Anime Review: Hanayamata

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.

hanayamata characters
(from left to right) Hana, Yaya, Naru, Machi and Tami

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….

Yuri: 5/10
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.

hanayamata hana
Though, I have to admit, this little scene was kind of….

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
Tami x 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.

Still I have to give that show some credit for adding cute girls with animal ears. It just can’t get any cuter than that~


19 thoughts on “Anime Review: Hanayamata

  1. I didn't like Yaya at all, while I didn't mind Hana much. I don't really mind tsunderes, but Yaya just rubbed me the wrong way, for some reason.

    Naru & Tami were my favorites and seeing a spark between them would've been nice, but no dice. Cruel people, the creators of the show are.

    There were a lot of good shows in the summer season, and this one almost became a afterthought for me. 😦


  2. Exactly, it kind of just lost its touch at the end.
    It was also the last show of the season for me to finish. Well, ok I still haven't finished Barakamon, but I will never finish it, so it doesn't count 😛


  3. Now you'll never know if Handa finds himself and figures things out. 😦

    Then again, I've become used to you not seeing the value of some shows, just like Panty & Stocking, Monster, Inu x Boku SS, etc. 😛


  4. I'm still stuck at episode 7. I should really get on with the rest.
    I wonder if stuff like BlackRockShooter will ever gain popularity again? The anime wasn't as amazing as all that but…

    Still working on the review, doing one on Kuroyuri's 1st but still have to finish the second part of the review (with second game).Will send through this user to the email!


  5. you already done a Madoka review yet?
    Magical girls really are first we got precure with flip and sliding cellphones+perfume to transform now with Yuyuyu we got girls transforming with Smartphone apps. Lawl.


  6. I think the yuri score you gave for this was much too high, you really have to put the googles on tight to see any subtext at all. But I agree that this was a pretty forgettable series, the best thing I can say about it was that it didn't completely put me to sleep the way Locodolls did.


  7. I was actually wondering why something like BlackRockShooter was popular at all?
    The anime was mediocre at best and the OVA was basically the same…

    Take your time 😉


  8. I only reviewed the Rebellion movie.
    I probably won't cover the rest since it's been some years since then, and it's so popular that there are probably already tons of reviews 😛


  9. You might be right with that. I was wondering whether the score was a little too high, but then again, this anime had undertones in each and every episode until the very end.
    Some of them, like the scene from the picture in which Hana appears between Naru's legs, just make me think that the score is ok 😛


  10. Well, Sabagebu had a pack of wild lesbians chase after Maya, Urara who's obviously gay, some subtexty hints about Momoka (the cross-dressing skit, the hints in the finale that she might like Urara more than she lets on), then there was the subtext between Miou/Yayoi and that only got a 5 on the scale.

    I know it's two different people and opinions but still, it feels a bit off you know? :p


  11. Excuse me, I couldn't help but overhear from where I was eavesdropping, but I'll take the blame for creating the large disparity between the two yuri scores. Perhaps I was too stingy with Sabagebu!'s score and could've been somewhat less frugal.

    All things being equal, I think the 7.5 for Hanayamata is a bit too high, but there's a great deal of context being forgotten, so just comparing the scores can be a bit misleading, in my opinion. Besides, I hardly ever base my scores in relation to my other reviews' scores, though I can't really speak for L in that regard.

    Not wanting to interrupt anymore than I already have, I'll see myself to the virtual door now. 😀


  12. It would probably be a good idea to standardize how you rate the amount of yuri content. Like for example a low amount of subtext is 1-2 points, high amounts is 4-5 points, canon lgbt character(s) is 6 pts, side lgbt romance is 8 pts then main lgbt romance is worth 10.

    Just an idea since the way it is right now can be kind of misleading if someone just looks at the score or if the review doesn't get into specifics on what to expect as far as yuri content goes.


  13. I can see the usefulness of such a method, even if I don't necessarily agree with those scoring values. It would still be subjective however, and not everyone would likely agree with that point of view, but it might be helpful.

    I've long wondered what the ideal scoring method is, whether it be 4 stars, 5 stars, 10-point scale, 100-point scale, letter grades, half/quarter points, etc.. Lena's never imposed a specific scoring criteria on me, so I pretty much have free rein over how I score stuff. I've already written several more reviews that have yet to be published, but I might try experimenting with a different scoring method on future reviews of mine, just to try 'em out. 🙂


  14. That's actually a pretty good idea, especially since the yuri score is so important on this blog.
    Also, since I think you're both right, I changed the score.
    You might say that 6/10 is still too much, but as Rock The Vogt said, it's an opinion not (yet) based on any kind of rating system other than my personal view on things.

    As soon as I get back from my short trip, I'll think about a more convenient way of scoring the yuri in anime.
    Your ideas were pretty good already, so thanks for that~


  15. Last time I checked there was only 4 which is kinda sad and i'm not sure if the manga is that far along in its raw too, makes me wonder whats going on with all the animes being aired be for the manga is at that point.


  16. I think I've seen 3 or 4 different covers for the Hanayamata manga, which makes me think that there are about 4 volumes released already.
    Though, I might also just be imagining things 😀


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