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Hanayamata – 05 »« Hanayamata – 03

Hanayamata – 04

「プリンセス.プリンセス」 (Purinsesu Purinsesu)
“Princess Princess”

Sorry everyone, I’m really tired, so I’m going to keep this one brief. I hope the sleep deprivation doesn’t make my post too non-coherent!

In many ways, Nishimikado Tami is the embodiment of an ‘ideal’ Japanese women, at least according to the ideals of Yamato Nadeshiko. Graceful, refined in the arts, kind, and above all else, loyal to her father, Nishimikado is the embodiment of the idealized Japanese woman about to bloom. At least, that’s what it looks like at first glance. As we progress through the story, it becomes apparent what Nishimikado’s fatal flaw is. Just as Yaya struggles with jealousy, Naru with incompetence, and Hana with loneliness, Tami struggles to please. Although she tries her very best to please her father, it never seems to be enough. Never so much as a smile cracks his face as Tami jumps through hoops and then some for the sake of her father’s love. As we quickly see though, this is a futile and counterproductive effort. Not because of Tami’s questionable dedication to her father, but the fact that she continues to do so without any sort of positive feedback. What Tami needed, more than the joy of yosakoi or freedom from her father, was someone who appreciated her for who she was, unquestionably and unconditionally. Much like how a prince would sweep up a princess, to sweep her off her feet. Funny how it ends up that Tami’s prince is the prince who believes least in their own abilities.

This leads me to the second point I wish to bring in quickly, before my head crashes onto my keyboard. Although we can talk about how Tokiwa received some humanizing development this episode, or how Yaya is really desperate for Naru’s attention, or even more cute talk, but the ending of this episode deserves center stage.

I personally think that Hanayamata can get a little melodramatic at times. The motives behind the character’s feelings seem a bit shallow at times, perhaps due to the pacing, but again, that’s my personal take. I hope that we can all agree that today’s episode was a bit unexpected, especially considering the roles that each character took. For the first half of this episode, we saw a Tami that Naru could idolize and look up to, as a sister figure of sorts. Tami even acknowledges this relation by using it as her justification for defending the Yosakoi Club. By the end of the episode though, we see a different reversal of roles, something I don’t think we see very often. Naru, often portrayed as the weakest character of the show, becomes the emotional support of arguably the strongest character. Naru, who so wished for a prince to sweep her away to another world, has inadvertently become a prince herself, providing for Tami the thing that even she didn’t know she needed–someone who appreciated her. The entire scene with its tears, umbrellas, and flashbacks was quite the scene. It’s easily become my favorite scene of the show and elevated Naru and Tami as my two favorite characters so far. The switching of their roles gives these two a dynamic flair to their personalities, paving the way to some profound character developments that’ll clearly change both of their characters for the better. Just as Naru’s yosakoi dancing is slowly getting better with each episode, so will these characters and the bonds they form together. It took awhile, but I think Hanayamata is taking better strides in providing a show that’s more than just cute dancing.

Full-length images: 1, 12.

 

Preview

July 29, 2014 at 7:49 pm
16 comments »
  • July 29, 2014 at 8:07 pmReianz

    There wasn’t enough Hana-chan this episode. >.< Now, it's only a matter of time before Machi joins the crew, so we can start Yosakoi-ing!

  • July 29, 2014 at 8:22 pmechykr

    http://randomc.net/image/Hanayamata/Hanayamata%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2022.jpg

    Naru: White lace with ribbons. @.@

    I don’t think Naru was referring to Tami’s socks when she saw Tami stretch.

    Elegant ojou-samas like Tami totally fall in my strike zone fir some reason. It takes people like Naru to discover their inner prince to charm these princesses. You go, Naru.

    • July 29, 2014 at 8:33 pmcruiser2710

      Ribbons…. Meh that’s normal….

      But white lace….. That’s something new…..

    • July 29, 2014 at 10:58 pmCybersteel

      • July 30, 2014 at 12:30 amc2710

        Dude… That’s frills. Not lace.

        I pictured pink ribbons though

    • July 31, 2014 at 9:36 amRoger

      Yeah for some reason the whole graceful refined elegant Ojou-Sama thing shoots straight through my defenses like a rifle bullet. Just can’t resist it. I guess I really go for that quiet reserved beauty sort of thing.

  • July 29, 2014 at 8:36 pmcruiser2710

    http://randomc.net/image/Hanayamata/Hanayamata%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2005.jpg

    The background image is voluminous.

    On the other hand….

    The prince appears before her princess…

    http://randomc.net/image/Hanayamata/Hanayamata%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2035.jpg

    Frankly speaking, I’m rather glad that I picked this up. It’s really turning up into one of the series that I look forward to weekly. And really, the whole episode made me fawn at every moment.

    I’m starting to like Naru though… Weak she may be but I think she’s the strongest. Her lack of confidence is the one that’s doing her in

  • July 29, 2014 at 8:37 pmwhemleh

    Don’t worry, this is plenty coherent. You’ve expressed your points well, and in an-easy to read manner. Hopefully my comment will follow in the same vein.

    I agree with you about the melodrama. It’s way too pronounced, and it happens too early and too often. I find it very hard to really feel for the characters and their issues this way. I think the problem is a combination of things, pacing being the biggest one. They’re trying to get through entire character arcs with each episode, so there’s all this blatant build up and really sudden resolutions. And their problems really are just too rooted into each characters nature to naturally get through in a single episode. “Here’s this cute girl. Here’s her problems, which have obviously developed over years and are now ingrained into her. Care about it. Dramatic rain confrontation. Problem solved! Yay?” It just doesn’t flow right.

    I think they’re rushing through the character stuff to get to the main event, which would be actual yosokoi dancing where all of the girls are in the club. But the issues the girls have – which you’ve pointed out – aren’t the type of issue that can be resolved in an episode. It’d work much better if we were to see the girls slowly get over their issues as the series progresses, if they actually worked the character development into the narrative properly. If they interlaced the girls development with learning about yosokoi (they’d need all the girls in the club from the start) I think the drama would work much better. And to be fair, they do seem to be doing that with Naru now.

    tl;dr: The drama would work better if they put all the girls in the club, then worked out their issues. Not the other way around.

    Also, I’m kind of finding Hana’s voice annoying. It’s becoming more and more grating the more I see her. I think the issue there is the director more so than the actress, I noticed the same problem in her other series. She doesn’t know how have her seiyuu dial it back.

    That’s awfully negative of me, but I do still like the series! It’s still pretty, it’s still cute and I still think Hana’s a real fairy. pls don’t hurt me guys

  • July 29, 2014 at 10:14 pmMike

    • July 30, 2014 at 12:33 amc2710

      The Tsundere is strong in this one

  • July 29, 2014 at 11:38 pmreeeee

    Personally, I think that the amount of “melodrama” in these episodes is actually alright given the amount of time/episodes we get. I find it reasonable that these girls are introduced with their accompanying problems from the start and then seemingly resolved by the end of the episode.

    Take for example Yaya. Her jealousy was addressed within an episode but it’s not like she has completely gotten over it. In this episode we still get to see her feeling jealous when Naru fawns over Tami. It’s still there, but I feel that they’ve made the right decision to focus on something else while still keeping it in the peripheral view.

    “Here’s this cute girl. Here’s her problems, which have obviously developed over years and are now ingrained into her. Care about it. Dramatic rain confrontation. Problem solved! Yay?” Yay, I feel. Unlike Whemleh, I think this process flows in this show. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for deeper explorations into characters, but it works here because we are given the right amount of information about them without feeling spoon-fed or under-fed. They are succinct and to the point but not dry(good use of flashbacks imo) such that I get to understand and empathise with the characters. I’d rather shows get it straight to the point than risk dragging the drama around.

    Not only that I really like watching them trying to get new members especially when Hana is smart enough to bait Tama by showing her their practice. I feel that if we just jump straight into them already having members and then the drama starts, a goodly portion of the fun would be lost. And Hana’s voice is really suitable for her, I don’t find it at grating at all. In fact, I feel it emphasises her personality since Naru even backs it up saying how Hana may be a bit too lively. It’s justified that Hana should indeed come across as annoying at times.

    tl;dr I find the drama and pacing just right and I certainly like the attention to details. I’m definitely not flaming whemlegh too, this is just my 2 cents on the show.

    As a side note, I’m pleasantly surprised that a show about yosakoi offers so much more than that, 2nd favourite show of the season after Nozaki-kun! :)

    • July 30, 2014 at 6:44 amDvalinn

      I agree. Setting up the girls’ personal problems, having them reach a small resolution and then join the club (while still struggling with their core problems) isn’t a bad way to tell this story at all. I like how it sets up that yosakoi means something different for every single one of them – for each, it’s a way to deal with issues that have been set up beforehand. And considering yosakoi’s status as the ‘freestyle’ of Japanese dance, that’s pretty appropriate. They’re not just doing this because of ‘yay club activities’. Hana, Naru, Tami and Yaya all have their own motivations, which sets them apart as characters. The prez’s conflict will probably be something similar. I have no issues whatsoever with the show doing this. Having them already be in the club would only diminish that aspect, in my opinion.

      This episode was probably one of the best and most well executed so far. Like Zani, I found the switching of the typical roles to be rather interesting. It kind of defied stereotypes, in a way. I like how it showed that Naru’s already getting stronger as well.

      And finally, I liked how they showed the student council prez in a better light as well. I feel that in her interactions with Tami, we see more what her real character is like. She did say that the reason she was such a hardass to the main characters was because the teachers were incessantly bothering her about it, after all. She’s probably just the messenger (though she could have been nicer about it). Should open up the way for less antagonism later, I hope.

  • July 30, 2014 at 4:20 amGiorno Giovanna

  • July 31, 2014 at 6:30 amcirby

    Melodrama?

    They’re teenage girls. They’re about 97% melodrama by weight.

  • July 31, 2014 at 8:26 pmlegwkio

    I watch this and in my head I genderswap Naru to become a boy. The show then starts to make much more sense to me.

  • August 1, 2014 at 10:34 amzeroyuki92

    While I still think this is a decent/good show, I think there are few critical elements which hinder its full potential. For some reason the execution in each episode keep juggling between “very good” to “not as good as I was expecting”, although probably watching a much more senior director directly before this could affect my judgement level too much.(Shinichiro Watanabe’s directing in 4th episode of ZnT is simply in a wholly different level)

    It’s especially noticeable in the most important part, this time the rain scene. With all of its melodrama, sub-optimal pacing, direction, music placement, dialogue and voice acting could shrink the impact of the scene and nullified the effort which has been made for the rest of the episode. While Hanayamata (in concept) keep having a good focus in personal growth and interaction between girls, seeing it executed not to its full potential is kinda sad. It’s still good, but not as good as it could grow to be.