「トライ・トライ・トライ」 (Torai Torai Torai)
“Try Try Try”

Despite all the corner cutting to avoid as much intensive animation as possible (I’m looking at you, band scene), today’s episode featured a relatively sizable amount of yosakoi. It’s both a relief to see the yosakoi club finally do a clean performance and also humorous that we saw more dancing this episode than at the yosakoi festival itself. Aside from that point though, it was great that the show showcased their moves. Now that we’re halfway through the series, the dancing is a good visual indicator at the amount of growth we’ve seen from the yosakoi club. From episode two where stumbling was between two people, we’ve seen a ton of improvement, especially from Naru. In addition to improving her skills despite her natural klutziness, she’s poured a sizable amount of passion into the club, channeling skills that she herself may not be aware of. With all the poems, art, and oratory skills that she has, I wouldn’t be surprised if Naru was a budding artist in disguise! This sort of gradual progression is something I like to see from shows like this–instead of relying on the mere passage of time, we see an actual chain of events progressing through, helping tie all of the episodes together in a satisfying chronological manner.

These sorts of skills are also a good point about the characters. Everyone has something to contribute to the club in fairly equal amounts, synthesizing their personal lives and club lives together. Hana’s skills in physical strength (reflected in parkour and episode 1) allow her to choreograph, while Tami’s skills at the piano allow her to compose songs easily. Naru’s tendency to imagine and form poetic symbols allows her to create meaningful logos, while Yaya acts as the grounding voice of reason that allows the club to actually move forward. The tight-knit synergy and well-constructed characters are something I applaud, but I’m unsure if it’s something refreshing for the audience. Commenters, for any of you who have watched K-ON!, did you see similar well-developed characters utilizing their past skills for the band, or was it more of a ‘they’re just good at it’ situation?

On another note, we continue to see glimpses into Hana’s life, though small and ambiguous. Today’s episode confirmed that Hana does indeed have a home which looks comfortable enough to not indicate any sort of poor lifestyle. At the same time though, there was another subtle hint that throws a wrench into Hana’s history. If she indeed is from America and assumedly has a good grasp of English, why would she rank so low on an English test? Maybe I’m not getting something with how Japanese test for English (perhaps their tests are harder than natives?), but it seems like a fishy situation for Naru not to get at least an average score. The hard part though is tying all of these weird observations into one clean formula. Do fairies have homes? Can lonely children really leap between torii gates like it was nothing? What do you guys think?

Finally, we have the perfect Yaya facing some disappointment and failure in her life next episode. It’s interesting to see that we’re already reaching the second round of developments, especially since we still have no sign of Tokiwa Machi becoming a member proper of the club. We do see her in the preview, but it looks like she’s playing a minor role once again, which is a shame since the group seems incomplete without that fifth member. If they keep moving back Machi’s proper introduction and development, will they have enough time to do it? We’ll have to see as we approach the second half of the season. From here, we just have to look forward to the hero that is Naru to save her childhood friend from despair and sadness, much in the same way she consoled Tami. So far, the band has been dreadfully backstage as a plot element and seems awfully placed as an anime-original element. Perhaps with the band’s failure, we could possibly see a mixing of band and yosakoi for a grand performance at the end.




  1. From what I can remember from K-On, all the girls did was sit around and eat cake. Can’t remember any kind of meaningful interactions in terms of constructing the band or utilizing the skills of its members, anyway (though I only got halfway before I got bored).

    This show, on the other hand, does it much better. The skills and abilities each member brings to the club are well established and foreshadowed, and the resulting cohesion between them feels natural as a result. I kind of like it when groups are handled this way in anime, because all too often the main character is the leader with the important skills and the rest are hanger-ons. Everyone is equally as important here. Reminds me of things like Log Horizon, of all things.

    Also, you second paragraph kind of confuses me. You call it the Naru mystery but it’s about Hana. And the subs I saw never said anything about her being bad at English, it’s Japanese (and especially reading kanji and whatnot) that she’s having trouble with. Which makes sense, being a foreigner raised on the alphabet and all.

    As for the band, I don’t mind it that much that it’s been backstage so far. They’re not that important in the bigger picture, I think, it’s just there to provide context (and drama, in this case) for Yaya. I do wonder about Machi though, we’re halfway through and she still hasn’t shown any signs of joining them. Hope they won’t cram that in later, we’d lose out on character development that way.

  2. It may have not been so unreasonable for Hana to do poorly in English. The English tests, still have instructions written in Japanese so she may have had a hard time reading what to do. Since its being taught as a second language, her class focuses more on the nitty gritty of sentence construction and grammar. This isn’t something that is taught a great deal (or at least explicitly) after a while in North America. Plus she could just be bad at English.

  3. Naru’s dad sure has a heavy daughter-complex. She looked too cute in those scenes, wouldn’t really blame him for thinking she’s got herself a lover. (In a yuri sense, he may even be correct. Lol )

  4. Maybe I’m not getting something with how Japanese test for English (perhaps their tests are harder than natives?), but it seems like a fishy situation for Naru not to get at least an average score.

    I think you meant Hana. Also you titled that section “the Naru Mystery” even though you spend the entire thing talking about Hana.

      1. You fixed the section title, but the sentence I quoted still says Naru instead of Hana…

        Sorry! If it’s any comfort, you’re not the only reviewer who tends to get them mixed up. Over at Metanorn, Skylion has had a tendency to refer to them as “Nana” and “Haru.”

  5. I liked how this episode tweaked the everyone-must-pass-their-exams scenario. I expected everyone to miraculously pass which is usually the case, so I was surprised Hana didn’t make the grade. Despite that though, I liked how Sally-chan-sensei allowed them to compete anyway because of the efforts the Yosakoi club was showing. Sally-chan is a great teacher.

  6. In K-ON, the characters past skills weren’t as big a deal. Mugi does fill the Tami role of writing the music (not the lyrics) and playing keyboard because she already knew piano. With the other characters their roles in the band are reflective of their personalities more so than any skills assigned to them by the author. Ritsu and Mio’s connection as longtime friends is reflected in them being the drummer and bassist. Yui’s energy and enthusiasm results in her being the lead guitarist etc. It’s a different dynamic from Hanayamata but I wouldn’t say that the roles are any less meaningful.

  7. was about to point it out but someone beat me to it: her score in English class is low because they likely do most the questioning and explaining in japanese.

    also I wanna see more of the dance !.

    the band is a anime original? wait that means there is a Hanayamata manga? lol didnt know.

    Kenomimi Tami-neechan!… ooooooooooo need next chapter NOW

  8. Can anyone here from America pinpoint in a sentence where a gerund is, the preposition, the difference between the positions of ‘only?’ I learned english grammar waaaaay back in high school and it was hard as hell. I could speak it but I can’t tell you why it is so, I just go by the general rule: “If it sounds right, its right!” So yea I understand why Hana would have a hard time too. HANACCHII GANBATTE!

    Edge Maverick
    1. In high school, we had a math teacher who was from Russia. She showed some of us the book she was using to learn Dutch, and it mentioned an “abstract article” (like when you use “the bicycle” to refer to the concept of the bicycle, rather than a specific bicycle), which I had no idea was a thing until then. The stuff you get taught about your country’s official language is different from the stuff you get taught about other languages.

  9. Finally we see some real yosakoi! It was really good to finally see a performance and an actual choreography as we now finally got at least a glimpse of the yosakoi’s real magic and can now actually start to feel invested in it aside from just watching the characters play off each other. Hope we’ll be able to see their full performance in the final episodes too <3 Also looking forward to see how Yaya will join for real now that her band's dreams have been crushed.


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