HaNaYaMaTa – Series Finale (Episode 12) Review – “Hanayamata”
The Hanairo Yosakoi Festival neared, and the girls’ routine was falling into place. However, another obstacle got in the way as Hana’s mother wanted her family to move back to America. To make matters worse, Hana had to leave the very next day. She left a heartfelt letter for Naru and the yosakoi club, but the girls showed up at the airport to see her off anyways. They promised to dance for her at the festival.
It’s the day of the festival, but the girls still aren’t quite used to the dance routine without Hana in it. Naru reassures the girls that it will all be fine. She messed up during their last performance but they were all there to pick her up. Even if they falter this time, it will still be worth the experience.
Meanwhile, Hana races to get to the festival in time to join the girls on stage. If you thought she wasn’t coming back to Japan this week then you really aren’t used to predictable plots. 😛
The skeptic in me wants to cry out “blegh, dramatically over contrived third act plot!” But the other part of me is like “yay so adorbs!” And the latter side is what wins out in this case. HaNaYaMaTa was a great slice of life show about 5 girls enjoying life and friendship in a club. While it didn’t really sell the art form of yosakoi to me (we barely saw any actual dancing), it did bring me many smiles and laughs.
The characters are far too endearing for me too be turned off of the show. While they were still anime characters and the tropes that come along with them, they reacted pretty genuinely to the situations that faced them. Even in the moments where they had grand character building speeches, they were followed up by moments of genuine embarrassment, which is likely what most teenagers would do. I’m glad I decided to finish watching the show, and it’s possible that I might revisit it someday. The finale left it open for a sequel series, but covered enough that it was a conclusion that we can take without complaint.
Series Recommendation: Stream It.