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HaNaYaMaTa #1 -- Special Review

Do we really need to say it out loud?

We’re sampling the summer season’s selection! Check out our other pilot write-up’s –

Sure, I’m far from the intended audience here, but I still have to question if it’s honestly that necessary for any show to be this cloying to its audience. To be fair, I’m only singling HaNaYaMaTa out because I'm finding it at the end of a streak. Still, I swear that a solid quarter of the pilots I’ve watched this season have involved the lonely, bored protagonist literally saying lines like “Oh, this town’s so boring” and/or “Oh, if only I weren’t so lonely and misunderstood” out loud.

You might argue that it’s the most succinct way to establish your lead’s plight so you can get to the cool shit (in this case, princess-theme fantasia) as quickly as possible. However, I’d counter that the clichéd image of the heroine sitting on her windowsill, staring wistfully out on her town while the Sun’s setting, is a much quicker way to get that across. I really hate to think that audiences, of any age, ever need to have characterizations spelled out for them like that.

Here's your all-too-reliable trope of the weird alien/fantasy girl literally dropping into a bored suburban kid’s humdrum existence here - - with two twists. First, the suburban kid is a girl, too, so it seems to be less of a romance than friendship (at least for now). And then there’s a cute scene where the dream girl ambushes our lead in class, and openly acknowledges that they met in a dream - - amusingly skipping over the usual “Is this happening?” scenes. But I guess that’s appreciation by degrees.

Look, it’s an awfully pretty show, and obviously I’m being a grump for picking it apart. Still, I have to say that a pilot like this makes me appreciate the opener of a show like EUREKA SEVEN a bit more. That one went through the paces of pretty much the same trope but, mercifully, it spared us any on-the-nose lines from Renton about his loneliness and boredom. Seeing it was enough.

Watch "Shall We Dance" and decide for yourself.

metalsnakezeroon Aug. 10, 2014 at 9:20 a.m.

So far I really enjoy this show for it innocence, cheerfulness, and cuteness. Every episode I feel like I'm going to vomit rainbows. It also does a good job at explaining Yosakoi while still connecting to the character's motivations. The lead, Naru, isn't really bored or lonely (She has a close friend) but just isn't sure what other interest she wants to do until Hana, the hyper active girl, comes along to push her to do things.

zaldaron Aug. 10, 2014 at 8:45 p.m.

I don't know it might be fun to hear you try to say this out loud...@metalsnakezero: you can have a close friend and be lonely and bored, you can also of course have one and not be. Vomiting rainbows sounds like something you should get checked out. This one is not for me except in really really really small doses...probably like 1/3 of an episode. I don't know something about over cuteness....causes me to melt like in Wizard of Oz...

I agree spelling out characterization is lonely and terrible. I mean even George Lucas who as we found out in the sequels when he didn't have other people write from his ideas can't really write his way out of a paper bag especially when it comes to emotions...didn't have Luke say "Man I really wish I wasn't so bored on this desert planet" Even if people need to have character motivations spelled out for them like that...doesn't mean they should be.

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