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Hanayamata – 03 »« Hanayamata – 01

Hanayamata – 02

「ジェラシー・ローズ」 (Jerashii Rouzu)
“Jealousy Rose”

Alright, so I know you guys will cover the cute base for me in the comments, so I don’t need to focus too much on that part here. Naru and Hana make a purely cute couple together and this episode furthered that notion to the max. Yaya wasn’t the only one rose-colored this episode by a longshot!

What I’m going to focus on instead is the character development and the drama, specifically on how Yaya is introduced into the group. Here goes…

For episode one, we focused a lot on Naru’s insecurities and her defeatist complex. That was some deep stuff and was surprising to see for episode one. It worked well and really roped some people in. Many people in the comments pointed out that they could easily relate to Naru’s troubles, which apply to anyone at any stage of life.

This episode spread the focus out a whole lot more. In addition to continuing to explore Naru’s struggles to step outside of our bubble, there are also hints of Hana’s own nuanced history bubbling up too. We saw a glimpse into what roped a foreigner into the art of yosakoi in the first place–while parkour may be a fun sport, as Hana points out, it can be quite a solitary one. Her dramatic theme blends in well with Hana’s–while Naru is helped out by Hana in becoming a dazzling star, Hana finds closeness in being with Naru. Cue the yuri hints as these two blush together.

While that worked out well, what I felt didn’t work too hot was Yaya’s introduction. I fear that it is in part because I don’t find the appeal in her character, but I’m confident that at least a part of my mixed feelings comes from her execution. It sort of felt like the show was compressing what could’ve easily been a two or three episode arc into one episode, therefore losing a lot of setup and nuance that could’ve made Yaya’s introduction and development much stronger. For example, the story pretty much panned out with Naru and Hana doing something cute, then switching back to Yaya who just can’t control her jealousy. Although jealousy is something that people can definitely relate to, it was hard to emotionally connect with her struggle. We get this tense confrontation between Yaya and Naru at the steps of the school, only afterwards to see this really quick flashback that attempts to tell Naru and Hana’s history together through still images. For me, this was nowhere close enough to form the bond needed to sympathize with Yaya’s desires, mainly because they were never illustrated. Thus, when we reach yet another conclusion on the rooftop, the reconciliation felt weak–a weak end to a weak setup.

Now, I am not giving this show a bad rap, because in all other ways, the show is doing wonderfully. The art is simply a pleasure to look at and Naru and Hana are still very likeable characters. It’s just that when a very predictable message is rushed over without much explanation, I sort of feel cheated out in the process. Hence, my apologies that this post took longer than usual–it was a struggle to find a balance to articulate my feelings on this episode.

Looking forward, I still have high hopes. The hints of the yosakoi dance being beautiful are still way up there, though I imagine we won’t see a dazzling performance until the entire group of five (we have ‘Ha’, ‘Na’, and ‘Ya’, we’re waiting for ‘Ma’ and ‘Ta’) assemble. I’ll continue to look forward to this show in the coming weeks in good faith, because the potential for this show to be great is there! It’s perhaps just needing some time to warm up.

 

Preview

July 16, 2014 at 9:40 am
23 comments »
  • July 16, 2014 at 10:15 amBaKaYaRou

    Now it’s confirmed, Hana is one of the candidate for the cutest anime character this year.

  • July 16, 2014 at 10:18 amGermanguy

    This show is good, if you like friendship, dancing and meaning in your life. The show is still in the introduction of the members, but they dont forgotten to drive the plot onwards

  • July 16, 2014 at 10:33 amwhemleh

    I must agree. I think they’re pushing the drama a little too early. I know they needed to get Yaya on the good side quickly, but I’d rather they not make it so tense.

    Naru’s blushing is god-tier though.

  • July 16, 2014 at 10:53 amWanderer

    I can’t agree. I felt that Yaya’s jealousy and the conclusion thereto both came off wonderfully. We were shown just the right amount of depth: not too much to drown us in melodrama, not to little as to make it seem to come out of nowhere. I enjoyed every moment of this episode.

    • July 16, 2014 at 11:32 amDvalinn

      Indeed. I didn’t find it that hard to see Yaya’s side of things – her demure best friend is suddenly running around with an energetic new girl, which not only made her worried about the truth of Naru’s change but also made her feel left out. They have obvious history together, which was shown enough to get the basic idea, they had a fight and then they made up. I had no problems with that. I can appreciate them solving their problems quickly as well, because I would probably lose my patience if this was milked for drama over multiple episodes. Everyone came out of this one looking better, in any case.

      I’m starting to enjoy this show more and more as well, so I hope the rest of it will be as good at capturing my attention as this episode was.

    • July 16, 2014 at 11:40 amZanibas

      Mmmm, I imagined there would be some disagreement over this. Fair warning: I’m just a real stickler for slower paced development, so that bias will show up often in my analyses. Thanks for voicing your disagreement though, it shows that people are actually reading my posts not just for the pictures :P.

      • July 16, 2014 at 12:57 pmWanderer

        Aw, of course people are reading! You don’t need to worry about that!

        No real harm done. At least you can recognize that you have a bias in this issue. And I realize that it’s hard to argue with your emotions about something like this. If you don’t feel like it was particularly moving, it’s hard to grab your emotions by the shoulders and ofrce them to take another look and say “no really, see? It showed us everything just right. It really is moving after all. FEEL IT, I tell you!” ;)

      • July 16, 2014 at 6:43 pmDvalinn

        W-what? No, of-of course I only come here for the pictures, I lied about reading your posts, baka!

        As for me, I don’t mind slower paced development plotwise. I’m pretty patient when it comes to shows taking their time to build a story, both the ones focusing on the overall plot as well as characterdriven ones. However, when it comes to inter-character drama, I vastly prefer it when the characters act smart and resolve their issues quickly. To use an example, look at one of the director’s other works – Sakurasou. The best episodes there were when the characters faced severe adversity, but realized pretty quickly that moping about and dragging it out wouldn’t help anyone. They solved their issues (both internal and with other people) relatively quickly so the plot could keep moving while important stuff still happened and you had the feeling that they were reasonable people. The weakest parts came when one plotline and conflict between characters dragged out over an entire arc. You were left screaming at the screen for them to just talk to each other or something and sort it out. It really put a dent in the momentum that far.

        What I’m trying to say by using such an example, is that immediately throwing us in a multiple-ep conflict arc about one girl’s jealousy would be a bad idea in my opinion. It would grind the show to a halt. Especially this early on, that would be lethal. There’s so much other stuff that our mains still have to do, after all. And if I believe other commenters, this won’t be the last time Yaya shows such behaviour either. This ep thus merely served as an introduction of sorts to one particular part of her character.

        So from that perspective, it didn’t bother me at all that her problems (at the moment) were dealt with in one single episode.

    • July 17, 2014 at 1:41 amFlower

      Count me in with those who feel that Yaya’s jealousy worked out plenty fine. But if you noticed the pv for the next ep it seems that it has NOT been resolved. It looks like Yaya will begin actively competing for Naru’s attention and may even intend to try to take her away from Hana. All Yaya did in ep 2 was essentially realize that she was jealous, that she was being unfair in lashing out at Naru on the steps in front of school, and that Naru is showing seriousness about Yosakoi.

      Even so the possessiveness of Naru’s exclusive friendship and the awareness that she (i.e. Yaya) had not been as good a friend to Naru as she thought Naru deserved are still present and has not gone anywhere. So to my mind only a little of the problem was resolved – the rest of the problem will continue. And to me that is definitely not rushing things, because the root issue has not fully come to a head in Yaya’s actions, only the tip of the iceberg has been seen. We will likely see more of that in the next episode.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      I think the story here is showing that those whom Naru lets into her life are often very strongly affected by her – we have Hana in the present and Yaya in the past (Tami will also figure into this as well later on, I bet). Hana is a friend who will encourage her to blossm into her own while Naru protected her and took care of her in the past. In the larger context Naru seems to be growing from one stage into another (i.e. “coming of age”) and it is hard for those who were used to the place someone was before to relate to where the person they always knew is heading off…maybe even leaving them behind? To me this is exactly what is happening with Naru and Yaya, but whereas in many cases friendships might become awkward or dwindle away sometimes new dynamics can be created, and I think the new dynamic will be Naru being the “leader” of sorts while Yaya becomes a “follower”.

  • July 16, 2014 at 11:35 amDuzz

    I am getting strong, STRONG Yuri vibes from this.

    • July 16, 2014 at 11:50 amHelvetica Standard

      Nah. Just a little itty bitty tint of yuri, nothing big.

      • July 16, 2014 at 10:31 pmcruiser2710

        You need to get your yuri goggles and yuri radar fixed

  • July 16, 2014 at 11:36 amechykr

    Hana: So, you must be what people call a “tsundere” hmm?

    Yaya: What?! O__O Nooo!

    Hana – Best troll of season.

    She also redefines the meaning of “glomping”, as in “scared s***less at prospect of imminent glomping”
    http://randomc.net/image/Hanayamata/Hanayamata%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2024.jpg

  • July 16, 2014 at 11:48 amHelvetica Standard

    “free running”? I thought it was called “parkour”? ._.

    • July 16, 2014 at 12:34 pmAnnyms

      It’s known as both, but more prominently as parkour. I wasn’t very good at it, but a bunch of my friends in college did it for a bit when we we’re freshmen. They referred to it as “free running”.

    • July 16, 2014 at 12:50 pmWanderer

      Both terms work. Technically, freerunning includes Parkour, but is not exclusively limited to it. However, it states in the netry for Parkour that even the practicioners of the sports have trouble seeing differences between them, so it doesn’t really matter.

  • July 16, 2014 at 1:03 pmXeiros

    To those of you under the false assumption that Yaya’s jealousy arc is over and done with after this episode, I’ve got some bad news for you. Take a wild guess what.

  • July 16, 2014 at 5:32 pmdeVacto

    i got diabetes again dis season
    dat tsundere, dat blushing, dat blonde

  • July 16, 2014 at 7:20 pmDivini

    Guys help. I can’t stop replaying the OP.

  • July 16, 2014 at 7:25 pmmarina2

    “Drama” in anime is showed in less serious/emotional tone compared to manga. Yaya and Naru “fight” is more tense and longer in manga version.

    Also, they actually made Yaya more ‘likeable’ in anime. Readers can easily hate her character during this arc in manga. For example: The scene where Yaya “mocks” Naru after she saw the bruise (from Yosakoi practicing) on Naru’s body is cut out from the anime.

    I guess they don’t want thing to be too dramatic in anime.

  • July 16, 2014 at 10:32 pmcruiser2710

  • July 19, 2014 at 4:17 amGiorno Giovanna

    I raided pixiv and every single site, including the official magazine, anime and video game websites and compiled all of the Hanayamata content out to date in an easy to follow manner.

    http://imgur.com/a/5Pzo2

    Might be NSFW, but only ever pure yuri. Enjoy or w/e.