HaNaYaMaTa: Episode 4 – “Princess/Princess”

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 Four has a strong focus on Naru’s friend, Tami. She’s there when the student council president tells Hana and Naru that they can’t use the school roof to practice yokasoi anymore. Fortunately, Tami is able to convince the council to let them use it for a little while longer until they can find somewhere else to go.

We learn that Tami comes from a very strict and well-to-household, and that she’s busy with various lessons and studying. It turns out she does all the things she does in order to try to get her father’s approval and love. This ends up playing a very important role in the episode.

Hana gets the idea to invite Tami to join their club, and acts on that idea when she sees how well Tami can dance from the ballet lessons she received back when she was in elementary school. Tami finds herself torn: on the one hand, she wants to please her father, but on the other, she seems to be genuinely interested in participating with her long-time friend Naru.

Tami’s conflict ends up being the driving force of this episode, and I think this was done rather believably. However, she does seem to be a little too fixated on having her father’s approval, but it’s just the way that she’s lived since she was a child.

There’s a very powerful scene near the end of the episode that takes place between Naru and Tami. This scene ultimately shows that Naru is starting to gain a little more confidence in herself in comparison to her confidence level in the first three episodes.

After watching this episode, it appears that Yaya can get jealous of any other girl that Naru is friends with. During a scene with Naru, Yaya, and Haru, Yaya looks a bit jealous when she hears Naru going on and on about Tami and how she thinks so highly of her. It seems to me that Yaya really needs to learn to be a little less possessive of Naru as a friend and stop being so jealous of other people who are also Naru’s friends. At this point, Yaya is probably my least favorite character.

I also want to add that we learn the student council president’s name is Machi, and we get to see her interacting with Tami without the others around. It turns out Machi is more than the strict student council president that we had seen prior to this point. Hopefully we’ll get to have more character development for Machi in a later episode.

I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I’m enjoying HaNaYaMaTa, because it’s really exceeding the expectations I had when I started watching it. I also want to add that the opening theme song for this series is very catchy, and I enjoy getting to hear it each week when I watch the series.

From seeing the preview for Episode Five, it looks like the overarching story will be progressing. I can’t wait to see where this story will end up going next.

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