“Anyone can be dazzling if you try hard enough.”
Hanayamata begins with a girl named Naru Sekiya who is quite shy, kind and lacks confidence. One night as she passes the shrine, she bumps into a girl whom she mistakens to be a fairy and asks that girl to take her away to another world. The fairy (who ends up being a transfer student in Naru’s class) agrees and pulls her into a yosakoi dance. When they actually meet at the school, the fairy turns out to be an American student named Hana Fountainestand (yes that is her last name), asks her to join a yosakoi club/team. It’s a bit hard for Hana to make friends at a Japanese school because she’s so use to being super outspoken while the other Japanese students are pretty reserved but she doesn’t let that bother her at all. After a bit of indecision, Naru ends up seeking out Hana and resolves to help Hana build her team.
For those you who don’t know, Yosakoi is a Japanese dance style traditionally done in the summer that blends traditional and modern music. It’s usually performed in teams with very powerful traditional Japanese elements.
Rating: 4/5 curiously excited clouds
I found myself liking the first episode a lot more than I thought I would. Some friends of mine tweeted about it, told me how beautiful the animation was, how adorable Naru was and so I decided to give it a try. I really love the premise of Hanayamata because it reminds me a lot of Love Live in a dance team sort of set-up. Allthough Naru is a pretty shy and easily spooked and easily embarrassed character, she has a really innocent and beautiful side of her that’s constantly striving to push out of her comfort zone. Someone like Naru needs a really energetic and outgoing friend like Hana to inspire her to boldly try new things.
I have a good gut feeling about Hanayamata and I’m excited to see more of it next week. This series is great for slice of life, high school, music and drama fans.
What are you pondering today?