Yozakura Quartet ~ Hana no Uta~ Episode 3

"[Yozakura Quartet reaches] almost K-ON! levels of enjoyable airheadedness." - Dragonzigg

Recap: Touka saves Kana and Mina from a car accident, but causes a lot of damage in the process. Kyousuke calls Akina out for not following up on the responsibilities he has towards the daemon community.

Aqua‘s thoughts: The gloves are off, the wisdom teeth are out… but not really. I wonder how this show managed to get away with showing two toddlers graphically getting their necks crushed, though.  Is it because they were only mostly dead? Anyways, luckily enough, this is not Madoka Magica and no one’s going to be dying young. Blatant bait-and switch aside, though, the car accident is a nice way to one, blow your animation budget through the mansard roof; two, reveal that Kana and Mina are vampires; three, establish Touka and Kyousuke, who have been hovering around for the past few episodes without any real introduction and four, finally unveil what is up with Akina, and the village as a whole. You sure took your time, young lion.

A dense male protagonist is made of steel.

It’s the first episode of Hana no Uta that remains relatively close to the manga, nicely condensing three chapters into a story with a beginning, middle, and end, revealing some important details about characters and resolving a credible and sensible conflict that actively moves the plot forward. Akina will not win any awards for his motives, but combined with his responsibilities as Dutybound they do present an almost philosophical approach to civilization — the idea that active consensual coexistence will eventually sort itself out thanks to man- and daemonkind’s inherent good nature, and is preferable to a pragmatic segregation. Thanks, Rousseau.

It’s due to this more streamlined storytelling that this episode manages to carry on the previous episodes’ cosy pacing and clever dialogue without resulting in a bit of a sensory overload. The plot is relatively linear, characters only pop up when they need to –except for Yae, whose whole schtick seems to be never showing up when she needs to and always when no one wants her around — and we finally get some answers. It’s a significant step up in terms of trying to drag in the unbelievers, but once again I’m the last person on this planet to judge whether or not it actually succeeds in doing so. Why else do you think I allow my Glorio Blog cousins to soil contribute to these posts?

That's a "glad to be alive" high-five.

This newfound balance is however accompanied by an awkward budget cut. It was inevitable, but at least it’s nice to see Tatsunoko is not giving up the gun: quiet scenes may suffer from severe “meduka meguca” syndrome, but everything that has to look pretty still bears the fruit of the animators’ obvious bicycle expertise. With a clear premise now chiseled out of the rough rock Hana No Uta must have been for newcomers and its characters properly introduced, next episode seems to be heading straight into the manga’s first real plot arc. That is, if it survives the little holiday (read: swimsuit) layover first.

Oh dear.

Random observations

  • All the panty shots in this episode have been conveniently relocated to the cold open. It’s almost as if they have some quota to fulfill and just wanted to get those out of the way or something.
  • In case it wasn’t obvious, the old woman “tuned” by Akina’s grandfather was Hime’s grandma.
  • I’m not sure if calling poor Kyousuke a “siscon” is warranted, he’s more like a “My Sister is Off Limits” kind of guy. Then again, it’s funny. Especially because his name is Kyousuke.
  • I wonder if Touka still crushes on Akina after this little incident. Then again, maybe she’s into that kind of stuff?

No little sisters were harmed during the making of this anime.

Iro’s thoughts:
Time to panties: ten seconds, possibly less. Wellp.

That aside, this was pretty cool. We get a decent handle on what exactly is up with the town and why the protagonists have their own little town office… thing, and it’s all done without being too heavy on the infodumping. Of course, it’s also filled to the brim with ANIME stuff like guys coming to understanding via fistfights and dudes wanting to fuck their little sisters, but what can ya do? It’s still fun and I’m reasonably looking forward to the next episode.

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