HaNaYaMaTa: Episode 7 – “Girl Identity”

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 until she finally relents. After some effort, Hana is finally able to establish a Yosakoi Club at school that includes Hana, Naru, and two friends of Naru’s (Tami and Yaya, though Yaya says she’s a member in name only).

There’s two stories in this episode that ultimately dovetail together at the end. Hana, Naru, and Tami work at trying to come up with costumes for them to wear, which they’re able to get through help from Machi, the student council president.

But the bigger storyline, which is the main emphasis of the episode, is on Yaya. She’s bummed about the band not making it past the audition, but she’s thrown for a loop when it’s announced that the band is breaking up. I just had a sense after watching Episode Six that the band would probably break up for some reason, and Episode Seven proved that my prediction was correct.

Yaya distances herself from the others, and when occasions come up where the others try to interact with her, Yaya acts rather bitchy; personally, Yaya’s attitude for most of this episode annoyed me greatly and I almost wished there was a way I could smack her. Yaya’s bitchiness culminates with Yaya yelling at Naru that she hates her and the other two. Of course, Naru’s feelings are very hurt by this, and even quiet Naru lashes out. It almost looks like the Yosakoi Club could come to an end before it even gets going.

This has definitely been one of the most dramatic episodes of HaNaYaMaTa up to this point. While the episode with Tami had been dramatic at points, it was nowhere near as dramatic as this episode. The drama in this episode ultimately helped to develop the characters of Yaya and Naru more. Prior to this episode, Naru wouldn’t have blown up at Yaya as she did here. I was glad to see her starting to develop a backbone and standing up for herself. Yaya did say some things that were rather hateful and mean, and I think she got what she deserved when Naru yelled at her.

I’m still continuing to enjoy HaNaYaMaTa, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this story will continue to progress.

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