Story: 6.5/10 and Characters: 7/10
14-year old Naru Seiya is pretty unhappy with herself and with her current life in general. She’s totally average in pretty much anything, and she wishes for something exciting to finally happen to her. Of course, this wish is quickly granted when she meets her new classmate, Hana, who shows her the beautiful and colorful world of a traditional Japanese dance, called Yosakoi.
For this anime season, namely the summer season, Hanayamata was seemingly the closest to yuri we could get, so just like many other yuri fans, I was pretty hyped about this one.
Now, as you can see, it took me quite a while to write this review, which in this case simply means that it took me extremely long to finally finish this anime. And why did it take me so long? That’s because I had to force myself through the last few episodes. Though, please don’t get me wrong. Hanayamata started out as a really promising-looking show. The yuri undertones were literally everywhere, the characters were mostly really enjoyable, and all their dancing was surprisingly not as annoying as I thought it would be.
Naru and Yaya specifically served as two big reasons to watch this show, simply because they are both so ultra cute. I mean, tsundere characters can be quite awesome if presented the right way, and Yaya is definitely one of those rare characters who simply scores so much because they are exactly this kind of lovable tsundere character. Naru, on the other hand, is cute in a completely different way. She’s a total klutz, super shy, and probably the sweetest girl you can think of. Though, despite the fact that I really enjoyed those two, there were others like Hana and Machi that sometimes ruined the fun for me.
While Machi is just not the type of tsundere I enjoy, Hana is simply annoying all the time. In the case of Tami, I think she is a nice addition to the cast, especially since she is pretty much the only one who is able to tame Machi.
Animation: 7/10 and Sound: 7/10
Let’s keep it short here. The music was forgettable for the most part, though the opening is definitely an exception to that.
The animation, on the other hand, looked pretty good. It wasn’t the highest animation quality, but it really helped carry the light and fun atmosphere that the anime had going on most of the time. The only thing that I didn’t like about it were the pointy eyes. Something about this just irritates me….
The weirdest thing about Hanayamata is probably the fact that the subtext is basically everywhere, yet it still feels like we didn’t get that much yuri at all. The manga is tagged as yuri, so maybe it had some more, but despite the fact that the anime put suggestions basically everywhere, I still can’t stop feeling as if it wasn’t enough.
I’ve been thinking that it was maybe just done the wrong way. I mean, from episode one, this show didn’t make it that easy for me to decide what characters I want to ship with each other. I basically saw a Naru harem as a possible solution, but then again, other characters had their yuri-ish moments with pretty much every other character as well.
I don’t like having to choose from numerous possible partners for one character. It just confuses me. So here’s my list of Hanayamata ships:
Naru x Yaya
her father Machi
Hana x NO ONE!!
Total Enjoyment: 6.5/10
All I can say here is that this show started out as one of my personal favorites of the season, but it ended as one of the most uninteresting ones. I didn’t even bother watching the last 3 episodes, and I had to force myself to finish watching it, simply so I could write my review about it.
I think I have to apologize to those who really enjoyed the show, and I’m sure there are a lot of them out there. For me, however, this was a big disappointment.