Friday, 26 August 2016
ANIME REVIEW: HANAYAMATA COMPLETE COLLECTION
Hanayamata Complete Collection
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Running Time: 300 Mins
Audio: English DD 5.1 Japanese DD 2.0
Release Date: 29/8/2016
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes
Sekuya Naru thought life would change when she went to high school, but she's still the same average grade girl who wants more from her life. She likes fairy tales, getting books on them from the library, which annoys her father, but makes her happy. Naru always sees Yaya, the girl who excels at everything, who wins competitions and is loved by all. Naru would love to one day be like her, but if life doesn't change for her then, she thinks it is unlikely it would now that she's at high school.
Now that is about to change after Naru is asked by her father to deliver a bag of goodies to the Nishimikado residence. On her way back from the mansion, she meets a girl who she thinks is a fairy, maybe she's her fairy godmother? The fairy tells her she has come for her, though the message gets lost in translation and Naru is amazed when the same girl turns up in her class announcing herself as Hana N. Fountainsand. More than anything, Naru wants to be dazzling and Hana tells her she can, but what she wants is for her to dance with her. This is where things get complicated as Naru doesn't know how to dance (nor has the interest in learning) and Hana keeps bugging her.
At first I thought this series would turn into another K'on school drama revolving around music-making, instead it is a look at what would happen if a person's dreams of being popular came true. Not only is Naru average to her friends, she doesn't do what others consider fun and isn't part of any groups. Naru's supposed to have friends, but she mainly hangs around with Yaya who though popular has an ego big enough to dwarf the school. She points out her faults and uses her to do the things she can't be bothered to. By the second episode, Yaya is jealous that Naru spends so much time with Hana and what makes it worse is she's also noticed she's much happier when she's around Hana.
Hana's following Naru around causes most girls in the school to at first think they are a lesbian couple, but Hana shows she wants her to be happy, and thinks that if she joins her dance club and invites other members of her class to join with her, her life will change for the better. Naru, with help from Hana gets Yaya to join too once she gets over her initial jealousy at her having more than one best friend and has she's joined, this also encourages a couple more to join too, which means more friends for Naru. As a slice of life seinen style comedy series, I can see why this would be popular with both men and women as men can see how the trials that girls of that age go through and what can happen when one person has a lot of influence for the better.
Bonus Material: Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation, Also Available from Sentai Filmworks; Glasslipp, La Corda d'oro - Blue Sky, Hidomari Sketch - Honeycomb & Hayate the Combat Butler - Heaven is a Place on Earth.
Summary: Get a good dose of comedy this Bank Holiday weekend with Hanayamata - you won't regret letting Hana, Naru and Yaya into your life!