This post is over two months overdue, as the final manga-bundled OAD for Yozakura Quartet came out in early November, but I wanted to give a few quick impressions on this three-part series that goes all the way back to fall of 2010. It was lost in the year-end scramble with the Winter 2012 Preview and Best of Anime 2011 taking priority on my never-ending list of things to blog, and somewhat forgotten too because the second episode came many months ago back in April. I had even forgotten what these manga-based episodes were about at first, until this third episode replayed the cliffhanger with Zakuro’s seemingly possessed state. After that, it was pretty easy to remember what was going on, as Akina, Hime, and the others’ fight to rescue Rin went full-tilt for more or less the entire episode.
It helped that the story was somewhat sparse at this point, especially with Enjin not getting actively involved, so it was merely a matter of seeing how Hime was going to fulfill those mayor shoes of hers and protect her townspeople. To that end, it was pretty entertaining to see her break free of Zakuro’s control and give it to her, only to get depressed when she actually thought Rin hated them. What I found most surprising is that they actually redeemed Zakuro’s character by revealing that she wasn’t herself — something that wasn’t all that apparent to me even with the flashback last time. It showed the sudden change in her personality after a lightning strike, but did nothing in the way of explaining what caused the change, making it hard for me to sympathize with her character in any way. Here, it was really no different as she scoured the town for people to add to her “collection”, but with Rin not giving up on her — and everyone humorously taking the plunge with Rin — we finally got to see that Zakuro is worth saving.
In terms of action, Kotoha’s battle with Zakuro in the previous episode remains my favorite with her flurry of conjured attacks as she scaled gigantic corpse monster, but Hime’s exchange with her this time around was still a visual treat with blob-like animation. The fluidity of the battle sequences alone made these OADs fun to watch, but it actually wasn’t too jarring to make sense of the manga arc that they covered either (i.e. chapters 26-34). As a non-manga reader, I don’t doubt that there are some subtle implications that are going over my head, but for the most part, the story about Rin and Zakuro was fairly self-contained making this OAD pretty easy to follow. Granted, it helps that I’m already familiar with the main cast from the anime-original TV series, so for anyone who’s in the same boat, it’s worth taking a peek at these OADs. The “Hello Hello” ending theme by SUEMITSU & THE SUEMITH — both the original and ballade version in this episode — makes it all the more worthwhile.
ED2: 「Hello Hello Ballade Version」 by SUEMITSU & THE SUEMITH
Watch the ED2!: Streaming ▼