Synonyms: Yozakura Shijuusou, Quartet of Cherry Blossoms in the Night
Japanese: 夜桜四重奏 ～ヨザクラカルテット～
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 3, 2008 to Dec 19, 2008
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.001 (scored by 14326 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisWhen demons walk the streets, the cops need to recruit more demons!
In a town where humans and demons co-exist, it takes more than a normal police force to maintain the peace. Enter the Hiizumi Life Counseling Office, a fantastic foursome of unique teenagers, each gifted with an amazing super power! Since it sometimes takes real demon-fire to fight demon fire, the first three quarters of the team aren't exactly human: Ao, a cat-eared telepath; Kotoha, a half-human conjuror; and Hime, descended from a dragon (and the town's acting mayor), all of whom also happen to be delightfully female.
Rounding out the group is the token male and human, Akina, the office director and "Oyakume," capable of banishing spirits permanently (and from their point of view quite fatally) via a process called tuning. They may not look as impressive as some other superhero teams, and they certainly don't have the most dynamic name ever, but come hell hounds or high water, but they will defend their city!
Related AnimeAdaptation: Yozakura Quartet
Alternative version: Yozakura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi, Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta
Characters & Voice Actors
Yozakura Quartet is an extremely odd show, and you'll be forgiven for scratching your head and wondering what the hell was going on come the end of the show.
The series began life as a manga by Suzuhito Yasuda that was published by Kodansha in Japan, and by Del Rey in the US. Prior to the manga, Suzuhito worked as the character designer on Kuwashima Yoshikazu's series Kamisama Kazoku, and Yozakura Quartet is his first solo work.
The anime was directed by Matsuo Kou (Kure-nai, Rozen Maiden, Red Garden, Dead Girls), and shows some of the trademarks of Matsuo's directorial skill.
The story is very similar to that of Rosario + Vampire, in that a human boy is living in a town with Youkai (vampires, oni, etc,), however it differs from R+V in numerous ways, not the least of which is the fact that the human boy, Hizumi Akina, is not helpless, and actually has a position of authority within the town. Akina works on behalf of the town's elders as chief of the "Youkai Life Consulation Office" with Nanami Ao (a satori who has the ability to read minds), and Isone Kotoha (a hanyou, or half human-youkai). Together with Akina's childhood friend Yarisakura Hime, who is the "mayor" of the town and a descendant of a dragon, the four manage the everyday needs of the town, and work to protect it's residents from youkai who have gone out of control.
The big problem with this show is that, even though it had quite a lot of potential, the story jumps around far too much and nothing is ever really explained. Now, a show like Aria can get away with not explaining things, but a show like this needs some solid reasons for the actions of it's protagonists. The most the audience is given are hints though, which may lead you to believe that an explanation is forthcoming (prepare to be disappointed though). The main antagonist for example, Enjin, has taken over the body of Akina and Hime's best friend Gin, however there is very little explanation as to who Enjin is, or about why he chose Gin. Little is known about the friendship between Akina, Hime and Gin, even though this plays a direct role in confrontations with Enjin.
The animation for Yozakura Quartet is extremely well done. The animation is smooth, even during the fight scenes, and the CG that is in the show is oft times seamless and indistinguishable from the normal animation. The characters in Yozakura Quartet are reflective of the fact that Suzuhito worked on Kamisama Kazoku as the influence from that manga/anime is very clear, especially in the faces.
The sound is actually very impressive on the whole. Director Matsuo Kou has very clearly drawn on his experience with Kure-nai, as the VAs had recorded their lines prior to the show being animated. This means that conversations and arguments are often a lot more complex than other anime, and brings a sense of realism to the characters that is often missing. The effects are also of a very high standard, and can sometimes set the tone of a scene without the need for visuals.
My one gripe with the sound, and the reason I didn't give this section a higher score, is the fact that although the music was pretty decent on the whole, there was too much of it. There are many scenes in the show where the same track plays, almost to the point where it becomes annoying. This track is played during many dramatic or tense moments, and often ruins the mood of the scene as it doesn't really fit with the characters or actions/events.
The characters are fairly average on the whole. There are no original or excellent characters in this show, and many seem to fall into one stereotype or another. The one character who annoyed me the most was Akina, especially where Enjin is concerned. It was disappointing to see that there was little to no growth for almost all the characters, even Akina and Hime, and that Akina was the stereottypical male lead who can't make a decision on his own.
That said, the show is enjoyable to a certain degree. I enjoyed watching it for the most part, but not as much as I was hoping. Because of it's inability to stick to the point, and the wishy-washy nature of it's characters, I found this show somewhat disappointing. I have given it a good rating only on the basis of it's animation and sound (which would have been higher if the show hadn't played that damn song all the time).
Fans of Rosario + Vampire or Kure-nai may enjoy this show, but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who wants a strong story with great characters.
It's truly a shame that a show with such potential should be let down in this way. read more
There are few times when an avid anime fan goes into something expecting so much and gets so little in return. Yozakura Quartet happens to be one such example. Based on a much more highly acclaimed manga, the first episode starts off with all one could expect from a show that could deliver. Interesting, well-drawn characters centered around at least a moderately unique plotline. The music and sound quality are top notch and there are even early introductions to romance possibilities.
However, as some stories tend to do, that’s when the train leaves the tracks. Yozakura Quartet is about a group of young people (there are 5 of them actually, and originally 6 so the title really makes no sense) who protect a town that harbors both humans and Youkai. An evil Youkai, who has possessed the body of the best friend of two of the members, is out to seek the destruction of the town and bring about an era of all-Youkai rule, essentially snuffing out humans.
The first few episodes start slowly and then immediately we’re introduced to Enjin, the protagonist, who it turns out is far stronger than they. There’s no real room for development or explanation of how they’re related and it seemed to me that maybe this should have been a 24 episode series. But for some inexplicable reason, the story decides to stick with random fights throughout the rest of the series, leading to mindless, repetitious dialogue that we could have seen coming using “fill-in-the-blanks.” The heroes never grow in strength as the finale comes either, so the ending is an extreme example of dues ex machina, which is like a death warrant for any anime anyway. There are too many characters to fill the time slots, the relationships between the characters don’t grow an inch and several of the plot lines are never resolved.
There were some good things. As said before, the music was excellent and the ladies were very nice to look at – they were anything but bland or clichéd. The villain and his sidekick were diabolical and deserved a better defeat. And the art really was stunning in several points of the anime.
All in all, though, this was an anime that was a disappointment far greater than a regular bad show, because it had potential and went nowhere.
Opening Theme"JUST TUNE" by savage genius
Ending Theme"Nagareboshi (ナガレボシ; Shooting Star)" by ROUND TABLE featuring Nino
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