HaNaYaMaTa - Anime Review
I actually watched this anime a few months ago, but I found it so impactful, and memorable that I decided it more than worthy to be reviewed.
This twelve-episode series is based off a still running manga baring the same name. The name itself is unique since it is actually the first 2 letters of the main characters' names. That should be a huge sign that this is a very character-driven story.
Unlike the other series I have reviewed, there is no horror, mystery, fantasy, or science-fiction theme about HaNaYaMaTa. This series is just about of group of teenage girls finding friendship through a relatively unpopular hobby – Yosakoi. What is Yosakoi? It is a unique dance style that is primarily displayed in festivals. To learn more information, see it's Wikipedia entry.
At this point you might be thinking about closing this review and mark it as uninteresting. From the description, many people will ignore its existence, but that is a huge mistake. What sets this anime apart from the others is the highly relatable characters, which will cling to your heart in ways that very few can do. It doesn't take long before you start going through the emotions you are watching the characters go through.
For the most part, it is a happy series – making it a great series to lift your spirits when your sad. Alas, life isn't all sunshine and rainbows, so there are some very sad parts, too. Expect tears to flow from both extremes, especially in the later episodes.
The theme song, which is actually a huge part of the story itself, is also a very happy tune, which is easy to hum when you need a smile.
This was the series that helped me through the hardships that I went through toward the end of 2013 (which partially led to the drastic changes on Crimson Tear). If it wasn't for the experience of HaNaYaMaTa, it is very likely I would have given up on the website altogether, plus several other hobbies and activities, possibly even my main job. I doubt I could find any other media-based experience that I have seen or heard that has made such an impact in my life.
The story does end with an open story – as I stated, the manga is still being created – so there is still a possibility that a second season may arrive in the future. There is so much more to be experienced from this story so I really hope it does continue.
I can't say that you will experience the same level of impact from HaNaYaMaTa as I did, but I am sure there is something that you will find enjoyment from.
HaNaYaMaTa is available free with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.