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Yozakura Quartet – Hana no Uta – 11, 12

Episode 11

Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   01 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   02 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   03
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   04 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   05 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   06
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   07 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   08 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   09
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   10 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   11 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   12
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   13 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   14 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   15
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   16 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   17 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   18
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   19 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   20 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   21
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   22 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   23 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   24
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   25 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   26 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   27
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   28 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   29 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   30
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   31 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   32 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   33
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   34 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   35 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   11   36

「ハナノウタ 1」 (Hana no Uta 1)
“Song of Flowers 1″

 

Episode 12

Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   01 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   02 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   03
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   04 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   05 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   06
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   07 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   08 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   09
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   10 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   11 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   12
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   13 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   14 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   15
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   16 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   17 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   18
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   19 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   20 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   21
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   22 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   23 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   24
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   25 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   26 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   27
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   28 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   29 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   30
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   31 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   32 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   33
Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   34 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   35 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   36

「ハナノウタ 2」 (Hana no Uta 2)
“Song of Flowers 2″

Apologies to anyone who properly expected a double post, and didn’t see it delivered. It’s hard to separate the individual thoughts for both episodes after having to watch them back-to-back…or at least, not sufficiently enough to prevent most thoughts from being backloaded on the second post, so it just seemed to make sense to condense it into one big collective stew. Truth be told I’m mostly hesitant about putting down my thoughts on this two-thirds of the Hana no Uta arc until I’ve seen its finale to decide on a verdict. The storyline centering around Juri’s supposedly dead sister Lila (Kayano Ai) has thus far has been a bit of a kerfuffle for me; some things I liked, some things I didn’t like so much…and many more things I was too indifferent about. If it does seem like I’m complaining too much here (in retrospect it certainly seemed that way to me) I’m not deriding these two episode; they’re solidly entertaining as much of the series has been, mostly in the way it excels at moments, but these episodes are not the best of the lot.

What I didn’t particularly have any strong opinions about mostly came from episode 11 which was a lot of the show waffling around again, strange as it is to see in any sort of final stretch for a show. Serious, plot heady moments in the show like the terse exchange between Lila and Enjin(e) are interspersed with light moments of Hime’s classmates trying and failing to catch the “ghost” among other snippets of the Sakura Town life. This is all standard fare for the Yozakura Quartet which has always charted its own course in storyline, always seeming to have straddled the fine line between hit or miss…and here we see quite an assortment of both. More Zakuro is fine in my books; I enjoy every creative entrance she makes, whether it’s by flying kick or massive earth golem. What I can do without is the Hime spotlight session the show gives so much time to: the “I’m fine because of you” speech given to Juri that I’ve seen at least 3 other times in the season now. A segment featuring the elders talking about their progress of their magic-science confounds equally at how out-of-place it feels in the episode…although with the current knowledge of Lila’s humanity, I suspect there might be a much stronger connection between Lila’s bag of impossible tricks and the implied message about how suitably advanced technology would pass off as magic.

No questions that the meat of episode 11 really was the backstory of Juri and Lila’s childhood: we’re shown the twisted love Lila has for her sister, going from simple card tricks to the branding of her own face, all to get Juri’s undivided attention. I’ll grant that the immediate horror is still effective…somewhat, but with this we’re getting to the crux of the (my) issue, at last. The acting is solid and cinematography is top-notch, as is with much of Yozakura Quartet…but the story falters more than a little.

As hard as the show tries to sell the emotions, I find myself incapable of buying into the broken relationship of Juri and Lila. Theirs’ is not a particularly hard tale to ever be told; one of neglect and familial love gone incredibly out of control, past a point where things seemed irreparable, yet the show seems to fumble constantly with the illustration of this message. There’s a lot of hemming and hawing for what turned out to be a relatively simple resolution through acceptance and forgiveness of their hurtful past. Simple indeed, but I suppose little else could be done when the storyline suddenly decided take that all away to reestablish Enjin as the principal antagonist of the moment. Any Enjin moment is a good one…that’s a notion that seemed to have affirmed itself over the course of the season, but having him appear here significantly takes away from the impact of what they wanted to achieve with Juri and Lila’s relationship.

Nevermind that the foundations for this fragile relationship were a little weak to begin with; I never understood Juri’s obsession with Frankenstein – There wasn’t even the clichéd reason of a grudge passed down from generations before! – which makes her neglect of Lila that much harder to swallow. Similar for Lila, whose gradual descent into derangement seemed a little too deliberate, and consequentially unoriginal.

Funny I’m only saying all this now, because Yozakura Quartet’s showed us quite a bit of zaniness in the time we’ve spent with it, demanded more than its fair share of belief from its audience. I’ve let it come and go with a wave of the hand and a tip of my hat, but just this once I can’t seem pass by; mostly because I do like how Yozakura Quartet has carried along the characters and the emotions in the show with a good deal of heft, and I really can’t see that same sincerity as much in the sisters’ relationship.

But then, this is also precisely why I’m hesitant to make any strong statements about the show until I see the last episode; there’s still things that needs to be explained, such as Lila’s faked death and subsequent return to the living. Equally important is the great twist of episode 12, where a well-placed stun shot from Elder Shidare and his assistant Shiina reveals Lila’s true nature as a squishy human instead of being a hardy Hanyou…which I suspect might have a greater significance in how Lila turned out the way she did.

If my expectations for Hana no Uta were too biased from the OVAs (admittedly as it has been for most of the series, and my sincerest apologies for that) this was the part where it really hit hardest. The drama here is simple, but there’s not as much appeal as I’d hope going into it, so it falls to the other aspects of Yozakura Quartet to make up for the deficit. Suffice to say that the presentation here is strong as ever, and the show delivers up some really sumptuous moments; Lila’s grand magic trick with the massive sword hanging over the trapped Hime being the real standout and offering some of the funnier moments in episode 12.

I suppose there aren’t many better ways to end Hana no Uta on, than a climatic battle between Akina and Enjin; after all, theirs is pretty much the overarching conflict in the story, and a reasonably fitting resolution for this short segment of a long story. At the same time, I really want to see what else it’ll be able to add to change my mind about the Hana no Uta arc and the resolution given to the story of these two Frankenstein sisters.

 

Preview

Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   Preview 01 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   Preview 02 Yozakura Quartet   Hana no Uta   12   Preview 03
December 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm
18 comments »
  • December 28, 2013 at 3:45 pmlorenzo

    Now, I won’t whine about excess fanservice or anything, cause I know I’ll only start arguments, but judge for yourself

    http://randomc.net/image/Yozakura%20Quartet/Yozakura%20Quartet%20-%20Hana%20no%20Uta%20-%2011%20-%20Large%2024.jpg

    http://z.mhcdn.net/store/manga/4815/07-046.0/compressed/u46.14.jpg?v=11294675334

    Now tell me: which depiction is more intimidating?

    • December 28, 2013 at 4:57 pmsonicsenryaku

      at the end of the day both of them exude fanservice; but yes the second photo is more intimidating. In regards to lila, i believe her powers come from the fact that she wished upon the star (which was actually a falling strike) and instead of being struck, she received its power due to her wish rather than being possessed by it.

    • December 29, 2013 at 10:33 amSDFGS

      Its a mind-set that won’t go away in Japan, lets put fanservice in everything! Though not saying the US doesn’t do the same thing…look at every single show that the CW shows, yesh.

      • December 29, 2013 at 12:33 pmsonicsenryaku

        Exactly, U.S media is just as prone to fanservice as anime, its just that we see this fanservice more prevalent in anime so it creates the illusion that anime is all about fanservice (an image that those dont know what anime is dont seem to get over)

      • December 29, 2013 at 1:57 pmlorenzo

        It’s not that I’m against fanservice in general – I know perfectly well that it’s widespread and a common element in anime. But in this particular case, Yozakura Quartet, I don’t like how they need to spice the adaption up. That scene was supposed to convey tension – not arousement. But it was just too tempting to put some tentacle rape in it, right?

    • December 30, 2013 at 4:42 amKF

      The manga version is more intimidating but I like fanservice anyway.

  • December 28, 2013 at 5:42 pmc2710

    Nonetheless, I still enjoy watching YZQ.

    The service, action and the characters all appeal to me and talking about Lilia, watching her “fall from grace” was rather unsettling

    • December 30, 2013 at 12:15 pmewok40k

      I actually liked Lila quite good. She is far from irredeemable, especially in a show like YZQ where “defeat means friendship” (trope!) rules!

  • December 28, 2013 at 9:13 pmsorata

    How come Kotoha is so weak in this episode? Come on! Tray instead of a wall?

  • December 28, 2013 at 9:47 pmVsAllGaming

    I like this series but I never watched the first one. Should I watch it? Is it worth it?

    • December 29, 2013 at 10:29 amSDFGS

      No, just cause you’ll get filler (not saying some of it wasn’t amusing…its just that Hana no Uta did it a lot better). Plus essentially they ended that series where ep 6 left off…just really subpar. If anything, which is obvious, just watch the 3 OVAs considering they are part of the hana no uta plot.

  • December 28, 2013 at 9:56 pmthedarktower

    YQ is still YQ. and I enjoy it – characters, story, action, fanservice, comic scenes, atmosphere and all.
    but I don’t know…I enjoyed the ova much more. the story was much more alive and interesting. Juri-san is too much static and in shock…and while we have Lila which is interesting enough and catching a lot of attention because she is so energetic and all, we don’t get it from Juri, she isn’t active at all. this is a bit wasted IMHO.

    that aside, this time we are much more into the story with Enjin’s appearance and much more active involvement, so as the elders. that’s why I am very intrigued to see what will develop in that direction. even though it’s one last episode and I don’t know how much it’ll push the plot. but we have OVA after this series..S:

    p.s
    is it just me or Zakuro is being wasted in Rin’s Kiki’s delivery service? she should join the team permanently!

  • December 28, 2013 at 11:06 pmEspada

    counteraction rising

  • December 28, 2013 at 11:52 pmKF

    This arc could have gone much better. When I compare it to the manga, I felt that some of the magic was lost during the transitioning.

  • December 29, 2013 at 12:44 amOki89

    meh. here’s hoping for another season.

  • December 29, 2013 at 11:02 amSDFGS

    Why did I just realize Tsuki no Naku was already out and subbed?!!! Shesh…animeultima really needs to update itself *goes to watch 4th ova*

  • December 31, 2013 at 3:29 pmSPD

    • January 2, 2014 at 10:11 pmdbm

      That is Midoriko Amano. She is a friend and classmate of Hime. You see a lot of her (and Hime’s other friends Mizuki (short hair with clips) and Sawaki (long haired brunette)) in Ep 10. When Hime is sick, Midoriko the two others deliver Hime to her house, and hang around for a while to play. When Vice Principal Uzu Kibune shows up to officially remonstrate Hime, the three girls give him a hard time.

      Midoriko seems to need rescuing from time to time. Show Spoiler ▼

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