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!
The Yozakura Quartet franchise has been an odd ball in the mix. Some classifies it as a supernatural comedy while others sees it as a fun series with shounen battles featuring a diverse cast of characters. While the series itself doesn’t venture too far or drag like long term battle shounen series, it does take some patience to get used to. Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta is one prominent example of where it’ll take more than patience to get through the show. It’ll take endurance to get yourself familiar with the themes. Once you do, you might find a little charm in this show. As
far as that goes, Yozakura Quartet still is like a stinger on a bee that might not always work out right.
Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta is a brand new anime series based off of the manga of the same name. The series stands out on its own so it’s not completely necessary to watch the previous seasons or OVAs. Tatsunoko Production adapts the season that has its long history of animation production tracing back to the 1960s. Their more recent works such as Gatchaman Crowds also adapts supernatural themes into a modern life setting where everything seems normal at first; that is until the extraordinary strikes into the core of the story.
Bizarre may be interpreted as an overrated word for a show like this but it never escapes as the way it describes its style.
The story begins exactly as such in a bizarre way involving fish tanks, pigeons, and something we might be more familiar with – youkai. The way it sets it up makes viewers confused at first. This is especially true for viewers coming completely fresh into the show without expectations. What follows later makes more sense as we see other characters jumping into the problem and resolving it in their own little ways. They even get their rewards too such as enjoying the Sakura Festival. Because hey, we all need a break to enjoy ourselves after a day of hard work.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Yozakura franchise, one key factor to consider would be the diversity of its characters. Among the center of its cast are four main characters by the names of Akina, Hime, Ao, and Kotoha. While they seem normal at first with their teenager like outlooks, all of them have supernatural abilities. Not only that but one of them, Hime Yarizakura, stands as the protector of their city Sakurashin. Because youkai co-exists with humans, one should expect danger at all times as nothing is considered ordinary. For Hime, she plays the role of a guardian/mayor and the anti-thesis of a frail girl. She charges into the face of danger and puts others before herself. In one instance, she even tries to escape the hospital despite being injured. In her mind, it’s her duty and responsibility to protect the people she loves.
It’s not a surprise that most of the main female characters defies the typical fragile girl trope either. It’s bizarre since most of them are teenagers and aren’t fully matured yet, or at least at the age of the adolescence stage. Even bystanders at some cases that gets indirectly involved with the youkai displays some of their tendencies to help others. It’s bizarre to see on various levels with the fact that youkai are a threat to its citizens of the city yet people are willing to risk their lives. Normally in supernatural series, you would see people rushing away from scenes of danger. In Yozakura, it’s the opposite way around. But as much as fun as the series goes with its whole supernatural themes, it still falls under the typical story involving teenagers obtaining powers in a generic setting. Antagonists are stereotypical with their own ideologies and causing menace to the city’s people. Their physical appearances also reflects their actions that speaks louder than words. Although it sparks some interest at first, they can become dull as the story goes on with limited exploration of their character backgrounds or origins. It also opens up the fact that their lack of personalities gives them a hollow part to the main story. The resolution to most conflicts literally turns a villain into an ally that becomes repetitive to comprehend. While it stands out as a justification for their actions, there’s limited amount of characterization afterwards. On other hand, Akina Hiizumi is perhaps one character that has some depth with his own conditional way of thinking such as concepts involving destiny. Unfortunately, the majority of the characters in the show still lacks dynamics. The male characters are also portrayed as jokes on various occasions such as Kyousuke Kishi thanks to his powers.
If you’re into the story, the series does go into depth with some of its concepts. In between are some episodes that may feel a bit repetitive or oddly paced. The series itself is also only 13 episodes (one cour) but surprisingly adapts quite a lot of material from the manga in the form of packages/arcs. Along with adaptation, it even manages to insert various comedy scenes too to raise attention. While it doesn’t overly express fan service, the series doesn’t avoid with the pool outdoors. On the other hand, it sticks to its themes fairly well with the supernatural features. Although the story is predictable on various occasions, it can still be surprisingly entertaining thanks to its fluid action scenes and energy. On a more technical scale however, the story sometimes lacks details in terms of explanation. It also neglects a serious atmosphere on most occasions despite the dangers of the youkai. Perhaps the amount of energy the show possesses is too much for the story to stands for itself. Hime is just one prominent example but other characters also pours their ebullience to reflect its atmosphere. A mixed bag is also the comedy – some of them oddly coordinated while others works out quite well to make its point. This usually involves the character interactions, dialogues, and in general the way they play their parts in the story. While some characters don’t stand out as much as the others, comic relief is a prevalence of the franchise and is executed decently. Get ready to grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the laughs.
Artwork is not a prominent factor but does play a key theme to reflect its style. It’s important for the show to depict its supernatural themes. Surprisingly enough, it did pull it off in that fashion. Youkai are designed not only with otherworldly features but also giving their malevolent appearances. None of them looks the same and offers a diversity of characteristics. The way the antagonists are designed also conveys their efforts well. On the other hand, fan service sometimes gets in the way as female characters are characterized with more sexuality than they should be. The background textures also seems average as nothing stands out as extraordinary or noticeable. Hime on the other hand has that noticeable scarf wrapped around her neck with a more definite meaning.
The soundtrack is solid for most parts. The OST performs well mostly during its action scenes but fades in the background during more of the calm scenes. There are some emotional scenarios in the series as well and the soundtrack reflects its mood consistently. However, it lacks the concept of originality with portraying shounen battle sequences. Cheesy dialogues are inserted in during fight scenes while the whole stereotypical laughs from the antagonists are echoed in the air. The OP song is quite catchy with its presentation and the memorable “lalalala” that once again reflects its comedic mood. And as I mentioned before, there is a diverse cast of characters so each of them should reflect a different sense of tone in their voice mannerisms. Most of the characters has their standards met. Hime in particular stands out with her tone as a girl with responsibility. Kotoha Isone is also a character to take notice of because of her ability that relies on words itself that are spoken. On most parts, the soundtrack and voices works out right but nothing earth shattering.
In the end, Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta is one of those series that will strike out as bizarre yet appreciable. There’s that word again but it fits with the show right with its story, character, themes, and overall presentation. I won’t say this show is for everyone but shounen fans should definitely appreciate the style. The comedy can be appreciating with the drama and diversity of characters. On the other hand, some of the story itself feels blend or weak at various points. Its lack of character development sometimes makes the shows feels like it’s just another battle shounen on occasions. However, the energy will envelop and sucks you with its style in its Yozakurish way.
I'll write a brief review on this one (Spoiler Free). Hana no Uta is a reboot of the original Yozakura Quartet, and in my honest opinion, you can't enjoy the reboot to its fullest without watching its predecessor, you'll miss important character information and maybe some bits of the story that might make you enjoy this one a lot better.
I'll say the original was definitely not that good, the story was interesting but poorly managed and the characters could have been developed a lot better. And oh boy have they fixed it in Hana no Uta, besides the different takes with the art style and
the more common comical gags (and panty shots!), which were great additions, the series has become enormously better and more entertaining.
Why am I giving a 7 here? Because the story just felt rushed. The story is great, it is interesting and has plenty of options and directions to go from, but in 13 episodes there was barely any time to extend it and have those last questions answered (even though it had a good ending).
The characters had time for proper development this time, and this increased the story's value by tons. The past of Akina's and Hime's families were explained, and a lot of other backstories that I thought were missing in the original run of Yozakura.
My only complaint would be that 13 episodes (mostly the last ones) were too rushed, I wanted the story to keep going, and the last episodes to be explained better and not feel so rushed. They leave us with questions at the end, it actually feels like Enjin has to wait on the producers to put his plan to action. I don't know if any continuation to the story is coming or not, but I really hope so.
The art style is beautiful, the characters look stunning as well as the colouring. Action scenes did flow better than I expected and all the facial expressions were top notch imo, in comical moments as well as in serious ones. It might be a matter of taste, but for me it more than deserves this score.
Sound isn't my strong point. I found both the opening and ending songs amazing, the ED will give me nostalgia moments in the future for sure, it's just a great song. The OST felt fitting and in place, there isn't much more I can say about it.
The characters were already great in the original, but lacked stories behind them, well it's all fixed now. Everything's likeable about them, and this time you can follow their stories throughout the episodes. The reason I'm not giving them a 9 is because some of the stories felt rushed, like I mentioned above, doesn't make them any less good though.
Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta works as a comedy, a slice of life and an action anime, when you put all of them together and it works, what's not to like? This is definitely worth the watch, I recommend it to anyone who's looking for a heart warming, funny and action filled story. If you watched the original, don't hold back, this one is a lot better and you will not regret it. If you didn't watch it before the reboot, you should, there's still important information in the original that transitions into the reboot without proper explanation in the latter.
Yozakura Quartet. The quartet of the night cherry blossoms. What a resonating name.
This is another one of those shows that started off with a bang. Nekomimi girl with pantsu shot? Check. Randomly appearing huge goldfish? Check. All that crazy spiced up with a dash of ecchi. Yummy. I am one of strong believers that the start and the end of an anime are the two most important parts to get right. After all, if you don't get episode 1 just right, you're gonna lose viewers. If you don't get the final episode right, you leave a sour taste in everyone's mouth. So there's that. Yozakura
Quartet. Great title. Epic start.
Characters were like-able right off the bat. You have the tsundere main girl who literally hums a tsundere song, sports a long-ass scarf for image which scores +1 in my book, don't know if it will in yours though, and kicks ass with a stick/spear/lacross racket. You have that usually-quiet, laid back main guy who actually secretly gives a shit. And a bunch of interesting side casts like nekomimi girl, oni girl, well-endowed glasses girl etc. Great eye-candy if your a guy.
Sound was awesome for me. Like it could be all-peaceful and stuff, and then WHING WHANG WONG the action just ESCALATES out of thin air. It's the kind of in your face music and sound effect that I really like.
Overall, my only complaint it that it's too bloody short and I couldn't get enough of it. So what the hell are you doing reading this bullshit? Get off your rockers and watch it now.
Upon gazing at the ridiculously short synopsis and the total episode number, I was convinced that there is nothing too special to see here. And looking back on complaints with its first run five years ago under “Yozakura Quartet,” I was skeptical on how this reboot will deliver. How wrong I was; this anime left me with a lasting impression. You might have been put off too, but don’t back away now, because the simplistic synopsis is not all what this anime has to offer.
Given the synopsis and thirteen-episode span, I was led to believe that this anime’s storyline wouldn’t get past a good mark.
That proves to be quite true when it isn’t so often that the characters do their duties of kicking butt and defending the city and rather spend time dilly-dallying with ramen and swimming pools. But when they do, it is quality over quantity in this case, and each few moments of action deliver well as it also continues from building on one event to the next within the mastermind’s hands. Coupled with the soundtrack ranging towards some snazzy rushing tunes, the action is displayed well when the characters do their duties. Animation-wise, the fluidity is crisp and well-done in the fights; that makes the very few fights in this anime to have some high quality features. The amusing methods that each character employs in battle could be as outlandish as it is enjoyable (epic too).
The action and animation are eye-catching, but when it comes to plot concerns, the anime comes to a slow crawl that later picks ups half-way. The characters are confined to one area (their city), and the plot only demands action when there’s a crazy hub-bub that wants to destroy the peace. By the synopsis’s implication, it is as if the anime is to be mainly packed with constant supernatural skirmishes every episode with new villains. That isn’t what it truly offers though. Now what does this anime offer that makes it entirely unique? Characters that transform this shounen into something different.
The scope of the anime doesn’t primarily zone in on action, fanservice, and comedy, the scope seems to zone in on the characters. These types of characters aren’t exactly impressive, but the anime does create a sweet character depth and also pokes into their relationships with the others. It tends to poke into the themes of expectation and burden, especially in regards to Akina and Hime. And it does exploration for all characters along with suiting music. For a shounen anime in a fantasy setting to have slice-of-life themes in its mix, it does so pretty well. Their backstories are explored and the viewers are now given some emotional attachment to them if not all.
I think this is impressive for a thirteen-episode shounen anime. It was as if Yasuda Suzuhito was trying to implement slice-of-life themes here instead of typical shounen ones. Usually, viewers are already drawn to the convictions of shounen characters, but the convictions for these characters are not so hero-like in the traditional sense. They appeal to nearly real-world internal struggles that people tend to face in their days. The character arcs mainly focus on that, few episodes are dedicated to that as well. Forget about never giving up and protecting others, Yozakura Quartet is a mixed-bag of slice-of-life themes presented in a shounenesque way.
That is all it can ever be though, a mixed-bag. And I don’t think that is a subjective term for this anime. As convoluted as to where the focus and drive of the anime is as a whole, it seems to do it justice, and it probably was intentional. The OP song is breathes in excitement and merriment which links to the seriousness and cheeriness of the anime, while the ED song seems to remind us about how important the characters’ state of minds are to give an impact to the series. This is done in many anime I’m sure, but the songs do help with what the anime is about with the moods that the songs bring out. I think it is hard to pin down where the actual focus is, but the fact is that the characters are what run the show with every importance. Quirky, yes they are. Deep, somewhat so, and that level of depth should be tolerable and forgivable.
What’s even more respectable about Yozakura Quartet: HNU is that it does not suffer from a genre identity crisis. It does not try too hard for one thing, so it shoots down expectations from any side of the genre spectrum by balancing and shifting between action and play while it maintains the charming and optimistic childish aura that it exudes in even the direst situations. But that does not stop it from being critiqued on its ‘apparent’ potential, for I can see people wanting it to go beyond its mediocre interplay between the genres. So look away now if you are the viewer who is looking for something along the specific lines. Yozakura Quartet: HNU is not made for that. It’s made to appeal to those who are looking for something ‘different.’
The efforts made into this anime shine pretty well with intended mediocrity. The mixed action and character back-stories are the crux of the series, but plot-wise, viewers who start watching will finally be ‘rewarded’ for the real story behind this special town and the clouds that are beginning to storm in.
The storytelling is not so stellar, for the actual mystery and interesting info are only touched upon near the end of the anime, and towards the end, the whole setting and continuing devices of storytelling becomes even more predictable. There will still be the same kind of conflict, but with more detail added on regarding the secrets behind certain main characters. One should keep in mind of the true story that this anime is trying to tell. Although unfinished, from start to end, it has left me satisfied with anticipation. This makes the story tolerable somewhat, and it ought to be excused.
What is a tad inexcusable is the anime’s way of evoking emotion from the viewer. Even typical shounen anime can rally a nearly absurd amount of sympathy and emotion from. The way that this anime tries to evoke some sympathy is half-baked and isn’t dramatic enough. This clash between shounen and slice-of-life doesn’t work too well in the emotional department. What it does instead is to create an understanding of the characters, not to create sympathy for them. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but expectations and standards are not appealed. I think because many viewers are already used to specific slice-of-life and shounen anime, the result that this hybrid-genre anime gives off remains unfulfilled. That makes it’s ‘mistakes and flaws’ hard to accept was the reason why I even considered dropping the anime, but the important thing is that this is what this breed of an anime is trying to do.Even though the anime tries shoot down expectations, handling that with an open-mind could take some effort into getting used to. That may put off some people from continuing to watch.
Nevertheless, this is a decent anime with my enjoyment stemming from the fights and the internal conflicts that the main characters have. It personally did not make me strongly react, but I can’t help but admire at what it does. Had it did evoke a strong reaction, this anime would have deserved some more praise, but it does what it does somewhat well, and it works.
At least the captivating art style helps make up for its ‘mediocrity’. The city gives off a fresh feel of security, while at night it turns mysterious and dangerously exciting. Characters are not glazed like porcelain dolls, for they are more akin to the cleanliness of Durarara. It also packs a similar atmosphere, but in a more merry way. Given the whole convoluted feel of focus and whims, the art style definitely fits with the plot’s antics. The anime is like a bowl of piping hot ramen (Hime’s favorite food), a meal that combines a variety of tasteful ingredients where taste and flavor are balanced (although the overall quality might be something to gag at depending on personal tastes).
But does it appeal to you? Who knows. Just hope that you get a good flavor from that mixed-bag of tea. It just might be your cup. And it is gladly mine. Give it a try and you’ll be in for a lasting experience, for better or worse.
*NOTE: When watching this anime, the OVA Yozakura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi takes place prior to Episode 9 and after Episode 8.
Fan service is not only about boobs and butts. There's also legs! They may be under-appreciated but they are just as good if not better. Let's help promote them by taking this time to appreciate their flawlessness!