Hanayamata – 12 [End]

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…paatto paatto…

Welcome back to the final episodic review of HaNaYaMaTa! I hope everyone has enjoyed talking about this show, so with that in mind, let’s get down to our finale….


Leading On

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Machi: You think she can jump from that jet?  Naru: sure

Well, like it or not, the founding memeber is well and gone, and the girls must take to heart that it’s time to step up and lead forward. They remain positive if not completely happy in the face of this lose. You could see, especially in Naru, that some of the life of the group has been taken out. Which is only natural, as a friend moving on, and being absent can have that effect. So as established last episode, they fight on both for themselves and for their absent friend.

This is a reflective part of the episode, with Naru firmly in mind. She knows she isn’t Hana, and won’t even come close. But it takes a stop by the very shrine where the two first met to galvanize her mind towards something different. She has to become a better her, something which the entire show has been building up to. This was nicely bridged to a later scene where she was the one to pick up the spirits of the lagging Machi. Ah, youth, they have to shine, and be somewhat embarrassed by it in the bargain.

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yeah, I’m yosakoi now, don’t need the keion…

And so this is what the show did very well. From the first two episodes we had a clear mind as to what was happening. Most of us were anxious for some full animation dance sequences, but they set the tenor early on, didn’t they? This was about the nakama build. With that in mind, it’s good to see much of the characterization pay off. All of the characters possessed some differing levels of confidence in themselves at the beginning, and through their efforts, both as individuals and as a group, manage to find more. They became faster friends as a result, and even with so much convenient drama, that point of light in the show never faltered or faded. We liked these girls, and wanted to see the hard work pay off…

And that is something that I cannot underscore enough. This type of storytelling works best when left alone. People are interesting in and of their own right, and really don’t need to have sudden drama to draw back the curtains and rain down a shaft of spotlight to make the problems more clear and the resolution more bright. They simply have to be ;as we all make our inch by inch progression we tell a story. And so do these characters.

Leading Towards

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“It’s someone calling themselves Handa-sensei……what do I do?”

Before even watching this episode, I knew Hana would make a dramatic comeback. It was in the cards, and you don’t have to be a genius blackjack counter to see it coming. We all knew this. In a world where Dah Dah Daaah moments happen and are solved by the simplest of solutions, an expensive airfare from JFK to Narita happens with the snap of the fingers, or when you realize your daughter didn’t even confide in you. A state of affairs not to uncommon, especially in this episode as Naru was just as hush-hush with her own parents. At this point, I have to confess being a non-Japanese viewer with at least some knowledge of the fact that their teens are encouraged to be far more independent. But does this excuse this sort of trope?

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Drama Walls have no effect on New Jersy yousei

You know, probably as much as anyone I wanted to be really excited and pinned to my seat watching a very gripping and close to the wire finish. This had all the earmarks for it. But, as we’ve talked about in the past three or four weeks, the show has left a trail of these sorts of moments in it’s wake. The 11th hour flight, the traffic stops, the phone call that finally connected, the race through the neighborhood, the stop by a cop. They should have worked. But we’ve already seen this sort of suspense play out. It was weak tea then, and even a few more dunks in the mug won’t make a stronger cup when the leaves aren’t of good quality. A shame really. I can’t even really think up a substitute for this. It’s a model that just shouldn’t really work the way they built it. You have to ask, why isn’t the very real effort of building up the resources to perform like this interesting and dramatic enough?

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So, it was kinda like Capture the Flag

But at this point, we come to the grande finale. Of the finally if you are so disposed. Yeah, we got dancing. If you count a re-tread of the OP we’ve already seen so many times, and a acrobatic leap into it as a kicker. Sure. There are two minds for this. One, this is what the show has been broadcasting all along, or two, we just go with a failure. For me, given some poor writing during the last few episode, I’m coming up failure. And again, it’s a shame. The anticipation was there, the yosakoi had to be understood as being a draw to an audience that is built from curiosity and the novel. The cast scouted, watched routines on tape or TV. There could have been some very bold moments of the dance in there somewhere. I guess the creative staff felt that anything worth watching would have been so amazing as to underfoot what the club would have come up with. But you can make a very strong story point out of just that….

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<click for larger image>

Just a few things more

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Well, here we are. You know, I don’t like to be a negative writer. For one thing, it’s boring. It’s boring and to just slag on something for paragraph after paragraph is such a waste of time for everyone. It’s much more interesting to discover and talk about how stories tick. That tick can be down to skilled craft and cunning timing, or it can be a clock in dead need of a rewind. No matter what, I find that looking into what works and what doesn’t work to be a better way to spend time. With that in mind there were things this show did very well, and some things which is did very badly. How that works out in the end is up to you. Week to week I enjoyed spending time with this program as I found that the positive things outweighed many of the negative, and the overall attitude of the show kept me going. Bad writing will always be that, and we can see how that turns out. But in leaving, I want to focus on what worked, and that was a strong cast of characters that set out to do something grand, and have fun doing it. To that end, I think Hanayamata did very well, and that is they way I want to think on it….

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Happy Ending….

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…or Slappy Ending….

Thanks for Watching!


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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13 Responses to “Hanayamata – 12 [End]”

  1. Wanderer says:

    Just because you can predict how the events will turn out doesn’t keep them from being touching. The failure is only in your mind. Final episode gets 10 out of 10 for feels. Don’t be such a cynical cat-bird and open your heart to the show a bit more.

    • skylion says:

      …no the failure is in the show…bad writing. I understood all the feels from word one. They were underfooted by bad writing. As far as having an open heart, been doing this for three months on the show, digging on the bad, but trumpeting the good…Can’t have a heart more open than that.

      • Wanderer says:

        The problem is that you think things are bad that aren’t bad.

        • skylion says:

          Shoehorned plot points are good writing techniques? I admit no guilt in calling out poor story construction for this show. They used very cheap melodrama to make what they felt to be a more interesting story. It didn’t need those things, and as a result much of the natural drama of the show fell flat. This wasn’t a natural character progression of Yui forgetting her guitar before the big gig, as her character was established to doing something just like that. This was gotcha moments easily developed and easily resolved. Bad.

          Now if you enjoyed the show for what you saw, I genuinely am behind that. It did have great moments that are worth the feels and very much worth discussing. I also feel the bad ones are worth it as well….I don’t want to dog on someone, because that’s just insipid and not at all fun. If you have a take, I will listen.

  2. Foshizzel says:

    This episode and the series has just been


    I liked the drama moments even though some of them were a tad bit forced and by forced I mean I saw that whole bit about Hana eventually having to return to America a mile away because I have seen that before, but hey it works and is realistic vs something like AnoHana’s finale MEEENAAAIAAAA TEARS WAAAHH EVERYONE SCREAM PLEASE!

    I would complain about the actual dancing bit being completely ripped from the opening, but I think that was Madhouse saving money which is fine the visuals every week were mind-blowing to look at <3

    I still classify Hanayamata as a "sports" anime because it has a very same formula of X character is bad at everything and fails to succeed; however they find a unique club that pushes them to try something new and eventually they discover a hidden talent inside of them, but that is just how I viewed things LOL

    10/10 great series with no dull moments and lots of YOU CAN DO IT vibes that inspire us to never give up and try new things!

    • skylion says:

      Wait, an energetic American teenage girl not complaining about being taken away from the thing she loves is realistic? Mine got pissed when phone privileges were taken for a day. LOL. And Ano Hana..they had years worth of tears bottled up man…and a contractual obligation to say the name Menma at least twelve times each in those last five minutes…

  3. thorgriim says:

    So lets see..

    This episode wasn’t bad, seeing the whole team work without Hana around was a bit sad, but they finally put all their hard work together to make Hana proud of them. I enjoyed seeing the episode play out from start to just before Hana find her way back. The bit with Naru looking up at the shrine where she meet Hana and where it all started for her to ‘change’, this would have to be one of my favorite scenes in this episode. Though my second would be the moment Hana ran toward the stage, it was almost like it was all ..staged, and might I add.. it was a pretty darn awesome performance, those umbrellas added more coolness to it as well.

    Now for the series, like many others, certain drama moments felt forced, #1 being Hana going home. Couldn’t she stay with her dad that was already staying behind? (Though I thought they where going to live as a family?), anyways, I felt this was added to add more drama, which didn’t matter because she returned anyways so was it really to make us feel?. I’d be more shocked to see Hana Not show up, and watch the 4 girls dancing from her America home. To me that would be an emotional scene, But also give Hana that “there will still be hope!” Though I didn’t mind this forced drama even though I knew Hana was going to show up at the end hehe. There where a few others but this one was the main one I had, and I rather not bore ya with all the details.

    The series itself wasn’t bad, lots of emotional moments, strong cast of characters, Cute girls dancing, and some drama! Favorite characters would have to be Hana, she really made Naru open up and take her first steps to become more confident and sparkler. I also Loved Naru, her Shyness was ultimate cuteness and watching her grow throughout the series. Though my ultimate Favorite being Machi, she was great! She brought the team closer(make them work), and she wanted to look cute while dancing, I mainly liked her glasses I mean ..liked her studious personality, her wanting to be cute or being caught off-guard while doing something cute. This episode getting her pictured taken she acted all cute lol.

    Also.. I actually wasn’t expecting a big performance at the end, and I think if you were that might of made this show more disappointing? Though what did you expect? I was satisfied with what was showed,

    And with that.. this show was a fun cute show with many emotional bits and likable characters, It wasn’t the greatest of the season, but I was quite enjoyable.This series gets a “Enjoyable Watch” rating from me.

    • skylion says:

      Well, I don’t want to come off as if I hated the show. I really didn’t. Broadly speaking…things I hate…I just ignore, less said the better for me.

      I grind into it because I care. I very much loved the premise of Hanayamata. But I hope I was able to point out what tarnished an otherwise wonderful gem.

      • thorgriim says:

        I love “opinions” because without them things would be quite boring, Now I don’t always agree with people, but I enjoy reading what other people thought, neg or positive, I like things to be honest. Reading all praise about a show kinda seems like your trying to sell me something lol. So no worries here Skylion, be negative, hate things, love things, tell me about your loliness I’ll still be here lurking Senpai!

  4. Highway says:

    I really enjoyed the show, and think that it was a lot of fun. I am also someone who is somewhat annoyed by the poor imagination shown by the conflicts they ginned up for the show. Some of them they worked their way out of fairly well, like having the others pick Naru up when she fell in their first performance. Others they set up and knocked down so quickly it was just like they felt they had to stick in something to show everything isn’t all sweetness and light. The arcs for Tami and her father and Machi and Sari were the best ones of the show, the ones for Naru and Hana were the low points.

    I’m glad that it worked out in the end, and that they all got to dance together. Some stuff was kinda dumb, like the bike cop *escorting* Hana while she ran (don’t give her a ride or anything!). I do wish they’d done more dancing animation (and they didn’t have the best move shown in their final dance, the long shot at the end of the dance part of the OP), but oh well. Just kinda felt like we got short-changed when “Here’s the big dance… and it’s the same scenes you loved in the OP”.

    Final thoughts are that it was a very good show, but could have been better in obvious ways. The OP song is still great, tho.

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