Madhouse’s latest anime about cute girls doing the yosakoi dance is filled with bright colors, nice music and a charming overall feel to it.
Here’s my review!
14 year old Naru Sekiya wants something amazing to happen to her; she longs for the day when she’ll become like the princesses of the fairy tales she loves to read so much. But be careful what you wish for, because in anime when a character wishes for something to happen, there is a very high chance it will. One fateful night, one extraordinary encounter with a fairy will change everything for Naru.
The episode open with Naru on her way to school with her childhood friend Yaya Sasame; we find out quite quickly that Yaya is a near perfect girl. She’s admired by everyone, she’s top of the class, she popular, pretty, just an all around perfect girl. Yaya is also in a band too, which we see in a very K-On! moment that broke out rather suddenly. Nice insert song though, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Naru also admires her, dreaming to be like her, but she feels that she’s too average and normal to ever possibly measure up to the likes of Yaya.
In the library after the K-On! moment, Naru recalls the conversation she had with Yaya after they finished playing. Naru had asked her why she decided to join a band, to which Yaya replies that bands are cool and it’s fun doing something that you love. Fair enough, can’t really argue with that. Well I mean you could but I’m not here to do that. Back home later, Naru is in the dojo doing some sword training. Dude, that’s pretty skilled, I mean the average person doesn’t really do that. Her father enters the dojo soon after, asking Naru to deliver a package to a Nishimikado-san, family friends of the Sekiya’s. While the head of the house wasn’t in at the time Naru arrived, she does speak with Tami Nishimikado, another long time friend of Naru as well as an object of admiration of her’s as well. Tami is a very lady like girl and is also the vice president on the student council. Tami was busy with her English tutor so she couldn’t invite Naru in to stay, so she heads on her way back home. That’s what she meets her.
On her way back we have some inner dialog from Naru as she talks about an event that happens back when she was a little girl. She went to the movies and saw Cinderella (or maybe some other Disney movie) and was completely enchanted by it. Naru dreamed to be dazzling like the girl on the screen and the very thought of that was enough to get her heart racing. Naru wants someone to take her from the world, she wants to be like that princess, have a mysterious encounter and break free from being such a normal everyday girl. Suddenly, something catches her attention and she goes to investigate it. What she discovers is something truly magical.
Standing atop one of those big arch things that I can never remember the name of, can someone please just tell me because I’m forever referring to them as “that arch thing” and I feel it’s gonna make someone lose it at some point. Anyways, on top of one is a fairy. But before Naru has the chance to say anything else, the fairy jumps off the start to escape! Running to catch up with her, Naru finally confronts the fairy, who turns out to be just a cute blond loli that reminds me very much of Karen Kujou from Kiniro Mosaic (anyone else get thinking that?) and says that she looked so pretty that she must have been a fairy, so she was wanting her to take her away to another world. Smiling at Naru’s reply, the girl jumps down from her spot on top of a lamp stand and agrees to do just that: take her away to a mysterious new world. Extending her hand, the girl asks if she’d like to dance, reluctant at first, Naru agrees to dance and starts to really enjoy herself, but realizes how much prettier this other girl is and it reminds her once again of how she’s not dazzling in anyway. Naru departs for home suddenly, leaving the girl there but taking her words with her.
The next day, guess who transfers into Naru’s class? That’s right this mysterious girl who we find out is named Hana N. Fontainestand and is from Princeton New Jersey. What? Someone in a loli anime is from New Jersey? When was the last time that ever happened?
The second half of the ep is mainly Naru trying to escape Hana as she really doesn’t want to join Hana an do the yosakoi dance. Naru is just really conflicted of what decision to make because she enjoyed her first dance, but she’s very embarrassed about being the center of attention, much unlike her friend Yaya. While hiding from Hana, Yaya and Naru talk things over, Yaya says this would be a good time for Naru to really come out of her shell and start doing something.
Later that night Naru does a bit of research into the yosakoi dance, just to see what it is, and from the pictures she finds, she convinces herself she can’t do something like that. But remember when she first met Hana, as she left she accidentally took some clapper thing with her. Feeling bad about still having it when it does below to Hana, Naru decides that she should give it back to her tomorrow at school.
Locating Hana on the rooftop after school, Naru musters up all her courage to proceed with her plan. She’s going to just drop it off then leave, nothing more. Once there though, Hana explains how much she loves yosakoi and what it means to her. Even though she feels she’ll never be able to reach the stage of being outgoing and being able to dance like that, Naru offers to join Hana as a helper to gather more members. But I’m sure we all know that Naru secretly loves yosakoi and will end up officially joining Hana somewhere down line.
So for a first ep I enjoyed Hanayamata quite a lot. It’s got nice art, cute girls, I really love the OP and I like the whole dancing thing to it. I’ve got a pretty good feeling about this one and I’m looking forward to watching more of it. So if Hanayamata is an anime you’ve watched, what are your thoughts about the premier ep? I’d love to hear some of your thoughts in the comments below.
Let’s take a look at a few screen shots now!
So there you have it, Hanayamata ep 1! It’s a nice, cute anime to watch and while I don’t expect an in depth and riveting plot, I hope it’s going to be an enjoyable watch from start to finish. So once again, if you’re watching this one, what are your thoughts on it so far? Like it? Hate it? Favorite character? Like the art? I’d love to hear some feedback on it.
Up next I’ll have a look at ep 2 of Glasslip followed by ep 2 of Rail Wars. My new writer is a bit busy at the moment, but he’ll be getting some things posted soon. Just so you know, I’ll be reviewing Glasslip, Rail Wars and Hanayamata, while he’s got Akame ga Kill, Aldnoah.Zero and Zankyou no Terror. I’ve got no set schedule as of now, but I think I’ll have one soon.
Alright then that’s it from this review, enjoy the bonus pic and I’ll cya in the nest post!
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