Published on October 7th, 2013 | by exo
Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta – 01
Kotoha Isone and Touka Kishi encounter a blonde haired child, who appears to be lost. They keep her occupied until the town mayor, Hime Yarizakura appears to take her to the lost child tent at the Hiizumi Life Counseling Office. There, Ao Nanami uses her special ears to read the girl’s mind in order to obtain more information on her parents.
Suddenly, the sky goes dark and a bolt of lightning strikes the ground, hitting a small goldfish and causing it it expand to an abnormally large size. Touka runs off to warn the town while Kotoha steps in to stop it by using a large poi. However, more lightning strikes and large goldfish start to appear all around town. Ao uses her satellite surveilance skill to locate the 8 goldfish scattered around and Kotoha makes quick work of them by encasing the fish in aquariums.
With only one superpowered goldfish left, Hime attempts to take it down but is easily tossed to the side by the fish’s immense strength. But through the combined teamwork of Akina, Kotoha, and Hime they are able to successfully defeat it.
The little girl’s parents arrive to pick the girl up bid the group farewell, and it is then finally revealed that the girl is actually a witch in disguise, who used her cover to gather information on everyone’s powers.
Another gem of the fall season, Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta has a feel which is very reminiscence of Durarara!! with its vast array of characters, and strong focus on character interactions/relationships. As much as I’m sure Suzuhito Yasuda would prefer not to have these two shows compared with one another, I find that the comparison is inevitable. Regardless, Suzuhito appears to have picked up a lot of experience through his years of illustrating for Durarara!! and it shows through in the narrative.
The characters are brilliantly introduced through the lens of Lily, a witch in disguise who spies on Hime and friends under the pretext of a lost child. We, the viewers are thus able to meet each characters in a natural way, as if we were their meeting them for the first time ourselves. It’s a very interesting and effective way to bring the viewer into an existing group of well established friends, and I thought that it worked out quite nicely.
While it’s apparent that the narrative portion was done quite well, Tatsunoko Production was no slouch either when it came to animating the series. The backgrounds of Yozakura Quartet were always dynamic and alive with the hustle and bustle of the festival. The character designs were consistent with the manga and beautifully done, and overall the animation felt very fluid and natural. I really, really liked the small details that the animators put into the series for example: Hime pulling the scroll out from under her shirt and unraveling it on her leg, or Ao catching the mochi that was balancing on her head with her mouth. It brings a lot of character to the series, and shows the amount of effort Tatsunoko is willing to put into the show.
Overall, the first episode of Yozakura was executed to perfection, and I will definitely be picking up this show until completion.