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.
At the beginning of Episode Five, Yaya is surrounded by a number of female students who admire her, wishing her luck for her band’s audition and asking for an autograph. Hana mingles in with the crowd, holding up the club application and saying she wants Yaya’s autograph, too. Naru comes through the crowd, gives Yaya some “puppy dog eyes,” and causes Yaya to agree to join the Yosakoi Club in name only. After I saw that, I found myself thinking how clever both Hana and Naru were in getting Yaya to agree to join. They knew that Yaya wouldn’t be able to resist Naru. Now that all four members are in place, Sally-sensei is forced to follow through on her promise to act as the club’s advisor if they got enough members.
They aren’t able to secure a club room, but Tami has arranged for them to use an area at the top of a stairway that’s near the school roof. When Hana tries to have a practice with the club, Tami points out she and Yaya don’t know anything about yosakoi. Hana drags everyone to the yosakoi shop, where they meet the owner, Masaru. Hana also declares that their group will participate in the upcoming Hanairo Festival, over the objection of Yaya and the hesitancy of Naru. There’s a small time skip from the girls looking at naruko to leaving with their purchases. Hopefully Masaru explained some of the basics of yosakoi to the new girls during the time in the store that we didn’t see!
Tami shows the others a flyer for the Shounan-Yosakoi Festival, which is taking place rather close by. Hana, Naru, and Tami are eager to go. Yaya isn’t, but she gives in when she sees how excited the others are. Sally-sensei has to be contacted because this is a club event, and she needs to be there to chaperone. Near the end of the episode, the club goes to the festival and runs into Masaru. He tells them about another team of girls that’s their age that he helped out when they started. Hearing that from him, I now understand why he was so eager to serve as a mentor to Hana and Naru after he learned that they wanted to dance yosakoi. And as they see the dancers go by, all of the girls but Yaya are impressed by what they see.
Now, was it just me, or was Yaya acting a little on the bitchy side during Episode Five? Her constantly pointing out that she’s a member in name only and her generally dour attitude throughout most of the episode just made her rather unlikable and annoying to me. I really hope Yaya starts learning to genuinely like yosakoi and what the club is doing. Yaya’s still my least favorite character in the series at this point.
But on a better note, I really liked seeing Naru’s declaration about her determination to dance yosakoi with her friends. OK, I admit that Naru becomes flustered after giving her spiel, but she did mean what she said. She’s become more confident of herself than she’s truly come to realize yet.
Outside of Yaya, I did enjoy watching this episode of HaNaYaMaTa. Hopefully I’ll also enjoy watching Episode Six.
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