「ガール・アイデンティティー」 (Gaaru Aidentiti)
“Girl’s Identity”

The tears are shed, the bonds are formed. Naru or Hana give a speech about not being alone, and another member strengthens their resolve. Another day in the life of the yosakoi club.

Actually, there actually hasn’t been an episode where they haven’t made the emotional drama stand out. Even in the club trip episode, where most of it was good old fun and bonding, it ended with a rather emotional set of scenes. This episode was no exception–the animal ears fanservice was nice plus Sally-sensei being lewd, but that quickly gave way to some angsty Yaya. Some drama is good and all, but the sustained heavy-handed drama each episode may actually be a detriment to proper character development and the comedy.

I was struggling to write a post for this episode because I didn’t want to go off on the “omg the melodrama” tangent; I sense you guys are tired of that direction (myself included).The plot itself wasn’t so bad–the actions that followed fit Yaya’s tsundere nature well. What seemed to be the problem was realizing that the show hasn’t given us a break in terms of doling out tears, vulnerabilities, and constant pep talks. The core message is nice enough, but man, for a show that is about the joys of dancing, for once it’d be nice to have an episode without a joy-killer. That’s perhaps a bias of expectation for more light-heartedness on my side, I admit, but I sincerely believe Hanayamata would benefit from a drama breather, to allow all the afterglow of that drama to sink into some positive development. Although I do applaud the show for being fierce about developing the characters beyond a single round of “character of the week”, it would be great to reap the rewards of that development in a breather episode where we can see purely positive and happy results of their success.

Aside from that main point though, the show is progressing quite well in gathering up the yosakoi team. The omission of Tokiwa’s significance as a yesgirl is seriously concerning at this point, but on all other fronts, development has been steady. The show touched base on the costumes, the music, and Sally-chan’s eventual acceptance of the club, while hinting at their climax debut at the mall. Although I complain about within-episode pacing, the overall pace of the show has been quite well balanced and mapped out. The development of the yosakoi club has been steady and gradual, and I’m surprised they’ve put this much detail into the formation of the club, the recruitment, and the training, all very neatly packed into 7 episodes thus far.

Before we close though, I would like to point out a few weird things that popped up this episode. First, what is up with this scene? When I first saw this, I seriously thought Hanayamata was getting serious and having Yaya rub one out while thinking of Naru. However, it was really just bad scene composition that gave the wrong ideas. Second, Yaya’s band seems to have come and gone without much impact at all. Their only purpose was to highlight Yaya’s success and hurt her pride, without much life beyond that. To me, it was a tacked on anime-original device that was the result of hasty writing. I doubt we’ll be seeing more of them now that they’ve disbanded, but at least we can now focus on Yaya being part of yosakoi.

Anyways, what do you guys think? Did you like the heavy Yaya drama this episode? What do you guys think about the band and the lamp scene? Finally, what is up with Tokiwa and will she get as much development as the other members? Answer away in the comments!




  1. im still waiting for machi to join the club and see some decent dance animation like in the OP sequence.

    oddly enough, i find tami and naru’s voice actress awkward when speaking. are they new to this?

    1. They are not really new, although Naru’s voice actress, Ueda Reina, didn’t have any main roles before (except for her main role in the short movie Harmonie).
      Tami’s voice actress, Ootsubo Yuka, just doesn’t seem to be used to play ojou-sama characters. Her best known role is probably Toshinou Kyouko (Yuru Yuri) and she worked great for her.

  2. The feels is strong in this episode. Yaya feels depressed that her only outlet to be cool in front of her beloved Naru is gone, little does she know Naru will always see her as the cool and awesome BFF no matter what.

    Machi will join sooner or later, Azu-nyan after all didn’t become a formal band member until episode 9.

    PS Sally-chan’s mail address costs less than the price of a few customized narukos. XD

  3. Episodes like these really make me thankful that my high school/teenager days are an ancient relic of the past.

    Good god.

    P.S. Damn tsundere’s… ugh. I feel like suplexing one of them whenever one of them starts yammering about their crap.

  4. I think Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow has arrived earlier than expected…

    “I’m sure that the neuroi core will be destroyed by overwhelming cuteness. Let’s show the Lieutenant.”

    “Lt., we just came up with a new tactic and new formation to destroy the neuroi cores….”


    A strange switch has been flipped in Lt. Machi’s core……

  5. Yeah, I could use a breather episode as well. Y’know, just seeing the girls have fun with each other. Hopefully next episode will bring that, as it has the potential to be hilarious.

    That’s not to say I thought the drama (or melodrama) was bad per se. It was to be expected that Yaya had to work through some issues before she could be more than a in-name-only member (and at least the drama felt genuine for their age-range). I quite liked the moment too when Naru blew up at her – that’s the angriest we’ve seen her yet. My, how far we’ve come. And as for the band, well, I suppose their role in the story is proportional to how important their members thought it was. I can appreciate that the band didn’t break up because of some other big drama, but simply because Yaya was the only one to still give a damn.

    And with the lamp scene, where were you with your mind XD?

  6. What do you guys think about the band and the lamp scene?
    – There is nothing wrong with the lamp scene. You can clearly see that she’s picking up her cellphone from her skirt. The scene also so short that I can’t think anything out of it. Context wise, why would you think Yaya will do that after the sad scene. I really wonder how could you see it in that way…..

    – The band served their purpose well.

    – The Yaya’s drama here actually get toned down from the same scene in manga version. In anime, some cruel sentenses (from Yaya) toward Naru are cut out. Yaya also show more emotion in the manga version during that scene.

  7. To me, it was a tacked on anime-original device that was the result of hasty writing.

    Why do you keep calling it anime-original? Yaya being in a band is a fundamental aspect of her character: the anime didn’t make that up. As for “not having much impact” did you even watch this episode? The breakup of the band, and thus Yaya’s loss of her dream, caused everything that happened here.

    First, what is up with this scene? When I first saw this, I seriously thought Hanayamata was getting serious and having Yaya rub one out while thinking of Naru. However, it was really just bad scene composition that gave the wrong ideas.

    …No, I’m pretty sure all this does is say something about you, not about the scene. Frankly, this is not something I would ever have expected you to say. There was a buzz from her cellphone, and she reached down into her pocket to to take it out and see what it was. I wouldn’t have even thought it was possible to misinterpret it until reading what you just said, and I find it rather unsettling that your first thought was that things were going “that” way rather than something reasonable.

    1. I believe the band itself as a “presence” is anime original and that the band members don’t even show up in the original material. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that was what I read from my own sources.

      Also, funny you say that, because Zephyr just tweeted that he thought the same thing. For us, seeing awkward placement of elements like that is supposed to be meaningful–when it’s not, it creates a dissonance that doesn’t do the show a service. It’s great that you didn’t think anything of it, but from the few conversations I’ve had with some friends, they’ve all brought it up in passing.

      1. I have read a number of reactions to this episode. This is the first time I have seen anyone say they thought anything inappropriate was going on in that scene. Did you not have your volume turned up high enough to hear her phone buzz? The scene follows directly from what happened immediately before it, it makes perfect sense in the context of both the preceding scene and the following scene(while what you somehow thought was going on would not have), and maintained the mood that was established. Why you would think this series in particular would somehow have a completely out of context masturbation scene after the sad moment immediately beforehand defies my understanding.

        How both you and Zephyr could somehow come to that conclusion, a conclusion that seems completely alien to ones I would expect the two of you to draw, I cannot begin to fathom. I have seen dozens of reactions to this episode, yet until now no one has indicated that they thought anything like this. The evidence in the show doesn’t support the conclusion.

  8. I thought Stilts was supposed to be the dirty-minded one around here, but apparently he’s got company…
    I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the amount of time spent with the band seeing as it was basically a given that Yaya would join in the Yosakoi at their expense (I suppose she could have tried to do both). If the band is anime original then what kept Yaya from joining in the original?

    1. The band isn’t anime-original. Yaya was indeed in a band in the manga and it was just as important to her there as it was here. From what I can understand, Zani’s complaint is that the scenes involving the band’s members are anime-original: apparently they were never shown in the manga? I couldn’t say for sure, since only six chapters have been translated so far.

  9. Yes, I could certainly use a breath from the drama. It wasn’t particularly bad or anything but some fluff would do it good.
    I mean, I can understand Yaya’s tsundere, but the way she acted is too ugly to write is off as a cute quirk. I mean, her best friend fell down to the ground crying heartbroken after that and she’s like “sorry ’bout earlier, ‘k?”.
    I don’t hate her character or anything but I’d be happy to get an episode without the drama and showing how she actually improved after the experience.

    Also, usagimimi, inumimi and kitsunemimi KITA!! Too bad about the missed opportunity with the nekomimi ;3

  10. Personally, I felt episode 5 was enough of a breather episode if the show needed one. Sure, it had its pep talks, but there wasn’t really that much in the way of drama and it was an overall lighthearted episode.

    Anyway, I think the whole fight with Yaya was handled really well. Yaya does seem like the sort of prideful person who would take offense to Naru and Hana trying to comfort her or assume empathy for her, as if they were looking down on her for not being part of their yosakoi club. It’s obviously not their intention, but sometimes, trying too hard to comfort or empathize with someone only pushes them away further, as it happened with Yaya here. As for what does work, simply telling her how much they care about her and want to be with her was definitely the right way to go, and it all worked out well in the end.

    I would like to see a more definitive role given to the band members, though. But who knows, they might show up again later.

  11. In contrary I think this is one of the better drama episode in Hanayamata (a breather episode after this would be very nice though), probably mostly because I regard Yaya pretty highly as a character and I could understand the reasoning of her action this time (although one or two of her line is a little bit overblown).

    No, the rest of the characters weren’t bad, I think they’re developing better than similar series. However, I still think that Naru and Tami voice acting are quite unnatural, which sadly kills a lot of drama points in every scene involving them talking and squealing (for me at least). Funnily I have little problem with Hana (although blond-loli character usually takes the blame for the most unbearable helium voices in other series), while I found Yaya’s VA is pitch perfect for her character. I liked all of them as a group though.

    Btw, add me to the list of people who can’t see the problem with the Yaya in the bedroom scene.


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