HaNaYaMaTa: Episode 2 – “Jealousy Rose!”

HaNaYaMaTa is an anime series that features a 14-year-old girl named Naru Sekiya as the main character. She likes fairy tales and is worried about her lack of other interests; her worries are compounded by the fact that her friend, Yaya, is so talented. One day, Naru encounters a blond-haired girl named Hana, who is dancing yosakoi. Hana transfers into Naru and Yaya’s class, and she keeps pestering Naru to dance yosakoi.

Episode Two sees Naru and Hana becoming closer friends, and Yaya is becoming more and more jealous as Naru spends more time with Hana. Yaya doesn’t admit to herself that she’s jealous for the majority of the episode.

Meanwhile, Hana becomes rather pushy about things with Naru. Since Naru isn’t willing to argue much, Hana tends to get things she wants. First, it’s insisting that they meet at Naru’s house to discuss strategy to attract more people for yosakoi. Then, it’s pestering Naru to go with her to a yosakoi shop after school; however, when they find a big guy who acts like a Japanese yakuza standing in front of the place, they don’t go in.

Yaya’s jealousy gets so bad that she tells Naru that she can never dance yosakoi, because she’s a wimp and has been timid since she was little. Naru surprises both Yaya and Hana when she declares that she’ll learn how to dance yosakoi in a week and will prove to Yaya that she can do it. However, it turns out this is easier said than done…

Right now, I have to say that I’m finding Hana to be a bit on the annoying side with how pushy she is; no amount of cute looks that she gives in the episode make up for how pushy she’s being. Admittedly, this pushiness does help Naru find the strength she needs to stand up for herself and to take a chance on learning yosakoi. While Hana needed to give her a nudge, I wish she could’ve dialed it back a little.

By the end of Episode Two, Yaya is more supportive of Naru wanting to dance, but she still doesn’t accept Hana yet. From what I saw in the preview, it looks like Episode Three will still see Yaya butting heads with Hana.

So far, HaNaYaMaTa continues the storytelling that I saw in Episode One. There’s a good mixture of humor and drama, and there’s still more going on here than “cute girls doing cute things.” I have to admit that during one scene early on in the episode, it felt like it was starting to veer more in that direction; fortunately, after that scene, there was actual plot and character development taking place again.

HaNaYaMaTa still seems to be showing a bit of potential, and even with Hana’s annoying trait of being pushy, I’m still interested in wanting to watch Episode Three to find out what’s going to happen next.

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