more of how she fell in love with Hal, but sometimes less is more. And really, as it stands I think adding that little tidbit would have been just some extra fat that may have gave a bit more flavor, but overall wouldn’t have been that necessary.

Overall: Must See

It’s an hour and really there is no reason to not see this unless you are vehemently against reading subtitles. For, though short, it perhaps has one of the most beautiful, and sad, love stories and what is better than watching something which makes you feel? Hence why I say it is a must see, whether you are an anime fan or not.


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Author: Amari Sali

New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all. An avid writer, Amari hopes to eventually switch from talking about other people's productions to fully working on his own. Such a dream is in progress to becoming reality.

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