「 ハルノカゼ」 (Haru no Kaze)
“The Wind of Spring”

There ain’t a whole lot to say about episode oh-too of Hana no Uta because it’s simply more of what we’ve seen in episode one; more of its playfully laid-back slice-of-life, more of its happy-go-luckiness and its completely nonchalant attitude, more of Ryochimo’s visual pizzazz, and (a lot) more random bouts of fanservice. If you liked the premiere, you’d definitely be digging the style of its follow-up. As far as I can tell, the show still seems completely relaxed as it goes about its business, but it is not something I particularly mind. Next to the meatier offerings of the season, such as the sensory overloading Kill la Kill or the ridiculously fun(ny) Valvrave, Yozakura Quartet has carved out a niche for itself with its brand of low-calories playfulness.

While the episode was spent on an average day in the lives of the characters, the general hijinks that they get up to still feel cartoony and spontaneous; the general tomfoolery includes things like Aoi’s adorable head-balancing act and Kyousuke’s ogre-sense. We see Hime going about her klutzy school life and indulging in her ramen passions, as well as a super-powered workout spar between Hime and Kotoha that seems to go way beyond mere “exercise”. Even the spurts of fanservice feel the same way, all very tongue-in-cheek and spontaneous. Sure, you could extrapolate all you want from power-sealing kiss between Aoi and Kotoha (as I know people are bound to do) but I’d like to think it was another one of those these moments; Did it have to be a kiss? Of course not, but things happen and the show only ask you to just go along with it. You can also tell that Ryochimo and his team really in tune with the nature of this show and are injecting their own brand of playfulness; the result being scenes like Kyousuke’s stop-motion dash out of the office or Aoi lazily dodging the random projectiles during the spar.

The core storyline still hasn’t quite taken shape yet, even as the show starts moving towards some of the heavier plot elements, one of which is the underlying tensions between the human and youkai populace. Despite the seemingly harmonious outlook of the town,Shidare hints at the Senate’s wariness by bringing up a past incident involving Touka’s uncontrollable strength. Likewise when Kotoha goes berserk as a result of Lily, there are hints of a bloody past. Some humans are still distrustful of Youkai, and for good reason, because these events show that a well-meaning Youkai can also be a potential threat, and it does seem the show intends on tackling this theme in the narrative. But as to the other major player, Lily, we’re still left wondering about her objective; Why is she going about painting the town red and inciting supernatural chaos? We’ve seen her in cahoots with Aoi’s brother, Enjin, in the last episode, but in all likelihood they’re probably pursuing different goals.

For now it seems clear that Yozakura Quartet is going to keep this act going, but I do wonder if the show will retain this quirky, spontaneous nature even as we delve into the more dramatic part of its story. I can’t really imagine the show any way else at this point, and it’ll be interesting to see how dramatically they are willing to shift the tone of the show as we go down this road.

 

ED1.1 Sequence

ED: 「ツキヨミ」 (Tsukiyomi) by phatmans after school

Preview

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29 Comments

  1. For those who just want to see how awesome the nun is (sorry, I forgot her name) here’s a scene from the first OAV…bewared, its just as derpy/funny/kickass as the show already.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSeRAVcP1wc
    I’m so glad this show is starting to get more recognition now with Hana no Uta out because so far a majority of the people watching it on anime sites appear to enjoy it (even without at least seeing the 3 OAVS)

    SDFGS
  2. Any show that places a Mörser Karl-Gerät, P-1000 Ratte, V2 rocket, and Komet jet together in one screen instantly wins in my opinion. Yozakura Quartet, feeding my inner Wehraboo <3

    Pancakes
    1. Kotoha’s arsenal! thats better than some fishtanks!
      Starting with the first summoning of the swarm of MP-40s, then proceeding to one up herself with Flak-88 and 280mm rail cannon (not to be mistaken with the railgun!) she was my fave in original series… but this one screenshot managed to pack even more firepower!

      ewok40k
  3. This really is just a fun series to follow along with. The characters are fun and keep things entertaining whether or not there happens to be some action going on.

    Will also say Ao just makes things brighter. From that plane scene in the first episode to her balancing acts, just a fun character.

    Am curious to see how things shift if they keep touching on the youkai/human tensions. On one side plenty of youkai are making major concessions and efforts to live peacefully. Even still you have people like the Senate who don’t trust them because of how bad things can get. Of course not like humans are some saints either.

    I’m having fun watching the series and look forward to next week’s episode.

  4. I have such a girl-crush on Kotoha… a powerful woman with a hunting past? Yes please.

    I’m a bit bothered by the fact that they’re sensing all of these incongruences and experiencing all of these disturbances, but have yet changed their happy-go-lucky attitude to hurry a serious meeting about the possibilities of there having a lurking evil.

    petitorenji
  5. I don’t know why, but i find Toka unintentionally crushing her bento box with her superhuman strength adorable, which is kinda weird since i was usually indifferent towards such character. Overall the eps 2 was OK. The insane battle between Hime and Kotoha (with her awesome “kabe, kabe, kabe”! chant) was fun to watch and i’m looking forward to see what’s that blonde loli scheming behind the scene. The only thing’s left is Akina, as he’s been constantly sitting down on the background these whole 2 eps (which i find boring). Hence i sincerely wish for shit to get real already so he’ll get back to action soon

    Amiluhur
  6. it was simply a mid-episode in the season, without any progress in terms of story. though surprising ’cause it’s only 2nd episode, it was very fun – comic scenes with our lovely characters, battle stuff and almost cliffhanger at end however we got awesome kiss scene!
    fanservice a bit surprised. got too much focus. I have no problems with fanservice, and we know this specific character is pervert, but still..it was so extrovert in way that is not that consistent with YQ’s style.

    I want see some more of our lovely YQ. I think they’ll be able to express the drama along its “quirky and spontaneous nature”.

    thedarktower
  7. Obviously this critic is not familiar with the original work, as well as the animation director’s work or the general context behind the franchise 🙁

    Reviews should offer insight into a series or constructive criticism, instead of pointing out what a preschool kid is capable of noticing… oh! fluid animation… and shimapan 😮

    Malkuth
    1. You should follow your own advice. You say that Asobi isn’t familiar with the show, but where’s YOUR constructive criticism? At least point out what he got wrong, like the fact that Enjin isn’t actually Ao’s brother but is only using his body, or that Lily’s name is actually Lila, but they haven’t said it yet so it’s normal he got it wrong.
      Also, being knowledgeable and saying actual interesting comments on animation isn’t something given to everyone, cut him some slack.

    2. Reviewers should write about whatever the heck they want. People just taking the time to express their thoughts and feelings on a series and often providing a nice bank of images to boot.

      Where was it ever decided that a reviewer had to go into depth about behind the scenes stuff? Must not have any bloggers you like with that kind of ridiculous standard.

      1. I absolutely agree; I find it funny how people tend to get vicious when ppl dont acnowledge the things they like or agree with their opinion. People need to enjoy a blog for what it is…people arent writing for you alone; and even if they dont mention something you liked or agree with you, either talk about it maturely or dont say anything at all. Most of all, just appreciate the writing in and of itself.

        sonicsenryaku

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